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My very favorite of things from my childhood of living in a dirt house with goats and chickens and being poor as dirt was when my mom won a cruise down the Mexican Riviera from a radio station in 1984. During that week long cruise from Los Angeles I don’t remember an awful lot of events, such as the headache I got the first day getting on the boat, my mom taking second place in the men’s ping pong tournament, sitting in a little cove on the ship that over hung a little over the ocean just staring at the water, eating a full pound of bacon from the breakfast buffet because I could and having this amazing feticine alfredo that I have been talking about since I had it. It was more emotion and feelings that I remember of happiness rather than actual events having never done anything so out of the ordinary for poor folk living in the high desert of California. I suppose this is likened to a little girls dream of being a princess in some ways. I got to be a princess for a week for lack of a better way of explaining it on the Pacific Princess most notable for its fame in the Love Boat.

Last year I took my protesting wife on a Caribbean cruise and we had a fine time after adjusting to our kids not being there and we came back telling everyone that we were going to have to take everyone on a cruise and we had decided on reliving my childhood taking a cruise to the Mexican Riviera. We though it would be a fabulous way for the kids to get into my mind and understand what kind of childhood I had and one of the few amazing memories I had told the about. We thought it would be fabulous, but it wasn’t all that it was cracked up to be though I do have some fond memories.

My in-laws decided to come as did my mom and my friends Coral and Jeremy of Photograhy By Coral an Oregon based wedding photographer.

We flew to LAX and rented a minivan though we had planned on a standard size car. We had about 250 pounds of luggage, which I found out later was a good deal of stuff that we never even used nor needed. We drove up to Santa Paula, one of the few amazing gems near Los Angeles, but not in Los Angeles where it’s alone in a valley not really near anything and it kind of refuses to grow past 30k people. My grandmother had just go out of the hospital after have a tumor removed from her colon and we needed to visited her since we hadn’t seen her in some time. She was alright, but it was quite distressing to me to see my grandmother so physical dysfunctional though completely on the ball as far as her mind went.

A few days later we got on the boat and found our rooms.  We opted to stay in a room with a window which we haven’t done since.  It’s a mistake with our crazy kids who wake up at the crack of dawn; especially Corbin.  There were bunk beds for kids up above our bed and basically no where to sit except for the bed.  One night Corbin fell out of the bed and landed on me!  I was so freaked out for the rest of the night.  Sleeping was a nightmare.  The kids fought us until the last second at night for bed and wanted to watch cartoons as soon as they got up.

Mexico, why do you suck so much?  I hate visiting Mexico.  It was my plan to just enjoy the cruise and not get off the boat at any of the stops in Mexico.  But it turned out that Christina wanted to get off and experience the glory of Mexico.  We stopped in the same places as when I went in 1984 and nothing had really changed in 24 years.   We got off at all of the stops and wandered around on foot.  It was lovely weather and a good deal of the people were non-stop trying to hock something  as we passed.  I bought a Pepsi at one of the stops made with real sugar.  Yummy!

It was windy and cold on the ocean.   So windy it made me wonder why they even had outdoor decks.  Everything should have been all enclosed with windows and glass on the ceiling so you could look out but not feel the 40-mile-hour wind wiping through your hair.  Endlessly it blasted you and was surprisingly brutal.  The pools were way too cold except for the pools for the adults but the kids wanted to make the 6 deck hike to the deck with the pools to hop in, get cold, get out and want to go back to the room.  They had daycare where they would watch your kids from the morning until night which would have been wonderful if our kids didn’t throw a screaming fit at the very mention of it.  They hated the fact that mom and dad would have fun with out them and really were so loud that we just gave up.  We just weren’t going to get sleep.

Reliving a dream is hard.  I don’t really remember anything from the cruise except a whole plate of bacon, a ride in a Mexican bus, sitting in a special spot looking over the side at the ocean, and the most magical feticine ever.  Nothing was the same and it was a living nightmare except for the feticine.  It’s always the same.  It is always so good.  It’s why I scheduled another cruise in the fall to the Caribbean without the kids.  Ah, it will be lovely!

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