Last week we talked about how much jet lag has not been my friend. Well…I may have found the perfect cure for jet lag! A Carnival Cruise! I know this sounds crazy but cruise ship naps are amazing and I am pretty sure the best thing for jet lag that I have experienced.
On Sunday morning I flew from Spokane to LA to board the Carnival Imagination. I was so tired still from Israel but also so excited to be heading out on a new to me Carnival ship. I boarded in Long Beach and promptly had a frosty beverage as one does when you are kicking off a cruise. I met up with Danielle and we caught up on life and frosty beverages for a while before meeting with the rest of the group.
We were on the ship to celebrate the Carrie Underwood Carnival Live show which I will tell you more about in a few moments. Our first day on the ship was a sea day and it was heaven sent! I was wide awake at 5 am..boo! Not what I had planned but it did give me a chance to run all over the ship and get pictures for future blog posts. I also saw some whales off the ship so that was a bonus.
No sea day is complete without sea day brunch. Hello yum! There are so many options during Sea Day brunch but I always get the Mac and Cheese on Carnival Ships. YUMMMMMM!
After an early morning, it was time for a cruise ship nap! I curled up and was out and it felt so good. Thankfully I woke up for dinner and our first press event. I was a bit worried that I was going to sleep through everything. The press event was at the Alchemy Bar which you all know is a personal favorite of mine. I ordered my normal fruity drink with no bubbles and they delivered. I love that you can tell the bartenders what flavors you like and they will whip up a custom cocktail for you.
Tuesday morning we pulled into Catalina Island off the coast of California. This is a tender port so we headed out early for our excursion so we would have time to check out the island a little bit. Now that I have seen a bit of Catalina I really want to go back. It is SOOO CUTE! We went on a dolphin sighting excursion and it was fantastic. Maybe one of the top 5 excursions I have done from a cruise ship. Check out these pics of Bottlenose Dolphins….
We were able to sit on the bow of the ship with our legs hanging over the sides. I had a hard time getting photos without my toes showing in them the dolphins were so close. It was a dream day on the water. The water was smooth as glass, the dolphins played around the boat and we were able to just soak it all in.
I could have spent hours out with the dolphins but we needed to head back to the ship to prepare for the Carrie Underwood Carnival Live concert!
One of my favorite things about a Carnival Live concert is how small the theater is and how intimate the performance feels. You are not swept away in glitz and flashy lights you get to focus on the artist and their love of music. Carrie Underwood shared her love of music with old and new songs we all love. From Jesus Take the Wheel to Dolly Partons I Will Always Love You. Every song was spectacular.
During All American Girl, a small girl sat in the aisle near me and sang every lyric by heart. You could see her love of Carrie Underwood in her eyes and how much this moment meant to her. She was brimming with joy being so close to her idol and it brought tears to my eyes. Her Mom sat there in wonder as the little girl belted out the song and had her moment along with Carrie Underwood.
Ever since the concert, I have had Carrie Underwood songs playing in my head non-stop! She put on such an amazing show!
Wednesday we pulled into Ensenada, Mexico for the day. This was my first time in Ensenada and I would really like to go back again soon. We spent the day on a wine tasting tour. I honestly didn’t realize how big of a wine area Ensenada was. We passed quite a few wineries and had the chance to sample wines at two wineries. The first winery was large and had a wide variety of wines. The second winery started in a home and then expanded to being a mini-market with jams, salsas, and wines. I will have a post up soon with all the details on this excursion.
Sadly Wednesday night it was already time to pack our bags and get ready to leave the ship Thursday morning. This cruise sailed by so quickly. Pun intended! LOL!
Thursday morning it was time to disembark and head towards Oxnard/Ventura. I went with a friend to take another Island Packers dolphin/whale watching excursion. You may remember the first wildlife cruise I did with Island Packers that I blogged about here. I was a bit worried during this whale watching excursion because it was overcast and a bit chilly. Finally, though we saw dolphins and then right afterward we saw a humpback whale. It was so cool to see a Humpback Whale again. They said that these whales come north from South America and are a different group from the ones we saw in Alaska on our Alaska Cruise.
We spent the rest of the afternoon driving along the Pacific Coast Highway and exploring Malibu. This is such a cool part of Southern California. I really need to spend a few weeks just wandering in and out of the small towns and soaking up the California vibe.
Friday it was time to head home and get back to reality. My lovely Husband scheduled to have his wisdom teeth removed while I was flying home. So I sat in the airport worried that every thing was going ok, which thankfully it did. My flights ended up being delayed all over the place and then the travel gods looked out for me big time. I landed in Seattle thinking I had missed my flight to Spokane by about 2 minutes. Thankfully I landed at C11 and my flight was boarding at C10F. I was able to walk off one flight and right onto the next one.
Now I am home for a week or so and getting caught up on life. Can you believe the laundry didn’t wash itself while I was gone. Dang it! Plus the floors didn’t magically get scrubbed and look spotless when I walked in the door. Now that would have been a magical way to end a trip. HA!
I hope you have an amazing week! We have lots of fun recipes and travel tips coming up this week! If you are thinking about the upcoming Kentucky Derby John shared a classic Mint Julep recipe on his blog this week that is so good!