Cruzin’ to Diego
I have a mixed attitude toward taking a cruise. On the one hand, it is a very relaxing vacation. Everything is handled for you and the modus operandi during the entire vacation is to eat, drink and be merry. On the other hand, you spend the majority of your time on the boat. If the “boat” was a little more svelte, that might be interesting. However, on a cruise the boat is nothing less than a huge floating luxury hotel, and hotels can get a little boring after awhile.
In our particular case, Danna had just completed what seemed like nearly a decade of school to get her MBA, and a little floating hotel R&R was in order. Besides, we got a screaming deal on the cruise tickets at a charity auction.
In order to board our floating example of excess we needed to get to San Diego first. After a lengthy delay due to some fog in San Francisco we finally arrived sans baggage. In most cases that wouldn’t be the end of the world; United would simply send our bags to our hotel. In our case our hotel was a moving target, and we didn’t much like the prospect of wearing the same clothes all over Mexico for a week. The timing was close: the gangway rolled up at 4:30 sharp and our luggage was arriving at the airport at 4:00. No chance in hell, you say? Well, both Danna and I would agree, but Holland America is not to be underestimated. When we arrived on the boat we stopped off for a beer on deck, and when we arrived in our cabin an hour later our luggage was there waiting for us.
I don’t know if it was all the sleep and rest I was getting while on vacation or if it had something to do with that great salt air, but my noggin’ was on fire. Normally, I have a hard time remembering the names of people like, oh, friends, loved ones, or team mates. Not so on Das Boat; I had a steel trap of a noggin’ that remembered the names waiters, stewards and even perfect strangers. Unfortunately, it must have been the salt air because back on dry land I’m once again a mental midget.
Cabo San Lucas
Our first stop was in Cabo, which is a lovely little coastal town. Danna was really hot to trot to go deep sea fishing, so we boarded a little fishing boat and headed out. Thanks to Holland America’s very lucrative supply of tourists and their desire to shield all of them from any experience not qualified as idyllic, what we boarded was nothing less than the cleanest fishing boat I have ever seen. We were forewarned the night before that the boat and provided lunch would be “very basic”. It may have been basic compared to our eleven story yacht-hotel, but for a day of fishing it was all first rate.
No fish. We did see a huge marlin jumping right off the starboard side of the boat, but that’s really the only sign of life we saw. No worries, though. To me, fishing isn’t really about catching fish. It’s about drinking beer in the sun and getting a tan.
Even though our “basic lunch” looked wonderful (a hoagie sandwich, fruit, carrots, chips and a cookie), it wasn’t really what we were after. We were, after all, in Mexico. As soon as our fishing boat landed we wandered off toward the middle of town in search of burritos and good salsa.
The number of recommended activities in Mazatlan was a little limited, so we took it as an opportunity to “culture ourselves” by taking a tour of the city. We saw some fantastic churches and great dance display by the Paplanta Flyers. We finished the day at the beach eating more Mexican food.
Our last stop on our Whirlwind Mexican Adventure was in Puerto Vallarta. Here we signed up for a “canopy ride” which turned out to be one of the cooler things either of us has done. We got into a big truck and drove for about an hour into the jungle where our guides had setup platforms high in the trees. Climbing ropes were tied from tree to tree. We stepped into our climbing harnesses, stood on a platform and clipped a pair of pulleys onto the climbing rope. Whoosh! Off we went zip lining from tree to tree. You can get moving pretty fast on a zip line. Our furthest traversal was a little over two football fields in length and our top speed was a little over fifty miles an hour. We had great fun zipping from tree to tree, and we ended the day rappelling down a large tree back to base camp. I’m planning to install my own zip line so I can quickly get from floor to floor in our house.
Danna and I flew to San Francisco and enjoyed the weekend there before finally returning home. I definitely want to go back to Mexico and spend some quality time. I certainly enjoyed my cruise but I would love to spend more time in the country. Eating burritos, mostly, I suspect.