1/17/11 Yesterday afternoon we returned to our RV at Park Sierra after driving back from Los Angeles. The family cruise on the Mariner, which went to 3 ports in Mexico, was a wonderful week with the family and we all also greatly enjoyed the warm weather. This was the last week the Mariner was doing this itinerary so it also became the week of the reunion cruise for those who were onboard in 2008 when the ship traveled Around the Horn from Florida to Los Angeles. So our friends Len & Letty, Rick & Denice, and Carol & Byron were on board with us. Here is a picture of Darran & Marielle with (left to right) Denice, Byron, Carol & Rick.
During the week there were two formal nights so everyone got dressed up and we had a formal picture taken. From left to right in front are Paige, Mary & Elaine. Back row: Marielle, Darran, Alonzo, Tarra, and Laura.
For those of you who don't know the family, Laura is Mary's daughter, and Paige is Laura's daughter. Darran is Elaine's son and Marielle is his fiancee; Tarra is Elaine's daughter and Alonzo is her husband. Mary's son, Thomas, and his partner, Robert, were unable to join us for this cruise.
It was fun just being on the ship with the family and one of the first things they did was get into the hot tub together:
After a day of cruising, we started three days of ports. The first one was Cabo San Lucas. There is no pier there so we had to be tendered in. Here is the picture we took in front of the marina:
After some exploring in town and also a little shopping, we ended up at an outdoor bar where David, the bartender made margaritas from fresh juices and good tequila and we all enjoyed them. One of the entertainers from the ship was there and he took this picture for us:
The next day we were in Mazatlan. Tarra and Alonzo went off on their own while the rest of us took a water taxi to Stone Island for a day at the beach.
There was a long row of beach palapa restaurants so we grabbed a table and chairs at Victor's, which had been recommended by Jack, one of our cruise buddies. It was a good choice, and we spent the day eating garlic and coconut shrimp, chips and salsa, drinking local beers, enjoying each other's company, and shopping (by the kids) from the beach vendors.
Port number 3 was Puerta Vallarta, one of our favorite Mexican cities. We caught the local bus right outside the port gate and got off in the old downtown area. Here is the family at one of the sculptures along the malecon, which is the scenic beach walk.
The cathedral was nearby, so we walked over to check out the inside. The outside tower has a very different looking top - a replica of the crown worn by Emperor Maximillian.
A few blocks away was the Rio Cuale market on an island in the middle of the river. The kids bought a few Mexican handicrafts to bring back as gifts to their friends and families. We just enjoyed the sunny day and the warmth.
There was a nice outdoor restaurant alongside the river so we gathered there for a drink before having lunch at a small local restaurant in town.
Then Elaine and I did the walk along the malecon and enjoyed not only the permanent sculptures, but also the sand sculptures made by some of the locals.
The next two days were sea days so we all rested and enjoyed being together, especially at dinner. The kids enjoyed the food, the entertainment, and hung out by the pool. Of course, the weather got cooler as we traveled north again. Sunday morning the ship docked back in San Pedro and we took them to the airport. Now it is back to "real life" for everyone.
Our fridge got fixed today, and it is cooling nicely, so we have finished packing up the RV and will start heading for Quartzsite and the Boomer gathering in the morning. Hopefully, the heavy fog we had today will have disappeared by departure time.