May 2, 2012


If you know me and John, you know we like to EAT!!  and eat and eat and eat...  so it's a good thing all the food was included on the cruise.  I, personally, developed a bad habit of ordering two breakfasts, lunches, and dinners everyday - just for myself  :)  It was dee.lish.ous.

exhibit a.
Ok, before I jump into describing every singe thing I ate over the five-day feast in excruciating detail, let's talk about the things we actually DID...

It snowed the day we left Idaho.  And we could not get out of there fast enough!  We got into San Diego at about midnight on Saturday [the 7th] and I went straight to bed.  I was exhausted.   We'd spent the whole day with my mom's family at the annual Hillstead EGGstravaganza up at the Valley of Fire... which is always fun, but I never take any pictures, so you'll just have to take my word for it.  On Easter Sunday we got up and headed to the Spring Valley ward for church.  It was John's ward growing up and he was really excited to see everyone.  And I was eager for a chance to finally put faces to names  :)

After church we headed down to the pier and got our first glimpse of the ship.  Awesome.  We were so excited by this point... and then we had to sit and wait around for a while in a really strange warehouse room and then get checked-in and then walk a mile of stairs and hallways to get onto the ship.  OK - maybe not an entire mile... but still in my dress and heels that's sure what it felt like!

the lobby.
Once we stepped into the lobby we were so ready to be on this vacation!  We wandered around the ship and tried to figure out where we were [I never really got to understand it...] and how to get anywhere else.  We did find the pools and the lunch buffet and had a nice little snack in the sunshine until our room was ready.  

the theater was called Pharaoh's Palace.
the adults only pool... S for Sydney!!
I don't really remember when we took these pictures... obviously once we'd finally gotten around to charging our camera.  But we spent most of our days wandering around the ship trying to catch some sun between our frequent trips to the dining room and buffet!  Did I mention that there was a sushi bar every night where you could just go and get all the pieces of sushi you wanted?!  Yummm.

Probably my favorite part was the towel animals they left on your bed each night.  They were so cute!!  I even made John go to the class they had showing you how to make one and bought a book with instructions with 40 different animals!!  I know, I know... the instructions are probably all on the internet anyway, but I was mesmerized.

day 1 - elephant
day 2 - bulldog.
day 3 - froggie.
day 4 - swan... or cobra.  I'm not really sure.
We spent the first two days at sea, and then days three and four were spent in MEXICO!!  whoo!  It was really exciting to wake up that morning and see the coastline outside our window.  There were actually two other ships there at the same time, which made me feel a little better about being attacked by pirates.  Or capsized.  Or robbed.  Or caught on fire.

The first day in Mexico we decided to just wander around and see if there was anything exciting we wanted to do.  I was also on the lookout for a luchadore mask.  :)

After wandering around John decided that he wanted to rent a jet-ski/sea-doo [I don't know the difference] and ride around.  I'd never been on one so I thought it was a good idea too.  We found a little hut with some authentic Mexicans who sold boat rides and other things and struck up a deal.  We got them down $30 from their original price and set off.  And let's just say... I HATED IT.  And don't tell me that "hate" is a strong word.  It was horrible.  I'm never doing it again.  I mean, I was literally in tears, it was so bad.  After about fifteen minutes, and falling in the ocean twice, I made John turn around and go back.  Then we convinced the people to give us back $20 since we only spent half of our time out there.  

We didn't spend a whole lot more time on shore that day.  I was in desperate need of a shower and a nap.  And while I recover from having to relive that experience here are a few more pictures from that first day in Cabo.

the pool deck [nice and empty because of the wind]
sea sick on the ride to Cabo  :(
this was [obviously] before he lost his sunglasses in the ocean.
say hello to your money.
John's new bff.
At dinner that night we decided to do things a little bit more organized and book something through the ship for the next day.  So glass-bottom kayaking and snorkeling it was!  We woke up bright and early the next morning and headed out on a much better adventure.

It started with a boat ride out to a little lagoon kinda place where there was a lot of coral and fishies to see.  They took us past the famous "Arch" rock formation, which was kind of cool... but I was more interested in the fact that the other side of the peninsula was used in the original Planet of the Apes movie, which is, hands down, the best movie ever.
the boat ride and the "Arch" behind us.
all ready for kayaking!
They gave us a quick lesson on how to use a kayak and then we suited up!  Ready to go!

This was a much better experience!!  Aside from the fact that I hate swimming with fish... and there were a LOT of fish in the water when we were snorkeling.  Oh, and aside from the fact that my arms were killing me for the next two days.  The ride back from the lagoon was really nice too.  They had an open bar - which included PEPSI - and some chips and salsa.  And after floating around in the salty ocean, some salty chips were exactly what I was craving.  Kinda weird, right?

"authentic" chips + salsa + guacamole.
the ride back.
When we got back into Cabo we wandered around the arts & crafts market to find some goodies and we were successful!!  I got my luchadore mask and a hand-painted platter and John picked up a weird Chargers backpack...

Overall, I think our time in Mexico was well spent.  Fortunately, John's head didn't get sunburned and we didn't have to hit the ATM for any more money than what we brought with us.  Unfortunately, my back did get sunburned [during the sea-doo ride from Hell] and the weird little boats going back and forth to shore made me sea sick.  But it was definitely a good time.

this was our daily pre-lunch "snack".
the last night, at a really weird show... we left 10 minutes later.
Oh, and we celebrated our FIRST ANNIVERSARY on the cruise.  It was on Monday, so we were just on the boat wandering around being awesome.  Spending all that time together was exactly what we needed.  It's good to know that after three-hundred sixty-five days [and then some, because I'm a lame blogger] we can still be locked in a room together and both come out alive.  Haha.  But seriously. 

back home.  on dry ground.
The day we got back to San Diego we stopped by to say hello to John's grandma and then had to head back to Vegas for my most beautiful best friend's baby shower.  I won't bore you with the details of our six-hour drive in the pouring rain, but I will tell you that it was a darn good thing we got those books on tape from the library.

We ended up staying in Vegas for an extra day and got a chance to see my grandparents and show them some pictures from our trip and catch up.  And I finally got to meet my friend's adorable baby girl [who just turned one!]  she is hands down the cutest thing ever.

Our drive back to Idaho was pretty ordinary.  And now we've settled right back into our opposite schedules.  :(  But John did skip his first class today, so we had the rare experience of waking up and eating breakfast together.  He even made my cereal for me!

I sure do love that boy.

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