Saturday, March 16, 2019

Winter Escape to Mexico

I was so busy recovering from the January of Hacking and Project February that I never wrote about our mid-winter cruise to Mexico. It was a trip that grew from us and another couple to a group of ten. Now on any other kind of trip, I'd say ten is far too many. Too many to get seated in a restaurant without reservations, too many to even get a consensus on where to eat. Plus in a group that size, you can just about bet at any given time someone won't be happy.

All of which makes a cruise the best option for a large group of people. You hate the stand-up comedian? Go hear some music instead. You're too tired to go to the show after dinner? Go to your cabin and read a book. You've had enough of being sociable (where are my introverts?) find a quiet corner and people watch. And the same principles apply in port. If everyone's going shopping and you want to snorkel, you can do that. Every person could actually do a different activity during the day and end up back at dinner together to share their experiences.

Did you miss last year's girls' trip? 

Girls Gone Mild: who knew we liked rap? 

Emotional Outbursts and Strip Karaoke

First Time for Everything List 

Here are this year's highlights: 

Train to NOLA: This is one of the things we love about this trip. Yes, you have to get up at the crack of dawn but once you are on the train you can relax and start your vacation. It has the added benefit of not having to drive or park a car in the Big Easy. 

Evening in the Quarter: 

Consulting an app to find a restaurant is a waste of time. The standards for food are exceptionally high and in 33 years of travel, we have literally never had a bad meal. A restaurant putting out subpar food just isn't going to make it. We have a few places that have been our favorites over the years but we also have great success just walking around and trying new places. Honestly, you can't go wrong. Some of our old standbys have been: Red Fish Grill, Acme Oyster House, Menas Palace, 21st Ammendment, and the Bombay Club.

But on this trip, we stumbled upon The Governor, which was awesome and I took the ladies to one of my and my daughter's favorites, Maison Soule the next morning for breakfast. Bottomless mimosas? Yes, please. 

Sailing Day: 

Well done, Carnival! The most seamless and hassle free check-in and embarkation ever! I had that one burger I let myself have every year from Guy Fieri's as we set sail and watched the skyline fade into the distance. It's a fascinating ride down the river to the gulf that takes about five hours. You see things from the ship that it's impossible to see any other way like the Domino Sugar Plant.

Day at Sea: 

Sailing across the Gulf of Mexico means a whole day for relaxing, touring the ship, and doing whatever fun activities are going on. This night is also dress up night and it's fun to see everyone decked out in their finest. It's a people watching extravaganza!


This was a day of shopping, eating, and drinking. Mostly shopping. You have to love a place where when you are shopping they offer you shots of tequila. I mean that's a brilliant business model. And very effective if my last Visa bill is any indication. 


More eating and drinking. Then massages on the beach. If you'd told me I'd ever be laying face up on a public beach in my bra I'd have called you a liar.

Day at Sea:

This was the day I had so much fun dancing on the deck my feet caught on fire. Okay, let me explain. The music in the club every night had been abysmal so no one had hit the dance floor. So on deck when they bust out the Cuban shuffle and YMCA my friends and I were all over it. Now I did notice my feet felt kind of hot. And as I looked around I made a mental note that everyone else had on flip flops. When I sat down my feet still felt really hot so I looked at the bottoms of them. Blisters. Big ones. And red burn marks.

Cue This Girl is On Fire. 

My husband went to the infirmary to get me some medication to put on them which helped but I walked like I was 110 the rest of the day. Moral of the story: put some dang shoes on when dancing on a sun hot surface.

The train ride home: I love Amtrak's little roomettes. It's perfect for when you aren't going far enough to get a real sleeper car, but need a door that closes because you're an introvert and have far exceeded your social interaction quotient for the week.

This week is the ten year anniversary of the most magical trip I've ever taken. Read about my first visit to Italy: Why I Always Celebrate the Ides of March. 

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