In 2007, my husband and I took my parents on a 5-day Caribbean cruise to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. By Carrie Crain (housewife extraordinaire)
My husband hated the idea of a cruise. His extreme dislike towards boats stemmed from the fact he got nasty seasick during a deep sea fishing adventure with the guys, puking into the ocean like a retard.
My parents had never been on a cruise. Mom was over-the-moon ecstatic. Macular-Degeneration robbed my mom’s vision when she was in her forties. She couldn’t drive anymore and stopped working. So, the idea of escaping and living it up on an ocean liner “karaoking” to the Oak Ridge Boys and playing Bingo meant she could taste a little bit of freedom -- a little bit of independence.
Dad’s idea of vacationing involved reclining in his coffee-stained Lazy Boy in front of the TV. He would have rather stayed convalescing in his man cave, watching the complete DVD collection of John Wayne movies or reading a Zane Grey western. (sorry Dad, it's true). The last time my dad was on a boat was his bass boat. No one in our family even fished. The pleasure cruiser never saw water, only concrete. It sat in the driveway and doubled as a shelter for stray cats. The boat ended up rotting and Dad eventually removed the vinyl seats and made a cushion for Mom’s riding lawn mower.
On January 20th, we departed from Galveston. We went on Royal Caribbean’s “Splendor of the Seas” cruise. Our journey took us to Cozumel and Costa Maya.
In Cozumel, Dad and hubby golfed at the Cozumel Country Club, which was an 18-hole championship golf course designed by Jack Nicklaus. Mom and I sailed on a 65-foot, state-of-the-art custom built Catamaran and snorkeled the Coral Reef of the Mexican Caribbean.
Then, we relaxed on a private beach, swinging on hammocks and swilling Coronas and sucking down Margaritas. Mom and I continued our journey at the Buena Vista Ranch where we saddled up on slower-than molasses horses and rode through the jungles of Cozumel. I spotted ginormous lizards perched in the trees. Mom couldn’t see them, so I just told her they were there. She had a great time.
In Costa Maya, we took a bumpy bus ride through the jungle to see the Chacchoben Mayan ruins. These ruins dated back to 360 A.D. We enjoyed complimentary beverages of hot soda and bug-infested sandwiches. I gave my sandwich to a starving dog.
Afterwards, we visited an authentic Mayan house, met a witch doctor and I asked for a voodoo curse to be put on someone. I chose this lady back home who had blocked the entrance to our neighborhood with her Mercedes one hot day for twenty-minutes while she yapped on her cell phone. We visited the Sacred Mayan Tree and learned of its legend, something to do with sap. We capped off the adventure with some serious shopping. We toured an open-air touristy center where I held a bird (see photo above). I bought Mom and (me) an alluring Tanzanite necklace. Dad and hubby bought cigars.
The 5-day Caribbean cruise netted me memories, a sunburn, and a shell with a live creature crawling inside. Upon my return home, my Jack Russell Terrier discovered the souvenir shell had a creature living in it. I eventually donated the shell to my local pet store where it lived happily "after ever" in a saltwater fish tank until the owner of the pet store got arrested for abandoning the store and leaving the animals without food or water for three days.
CARRIE CRAIN is a housewife extraordinaire who has bipolar. She is a soon-to-be-published author of a zany, adventurous children’s novella. www.carriecrain.com