Life has a way of steamrolling causing a tremendous cloud that envelopes our world, hazing the horizon and letting us know just how miniscule our time here on earth really is. People, I can attest to the old adage of “in the blink of an eye”. I have found a new respect for our seniors and elders when they say – savor this moment – you will remember it one day.
Since my last post – I have been to Florida and to Mexico all in the same week. Hard to believe I know – but true. Actually I owe the credit to my wife Sandy. She is a big list maker and planner and has the uncanny ability to create something out of nothing. Sandy plans most of our trips and excursions throughout the year making payments all along ensuring that we have the opportunity to make great family memories.
Last October we had our first cruise that took us to Nassau, Bahamas and as soon as we finished that one, she started planning this cruise. This year we drove to Miami, Florida, caught a cruise ship to Key West for an excursion and then off to Cozumel for snorkeling off the coast with free Margaritas!
We were blessed to have been able to book our plans with some great friends that we met while camping last year at White Lake, NC. Jason and Elizabeth Williamson and their family met us in Florida where we stayed overnight in Daytona at a Luxury Hotel where we walked the boardwalk to Bubba Gump’s’ for dinner. We spent the night poolside and Sandy even sang Karaoke for the first time in her life. The next morning we departed for our road trip to Miami. Arriving midday – we were able to tour part of the city and a bit of the port as well before boarding the cruise ship.
During our time in Key West, we saw a bit of the devastation that the storms had caused but I have to say that Florida has a way of rebounding better than ever before. Those people are resilient in preparations and putting their lives back together. We had a great time shopping and exploring and even took a historic “Hop on – Hop off” Trolley Tour of the Island thanks to Old Towne Trolley Tours. Once back on the ship we had free ice cream, pizza and all the food and drinks that you could want. We enjoyed live music, the casino and all of the wonderful people that we were able to meet. Truly worth experiencing if you get the chance.
Arriving in Cozumel Mexico was a great experience. From docking the massive ship to how the crew handled all of the passengers getting off in one location. By the way, there were two other ships unloading at the same time so Cozumel was flooded that day with tourist and shoppers. Funny thing is that they had it all down to a science. Nothing was too overcrowded and the merchants there were very friendly and made every attempt to carry on conversation with its patrons. In Cozumel, there was live music which provided that necessary tropical vibe, the wind was blowing softly and the air smelled exciting. People from all walks of life were concentrated at the docks working their way through the corridor of the port into the main square where we were met by a man asking if us if we wanted to get on his Ass…….. a funny little Mexican who had two Donkey statues where you could sit on for photo opportunities – he had such a great attitude and it was fun for everyone.
After shopping at a few of the shops and picking up a great Sombrero Gonzales Fedora we boarded our Catamaran via Fury Catamarans and headed off to the coastal reef for our very first snorkeling adventure. Not sure what I expected but there were about 30 of us in the waters from our boat and four tour guides to watch for hazards. By hazards I mean predators – which is all I could think of at the time. The water was clear, the fish were friendly and the reef was amazing but I still couldn’t shake the feeling that I was a very small fish in a great big pond. At any moment I expected to be caught 47 meters down starving for oxygen and trying not to get eaten by Jaws.
Now keep in mind that we are not financially rich by any stretch of the imagination but with proper planning we are able to scrimp and save throughout the year to be able to concentrate our efforts in memorable trips like these.
Remember – our time is precious so make the best of every day. Great memories are just a breath away.