Monday, January 15, 2007

My Winter Vacation

On New Year's Day Michael and I flew to Southern California to begin our week-long cruise to Mexico. Neither one of us had taken a cruise before so we weren't sure what to expect, but the timing was right and the price was in our budget and we both love Mexico, so it seemed like a safe bet.

The coolest thing was traveling by ship. It's amazing to be constantly surrounded by water. We had wonderful sunrises and sunsets throughout the trip. We got a stateroom with a balcony, and we spent a lot of time just sitting and watching the ocean go by.

The staff was attentive and friendly, the ship was clean and well-run, and the food was good (sometimes very good) and plentiful. It was a bit of a challenge for Michael to eat sometimes as a committed vegetarian. I'm a more relaxed vegetarian, so I eat fish, and I'll eat anything if I decide I really want it, but the vegetarian options were sometimes limited.

Once we were at sea a day or two the weather warmed up and we had three lucious days in port with weather in the 80s. The first port, Acapulco, was one of my favorites because we got to visit Fort San Diego. The current fort was built in the 18th century, and has been converted into a museum documenting the important trade route between Mexico and the Philippines, which connected these two important sites of the Spanish empire for 250 years, and which brought Asian goods and cultural influences to Mexico (and vice-versa). One of the important commodities of this trade were textiles, and expecially silk. There were wonderful examples of silk embroidered objects. Asian textiles and embroidery influenced embroidery and textile arts in Mexico because of this exchange.

When I arrived back home it was actually snowing, so it was good to get a reprieve from the winter weather. I've returned with lots of photos and ideas for new projects.


Debra Spincic said...

Welcome Back! I suppose school is in the close future. . .I am sure it was good to get away for awhile.

Allison said...

Wow, Barbara, I never knew that about the Asian influence on Mexican textiles...that is so interesting. The museum must have been wonderful.

Glad you both had a wonderful time..and it is great to have you back.

Kim said...

The warm beach and the ocean... ahhh - the textile piece is gorgeous!

Fruit Jar Nicky said...

All that water....splendid!

Susan said...

What a wonderful cruise. I always think if I go, I'll get a balcony, too, for that very reason. I love the dining table next to the big round window - they call them a porthole when they are that big? It sounds like a great time, and the beach picture surely looks wonderful as we freeze here!