Sunday, January 30, 2011

Port 2: Loreto

The travel guide said Loreto receives only five days of clouds, and we seemed to dock on one of those days. I considered us lucky.

We strolled the Malecon and found our way to the little strip that formed the tourist section.

I almost felt bad for delighting in how picturesque the old, worn buildings were.

The mission in the center of town was a striking example of 17th-century architecture. Loreto was the first settlement in Baja California, and the church was built in 1697.

We saw this striking contrast more than once. In such an isolated place, I can imagine how vital it must seem to be connected.

We had some wonderful fish tacos and guacamole at a little restaurant. This was the appetizer.

Vendors were everywhere. I almost wish I had spent more of my tourist dollars here.

On the way back to the ship, we spotted a door, just hanging out in a lighthouse. Decoration? Suggestive metaphor?

We reunited with everyone at dinner. Here, with Daniel's brother Josh and his sister-in-law Sarah.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Port 1: Cabo San Lucas

After a day at sea, I was almost surprised to see land, and such gorgeous land at that.

We found a water taxi to take us to Lovers' Beach, one of the main attractions.

It was a happening place.

We floated out to Los Arcos to say hi to the seals and check out the view.

The water really was that amazing shade of turquoise.

I didn't get any fantastic underwater pictures, but you get the idea. Fish everywhere.

Daniel and I snorkeled for a bit.

We had very fancy equipment.

We wandered over to the Pacific side of the beach.

Then we explored the caves nearby.

Back on shore, we made the rounds in the touristy strip before heading back to the ship.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Water, water everywhere . . . and lots to eat and drink. It was a cruise, after all.

Daniel and I went on a cruise to Mexico with his family during the last week of Christmas break. I'd never been on a cruise, and I'd never properly been to Mexico (does diving in Mexican waters count?), so it was a novel and stimulating experience for me. We watched some phenomenal sunsets.

The ship was large and mazelike. It was like being on a floating hotel.

We got to dress up every night for formal dinners. Angelica lent me her beautiful thrift store dress, and complete strangers were commenting on it.

It was wonderful to sit around a table with Daniel's parents, brothers, nephews, and sisters-in-law every night and get to know everyone throughout the trip. I'll post each port we visited as I work through the pictures!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Gett[y]ing our money's worth.

After Christmas, Daniel and I went to the Getty. We looked at art! And made art! Exciting times.

Self-timer in the garden!

Daniel had never been, so we traipsed through all the galleries and paid homage to the greatest works. We were especially taken with an exhibit featuring absolutely gorgeous illuminated manuscripts from Belgium and the Netherlands. Then we frollicked on the grass. Totally.

The twins gave me the greatest Christmas presents ever—hand-me-ups, including these jeans. How great is it to have younger sisters who get too cool for their clothes?

Flying children! The art we made were sketches in an interactive exhibit. The docents set us up on these ingeniously designed benches that held our easels as we attempted to sketch out sculptural figures placed throughout the room.

There's something so otherworldly, almost utopic about the Getty. I always leave feeling happier than when I came.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Christmas, Barr-none.

There was a tree, with presents.

And freshly made potica.

And lots of Christmas music.

All in all, it was a very Barr Christmas. We looked like poster children for knock-off snuggies. And were very warm.

Rachel had posted a link to my Facebook profile a couple of weeks before Christmas to an Etsy site featuring crocheted beard hats. I relished the challenge, and created that masterpiece that she's sporting above.

Mom and Dad opening my presents to them.

Mom and Dad gave us all matching rings inscribed with biblical references. I liked the idea of us all being connected in a little way.

I showed Shannon the rudimentaries of crocheting. It's the gift that keeps on giving. We spent the rest of the day making tamales and cuddling in our Cozy-Ups. And watching movies. Lots of movies.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Doing the zoo.

Angelica had given me two tickets to the San Diego Zoo from her internship, and these expired at the end of the year, so Daniel and I made sure to use them during finals week.

How much does Daniel look like this meerkat? These guys loved him—they ran up to him as soon as we walked over.

There were aviaries everywhere. I didn't remember there being so many birds. I hadn't been to the zoo for eight or so years, so it was almost like experiencing it for the first time.

The bonobos were quite . . . active. We watched, feeling a little voyeuristic peeking at such humanoid creatures.

I love okapi. They don't even seem like they should be real.

It was a grey and drizzly Thursday, so there were few crowds, and no line for the world-famous pandas. This was the most exciting thing the pandas did.

The mirrored door at the panda exhibit was more entertaining.

Daniel likes the polar bears.

I gleefully climbed on top of this prehistoric cat.

We spent quality time with the elephants.

Angelica observed this exhibit during her internship this summer, and as soon as Daniel and I walked up to it, my phone rang . . . and Angelica was calling. She didn't even know we were at the zoo. We enjoyed the confluence. I found the fake animals that, Angelica said, people from all over constantly thought were real.

Daniel and I happened upon an extended chorus from the African singing dogs. This might have been my favorite exhibit of the day.

I've never seen so much of the koalas. They were all over the place. And they brought me back to my early childhood, when my stuffed kangaroo and koala were my most prized possessions (the Ks, you know).

They may not be as cuddly and sweet as they seem to be, but what animal is?