It hurts to even say this, but I think it’s true. I’ve looked everywhere for them with no luck. I’m powering up the camera I received a couple years ago, because maybe, maybe, they’re there. But I’m not holding my breath. Technology does that to me sometimes. Gives me the opportunity to capture those incredible moments and then, when I want them most, steals them away forever.
I’m afraid that’s what happened to the Mexico pictures. Strangely enough, the time we took a cruise to Mexico was also the time we stopped in Catalina. There are only a few pictures from that day-cation. It makes no sense either. This was a trip of a lifetime and between the seven of us, you’d think we’d have hundreds of photos strewn across our iPods, cell phones, and cameras. But it isn’t so. In fact when I posted the blog about “Cruising to Catalina”, I was in a tizzy to find those pictures and finally scraped some together from my younger daughter.
Since I can’t describe this trip in pictures, I’ll do my best to do it justice with words. That shouldn’t be a problem, right? I’m a writer, after all. Write? I mean, right? Sure…I can do this…
It all started with my husband’s famous words “so I have an idea”. Over the years I’ve learned that when he utters this phrase, it always helps to take a deep breath and sit down if I’m not already. This time was no different.
When he suggested the cruise, I was hesitant. Just a little. I’ve heard of the Titanic and tend to be a worrier. But he kept describing what it would be like. The romantic cruise ship, the fine dining, and the port of call in Ensenada Mexico.
That was enough for me. It’s been my dream for as long as I can remember to go to Mexico. A few months there and I’d maybe be able to finally learn Spanish. It’s a disgrace to be half Mexican and unable to utter enough words to string a sentence together. (Yo neccisito el libro…Okay, so I know the most important sentence in Spanish.)
So we took the trip. After a few days in California (can’t find those pictures either) we headed down to where the cruise ship was waiting for us. It was beautiful. And crowded. And hot. With long lines of people waiting to be granted permission to board the vessel. We stood with the others in the glaring sun. Periodically, I counted the kids to make sure we hadn’t lost any en route. Mostly I wished for an ice cold bottle of water. Did I mention it was hot? We live in Alaska folks, an hour in California’s hot sun is more than enough.
The line inched along until we were herded like cattle into various lines based on our cabin assignment. They checked our paperwork and handed out cards similar to those you get in a hotel. Now I had more to stress about…the kids losing theirs.
When we boarded we made our way to the rooms that would be ours for the next few days. Our luggage was waiting by the doors. We’d opted for two rooms when making our reservations. It’s better that way with a crew our size and gives the hubby and I some alone time. Located across the hall and two doors down from each other, the rooms were…small. As in tiny. Miniscule. Difficult to turn around in. I’m pretty sure that most dog houses are bigger than the rooms we were staying in.
But who cares, right? We were on a cruise. To Mexico…my heritage. We weren’t going to spend the whole time sleeping. Though I’ll admit, the standing in the sun had worn me out completely, and a nap didn’t sound bad.
After quickly unpacking and getting settled, we headed to our designated muster station where everyone was given instructions on what to do if the ship sank. Really? You betcha. It was fine though. We got through it. It would have been better if they’d passed out some Prozac in the process, but whatever. Life jackets. Row boats. Women and children first. Don’t think about the Titanic. Sure. We’ve got this.
Aside from the possibility that the boat could sink, it was a pretty great experience to be on that cruise ship. It’s like a floating island. There were water slides, a running track, and miniature golf. There was enough food to feed an army in several different manners. There was the outdoor grill, the pizza place with salad bar, and the formal dining room.
I liked the formal dining best at night. Every party was assigned to a table, but they weren’t alone. The cruise ship people (do they have a title?) would pair parties one with another so you could get to know each other. I’ll admit this isn’t my favorite way to eat dinner because I prefer to eat at home in my pajamas, but it was a little bit fun. And the tiramisu they served for dessert definitely convinced me to give dinner-with-strangers a try.
Formal dining in the morning though…not something I’d be up for doing again. One morning my husband and I got up early and decided we’d eat a nice breakfast together in the fancy dining hall. Just the two of us. The wait staff didn’t get that memo though because they seated us at this long table filled nearly to capacity with a group of folks who were happily chatting away.
Meaning we were the odd pair out, sitting there drinking our juice and eating our eggs. AWKWARD. We are introverts, not known for our small talk abilities. And darn it, we wanted to eat alone together. Between our litter of kids and 2,000 people on the ship, we were ready for some quiet time to just be together. We’d used up all our social skills. If you don’t believe me, just ask those folks we sat with. Needless to say, we ate….quickly….and left.
Note to self: be more assertive next time and tell the staff you’ll take the table for two tucked in a corner away from prying eyes and small talk strangers.