My first time here was when I was single in 1993. A girl I’d met and I decided to try the "Scenic Gold Coast" bus tour. It turned out to be a drive through one of the ugliest areas I've ever seen. I kept hoping we'd come to the scenic part soon, but the bus just stopped at a “deluxe resort” (which was a dump), we each got a glass of shitty watery beer, and then got driven back.
In 2003 Mrs. Grumpy didn't believe me and insisted on going on the same tour, and hasn't questioned my judgment since (about that, anyway).
For you guys considering it, this is the "olympic swimming pool" at the “deluxe resort” that the bus stops at, where they give you a thimbleful of crappy beer and try to sell you timeshares. And you've paid $50 per person for the pleasure. This is not a joke.
It’s a funny thing about Mexico. This is an amazing country. Oil and other natural resources. Phenomenal beaches. Rain forests. A remarkable cultural history. A geographically excellent position. And because of irreparable corruption it remains a third world country. If they could cut corruption and develop a Japanese-like work ethic, Mexico would be a world power rivaling any other.
Mrs. Grumpy and I were in line to get breakfast today, and the omelette cook asked her if we'd be going ashore. She said, “No, I've been to Ensenada once, and that was enough”. He said, “So go back today to make it 3 times”.
Good thing this guy isn’t an accountant.
Today is the last day of the cruise. There are a handful of ways you are reminded of this. The disembarkation talk. The elevator sign having been gradually changed each day from "Maximum: 3000 lbs. or 18 people" on day 1 to "Maximum: 3000 lbs or 8 people” today.
I feel SO fat and bloated. I think I gained 40 pounds. Everywhere you walk on board someone is setting up a new counter of incredible looking food, and you decide you just want a taste. I think I ate 50,000 calories of “tastes” per day. I can barely reach my shoes to tie them.
And, as I noted before, you see lovelorn teenagers walking around, looking for any quiet area to make out. So you occasionally have an elevator door open to find them frantically untangling themselves, or sit down at a table and accidentally step on a pair under it.
The gift shop always has these "last day specials", which they push as if the ship is being scrapped in the morning. They’re somewhat comical, considering that tomorrow the ship will be taking on 3000 new suckers, uh, shoppers, just dying to buy overpriced T-shirts and stuffed animals. Mrs. Grumpy briefly glanced at a canvas beach bag, and immediately an employee came over to try and sell it. She was awesome. "This very good deal, ma'am. Regular price $29.95! But today, just for today, is marked down to $24.95! That half-off!!!"
Good thing this girl isn’t an accountant, either.
After another round of minigolf (with Marie hitting a pair of teenagers making out on a bench 2 decks below) I took her to the bar for some Diet Cokes. We arrived in time to hear 2 mechanics and a bartender arguing about a broken refrigerator. It was great, especially when the bartender said "all the refrigerators on this ship are absolute shit!" I hope the engines and watertight features are better.
The last night has brought the cruise to an appropriate end. Craig is sleeping in the bunk directly above me, and as I was typing he suddenly uttered some of the most dreaded words in parenting: "Dad, I think I'm going to..." followed by a waterfall of partially digested Cruiseship Lines foodstuffs. In the confines of our cabin it brought back college memories I'd tried to forget.
I'm glad we're going home. They may have to scrap the ship to get the smell out of our cabin.
So, from somewhere off Baja Calfornia: Merry Summer Vacation to all, and to all a good night.