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Things I Want to Remember: Mexico, Cayman Islands, Jamaica

- the AirBNB home in Orlando, a teal wall filled with exotic masks, a crackling stone fireplace, three sweet cats, doors that stay cracked ajar for freedom in and out, an outdoor garden vibrant with various colored flowers and ferns, a clear pool with rolled towels in a metal bin ready for use, morning coffee and separated trash for recycling, good conversation on travel, art, and film, feeling like once again I wanted to stay longer

- Harry Potter at Universal Orlando, discovering Knockturn Alley in the Diagon Allery area, appreciating the darkness and hidden aspect of it, appreciating the vanishing cabinet with the chirping bird from within, wishing David was there to see the skulls and the special effects spiders, seeing the young children with their wands activating the magic areas around the park

- Single Rider Line for the win!

- relaxing on the outside of Deck 4 of the Disney Fantasy, a recliner chair with my Castaway Club tote on my lap to catch my dress from picking up on the ocean wind, sipping on the 'Drink of the Day' that was strong on acidic pineapple flavor, maneuvering the straw around the maraschino cherry and bit of greenery on a plastic sword, falling asleep with my sunglasses on and feeling so relaxed with the sounds of the water, the light afternoon sun illuminating the sea in front of us, the occasional quiet sound of a family or a jogger going by on the adjoining deck

- enjoying Palo for lunch, champagne jelly cubes, chocolate covered strawberries, and oysters that made me squint my face, delicate fresh baked mini-muffins, and various breads with bleu cheese or onion & cheese bread, feeling stuffed on our way out the door

- first swim in the pool in Quiet Cove, learning how to use my underwater camera, test photos with bubbles and eyes squeezed tightly shut, Clare's foot as a test subject for 'flash on' and 'flash off', feeling excitement as we realized the quality of images that we'll pick up when swimming underwater in port, the guitarist in the background playing 'Landslides', orange setting sun and the pool water that slowly took on the cold water from the edges until we knew we had to get out of the pool and brave the ocean wind

- Cozumel and the local ruins, walking alone down the dirt path to the unknown, looking up at the trees with their curling branches above me providing much-appreciated shade, stopping for a moment to take a picture, close my eyes, breath in the smell of earth and fresh air, hearing the sound of far off voices as many others explore the ruins, our host Ivan showing the group the Mayan calendar at the entry way arch, explaining the symbolism of the stones and pointing to the shadows and their alignments

- the beach in Cozumel where Clare and I jumped into the water without hesitation, floating and allowing the waves to carry us, botched attempts at anti-fog spray on our snorkel masks, heading out for our free strawberry daiquiris, then returning to the ocean waves and swimming once more before heading to the showers and changing area to return to our ship

- the Mexican merchants all calling out the same lines: "For you? Or for your boyfriend? No? Ah, for your ex-boyfriend?"

- the man painted gold standing on the box, touching my arm for each pass I made by him, then on the third pass I in turn reached out and touched his arm, winning a startled look

- finding the art store in Cozumel with handmade goods including the beautiful designs by an artist from Puebla, Mexico made from tree bark twisted and contorted, stained to look like leather, seeing various spiral designs and choosing one for my home to mount on a white canvas

- talking with our cruise neighbors the Finks in front of us, answering the parents' questions on how to order breakfast room service so that it arrives in the AM at a time of their choosing, discussing the magnets on our door, slowly donating more to their door as we developed a rapport with the kids and the family, including a donated pair of Captain Mickey Mouse ears to place around their room number, Ariel and Aladdin magnets, and a dry erase board with a very slow game of hangman, receiving a Valentine's Day card and a handmade mask, the parents telling us that the kids ran out to see our Mickey Mouse ears and how they changed each day

- Dylan Fink on the bus with me in Grand Cayman, introducing himself and when I said my name was Sarah, he said, "Whoa", took off his glasses and asked "As in Sarah and Clare?" then his father told him yes, the kid acting like we were celebrity, talked during the trip from Spot's Bay to Georgetown, falling in love with the family and deciding to give them more items on their door

- our elaborate magnet decorations on door 2519, with rotating Mickey Mouse/Minnie Mouse/Maleficent ears around the circular room number, the printed nametags for Clare and Sarah, the various cutouts from Clare's auction book including several Peter Pan magnets arranged around Clare's nametag, the pirate map logo with the Disney characters and the tropical Mickey flower magnet created by my parents, Clare's magnetic Princess frame with our photo from the previous cruise that fell almost every time we shut to the door until we finally brought it inside to prop on the desk, the dangling photo holder from my brother Greg and sister in law Jalaine that held some of my favorite photos from our previous cruise, and the cherished hand stitched Jack Skellingtoon and Baloo made by my mother and father

- our lively guide Che at the Green Grotto Caves in Jamaica, taking on Steve Irwin's accent and making the crowd laugh, making a wish into the wishing pool with a small shell in place of a coin, seeing large porous formations that I assumed to be volcanic only to learn that they were large bits of coral from the time when Jamaica was underwater, walking through the caves and seeing the small furry fruitbats and hearing their squeaks as we wandered through the tunnels, seeing formations of illuminated stalagmites and stalactites in the distance aligning symmetrically with their reflections on the pitch black water

- the man in the Falmouth shopping center who asked how I was doing and then responded 'irie', when I asked what it meant he said, 'the world is good, it's all right mon, it's all right'

- the first off the boat in Falmouth, out to explore and shop before our excursion that would begin an hour and fifteen minutes later, laughing and joking with the locals, getting promised "first customer of the day" prices, and bringing Clare back around in the afternoon, being remembered as the first of the day by many and Clare being given the same haggled down prices as we laughed our way around the center

- my "future husbands" in the handcarved wood area who engraved Jamaica onto my blue pineapple and pink flamingo

- the sea-turbulance of the Disney Magic, causing sliding and adjustments while walking, creating a bit of disorientation when we came back to solid land, leading us to ask naively, "Wait, are we moving?"

- sitting with Clare on Deck 9 at night, bundled, sipping hot cocoa and watching bits of "The Little Mermaid" on the Funnel Vision, stars in the background and the funnels illuminated against the night sky

- sitting with my drink in the shaded portion of Deck 9, clear view of the Funnel Vision trivia slide rotation while service men in bright yellow suits worked on the refrigerator door to the soft serve area behind me, guessing the trivia answers and learning a few things I did not know

- visiting the Tortuga rum cake site in Cayman Islands although "not officially on the tour", sampling unique flavors like key lime, hurrying in my shopping, picking up beanies and bits of memorabilia for my family, laughing as more of my tour mates came in to sample a little rum cake

- the Aqua Dunk of terror, seeing a sign for 40 minute wait and realizing it was a walk-on moment, feeling severe anxiety right before Clare climbs in, not sure how to prepare myself or maintain a calm nature, stepping in, feeling the humidity of the tube, crossing my arms over my chest and hoping for the best before the floor opened beneath me

- the turtle farm, holding a baby turtle in the small tanks available for tourists to step inside, appreciating hearing how they release the turtles into the wild

- making friends with the mother and daughter whose names we never learned while on our Jamaican excursion, the approximately 13 year old girl complimenting my teal nail polish and showing me her glittery pink pedicure with white hearts on the big toes, telling me pink was her favorite color and how she got her first pedicure done for the cruise and for Valentine's Day, the mother asking me to take photos of them at the caves, later at the beach Clare telling me she overheard the girl tell her mother that she wanted to stop and wait for her friend, being near them in line for food and the girl asking her mother, "Can we sit with them? Please?" Clare and I laughed, saved them a beach recliners by us and directed them to the seats with backpacks and a pink flamingo boca clip

Posted by WanderingWorld 00:05 Archived in Jamaica Tagged mexico jamaica cayman_islands cozumel grand_cayman things_i_want_to_remember disney_cruise

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That's where the captain Mickey ears went! Haha good you kept notes!! Lol

by Clare

So, "future husband"? Glad you and Clare remembered where the Mickey Captain ears went. Want some more printed out?

So cool to see you are getting caught up on your travels again!

by Mom

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