Scheduling a Cruise

I somehow ended up on the Carnival page on Facebook. I started looking at prices. Yes, there are a lot more rules than before, but the prices cannot be matched. Some 14 day cruises were going for as little as $100 a person. Wow!

I started looking for cruises that would work for me, and I found two that were less than I was expecting to pay. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a cruising partner in mind.

I mentioned the prices to a friend. She almost immediately volunteered to go with me! She chose to go on the more expensive of the two cruises.

I later mentioned it to my mom who volunteered to go with me on the other cruise.

I still have a little bit to pay on one of the cruises, but I should be all set to go when it’s time. I am so excited!

Barbie from Each State in Mexico

Barbie from each Mexican state

Forget Barbie, Mex-Am Company Makes Dolls Dressed In Traditional Traje Of Each Mexican State

The company in the above linked article makes dolls showing off the costumes from each state in Mexico. These dolls are beautiful and are made in Mexico, so these dolls are actually coming from the country they represent. The dolls above are just a sample of the dolls available. The article above tells more about them, and shows other dolls from the other states.

Field trip today

My daughter’s dance troop had a field trip today to dance at a middle school assembly. It was the younger part of the group, so my daughter wasn’t part of the group.

They were desperate for drivers, and I had been fingerprinted, etc, for the school, so they practically begged me to go. I was off work for bereavement leave, so I agreed to go.

I had to be at the meeting point at 7:30 am, but I didn’t realize it was raining. I arrived a few minutes late, but I was there before some of the kids.

I picked up the huge school van. What a difference between that and my tiny little car. The kids loaded up their costumes and themselves in the car, and then we started the seat belt argument. We were the first van to leave, since we finished the loading up and argument first.

I am a slow driver, and I’m even slower with the huge van and the kids in it. I was expecting to get at the performance location at the same time as the other three vans. My GPS decided to send me to the staff parking lot, so I had to drive around the building to get to where I needed to be. I arrived as the third van. But, we all got there.

We learned from last year. We arrived and located the bathroom. Then insisted on chairs for the chaperones. Then we settled in to watch the show and take photos. I was getting texts about the funeral plans, but one thing at a time.

The first performance went smoothly. The first batch of kids left and the second came in. The second performance went smoothly too.

Then, to change and have lunch. We got everyone back into the vans and headed to in n out after having the seat belt argument, again. The place was crawling with the dancers. Everyone got their orders and sat. Suddenly, all the kids got up and started walking. Ok. I guess we’re headed back to school.

We dropped the kids off, returned the vans and headed on our way. I ended up at the funeral home again. Ticking things off the list. I am looking forward to a quiet evening tonight. This means that someone will have something for me to do when I get home.

Pedestrian right of way

One thing we were warned about when we first got off the ship in Mexico was the fact that cars have the right of way. The tour guides told us which streets are safe and which aren’t.  We were told many, many times, to ensure that we didn’t get hit.

We were also informed that we didn’t want to go to Walmart, since it’s exactly the same as it is in the United States.

On almost every street there was an Oxxo, which is like our 7-11.  I didn’t get a chance to go inside since we were always driving by instead of stopping.  Something small to put on the bucket list.

Carl’s Jr was about as prevalent as McDonald’s is here.  Again, I didn’t go.  I don’t feel the need to go, though.  If I am in another country, I think I’d rather go to a place that embraces the culture of that country.

Cabo San Lucas

Again, the photos are all out of order

We caught the early morning tether shuttle from ship to shore in Cabo San Lucas. We went to the market first, after being followed by every taxi driver in Baja California.

We purchased a $300(MXN) bottle of vanilla, a ring, and a tank top for my daughter when we were in Cabo San Lucas.

We went to check in for our excursion. The shuttle driver told us it would be “Five, seven, eight minutes until we arrive.”

We spent the day at the beach. We met a couple from Nova Scotia who told us all about their grown children and showed us all the photos of their trip to New Zealand.

The man behind us decided it was his job to be giving my kid the drinking rules. Don’t mix alcohols. If you’re out for the evening, drink something you don’t really like so you’ll sip and not guzzle. Harmless stuff, but spoken from experience.

On the way back, the shuttle waited and waited to fill up. There were two groups who left the beach area early and didn’t tell the driver. We weren’t late leaving, but it was still annoying.




















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Disembarkment meeting

We were told that we needed to attend the disembarkment meeting the day before we left the ship, so we would know what to do the next morning.  Most of it was already written down for us, so it really was a waste of time.  The cruise director pointed out a few less obvious things.  “Don’t pack all your clothes.  You can’t leave the ship leaving a towel because the towels belong to the cruise line and we’ll take them away.  You’ll be naked.”  “Don’t pack your passport in your checked suitcase.”  And the most important one, “Ladies, please watch your husbands so they don’t pack the clothes for tomorrow.  You know they aren’t listening”

Mazatlan top ten

We went on a tour of the top ten things to see in Mazatlan. I only managed to count 9. Sorry about the out of order photos and the sideways videos.

  1. Feeding the frigate birds (pirates of the ocean/sea). I didn’t feed them because you had to tip the fishermen, and the birds reminded me of seagulls. We know better than to feed seagulls. Frigate birds don’t swim or get wet. If they get wet, they drown. They have no oils in their feathers.

2) The cliff divers worked for tips. They dove off a 45 foot platform into 4 or 5 feet of water.


Cueva del Diablo is where they used to put people on their way to jail. It’s named that because of the sulfur inside, and the original discoverer decided that he saw the devil in there. They gated it up so that others didn’t get stuck in it.

3) The church of immaculate conception had a ceiling of gold, but they didn’t tell us that until after we’d left it. Otherwise, I would have looked up.


4) market – like flea market, 4 cats in the stall

McDonald’s “100% leche de vaca” makes me wonder what other kind of milk they’d be using

Use the restrooms in the bakery

Flower market, shrimp market $200 per kilo ($180/$10US)

5) aquarium – we briefly drove past it.

Not on the top ten, but we passed the library. I know I could have spent an eternity in there, though.

6) baseball stadium

7) show





7) shopping area. We really just got lunch in the shopping area. No time to do anything else.


9) Pacifico beer factory was on the trip. Stores were all over advertising the beer

John Wayne had a home in Mazatlan so he could fish.  John Wayne was 6’5″  The tour guide tells us the the photos from this time were funny because “The local Mexicans were only 4’10”

Hotels will cost you $350 a night ($20USD)

This is what happens when you trust the guy behind you who says “I can get the whole thing!  Let me do it!”

10) Lighthouse with the observation deck

Puerto Vallarta

We took an excursion in the morning that we were in Puerto Vallarta.

The tour guide told us “If you’re the type that asks questions, don’t. I have exactly 149 English words. I am almost at the end of them now.” He spoke English perfectly fine.

We learned that people from Puerto Vallarta are called “Salty feet” because originally, all the homes were 50 yards from the beach.

We saw the Corona factory.

We went to two tequila places. The first one, we tasted six tequilas- Blanco, resposado, anejo, peach, chocolate, coffee… We also tasted habenero sauce, coffee… $11 lunch


A hotel in Puerto Vallarta will cost you $595 a night ($45 USD)

Second tequila factory – We tasted Blanco, resposado, anejo, vanilla, jamaica, walnut, coffee and chocolate, almond.  I bought jamaica, coffee and chocolate, and almond tequilla.


Cocoa tree

Jackfruit tree

The guy teaching us about tequila, and one of the waitresses.

homemade tequila

The entrance to the city


I find these wherever I go.


mango tree

almond tree

The flags interested me.  Turned out that it’s a pizza place.

The Basilica.

Unfortunately, it was a rocky trip on the final day of the trip. The coffee and chocolate bottle of tequila broke.

Rhythms of the night – Puerto Vallarta

We had a second excursion in Puerto Vallarta, since the first one ended after lunch.  We took a rocky boat ride to Caletas, such is a 45 minute boat ride from Puerto Vallarta. We went to have a buffet dinner and saw a show.

Sorry some of the photos are out of order.

My daughter wanted to go whale watching, but we didn’t sign up for that excursion. So, she used the ferry boat as a whale watching trip. She didn’t see whales, but she saw frigate birds, a bat ray, and a school of dolphins.

Here is where they took us.

My daughter is afraid of birds, even people dressed as birds.

The table setting for dinner.

It was starting to get a little rocky and rainy when we arrived.

The stage for the show.

The beginning of the contortionists.

After the show, we got back on the ferry boat.  It had started to rain, and they hadn’t let us use the restroom before we got on the boat.  We had to hang on tight.  There was no lock on the bathroom door on the ferry, so we all took turns holding the door closed.  It was a struggle to get pants up without falling out the door.

My daughter and I went upstairs on the ferry where it was open.  Only about ten people went up, so downstairs was super crowded.  It was rocky, so unless you were sitting on the wet seats and hanging on tight, you were up and dancing.  Several people just decided to dance for the 45 minute ride back.  The upstairs people had a great time, even though we got wet.

Several people downstairs got seasick. The dancers did not.  We had a great time!

When I got back to our room on the ship, I found out that my zipper was down.  I was concentrating so hard on not falling out of the bathroom that I must have forgotten.  Good thing it was dark!

Mini golf on rocky water

We tried to play mini golf. We almost blew off the boat. There were several noisy kids playing retrieve the room key and hat. It was an unscheduled group activity, due to the wind. Security got involved when the kids were hanging over the railing using the golf club to get the hat. My daughter and I decided that we should go inside where it’s not as windy.

It looked beautiful. Conditions just weren’t right.