Friday, December 29, 2006

The Veggie Queen Travels

Yes, it's true. I went away. This time it was purely for fun and relaxation, needing lots of the latter after a truly busy year. My family and I took a cruise vacation. We last did this 4 years ago and found that it was a great way for me and my husband to be alone while our son was safe and entertained. I like it because I don't have any of my usual routines that include work, cooking, cleaning, driving and the like. We took a Carnival cruise to Mexico. I'll sum it up here:

I came back tanned, relaxed and rested, until we entered the chaos zone at the Oakland airport. But that was a minor price to pay for many days of mostly stress-free living.

I did have some food issues such as eating breakfast. I like what I like, don't you? Well, I'm not someone who eats bacon, eggs, sausage or hash browns for breakfast. I also don't eat standard breakfast cereal with milk, or usually pancakes or French toast. (I know, you're wondering what I do eat.) If pushed, I will eat oatmeal but I prefer other hot cereals but only now when it's winter, not when it's 80+ degrees outside (as it was in Mexico). Still, I did eat oatmeal but I had to smuggle raisins into the dining room from the casual place upstairs. I learned to ask for the bananas, blueberries and strawberries that go with the pancakes (hold the pancakes, please. I felt like Jack Nicholson in Five Easy Pieces asking for his toast.). One day I got a piece of the worst not-very-whole wheat toast with peanut butter and jelly just for something different. But that was only a minor glitch, but not a good way to start every day.

Lunch and dinner were somewhat better as there were more choices, especially at lunch where they had stations set up in the casual eatery. I often choose the Chinese where there were lots of fresh veggies, or the salad bar with many different types of salads that almost made up for the lack of anything too green except Caesar salad (which is too greasy, gooey and cheesey for me), I saw more iceberg lettuce than one ought to see in the entire world.

The first night's Indian Vegetarian Dinner was the best and should have been repeated nightly or at least every other night, for my satisfaction. They did serve Indian at the lunch buffet once and I'd already eaten which was fine since I had a veggie samosa for dessert.

Our dining room waiter, Jaime from the Philippines, was a good singer and dancer and knew how to provide good service. His assistant, Wanida from Thailand, was so cute and nice, We had a great table by the window and enjoyed our quiet section of the dining room a lot.

My favorite port of call was Zihuatenejo, where we spent our time at La Playa Ropa (the clothes beach?) enjoying food, drink, the ocean and getting my hair braided.

I took all the yoga classes offered on the ship, which was 4, one for each day at sea. While they were not my regular routine, or type of class, it was great to do it although balancing on a moving vessel is quite difficult, at least for me.

It's been quite chilly here in the mornings and I already long for those 80 degree days and my time being served but I made quite a wonderful New Year Good Luck Soup. I gave some away already and have been asked for the recipe but I still haven't written it down. It does contain black eyed peas and greens for the luck. May your travels and New Year be filled with luck, health, happiness and abundance. Ahhhh...

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