Dec 27 2003

Elaine’s Birthday Cruise!

Published by at 3:55 pm under Uncategorized

Declan took Elaine on a Holland America Mexican Riviera Cruise for her birthday.

Our itinerary:

Our ship – the ms Ryndam in dock in San Diego as Nathan gets enthusiastic:

Elaine’s mon, Donna, came out to watch the kids and bid us bon voyage:

First stop was Cabo San Lucas:

This is along the marina, close to a newer, Americanized shopping mall:

View of the marina:

Yes, it’s a bad quality picture, but the wonderful margarita catches the light perfectly.
We repaid it by drinking it and many of it’s cousins.

Elaine was in shopper (and margarita) overload:

Here’s our little boat in the harbor over Elaine’s shoulder, behind the pelican (whose beak can hold more than its belly can):

The next day was Mazatlan. We didn’t really have a plan, which is what Carlos,
the local tour guide lurking at the bottom of the gangway was counting on.
We jumped into his van, and for $18 each we were shown the sites of Mazatlan.
And a few choice shopping areas that seemed to be paying him commision:

With MORE shopping:

And some sightseeing:

That night on the boat was the Desert Extravaganza!

There are a lot more, fattening pictures here.

Our last port of call was Puerto Vallarta, which is Spanish for “Land of the Walmart and Sams Club:”

Here’s a prettier view of PV:

We took a 7-8 hour snorkling and beach excursion this day. It was a blast! We boarded a large catamaran
and set off for the Marietas Islands at the mouth of the Banderas Bay.

The snorkeling was excellent! We could see for 40-50 feet and there were tons of fish.
Makes me wish I’d borrowed Tad’s underwater camera enclosure…

Oh yeah, they had margaritas on the boat too…

We snorkeled for about an hour. Next, we were shuttled off to a secluded beach for another hour or so:

Then we boated around the harbor and saw whales breaching, dolphins jumping, and mermaids merring. Well, 2/3.
I MUST get a camera with a proper lens for zoom shots. The whales were phenominal!

Elaine and I got cleaned up, checked in with the folks at home, and went out to grab some dinner in the town.
This was a fair quality, Americanized place called Carlos O’Briens.

Right after dinner, we wandered over and found a local place called Pipis and had a drink there.
It was packed with people singing and Mariachis. Very fun!

We had dinner most night on board. On a cruise, you are assigned a table and spend your
meals with the same folks all week. We met some wonderful people.

Here are Jake and Elaine (his Elaine…):

And the two Patties (mother and daughter):

The next 2 days were spent at sea, relaxing and enjoying the slow pace of a ship racing 700 miles north at 25 mph.

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