Oh me oh my…a big SORRY to my bosses at the Rocky Point Times as I am late this month with my article, but I do have two GREAT reasons! My dear Rocky Point friends Erin (Princesa) and Roxy Pancake recently celebrated their milestone birthdays…and what better way to carry on in style than to round up a bunch of Rocky Point friends and head on out for a 9 day CRUISE!!! Since our port is not ready yet, 13 of Peñasco peeps boarded flights for Fort Lauderdale and headed onto a massive cruise ship to celebrate great friends, awesome times and of course, our two special birthday girls. It had been quite a few years…ummm…let’s say around twenty…since I had been on a cruise. So, having had some incredible memories from past cruises and knowing the fun-loving crew that was game for this trip, I was readily ALL IN! To make our trip even more fun, my buddy Scotty P had some special birthday stickers made that we got to “hand out”…ok…TAG…along our journeys on the cruise. It was sure a hit and everywhere we went, people seemed to love posing for pictures in front of Scott’s creative artwork.

The cruise set off in style with a lively fiesta that never really seemed to cease. Each day was packed with fun-filled events, dancing, gambling, SALUD’ing (is that a word? Well…I guess in Rocky Point it is) and even live music sung by our own TOM CARR as he entertained the entire ship poolside to Mambo #5 on more than one occasion! Our first stop was to Grand Turk in Turks and Caicos. The island was small but lively with some of the most amazing jerk chicken we have ever tasted. I got a little carried away and got “Grand Turked” as I did not realize my phone was in my bathing suit and joila…no mas telefono. But, I counted my blessings and realized now it is really time to relax and let go of modern technology and enjoy what is before me…wonderful friends, views and awesome libations!

From Grand Turk, we cruised onto the DR…Dominican Republic. A special thank you to our “tour guide”, Cathy P who arranged for us to be whisked away by van to a more secluded and beautiful beach. We walked out to a barren beach area that soon had tables, chairs, lounge chairs and of course cocktails brought all out by the local beach vendors. Not even the “mother of all storms” that blew in could dampen our spirits as we enjoyed the showers that we rarely see in Rocky Point. The van was filled with laughter to the beach and back to the cruise ship and the good times were rolling. Note to self: Princesa and I make better hyenas than interpreters…oh well, lots of laughs!

Our next stop was Curacao and Cathy P really delivered at this port! While in route on the cruise ship, Cathy arranged to have a van pick us up and take us to a private boat for our own snorkeling and party outing. The boat captain and first mate were way fun and brought us to a couple sunken ships to snorkel and admire the beauty of the Caribbean. One of my favorite memories was just kicking back and soaking in the views while sipping on a local favorite, “F a D”…and it was most delicioso!

Our last stop was my favorite, Aruba. Having been to Aruba last summer for 9 days, I was the token tour guide and took us directly to Palm Beach and to the famous Bugaloe Beach Bar and Grill. After lunch, we rented some rafts and lounge chairs and soaked up the rays and enjoyed the most beautiful waters in the Caribbean. Aruba’s turquoise waters seem to just be endless…if you have not been to Aruba, it’s a must see! I already have some trips booked to return to Aruba in the coming months.

As I look back and reflect on what an amazing trip it was, I cannot help but count my blessings of my wonderful Rocky Point friends who truly know how to embrace life, look out for one another and carry that Mexican fun spirit everywhere they go!! My reflection back also enables me to have a glimpse into our own future here in Rocky Point and what our new port will mean for our town! Yes, things shall change and hopefully mostly for the best. I do know we can count on an abundance of new employment opportunities, restaurants, cantinas, water sports, special events and concerts and chances to visit other exotic locales by boarding the cruise ships that are coming right here to Rocky Point! So, I for one say…ALL ABOARD…and let’s sail off into an amazingly fun-loving future together!

Until next month, ADIOS AMIGOS…and everyday give the one thing unique to you for all to see…YOUR SMILE.