Thad and I (with a little bit of help from some willing and wonderful grandparents) took a three day cruise to Ensenada, Mexico and back as an early 5 year anniversary getaway. I wasn't really worried about the kids because they adore their grandparents and I knew that they'd be fine. That said I had been prepping them for us leaving telling them that they were going to Grandma's and that she was picking them up and when she pulled up Nate when sprinting to her car and turned back to wave and said "bye-bye!" and Sammy buckled himself and the two backpacks into the car without being asked. LOL. I knew that they'd eventually miss me...
Our friend Ed drove us to the Long Beach port and Sammy came along to see the ships and trains while Nate went with Grandma since it was nap time. We accidentally went to the San Pedro port first (oops) but luckily it was close via bridge to the LB port! We got there in time to eat lunch and have tons of time before the ship sailed to walk around and get to know the ship a bit.
The first full day, Saturday, we docked early in the morning in Ensenada, and had time to play there until about 6 pm. Thad and I had gone to sleep early the night before and when I woke up at 5 or so in the morning I needed to eat (or get sick) and we found out that the pizza place was open 24 hours a day so we got fresh pizza (since breakfast didn't start till 7!!) It was definitely some of the best pizza that I'd ever had! Yum-o! After that we took a nap and then had some fruit and hot chocolate before heading to Ensenada around 9:30 am.
We took a shuttle out to the blowhole, La Bufadora, which is about 20 miles outside of Ensenada. It was only $15 per person and well worth it! It was a full moon and rainy the night before so the tide was high and the blowhole was great! It was blowing water up about every 30 seconds or so and anywhere from 20 to 80 feet in the air! The only other blowhole in the world is in Hawaii so it was kind of fun to be there. After watching the blowhole for 10 minutes or so and getting some great pictures of it and some beautiful rainbows we headed to the next best thing about being out by La Bufadora-the shopping!! Even the locals shop here because in town the prices are higher because of the proximity to the cruise dock. We got a few more things that we anticipated but I think that we got good deals. I got a pair of silver earrings (bargained down from $50 or so to $20), a big soft Mexican blanket (down from $35 to $12 --woo hooo!), 2 spiderman capes (these were the hardest to bargain for from $8 down to $4!), a buffalo leather wallet (from $45 or something CRAZY like that down to $15), a leather belt (from $25 to $10), two kids shirts (from $5 to $3 a piece), some fresh churros and some delicious, fresh tacos from a stand that we were passing and that I couldn't pass up--fresh made tortillas and all for $1 a piece! We got back to the ship $100 poorer, full to the brim but happy that we had fun and had bargained our hearts out!
That day we took a nap and I read a bit of Inkspell before heading out for a snack, a walk around the ship, watched Bolt and then We had a bad experience with "open dining" and after waiting 45 minutes got changed back to traditional dining (they had changed us without asking). Later that night we went to a show and then passed out watching the ship channel...
We got up early Easter morning and had a nice breakfast and then lazied around all day...watched movies, walked around the ship, enjoyed the sun, and even did some dolphin and seal watching (I spotted them first and everyone came running--woo hoo--there must have been 100 of them!) and it was pretty neat. We tried to get pictures but it is really hard to get good pictures of dolphins playing and jumping in the water! We had a nice dinner, dressed up for formal pictures, and enjoyed our last kid-free night walking around the ship and enjoying the beautiful views and nice cool breeze. We fell asleep watching High School Musical 3 (woo hooo--there were soo many channels to choose from ;) ) later that night.
We got up early the next morning tried to eat pizza but that was closed so we ate some fruit and hot breakfast when they opened up. Then we went back to pack the few final things and then relaxed till it was time to debark the ship. We got a little talkin' to by the customs agent since we didn't have our passports yet (you don't HAVE to have them for Mexico until July but they are pushing it now) and we only had our Driver's Licenses which the cruise line said was okay but the customs guy wasn't too happy with. This was one time that I was glad for racial profiling since he lectured us and then let us go.
It was a fun trip but I'm glad that we didn't take the boys. I would NOT have been able to relax with an 18 month old and probably not even the 3 1/2 year old on a moving vessel. Too many places to lose them, too many people, and just not fun for them. It was nice from time to time to see some cute kids on the ship but I was glad that they were at home playing and having a blast without us. Thanks Mom and Dad for letting us escape on this early 5th anniversary cruise!!!
If you're still crazy enough to see more pictures you can look here on Facebook to see about 30 or on SmugMug to see the rest!