Saturday, April 24, 2010

The One with Our First Cruise

Preface: Blogger does this thing called Auto Pagination and it has figured out that my blog uses a lot of bandwidth because I post a lot of big pictures and therefore limits the amount of posts to a certain number and so only 6 or 7 posts show up on the front page at a time, or more or less depending on how many pictures I put on each post, even though I'd like 30 days worth of posts to show up. Therefore, I believe many of my posts will get pushed away because I have 65 pictures and a video I'd like to share from our cruise. Which is too bad, because I like having scrappy posts and personal posts mixed together on my front page at the same time. Blogger: this makes me angry. Fix it.

With that being said! We went on our very first cruise Monday-Friday this past week and had a blast! We tagged along with our friends Blake and Erica Bybee and I've got lots to share.

Monday the 19th: Boarding Day
We dropped Joey off at the dog boarding place, packed, picked up some travel items from Target, then headed to Long Beach to board our boat: the Carnival Paradise.
Photobucket
We couldn't check into our "staterooms" until 1:30 so we walked around and figured out some fun things to do. Here is the central atrium.
Photobucket
The back of the boat with pools and what not.
Photobucket
The arcade room.
Photobucket
There was seriously a wedding ceremony going on. On Thursday the couple who got married participated in the Marriage/Love game show that we watched. A bunch of their family was in the audience. I don't know about you, but me-thinks it would be a tad bit awkward to have your entire family in tow on your honeymoon...
Photobucket
Our stateroom. I loved it. Nice and cozy and had everything we needed. Except a window. The blanket was super comfy, there were always movies playing on the TV, and unlike our water here in South Pas, the water on the boat heated up in no time flat.
Photobucket
Room service would make our bed and clean the bathroom in the morning and turn down our bed and clean the bathroom again at night. Talk about amazing service!
Photobucket
The boys had a mini golf tournament going on the entire cruise. I participated in a couple games, but got progressively worse so I opted out. I believe Chris won the tournament. Good job babe.
Photobucket
Photobucket
Oh boy.
Photobucket
At 5:30 we headed to the front of the boat and waited to set sail.
Photobucket
So did lots of other people. This picture reminds me that we never did get a good "I'm the king of the world!" pic. Next time!
Photobucket
Once we started moving, I could feel the boat swaying in the water, something I was petrified of because I'm already feeling nauseous enough as it is with my pregnancy, but it wasn't really too bad. Well. Not until Wednesday night anyways. But we'll get there.

Tuesday the 20th: Catalina Island, California
After I woke up and showered I went to the top of the boat to take pictures of the surroundings. It may look like sunset, but it's actually sunrise, I just had my camera set to "sunset".
Photobucket
Photobucket
The picturesque city of Avalon on Catalina Island.
Photobucket
Photobucket
After breakfast we boarded these boats which took us over to the island.
Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket
I finally got a good view of our entire massive ship.
Photobucket
We knew we wanted to go kayaking and take a ride in a golf cart, so we decided to go golf carting first in hopes that the weather would warm up enough to go kayaking by the time we were done. Chris got the shaft at the golf cart place. Apparently you have to be 25 to drive. Chris can legally drink, smoke, vote, be in the military, and go to dental school, but he can't legally drive a golf cart. Blake didn't let him live it down and doubt he ever will.
Photobucket
Weeee!
Photobucket
We drove up and around and down and through Avalon. This view reminds me of LOST.
Photobucket
Some scenic shots of the bay with our boat in the background.
Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket
Interesting fact: there is a 14 year waitlist if you want to own/drive a car on Catalina. Instead, everyone drives golf carts. I kid you not. There are no traffic lights in Avalon and the streets aren't very wide. Therefore golf carts are the main means of transportation.
Photobucket
Mini parking spots for golf carts. There's something you don't see every day on the mainland!
Photobucket
After we dropped off the golf cart, we walked over to Lover's Cove. Notice my slammin' outfit. I'm pretty sure I was known as "the girl in the grey sweater" to everyone on the cruise because I wore it every single day. And this day I wore my swimsuit under my clothes but I wore the skirt portion of my suit outside my capris. So stylish I can hardly stand it.
Photobucket
We walked down to "Pebbly Beach" and watched some people snorkeling.
Photobucket
These are some serious pebbles for a beach!
Photobucket
A trio of snails.
Photobucket
A crab. Or as Erica calls every creepy crawly thing - a spider!
Photobucket
It still wasn't really warm outside so we decided to rent tandem bikes instead. Funny story: they had one 6 gear and lots of 21 gear tandem bikes left. The 6 gear bikes were a few bucks cheaper to rent so we both wanted one of those. But they only had one. So the Bybee's got the 21 speeder and we got the 6 speeder (but we pooled our money so we all paid the same price to be fair and figured we'd trade off). We were about 100 yards away from the rental store when the Bybee's chain on their bike completely snapped in two and fell off in the middle of the street. Not only did it fall apart, but once they got a replacement bike and we tried it out at the end of our rental, it was terribly uncomfortable! What a scam. The 6 speed bikes should be more expensive all around. But it was super fun to ride them around and feel the wind in our hair. This is the main street of Avalon.
Photobucket
We wanted to ride to that other little city we saw when we were looking at the island, but we couldn't get to it by bike. I wonder if you can only paddle or boat to it?
Photobucket
Weeeee!
Photobucket
I noticed a lot of the houses had character.
Photobucket
Pretty soon after we turned in our bikes it started raining so we headed to the dock to board a boat to go back to the ship.
Photobucket
While we waited I took some pictures.
Photobucket
Self portrait.
Photobucket
Bye bye Catalina! We got on the boat in the nick of time - it started downpouring seconds later.
Photobucket

Wednesday the 21st: Ensenada, Mexico
This was my very first time in Mexico! Once again I went up early to the top to take some pictures and once again my camera was on "sunset" settings. The clouds made for some pretty pics.
Photobucket
Photobucket
This flag is freakin' ginormous!
Photobucket
Photobucket
The first of many many many many many bombardments of the day. As soon as we got off the boat we were forced to take pictures with three different people in costume. Click click click!
Photobucket
We decided to take a tour bus to La Bufadora: La Bufadora is a marine geyser, or blowhole located on the Punta Banda Peninsula in Baja California, Mexico. The spout of marine water (occurring every minute or so to varying degrees of height) is created when ocean waves and air are drawn into an underwater cave located in the cliffside, and the trapped air and water then explode upwards. This interaction not only creates the upward-shooting spout, but a thunderous noise as well. La Bufadora is the second largest of three blowholes in the world, and can shoot upwards as high as 80 feet above sea level.

Our tour guide had one thing on his mind: liquor. Liqour this and liquor that. However, our bus was full of little kids and Mormon families... know your audience mister :)
Photobucket
The 20 mile ride to La Bufadora was scenic and pleasurable.
Photobucket
We made it!
Photobucket
We walked down to the blowhole, got bombarded by guys trying to make a buck the entire way, and stopped to take a gander at this half-naked dancing and music playing man.
Photobucket
These are moss-covered rocks by the Blowhole.
Photobucket
It sure was somethin' to behold!
Photobucket
Photobucket
Chris and Paige at the Blowhole.
Photobucket
A short video of the Blowhole.

I love when I find gems like this on my camera. Thanks Blake.
Photobucket
A cactus that people have carved into.
Photobucket
Then we did some shopping. I had my heart set on finding a Chanel purse, but nothing struck my fancy.
Photobucket
Instead I saw this ring and the bartering games began. Photobucket
I asked how much and threw a fit when the guy said $75. You're kidding right? $75? Maybe if it was white gold and real diamonds. He showed me all these "real silver" tests and I'm like, dude, I believe you that it's real silver, but sterling silver ain't worth that much, forget it. I told him $20 and that's that. He said no. I walked out and around for awhile then came back to see what the Bybees were up to. The guy came back to me and said the manager said he could sell it for $45. Pssssh. What a joke. I said $22 is my final offer, take it or leave it. He took it, but was super mad about it. $22 is still too much in my opinion for this ring, but I love it and now there's a story to go along with it.

Chris got a Nacho Libre mask and somehow I don't have a picture of him wearing it, but I'm sure come October 31st I'll have plenty to share.
Photobucket
There were "pharmacies" everywhere with more pills than I've ever heard of and no prescriptions needed. Sketchy sketchy I tell ya... Don't let your kids run loose!
Photobucket
Ensenada has a Costco and a Walmart and an Applebees. Not too shabby!
Photobucket
Photobucket
My last picture taken on Wednesday and it was also my last picture taken on the trip - even though we were on the boat 'til Friday morning. It pretty much summarizes the rest of the cruise...
Photobucket
Let's just say the weather got super crappy, the boat started rocking and I threw up lots on Thursday morning, and it was too cold to be outside so we stayed in our room a lot.

HOWEVER! I don't want to end on a sour note. Things I loved about the cruise:
- Vacations are fun in general. It's so nice not to have to work or worry about everyday cares and responsibilities. Not cats, dogs, birds, or rodents to take care of.
- The food situation was insane. In a good way. Any time, any hour, you could get anything you wanted in any quantity. There were some people who took mighty advantage of this (and really shouldn't have if you know what I mean). I ate lots of fruit, chocolate milk, and steak and felt like a queen.
- It was great to go with another couple. Had it just been Chris and I we probably would have stayed inside and watched movies the entire time, but we didn't want to be losers so we got out and experienced a lot of new things and had a blast doing so with the Bybees.
- There is non-stop entertainment. I watched more Bingo games than I care to admit but it was so fun to see.
- The shows were super cool and fun to watch.

Best of all - Joey didn't even miss us. In fact, he's been acting super bored ever since we brought him home :)

13 comments:

Julie said...

Look like a super fun trip Paige! Too bad that you weren't feeling well for part of it. I love your pictures: so full of character and non-stop colour!

Again, just wanted to let you know a couple pictures didn't upload properly.

malm said...

I'm so glad you're home! I missed you soooo much. I think your grey sweater is absolutely beautiful. Looks like the ones I USED to wear before my Christmas makeover. I'm glad you had fun. Sad you got sick. Happy you're home.

Erin said...

How fun!! A cruise is so on our to-do list someday!!! Sorry you got sick, but you have some great stories! :)

*reyanna klein* said...

Sucks so much that you got sick! Now I want a cruise SO BAD!! I'm taking two weeks off work, starting Monday, and I'm SO excited. Although... I wish we were going some place. We're staying home, and my parents are coming to visit (God willing...) and then Jeremy's family will be visiting too after that. I wish we could go on a cruise after my parents leave. LOL. Maybe I'll try to work that in... ;-)

Loved all the photos you took! And I'm sorry you got sick! Blech! :-p

And SO glad to have you back. :-D

lyndsey said...

how fun! nice recap of everything. and sorry you got sick! we went on that cruise & the weather was too bad to stop in catalina...i was bummed. golf carts look like fun :)

Supermar said...

Vacas are so much fun. Too bad the weather didn't cooperate. Good job on the bartering. David is still bad at it. I, on the other hand, drive a fierce barter. The locals can be a little pushy down there, no?

Chris said...

I'm on a boat!

Roger and Tasha said...

That is so awesome! How did you guys score a Cruise? Is it like a trip you have been saving up for? Thats so neat! I want a cruise too!! Or did your friends just offer you tickets? Let me know! Or else tell me how to get a killer deal on a cruise!

Daniela said...

Love all the photos!!! Sorry you got sick.

amytangerine said...

LOVE cruises! Your photos are great- my fave is the tandem bike shot. and the pups only act like they miss us to make us feel not so bad about leaving them.

Maria said...

That looks like so much fun Paige!!!!! Yay! Love the pictures :-) A cruise is on our list of 'things to do before we die' :-)

Jude said...

Woah! Feel like I was right there with ya!! Loads of ace photos and a real taste of what you all saw. Love the carved cactus and the Fish and Chip shop...oh and the tandem!! Great post. xx

Kelley Eubanks said...

Love reading about your trip and seeing your great pictures! Looks like you managed to have a great time! So sorry you got sick! I did too on my first (and only) cruise and I wasn't pregnant! :)