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Monday, January 12, 2009

Cruise: The End

Mexico was our final port of call; our last three days were spent sailing to Los Angles. It gave us time to take a much needed rest from the four back-to-back excursions. We celebrated Thanksgiving with our new friends. There was the last "formal evening" on Friday. It was fun to dress up (made easier by the fact you can rent a tux for the guys - Himself looked smashing!).

Early on the 30th we slowly made our way into the harbor at LA, traveling through a "pea soup" fog. The ship sounded its horn about every minute, and we could hear other horns sounding around us. Hear...we could barely see the water below us it was so foggy. At one point we went by a Sealand container loading area and all you could see was the huge mega-watt lights making cone shaped beams in the fog... looked like the 'mother ship' was getting ready to land!

I wish there was something nice to say about the disembarking procedure, but there is not. Horrible is the only way I can describe it. ALL 1900 passengers AND their carry-off luggage were scheduled to go thru customs AT THE SAME TIME. It was hot and they would not open the doors to the decks so we could get a breeze. The line winded around the ship, including in front of elevators so that when they opened the riders would face a wall of people (cranky, tired, foot-sore people). I actually saw one man in his mid-40s get off the elevator and SHOVE an elderly man WITH A WALKER in the line so hard he fell against another man who fell against me. I had time to brace, so I didn't fall. We were in line for 3 hours. It was pure craziness.

Once we were thru with that, we boarded our bus for the airport (I'd booked a transfer with the cruise line... next time I'll catch a cab as there were dozens of them waiting. I'd also book a late flight and ignore that stupid line until it was short!!) Anyway, the flight and all that was normal. Only interesting thing was seeing actor Tony Danza in the security line ahead of us. His shoes had to come off just like everyone else's!

Oh, one other funny "coming home" thing. I had turned my cell phone off for the length of the trip. On the bus to LAX I fired it up for the first time in 2 weeks. NINE voice mails downloaded. And they were kinda amazing! Some personal assistant to someone in Florida was frantically trying to get a hold of her boss. Seems the FBI was coming and she wanted to know what to do with some files or something like that. I'm guessing she was dialing an area code that the middle number is one off my area code. I haven't deleted the messages; I'll have to take another listen without the rumbling of a bus in the background!

All in all, we had an excellent time on the cruise. The ports of calls were all very interesting and I have wonderful memories of each.

Aruba - Snorkeling and seeing the beautiful tropical fish.

Columbia - The incredible engineering and architecture of the fortress, tasty coconut rice at lunch.

Panama Canal - watching the different widening methods from dredging to blasting, and the pure history of it all.

Costa Rica - See my first toucan, experiencing a rain forest.

Nicaragua - Masaya volcano and its sulfur fumes.

Guatemala - the beautiful brightly colored clothes of the Maya ladies, watching the volcano erupt

Mexico - baby sea turtles and drinking fresh coconut water.

1 comment:

  1. Just stopping by to say thanks for using your on-line voice to speak for children in tremendous need. Thank you for supporting Compassion's ministry and please, if you ever need anything, let me know. I'm here to serve you on Compassion's behalf.

    Shaun Groves


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