Cozumel & Daze at Sea!!!

Hey ya ladies & gents. I am sitting here writing after experiencing an earthquake today and currently chowing down on some cauliflower pizza. Just a typical day in the C-A. I’ve been in three quakes now, and they actually don’t freak me out much- I kinda like them. Is that weird?! I bet I’d feel differently if I was in one above a magnitude 4.0. Anywho, I am STOKED about the final installment of my my my my Mexicoma (Tim McGraw anyone?!)!!!! It was a dream- perfection, absolute paradise, and the only times that have rivaled this complete R & R were our honeymoon in Bora Bora & our time in Marco Island. 

If you missed the first two parts you can find Part One here and Part Two here.

On Monday April 2nd, we rolled up (floated up?) to Cozumel, Mexico!!!

Not a bad way to spend a Monday, eh?

Rach and I had breakfast in the morning on the Lido deck then stepped our feet onto la tierra hermosa!

img_2316-1

New hat or just the tail of the Carnival ship? You decide!

img_2315-1img_2317

Puerta Maya here we come!

img_2319

I have never planned an excursion before- all previous trips have been with my mom who would always plan them- so I wasn’t sure how easy it would be to figure it out.

Wellll, it was a breeze! It was super self-explanatory to find our port and everyone was helpful in pointing us in the right direction.

img_2521-1img_2322img_2323img_2324

We found our excursion director (who was the kindest human being- shout out Che-cho!), and we all headed to the van to embark on one of the greatest memories.

img_2320

The excursion we booked was an exclusive strip of beach, house with a private Chef, snorkeling tour, and the best guac & salsa of one’s existence. If you are planning a similar trip the name of the excursion was La Casa en La Playa. It was only about $95 dollars extra, and deciding this would be our one and only excursion, we jumped right on it! Lemme say, every. bit. worth. it.

It was only about 20 minutes from the ship (some excursions can be over an hour away). When we arrived, they greeted us with the freshest mango juice. It was nearly homogenous to the liquid gold I still dream about from the Dominican Republic. Gosh, this stuff was like drinking straight candy, and refreshing all the same.

img_2325

The views, the water, and the company were spectacular.

img_2326img_2343img_2345

(The orange smiley sticker was to denote which excursion you belonged to- just in case you’re wondering, ha!)

img_2344img_2351

There was even a massage table available if you desired!!!

img_2347img_2346

There were comfy beach chairs, hammocks, hammock chairs, and of course, shady palm trees.

The house itself (la casa part of la casa en la playa) was quite quaint.

Inside the house, a pool luxuriously tempted us for a dip when the beach proved too caliente (I hope I’m using that correctly- or is it calor? Uh oh, I could get myself in trouble with this attempt at Spanish!).

img_2348

The tour guide exclaimed, “Mi casa, es su casa!”, so of course we needed to explore.

img_2349img_2350

If you wished, you could sit in with the chefs while they cooked the food for a culinary class (but we chose to spend as much time as possible in the sun).

I had hands down the GREATEST margarita of all stinking time (and I’m not even a big marg fan, but when in Rome (Mexico)) & Rach ordered a scrumptious pina colada!

img_2352

Isn’t she cute? I went a bit cray with the portrait mode– but when in paradise, gotta catch paradise in high def, amiright?!

img_2353img_2357

Perfect little peach!

img_2375img_2379img_2378

Artsy? Basic? Basically artsy? Artistically basic? Basically basic…

facetune_16-04-2018-09-39-55

Bring on the chips & salsa- YUM! Ugh, that guac- it was out of this world!

img_2384-1img_2382

Thennnn they brought out our fooooood. They seated us inside at the cute little table pictured a few pics above.

I had a beyond palatable pepper stuffed with a whitefish. Mmmmm it was delish!

img_2389

Rach had a chicken dish that was just oh so pretty!

img_2390img_2391

They took groups out snorkeling in two groups. Rach wasn’t sure how it would be trying to snorkel with being on crutches. But the guides (THE SWEEETEST guides in the world) graciously took us on a private tour. He pushed Rach around on a little buoy board and it was a forty-five minutes we will never forget!

img_2393

We held a starfish, a sea urchin, & a sea spider and saw an array of native aquatic life.

img_2394img_2395img_2397

Needless to say, we had an unforgettable time with so. many. laughs (we seriously couldn’t get a serious picture we were laughing so hard at this point). We made a lot of friends on our trip too, some of which we still stay in contact with!

img_2387

Before getting back on the boat, we decided to get a picture outside of Three Amigos!

img_2396

We couldn’t resist…. it was reminiscent of our 2009 photo shoot at Cedar Point amusement park. LOL

rach and I 2009.jpg

When we returned to our room from the excursion we had the cutest little… monkey? Bear? Koala?  Hahha! What’s your guess?

img_2398

We decided to take a couple siestas after the eventful day. I then went for a nice thirteen miler while reading, then we headed to la cena!

This dinner was probably one of our least favorites, but we did have some delectable braised rabbit (definitely not vegetarian approved, oh well), and INCREDIBLE desserts!

img_2400

Whatever that marshmellowy stuff was, I was alll about it.

img_2401

This little son of a gun was probably our all time fave dessert of the cruise. Gosh, it was too yummy! It was some type of chocolate cake in a creamy chocolate sauce with a dollop of fudge & a light wafer atop.

img_2402

We went to bed early that night since there wasn’t too much going on, and then got up early on April 3rd for a relaxing day aboard!

I went for a run per usual while Rach snagged some lounge chairs for the day. I quickly grabbed my favorite breakfast of coffee, oatmeal, grapefruit, yogurt, and a few baked goods for good measure, because I didn’t wanna starve ya know? LOL. I don’t have a picture, but one of our FAVORITE baked goodies on the cruise buffet were their chocolate muffins. Mmmm mmm!

img_2482img_2484

This day we pulled up to Yucatan (Progreso) Mexico. We both decided NOTHING could top the day before and both were in the mood to just lounge and relax on the boat. From the people that got off the boat we heard we didn’t miss out on much. I think it’s a port that people usually are pretty disappointed with, so we were happy with our decision.

img_2483

We soaked up every second- reading, eating the most refreshing strawberry frozen yogurt, and basking lethargically in the hot calming sun.

img_2486

Then it was time to get ready for dinner yet again!

img_2489img_2488

Rach taught me how to play BlackJack in the onboard casino and I won $20 overall! I quit while I was ahead of course- (or pulled a “Jill”. My mom has only been in the Casino once ever, played one game, won, and has never played since.)

Also, something I love about the ship is you can carry around your drinks wherever. This is so nice because we would typically get a glass of wine before the evening show and sip it through the evening and then maybe get one more at dinner. It was so nice that you didn’t have to rush, and you could just take your glass with you to the shows for the evening!

img_2490

We killed a bit more time before dinner. Also, when snapchat fails you……

All kindsa yums met us this evening! This butternut squash soup was perfectly cozy and warm in the cool dining room.

img_2491

Rach ordered this seafood pasta dish that she let me try and I then had wished I ordered- yum yum!

img_2493

Rach also decided to try the Escargot. Lemme be the first to warn you: STAY CLEAR. The last cruise, my mom and I both got very sick after eating this, and the exact same thing happened to Rachel later in the evening (She bounced back quick), but we are convinced that there is something about this dish that doesn’t agree with most!

img_2552

Anywho now that I’ve destroyed all your appetites, I will continue with the food, baha!— The quinoa stuffed tomato & INDIAN FOOD was just insanely good! I think a cruise was the first place I ever tried Indian food. Gosh, it was amazing. I ate nearly every bite.

img_2494img_2492

And cheesecake for dessert 😉

img_2496

And the last few nights of the cruise, the staff performs! My videography skills are surely something….

We went to a couple comedy shows, and then somehow, someway, I had worked up an appetite and got some pizza to end the evening from Pirate’s Pizza. My favorite pizza was the Fungi pizza on the trip. The more ‘shrooms the better!

img_2495

In the morning of April 4th, I decided to run on the outdoor track atop the boat! I witnessed a gorgeous sunrise.

img_2497

We spent the day repeating the day before- reading, lounging, and soaking up the sun! I read in Colossians a bit- nothing better than the Beautiful sun, Bible & ya best friend right next to you. My iPad wasn’t charged, so I started diving in a bit more into the Book Thief. It was all fun and games……..

img_2498img_2499

….Until the clouds rolled in, the rain rolled in, and some SERIOUS wind rolled in.. I was scared Rach was gonna blow right off the boat.

facetune_16-04-2018-09-04-19

After things cleared up, we hit back to the lounge chairs (even though we had to layer up a bit!). Rach decided for the last day, she would order one of the cruises specialty drinks- in a pineapple!

Dawwww, how dang cute.

img_2503img_2502img_2504

When returning to our room we had a nice little heart <3

img_2501

Before heading to the last and final show (which was a NOLA show that blew our socks off- SOOOOOO GOOOD), we tried to get a picture out by the pool before dinner but the wind was still in effect!

img_2514

This night was my favoritedinner of the entire week!

Rach had their caprese salad that had balsamic beads rather than dressing (I didn’t even know those existed?!??!)

img_2506

I sampled the frog legs. I savored every bit. I have never had frog legs before, but they were fantastic. I loved the lemony flavor with the savoriness. It reminded me a lot of the Spanish octopus I had in Marco and have been trying to hunt down ever since!

img_2505

I can’t remember what soup this was, but I do remember telling Rachel it was some of the mouthwatering soup I have ever had. It was creamy, yet light with absolutely magnificent flavor.

img_2507

This little gem below was probably my favorite dish of the entire trip (Although the Indian was a close second). It was a butternut squash/mixed spice pot pie. Gosh, I neeeed this in my life everyday allll day.

img_2510

I ordered two entrees this night….. no judging!…. I also LOVED this shrimp dish, an inspired NOLA entree with cajun spices.

img_2508

Rach tried their ribeye!

img_2509

Hands down, this was the top meal. I needed an extra couple stomachs to eat it all, but good thing I’d been training it to stretch throughout the week, lol. They definitely saved the best for last!

I hate when they sing this song 🙁 It’s their finale show, bidding us a farewell 🙁

Time for Punchliner!

img_2511-1

In between shows I decided to get my last dose of fungi pizza. (I really did a number on the food that day!).

img_2512-1

^ Don’t mind the fact that one of my nails fell off. Bahah.

In the morning of April 5th it was time to debark 🙁 I woke up super early (around 5:30 am) to get a run in on the track and soak up the sunrise over the NOLA canal.

It was worth it! So much beauty!

img_2516img_2111img_2112

We had our last big lido deck breakfast, we enjoyed our last favorite chocolate muffin (that we stilllllll say we crave), oatmeal, and juices before going back to reality. I’ll share our airport trip in the next post.

xo <3

mack marie signature

Advertisements

Concerts, crazy food, and clichés

While recapping past trips is a time of joyous reflection, recaps from the present are way easier! I recapped the beginning of this past weekend in my Santa Cruz post. The rest of this weekend carried on with the same energy and zeal as the first half. Sunday night we geared up for the Sean Mendes concert. This is one of the girls’ favorite artists, and it worked out great that we were with them this weekend to take them to the show. With the show being at 7:30 in San Jose, we decided to try to find somewhere to eat dinner in that area. DJ put me on find-a-restaurant duty. I had way too much fun scouring Zomato and TV food maps for a one-of-a-kind place. Most people know of Zomato which provides ratings, easy filters to choose what types of food you are in the mood for, and menu options, while TV food maps tends to be less well known. This handy little app has all the restaurants that have been on TV shows like Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, Unique Eats, Cupcake wars, etc. It also has a road trip option that we constantly checked when we did our road trip cross country. No surprise, but the number of featured eateries in the Bay area are endless. In San Jose, I narrowed in on one pretty quickly. This little mexican restaurant named Mezcal is known for it’s Oaxacan regional cuisine.

IMG_7386

They were featured on Bizarre Foods America- for what you ask? Well this post would be no fun without a little suspense! I made sure there were normal things on the menu that the girls would like too and booked us a table for 5:30. I told the girls that we were going to hide what the “Surprise dish” entailed until it was placed on the table. They were dying to know. They swore they were going to try it no-matter-what. When the waitress came up to greet us she asked if we had been there before. I stupidly said, “No, but we found you on TV Food Maps!”. She responded, “Oh for our _____” and said the item. DJ and I both said the booming, slow motion, “Noooooo!”. And the girls shrieked in realization of what this surprise item consisted of. We ordered and waited patiently for this dish to arrive. In the meantime, one girl knocked over her water and the other lost a tooth. I am beginning to get a glimpse into motherhood (a VERY EASY taste) by seeing the true inability to predict the next moment in time. All our food came at once including a salmon with roasted veggies for the girls to split, scallop ceviche and tacos pastor for DJ, and a prawn salad with avocado and mango for myself.

 

Now the moment of truth…

These delicacies are called chapulines. They are actually grasshoppers and not too bad! I don’t know if I would order them again but we had to at least try them! Also I am not sure where insects fall in the pesca diet?! The girls were not too keen on participating in the taste test 😜.

IMG_7503IMG_7505

IMG_7508
This was the spiciest, and best, salsa I have ever had

After making sure the tooth was safe and sound in a paper towel resting in the depths of my purse, and laughing about the hilarity of eating grasshoppers for dinner, we headed to the concert! It was in San Jose’s event center just a quick walk from where we were. Talk about estrogen overload. Not only did the massive number of preteen and teenage girls flash me back to the awkwardness of middle school, but my ear drums took a beating. The concert opener was James TW from London. I was astounded by his talent. Then SM took the stage and the crowd went wild. While DJ sat and tried his best to remain obscured, I had a ball getting into the music with the girls. They seemed to have an absolute blast and that was all that mattered.

We got home super late and hit the hay. The next day was pretty chill. We slept in, I had a beautiful run in the balmy sun, and then we all had fruits and veggies with hummus for lunch.

IMG_7502

For dinner we took the girls to The Counter. I mentioned this scruptious little chain in my New York post if you want to skim the full review. I love it because it has something for absolutely everyone; from the vegan to the carnivore. I ordered their vegan burger with smoked gouda and all the fixins. The girls had basic burgers with ketchup and mustard and DJ ordered the 1/3 lb. burger with a fried egg. Everyone loved their meals and we even had some milkshakes to boot. The girls loved that they could create their own milkshakes and burgers. The milkshakes were runnier than normal which was a bit disappointing as we all love dipping our fries in them, but I think the restaurant was having an off-day. It seemed that things kept going wrong for the staff (like trays dropping, ornery customers, and the general vibe). I know from working in the industry that it’s best to just give them the benefit of the doubt. We also ordered some regular and sweet potato fries. I am convinced that these are the best potato fries I have ever had. IMG_7507

After dinner we had a slumber party at our new place. The girls made themselves right at home in “their room”, which made me very happy. We decided to watch a movie and finally settled on a Walk to Remember. I popped some popcorn and excitedly awaited the start of one of my favorite childhood classics. As it played, I slowly began to watch the film from a whole new perspective. I did not realize how dated that movie had become! I did not realize the complete cheesy, sappy, cliché plot this entire movie was built upon! They were sweet about it though and I think generally enjoyed it.

Now, if you know me you know what Monday means….. BACHELORETTE. Oh I hate to admit it, but yes, I am one of those. So to all my friends out there- no spoilers! My in-laws fly back to San-Fran later today, so we will be watching it Wednesday!

Wishing you many opportunities to try Chapulines,

xo <3

Mack