Saturday, May 14, 2011

Mayan Riviera Cruise - Part 2

Good Afternooon Ladies & Gentlemen,

The saga continues...

Day 6 - Isla Roatan, Honduras

This day started off with us landing on this beautiful island off the coast of Honduras... and then to a place where you Zipline through the jungle... which was pretty damn cool. Observe...

Afterwards, we were driven over to a beach to have some lunch, relax with a few beverages, get peddled to by little hustlers selling jewelry and my personal favorite... conch shells. Hell yeah, I bought one... and got it home in one piece too. It's f**king huge. After lunch, we swam in the warm ocean... and basically were figuring out how we could move here rather easily.

The story goes that a business man goes on vacation and starts up a conversation with the local selling stuff to tourists. "You've got a great little playground here." "Yeah, it's great. I work here on the beach all day selling these things my wife makes, get drinks for people, have a few for myself, swim a bit afterwards, head out on my boat, catch some fish for dinner, eat it under the stars, not a bad setup." "That's great man... but you've got some real potential here. These things could sell like hot cakes back in the States. You know if you worked hard, you could set up a business, get some serious money... and then retire." "Really? More money would be nice I guess... but what's retire? What does that mean?" "You know... retire. Not work anymore." "What would I do then?" "Well, you could retire to a place like this..." "I'm already here... and as you can tell, I don't see my work as work at all. I make enough to get by & get to enjoy the rest of my time doing what I want." Moral of the story: Don't believe the hype of the Machine!

That night, back on the boat, I finally got cornered and did some portraits with my mom & grandma. Here's one that I was able to get on my camera before the guy pitched a fit.

There was this comedian named Sam Grisebaum on the boat... he was okay. Go support him! After that, more hot tub, then bed.

Day 7 - Belize City, Belize

Well, I got to spend Cinco de Mayo in Central America... but it was Belize instead of Mexico, so no real celebrations other than Coronas at the hot tub that night. Belize was another place where we considered moving... or at least vacationing again. It's an English-speaking country with about 300,000 people, allegedly a female to male ratio of 6 to 1, beautiful scenery, fresh fruit, affordable cashew wine, full houses for about $10,000, great people and about the only drag I can think of is the occasional storms wiping your house away. So yeah... if I'm even missing from the United States, you may want to start looking there.

And yes... I know the recipe...

Oh, it's just my pet coatimundi...

Above ground graves... not unlike New Orleans

Our first stop was the ancient Mayan ruins of Altun Ha. Check it out!

My mom loves croc...

...and Chick 'n' Wing liked it so much...

she talked about putting the croc in her fanny...


Next was Cave Tubing down a river where there are plenty of stalagmites & stalagtites... and a trusty guide to pull you through the shallow parts. In my opinion, not a bad job to have being a tour guide. Hang out with people all day showing off your country, if it's too hot, the water's right there to cool you off. I could deal with it. The only problem with this though... is I wasn't the one with a waterproof camera... and I've yet to get the copies... so pictures will have to be a future entry. Sorry.

Our tour guide was named Fabulous... and I highly recommend him. Once we got to the cave tubing, we met up with his friends the Rock & Cello. We got to chatting a lot and it amazed me how many obscure references we were right there on despite all the cultural differences. For example, the Wingmans have two large dogs that are the same breed as the big dog in the movie "The Sandlot" which is how Chick 'n' Wing described it. Their response: "Hercules? That's a BIG dog! You have two of them?" That's just one example... but good times.

Back on the boat, ate, drank, went to bed.

Day 8 - Cozumel / Playa del Carmen, Mexico

Our first stop in this port was the ancient Mayan ruins of Tulum located on a beautiful coast. Legend has it when the Spanish first started coming to town, this place was a thriving metropolis with about 30,000 people... but within a few years, completely uninhabited. Why? Disease? Genocide? Nope, what happened to most of the major cities of the Mayan empire that disappeared before the Spanish came to town. To make their cities, they had to destroy the surrounding environment... and with no environment, there's no food, no shelter from invaders, etc. There's a message in their somewhere... but I'm a simple man. Not a bad place to set up shop though, right?

That night, reality started creeping back into this wonderful trip. My grandma got an emergency phone call when we got back on the boat. Her son, my uncle had a brain tumor. Obviously that put a little bit of a downer on her trip... but hey, the important thing is that they found it & they're already looking into several treatment options. Just kind of threw everything back in perspective for a minute. It also meant that grandma was flying back to Utah almost as soon as we landed in New Orleans. Lame...

Day 9 - Day at Sea

This day at sea was pretty laid back, just enjoying a few of the ship's shows... including a VERY lame burlesque show. Sorry to spoil... but just saying... don't know what I was expecting... but it wasn't there.

Day 10 - New Orleans

The next day was Mother's Day and lucky me, I got to spend it with my mama. I also got spend it with some of my best friends. A few times throughout this trip... the Wingmans & Filly were all introducing me as their "best friend" and it hit on me a few times throughout this trip, that I am INCREDIBLY lucky that so many great people out there will truthfully refer to me as their best friend. The Wingmans, Filly, Bubbles, Isaiah, a few more out there, and every time they introduce me like that... it truly makes my day. I've been blessed.

Day 11 - New Orleans

This day was me hanging out with Filly for a bit, seeing her new apartment, trying to find a place to eat, then eventually going to a place in the French Quarter, checking out the French Market, a few local shops after meeting up with the Wingmans. All I really remember was that it was hella hot... and after a while I was done. Nap time... but not before food...

After the nap, we went out to Checkpoint Charlie's with Filly and met up with a few of her friends to sing karaoke. I also bought a painting from one of Filly's friends that I met when I was around for Halloween. It's fitting for me... but I don't have a picture of it yet though, so future post. Great night... and then we got back to the hotel around 4 AM.

Day 12 - Flying home

So yeah... I flew home the next day... and was feeling pretty sick for a few days when I got back. Maybe it was the airport, maybe it was the 90+ degree weather followed up with 50's in San Francisco, maybe it was just time for me to be sick, maybe stress of going back to work the next day, who knows? Since then it's been pretty busy... but I'll get you caught up. Hope you enjoyed the pictures half as much as I enjoyed the trip. Have a great evening everybody!!!

Who dat?

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