i love it when we’re cruisin’ together

Back in November the Lamb fam (minus Andrew and Kevie) set out on the “fun ship” looking for adventure in Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan, and Cabo san Lucas. The cruise left out of Long Beach, CA and lasted seven days. After the last cruise I took, I was a little worried about getting sea-sick, but this time was not nearly as bad.

(To give a little background on the group we had… 22 people! Ron & Bev, Roger & Karen, their daughters Michelle and Tracie and their husbands Darryl and Chad, respectively; Michelle & Darryl’s kids: Alex, Cassie, and Sammie; Tracie & Chad’s kids Jack, Jordie, and Julia; Michelle’s Aunt Connie & Uncle Phil; Michelle’s friends the Hills – also Michelle & Michael, and their kids Meghan and Madison; Dad & me… I think that’s everyone and the correct spelling of names.)

From the moment we boarded the ship it was overeating and constant cocktails. Ron, Bev, and I claimed our bar – and cute South African bartender, Eddy – before the safety drill even began. We met there every evening for a pre-dinner cocktail. Ed treated us very well and was, for the week, a Lamb boy. I think he and dad even exchanged contact information, but I haven’t heard about any follow-up conversations.

The first two days “at sea” were pretty relaxing. I jogged in the mornings after breakfast, spent time in the sun with book and drink in hand, and caught up with everyone in the fam. Jack began his karaoke career, Sammie got over her “fear” of me, and Dad began his winning streak at the craps table.

PV was our first stop, and probably my favorite as far as our activities ashore. We hired a driver for most of the day to take us to the shopping district where we had cervezas on the beach and walked some of the shops. Then he drove us to Chico’s Paradise where we enjoyed good Mexican food, margaritas, and a riverside view. The kids played near the water and watched the cliff jumpers. Roger was serenaded to the plucking of “Yellow Submarine,” his “favorite” song. Full and tequila-happy we climbed in our vans for the 45 minute drive back to the port. While everyone else headed to the ship, the Lamb bros. and I stayed back in an attempt to meet up with some of dad’s friends who were in town for a fishing trip. Well, they never showed, but we certainly got our fill of beer and more tequila, this time in the form of a shot. (I’m not sure how many people can say they have downed two plus ounces of Patron with their dad and two uncles…)

Mazatlan was our next stop, and dad’s favorite city in Mexico. It was probably my least favorite of the trip – dirty and very run down, much more-so than other places I’ve seen in Mexico. In the morning we walked around with Ron and Bev. The market had a wide variety of fresh foods and the cathedral was ornate. We found a nice square and sat down for a drink in the shade. Dad and I split off from Ron and Bev to meet up with the others at El-Cid, a very nice resort. We arrived just in time for happy hour – two for one drinks! The kids played in the waterfalls and Tracie and I used the excuse that we didn’t want to get our hair wet. Back at the port I grabbed a street taco since I hadn’t eaten all day – happy hour will hit you a little too quickly on an empty stomach… not really sure what was in it, but it was delicious!

Our third and final port was Cabo san Lucas. We mostly walked all the markets because unfortunately the beach was not easily accessible. Walking along the pier, Sammie and I actually saw a sea lion swimming around the docks. For lunch we ate one of the best Mexican meals I have ever had. I just spent about 20 minutes trying to find the name of it online to no avail.

That afternoon, back on the ship, a war broke out at trivia. The Michelles won at “TV-show Theme Song Trivia,” and Tracie and Karen wanted to win the next one, “Name That Tune.” After the first few songs, someone – and I am not naming names because I was at the bar and did not actually witness the event – turned Karen and Tracie in for cheating. The director of the game, Alexis, placed them in the center of the room for all to watch. This is when the war began. From then on, all that night and the following day, we went to every trivia event possible in an attempt to win medals or trophies. It got to the point where Karen went to the counter where you can sign up and save on a future cruise. She told the man at the desk that she would sign up if, and only if, he could get some trophies. He of course thought we were all crazy and obliged. By the next night Dad even scored some trophies from our bartender, Ed. I am sure that by the end of that 24-hour period the entire “fun ship” crew was aware of our shenanigans.

The last night at sea Roger, Karen, Ron, Bev, Dad, and I ate at the steakhouse onboard. Of course by this day we were way to full to truly eat such a rich four-course meal, but somehow we managed. The dinner was like the others with an abundance of wine and much political debate, mostly between Ron and me, but luckily I had Bev on my side as well.

I was sad for the cruise to end, but in order to still fit in any of my clothes, it was necessary. Dad and I rushed off the ship to make it to LAX in time for our flight. We chose the adventurous route and attempted stand-by, which worked out perfectly by some miracle. With no problems on our way to L.A., I was sure we’d encounter some difficulty on the way back. As we checked in I noticed some chaos going on behind the counter; the chaos amongst passengers at LAX is normal, but since the employees were in a tizzy I knew something must be up. The guy helping me check-in my bags informed me that there was some kind of mechanical problem with one of the flights and that people were getting moved around, which is not a good thing for people like us. It was at this moment I thought that maybe we should just find a hotel for the night and try first thing in the morning. We ran to the gate and were the last two stand-by passengers called up at the final second, which as I said was an absolute miracle. Once we made it to Houston there were no more worries because both of our flights had plenty of open seats. We stopped at Pappadeaux for one more drink and meal, as if we hadn’t eaten enough that week!

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