Friday, October 21, 2011

H 2 the Cruise-O

I realized on our vacation that I really appreciated the opportunity to escape the world of cell phones and the internet. It was actually quite refreshing to be in the middle of the Pacific on a giant boat with no one but Hylan and nothing to do but eat, sleep, and be entertained. I can't believe I even doubted for a second that it would be worth it. Well, it was!

We flew in on a Friday morning to spend time with my brother's family in San Diego until we got on the boat Saturday afternoon. Among other things, including good food, we visited a fun historical spot in Old Town that tells about the Mormon Battalion and their connection to helping settle San Diego. You get a free picture when you go--sure wish the cruise line would have offered the same generosity for all the pics they took of us! Oh well.

Thanks to Erin, I was able to get a few more pictures of the San Diego experience. Here we are "panning for gold."

Marie and Belle love their Uncle Hylan. Marie even cried when we were dropped off at the port.. My sister-in-law snapped this proof, though Marie managed to hold it together enough to eat her chicken nugget!

So, now we skip ahead to the cruise. Because of a hurricane, we were unable to sail to Puerto Vallarta. Darn! Instead, we spent our first day in Avalon on Catalina Island (Los Angeles County, CA). It was actually quite a fun little island town. We took a bus tour of the city to learn more about it's history with Mr. Wrigley, etc. This picture makes our boat look small, but make no mistake about it, a town of 4,000 is bustling when a cruise liner of almost 2000 guests docks close by.

Okay, so even if you anticipate cute towel animals, it's still a picture moment.

We sailed on to La Paz, Pichilingue, Mexico. Hylan and I spent a few hours there (dang, it was HOT) and got back on the boat to swim and enjoy the boat. There really wasn't much to this quiet beach town. This is our after-dinner sunset moment. I just think this picture of Hylan is hilarious.

Goodbye Pichilingue. You weren't that pretty anyway. I'm just saying. Dry and desert-y with cactus, but at least they have beaches and gorgeous sunsets.

A bit breezy because we're moving, but I believe this was taken just before we saw dolphins jump alongside the boat. A definite highlight!

So then we cruised some more and stopped in Cabo San Lucas. This is definitely a party town with lots of tourist stuff. I didn't really liked being haggled by every single person we walked by, so we didn't spend that much time here either, because we're cheap and didn't do any excursions. Put me back on the boat with a vacant pool and ship and free food and I'm just as happy as the clams.

I did manage to snap this picture, though it was so bright, I obviously couldn't see well enough to get the entire fish. My one regret is that we didn't take a picture with a lion cub. There were a couple of booths set up right around the dock, one right by this statue in fact, where you could pay $25.00 to take a picture with a real live lion cub. Oh my gosh they were so darned cute. But $25.00, really? Apparently the proceeds went to some wildlife/zoo federation/preserve or something. Too bad we were out of cash. Hylan was going to make me do it because I was smiling so big, but the ATM was down, so we passed it up, which was probably for the better anyway if we wanted to keep our bank accounts safe. I'm just saying.

Goodbye Cabo. I enjoyed your weather and swimming on the Oosterdam.

Gorgeous Mexican sunsets!

Some other highlights of the cruise included the dessert extravaganza display (though oddly enough, we were disappointed with the taste, but I did discover delicious coconut ice cream).

Orangutan! This was our last towel animal which I thought was definitely blog-worthy.

Other curise highlights: the evening "pool party" where we line danced, playing ping pong with Hylan, falling asleep to a movie in our cabin every night, and winning the marriage game. Yeah, we're awesome at being married. :) Too bad our prize was champagne which we gave to another couple. We also got Holland America travel mugs as participation prizes. And of course, obviously the food, service, entertainment, and swimming were also among my favorite highlights!

By the time the following Saturday rolled around, we were done with the motion of the ocean. We had about 6 hours to spend with my brother's family, so we drove around and went to Cabrillo Park. It was quite a neat place with fantastic views of San Diego and an old lighthouse, among other things.

These pictures were taken just below the park near a beach.

Me and Belle. Goodbye fun vacation times. May it not be another 5 years before Hylan and I can do something as awesome again. :o)

By the way, I would recommend Holland America if you're looking for a relaxed cruise line, with fantastic food, great entertainment, and wonderful service. There were probably only 10 kids on the boat, so if you're looking for an adult cruise and don't mind lots of "older" people, this one is for you.


Heidi Marie said...

Fantastic! I love your pictures haha. Glad you had fun. But I'm kinda sad that the desserts weren't totally unbearably awesome. Just because that would be my favorite part, and I'd want them to be just ridiculous!

Glad your back!

Angels said...
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Barbara Bakes said...

Sounds like a great getaway. I haven't cruised with Holland America, I'll have to keep it in mind.