Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggity Jig

Where to begin? Do I start with the details about our brief stay in New Orleans and the craziness on Bourbon Street, how I slid six feet across the deck of the cruise ship on my left butt cheek or the story about how Hubby and I got kicked off the jet skis in Cozumel? So much fun, and so little time to write it all down. Also, that big purple bruise on my fanny? Too personal to show you a picture of it, so how about an overall rundown of our trip instead?

First, let me say I love my family. They are more fun than a hurricane at Pat O'Brien's. There were nine cousins and their spouses on this trip, and all eighteen of us had a ball. It was great to spend time with them, and I'm so glad we made the trip. Even if I am still trying to get my body clock back in order. We ate together, partied together and spent a lot of time just getting to know each other better. I can now name the preferred drink of each one of them. And hey, why didn't someone tell me sooner about the lovely combination of peach schnapps and grapefruit juice? I love it when I can say I got a full serving of fruit with each drink. Just like V8 without the nasty carrot aftertaste. I digress.

Hubby and I got to New Orleans the day before our ship sailed because I just don't trust the air carriers to get us anywhere on the designated day anymore, especially when there's a cruise ship departure involved. It seems like there's always an issue with just about every flight now days. Plus, we wanted to spend a little time goofing around New Orleans. We arrived Sunday afternoon. Along with every redneck in the south. It was the night before the BSC football game between LSU and Alabama. Whew, Lawd. Nawlins was crazier than usual. Bourbon Street was a sea of purple and red, and screams of "Go Tigers!" and "Roll Tide!" rang in our ears all night long. Add in the bead throwers, the zydeco bands and the occasional transvestite, and it was just about the most fun place in North America. The people watching could not have been any better. And can I just say I love the people of Louisiana. They are friendly and fun, and they embrace their uniqueness. Good people, they are. And boy, do they love to throw a party.

Because I booked a hotel room after they scheduled the game in New Orleans, we had to settle for a room across the river in Gretna. While we've stayed in swankier places, it was clean and decent and certainly better than driving thirty minutes out of town to better available rooms. Given other options in the future, the Quality Inn would not be my first choice, however. They did provide us with a free shuttle ride to the free ferry which dropped us off at the NOLA riverfront, so we saved a bundle on cab fees. As Johnny Cash says, there's a silver lining behind every cloud. We whooped it up on Bourbon Street, slept that night to the steady drumbeat of Alabama fans drunkenly traipsing up the motel steps and hit the boat the next morning. Actually, Hubby hit the boat. I checked in and then spent a couple of hours roaming around the French Quarter taking pictures. When I got back on the boat, the whole fam damily was there, and we immediately started living it up.

We spent the next five and a half days lying on the Lido deck, lying on beaches, dancing and basically enjoying every amenity the boat had to offer. Especially the food. Oy vey, the food! I must say I got used to having an exotic dessert every night, and my body was wondering where the breakfast buffet was this past Tuesday when I went back to work. To say that my colon was disappointed with Cream of Wheat and flax seed is an understatement. However, it was happy to be home. I'm the only person I know who can go to Mexico, eat six prunes off the buffet every morning and still get constipated.

Hubby and I got kicked off the jet skis at Cozumel after we turned over our jet ski. A couple on another jet ski flagged us down and asked us to get help since they had a mechanical issue with theirs. We said sure, turned toward the beach a little too hard and promptly landed in the ocean. We flipped it back over and were about to get back on it when the jet ski dude came flying up in a boat, made us get off and ordered us to get in the boat for a ride back to the shore. Which is how we got a free ride on the parasail boat. I considered asking him if we could get a parasail ride but I figured he wouldn't find that nearly as funny as we did.

I earned one of those little plastic Carnival Cruise trophies during the Last Man Standing competition on the Lido deck on our last day at sea. We had to do goofy relay races, including that thing where you put your head on the handle of a bat, spin around the bat ten times and run. The boat was rockin' pretty good that day, and when I stood up from spinning around, I immediately took off running instead of getting my bearings first. I'm that competitive, don't cha' know. I mean who doesn't want a plastic ship on a stick to sit on his shelf? As I started to run, I took a spectacular tumble and slid several feet across the deck on my left hip. Honestly, it was one on my prettier falls. Certainly prettier than that spill I took before Christmas. If I were younger I might have been more embarrassed about doing it in front of so many people, but I'm old enough that I just don't care. Also, most of them were two sheets to the wind, anyway. I bounced up, completed the relay, and our team won, thanks to the loud cheering from the section known as my family. My left hip felt a little sore Saturday and by Sunday I had a big purple bruise the size of a grapefruit. But it was worth it because hey, plastic ship on a stick!

Hubby's injury for the trip was banging his head on a rail on that double decker tour bus we climbed on in Progreso. He hit it so hard he saw stars, and it wouldn't have been so bad, but every time we came near power lines on the city tour we had to duck because they hang so low there they'll strangle you if you don't. He was dizzy from throwing his head between his legs so much. It appears though that Corona numbs a headache. Especially when they cost $1 apiece at little roadside stands run by gentlemen named Martin. The other highlight of that little bus ride was right before we got on when some crazy looking guy flashed some drugs at me. I was like, "What the heck?" I want to know why he thought I looked like I might be interested in buying his little white powder. A friend of mine says it's because I'm skinny, and drug users are almost always skinny. Seriously? The whole thing was pretty funny and just one of several humorous moments along the way. It was a great week. I'd do it again in a heartbeat, even the big spill, and I can't wait to see everyone's pictures. We discussed plans to do it again next year, especially as we neared the end of the trip and everyone was facing much colder weather back home. (Note to self, wear socks when flying from a warm climate to a cold one.) We made many memories last week, but more importantly we had a great bonding experience. Oh, and I got a Got Milk T-shirt on the boat that says, "Got Margaritas?". Life doesn't get any better than that.


Kelley with Amy's Angels said...

So glad to hear that you had a great trip! Amazing what a little vacay can do for the soul :)

Jan n Jer said...

How did I know you would have a good time!!! You guys know how to partay!!!! Glad to hear your home safe n sound!