Jun 27, 2010

Highlights Uno

I did actually have a really great time on this vacation. Here are the highlights:
  • Getting good mojitos at the bar and taking them back to our cabin, which had a balcony. The balcony was the best thing about the ship. Narrow, sure, but large enough for two chairs and a small table, and that was fantastic, for watching the docking and the waves, listening to the surf and wind, and enjoying the cool ocean breezes.
  • Room parties with family. We had a series of rooms side by side, so even with some opened bottles of wine and energetic conversation, we didn't disturb anyone. 
  • Lunch at La Bodeguita del Medio restaurant in Puerto Vallerta. We had done some silver shopping (since our group was mostly ladies) and we were hot and thirsty and tired. We passed a restaurant with a good live band in playing in front of an open window, two guitarists and a drummer playing Cuban music. However, we were looking for someplace to get out of the heat and the 'authenticity' of the place suggested that they didn't have AC. I was going to give it a pass but the waitress invited me to check out the upper floor. Upstairs, the patio was open on two sides, with a great view of the beach and the air moving nicely though, so I called everyone up. Mom had cautioned everyone about drinking water and ice in Mexico, so of course the first thing we all did was to immediately order a round of mojitos. Then we ordered some food. Best damn Cuban food I've ever had. Roast pork leg, fried plantains, moros y christos (black beans and rice), fried beef, it was incredible. The band came upstairs and started playing wonderful Cuban music for us, and the waiter danced with grandma and aunt Brenda, and I even took Saori out for a quick salsa spin.
  • I gambled for the first time on this ship. I took out $20 in chips from the blackjack tables and proceeded to lose it over the space of about twenty minutes with Saori and Tay. It was surprisingly fun. I was actually up $15 at one point. I can understand the attraction and thrill that gambling has, although given the speed at which my money slipped away, I don't think I will seek that thrill often.
  • In Mazatlan, I really enjoyed walking around the renovated old town, with the pastel stucco walls and shady, leafy cobblestone streets. 
  • Also a lot of fun in Mazatlan was running around in the little souped up golf cart taxis. Lots of fun. Zipping across the town in basically a golf cart at speeds around 40 miles an hour. The first ride, there were five of us, so we had to load up around the corner, out of the view of the nearby police, and Saori had to sit on my lap. That was one packed golf-cart.
  • Drinking Mexican beers at a cheap beachside resort bar in the "Zona Dorado" (Gold Zone, so called because the tourists flock there) of Mazatlan, eating tortilla chips wth fresh salsa, guacamole, and shrimp cerviche. Tay was kind of stuck there while David, Saori and I talked about architecture, art, and drawing, but at least he had a long island to keep him entertained. 

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