Winter on the Norwegian Jewel Part 1
Norwegian Jewel – Tulum Ruins, Mexico
Are you ready for a long read? Longer than my normal write ups? If so you’ll enjoy this one, if not you should skip to the parts highlighted in Green,
2014…Up, down and all around. That’s the best way to describe it. A few weeks ago I decided to start 2015 off right…which to me means a cruise. I suppose I could have taken a land vacation, and I have one of those planned for the Spring (hello Middle East!) but I wanted to relax, cry, dance, be happy, tan, see something I hadn’t seen before and of course eat.
Eating…I actually came on this cruise with the thought of losing weight. I know most people go on a cruise knowing they’ll gain weight. With all of the running around the ship, dancing, seeing the sights, and pulling luggage around an airport, I’m usually about 5 pounds lighter, and at worst stay the same weight. However the goal this time is to definitely lose weight. Why?
Because I put on about a pound a month for the last two years. Why you ask again dear reader? Because I’ve been eating and drinking whatever I pleased and for the past year have not exercised. Now early last year I really couldn’t, but by the time I was on my feet again I simply didn’t have the desire to. Staying in shape is really a mental exercise, and in between moving, taking care of two new pups, and giving away my treadmill it just didn’t happen.
All in all, I can’t complain. Gaining a pound a month while eating and drinking as I pleased isn’t bad, but it’s time to go back to the “real” healthier, “I look way better in a swimsuit me”. I miss her and my old wardrobe does too.
In an effort to start off on the right I had cheese grits with shrimp and crispy onion, as well as a Peachtini and some delicious Nutmeg liquor in ATL on my way here, but I balanced that with walking at least a good mile around that airport. 😉 Okay I know that doesn’t nearly make up for the amount of calories in that delicious lunch, but I did have salad, hummus, veggies and tuna for dinner. And considering that I ran around 3 airports in the effort to make it to Houston I felt justified.
Tip: If you’re traveling to your cruise port from farther away than a 4 hour drive, plan to arrive the day ahead of time instead of the day of. It allows you to unwind so that when you arrive at the cruise port you’re in a vacation frame of mind.
So I head into Houston via Atlanta from a regional airport since the last two times I flew out from JFK I missed my flights! This airport is considerably closer, so even though I had to take a connecting flight, it was worth it, especially considering that my first flight was at 7:30am.
The flight was smooth, and so was the one into Houston. My original plan was to stay in the city and explore, but it was easier to fly into Hobby airport, and I didn’t want to pay the taxi fare to take me into the heart of the city, so I settled on the airport closer to the cruise port and an Airport Marriott just minutes away, where I ordered the above mentioned healthy dinner from their bistro, washed my hair, twisted it, watching House Hunters International (New Zealand!) and the fell asleep. Though the TNT show ‘Wake Up Call’ with the Rock kept me up for as long as I could open my eyes, after all it’s hard not to stay awake for The Rock.
Tulum Ruins – Mexico (from the Port of Cozumel)
So I decided to take a ships tour to see Tulum. While you do spend most of your time getting there, it’s worth it for the views of the ruins with the sea views behind it alone. Our tour guide Greta was very knowledgeable and obviously passionate about Mayan and indigenous cultures of her country. Despite he talk being a long one, it was worth listening to, for there was a lot to learn. Of course I don’t remember much of what she said, but when needed, I’m sure my recall will be there, much like my French.
Steeped in Native American history and lore, the ruins of Tulum reminded me much of Olympia in Greece. Some stone buildings left, a lot of open space, and in the case of Tulum a beautiful creamy sand beach below. The Mayans knew how to build with a view. Skip the guided tour of the ruins once you get there, and wander around yourself and make your way to the beach. You’ll have a 20/25 minute walk back to the buses and allow yourself time to pick up your Mayan hieroglyphic cartouche, a few stitched handkerchiefs from the walking women vendors and a Margarita to go. Total 40 minutes (and $12 for the Kerchiefs and Margarita) once leaving the site of Tulum.
Tip: Beware the Margarita. They are more powerful then they seem.