Monday, July 16, 2012

Land, ho!

We stopped in three ports. The amount of fun I had in these ports can be represents on a graph in a bit of a parabola shape, if I remember what a parabola looks like. It's a U, right?

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Yes, I googled it and it is a U. Yay for my high school calculus teacher. Thank you, Mr. Allison. You were right. Calculus is useful in daily life.
This means: 
Jamaica: FUN!
Cayman Islands: Ok
Cozumel: FUN!
Jamaica was a neat place. We docked in Montego Bay and it was clear it was a struggling city. I completely enjoyed myself, though. My recollections of Jamaica are probably very stereotypical of people who visit Jamaica.
We piled in the bus, after being directed by a fairly annoyed Jamaican. He waved the bus driver on as you would wave to your younger brother who was antagonizing you. "Hurry up, already," his hands said. 



So we did. We scooted along the road. The driver told us, "Don't worry if we get to close. If someone gets too close to us, just say, "No problem, mon!" Some of the passengers on the bus embraced this practice. I did not. If someone got to close to us, I looked the other way and pretended we were abiding by safety regulations in the US. The rest of the bus chorused, "No problem, mon!" 
We finally arrived at a gorgeous beach. I rarely use the word 'gorgeous'. I used it a lot in Jamaica. The sand was a light beige, and if you stepped into the water, you could see slightly larger pieces of sand that were clearly shells broken down. It was like watching the weathering process. The water was various colors of blue and green and your feet were completely visible at the bottom because it was completely clear. It was pretty amazing.






We established ourselves on two lounge chairs with a large umbrella and I hastily sprayed myself with spray-on sunscreen while Fernie changed in the changing rooms. Big mistake. A smart girl would have waited until her hunny came out of the room and made him lather on the tube of sunscreen she had purchased. But I didn't. Spray-spray-spray-good enough- into the water. Five hours and one absolutely terrible sunburn later, I regretted my actions. 
Aside from the sunburn, everything was great. 
There was a cool guy playing steel drums and they served jerk pork for lunch. They also served barbecue chicken which is was I had because I saw bristles, as in bristles from the pig or hog or whatever, on some of the jerk pork, and I do not eat foods that still have bristles on them. Or feathers, in case you wondered. They also had an array of fruits that I don't know what they were but they were super tasty. 
There was another cool guy who directed all the entertainment. By this, I mean he simultaneously announced the open bar and encouraged people to visit it, explained about other fun things to do in Jamaica, and played volleyball with the teams he put together himself, while shouting "No pressure, no problem, mon!" and wearing a rasta hat.
A big piece of me couldn't really stomach this. I kept thinking about what would happen if someone came to visit El Paso. Would I have to wear a sombrero and shout, "Arriba! Arriba! Andale, andale!" so people would give me tips? I would like to believe that the Jamaica guy was a cool guy with a sincere accent (I actually believe this part is true) and a love of stereotypical phrases. But I can't help but think that I wouldn't like to spend the day shouting, "Yeehah! Everything's bigger in Texas!" and waving my dueling pistols while sporting a ten-gallon hat and boots.


The Cayman Islands were not as fun. Mostly because they were a Jamiaca repeat. And I was burned pretty badly. Not only that, I had this horrible pain where my chubby little thighs had rubbed together in Jamaica, so I couldn't wear my swimsuit. I sat on a lounge chair under a giant umbrella. I then realized I had two coupons for a free drink. Why two? Cause we each got one, and my hunny isn't much of a drinker. I immediately marched myself over to the bar and ordered a rum punch for each hand. I finished half of one walking back to my chair and drank the rest as if they were Hawaiian Punch. 
Then I realized that two rum punches have a lot of rum in them. I giggled through my hamburger lunch and did unreasonable things that I thought were completely reasonable, such as balancing my head on my fork with my teeth. It was easier than holding it up myself. I am sharing his incredibly embarrassing video with you to demonstrate just how nuts I was after 2 rum punches. 



See my stupid grin? I'm sloshed.


 After lunch, we hitched a ride on a bus going back nearish the ship and fell asleep for hours.
The last port, Cozumel, was amazing. We didn't actually spend the day in Cozumel; we took a barfy boat to the mainland. Fernie called is the SS Barfalot. And it was. No one actually did, but lots of us wanted to. I leaned my head forward against the seat in front of me and put pressure on my forehead. Finally, we arrived at the Playa del Carmen port and took a bus to Tulum. All the way there, we were informed and educated and prepared by our tour guide, Carlos, who sounded exactly like King Julian from Madagascar. 
He was fond of saying things like, "You don't have to look very far." He managed to use this in a variety of situations. 
"You don't have to look very far to find the ancestors of the Mayans. They're here. They're the people who live in the Yucatan."
"You don't have to look very far to see that the Yucatan is always hot."
"You don't have to look very far to find the bathroom. It's in the back of the bus."
At the end of the bus ride, King Julian explained that we would be given a small snack after our tour through the ruins. This was received with great expectation by many of the starving orphans perfectly healthy individuals on the bus.
King Julian tour guide took us on a very sweaty and drippy walk up some stairs and through lush vegetation. It was at this point that a very Mort-like child made his appearance. He peppered our walk with all the things we were thinking, but couldn't say as adults, all spoken in a delightfully squeaky voice with an Indian accent. Things like, "Will this long walk be worth it when we get there?" and "Why are we still going up stairs?" and "I am very sweaty." Me too, kid. Me too.

We finally reached the end of our march and reached a narrow tunnel. Walking through the tunnel and out into the sun, we were met by the most gorgeous ruins I've ever seen. Tulum was beautiful, and my words will be pathetic, so I'll share pictures.





I know we look like we shouldn't be let out without supervision in this picture.
It was really hot.
We look better in this one.

Then I saw a BOA! Not in a cage, either. It was just sitting there, curled up next to a rock wall and wrapped around a big iguana that he was crushing to death. How cool, right?! I got as close as I dared - I figured he was busy, and took some pictures. It was just too neat to pass up.


The tour guide who was channeling King Julian explained to us about the history of the Mayans and Tulum, and then said we would have some time to explore ourselves. After this, we would meet him back at the bus. He would be waiting under a nice umbrella. At this point, a loud American in a purple shirt (I am so embarrassed by my people sometimes) declared in a large voice, "We're not gonna let this guy leave without that snack he promised us, are we?"
I'm sorry, sir, but are you referring to the moon pie? Really? This is what you're worried about? A moon pie? How sugar deprived are you? The cruise ship is full of tasty delights. You'll be fine.
Never fear, dear reader. On our return to the bus, we were greeted with an ice-cold towel (heaven) and an ice-cold water bottle, and an ice-cold moon pie, with a large picture of a mammoth on the front. It was called "Mamut." I can only imagine that our purple-shirted friend was satisfied.
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6 comments:

  1. Oh my gosh! I love Tulum! It is SOOOO beautiful there. My husband and I went to Playa for our honeymoon and did a day trip out there. Honestly, that is the hottest I have ever been in my life. I don't think I will ever forget how beautiful it was and how HOT I was while there! Sorry the Caymans were a bust. Live and learn. :)

    Amanda
    The Teaching Thief

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  2. BEAUTIFUL! (and gorgeous too!) This was so fun to read!
    Thanks for letting us tag along and enjoy your adventures with you. Personally, I think two rum punches sound "just right." : )

    Kim
    Finding JOY in 6th Grade

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  3. So gorgeous!!!!! It looks you guys had a wonderful time. T-minus 7 days till I head to the Gulf Coast for vacation. I'm going to run a giveaway while I'm gone... want to donate a goody from TpT and share in on the fun? :)

    Kim
    Carried Away in Kindergarten

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  4. I stumbled upon your blog when I was looking for teaching blogs and this one was so much fun to read about your vacation. I loved it and will continue to read about your great adventures in teaching and in other areas of your life!

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  5. What a fun vacation, sorry about the sunburn. The pictures are fabulous.
    Jill
    Bubbalulu.blogspot.com

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  6. You are nuts...I can't wait to read about our trip to the movies to see Magic Mike and the drool buckets we needed.

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