And what a great day to write about it, too!
It's Thanksgiving! Now I am not one to celebrate any doctrine or tradition... as I feel like we should be thankful everyday! But, I also understand that some people only get this time of year to travel to be with their families... so it's all good! Let the PEACE that surpasses all understanding settle in!
First of all, I must say how much I appreciate GOD putting it within Sharon's heart to ask me to go with her... She pays for everything, beings that I live in poverty, I could never afford to do anything that she takes me with her to do, all the places she has taken me to, Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, Mississippi, Arkansas Florida, Louisiana, Alabama! She is my personal Angel, because there are many people who would love to go with her, who could and would pay their way... but she chooses me! Praise GOD! She tells me that I am her favorite traveling companion! I am so grateful for this! I have known Sharon for many years... about 25. We have always been good friends. Even though we didn't stay in close contact when she moved across town with her husband, but she did move back over on this side of town a few years ago. She is about 10 years older than I am and she is the one who got me hired with Mary back in 1988, or about that time. I walked in the place and she said I made her think of Rebecca of Sunny Brook Farms! HAHAHA... Those were the days... But about a year ago, her husband passed away. And they had loved to travel, so this was not her first cruise. But it was mine! And I know that GOD will always bless Sharon for her kindness and generosity... she is one in a million and she is the sister that I never had. Oh sure I have a few blood sisters... but none like Sharon. We have truly, a sisterhood of love, that GOD has blessed us with! Even when others have turned their back on me and treat me the way they would never want to be treated... Sharon has always had my back!
And she is my soul sister according to our Lord!
Praise GOD for Sharon... she has been a GOD send!
So, she surprised me with her desire to go to the Caribbean...
Now, I have only been out of the country one time before, and that was when I was 12 and I went with my mother and stepfather to Canada. It was a great place! But while my mother and I were sight seeing, my stepfather got drunk in a bar and said "fuck the Queen" and he got his ass beat out of the bar and we left right away... and that is the extent of my going out of the country... until November 16th, 2015!
That was the Monday that we arrived to the ship, this was an awesome day... a great adventure for me... Sharon is always full of surprises! HAHAHA ... I love it!
When I was a very young child I remember learning in school about the Mayan Indians... and I have always been fascinated by them. Always wanting to go see the Mayan Ruins! why? I don't know... Maybe their blood runs deep somewhere within my own mixed blood... I know that I am a mutt... part French, part Scotch/Irish and 2 different types of native American... and I can honestly believe that maybe hundreds of years ago when the Spaniards came and mixed with the Mayans and created American Indians... that my blood was there... with them. This is not documented as far as I know. I am just going by my gut feelings. And for some reason I felt a connection with the Mayans. So when Sharon told me we were going to explore the Mayan ruins, I knew it was GOD within her, blessing my soul!
But of course, now I am getting ahead of myself...
Monday was a day of wonderment for me... when we pulled up to the dock, they take the luggage out and scan it and take it to our room. And we had to go park in a parking lot and got a shuttle back to the ship! When we got inside they check passports and drivers licences and birth certificates. Making our way through the line, we finally got on board! WOW... what a majestic place... it was like walking into heaven... we found our rooms and giggled like 'besties' who had been blessed by GOD... and went out to explore the ship... the only bad thing was, I am so sensitive, I could feel people thinking we were lesbians... which we are not... and that's what makes it worse for me. Sharon doesn't care... she is A-sexual... has no desire for sex. And me... well I can live without it! For one, homosexuality is against my religion... and... two, I am very much into men!
But that didn't stop me from totally enjoying everything I could and wanted to!
Monday started with a party on the deck... it was GREAT... the music and the dancing... the smile was on my face instantly! Seeing PEOPLE together... sharing and having a great time really tripped my trigger... it gave me a whole new sense of respect for THE GOOD PEOPLE! I was so happy to see everyone having a good time! And when the MC was talking, he did remind all of us to leave the attitude behind... and all just have a good time!
So, Monday we roamed the ship... from front to back, we went around and around... loving the music and the fresh air! While we were walking around, 2 men asked us to play fooseball... but we politely said "no" ... but it was nice to be invited to play!
There was so much excitement in my soul!
The wind whipping my hair was like electric...
The awesomeness of GOD and HIS creation was evident! The color of the water, a sapphire blue and the spray off of it, reflects the blue in the sky! The feel of it was grand, the feel of it was great! The room was clean and welcoming... the cabin boy a jewel all on his own! He would be there to support and help us the whole way through and making us feel like part of the Carnival Family!
There was so much food on board... we never even ate at all the different places... the buffet was a marvel to behold with so much healthy food and I did eat well... I had Eggs Benedict and ice cream everyday and a great salad every night! And on 3 of those days the eggs Benedict had salmon on them!!! Oh yes it did!!! Even though I had eggs and ice cream everyday it was such a small part of the things I ate... I never gained an ounce!
Tuesday was very similar to Monday... this was so great to me!!! You wake up at your leisure... and get dressed and leave the cabin to go eat breakfast and whatever you want to do that day... and when you get back, your bed has been made and new towels set in and any dishes and trash taken out!
There was so much to do on board... but we didn't want to do it all... we didn't go gambling and we didn't hang out in any of the bars... but we went to the Theater and Comedy Club every day, except on Thursday... and I will get to that a little later... lol... the only thing different about Tuesday at sea was that Sharon went in to Guest Services to buy us excursions to the Mayan ruins... 2 days worth and they were not short ones either... it was all day... well until 4PM... that was when we had to be back on the ship! It was hard to go to sleep Tuesday night because I was so excited about Wednesday! We had two twin beds, so I could wiggle my foot as hard as I needed to!
Wednesday was the greatest day of all! If ya can even say one was better than the other... they were all so great! Its hard for me to realize that some people make this 'cruising bit' a habit and do it so often that their kids just take it for granted that they have the posh life! Me, I was amazed and in awe of everything! I think even our tour guides could see the excitement in my eyes! Wednesday we got off of the ship in Progreso, Mexico! HAHAHA I almost wrote New Mexico at first... I didn't even snap to the fact I was in the original, authentic Mexico! The Mexico my Great Aunt also loved! And I now can see with my own eyes why she loved it so much! I want to talk a bit about my Great Aunt as she was so great a person! She was a writer, but I never knew it growing up. I mean I never knew what that meant while growing up! She never had any children... I often wondered why GOD never blessed her with children... and I think maybe that HE knew that she could be better blessed as a writer if she had a life of peace and quiet with no messes to have to clean up, or have to chase after little people who love to argue with all the big people! HAHAHA... I think I get it now! Well, she did have a great writing career. She was Camilla Campbell. Best known for her 'Star Mountain', that was used in schools to teach about the old Mexican Legends. I remember reading her books as a child, I was always fascinated with this old country! Which was probably why The Lord blessed me with this trip to the real Mexico!
This adventure was the greatest to me because Progreso is not the big tourist place like Cozumel. Progreso is this little place where the Mayans still live today! Our Tour guides were Jose and Shibata and Jose Louis was or driver! Such GREAT MEN! It was these men who made the whole day as memorable as it was! I will never forget this day! I will never forget these men who were funny and happy and helpful and very informative of the natives! They were all good looking men... their smiles were enchanting! I couldn't help but fall in love with them and all of their people!
I hope that some day I can go back to Progreso!
The day was great from the very start! We got very lucky to have the front row of seats in the tour bus, I caught every word that Jose and Shibata said! And the ruins were all that we had hoped for... the air was clean and clear and the grasses swayed in the breeze, the ruins were strong and stately, I got good vibes... I wonder if the people way back when, ever pondered on the people of the future coming to their home, remembering them? I for one love them... the sights I saw were of a great and loving people... having fun and having babies and knowing there was something greater than them... they were just trying to appease the gods... when sending a 'messenger' to them, through human sacrifice... they try to soften these words by saying it was a 'messenger', not a human sacrifice. And I appreciate their words but when their remains were found with their hands tied... me thinks it was not a willing soul who wanted to disappear from the earth for any god. But all throughout different times in history, around the world, there have been human sacrifice's... only to appease their gods... but now we know that it is the words of Jesus that lead us and guide us into doing something better. Something that is filled with LOVE of THE PEOPLE... the ones who love and serve a loving GOD who only wants us to do good things for each other!
One of the greatest moments of the day was at the 'sink hole'... it was a place smaller than a foot ball field and larger than 100 cars... some people were swimming in it and others were sitting along the side with their feet in the water like us... while small fishes ate the dead skin cells off of our feet! This was a little startling at first, but once you get used to it... it is one of the most wonderful feelings in the world! We hated to have to pull our feet out! I can imagine all the people who have been there and done that... what a wonderful, beautiful PEOPLE the Mayans were... and are! Sharon and I agreed we would go back there one day! GOD willing, we will!
Jose said that many people think that the Mayans are extinct... but he is one... and he and his people are still here... which I thought was way cool!
After the ruins they took us to a restaurant on the beach... Wow! I cant even remember the name of the place... I imagine its like all of them on the beach. The music and the people were very nice and kind... altho, I picked up on some who were sad that we didn't buy their wares. And the waiters really gave great service to those who were spending the most money... which I can understand that, being in restaurant management is something that I used to do. Oh, I know they were kind to us too... but we are not rich women. So I understand, but I also know that when Sharon said something in Spanish about their tip, they brought us 4 more drinks! Now the drinks did not get us drunk, I think they were more of a 'refresher'... since I was hot and dry after walking the ruins. The food was simple and YUMMY! We shared some shrimp... I can't even remember the name of the food, but it was so good... and I do remember the margaritas were so appreciated!
There were many local people with homemade treasures for sale... necklaces, bracelets, hats, sea horns... hammocks both beds and chairs... lots of things... we did buy a necklace from this guy who had one leg, he was so very nice, his name was Jorge... I hope that's the right spelling. I didn't really want the trinket as much as I wanted Sharon to give this man 5 bucks! I wish I had more money and I wish I could of bought everything... but as Jose said, just say "No, gracias." and they wont bother you. And that was what happened for the most part. I sure understand why they want to sell their wares... and there was security telling them to back off... and there was this young boy... now Jose had told us that there might be children, but don't buy from children because that encourages the parents to send their children out to sell instead of going to school... so when we saw this young boy we asked him why he wasn't in school... he looked up to the security man... and what I felt was only LOVE... the adults loved the child so much they wanted them to go to school, there would be time for selling later. So the young boy disappeared. I was sorta sad about it, I really wanted to hug the child and give him a hundred bucks! Heck, I wanted to take him home with me! But... I could see the LOVE in the peoples eyes... as we were walking out of the restaurant there was a couple of nuns asking for money... but I had no money to give... but the greatest thing happened when I leaned over and gave her a hug... SHE HUGGED ME BACK!!! GOD Bless her! This was the greatest gift she could of given me! My heart is forever changed from the LOVE of the Mayan PEOPLE!
When we left in the tour bus, we were very close to the ships and someone had taken our front seats, after Jose had told us to keep our same seats, but some didn't listen I guess. So I didn't hear much of what Jose and Shibata said on the way back to the bus... but when I got off the bus, I also hugged Shibata! It was so warm and so loving... I will never forget this man... did I forget to tell you that he taught me how to count to 20 and say a few words in Mayan? Oh yes, he did! He could tell I was in love with the Mayan culture and he made the whole trip memorable for me!
So, I got to hug a Mayan nun and a Mayan man! The joy in my soul will be everlasting! It was so hard to say goodbye to Progreso... the Mayans don't have a word for goodbye... so that was lovely... so maybe if GOD says 'yes'... I will see you again Progreso... and both Jose and Shibata say... "Me casa is U casa! ... I think one day, I will hold them to that! The day at Progreso with Jose and Shibata and Jose Louis... was the greatest day ever! I think... I left a piece of my heart in Progreso!
GOD Bless Progreso, Yucatan Mexico!
Getting back on board the ship was sorta happy and sad... we went to the room which was all made up, everyday they made a towel animal and set them on our bed! I showered the sweat off of me in a daze... remembering the day... as it ran over and over in my head! We did get to the Theater and the Comedy Club also that night... I was sure loving life... the Theater was always a great show! The people were great and talented... the mood was festive and light! The night could of lasted forever and I would of been happy... forever!
On Thursday we docked at Cozumel... and I knew instantly what they were talking about... Whereas Progreso was a quaint little town... Cozumel was a grand city! I learned a lot of facts about the Island. And could see why everyone wants to go there! WOW...
We went again on a Mayan ruins excursion... and to a restaurant on the beach where they had the little fishy pedicure for 30$... our guide was David... it was a great day! These Mayan ruins looked like a smaller community than the ones in Progreso, but I was amazed at what I saw... we didn't climb up any of the ruins... but other people did. I saw some signs saying not to climb. I did want to pick up a rock or two for my rock collection... but funny how I forgot in both places. I was in awe of how the people used to live in these stone places, I am sure they have withstood many a storm. And also they are still standing even after the Spaniards came in and destroyed not only the things that were sacred to the Mayans, but even their way of life. I sorta got a little angry hearing how a few hundred men could ruin such a huge amount of people... when I was told the reason was that the Mayans turned on each other... and that division was the downfall of the mighty Mayans... I guess all in all, the people learned about Jesus and became loving PEOPLE... living for GOD and the LOVE of Christ! So it seems to me, that the Mexican PEOPLE heard about Jesus and loved him for the leader of LOVE among humankind!
Praise GOD, Thank You Jesus!
Getting back on the ship on Thursday was sorta melancholy, knowing our adventure was halfway over. We had both taken on board, 1 bottle of chocolate wine each! But we didn't drink it until Thursday after we came back on the ship from Cozumel! Oh yes... I was so happy and I think I drank faster than Sharon... I drank about a bottle and a half... whooohooo... I was a little tipsy! We had finished the bottles of wine and went to eat dinner and then had plans to go to the Theater and Comedy Club... but by the time we finished dinner and of course I had to get some ice cream so I could tell my Grand children that I had ice cream EVERYDAY...and then, since Sharon had only gotten a half of a bottle of wine, she wanted to get more drinks... ya know, keep the party going... so we went to the Frog pub... HAHAHA I cant remember the name exactly... it had something to do with a frog... HAHAHA... but I couldn't put another thing in my mouth! Oh yes, I was offered... but my stomach was so stretched out from the wine and dinner and the ice cream, just the thought of another thing to eat or drink was painful! In fact every time I sneezed my stomach hurt! After Sharon had 2 drinks I couldn't take it any more. I had to go lay down... we had struck up a lively conversation with a man at the bar... and it was with great regret I told them I was going to have to go lay down... I told Sharon to stay I would find my way to the room... but she said she was ready to go relax too... THAT my friends is the night we missed the Theater and the Comedy Club... In my head was a gazillion things tumbling round and round... normally, I don't even drink... but on Tuesday night I had a 'Cruiser' in the Comedy Club and then on Wednesday I had a 'Punchliner'... their signature drink! I was getting into it. But not enough to make me drunk... just enough to buy a couple of drinks while listening to some adult comedy... they had the PG times... but we loved the 'grownup' jokes!
I cant remember which day it was, while we were sitting in the whirlpool, there was about 4 kids in there... when the adults got out we got in... this one kid... wow... he was so smart. We wondered if he was home schooled or had a private school. He was so intelligent with his words... oh yes... using words that I could understand, but seldom use with the kids. We were so impressed that some people lived like this... this was not his first cruise. And I blessed GOD that some people get to be raised like this. I have never been apart of that world. I grew up in hell and was never apart of the elite. It pleases my soul to know that there are such wonderful people out there doing such wonderful things! I did speak to a small handful of people along the way. My Grandmother taught me good manners and all. But being apart of that world is only a dream for me. Sad too... cause I would of been a very good rich person! :)
Friday was another day at sea... heading home... I was sorta sad... but the ship was so entertaining there was so much to see and do.... and they also had a couple of fun contests by the pool... we had a great afternoon sitting in the sun, enjoying the music and the PEOPLE! They were fun and lively... and I felt blessed to be a part of it! I was counting my blessings... all the way from having a friend like Sharon who was more like a sister... all the way to having my bed made for me in the morning and also having my bed turned down for me at night! I have never been able to live where you can eat and if you make a mess you don't have to clean it up! In fact that was one of the things said to me the first night we were there... Sharon had made a small mess on the food line and I laughed and the man standing behind the buffet said "No worries... your on vacation! We clean up for you!" And in an instant... I didn't even see who it was, came up behind me and wiped the mess away with one swipe! WOW! I was loving that! I am a 'neatnik'... I love things to be neat and clean. I was so impressed!
The crew was AWESOME! I think they were amused by my happy face! And I don't know who was who... but the greatest thing to me was the fact that all the crew were multinational! Young PEOPLE from all over the world getting along... singing songs... just being everything we needed!
We made it to the theater and the comedy club Friday eve... an awesome show! Both of them!!! By then we were pretty good at finding our way around the big ship! I have to say the only thing that was bad was the news of the day... the attack in Paris and Obama saying... "We're monitoring the situation." I was pretty mad about that... but tried very hard to not let it ruin the last few hours of our trip. So we turned off the TV and talked about happy things, until we fell asleep!
Saturday morning was even great, I had my usual Eggs Benedict and ice cream... we had some coffee while waiting for our numbers to be called. We enjoyed every second we could get out of the morning of the day! Things went smoothly as we got our things in order to come off the ship. No problems! It was all good! I couldn't be happier! There are no greater memories!
I think the only thing that made Sharon mad was when she got upset that the waiters in Mexico seemed to be more attentive to the people who had the most money... and we felt like our little bit of money was just as good as theirs! Sharon is not a rich woman either... she has struggled and worked hard for what she has. She belongs to some travel club and gets great prices, being a senior citizen... so we both felt pretty lucky to be able to go. She had only been a few times with her husband the past few years. And before she married him, she was just making it week to week like me. He blessed her... and in the end, GOD blessed him with HIS saving grace. Praise GOD!
I will never forget the blessing of this Carnival Cruise!
I will always be grateful for Sharon's love and support of my life when she has her own personal problems. I mean... here she is... thinking about me and getting me out of my stress for a bit. Like she says, "We're makin' memories!" Lordy, YES Ma'am... WE ARE!
Memories of a lifetime!
Hard to believe rich people live like that everyday!
Healthy food... great entertainment!
Happy Happy Happy I was...
Praise GOD, Thank You Jesus! :)
Now, I just want to sell my book and go on book tours... and go back to see Jose and Jose Louis and especially Shibata who touched my heart and soul with the telling of the history of the Mayans!
GOD Bless Mexico and Jose and Jose Louis and Shibata... and
GOD Bless Progreso ...Yucatan... and
GOD Bless Us All... Everyone! IJCNA