We all woke up this morning to a welcome and exciting view on the horizon! Can you see it? It's barely visible but you can see the coast of Mexico! I thought I would wake up super early, catch the sunrise and be the first on deck to see land. But apparently I can't wake up super early... and the entire ship had the same idea! :D
Lilly: Lissie look! It's our first view of a foreign country!
Lissie: Poppycock and baked enchiladas you know that's not true. We're both made in China so technically America is our first foreign country.
Lilly: You're splitting hairs Lissie. When do you think the boat will officially dock? It's already 7am. It's hard to believe we'll be able standing in Cozumel, Mexico in another hour!
Lissie: Yes... hmm.... very interesting...
Lilly: Why are you looking down Lissie?
Lissie: Oh you know... just in case...
Lilly: Stop planning deviousness! Or they won't let us into the country!
Lissie: How dare you madam! Do I seem like the type to plan devious things? With my delicate constitution?
Lissie: Ahoy matey! Hard to starboard!
Lilly: It's another cruise ship! They're also docked at Cozumel for the day like us!
Lissie: Prepare to attack first mate Lilly! The ship will be ours by sundown!
Lilly: We don't have time, our ship will be on it's way back by sundown. Anyway, it's time to disembark now. Come on!
(The process of exiting the ship is another long line again. When we first boarded the cruise ship in Galveston, we were each given a "ship card" which is sort of like an ID card that you can use as a credit card as well. To speed up the disembarking process, all the guests had to do was scan their "ship card" and they could exit. However, even with that, almost 3,000 people exiting 1-by-1 from two small doors is not a fast process.)
Lilly: Look how clear and blue the water is!
Lissie: It looks like a blueberry jolly rancher. Let's taste it!
Lilly: Don't Lissie! I'm 100% certain it tastes like salt. Just admire it... outside your stomach.
Lissie: But it can't be too deep. I can see the bottom. I bet there's a secret world down there.
Lilly: Remember what the cruise director said? The water only looks shallow because it's so clear. It's actually really deep, at least for dolls like us.
Lissie: Pah! Nothing is too deep except for Kafka and Tolsky!
Lissie: ALL THE COLORS! SO MANY COLORS!!!
Lilly: Cozumel is beautiful! I wish I could paint it but I don't know if there are enough colors to capture all the sights, smells, and voices in the air! And everyone looks so friendly and cheerful!
Lissie: What's there not to be cheerful about? We've had non stop rain but the one day we dock in Mexico is the one sunny day on this trip.
Lilly: Can we please visit some of the gift shops? There are so many local craftsman and craftswomen here and I want to see their work!
Lissie: Later Lilly! Right now we need to go blow our heads off on a jet boat!
When you arrive at Cozumel, there are several options the cruise ship offers and endorses as "On Shore Excursions", which is basically the activities on Cozumel they think will really interest and appeal to the passengers. These are a huge array of options that they hope can appeal to people with all interests, ranging from Mayan ruins for the history buff, swimming with dolphins for the animal lovers, zip lining/ATVs/*insert exciting dangerous activity* for the adventurous, so many various of snorkeling/scuba diving for the swimmer (Cozumel has the world's 2nd largest coral reef after Australia apparently, and they will teach you how to scuba in about an hour if you choose a scuba excursion), private beaches/island retreats for those who are looking to just get away from it all, and so much more. Originally I wanted to see the Mayan ruins because I'm a nerd and I like history... XD But my family decided to go a small, secluded island called Isla Pasion (Passion Island) by jet boat instead.
Lissie: YES!!! YES!!! BOUNCING ON THE WAVES AT 60 MPH??? YEEEESSSSS!!!!! DOING 360 SPINS AND GETTING SOAKED??? EVEN MORE YEEEEEEEEESSSSS!!!!
Lilly: But we won't be able to sit outside Lissie, the boat is moving too fast and it's dangerous. We could fall out!
Lissie: Pssssshhhh! Who needs to fall out when you can jump out?
Lilly: Oh look, they're storing all the bags in that secret compartment under the hood so it doesn't get blown away or wet.
Lissie: Don't put me there! Let me feel the wind on my face! The spray on my cheeks! Noooo!
(This boat near about did me in. The sun was out but the wind was blowing 5 ft waves and I felt every single one of them as we bounced our way to the island. And if that wasn't enough, the 360 spins pushed my organs into places of my body they had no place being. I started my fabulous Cozumel experience keeled over on the sand not sure if my left foot was attached to my left leg and my kidneys swapping places with my lungs. And for anyone who knows what the human anatomy is like, that's not good. XD )
When we arrived at Isla Pasion, there was a wonderful guide who helped me keep my balance and guided to me one of the many hammocks. She had me lay down in one of them and gave me a cup of coke with a little time to help. She told me she is 100% Mayan, and told me that an old traditional, Mayan cure for motion sickness is to smell the crushed flower of a lime. I'll have to try that next time! I felt better after napping for an hour and conveniently woke up in time for the buffet which consisted of some traditional Mexican and Mayan foods.
Lilly: Oh I'm so glad our Big Person is feeling better. Now we can enjoy all enjoy lunch and then go explore the island!
Lissie: I'm not, now we have to share all this food. But at least there's watermelon! In winter!
Lilly: Even though it doesn't feel like winter. I can't believe how warm today is.
Lissie: Don't you know? A sphere of warmth and sun always surrounds Cozumel. The cruise companies all join together to pay Mother Nature to maintain the sun. Now let's go back to the buffet for seconds.
Lilly: Everything looks so delicious! I can't decide between the fish or chicken, and between the two types of noodles. I'll definitely be getting rice though.
Lissie: Stop floundering and get it all! You're in Mexico! As long as you don't drink the water you can eat all you like!
Lissie: Guacamole! My favorite!
Lilly: I like the fruits the most. Especially the white pieces. The server told me it's called jicama fruit and it tastes like a mix between pears and apples.
Lissie: Ahhhh... You know what a big meal sets you up for?
Lilly: A big poo later?
Lissie: That too, but I was talking about a nap. Let's grab a spot!
Lilly: All the hammock beds are taken though.
Lissie: Oh we don't need them, just grab a towel! Come on!
Lissie: *whispers* Lilly? Lilly? Are you already asleep?
Lilly: ... mmhhmm... What is it?
Lissie: I can't fall asleep.
Lilly: ....I can... mhhmmm... Just close your eyes...
Lissie: But look, there's excitement and danger all around us. We have to go conquer them!
Lilly: Can we do it after I finish my nap?
Lissie: I guess I could just sit here. And watch. You know. People trying to get skin cancer. Nothing to it. Just some Big People lying in the sun. Yup. Thrilling.
Lissie: Or I could watch moderately drunk people throw water balloons at each other aimlessly!!! Look at that reach! I bet it doesn't say anywhere in our Big Person's textbooks alcohol gives you the power to rocket launch objects into the stratosphere!
Lissie: How did I miss those coconuts on the trees! I've never seen a coconut on an actual palm tree! I bet I could climb up there and get one. Hmm... but are they ripe? I thought they were supposed to be brown and hairy? These still look green and smoother than a newborn baby's butt. I guess the only way to find out is trial and error.
(They were not ready yet! And if you wanted one, a guide would climb up and get you one... for a price.)
Lissie: *sigh* And the water level is too low to go play volleyball with the mermaids too. I guess I'll have to wait for the tide to come up even higher... I wish Lilly would wake up already. Maybe she won't notice if I... *POKE*
Lilly: AH! Lissie! Why did you punch me in the side???
Lissie: Uh... Did I? I must have done it unconsciously you know... since it's so... um... relaxing here... But now that you're up, let's go explore Isla Pasion with some serious passion!
Since winter is usually an "off" season, there weren't quite as many tourists as there normally are on the island. The extra sun chairs are on their sides so they don't get buried in sand and end up chaffing some poor tanner's bottom. We were only allowed to go to specific, designated areas on the island, so even though I really wanted to walk all around and see what the shore line looks like, we all had to stay in the general area of the beach.
Lilly: The clouds are getting thicker and blocking the sun. Do you think it'll end up raining again today?
Lissie: That's why we have to do all our exciting, risky things now, just in case!
Lilly: Look at all the seaweed that the tide has washed up. You know we're basically holding whole ecosystems in our hands.
Lissie: Yeah, dead ecosystems.
Lilly: Not necessarily, because I think the tide is coming to take it back.
Lilly: I don't know how to say this... but I'm stuck. Why did we bury our legs so far in the sand?
Lissie: Because of the hurricane force winds. I refuse to be dragged down into the briny depths by the wind and tide.
Lilly: So... we're going to be here for a while?
Lilly: Well put on your sunglasses. Stay protected while staying stuck.
Lilly: Look Lissie! Maybe we'll be saved after all! It looks like those workers are coming by with a wheelbarrow and pitchfork to clear out the seaweed.
Lissie: They're just two small humans against the whole shoreline though.
Lilly: What do you think they do with the seaweed? I wonder if it can be recycled as fertilizer or if it's too salty for that.
Lissie: Forget the seaweed, the tide is getting higher! We're going to be swallowed along with the seaweed in a few minutes. Dig Lilly dig! We've got to dig ourselves out!
For people who choose to come on this excursion, the unlimited food and open bar were included in the price of the trip. There were bar stands and music all over the beach.
Lilly: Oh my goodness! I can't believe we managed to dig ourselves out before the sea took us! I'm exhausted Lissie.
Lissie: There was never anything fear! I was here the whole time. Anyway, let's rest on the bar swing for a bit before we do more.
Lilly: Oh no, there's more!? I don't think I can handle any more.
Lissie: You will after Julio gets you some liquid energy.
Lilly: Oh! Hi Julio! Just some water will be fine for me, thank you!
Lissie: Lift me straight to the skies Julio! I'll take ambrosia and nectar thank you senor!
(Julio was so curious and interested in Lissie and Lilly. I don't think he's used to having adult visitors to the island walking around taking doll photos instead of drinking and tanning. He wanted to pose with them and take a photo with them. I was touched that he thought they were so much fun and he enjoyed posing them and taking pictures with them. ^_^ Obviously you can tell they had a great time with him as well! :D)
Lilly: Thank you Julio, but I think the straw is too tall for me.
Lissie: No worries, we'll just cut it down to size!
Lilly: Oh Lissie, can't we just relax? That's what people come to this island to do you know.
Lissie: Pssst! Lilly, are you asleep?
Lilly: ...Lissie, not again... I was just about to fall asleep on this comfortable hammock.
Lissie: Enough relaxing on hammocks, let's get back to exploring and vanquishing foes!
Lilly: Foes? What foes?
Lissie: The ones attacking that hut! Charge!!!
Lilly: Wait Lissie! That's where they give massages!
Lissie: And what is more dangerous than heavenly bliss? Anyone who possesses the skills to remove tension with mere touch must have the most influential power in the world! And at dollar a minute too!
Lilly: I don't think this is our foe either.
Lissie: No, I just wanted to sit up here and see what it actually is. I thought it was stone, but apparently it's as plastic as the recent AG releases.
Lilly: I think it's just supposed to be a prop that looks culturally Mexican for tourists to take pictures on.
Lissie: Well, we climbed all the way here, we might as well take a picture as well.
Lissie: Huh, was this sign always here?
Lilly: Yes, we walked past it earlier remember? You might not have been looking at it because our Big Person was dizzy and nauseous when we first saw it.
Lissie: Huh. Well might as well take a photo with this as well. We are tourists after all. Pick a letter Lilly.
(Can you find Lissie and Lilly?)
Lilly: I'm here! I picked L for Lilly!
Lissie: There is no letter more suited for my dignified person than P! For PASSION!
Lilly: Look Lissie! What a lovely church!
Lissie: Seems rather... open?
Lilly: I think it's for people who want to have their weddings on this island. There'a banquet hall off to the side.
Lissie: Get married on this island? Before we've vanquished all the enemies here? No time to waste! Forward!
Lissie: There! You take the one on the left and I'll devour the one on the right!
Lilly: .... You mean the palm trees?
(Hahaha I'm sharing this photo just because I like the symmetry of the trees!)
Lissie: Finally! A foe we vanquished!
Lilly: Actually these plastic pineapple things were already lying here with holes in them.
Lissie: Ah, but if we stand in the hole, we seal the evil pineapple. Good work first mate Lilly!
Lissie: Now we can relax!
Lilly: But now it's time to go. The guide is rounding everyone up to get back to the jet boat already.
Lissie: What?! Where did our time go?
Lilly: Vanquishing plastic pineapples.
Lissie: Bathroom break! For the Big People at least. That's what an open bar can do to you.
Lilly: It's not so bad waiting for them. Look at them building the room for the men's bathroom. The framework looks like the framework for an American style home we're used to seeing, but the materials are different.
Lissie: The technology is different too. Though the man power is just as dedicated. That's what we lack Lilly, at L&L, manpower.
Lilly: We don't need manpower Lissie. We have dollpower, and that automatically gives us a head start because we don't need to build bathrooms period.
Lissie: But how else are we going to use up all the dried, dead palm fronds?
Lilly: They're bio gradable, and besides, you don't have to use them as roofing. I'm sure we can think of other uses for them.
Lissie: Ah! Witch brooms! Of the tropical variety!
Lissie: Our Big Person's out! Let's go back to the ship!
Lilly: I feel like we've forgotten something but I can't think what.
Lissie: You have another bumpy, 360 spin filled jet boat ride back to Cozumel to remember.
(It was so nice to walk around Isla Pasion and meet all the local workers. We did not leave any of our shoes behind, but brought a lot of wonderful memories with us.)
Lilly: It's our ship, the Triumph!
Lissie: Yup, can't really miss that nosediving ship tail on the butt. I can't believe we have to go back already! That's so unfair! There's still so much we haven't done it!
Lilly: There's no help for it, we only have 8 hours here, the boat leaves at 4pm.
Lissie: Well at least my fans are glad to see me again.
Lilly: How do you know they're waving at you?
Lissie: Who else would they wave to?
Lilly: I think you vanquished one too many foes today. Please leave your ego here, or else it'll sink the ship.
Lissie: But but but... it's duty free!
On returning to the ship, we were all exhausted and tired. After a proper hot shower, we dragged ourselves to dinner. Now I have a confession... I'm one of those people that like to take photos of their food so presenting... The Dinner Menu!
Mango Cream Soup! Cold, creamy, and refreshing with a small circle of mango jelly in the center! Delicious like a mango smoothie!
Chicken Alfredo Fettuccine! Creamy and fattening!
Pork with Jerk Sauce and Fried Plantain, mashed sweet potato, and fried vegetables! This was my first time trying jerk sauce. It's very flavorful and definitely added layers and layers to the flavor of the pork.
FISH! With sweet potato again! SO MUCH FOOD!
Halfway through dinner, right between my second and third entree, our servers suddenly disappeared and then reappeared dressed with these ruffly flouncy shirts. And then... Oh and then...
Lilly: This is so much fun! They don't dance super well but they're full of so much energy and fun!
Lissie: I want to jump on a table and shake too! Let me join them!
Lilly: You're not ruffly enough to join that amazing group. Just clap and cheer!
Lissie: But they're asking for people to join them! I can totally blend in!
Lilly: Hahaha! You'll never be able to blend in Lissie. You're not a chameleon, you're a komodo dragon.
Lissie: Hmmm... I'm too stuffed to understand if you're complimenting me or chastising me.
Lissie: The ceiling looks like the milky way... I think I ate too much again.
Lilly: It's not the food, the ceiling really does look like stars in the galaxy!
Lissie: Oh good, that means I can still eat 2 desserts.
Tiramisu! Classic, coffee, creamy, sweet, cocoa power = perfect!
Warm chocolate cake with ice cream! The secret inside the cake is filled with melted chocolate!
After dinner, I attempted to walk around the ship to work off the ah... multiple entrees and desserts. While exploring the different decks on the ship, I saw this jewelry seller selling in a way I'd yet to see jewelry being sold. She had the one long stand all rolled up like a ribbon on these rollers. You can pick the design of the strand you like the best, then tell the lady how many inches you want to buy. She prices it by the inch, from $2-$5 per inch. It's a really unique, but smart idea because this gives people the freedom to customize the length of bracelets, anklets, and necklaces.
Lissie: Gold! I love gold! Nothing says opulence like gold with precious gemstones.
Lilly: But the lady isn't selling precious gemstones. Besides, another lady is already looking at the gold.
Lissie: Urgh! You're a lucky lady! If I wasn't so weighed down with that tiramisu I would've been here before you even opened your eyes!
Lissie: Mr. Towel Bunny is back again tonight!
Lilly: He's in a different pose though! Look how relaxed and at ease he is! I want to be like that!
Lissie: You can! Just hop on!
Lilly: Mr. Towel Bunny is so soft! This is perfect after this busy day.
Lissie: We really did do some amazing stuff today right?
Lilly: We really did. I want to go back to Mexico again and spend more time. Maybe next time we can visit the Mayan ruins or swim with the dolphins.
Lissie: I want to go back and learn to snorkel. Take us home Mr. Towel Bunny!