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Tuesday, November 11, 2003

3:20 pm. Whew! Mexico (so far) is everything I should have expected but didn't because I forgot to listen. For one thing, it's hot. Damn hot. Oppressively hot, sauna hot. Not that I'm complaining, because I should have expected it, if I'd been paying attention. I guess you just don't appreciate it until you're in the middle of it.

Also, and this will be no surprise to anyone else, it's a total tourist trap. There are people all along every street trying to attract your attention and get you to buy necklaces, scarves, Chiclets, whatever. It's amazing how many people can apparently earn a living this way, because from what I saw they mostly get ignored.

Cabo San Lucas, at the tip of Baja California, is a tender port, which doesn't mean what I would have thought it meant. There's simply no dock for a gigundis ship like ours, and the water is too shallow to let us get close.

So we get ferried ashore in groups on the ship's lifeboats (which they've renamed "tenders" to avoid the Titanic association). It's a quick trip aboard a two-deck launch that's nothing like what was in the movie. Nobody had to row, because it had an engine. How modern!

We were in Cabo for about four hours, from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. Mostly we walked around and looked at the things in the shops, stopping every so often to drink. I had two Coronas at the Hard Rock Café, then a margarita at Cabo Wabo. Then another Corona. I came back to the ship with Tammy and David, about an hour before everybody else. I managed not to spend any money there (except for food and drink, of course).

Cabo San Lucas might once have been a dusty little fishing village, but it's nothing like that any more. Still, it's nothing like any town in the United States, either. It's mostly shops, bars and restaurants, surrounded by a huge marina with a lot of impressive boats (most of them owned by gringos). All the people are friendly, except for the drivers who'd like to mow you down as you cross their street. And it's oh, so hot.

6:30 pm. Poor Eric has spent the whole afternoon, ever since he stumbled back from shore leave, sleeping (and doing other things) on our bathroom floor. I even borrowed Tammy and David's bathroom next door so I wouldn't disturb him (or get involved).

Someone convinced the sap to let them hang him upside down at the Giggling Marlin saloon in Cabo. While he was strung up like the catch of the day, they poured beer and tequila in him and spun him around. It must have been quite a sight, and I wish I'd been there.

He doesn't remember how he got back to the ship or much of anything else. But after three or four hours on the floor, he's in a little better shape. He's even taking a shower, so I guess he's planning on making it to dinner and tonight's show (feature comedian Kelly Monteith). He'll surprise everyone if he does make it, because he's been the talk of our group all day.

11 November 2003

Our group, walking along the marina in Cabo.

9:20 pm. I can't believe I'm back in the stateroom and nearly ready for bed when almost everyone else is still at dinner. They probably haven't even been served dessert yet. After the show (which was great, by the way; Kelly Monteith is very funny and very clean), I went to the buffet dinner with Tammy and David up on deck 9.

We thought Tammy might be able to eat a little more there than in the constantly bumping-thumping dining room, but the rocking of the ship even got to me. The buffet area is at the front of the ship, and it almost seems that you can feel every wave.

I think the experiment failed, and I expect to be back in the dining room tomorrow night. And maybe I won't be getting ready for bed at 9:30 pm, with so many activities still going on all over the ship.

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