Rants, Raves, & Random Thoughts

Shameless self-promotion of my writing skills or lack there of.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Avast ye Matey!

Well, we’re back. I think I may need a vacation to recover from my vacation. As most of you know, we booked passage on the good ship Carnival Conquest. We set sail from Galveston, TX and made our way to Jamaica, Grand Cayman and Cozumel.

With some of the many troubles I’ve had with airlines lately (long story), we decided to drive down to Galveston. With 28 days of straight rain, we had a decision to make: Speed, Comfort or…Boat.

The boat, though tempting, wasn’t really practical as there has to be some places between here and there that haven’t flooded lately. Besides, we were about to spend quite a bit of time on a boat as it was. We decided to go with the Trailblazer. Vacations are about comfort, no?

We arrived at the terminal a good two hours before we were instructed. I’ve heard horror stories about the lines just to get aboard. The stories were true. It took nearly three hours to get through the luggage drop, parking, security, check-in and actually boarding the ship. Having said that, we hardly noticed how long it took. There were just so many people to talk to and quite frankly, our excitement gave a major boost to our patience.

Once aboard, we made our way to the upper decks to check out the view. My wife obviously thought she was still dreaming. Have I mentioned how much I love her? I will.

I must admit the pure grandeur of the ship felt a little dreamlike to me as well.

On our first full day at sea, my wife excuses herself shortly after we slip up to Lido deck (where the pools and several restaurants are located). I assume it is for personal reasons, but alas…she wanted to enter me into a contest. What contest, you ask? The Hairy Chest Contest. I was forced to bare my hairy chest and dance my way down a flight of stairs being “as sexy as possible”.

There were cheers, screams and a lot of laughs. I’ve never felt more like a piece of meat in all my life. It was great. After I made sexy time on the stairs, I was properly introduced to the masses.

It was all in good fun and I got a medal out of the deal. What I didn’t realize at the time is that they we’re taping the whole ordeal. The played the video every hour on the hour for the entire cruise on every TV on every deck and it was also available on the TVs in the room. Not a day went by, that people didn’t come to me to ask if I was the guy on the video, then promptly commence rubbing on my chest. My wife thought this was hilarious.

They had a Cigar Bar onboard, that was just an absolute work of art in itself. Murals, statues, intricately carved chairs and tables and a live soft jazz band gave this place a wonderfully decadent feel. I tried to take several pictures of the room itself, but for ambiance, they maintained low light. Here is one of us in the one area where the lighting was adequate to see the picture.

Our first stop was in Jamaica, mon. We elected to spend our excursion on the beaches of Sandal’s Resort. It was a good choice. Just look at these:

Before we left the resort, we we’re treated to a proper dance lesson. They asked for volunteers and of course, my wife put us in the mix. I now know how to do the Dollar Wine and I yes…I can “drop it like it’s hot”.

Our next port of call was Grand Cayman. This for me was the highlight of the trip.

We drove ourselves to a wonderful place to snorkel.

After frolicking around the coral reef, we were guided to a wonderful place called Stingray Island. This is a large area of sand covered with water that is about waist deep. It gets its name because dozens of playful stingrays make there home there. We were able to feed them (they suck squid right from your hand), hold them and just enjoy letting them swim around and often up against us. I’ve never experienced anything quite like it. If you ever have an opportunity, I highly recommend you see this event first hand.

Oh, and what is a trip to Cayman without stopping at Margaritaville?

Our last stop on the cruise was the island of Cozumel. We stepped off the boat and onto a ferry to carry us over to Playa Del Carmen.

We then took a rather nice bus to visit the Mayan ruins in Tulum. Our guide was very knowledgeable and I found the history fascinating. I’m running low on room here, so I’ll have to save some of that for another post.

There is another beautiful beach that boards this Mayan city on the Cliff side.

All in all, this ranks as possibly the most memorable vacation I’ve ever had. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to get to work on the set of revisions to The Dance that came in while I was away. No rest for the wicked and all that.

So, what did you do while I was away?



At 11:29 AM, Anonymous linda said...

I know we chatted on the phone but I am so glad you finially got your blog up about the trip. I just knew I would discover so much more about your vac. here LOL It sounds as though you'all had an amazing time and the pictures are awesome. maybe next time you can bring me and Ty along "hint""hint" heehee really though I am glad you had a great time but am also really glad your back home I missed you guys very much.

At 12:55 PM, Blogger lime said...

oh, i think i like your wife very much, she has an impish troublemaking way about her that i could TOTALLY connect with. mwahahahaha.

it looks like it was an absolutely fabulous vacation. so glad you two could get away and enjoy that time.

pretty standard summer stuff here. running kids hither and yon..nothing terribly exciting so far. headed to gettysburg for the day tomorrow though.

At 1:18 PM, Blogger EA Monroe said...

Wow, what fun and now you are immortalized in video! Did you get a copy? How cool would that be to see you strutting your stuff in a YouTube video!!

Welcome back!

All I've been doing is trying to keep from getting rained on and working!

At 3:53 PM, Anonymous Heather said...

My phone didn't give me your number when you called
(got the message at 9:30am) and then I tried calling yours off the card you gave me and it kept telling me it wasn't a working number. Give me a call or an e-mail?



At 4:34 PM, Blogger James Goodman said...

Mom, it's good to be home. :D

lol, Lime, I bet you and my wife would get along famously. :D Gettysburg will be fun, It's been years since I been there, but I remember I enjoyed it very much.

Lol, Liz. the video was available, but I managed to get off the boat without a copy. I have no doubt there is a distinct possibility that it will find its way to the internet though. :D

My bad, Heather. I'll give you a shout in a bit. :D

At 8:47 PM, Blogger Breazy said...

Oh that water looks lovely! Looks like you all had a wonderful time and I have to say that you both deserved it very much.

I'm glad you are back!

At 4:25 AM, Blogger James Goodman said...

it was lovely, Breazy. I hope you enjoyed your trip to the beach as well. :D

At 10:13 AM, Blogger Carrie said...

I just did this back in March and it brings back great memories. I've done the sting ray thing and loved it. Much better than shopping there.

I haven't been to sandals before but sent our travel buddies over there while we did a river ride.

I also haven't been to Tulum and we have been to Cozumel 4 times. I just love Cozumel so much that it is hard to leave it. It is also where he proposed to me.

At 6:08 AM, Blogger Leslie said...

Galveston is just 30 minutes down Blue Water Highway from us.

At 6:36 AM, Blogger James Goodman said...

yep, Leslie. Our original intent was to surprise you with a visit, but we ran into a few setbacks on the trip down and ran out of time. I still hope to make it out your way before the end of summer. :D


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