Throwback Thursday: Cruisin' to Cozymel

Today, I'm linking up with The Life of Bon for Throwback Thursdays' Favorite Summer Vacation.  All summer, Bon has been inspiring folks to explore memories from their childhood (and adolescence, too!), and this week's topic is about favorite trips from this time of year.

My family didn't really do summer vacations because we didn't have a lot of money, and my parents/my mama couldn't take time off usually.  There were only a handful of family trips before my parents divorced.  We went to area theme parks, Dogpatch, U.S.A. (kind of like Silver Dollar City in Branson, but not quite as good), and Magic Springs in Hot Springs, and we tried to go to SDC one fall.  When we got there, it was a trip a la National Lampoon's Vacation--the park was closed.  Only my dad wasn't Clark Griswold, so he didn't kidnap the security guard and force him to take us on roller coasters.

As I got older, I started going to church camps and journalism camps, and the summer before my senior year, I went on a cruise to Mexico with some of my best friends and my best friend Tasha's family (and friends of her family and their families--there were 18 of us, with 9 adults and 9 kids!).

In New Orleans
Oh, the days of disposable cameras!
(Tasha and me)

It's now a tradition to sing "I Love Rock-N-Roll!" when we are together.  :)
(Tasha, me, Sara, Jenn)

dinner in the formal dining room one night

On the pier in Cozymel--just over 11 years ago!

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formal dinner
I got my dress at a consignment shop, and it was a bit big in the bust.  (I was very small-chested.)
The little girl is my best friend Tasha's little sister Savannah, who is now graduated and just had a baby girl of her own!

my lovely blue-plaid one-piece and back pre-scoliosis-surgery ;)

around New Orleans after we landed

While the cruise itself was fun and I loved seeing another country (even though going on a cruise isn't exactly seeing another country) and eating, swimming, and taking pictures--the part I LOVED best was NEW ORLEANS!  I loved, loved, loved the French Quarter.  It felt very European to me with its old cobbled streets and balconies and verandahs, the colored homes lining the street, the gas lit street lamps.  I loved hearing about the history of the city on our ghost tour and seeing houses that were in Interview with the Vampire.  Then I would walk around the corner and feel like I was in a third-world country, which broke my heart for the people of NOLA, long before Hurricane Katrina hit.  We were too young to take advantage of the wilder side (though Tasha and Jenn, I think, went in a x-rated store with some of the adults--Tasha's family are kind of crazy like that! *blushes*), so we were able to see it with some rose-colored glasses on.  For the longest time, I even planned to have a NOLA-themed wedding.

I haven't been back to NOLA since then, but I did go on another cruise with Tasha and her family in 2007 when she was pregnant with her daughter.  Then, we went to Cozymel again but also Jamaica and the Cayman Islands and left out of Galveston.  But New Orleans is one of the places I long to go back to, and it's on mine and Zach's list!

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