Jailhouse Rock, Jamaica Style

 

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I know we have been absent for awhile.  Things are crazy at my house.  We have a remodel going on in kitchen and bathrooms, my husband is going through chemo for the second time, the free cruise offers are rolling in, Marie and I going to Louisiana and Mississippi casinos, and just life in general.  I am going to try to shed some light on how crazy things have been as I sit and watch the news networks.  Notice I said networks, plural.  Just trying to be Switzerland because I am not ready to commit.

On June 10 my contractor started demolition and my husband and I began our journey to try all of the restaurants in Bryan/College Station.  Sounds like more fun than it was, but we ate out about every other day.  I have always wanted an outdoor kitchen and I finally had one.  We moved our refrigerator and microwave to the patio and plugged them in so we could warm up leftovers and frozen dinners.  On June 12 my daughter-in-law Ginger and granddaughter Raegan and I boarded the Carnival Breeze to Jamaica, Grand Cayman, and Cozumel.  This was Ginger’s 40th birthday cruise.  Her birthday is not until September 30 but because she teaches school we had to schedule during summer break and we couldn’t go off and leave Raegan.  Her brother Tanner had baseball tournaments scheduled and he wanted to stay behind with his dad.  Plus we needed a girls’ trip.

So off we went, armed with Dramamine, mosquito spray, and sunscreen.  The weather in Galveston was overcast, hot and humid.  As we stood out on the Lido deck waiting to sail, Ginger was talking to a couple from West Columbia, Texas and learned that they were neighbors of her cousin.  Then later in the cruise she saw a little boy who was in her class in Floresville.  I told Ginger that she would probably run into either people she knows or people who know someone she knows.

Raegan is 10 and the first day she was a little overwhelmed by the crowd of people crammed into the tiny pools and decided not to go swimming yet.  We suggested Camp Ocean but she was undecided on it.  We had a while to wait to go to dinner but after muster and exploring the ship, we decided to freshen up and make our way to the dining room.  This was Ginger’s and Raegan’s first cruise so it took some time getting adjusted.  Marie and I would have gone to the casino when it opened or found a place to sit and order a drink and watch people.

Finally it was time for dinner.  We were led to our table in the Blush restaurant.  It was a table for nine and no one was seated there.  I was afraid it wasn’t going to be much fun with just three of us at such a large table.  I questioned the waiter about it, but he said to wait a few minutes.  Sure enough a family of three sat down.  It was a very lucky thing because they had a daughter named Gigi who was almost 10 and she and Raegan hit it off immediately.  Debbie, Tom and Gigi were from Round Rock, Texas which is about 30 minutes north of San Antonio.

It was so cute listening to their conversation.  Gigi told Raegan she loves horses and Raegan said she did too.  Then Raegan said her favorite color was blue and Gigi said hers was too.  Gigi told Raegan she loves Camp Ocean and that Raegan needed to go.  The girls had a blast together and Debbie and Tom were so nice and each night dinner was very pleasant.  The girls went to Camp Ocean on sea days and loved it.  They were really cute together.

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Our first day on land was Jamaica.  Ginger and Raegan wanted to snorkel and I just wanted to chill.  We took the bus to the beach and everyone got to do what they wanted to do.  They found a lot of shells, I found a lot of cocktails, we had bar food on the beach and it was a lovely day.  This was my first time to get off the boat in Jamaica and I really enjoyed it.  Instead of taking the bus back, we decided to take a taxi.  Really, I decided and it was a big mistake.  Our driver first noticed I was limping, which I often do, and offered to get me some botanicals.  I told him thanks anyway but no thanks.  He said he had some really tasty brownies in the back seat, but I again said no thanks.  He mentioned Jamaica has really good coffee and I said that sounded good.  He offered to get me a cup so I took him up on it not knowing what it involved.  He whipped the taxi across all the lanes of traffic and parked on the sidewalk in front of a store on the opposite side of the road.  The clerk came out and went back in to get me a cup of coffee and as we were waiting, a cop bicycled over with his ticket book.  The driver told the cop that I was drunk and he had to get me a cup of coffee.  I wasn’t drunk but I thought it might be best just to be quiet and let him handle it.  I turned around to look at Ginger and Raegan and their eyes were huge.  Then all I could do was laugh and say not to worry.  I think they were more afraid we would be late getting back on the ship.  Well, we got back on time, didn’t get arrested and the driver got a $50 ticket for parking on the sidewalk.

The next day was Grand Cayman and since Ginger had been there before, I figured she and Raegan would be fine without me.  They didn’t have much luck snorkeling because the water was cloudy close to the shore.  I enjoyed a day resting. Day three on land was Cozumel.  I got off the boat because I adore Mexico and wanted to do some shopping and get some good Mexican Food.  There is a fabulous restaurant there called Pancho’s Backyard.  The food is exceptional and service is great.  We made a few purchases.  I bought two bottles of Esperanto Tequila which is my favorite and I can’t find it in Texas.  It is so smooth and doesn’t have a charcoal taste like a lot of other tequilas.  We also bought some Amoxicillin to have at home.

The next two days were cruising days to get back home.  Time passed so fast but everything about it was enjoyable.  We ate at Cucino del Capitano Italian restaurant twice and it was excellent as usual.  We had several Guy’s Burger Joint hamburgers, more than several Pizza Pirate pizzas (yum) and made a few passes at the buffet, oh and room service.  I know I haven’t talked about gambling because it wasn’t anything to brag about.  I mostly played at night when the girls were busy with other stuff.  It was hit and miss, miss mostly.  But all in all and I think Ginger and Raegan would agree with me, it was a great trip, one we may have to make a tradition.

 

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