Sunday, August 23, 2009

30th Birthday Cabo San Lucas Cruise

For my 30th Birthday, my mom and dad sent me on a 5-day Carnival cruise to Cabo San Lucas. I brought along one of my best friends, Christy. The first we wandered the ship and met many cool people... Christy and I were hard to miss on the ship being the only two young women who spoke in ASL.

First, while getting assistance for our TTY Kit at the front desk, we met an older man on vacation with his friends. He was so sweet, every day when he saw us, he would give me a countdown to my birthday.

During the Emergency Drill, we ran into three ASL interpreters who were on the cruise for a Deaf married couple, one of which was Deaf and partially blind. The first time I saw first hand how to sign to a blind person, very challenging. We made friends with the couple and the interpreters, pretty nice ladies, one of which is from Concord.

Our dinner time was arranged for the later seating, and our table was less than enthusiastic...they didn't open up much until later in the dinner and even then they were less than animate. As we discovered later, the Deaf couple and their interpreters were in the earlier dinner, so we switched in order to attend some of the shows with them so I could enjoy the show more and not interpret the whole time, and Christy could enjoy herself more since I'm a rookie at interpreting for shows and other big events.

The second day on the cruise, first full day at sea was very exciting and memorable. We decided to attend an art auction for the free champagne, free art and raffles. I never expected the outcome of that little adventure....

First, we met one of the Art Gallery employees, a sweet, petite young woman from South Africa. She approached Christy and I while we were admiring some art that I absolutely loved...After she advised me of the reserve price of the paintings and that I may be able to buy them prior to auction at reserve, an older man approached us...he appeared to be in his mid-50's. We discussed our vacations and the art we were interested in. The man was trying to encourage me to buy the collection of three by the artist Emile Bellet. I had told him that I really liked the art, but since I was a preschool teacher and didn't make a lot of money, buying art was not high on the priority list..especially at the price of the art. I planned on buying a painting of green sea turtle since it was inexpensive and of course, because I love sea turtles and it was very realistic.

We went to sit down as the auction began, and as the turtle painting came up, I bought it. After several raffles of spa packages or internet minutes, the next raffle was a print of one of the paintings I liked by Emile Bellet. I was gripping my bid card hoping that the number pulled would be mine and as the numbers were read, I heard a familiar voice call out. I turn to see the man we were speaking with earlier about the paintings! We point to each other, smiling. Minutes later, he is crouching at my side with a proposal, "You can have this free painting if you buy another." Well......what did I do you ask?........

Another Bellet is up for bid...the auctioneer knows I like them, gives it to me for the reserve price, cheap! Yep, I'm nuts! As the auction progresses, I win two more raffles, one entry into the Black Jack tournament, which I pass off to Christy as she is a much better player....and the other?! Another free print! There are 5 different free prints to choose from....which leads me to the appointment later to give my shipping address for the two pieces of art I bought and the two free prints I got; one my winning, one from the nice man.....

I go to the art gallery, the adorable woman from South Africa and I are discussing the paintings and what I am choosing for my second free print...I become very confused when there is dicussion as to what pieces I already have...after several minutes of confusion, it is clear......This man who gave me his free piece of art, the Bellet....has purchased the third piece of artwork by Bellet for me!!!! Needless to say, my mouth was hanging open and I was in shock! This entire time, I was too confused to interpret as we were discussing, so Christy was in the dark and saw my face and was like...What happened?! I tell her...and she is in shock too! As it turns out, the man has told her that his wife is a teacher, he really appreciates what I do for a living and wants to help me out. W-O-W.

Later that evening, we run into the man and his wife. I couldn't express my shock and gratitude enough. He was suprised I knew about the purchased painting, as he specifically told the art dealer that it was to be a surprise when it arrived at my door with my other paintings. He shrugged it off and introduced us to his wife who is a professor of psychology at San Diego State. We part ways for our respective dining rooms for dinner and the night continues. Later that evening, we go to play some Black Jack and there he shows up again with his wife and sits at our table and gambles with us a little. I have lost the money I had set aside for the night for gambling and I was fine with helping Christy and watch the game...Again, this man appears at my side, this time with a stack of chips (about 25 dollars) and sets them down in front of me and says, "Play and have fun." Amazing.

Over the course of the cruise, we continuely run into this man and his wife, as well as the nice group of men we met that first day. The last day of the cruise, my birthday, we pass by one of those men in the group in the dining area and they wish me a happy birthday. As we sit down to eat, one of the other men in that group walks up to us holding a red canvas bag wrapped around a bottle and says, "Um, this is kind of weird, but I won this in the Bingo game this morning and I don't drink Happy Birthday." I thank him and relay the message to Christy and we continue eating. Inside, was actually Italian champagne! I guess he wasn't kidding when he said he didn't drink, because he couldn't tell it was champagne and not wine...if it weren't for the small amount of bubbles and the top, I would have made the same mistake. What a many generous and friendly people.

This very same day, we endulge in another art auction for the free champagne and raffles, with no intent to make any more purchases. There is a whole new set of art, and another artist that I am drawn to....There were no winnings of raffles this time, but I did get suckered into buying another piece for half the cost and I got to take it off the ship with the frame and it is now hanging on my wall.

I got a lot of practice with my signing and even translated a couple shows for Christy; an R-rated comedic hypnotist show and the final show where I signed songs that were sung in a mock "American Idol" where the guests were contestants. I even got enough alcohol in me to get a little bit of courage to embarrass myself with rounds of Kareoke! Despite the alcohol, I was still nervous and awkward....Christy videotaped my two times going up so I can hopefully use them for "Don't Forget The Lyrics" on Fox...that is if I am not too much of a sissy to go through with it! Guess I will need some drinks for that too!! LOL

Christy and I meet a lot of really great people and I was sad to leave the ship. With exception to some confusion with the billing process, everything was great. Our steward was a sweetheart and made us really cute animal towels, our waiter was a crack-up, the people at our new dining table were fun, with exception to a really sweet married couple on thier anniversary, we were all young girls in sets of twos; two sisters from northern California, two friends from Reno and two friends from Arizona, then of course Christy and me. The bartenders in the casino got to know us well and always knew what drinks we wanted, Tiramisu martini, no peach shnaaps or malibu rum...and the occasional white or red wines. Our waiter's assistant brought me a glass of soy milk like clockwork every night with dessert. Hands down, the best birthday I've ever had! I'm so grateful to my parents' generosity towards Christy and me, grateful to the generous man for the art, to the sweet older men and their smiles every day that accompanied their countdown to my birthday and to all the wonderful staff who were so friendly and humorous.
Getting freshened up to wander the ship on the first day...Aug. 8th
Our window, it's faux...made waking up very difficult!

Second day...August 9th

Headed out to lay on deck in the sun...
First day on shore in Cabo...Aug 10th
The wildlife reserve in Mexico City brought this lion cub out for people to take pictures with for donations to the reserve...We got to hang out for as long as we wanted and take as many pictures as we wanted for $10 total....for $25 we could have held him briefly for one picture.
The staff had a choreographed dance for us each night, third night, Aug 10th was "Apple Bottom with the fur...she got that whole club lookin' at her...she hit the thing you know shorty got low, low, low, low...We decided to join them!
Our hilarious waiter...told us not to show these pictures to his, "Third wife" Full of sarcasm! I love it!
Our towel monkey friend...
Second day in Cabo, sweating our butts off! Aug 11th

First night headed out to sea...Aug 8th
Good bye land....
Headed out to lay on deck...
Second night, formal dinner...Aug 9th

Our little elephant friend

I love lions...
third night dinner...silly waiter
Monkey madness!
Second day in Cabo on Many Deck

Sweatin on the beach

A lil' Froggy...
Just a little Black Jack and drinks...
Aug 12th...the big 3-0 has arrived!
Birthday dinner
Swan towel
Last night, my bday

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