Adjusted Reality

“Reality can be beaten with enough imagination.” – Mark Twain

Month: November 2008 Page 1 of 3

Vacation Recap, Part 3

Continued from Part 2, or start at Part 1.

Wednesday: Fun Day at Sea 2 or Run Day at Sea

Woke up feeling still a little disoriented, and late – it was like 11 am!  But, being that it was the last day, and I still hadn’t gotten up to the top deck to run, I drug my mexican buffet butt up there and ran 5 miles.  It was soooo awesome.  I didn’t want to stop but it was getting hot (I actually got a tinge of a sunburn that day just from the time running) and I had other stuff to do!  I showered and changed and grabbed just a bit of lunch (I ate about half of my trademark GIANT SALAD, and a few bites from the buffet including a really yummy piece of spicy fried chicken, can’t remember the last time I had that…), and headed to the art auction.

Zliten had met up with Stephen (work person) and his wife and 2 of their kids, and they were drinking long island ice teas (the adults, not the kids) and Stephen was being unruly and disruptive and inappropriate just like normal!  It was good fun.  We actually won 2 pieces of art in the auction (yay) and we found one we were interested in but would check out later.  We left, continued to have a few drinks, got ourselves a snack (pizza for me), and continued to enjoy the wonderful wonderful weather and our last day.

We changed for dinner (I had considered not changing because I was wearing dinner appropriate wear already but dangit I had more clothes to wear, since I had packed enough for 2 weeks), and headed down and had a really good one – delicious crab cake, asparagus vichyssoise, and an Indian vegetarian dinner which was – NUMMMY.  So have to try out some Austin Indian places.  Had the trademark baked alaska for desert, and snuck out before the singing and dancing, but not before a picture of our headwaiter and his assistant.

Since it had to be done, we went to the room and packed hastily.  It’s all going in the laundry, so we pretty much shoved everything wherever it would go, which strangely enough – we ended up with some space in the luggage.  Then we went through all the pictures they took and picked out what we wanted, and damn, those things are expensive!  22 bucks!  At least we won’t have to get a nice picture done for a while.  Then, the art auction place where we picked the two pictures we wanted from our raffle win, and actually purchased another.  Yay for more art.  Next on the list was the hot tub for one more dip, but sadly one was cold, one was full, and the other two were closed, so we packed the suits, put on real clothes and left the suitcases to be taken.

We then headed out for the casino and I turned 10 into 30 this time – except I kept playing the stupid Taxi game and it turned back into 10.  We then took the 10 and played video poker for a while.  It was actually a very fun casino night, we played for hours and hours and only lost 15 bucks!  One more late night meal – because we needed more food, of course, it had been a few hours – so we got burgers, and then headed down to the room and passed out.

Thursday: Home, home on the Range…or GET THE HELL OFF THE BOAT YOU GLUTTONS!!!

Ugh…it’s 7 am, why am I awake?  I was just falling asleep 5 hours ago…oh wait, yeah, last day of the cruise.  Boooooooo!  Actually, I am very, very, very ready to be home and in my own bed and couch, but boooo for vacation being over.  We got ready, made a last check of the room to make sure we had all our stuff, and said goodbye to the cabin and headed out (yes, I talk to things…).  Had a breakfast of a pancake, bacon, potatoes, and fruit, and wait for them to call us to get off the boat.  And waited…and waited.  At least I was really into my book.  I’m pretty proud I got halfway through it and I’m hooked, so I WILL finish the damn thing (note: haven’t touched it since I’ve been home, bah internets).

We finally get called shortly before 10, we head off the boat and into customs.  We hit the slowest fucking line imaginable, and all the other lines were pretty much EMPTY by the time we got through it.  I guess the guy was just chatty, because he was that way with us.  We got through that shortly after 11.  To his credit he did comment on my passport pic not looking like me…so it wasn’t all bad.  Then one more line for the shuttle to parking, and we were on our way home around 11:30.

The trip was both nice (we took a different route and once we got through Houston it was a straight, no trafficky road that never changed the whole way) and rough (we were both tired, I kept nodding off and Zliten said he did once too, while driving…yikes!).  I offered to drive but I needed a nap first, and he needed someone awake to help him stay awake, so he drove the whole time and I stayed MOSTLY awake.  We saw lots more barbeque, and a lot of hay (which was greeted with “hey HEY hey hey” in my delirious state).  Finally, around 3:15, we pulled into Austin, picked up some dinner (hey there, BBQ, for reals) and headed home.  We left everything in the car except the food, and pretty much vegged on the couch and napped and relaxed all day.

Awesome vacation, can’t wait for the next.  Is it time yet?

Vacation Recap, Part 2

Continued from Part 1.

Monday: Wastin’ Away in Margaritaville

Up at the crack of 10:30 and was smart and brought my water bottle, ate an apple, and grabbed my towel before heading to the gym – this picture is (sideways) proof I did actually get up and go, and since it’s a crappy picture I’m too lazy to fix it.  Did 25 mins on the eliptical, abs, and a 15 min run.  The gym was totally dead because we were in port at Cozumel.  Yes I blew off time in Cozumel to workout.  The weather was sorta crappy and the ocean was so rocky they canceled all the water activities and told people they couldn’t swim at the beach because of the swells.

Anyways, we grabbed some lunch, another big ass salad, some soup, and some random bits from the buffet.  Then, we got off the boat, and promptly took off walking the wrong way.  We walked by a bar where we saw 3 other gringos pretty much run out, and when they passed us, they said “dude, DON’T go in there”.  When we got closer, we saw it was a really run down, falling apart gentleman’s club with some not-so-pretty ladies at the door.  Then, pretty much nothing for the mile and a half or so we walked.  The sidewalk became a trail, the trail curved around, and once we passed a resort, the road got narrow with pretty much wilderness on each side.  This was our sign we should probably stop, so we flagged a taxi and headed back the other way.

We ended up at Margaritaville, a total tourist trap, but looked like fun.  We got margaritas the size of our heads (as depicted in the photo) and spent the afternoon sipping way too much tequilla and sitting right on the ocean enjoying ourselves, and watching other people make fools of themselves.  I guess there is a time and a place for table dancing, and that place is probably in the bar in Mexico.  And, we got glasses to bring back (the ones in the picture), and see if we can transport them without breaking them!  Hooray, gambling with glass (note: they made it!  Woohoo!)!

We snagged a taxi back – we had wanted to walk back at least part way along the ocean but it was getting late and we wanted to be back on the boat before it took off, so a ride it was.  We ran into Zliten’s co-company founder person (pictured to the right with his wife), of all places, in a bathroom in Cozumel.  Somehow, that seemed fitting.  Yeah, we knew they were on the cruise with us but we hadn’t seen them until then.  Also met up with hot tub friends again examining their pictures from crazy excursions in Cozumel.  Got back on board, got changed for dinner, and headed down.  Zliten decided to continue drinking through dinner, I decided to sober just a little, and dinner was minestrone, and – uh – cough*friedcheese*cough (sorry folks, I had to), and jerked pork loin, which I could not finish even half of.  I did put away some tiramasu though.  Yes, it was a proud moment.

We hit the return cruiser’s cocktail party (yay more free booze), and then headed to the piano bar for a moment, and to the casino.  We quickly turned 40 dollars into 10 and then decided that was not as much fun as it used to be (I spent my 21st year in Reno).  Then, back to the piano bar again.  We ran into these fantastic lesbians we met the day previous (we sat with them at the cocktail party and then ended up following them on accident to a smoking bar before dinner).  Aparently there had been a fight, a refused proposal, and one of the girls was getting drunk with a friend she met named Tina, so we joined them.  There was some major boozing going on in the bar, the poor very pretty blonde russian waitress just got called “White Russian” all night, and there was a point that the entire bar had kidnapped the microphone and was singing from behind the piano.  Somehow, seem to be missing those pictures, but I have a great one of most of us singing.

Zliten’s co-person came back in to find us, we closed out the bar, and then just walked a bit and sat down and chatted looking at the ocean.  After a while of being windblown (I dunno if my hair will ever be the same after that day), we headed in.  Joel ordered room service (I was good and got veggie sticks – and yay for them having veggie sticks on the menu), and we drifted off to sleep.

Tuesday: Progresso, or Day of Relax-o

I think 3 days of drinking is finally catching up to me, I’m pretty worn out today, but it’s not all my fault.  I woke up at 5 am with some wicked cramps and had to take some painkillers.  We’ve been drinking Emergen-c every day for the last two weeks (sickness on vacation, DO NOT WANT) and in our experiments, found out it also pretty much kills all but the nastiest of hangovers.  So, even with all that’s been drunk-en, I have made sure to drink about 3 gallons of water a day, take my happy-fun-no-hangover-or-sickies fizzy drink, and to pace myself enough to not want to spend the day in the cabin sleeping.

Today, however, the fates are totally conspiring against me.  Today is that one day a month where I pretty much hug the couch at home, and can choose between painkiller haze or death pains.  Pain killers, ftw.  You will be able to tell by the lack of pictures today.  I slept until 10:30, read until about 11:30, when I finally drug Zliten out of bed, and we got lunch.  First, I want to point out that yes, I’m reading a book (Snow Crash).  I am actually pretty into it.  I hope I can finish it soon because what usually happens is I leave it for too long, forget what happened, vow to read it again from the beginning, and then just swear off books entirely like I usually do.

Anyways, I caught the tail end of breakfast, so I had half a pancake, some bacon, and some fruit.  Then, I got my trademark big salad (because damn, it’s remarkable how very seldom they just have veggies sitting out…burgers and pizza all day, but if I want a big lovely salad I have to get it within the hours of 12 and 2), and cruised the Indian food.  Since Zliten is allergic to a lot of it, we don’t eat it, so I wanted to give it a go.  OMG, Indian food is soooo good.  The spiced lentil soup was amazing.  The potato and leek fried puff thing was good (but it was fried, so that’s not really in question…in my book usually fried = tasty).  Then there was fish, and some kebabs, and other stuff.  Num!  I think it was all about the curry sauce, which was both minty and savory/spicy.  I’ll have to try stuff like that at home.

After too much lunch, we got off and walked around the shops at the port, and picked up the rest of our souvenirs, Zliten got a 3 dollar water that apparently does not taste like the ship water (whatever that means), we took pictures, and then headed back.  Now, he is napping, and I am typing.  It’s about 230 and my choices are:

A.  Pop another aleve, get my lazy bones to the gym like I didn’t this morning
B.  Grab my book, and sit up in the sun and read
C.  Get in the pool and maybe the water slide
D.  Go play minigolf
E.  Stay in bed and read and/or sleep

Well, first I picked B – and got quite a bit further in my book, and then we did D.  I figured missing one day of the gym on vacation wasn’t so bad.  Up on deck, it was pretty much hilarious trying to play minigolf while the boat was swaying and it was super windy.  We totally did not keep score but Joel declared me winner because, well, I dunno, but I WON!!!  Woohoo!  Our hot tub friends found us and asked if we would join them for dinner, and after thinking about it, said yes.  I was apprehensive because we didn’t want to abandon our dining companions at our table, but we decided, hey, let’s go to both!  The first dinner I had shrimp cocktail, lobster bisque, and chateaubriand.  Sadly, one piece I got was way too rare, and the other piece was too tough, so I only ate a little.  The tiramasu at desert was very unlike tiramasu, but it was tasty!

We walked around and took more pictures, and then headed to second dinner.  They sort of didn’t like us coming in again but they finally took us to the table.  I had the fish and shrimp plate I was lusting after and this most delicious cappucino pie.  Way too much food today – and it goes on.

We headed to the casino and I pretty much lost another 10 dollars in the blink of an eye, so we vacated pretty quick.  We hit the hot tub for a while and drank some soul-warming tea, and then hung out with Zliten’s co-person and his wife and played in the wind tunnel and giggled.  To explain, the front of the ship on the top deck was so windy, walking up to it you had to lean forward, and by the time you got to the doorway it was seriously pushing you back so you could do the “cheek flappy” thing.  Hard to describe, but stupidly funny. And fun.  I totally felt like I was about 8 years old again.  Then, they were having this mexican buffet thing and I ate some – more than I care to remember.  Then, headed back to the cabin and bed feeling pretty disoriented from the wind to sleepy sleep sleep.

Bonus pictures from Day 3:

Check out the hair…this is how seriously windy it was in Cozumel.  And by the look – how strong the massive margaritas were. 🙂

Every time a Jimmy Buffet song came on, the waiters and staff danced for us (and got drunk people to dance with them).  It was pretty hilarious.

Inside it was a fun looking tropical bar, but nothing special.  The view from the deck – spectacular.  Dunno why anyone was sitting inside but hey, more room for us.

Our bar waiter, Iputu, who seemed to seek us out wherever we were sitting…very nice guy!

Tomorrow, the 3rd and final (pretty short) part.  Last day at sea and the trip home.

Vacation Recap, Part 1

This post is derived from my notes, pictures, and scans of the Carnival Capers papers (the “cruise newspaper” you get in your room each morning) – which apparently will be edited in because they’re still on my lappy which is not with me currently. ‘Scuse the grammar and not-quite-so-sharp-as-normal wit – I was on vacation (and I’m too busy to edit much, dangit).  Enjoy, and don’t be too jealous!

Saturday: Get us to Galveston!!!

Planned to get up around 6am to leave by 7am.  Got up around 7:50 and was on the road by 8:30.  Misjudged the distance to Galveston, thought it was 2-3 hours, ended up being 4.  The good thing was we planned on getting there SUPER EARLY so we just got there within the window we could get on board (it was 12:30-2:30, we got there around 1:30).

The drive was actually nice (well, I wasn’t driving, but Zliten was actually commenting it was a nice drive).  There were lots of cows and I called out to them all, “Hey BARBECUE!!!”  We decided brown cows made the best bbq because you could say “how now” to them.  Dunno how that is relevant but hey, it made sense then.  And cows should be fed BBQ sauce and marinated with it while alive constantly to get the best flavor.  You’d think we were hungry!

Parking was a breeze and I prepaid for a discount, the embarkation took about 30 minutes (where some cruises have taken 4 hours), and then we headed for first the dining room to change our late dinner to early (who starts dinner at 8:15? srsly) and then for fud.  Despite the idea of having a healthy lunch the first line I found was burgers.  As my only rule was, I stopped when I was full.

Apparently this is not how to wear the life jacket.

Thank goodness Zliten shows me how…

See, there I got it!

We did the lifeboat drill and got our traditional silly pictures in them (above), and then headed to the bar to see the ship sail away.  Wanted to do it outside, but DEAR FLUFFY LORD it was cold.  I was even wearing a leather jacket.  After two rumses and diets cokeses, got back to the room and YAY LUGGAGE.  OMG frantic unpacking, changed for dinner (I have cute clothes that are too nice to wear to work, I want to WEAR THEM DAMMIT) and sat down to a table with 2 grey haired couples.  At first I thought it was going to suck, but they ended up to be pretty cool and I’m looking forward to dinner to hear more stories about their lives.  They said Joel looked like John Lennon – not sure I agree, but a nice compliment nonetheless.  Dinner was shrimp cocktail, salad with breaded zuchinni and tomato, and tilapia with carrots and mac n cheese. Ellie and Tony, Olea and ….crap, forgot the guys name.  Writing it down so I remember (BTW, it was Gary).

After dinner we stopped by the gallery and found out about how the art bids work and got a free print.  It’s actually pretty awesome, can’t wait to frame it and put it up!  Went to grab some wine, then to the show.  The dancers are HORRIBLE.  They look like they recruited a second rate cheer team and just gave them the choreography yesterday.  I like to give entertainers the benefit of the doubt, but srsly.  And the lady singer had a costume about 2 sizes too tight.  I was thinking “honey, get it in your size and you’ll look HOT, but now you are sporting Costco size muffin top”.  However, the comedian was actually HILARIOUS.  Sort of like a somewhat sane Larry the Cable Guy.

Then we headed to the piano bar for the name that tune trivia contest, got 10 out of 20, winner got 17, bah – we totally wanted the “piece o ship” trophy.  Then we did some sing along fun at the piano bar, and he actually encourages you to get up and sing with the piano, so Imma have to do that one of these days.  Just not ready for it today.

We escaped in time to get bathing suit clad (bikini even, it didn’t feel right but it was the first time in public) and in the hot tub.  Met some chick named Christine who was here with her mom and grandma, and we left shortly after the drunk dudes she invited to join her.  Headed to the room, ordered room service, and now watching Handcock.

For anyone keeping tabs, that’s an apple and oatmeal for breakfast, jerky for a snack, burger, salad, a few fries and rings for lunch, shrimp cocktail, salad, tilapia, and some bites of chocolate cake and port something cheese for dinner, and a salad for a night snack.  Nitey nite.  Hoping to run 5 ish miles tomorrow morning before more fun and games.

Sunday: Super Fun Day at Sea, or Where is my Lipstick?

Well, I’m now writing this Tuesday afternoon so that might tell ya how busy-fun it’s been.  Sunday we woke up around 9ish, Joel sprang out of bed and headed to the gym, I sorta relaxed my way up (I envy people that can pop out of bed and right onto the treadmill, that’s so not me…and why I workout after work).  The sway of the boat was pretty severe, and it was straight FREEEEZING outside (yay cold front :P) so I hit the gym instead for a 3.5 mile run and some arm fun.  The gym was pretty crowded since it was a sea day,  but I got by.  Sometime in your life, you gotta try the treadmill on a rocky boat.  Seriously weird and sorta fun in that “fear for your life falling off the treadmill” sorta way.

I was a dumbass and blindly beelined to the gym without thinking – I forgot to eat anything, drink anything, or even grab a towel so I was a mess when I left.  I beelined to the lunch line and snagged 2 pears and a glass of water and got some of that in there fast so I could get over that dizzy feeling from both the low blood sugar and the boat rock.  Note to self – don’t do that again.  Then lunch – a gigantic salad and half of a huge turkey sammich.  Salad was great, turkey was meh, but it did the trick.

Then we went to this art collecting for dummies and learned about how different reproductions are made.  The lithographic proccess is actually pretty impressive, I did not know they cut pieces for each different color – I thought it was just, like, xeroxed or something.  And it was interesting to find out how different factors affected the collectablity.  We plan to hit the art auction the last day to check stuff out (but probably not bid on anything, considering we need to eat and stuff once we get home), and of course get the free schwag (print) and the free champagne.

We wanted to do the cheesy Austin Powers dance class but the stage was pretty full when we got there and the boat was super rocky, so we refrained and had a drink at the bar instead.  Then, being a girl, I had to retire back to the room to get all spiffified for formal night.  My hair was not cooperating but I think we managed to reach a compromise after lengthy negotations.  The captain’s cocktail party was fun –free wine, wine, and more wine.  Wine with dinner, which was *some sort of appetizer I don’t remember*, salad, and lobster and shrimp.  Joel had the prime rib, and wanted some of my dinner, which had long since disappeared, so we got another order to split.  This totally broke my “stop eating when you’re full, stupid, rule, but it was absolutely delish and I did just get fruit for desert.

Then back to the piano bar for more wine, wine, and some more wine and met up with our hot tub friends.  Hit the hot tub again before it closed at midnight, and then changed and hit the piano bar for one more (you guessed it) wine, and then headed to the midnight comedy show.  It was actually pretty hilarious, and of course very offensive and dirty, as any good might show should be.  We were sorta drifting off cuddling on the couches there so we headed back to bed, and sometime later, drifted off again.  Yes, there may have been a period of time I ommitted back there ::grin::.

This post will be ended with a public service announcement.  Please don’t be these people.

They are crowded around a little flat screen TV, in the middle of a beautiful ocean, on formal night, watching football.  Come on people.  For 51 weeks of your life, you do this.  This week, get your suit or fancy dress on, comb your hair, ditch your jersey, and enjoy a night of looking and feeling swanky and check the score later.

Ok, will be back tomorrow with Part 2 – Cozumel and Progresso, here we come!

I’m back!

So I’ve left everything everywhere but where it is supposed to be today, so there will be no travelog just yet, sorry campers.  I do have some pictures, so I will make you just a *little* jealous today.  Since it’s a short week, I expect that I will not be tackling heavy topics until December rears it’s ugly, cold, wintery, frost-encrusted head.  Ok, so I live in Austin, but it was in the FOURTIES the other night!  That’s practically like the North Pole, right?

Anywhoo – I guess I can spoil the summary on the responsiblish stuff I was trying to do over vacation.

Goal: Not get myself sick on or before vacation.

Outcome: Success!  I did have one day I felt a little icky, but that was lady parts related and nothing that could have been prevented.  So score 1 for me!

Goal: Keep to my normal workout schedule over break.

Outcome: Almost success!  The only unscheduled day I took off was related to such as detailed above, and so not my fault.  Also, took the stairs the entire time (I think over the 5 days I took the elevator 2 times) and we walked all over creation, so that makes up for some of it, right?  Five days the week before and four days the week of vacation isn’t bad, right?

Goal: Eat like a sane human being.

Outcome: Semi-fail.  The first two days I did, the last three I ate whatever the hell I wanted whenever I felt like it.  I figure that if there is any time to let loose and do this, it’s the last 3 days of a vacation with abundant and yummy food.  My body actually somewhat liked it though – feels like there is fuel to burn when I workout instead of just running on fumes.  I cannot wait to be in maintenence mode, where my goal is to stay one weight, and eat as much as possible while doing so.  Good things though.  Unlike the burgers and pizza and fried everything and chocolate melting cake.

Goal: Weigh less than 170 at the end of the vacation.

Outcome: Success!  I won’t tell ya what the scale said the day after, because I had promised myself vacation ended today.  Today I got on the scale and I was 167.6, fully and comfortably in the okie dokie range.  I hope to be back at 165 by next Monday and all signs point to it will be so!

Goal: Not worry about work or life.

Outcome: Total success.  I can barely bring myself to worry about work today, and I’m here, tee hee.  Seriously, I’ve got some stuff to mull over and think about, but there is no use rushing it.  Right now, I think the order is to keep plugging away and keep my eyes and ears open for inspiration and opportunity.

All in all, it was a fantastic vacation.  I needed it badly.  I need to remember that while some people can go years without a real vacation, one that is not going to visit family or to a convention or whatnot, I just don’t work that way.  If I can’t lay out in the sun, read a book, splash in a pool, and just not be required to *think* about anything for at least a few days, it doesn’t count.  And I need one of those a year or I start getting all cranky-like.  Call me spoiled, but it’s required for my sanity.

Hope to be back tomorrow with at least the start of the vacation log and later in the week, pictures of my thanksgiving feast to make everyone scream with jealousy again (it’s not often you get a four star chef to cook the meal at your house for you), and a wrap up on how November’s plan to have no plan went.  Ciao, bellas!

Early Afk Tag, Impending Vacation in T-minus 1 day and 1 hour

Ok, so I just haven’t had time to really even THINK about topics, let alone actually write about them.  Between work (which has been BUSY), workouts, and getting stuff ready, I’m pretty much going to float away now early into pre-cruisedom.  I’ll be sure to post a thoroughly detailed travel log when I get back with tons of pictures.  Comments are acting weird, some go through right away and some don’t – so if you comment and it doesn’t appear, I don’t hate you, I promise.  Ok, I don’t promise, but it’s much more likely that your comment just got caught in the evil clutches of wordpress.

Anywhoo, I’ll be thinking of you lovely people when I’m eating this:

And drinking and singing here:

On this lovely boat:


Quix de Vamoooose!

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