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Published: March 9th 2020
Hello all, I just realized I've been on several trips since my last post and I haven't blogged at all. I also noticed I have 8 entries that I haven't completed and published. Once I get some time t review them, and publish them. Since I'm going on a couple more trips this year, I figured it was time to blog again. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy this short recap of the trip I just went on.
I think one of the greatest gifts people can have is true friendship. Luckily, I've been blessed with a great wife, great family, and great friends. The latter was the reason for this trip. Our friend Lee (aka Dj Hoppa) is getting married later this month. Thus, a bunch of our friends that have know each other for over 20 years congregated on a Carnival Cruise to celebrate him and his lady getting married. I'm not the biggest cruise fan since you only have a limited time to explore, but I have had some good times on the 2 cruises I've taken. For those of you interested, we got a great deal on Carnival. It's not as nice as Royal Caribbean,
but it's more of a party atmosphere. Each person in the group paid roughly a couple hundred bucks for accommodations and food is included. We also purchased the Cheers drink program. Basically it was like $45-50/day to drink up to 15 drinks. We also went for the premium internet package for about $15/day.
Anyways, the first day we showed up, had some great food, hit up the bars, and had some fun at the casino. Unfortunately, the poker table (my main game) didn't treat me well. Luckily, I recovered on the blackjack tables. I'm very fortunate as I joined a very fun table. There was a nice gentleman who was celebrating his bday and 3 other people. We all got along very well and started chants every time people would hit a blackjack. After a while, people were waiting to play at that table. We played into the late hours of the night and had a great time.
The next day was a "day at sea". We hung out in the hot tub and pool, had drinks, and enjoyed the food options. The buffet was ok, but the Guy Fieri spot was pretty good. One of the better
meals I had all weekend (on the boat). As a father of two toddlers, I don't get a lot of relaxation time. This day was exactly what I needed. I felt refreshed and super relaxed. My buddies and I partied late into the night and had a great time. We also had a great dinner. I went for the Surf and turf (filet mignon and lobster). Not a bad option at all.
Furthermore, on the 3rd day, it was our day out on the town. We left the boat at roughly 8:30-9am. Our original plan was to head over to Estero Beach and ride jet skis (by the bachelor's request), but the weather was a little too chilly for that. I think we had a great plan B. Instead of going with the Carnival ATV tours, we took a shuttle in to town and found a service that rented ATV's. The jet skis we were going to get were $50 for 30min or $85-90/hr. We ended up getting a great deal where we got ATV's all day for $100. We also got a guide that took us up in the mountains. The best part was we were the only
people there. We basically had the whole mountain/trails to ourselves. I made the mistake of not wearing my sun glasses and got a ton of dirt in my eyes. My eyes got so red it was kind of gross. It was a great time nonetheless. We found some trails that gave us a great view of the ocean and the city as you can see in the pics. Some of the trails got a little sketchy, but luckily no one got hurt.
After having a blast with the ATV's we went into town for some food. We started off at La Guerrerense. If you're not familiar, it's a great food stand that's very famous. I'm surprised they don't have a brick and mortar location, but it was so good. I HIGHLY recommend it if you decide to visit Ensenada. I ordered the Campechana and a Shrimp cocktail. The Campechana had Tuna ceviche, with shrimp, octopus, sea snail, scallops, mussels, and clams. So good! After that we went to a Birria place called Birria La Guadalajara. Very affordable and delicious. For 8 of us we paid a little over $100. That included food, beers, margaritas, etc.
After so much
good food, we were pretty tired and decided to head back to the ship. We showered, cleaned up, and got ready to finish up the night. a few hours later we went to Crab Fest on the ship. For $21, you get some delicious crab legs. We stayed up pretty late at the casino and hit up multiple bars on the ship. Definitely a good time. It was a little scary because as we were having some drinks, we got a message that a different Carnival ship was quarantined in Long Beach due to Corona Virus concerns. They made an announcement that we would not be leaving the ship at 8:30am. I was fine with it because we would get to sleep in. It also extended our trip. Luckily, the person on that ship tested negative, so it was a minor delay. Also, it was a huge plus that the Cheers program still worked, so we got to hang out, chill by the pool, watch the Laker game, have some beers, etc.
Around 5pm, we were finally able to disembark. I must say, it was a great vacation with great friends. It's really awesome to have a group of
friends that make you feel like you're 14 again. We have all matured, have families, careers, etc. However, we can joke around and talk smack like no other and act the same way we did 20+ years ago. Regardless, we all had a great time to celebrate one of our best friends getting married. I hope he had as much of a great time as we did. Now, the countdown to my wife and I's trip to Colombia in 12 days starts. Let's go!
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