Getting there ...
This cruise trip was for Woanyu's high school (Taipei First Girl High
School 北一女) reunion in California (some of them were even flying in from
Taiwan). I thought it was a trip for family, but it turned out I was
one of few husbands signing up to join the trip. Woanyu drove
down to Los Angeles with her friends on 7/3 and I had an early morning
flight to LAX on 7/4 to meet with them. After a short break at her
friend's home, we headed to Long Beach before noon to start our cruise
Day 1 (7/4) ...
Carnival Imagination at Long Beach
It was a 3-day (3 nights) cruise starting from Long Beach with a port
of call in Ensenada, Mexico. We got onboard at about noon and had a
lunch by the pool with a few friends while waiting for our room to get
ready. First launched in 1995 and most recently updated in 2016,
Carnival Imagination holds 2,056 passengers (70,367 GT tonnage, 855 feet
in length), making it one of the line’s smallest ships.
The official reunion started at 2PM when they all
gathered at the aft of deck 10. After the self introduction,
husbands (and family members) were all dismissed since the girls will
talk about their secret stuffs.
Day 2 (7/5 At Sea) ...
- There were some planned activities for Woanyu's classmates:
Zumba at 9AM, T-shirt cutting at 10AM, group lunch buffet at Lido, another
Zumba, cocktail at Illusions Club, and formal picture time before dinner.
As the "designated" photographer, I just showed up at these activities to
take some pictures and then retreated back to my stateroom for my own
Day 3 (7/6 Ensenada) ...
- Lying 125 kilometers (78 mi) south of San Diego on the Baja
California Peninsula, Ensenada is a coastal city in Mexico,
the third-largest in Baja California, and has emerged as a popular
cruise ship destination. We had an group tour organized by one of
Woanyu's classmates who has been living in Mexico for more than 20
We first went to visit La Bufadora, a marine geyser or
blowhole located on the Punta Banda Peninsula, about an hour of drive
from Ensenada. La Bufadora is one of the largest blowholes in
North America, often shooting upwards more than 30 meters (100 ft.)
above sea level. The spout of sea water is the result of air, trapped
in a sea cave, exploding upwards. Air is forced into the cave by wave
action and is released when the water recedes. Legend has it that
in forgotten times, during one of the migrations to the warm waters of
the south, a breeding gray whale that passed through the bay
of Ensenada got separated from the group. While wandering lost, it got
stuck between rocks and, in an effort to cry for help, decided to launch
small and large jets of water into the air to alert its companions. Over
time, this whale turned into stone and merged with the rocks in the
place to what is now called La Bufadora.
- We turned north for about 2 hours of drive to another coastal
town, Puerto Nuevo, famous as the "Lobster Village" of Baja
California. The lobster is prepared in a special way, you won’t
be able to find it anywhere else. In fact, they even call it "Puerto
Nuevo style" lobster. Of course, I had my special non-seafood
meal (chicken) with a tasty margarita.
- El Mirador Lookout
It has one of the best views in Ensenada (if
the weather is clear...). At one time, this spot was a tourist
trap with a restaurant, tourist information booth, etc. The now vacant
buildings show their age and lack of maintenance, but their colorful
stucco walls provide nice backdrops for some photos.
- When we were back to Ensenada, we were recommended to have some
seafood cups (of course not for me). There was a long line and we
waited for at least half an hour for the seafood cups....
Going Home (7/7) ...
We were back to the port of Long Beach in the early morning before dawn.
In order to avoid the crowd, Woanyu and I decided to disembark early and
wait for her friends (we will carpool together back to the Bay Area) outside
the passenger terminal.
It is a 6+ hours drive with smooth traffic all the way back home.
Although cruise travel is not really my type (too slow and too crowded),
Woanyu had a good time with her classmates (some old friends and some new
friends). As long as she is happy, I am happy too :-)
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