For our tenth, we celebrated on the Carnival Paradise. It was my very first cruise, and thanks to many family members (that means you too, Lindsay!), we were able to go without the kids.
Monday we left from Long Beach and got to know the ship and our tablemates, who were all couples close to our age, including another couple from Utah.
Tuesday morning we woke up early enough to watch the ship pull into Catalina Island. This was my favorite day of the trip. We took a tender out to Avalon and first went on a glass bottom boat. We were able to see some of the fish in the cove and the kelp beds without having to get into the freezing cold water.
Then we rented a tandem bicycle. Both Nate and I have decided that they are harder to operate than they look but still a lot of fun. We rode from Lovers Cove to the Casino, which is an iconic picture spot in Avalon that happens to be undergoing renovation and was completely draped in black. I wanted to see inside because in the '30s and '40s, it was where all the big bands came and performed, but they only had one tour inside and it was kind of pricey.
Instead, we rode up the canyon to the Wrigley Memorial and Botanical Gardens, named after the Wrigley of chewing gum and Chicago Cubs fame. It started raining as soon as we got there, but we still hike up and around it.
After getting a flat on the way down the canyon, we waited in line for almost a half hour to get on a tender back to the ship and saw a baby sea lion wandering up onto the pier.
Wednesday we went to Ensenada, Mexico. We dis a tour that took us to La Bufadora, one of three natural blowholes in the world. While there we bought fish and carne asada tacos and churros. The food was awesome!! I love comida autentico de Mexico, real Mezican food.
We also toured the convention center, which was a hotel/casino built by Capone. The painted murals and ceilings were still pretty much in tact.
Thursday, our actual anniversary, we spent at sea. We read our books (not on the deck because of the rain and rough seas), played some trivia games, watched an ice carving demonstration, and learned how to fold towels into animals. At lunch we were seated with another couple that was also celebrating their tenth anniversary that day.
Overall, there were a lot of things I loved about the cruise. The food was amazing; I could seriously go on and on about it. They had an excellent sushi station (my favorite) and amazing dishes like mango cream soup and chocolate melting cake. The service was also wonderful, and we felt like the people in the dining room were old friends by the end of the cruise.
And our room was fabulous! We were right off the central atrium, close to the theater and the dining, but from inside the room it was so quiet you would never know it was all a few steps away. And we had a window. I loved being able to look out when the sun was coming out to see our next port.
I also just loved being able to walk along the decks and watch the sea. It was hard to sit still for very long though because the rocking often put me to sleep.
My complaints are few. Some had nothing to do with the ship like missing the kids terribly or waking up ridiculously early (4:30 one morning). But Thursday I was really feeling the ship rocking a lot. Not so much too make me throw up, like one of our dinner companions, but enough that I didn't feel entirely comfortable. And the day we got off the ship, my sea legs were so bad when we were at Disneyland, I would start to tip over while waiting in line. That night I dreamed I was on a little boat and rocked all night long, and Saturday was the worst. Just sitting still made me feel like I was rocking all over.
But we had a great time and lots of great memories!!