Cozumel, Day One (Aug. 4, 2011)

After working tons of overtime last month, Brad and I scheduled three days off, but we only had one day to plan the actual vacation. We hoped to find a last-minute deal on a flight to Puerto Rico or Costa Rica, anyplace that wouldn't require lots of travel time. No such luck. Desperate to see another country, we booked cheap tickets on a Carnival* four-day cruise to Cozumel. Cruises have never interested me (something about being trapped on a floating village with the People of Walmart), but we took a chance.**

So today we threw some things in a bag, drove to Mobile, Ala., and hopped on a 13-story boat. Initially mortified by the number of a) screaming children, b) heavily perfumed women, and c) passengers who went straight to the lunch buffet, I felt much better after Brad found the no-children-allowed Serenity Deck, where we spent the rest of the afternoon watching pelicans, gulls and terns chase us into the Gulf of Mexico.

The formal restaurant has assigned seating, generally ten to a table, so we hoped our dinner companions would be fun. They seem nice, but I don't think we'll be hanging out apart from meals. There's a biology teacher and her military boyfriend; her fellow A&P teacher (who graduated from Brad's high school alma mater***) and husband; a Neil Patrick Harris look-alike banker and his wife; and their friends, both teachers and apparently married, despite the fact that the husband was a raging queen****. As a card-carrying Friend of Dorothy, I was puzzled why he kept up such a ruse.

Dinner was delicious. Mine: fruit plate, pumpkin and yam pot pie, and a cheese course. Brad's: duck medallions on glass noodles, flank steak, and the same tasty, stinky cheese course. Will definitely go to the gym in the morning.

p.s. Towel animals make everything better. Tonight's was a walrus!

Brad's footnotes:
* Jenn didn't name the cruise line in her original post. We were on the Carnival Elation, if that means anything to anyone.
** I'd been on one before, about three years ago for my parents' 50th anniversary. I had a good time, but Jenn couldn't go and I was more than a little concerned about how she would like the experience, for the very reasons she mentioned. On the plus side, I knew that I'd have an even better time with her by my side.
*** Albeit four years later. We probably had friends in common, but there were so many conversation hogs at the table, that over the course of four nights, we never got to explore the possible shared history. C'est la vie -- or, as Mexicans might say, esta bien.
**** This is true. I knew it immediately, and I almost never pick up on this stuff. He was also probably the nicest person at our table. Ourselves included.

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