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Cozumel

December 31st, 2010 No comments

Last port-of-call….COZUMEL, Mexico.  Larsens and Hansens rented a jeep and drove around the island and Matt and I did our own excursions this day.  I told Matt the only thing I wanted to do was swim with dolphins since he did that the year before without me.  The weather was nothing like the day before… It was very windy and we were not able to go parasailing as we planned.  However we were able to swim with the dolphins since they were in their own cove.  It was so exciting and I truly enjoyed it.  There were about a dozen people in our group and we had the main trainer with us, so more information was shared.  We were able to give a dolphin a handshake, hug, kiss, and belly ride.  After our dolphin experience we had lunch and did our last shopping at the port since we had some free time.

Dolphinaris Cozumel

Making friends in Cozumel

I love going on cruises and spending time with my family.  We are already thinking about our next cruise…maybe we will take the kids.

More photos of Cozumel here.  And video and photos of our whole cruise here.

Boy’s Cruise — Just another episode of the Matt and Ryan show

October 10th, 2009 1 comment

My best friend Ryan Sawyer graduated from law school this year and I knew I wanted to do something really nice for him (and me).  Thus, several factors led to the epic vacation that was our “Boy’s Cruise”:

  • I had extra vacation to use up thanks to our assignment in the U.K.
  • In January, Tia left me for a “girl’s cruise” with my mother and two sisters.
  • Mason was only a few months old and still nursing.
  • Ryan and I share a fascination with marine wildlife.
  • Ryan was graduating from law school.
  • Cheap cruises are available out of Houston.

Ryan flew into Houston (first class, thanks to my frequent flyer miles) on Saturday, September 5th.  On the morning of Sunday the 6th, Ryan participated in Mason’s baby blessing at church (along with Chris Larsen and McKay Hansen).  That afternoon we were in line to board the Carnival Conquest on our way to Jamaica, Grand Cayman, and Cozumel.

Below are some of the highlights of our 7-nights on the Caribbean seas:

Jamaica:

  • Dolphin Cove – Here we played, touched, rode, kissed, and swam with a dolphin!  They also offered the same experience with nurse sharks and stingrays!
  • Dunn River Falls – We hiked through uphill rapids on a beautiful river which empties into a white sand beach on the coast of Jamaica.

Grand Cayman:

  • Sea Turtle Farm – After an up close and educational tour of the facility’s breeding lagoons we were able to snorkel in the park’s artificial reef which contained many fish and turtles.  There was also a “predator” section containing sharks and barracuda who were partitioned from the snorkelers by a thick wall of glass.
  • Jet Ski’s to Stingray City – After a nice lunch at the Hard Rock, we rode jet ski’s out to Stingray City.  With a private guide, the three of us each had our own jet ski which we rode to a sandbar where stingrays have been gathering for decades.  They were very friendly and our guide helped us to hold and pet them.  He then took us snorkeling and located a large moray eel for us to see.

Cozumel:

  • Scuba Diving – As non-certified divers we had to take a 30 minute crash course and stick by our instructor the whole time.  The water was very warm and crystal clear. 
  • Jungle ATVs – A private tour by a self-proclaimed Mayan, we rode ATVs through the Mexican jungle.  We were covered with mud at the end of the tour, it was a blast.
  • Snorkeling – With yet another personal guide who showed us an octopus and large scary fish with big teeth.

We had just as much fun on the Boat:

  • Food – Giant buffets, 24 hr pizzerias, ice cream machines, fancy dining.  We probably averaged 6-7 meals a day.
  • Entertainment – Comedians, magicians, Broadway-type productions, game shows, etc.
  • Activities – Basketball, mini-golf, swimming, gym, spa, sauna, etc.
  • Massages – Yes, we did a couple’s massage, and it was worth every penny.
  • Dance Club – We spent several late, late, late nights on the dance floor.  Ryan’s abilities were unmatched and drew much attention.
  • Karaoke – Ryan dominated the karaoke scene and I did a classic rendition of Ice Ice Baby.
  • Sir Elton John – Winning a karaoke contest, Ryan was invited to perform in the final show of the cruise in a packed theater of fellow passengers.  They dressed him up in a white suit and had him memorize and perform Crocodile Rock, by Elton John.

The vacation was a blast from the moment we stepped on the boat and it stayed that way for 7 days straight.  I’ve never experienced anything like it.  The best part was being with Ryan again — and the hardest part was being away from my family.