Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Cruise review/report Carnival Legend 12 11 12-12 18 12

Tampa, Grand Caymen, Cozumel, Belize, Honduras.

One fine day, long long ago, perhaps in May, Brenda says to Val:  "Jerry bought a cruise, want to come along?"  Val says:  "twist my arm."

Val says to me:  "Jerry bought a cruise and we're going along."  I say:  "who is Jerry?"

I've known Brenda quite a while, she's active with Val in PSI, she's a scrapbooker, and she's also dragging Val into that red hat thingy.  BTW, Val has to wear a pink hat for several more years before she can wear a red one.

Interestingly enough, this cruise has the same ports that we stopped in on our first cruise 4 years ago...exactly 4 years ago.  Different ship, and different order for the ports.  Carnival Valor is a larger ship, but not so large we couldn't manage.

Our vacation had many different aspects.  It started on Sunday Dec 4, when we dumped the cat on the inlaws.  Oh, sure, they volunteered to take him early, which saved a trip over on Thursday, also saving about $12 in gas.  The cat demands to be let into the basement, where he promptly found himself a parking place in the dark and stayed there for 13 hours, causing panic and worry and stress, etc and so on.  Shortly after they stopped looking and yelling at him, he came out.  No more basement for him!

Val took Friday afternoon off, and I was rewarded with a couple hours early dismissal as well (along with all of my colleagues), so we were able to leave earlier than expected.  Good thing, too, as she had a full day's shopping and dinner planned before we would retire for the evening.  She had a coupon, a rebate and a map....yep, she was armed and dangerous.  So off we go to Lane Bryant in Burnsville, a long drive away.  Maybe we stopped off for dinner first at Teresa's mexican eatery in Lakeville first.  If you recall, this is where we had to eat on the way to our hotel on the first day of our grand motorcycle adventure in September.  EXCEPT we didn't go to Lakeville, we stopped in that other ville or ton on the way to the "cities".  Same family, same recipes.  Top off the gas tank at Kwik Trip to ensure that the price of gas would go down for the week we were gone, then off to the mall.  I go in with her, hurray, they have the sweater that she wants.  I wander off to Sears, discover that some of their tools are being made in China and haul ass back out of there.  I find a bench and loiter there, wondering why there are a bunch of 4wheelers, mopeds and other junk piled up in there.  Maybe that guy sitting there wants to sell them.  Don't know, don't care.  Finally she comes out with 17 sacks of stuff, we head over to UHaul to rent a truck to get it all home.  It comes with a GPS thingy, so we turn it on, program in our address, set the cruise control and turn it loose.  I do hope it shows up soon.

At some point, leaving the mall, I think, we are on an off ramp with a double right turn lane when the red/maroon Dodge Durango instead of driving forward around the corner, rolls backward into us.  Val's driving, and since she's not a professional driver, didn't know what to do.  First you honk, second you back up a bit, third, you roar off around the poor lady that doesn't know what the hell is going on but she's on her phone anyway.  No, we didn't stop to see if she needed help, we didn't check the condition of our bumper, we left.  I still have not looked at the bumper.  Wait.  I guess I did, since Val had backed into the parking space at the HI E, I saw the bumper when we got out of the van upon our return.  Looks fine.
We're going to stay at a Holiday Inn Express, just in case we have to McGyver something in the morning.  They also have a shuttle to the airport and don't charge to park the car for a week.  Therefore, a nights stay will only cost about $15 over the cost of parking for a week.  Oh, sure, Jerry the cousin has offered many times to take us to the airport and keep the car at his place, but we're thinking the bathroom situation might be odd.  Jerry lives in Lakeland, which is quite a distance from the airport, too.  HI E also has free breakfast, but it starts at 7 along with the first shuttle leaving at 7, which means we don't get breakfast at the hotel.  There's a pretty good line at security and we've not had breakfast, but we manage to keep calm and make it thru without getting fondled or Xrayed.  My hat got drug out of the bin going thru the xray, and I wandered off without it.  The security lady tracked me down thanks to the description given by the people in line after us.  That was nice.

MSP used to have a couple McDonalds, but they were closed.  We got some sandwiches from Burger King, all in all, while we initially thought we were going to have a lot of time to kill, we ate on the plane.  [imagine pic of us eating BK sandwiches here]  Have you ever noticed the weird crap you can buy at the airport?  Receipt scanner, there's vending machines full of ear pods, ear pads, ear phones, ear phones, and Worst Buy has one full of crap too.  I tend to boycott them so I didn't look to see what was in there.  And...don't forget Rosetta Stone!  Or Proactive.  Saw a purple vest with purple moose on it.  Nothing says "too much money on vacation" like a purple moose.

Fly to Tampa, get off, collect luggage, call for shuttle to where??? Holiday Inn Express, if you can imagine that!

In comes a shuttle for Hampton Inn and away it goes.  Finally, in comes a Holiday Inn van and we head over to it.  Some slow people got in the way and out it goes.  I wave at it, they pull in and I see that it says Hampton Inn!  WTF?  Turns out they share a van.  The driver?  What a dumbass.  The guy whined the entire time about how busy he was, on and on and on.  The turdhead should be happy he has a job, I think....terrible driver.

Flight left at 9, in at 1, to hotel by 2/230.  Watch Tampa TV.  What a joy this is.  Pink Panther is always a treat, kind of silly, but fun.  then I tuned into the Mexican gong show, hosted by 2 oompa loompas.  They were wearing orange coveralls that were festooned with yellow and purple OOO.  There were 4 dancing girls wearing pink sequined bras, red shorts and black boots.  Guests were led onto set and introduced by more dancing girls wearing pink overalls, open in front to display the pink bra.  The judges?  One looked like Roseann Barr, one was wearing underwear on his head, like a mask, and one looked like John Mellon Cougarcamp.  Great show....if you like dancing girls with bouncing boobs.

Do these actors and musicians that use all 3 names....do they avoid thinking they are in trouble all the time?  Do they like thinking they're in trouble when the media says:  "Sarah Jessica Parker was seen with Cher and Oprah today, we're pretty sure they were doing the macarena but they were slightly behind Oprah and she was naked so we really didn't see anything else because we turned around and left. A witness named Michael Scott Leighten the boy said that police were called to the scene, but Oprah swears that no one hit her in the face."  

I really don't know where my mind goes sometimes.  Just be glad I'm not looking for a naked pic of Oprah to post.

Jerry and Brenda arrived at some point, we went outside and found there was a boat parade going on, so I took some pictures.  Full moon over Bahama Breeze, which is where we ate supper.   The moon is just right of center right above the building. Pretty good food, I guess. 

I'm not going to bore you with the trip in the van to Walgreens and the liquor store, which pretty much topped off the night.
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