The week we left for the cruise was packed with things. I drove down to SC on Monday, Tuesday I spent the day unpacking and setting up house as much as possible, Wednesday I had a job interview (which was a flop) and I had to pack, and Thursday morning at 0300 we woke up to get ready and get to the airport by 0430.
|I'm a pretty good pillow.|
We flew into SFO, which meant photos the Golden Gate Bridge (again) and stopping at Mr. Mystery's Baba's house to say hey and pick up his sister and feed me.
|Mandatory bridge photo!|
Mr. Mystery ordered the walnut shrimp for me since he knows it's my favorite.
We got back to Sacramento in the evening and had dinner at Frasinetti's. We made a stop after dinner to pick up cruise supplies.. booze, walkie-talkies, water, ridiculous shirts for Mr. Mystery's brother. When we finally made it home, we were both exhausted, so it was bedtime.
Friday morning at 0330, we were up to get ready and hit the road. Everyone was meeting at Mr. Mystery's house so we could all load up in the 2 rented vans and drive to LA to catch the ship. I was able to catch some gorgeous sunrise pics.
We stopped at Harris Ranch for breakfast/lunch. Mr. Mystery had wanted to stop to eat there on our drive from CA to SC but I wasn't able to wait that long. I was sad at myself after our stop because the food was delicious AND there was a bakery.
|I obtained one of these for the ride.|
We made it to LA and through security with only minimal hassle. The guy running the bag xray machine said that I had a pocket knife in my bags but when I asked which one, my purse or the suitcase, he wasn't sure. I emptied out my purse and there was nothing in there, of course. We opened up the suitcase and another guy came over and checked it out and realized the guy had no idea what he was talking about. I told him that I knew I didn't have a pocket knife with me because it was in my gym bag at home (which it is). Lesson learned, when the security guy can't tell you what bag it's in, he's making shit up. We made it on board, found our room and decided to go topside to check out what we could see.
After all the people in our group arrived, we went back to "E-Street" (what we started calling our block of rooms since we had 5 rooms in a row of people in our group) to meet up with everyone else and started drinking.
|This was one of our across the way neighbor's.|
Check out that SWEET 'STACHE!
I explained to him that Phil does mustaches and his was the best one I'd ever seen.
I wasn't even that drunk, yet.
|Adult beverages lounging on the back of the boat, ok.|
|We were underway and the wind was KILLER.|
(and the photo of our shitty random photographer)
|The are definitely related.|
Our entire group had late dinner and it was awesome for everyone to be able to meet up at least once a day in the same area without too much coordination. 25 people is a lot to wrangle with.
|All I wanted was a good photo...|
and not to be licked.
I was too busy stuffing my face to take photos of the food, but know that it was all delicious and I ate WAAYYYY too much every.single.night. We'd go back to our room to refill our beverages and I'd complain that my belly ached. Yeah, that's because I was a fatty.
|This little guy was waiting on us when we came back the first night.|
Saturday morning, we got up and had breakfast and waited on half of the group before we finally gave up on waiting and left the ship. We got a shuttle from the ship to the tourist area and the shuttle guide talked us into paying $15 a person to have the shuttle take us to a "mexican market" for the day. The only issue we encountered was we didn't have cash. We were going to get cash before we left for the market, but the lady said there was an ATM there, so we didn't get any cash. Turns out there was no ATM at the market which meant that we had zero dollars to buy anything. We did end up borrowing some cash from a friend so we were able to grab some cash for snacks at the market.
The "mexican market" was a 40 minute drive away. It was, for all intents and purposes, a tourist trap. They drive you out to the middle of nowhere, the appeal is there's a place called "The Blowhole" where the waves crash up on the rocks really high, and there just happens to be a "market" set up there.
On the way to the market, we stopped at a store to buy beer.
|This photo was required.|
|day drinkin' with my bitch beers.|
|drankin' on a bus.|
When we got to the market, our tour guide tried to make us follow him all the way to the end of the market. Most of our group got lost before we were halfway there. Mr. Mystery and I are good at following directions though, so we made it to the end to see The Blowhole, and decided to make our way back.
We had to pay to use the restrooms, except at the one restaurant, which was also the company who provided the shuttle, so technically, we had already paid.
The scenery was gorgeous.
The market reminded me of the souq, but with panchos that had American sports logos on them and cowboy hats and real silver jewelry and various knick-knacks and some food stands and some really sketchy "pharmacy" stores that sold viagra and other prescriptions that I would have never taken ever. There was also 2 baby leopards and a baby lion, which you could pay to pet and the funds went to saving their kin... or so we were told....
The market was pretty overwhelming for me. I considered buying something, but we had to find a store that accepted credit cards and those were few and far between. Additionally, providing my credit card info to some sketchy mexican market merchant wasn't high on our list of things to do in life. We did end up getting some tacos and a pina colada with our borrowed dollas.
I ended up paying $20 for a coconut with coconut water and rum and my pina colada in a pineapple because I'm moron, but my pina colada was delicious and it was my first time in Mexico.
Our group talked the tour guide into making a stop at the beach so we could get our feet wet since there was no beach access at the market.
|They had these awesome cabanas all down the beach.|
|First time in the Pacific Ocean!|
(I think, I pretty sure).
|There were vendors with wheelbarrows full of snacks.|
After the beach, the shuttle brought us to the tourist area of town where there were bars with obnoxiously thumpy music and overpriced everythings.
Mr. Mystery and I decided against the bar and instead went into a convenience store for the ATM to get out some pesos and sought out a food truck with the most Mexicans around it, because we figured if the locals would eat there, then we could too.
We ended up with taquitos (I think that's what they were called) and I got a shrimp taco. Again with the over eating. But how many times am I going to be in Mexico?
|back to the boat.|
I almost bought a bottle of Cuban Rum from one of the places in the tourist area, but decided against it. I was happy I did because when the shuttle brought us back to the ship, there were shops set up there and they had the exact same bottle for $20 less, which I did buy then.
When we got back to the ship, it was time to pour a beverage, relax in the adults only hot tub, and get cleaned up for Captain's Dinner (so dress up night).
|This guy was waiting on us.|
Towel art made me extremely happy.
Dinner consisted of eating wayy too much food again. I only brought my
|His bday was the reason we were on the cruise, and they got engaged later that night!|
After dinner, we were pretty tired, so we headed to bed and avoided the party animals that were the rest of our group. Sadly, we missed the proposal, but it was just better for everyone that we went to bed since we were tired and soon to be grouchy.
Sunday was a day at sea. We woke up late, had breakfast, and laid out by the pool.
|The most fun he ever had on a ship.|
|I'm on a boat! I'm on a boat!|
(You're welcome if you're singing that now).
PS. Sorry about the boobage.
|I got a bit sunburned from laying out in my strapless dress.. NOT from laying out in my bikini since I had applied sunscreen. Only me.|
After spending the day in the sun, we went back to our room to finish off the beverages and get ready for dinner, which was, thankfully, casual night. There were no photos because.. well I was having a good time and didn't need the camera.
I ended up going to bed soon after dinner was over and Mr. Mystery stayed up and hung out with the gang. I have no idea what time he even came to bed since I was exhausted. The best part about NOT having a room on the ship with the window is the COMPLETE blackness that you get to sleep in. LOVEEEED it.
Monday morning, we failed at getting up early. We did make it to breakfast and we waited on the group to disembark from the ship. We all caught cabs to LAX and we were supposed to do lunch together, but Mr. Mystery and I and one other guy were flying from different terminals, so we didn't end up meeting since LAX has a million different terminals.
|The adventures were never ending!|
Mr. Mystery and I grabbed lunch in the international terminal since we were told it had the best options for food and then we got a cab and headed to a movie theater. We watched The Judge which was pretty good. We really just needed something to pass the time that we could both bear watching.
|Because I bought Mr. Mystery an icee, he agreed to do a photo booth with me.|
I'm pretty sure photo booth are my new addiction.
Sorry not sorry, Friends.
We then walked around the area and happened to find a mall where we planned to have dinner. Yay for google maps!
|I was walking towards the restroom and then realized everything was midget size and couldn't figure out what happened, then I realized I was in the children's area, it wasn't just a joke on me.|
We decided on BJ's Brewhouse for dinner because I couldn't remember having ever gone there before. There were plenty of TVs for Mr. Mystery to watch the 49ers game and I got to enjoy poker and soccer. Either I've never been to a bar with real fans during a game or the east coast doesn't have fans that go to bars to cheer on their team, but you could tell when the 49ers were about to score... and when they didn't.
|Peanut butter s'mores cookie.. NOMNOMNOM.|
After dinner, we called a cab to take us back to the airport. We got to go through the pre-check line since we both had our military IDs, SCORE. Also, can I just rant about slow bitches in the security lines? It's take off your shoes, jacket, and any metal items. Empty your pockets. Remove all laptops, LAPTOPS, not your ereader, not your palm pilot, not your cell phone, from bags and put it in it's own bin, then walk through the hands-above-your-head-high-five-machine. Wait for the TSA agent to tell you you're good. Pick up your shit and MOVE THE FUCK ON. Do not stand there and fix yourself. No. Noooooo. Take your shit and go to the benches and get yourself out of everyone's way. I will pass your ass in line if you're taking too long. Mr. Mystery couldn't believe I cut in front of an old couple, but after she had been standing there for about a minute too long, I was over granny's shit and picked up my bins, put them in front of hers and walked right on through. Mr. Mystery got stuck behind her, because he's not as cut-throat as me, and she stood at the baggage exit from the machine trying to put all her stuff back together, not at the END of the line, no no.. the exit for EVERYONE'S STUFF. I wanted to SLAY HER.
Granted, it wasn't like I had anywhere to go but to wait on a plane, but sitting at my terminal is much better than watching granny unpack and pack all her shit. I can't even.
|"Seasonal Southern California Comfort Food"|
I don't even have words.
Because our flight from LA was a red eye, we were able to get some pretty crappy sleep on the flight to Hotlanta. Once we got to Atlanta, Mr. Mystery proved just how in the military he is and fell asleep on the floor. I stood watch.
Fortunately, all our flights were on time. The only snafu we encountered was that our luggage wasn't in Charleston when we arrived. It had been sent to Minneapolis. The flight it was on was set to land about 30 minutes later, but I told the lady that there was nothing in there that would impede me from going to sleep, which is what I planned to do as soon as we got home. She laughed and told me that someone would deliver it to us later that day.
I was glad to be home. After all the early wake ups and the time zone difference, which always kills me, I was ready to be home so I could finish unpacking and get laundry finished and get the house set up. The only thing missing was the dogs, and they arrived a few days later!
Overall, the cruise was excellent. I think if I went on another cruise, I'd want it to be a little bit longer. 2 days, 3 nights just seemed kinda eh. I also have a dream of one day being employed where I can actually save a decent amount of money and eventually take Teh Granny on a cruise to Alaska which she has talked about for YEARS. I'd love to be able to make that happen for her. I told the group that the next cruise needed to be from the east coast to the Caribbean.