Blog #2 of 2 (I’m keeping it simple…its Wednesday for Heaven’s sake).

Our second port of call on our seven day cruise of the Caribbean was in Jamaica.  Again…stunningly beautiful sights.

Jamaica from our ship Oasis of the Sea's.
Jamaica from our ship Oasis of the Sea’s.

 

We walked around the port which was FILLED with shops that sold high-end, duty-free jewelry and liquor…and lot’s and lot’s of Bob Marley related merchandise, wood cravings and other touristy stuff.  Dave sampled the rum and coffee while I people watched.

"Hey buddy...you hot?"  I wonder if this is what folks do when they're hot, from where he hails from...?"
“Hey buddy…you hot?” I wonder if this is what folks do when they’re hot, from where he hails from…?”
Nothing says this is a "Jamaican Paradise" like Dairy Queen and Quizno's.
Nothing says this is a “Jamaican Paradise” like Dairy Queen and Quizno’s.
While at port in Jamaica the ladies refused to braid my hair.  It ruined my whole day.  I ROCK the CORNROWS!!
While at port in Jamaica the ladies refused to braid my hair. It ruined my whole day. I ROCK the CORNROWS!!
This was really, really good. I mean it.  Really good.
This was really, really good. I mean it. Really good.

Our last port of call was Cozumel Mexico where we had bought an excursion to visit a Mayan ruin via a MONSTER JEEP with a picnic on a virgin beach where we could swim, just $149 per person.  Those that really know me are aware that I’m not very cultured but the idea of visiting an ANCIENT Mayan Pyramid plus a virgin beach was too cool to pass up.  As it turns out…they were regular Jeeps (no biggie), we drove them (again..no problem) along a sandy and rocky trail (it got real interesting at this point with one Jeep at the head of the caravan getting stuck for almost an hour).  AAA roadside assistance wasn’t coming to our rescue.

This was our view most of the time while driving to the Mayan ruin...with an occasional well-armed soldier poking his head out of the brush every ten or fifteen minutes.  Who knows why they were out there?
This was our view most of the time while driving to the Mayan ruin…with an occasional well-armed soldier poking his head out of the brush every ten or fifteen minutes. Who knows why they were out there?
Mayan ruin.  A look out.  I was thinking that we'd see Mayan pyramids...nope.  This was it.
Mayan ruin. A look out. I was thinking that we’d see Mayan pyramids…nope. This was it.  Still cool.  Its dated at 400 AD. 

We departed the Mayan look out (it faced the coast…keeping an eye out for pirates and such) and drove to our VIRGIN BEACH with picnic lunch!!

The "catering truck" for our picnic
The “catering truck” for our picnic
Pathway to our virgin beach picnic.  The scenery was beautiful.  The virgin never appeared.
Pathway to our virgin beach picnic. The scenery was beautiful. The virgin never appeared.
We were all given blankets and umbrella's to share until our meal was ready.  That rain in the horizon....yeah...we got that.
We were all given blankets and umbrella’s to share until our meal was ready. That rain in the horizon….yeah…we got that.
I find it humorous that in a Spanish speaking country this sign is only in English...as in "only the Americans would be dumb enough to swim with this kind of rough surf."
I found it humorous that in a Spanish speaking country this sign is only in English…as in “only the Americans would be dumb enough to swim with this kind of rough surf.”
Me pointing towards America...I think...maybe it was Cuba.  Regardless, the water was warm and wonderful as long as you didn't go deeper than your knees.
Me pointing towards America…I think…maybe it was Cuba. Regardless, the water was warm and wonderful as long as you didn’t go deeper than your knees.  The riptide was very strong, the shoreline dropped off quickly.

I don’t mean to sound ungrateful but I passed on the picnic.  The meat used for the grill was stored in old, nasty looking buckets, they were touching the food with their hands (with no sinks, gloves or anything to wash their hands) and the only thing iced down were the beverages.  Maybe this is what passes in Mexico for a picnic, but for me…I could envision a night of intestinal issues back on the ship if I ate this meal.  Dave ate it, thoroughly enjoyed it and didn’t have any problems.

This is Dave.  He fell asleep waiting for lunch.  I didn't have the heart to wake him up about the hermit crab that took up temporary shelter inside his shorts.  Sadly...it left prior to nappy boy waking up.  It would've been a terrific blog...
This is Dave. He fell asleep waiting for lunch. I didn’t have the heart to wake him up about the hermit crab that took up temporary shelter inside his shorts. Sadly…it left prior to nappy boy waking up. It would’ve been a terrific blog.

We made it back to our ship just fine, via a required stop at a “tequila ranch” where they tried to sell us tequila and souvenirs.  While the younger folks in our excursion raved about how much fun this was I felt like what was advertised and what was delivered were two different things.  It was my fault for not investigating more thoroughly before purchasing it.  Its quite a trip to get to the Mayan pyramids is what I was told…like two days of hiking.  Who knew?

The view along our way to the Mayan ruin.
The view along our way to the Mayan ruin.  Hard to beat this view on a Wednesday!

The food on the cruise varied anywhere from good to excellent.  Two examples follow.

Seafood Ceviche.  Shrimp. bay scallops, lime-marinated lobster, red onions, cucumbers, dill & cilantro.  One of my favorite appetizers.
Seafood Ceviche. Shrimp. bay scallops, lime-marinated lobster, red onions, cucumbers, dill & cilantro. One of my favorite appetizers.
Pork Scaloppine Oscar.  Crab meat, fresh asparagus, grill plum tomato and mashed potatoes with a veal reduction.
Pork Scaloppine Oscar. Crab meat, fresh asparagus, grill plum tomato and mashed potatoes with a veal reduction.
I have no conscience while on vacation...but this was probably meant for someone other than Dave or myself.
I have no conscience while on vacation…but this was probably meant for someone other than Dave or myself because this is HOW WE ROLL BABY!!
Dave's impressed.  He only gets this look in his eyes like only...every five years or so.  Its best to just let him finish.
Dave’s impressed. He only gets this look in his eyes…every five years or so. Its best to just let him finish.
Sadly...all seven of my Speedo's were confiscated by the TSA.  The "incident" at Disney World in 2005 continues to haunt me. This dude ROCKS it old school.
Sadly…all seven of my Speedo’s were confiscated by the TSA. The “incident” at Disney World in 2005 continues to haunt me. This dude ROCKS it old school.
I've seen thousands of sunsets from my beloved home state of Iowa.  These were equally beautiful.
I’ve seen thousands of sunsets from my beloved home state of Iowa. These were equally beautiful.

The cruise had plenty of shows and activities to keep us occupied.  Dave especially enjoyed the Broadway style shows, while I usually passed and just walked around the ship or retired for the night.  One of the great things of having such a good friend (of 30+ years) is that we were fine with splitting off from each other and doing our own thing.  I enjoyed shooting baskets at the basketball court then grabbing an ice old beer then swimming while Dave did his thing.  We didn’t need to be joined at the hip to enjoy the cruise.  Folks may think that without our wives along to chaperone us that we’d get crazy and stay out late.  The majority of the time we were in our room before eleven each night.  Did we drink a little too much a couple of times?  Hell yeah…we’re not DEAD!!  But nothing that a little nap and Tylenol couldn’t take care of.  This cruise was a very self-centered extravagance for me.  I doubt that I’ll ever cruise again, but I’m glad that we went.  It was wonderful, except that I really missed Connie.  After I returned home I wouldn’t leave her alone for two days.  She had to grab a stick and whack me with it shouting “DOWN BOY!!” until I got the message.  (true story…I’ll show you the welts later…)

Do you remember all of those baseball and basketball games that I blab about?  Those games paid for this trip.  All of the times that I’ve hustled up and down a court, getting into position?  All of those times that I’ve stood on a hot and windy baseball field in the late day sun with sweat trickling down my back?  THOSE paid for this trip.  I can’t say that I earned this trip…but it was a real nice deal.

Yours truly...looking out from the Mayan look out.
Yours truly…looking out from the Mayan look out.

Its great to be home.  Good to be back at work (I need routine) and I hope that you’ve enjoyed these last two blogs.  As alwaysGod bless and take care!

R

 

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