Escape your life for a little while — come play in mine.

Archive for June, 2008

Caribbean revisited: Cozumel (omigodPONIES)

Posted by Lissa on June 30, 2008

Bienvenidos a Mexico!  Caballeros y Damas, les gustan los caballos?

Okay, okay, I’ll back up a bit.  The obligatory harbor shot: 

It was an absolutely fabulous pier — lots of room, very modern looking.  I’m informed that it’s so nice because a hurricane a few years ago completely wiped out the old pier.

Mike tries to get native:  (or, to oblige me when I say “Sit there!  Sit there!!”

Okay enough footling about . . . HORSIES!!!!!

You can tell I hate animals in general.  Especially pretty horsies.  Preeeeeeeeetty horsies!

Ladies and gentlemen, do we classify the smile above as a “sh*t-eating grin”?  I think perhaps so.  Mike seems a bit more bemused, but that’s because his Benito was single-mindedly fixated on eating the plants:

We mounted up (sans helmets) and rode off to see the (ahem) ruins:

Mmm, ruins-y goodness:

Oo, ahhh:

Okay, the hell with that.  More horsies!!

Afterwards we sat in the cantina and sipped Coronitas while I glowed fit to beat the sun.  I was still glowing as we ate lunch back downtown:

I took this picture while sitting in the restaurant.  Beer-drinking beeches back in the States, go ahead and turn green with envy:

Aaaaaand, you can promptly dismiss that green and flee to your pretty American bathrooms . . .

(Shudder.)  Okay, so, let’s move right along to something more cheerful:

We didn’t buy any, but we knew they were the best.  Fidel told us so.  We wandered around a bit more and bought beers to drink as we strolled down the hot, uncrowded streets.


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OW. Ow ow ow.

Posted by Lissa on June 28, 2008

Sitting in the recliner with my feet up, whimpering about my sprained ankle.  The sad thing?  The sprain didn’t hurt as badly as taking a shower and having the water hit the fresh, raw blister on each heel.  The saddest thing?  We got spanked 5-0 in EACH of our first two soccer games today, then had the opposing team eke out a tie in the last thirty seconds of our third game.

*whimper*  *curse* 

The silver lining?  My executive decision that tonight was a night to be spent watching the Red Sox in HD and ordering pizza. 

Go Sox!  Down with the Astros!  *whimper* 

P.S.  To the jackass in the pickup truck — when you put your left blinker on for thirty seconds and I purposely slow down to let you in (for thirty seconds), if you TAKE THE NEXT EXIT RAMP ON THE RIGHT I’m going to mentally disembowel you.  For thirty seconds.

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Caribbean revisited: Birthday dinner :)

Posted by Lissa on June 27, 2008

How sweet are the people who love me?  Super sweet y’all, like fuzzy bunny land sweet.  But in a good way 🙂  Jenny and the family called Royal Caribbean to order birthday decorations for our state room, only . . . Mike had already ordered them.  So they got me a deliciously tasty chocolate cake instead, yay!  (Oh mother of God . . . I’m now realizing exactly how much dessert I ate that day.  Rum cake samples, chocolate cake, AND the dessert sampler at Portofino’s.  Urp.  Excuse me while I go run fifteen miles.)

Needless to say, we brought the paper decorations home so that kitty could play with them.

They were nice enough to save us a fantastic table right by the window . . .

A ha, the famous seafood skewer!  Shrimp, scallops, salmon and a lobster tail.  Forget the fifteen miles, now I’m hungry again.

And oh, oh, the dessert sampler, ohhh.  This was the best part of the meal, and while I didn’t manage to finish it, I cheerfully rubbed the rest into my pores so as not to waste it.

And THEN came the happy birthday dessert — they spelled my name right, hooray!  (The name’s more common nowadays but absolutely wasn’t when I grew up, so I still consider it a treat.)

You can barely make out the flourless chocolate cake holding up the Happy Birthday doohickey.  That’s the one I immediately scooped onto a clean saucer and gave to the table next to us.  Crazy, but not stupid.  As it was, we were so full I refused to lie down and insisted that we stay ambulatory — that’s why we mosied down to the cigar bar.

And like *that* — whoo — she’s gone.*

*The Usual Suspects, folks, if that didn’t immediately spring to mind it’s time to watch it again.

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Caribbean revisited: Grand Cayman

Posted by Lissa on June 26, 2008

Yo ho, yo ho, a pirate’s life for me . . .

There was actually a real guy in costume running around with huge long dreads, but this guy was funnier.  Also, we didn’t have to tip him to pose with him 🙂  ARRRRRR!!

First real trip was on the Nautilus, the semi-submersible.  Sadly, it was a lot more interesting in real life; the pix were awfully hard to take underwater.  This is about as good as I can give ya:

Oo, ahh, a shipwreck.  Look, coral!

Shockingly, Lissa was a LOT more excited about the turtle farm.  Tons and TONS of big flappy turtles swimming about!  Although their heads are REALLY funny looking.  The shells are beautiful but the heads are directly out of The Neverending Story.  (I know, I know, the movie heads are actually right out of turtles, but whatever, I saw the movie at close range first.)

The guide walking us about threw some turtle food pellets in to create a camera-friendly feeding frenzy:

Lest you be worried, they had the snapping turtles separated away from the friendly-ish green turtles.  They also had a massive tank for the big turtles and lots of little ones for smaller turtles.  Which allowed me to do — THIS!!  LOOK AT THE FLAPPY TURTLE!!!  (At the very moment of this photograph, I’m explaining to the turtle that my cat would like to plaaaaaaay with him.  In other words, I’m cooing pretty lies.  The turtle would take one flap and Rajah would bolt like the fraidy-kitty he is.)

Next stop was in Hell.  Really.

See?  Told ya so.  I can’t help but wonder who posed for the cutout.

THIS is the freaky weird rock formation that gave the bitty-town its name.  It really is the oddest looking natural formation I’ve ever seen; those lucky gals who have been on a driving tour down Route 66 can chime in here 🙂

And to cap it off, awwwww.  Maybe Mike and I should get married here?

So sweet!!  I think I know a number of people who must have gotten married there . . .

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Caribbean revisited: Jamaica

Posted by Lissa on June 23, 2008

For anyone who doesn’t know, my mom’s family grew up in Jamaica.  I therefore had the misguided, deluded idea that I was somewhat-versed in patois.  In fact, it was very similar to my experience in Paddington Station (London) with the cockney guy copying my keys — I knew that the words were kinda-sorta English, and I damn well would have had a better shot at *understanding* him had he been speaking Spanish.  Or Latin.  (At least in Jamaica the patois was reserved for when the guides spoke to each other so I could simply listen appreciatively.  Whereas I asked the cockney guy to repeat whatever he was saying three times, then got embarrassed and gave a nod-and-smile-(desperately).)  Anyway, for those who thought I was being kitschy with the “Jamaica’s next, mon!” — um, they actually say “mon” all the time.  Really.  Possibly just to charm the tourists’ dollars from their wallets, but them’s the facts.

I asked my mom for the explanation behind “irie” and actually got a better (i.e. more interesting) explanation from my younger bro, who claims that it came from Bob Marley-slang for “high.”  That’s the condensed version anyway.  Someone who is less hungry than I am (when this post is done we’re off to dinner) can check Wikipedia, or Snopes, or a Ouija board for all I care.

UPDATE: LITTLE BRO INFORMS ME — “Irie refers to positive emotions or feelings, or anything that is good. Specifically it refers to high emotions and peaceful vibrations. I’ve heard it in a couple reggae songs and that is about the translation for it I guess”  GRACIAS LITTLE BRO!

The obligatory establishing-shot of the harbor:

Mike asked me to take this picture for the amusement factor of the WARNING sign.  I put it in the same category as the IRS requirement that you declare any income from illegal activities (hat-tip Jenny).  As always, click to embiggen:

Now that we’ve got the whole illegal-drugs-are-against-the-law issue cleared up, this was taken during the boat cruise out to the falls (did I mention the name of the boat was the Reggae Baby?):

See?  Told y’all about the snake chain.  Class-action lawyers in America are positively drooling all over their keyboards from this shot:

Oh, but Lissa, you say, at least you’re all holding hands.  That will increase the safety factor; in the event that a person slips s/he will have a person on either side, each of whom may not be also-slipping at that very moment.

Ah, say I, well then it’s a good thing everyone has to hold hands.  Oh wait . . . 

For any old-school James Bond fans (you know, before the invisible cars and rockets from space came along) you may appreciate this young woman’s recreation of Dr. No:  (Please note that I am not in that camp, as I have never seen the movie, and so you owe this pic too to Mike.)

Finally, as you can tell, I hated Jamaica.  A lot.  Mm-hmm.  Hated it.  🙂

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Caribbean revisited: Labadee

Posted by Lissa on June 20, 2008

I admit, it was easier to get me out of bed Tuesday morning when Mike called out, “Land ho!”  Although, I’m not actually sure he did that.  It might have been in my head.  Along with the pirate costume, parrot, and crow’s nest.  (On the other hand, I quite clearly remember asking how lookouts could immediately identify at a glance whether the land was whorishly dressed or not.)

First real glimpse of Labadee — the clouds TOTALLY make this perfect:

A little closer view:

The sun was shining, the air was warm-but-not-hot, and we managed to squeeze onto the tender boat right before it left for the landing pier.  Purrrr.  (And please admire my skill at self-pictures, I’ve taken some pretty bad ones over the years.)

The entrance arch:  (This is cheating slightly; we actually took the picture on our way out.  That was when we discovered that they quite strictly separate people entering the island from people leaving, since the latter might have contraband and therefore have their bags scanned.  The rule was that we couldn’t bring any alcohol back on the boat; any that we bought, including from the on-boat Duty Free Store, was held until the last boat day and then delivered to the stateroom.  Luckily, the guard was willing to take a quick picture of us before she herded us onto the boat.  So, it’s the end, not the beginning, but it makes more sense this way.)

As you can see, 1) Labadee’s really a peninsula not an island, but they advertise it more as the latter than the former and it stuck in my head; 2) it ain’t very big.  I took this pic ’cause it was pretty but the pic resolution was good enough that it was also handy as a map.  (Thank you again Mike for my pretty camera, and Mike’s family for the memory card and case!)

We climbed some “ruins” to get a view of the harbor.  (I raise a seriously dubious eyebrow that these ruins are anything but man-made tourist attractions, but I don’t particularly care.)  Note the two smokestacks in the distance and remind yourself that they belong to ONE ship.  One seriously humongous ship.

We dumped our stuff on the boat then went back on a later tender boat and played around on the beach for a while.  Back to the room for a blogpost and a nap, then we made it up top in time for a sunset . . .

P.S.  I know that you’re not supposed to bring any fruits, vegetables, soil, live animals etc. back from any of the ports, but I managed to smuggle a prime specimen of the highly-endangered, rarely seen Greater Haitian Elephant back to the room . . .

Jamaica’s next, mon!  Hope you’re excited!

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A genuine lack of comprehension

Posted by Lissa on June 18, 2008

A fashion question . . .

It is perfectly fine to have a belly, or “a bit of a tummy” as they put it in Pulp Fiction.  Many perfectly healthy and beautiful women and men have them.  There’s nothing wrong with a bit of flab about the mid-section, despite what the anorexia-loving fashion magazines will show you nowadays.

But why . . . why, in the name of all that’s holy . . . would a young woman choose to wear a “Little Miss Naughty” T-shirt in such as size and level of clinginess as to very-sexily draw your gaze DIRECTLY to four inches of flab between the bottom of the shirt and the top of the pants?


Because, you see, that is not a lack of care for your clothing.  That is not freedom from being a clotheshorse.  The decision not to fret or stress over your wardrobe can be very freeing and often appropriate.  If I may make the comparison, not caring about your wardrobe is like not caring about a pimple on your forehead.  If you don’t want to bother trying to cover it with concealer, no problem!  That is, in my book, a different story from CIRCLING THE PIMPLE WITH A RED MAGIC MARKER AND LABELING IT, “HEY EVERYONE LOOK AT THIS!”  In my humble opinion, the example I saw walking the streets of Downtown Boston falls into the latter category.

Also in my humble opinion, if your white short-shorts ride low enough that I can see a good half-inch of your black lace underwear, you are dressing like a tramp.  And likely *not* helping the odds of passing through Customs easily, especially considering you have a foreign passport.

Just sayin’.

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Caribbean revisited: 1st Boat Day

Posted by Lissa on June 18, 2008

This pic is actually from the pier at Cozumel, but it’s the best one I have for conveying SHEER SIZE (it *does* matter, you know):

We tried to hit the rock wall early, but by the time we queued up there was already a substantial line.  Since I’ve already graced you with my wonderful helmet pic, here’s the wall itself (with Lissa in spider-position):

The obligatory pretty-Lissa-and-Mike fancy-dinner picture:

To prove I did, in fact, eat escargot at the fancy dinner:


And finally, the view from the stern:

More interesting pix from Labadee up next!

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*sigh* Because all good things must come to an end . . .

Posted by Lissa on June 18, 2008

There’s not too much to say about the rest of the cruise; we drank some delicious sun on the last boat day, took pictures with the waiters, got through customs slowly but with no problems, made it to the flight with no problems, and Mike’s folks were nice enough to pick us up at the airport.  Rajah-kitty was soooooo glad to see us!!! 

My plan is to start recapping the cruise with pictures of each day/port; this should whet your appetite for more photo-y goodness:

Because only I can look this cool.

(Actually, Mike looked just as cool, but he may kill me if I post his dork-picture, so we’ll see.  And no, this wasn’t just for fun, it was the mandatory gear for the rock wall.  But still, you wish you were as cool as me.  Admit it.)

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They say it’s worth a thousand words . . .

Posted by Lissa on June 16, 2008

 . . . so let’s give it a try!

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