mexico – day 3

our final day arrived!  and i was looking quite forward to doing a lot of relaxing, as it was our one and only day at sea.  i rolled out of bed, and we met everyone on the upper deck for a little breakfast.  as we were chomping down on handmade omelettes and bacon and fruit, the emcee from the dance floor announced that music trivia would be starting shortly.  music trivia?  we should be able to dominate!  ali went to get our answer sheet and pencil, and we all waited as the questions were asked.  there were a total of 20 questions, and we answered 14 correctly!  we soon found out that we were the trivia winners, which of course is deserving of some kind of reward.  i suppose on a cruise ship there’s only so much they can give away, so we walked away with a sweet trophy replica of the carnival imagination.  go team!

just a few minutes later, bingo was being hosted in the grand theatre, so there was no time to lose.  uncle jeff, aunt cindy, milo, ali, and i trotted downstairs, bought our bingo sheets, and settled in for some good ole’ fashioned fun.  the host was a hoot, and although none of us got the chance to yell “bingo!” during the game, a couple of us walked away with a few bucks with our scratch-off cards.



after two exhilarating activities, i was ready to bum around.  i joined uncle craig and aunt janie back on the upper deck.  the sun had finally broken through the overcast morning, hooray!  i lathered on the spf 30 sunscreen, adjusted the beach chair, and closed my eyes to just be.  the weather was as beautiful as it was when we arrived, and i honestly could just not get over it.  what a treat!

we enjoyed vodka lemonades and some snacks throughout the afternoon.  at some point, people-watching just could not be avoided, as the dj was hosting a party out on the dance floor.  at least they played some iggy azalea, my jam!  i only wish we had one more day out here!

as the late afternoon turned into the early evening, we gathered our things to spruce up for the night.  as i got changed, i realized my sunscreen “lathering” wasn’t quite as thorough as i had thought.  i had some sweet tan lines, and my face was quite red.  nothing like a little natural sunshine on those cheeks, right?  sure…

the theme this evening for dinner was nautical, so blues and reds and stripes were perfectly in order.  erin even brought captain and sailor hats for us all to don!  aren’t we just the most adorable bunch?  everyone else thought so, as we were receiving the sweetest compliments throughout the night.


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our final meal together was really quite lovely, and i had to push out the thought that it would be a few months before i would see everyone again for my brother’s wedding.  “stay in the moment!” i told myself, and that is just what i did.  we reminisced on our favorite moments with uncle craig and aunt janie, the guests of honor, and indulged one last time.

after finishing our desserts, we quickly made our way port side to the comedy show.  although the comedian was a bit inappropriate, we were laughing the whole half hour he was up there.  sometimes things are funny because they’re true, and sometimes they’re even funnier when we call them out and make fun of them.  at least the crowd had a good sense of humor for him!

we cousins weren’t ready for the night to end just yet, for that meant the vacation was coming to an end soon, too.  it just so happened that some of the crew members were hosting an 80’s throwback concert onboard, the perfect distraction for us.  sara, ali, kate, brian, and i danced and sang along to michael jackson and eddie money and many other fabulous bands.  although i was right on the verge of all-night raging, we all silently consented that it was time for the night to end as the band began to pack up.  it is always too soon, yes?  well, that is what they say when you are having fun.

mexico – day 2

sleeping in was an obvious choice friday morning, so much so that my dad and i missed breakfast!  cousin ali was parading up and down the corridor shouting our names.  “uncle milo!  kels!”

“here we are!” dad shouted.  everyone piled into the room, demanding we get ourselves ready, for ensenada awaited!  it was our one and only stop aboard the carnival imagination, and the time had come.

across the walkway we trooped to my first steps on foreign soil.  fireworks went off, and crowds cheered upon my arrival!  okay, that is not at all true.  it was much less of a production, but it was still exciting.  and i didn’t even have to awkwardly avoid the photographers, for they were swarming the families around us.

a quick pit stop and then we were aboard the bus and headed for town.  the tour guide dazzled us with tales of local shopping, horseback riding, sightseeing, and delicious eating.  our group, though?  we were headed straight to hussong’s for drinks.

around since 1892, hussong’s once was, and still is, the watering hole of choice when my father and his friends come down here.  we showed ourselves in, and i think milo was a bit taken aback.  hussong’s had seen better crowds in its hey day, but that didn’t deter us from staying.  i think their bartenders were glad to have our company!

several dos equis came our way with limes and salt, and we cheered our first drinks in mexico.  as we worked through beers two and three, i took in this local establishment.  very local, very mom and pop.  famous faces lined the walls, and you could tell this place is where people once flocked.

right as we were leaving an hour or so later, i noticed the place was actually starting to fill up with more patrons.  look at this trend we started!

we figured we had just enough time left in the afternoon to visit one more spot.  we turned right out of hussong’s and walked the grueling 100 feet to pull together some tables on the patio at papas & beer.  we had passed this place along our stroll into town, and it was already rowdy.  rowdy is what it still was, too!  the music was blasting, folks were being pulled up on stage for shots of jose cuervo, and people were just everywhere.

although the scene did not look much like one we would normally keep, we decided we could join in the fun.  buckets of dos equis (yes, more dos equis!) were ordered for the group, and then uncle craig grabbed the attention of a local street chef.  uncle craig had raved about his guacamole, and whenever something is made tableside just for you, you know you cannot go wrong.

the avocados were ripe, the lime gave it a lovely and citrusy zest, and the little bit of spice was the perfect kick.  two orders for the tables, please!

as the beer flowed, our dancing feet could not sit still.  it wasn’t long before we were all up out of our chairs, grooving along to the music.  they thankfully had a decent mix between new stuff and old, so even milo and uncle craig joined in on the fun.  we were posted up at papas & beer for a couple of hours and then made our way back through town to the ship.  thanks, ensenada, for an afternoon of fun!

we boarded the ship again, and although we had done nothing strenuous that day, we all decided that a quick rest before dinner would be just fine.  after checking out the exclusive adult deck at the stern of the ship, milo and i freshened up and headed upstairs to the bar for some pre-dinner drinks.  the theme for the evening was golden oldies night.  now, none of us may have really been in gold, and our outfits were not exactly “oldies” inspired, but you know, we cleaned up quite nicely that night!  everyone looked sharp and polished, and i was proud to be seen with these fine-looking folks.

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dinner that night was highly anticipated because our waiter alex had told us the evening before that lobster tails and lamb shank were on the menu tonight.  how fabulous!  it should come as no surprise to anyone that we all ordered at least one lobster tail that night, some of us even two.  a couple diners commented that the tails were a little on the small side, but considering the amounts of food we were getting with the appetizers and desserts, i was fine with a more modest portion.

was it the best lobster tail i’d ever eaten?  no, but i do not eat lobster frequently at all, so i savored that rich and buttery dish as much as i could.  we were all a bit more lively this evening since we’d been relaxing all day, and some of us decided to keep the party going afterwards.  brian was ready to check out the poker scene, so we headed over to the casino.

i’m not much of a gambler, except when i’m playing craps with my dad, so i was the perfect onlooker that evening.  i cheered shawn on as he played the dollar slots and then applauded as brian did some work at the texas hold ’em table.  watching people gamble is entertaining for only so long, though, so kate and i retired for the day around midnight.  goodnight, to all!

mexico – day 1

“kelsey, is it 5:30?”

“hm.  yes…OH!  whoopsies!”  we had planned to wake up at 5 a.m. to get packed and off to marta, but clearly that was not the case.

“well, let’s get a move on then!”  my dad and i hopped to it all, quickly scrambling to get everything together.  makeup would have to wait until later, as we really were running quite behind.

out the condo we shot, over to the parking deck, and through the marta gates.  as we fumbled down the stairs in the most graceful of ways, i heard the screeching brakes of the approaching train.

“dad, we really should make this train.”  that was enough to get him moving, alright.  we swept through the train doors and threw ourselves into the seats.

“just in time!” i rejoiced, smirking at my dad.  if you know anything about ‘ole milo, it’s that he really likes to be early and really hates being right on time.  oh, and if you were wondering, being late with him isn’t even an option.

“yeah, great.  we’ll call this weekend the just-in-time tour.  jit tour!”

“that’s it!  that’s the theme for the weekend!”  all he could do was shake his head.

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