Infestation on the Lido deck

Infestation on the Lido deck

I woke early this morning to an unusual site, for me.  Every night before bed, when we got back to the room, there was a towel ‘figure’ done like origami on the bed.

Bunny

Bunny

Crab

Crab

Starshine and Swan

Starshine and Swan

On the internal TV network this morning, there were images of the Lido deck.  In every lounge chair sat origami ‘animals’ facing a large elephant who stood in front like he was holding court! 

Lido animals

Lido animals

Infestation on the Lido deck

Infestation on the Lido deck

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Very Neat!!

We took some pictures before getting our omelets and walking around a bit.  Shore leave was set for 10:00 in Cozumel and this is where I knew Starshine would get me back.  See I agreed to an excursion called “Salsa, Salsa, Margarita”. Basically, they would ply us with margaritas (we’d learn to make four), and Salsa (they would teach us to make four), and Salsa…they’d make me dance!!  My ER colleagues could hardly wait.

Right at 10:00 we started to disembark in Puerta Maya.  There we visited many little shops (tourist traps) that were giving away trinkets and freebies.

We weren’t there long before our guide showed up and led 28 lemmings to three short buses.  It was about a 20 minutes ride to the Cozumel Hotel and Resort, above which sat Salsa, Salsa.

As each of us walked in we were handed a double old fashioned glass holding a margarita.  The glasses had no bottoms.  We found our way to our seats, along with another couple we had just met on the bus, and a 50-something pseudo-socialite with her 15 year-old daughter and her friend (people watching).

Anticipation...

Anticipation…

The Socialite..

The Socialite..

The staff had a table set up on one side of the room with different bottles of tequila and other assorted ingredients. 

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Drink teaching station

Drink teaching station

Is one strawberry enough???

Is one strawberry enough???

 
 

Over a period of 45 minutes or so, with attentive assistants alert (Hey, I made an alliteration!!) to refill our respective glasses.  Eventually we made Lime, Strawberry, Wine, and Frozen Margaritas.

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fresh limes

fresh limes

I think it’s almost time to get something in our stomachs!  As the instructors set things up, I got up to move around.  I wandered around the open balcony to look out at the ocean.

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It’s hard for me to believe, but the ocean here is even more vibrant and colorful than in the Caymans! I took a few images until I was distracted by a sign that read “Lela the Pig  Donations”, I had to ask.

Lela was created after the 2010 earthquake in Haiti with the goal to collect donations from guests at Salsa, Salsa to help make a difference.  Each month Lela would choose a new cause to donate to and if you knew of one, you were welcome to add it to the list for consideration.

Without hesitation I wrote the name of a musician I know from Sonora, Mexico.  Mark Mulligan (www.markmulligan.net ) works closely with, and donates from book sellings and concerts, to “Outreach for World Hope” (www.outreachforworldhope.org). This is a group that operates to help children and families in Haiti and Guatemala.  I, hopefully, added their names to Lela’s list.

Now it was chips and salsa time!  First came out the fresh ingredients:

cilantro, jicama, peppers

cilantro, jicama, peppers

tomatoes, onions, garlic, and peppers

tomatoes, onions, garlic, and peppers

They taught us how to make four different salsa like Cilantro, Pica dillo, Guacamole (YUCK!), and Mango/fruit.

cilantro

cilantro

 

Bear and the guacamole

Bear and the guacamole

It was informative, fun, and other than losing the top to the salt shaker in one, we did great!

 

Oooops...

Oooops…

 

salsa

 

 Now that we were all “warmed up” they cleared the floor, started a boom-box, and the Salsa lessons began!  Starshine definitely has more oil in her joints than I (think Dork!) but we had fun.  She even coerced a lady to take pictures which, I’m sure, were posted to Facebook before we even left.

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Reluctantly

Reluctantly

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Ta Daaaaa

Ta Daaaaa

We had an hour or so left to kill before the bus came back so we headed downstairs to the resort.  There we found a small, well-kept beach where we rented masks and snorkels for $4.00.  The surf break was a bit rough but there was a small lagoon where we could dive around the coral and small colorful fish.

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We were able to get some good images and video and, other than Miss Graceful trying to dance on a piece of coral, we headed back to the ship mostly unscathed. We had our hands full of cooking knowledge and spirits, ready for a power nap!

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We got up around 5:00 to get our seats for a musical I got surprised with.  Yes, I wear a size 50 jacket, have a 19 1/2 inch neck, and enjoy watching gymnastics and musicals.   No, this isn’t part of my E-harmony posting!  It was a Rock-n-Roll musical featuring outfits, stage settings, and music from the 50’s through today.  Very Well Done!!!

Dinner tonight was also fantastic!  We each had beefsteak tomatoes with mozzarella and drizzled with olive oil, Oysters Rockefeller, Braised short ribs, and Filet Mignon.  We met a nice couple seated next to us, about our age, and enjoyed an easy conversation until Suwit asked about dessert.

At the same time Starshine said, “Warm Chocolate Melting Cake”!  The other lady said, “Bread Pudding with Grand Mariner”!  You could have heard a pin drop as a monster was born.  They each debated their side vigorously until Suwit came back with their respective desserts, and there was quiet for a bit.

Then, before seconds could be requested, Suwit and the other staff were up on the chairs and broke into song, “Gangham Style”!

It was an A-plus ending to a great day!

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