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Thursday, November 13, 2003

11:55 am. Yes, it's still morning on the ship, although outside in town it's an hour later. We've been instructed to stay on ship's time, though.

Puerto Vallarta (the part of it we visited anyway) is busier, cleaner and more crowded than what we saw of Mazatlán yesterday. The people are still friendly (some a little too friendly), but the atmosphere is a little more intense, as I suppose you should expect of a city built on tourism. Mazatlán's major industry is still fishing; I don't think that's the case with Puerto Vallarta.

When I woke up at 8:00 am, we were already docked, with a slightly smaller Danish ship next to us. (We are Norwegian, by the way.) By lucky coincidence I was able to hook up with Tammy and David again. Eric was still in bed when we left, and no one else seemed to be around.

We decided to walk, and then we decided not to walk. It was a good decision. The four-dollar taxi ride was well worth it, especially in the morning heat and humidity.

We found the downtown shopping district and walked the streets, just as we'd done in the other ports. I was grateful to have someone to follow. David had been here once before, but it was for his high school senior trip, and so some of his memories are a little fuzzy. For example, he wasn't sure exactly which table in Carlos O'Brian's he was dancing on when he broke his finger. He did remember the hospital where he had it re-set, though.

We enjoyed the local color, but there are only so many jewelry shops and T-shirt places you can look at before you've had enough. We stopped at Hooter's for a soft drink on our way out, and we had lunch at Carlos O'Brian's on our way back to the ship. Both are on the road which runs along the beach, which is where we mostly stayed.

I'm back on the ship writing this. I've already showered once, and I think another turn in the shower might be in my future. Tammy and David wanted to go out to the beach, but I'm pretty sure I'm finished with my shore visit. I'm sitting in a lounge on deck 4, looking out at the beautiful harbor. I might just be here a while.

5:25 pm. I haven't had a very good afternoon. I feel a little down, and pretty tired, and somewhat disconnected. We've reached the point where people aren't communicating, and some are on edge (or slightly over the edge), and getting home seems like the best idea in the world.

Maybe it's that we just sailed form our last port of call, and we really will be home in two and a half days. Mostly it's me, I'm sure. I don't know if I've lost the will or the energy (or both), but I haven't tried very hard today.

After I dozed off in the chair in the lounge, I relocated to the cabin and took a bit of a nap. Eric was in and out a couple of times later on, and we were planning on going to the trivia contest at 4:00 pm.

Somehow, through a series of misadventures, we all lost track of each other. I don't know why we all headed in different directions to get to the same place, but by the time we were all there it was too late for the start of the contest. Eric and Mike went in anyway, and the rest of us scattered. I came down to the room to sleep some more. Maybe that will help.

13 November 2003

Puerto Vallarta, the bay and the dolphin statue.

12:30 am. Tensions heated up at dinner tonight. It caught me by surprise, because I was feeling so much better. But that's just me, apparently. I like things to go smoothly and I want everyone to get along. I try to see everyone's side of an argument and understand how people feel and why they do what they do and say what they say. I cut people a lot of slack and try to take them for who they are. I'm not very judgmental, but I'm very forgiving.

But again, that's just me. I'd like other people to give one another the same consideration, but I suppose it would be hypocritical of me to expect it. One thing, though: words said in anger are easier to forgive than words said with malice or thoughtlessness.

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