Celebration Travel: 60th Birthday Cruise

I just returned home from a short cruise that docked in places I could have easily visited by getting in my car and driving up or down the coast for a few hours. But the point wasn’t the destination.  The point was to eat too much.  Oh… and celebrate with my mother while we bonded and remind her why I am her favorite kid. 

Personally, I don’t think that cruises are the best way to experience a destination. However, they can be a great way to escape and get off the grid, and have a whole lot of fun while doing so. Cruises vary widely in every way imaginable, and if you are thinking about taking one you should certainly speak with a professional (me!) about the type of experience you hope to have while on board, and how to get the most out of the destinations you stop at. 

Our first stop was to the far away exotic destination of Santa Barbara. I am a sucker for a stroll down Main St. but as luck would have it, the weather turned on us that day and we were greeted with rain and clouds and a whole lot of grey. Everyone knows that people from Southern California melt in the rain and become completely useless, so the ship was filled with people opting to stay on board and join the rousing game of Trivia, or read quietly in one of the many nooks to be found on board.  I went onshore and simply set up shop in a lovely coffee shop to do some work and take advantage of the free wifi.

During our next day at sea the sun made a glorious appearance, and even though the temperature never got above 70 degrees, everyone put on their bathing suits and took advantage of the sunshine.  The party was in full effect at the two main pools, but anyone opting for a quieter experience had a variety of choices to choose from. I found myself a nice spot to do some reading with virtually nobody around for most of the afternoon. Herein lies the beauty of a cruise ship: spend a couple of hours in peaceful serenity enjoying the beautiful day… then walk to another deck and turn down for what! {inside joke}

Our second destination was Ensenada, Mexico.  Now, seeing as how I just went to Mexico a month ago, there was literally nothing I needed to experience in this town. However, my mother and I decided to put our feet on the ground and go exploring in case there was a poncho we just had to have, or a silver bracelet calling our name. As luck would have it, it ended up being a guy with a whistle that called my mom’s name and she answered. Papa’s and Beer is not an establishment I seek out while in Mexico, but since she had never been I made an exception.  The video of her shenanigans shall remain in my care for bribing purposes.

Our time away was short but filled with memories and experiences I will certainly cherish.The laughter, dancing, reading, hot tubbing, tequila, overeating, meals with interesting strangers, Elton John covers, sunsets, morning walks around the ship, bad karaoke, eating dessert first, people watching, and everything in between. I appreciated it all and I am thankful for the experience.