Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Mariscos Baja

The weekend cruise to Ensenada was a total blast. It was our second time on this cruise and it was just as much fun this time as the last. Moreso even since we spent the weekend with friends. The first time we did this the ship left from San Pedro, but since then the berth has moved to Long Beach. Not a big difference for us. The trip to the port took twenty minutes instead of ten. Big whoop. We got there a few hours before the ship set sail and didn't waste any time digging in to the food and drink provided by Carnival. Promptly at six the Fun Ship Paradise threw off the ropes and set sail for Ensenada. I only noticed minor differences from the Ecstasy which is the ship that took us to Ensenada the last trip. The four of us got settled in and then relaxed a bit on the balconies of our cabins. We watched as the ship left Long Beach harbor and then as the sun set over the Pacific. As the temperature dropped we finally decided to head down to the dining room for our first formal meal. We met the other couple that shared our table and enjoyed more good food. Comedy and karaoke were the main themes of our evenings. We watched both and not surprisingly the karaoke was at times funnier than the comedians. The comedian the first night didn't handle his hecklers well and had to end his set early I think. He definitely got worked over by the drunk spring break chicks. Since we had an early morning on Saturday to look forward to we called it an early night and hit the sack at 1:30.

Saturday morning arrived just a bit sooner than necessary, but it wasn't too bad getting up early to head out to catch our 9 o'clock bus to tour the wineries near, but not in Ensenada. We ended up at Domecq and L.A. Cetto. Both wineries had some ok wines and and some not so ok ones. We tasted about a half dozen at each, white and red. At the L.A. Cetto winery we toured their facilities as well as tasting. We again failed miserably at documenting our trip with pictures, but we did manage to get plenty of pictures of the ladies loving the wine barrels.

It was a beautiful day and the trip out and back was relatively quick getting us back to downtown Ensenada around 1PM. We wandered around downtown a bit while I looked for a shop selling dress shoes since I forgot to pack a pair for the formal dinner that night. Just so you know if you want boots or sandals you won't have any problem finding them in Ensenada. After questioning a couple of the local store owners and a brief search we finally found a regular shoe store and I picked up a brand new pair of Flexi zapatos to wear at dinner that night. We then headed down to the waterfront for fish tacos and beer. We ended up at Mariscos Baja which was the same place Imelda and I ate the last time. Not only did we have fish tacos, but I ordered some shrimp ceviche as well. Mmmmm, mmmmm good. A dozen tacos, an order of shrimp ceviche, four beers and two Coca-Colas later and we headed back to the ship only $25 poorer.

Back in the cabin after a long day of riding, walking, drinking, eating and shopping and I fell victim to the dreaded nap monster. I'm not sure how long we slept, but dinner time sure seemed to come up on fast. I certainly wasn't going to miss dinner after searching through Ensenada for shoes. We finished getting ready, met up with the Canyon Country contingent and headed off to the dining room. For the second night in a row I ordered the grilled fish and veggies. This night it was tilapia, which when it comes to fish, is a favorite. We finished dinner and headed back to the cabin to change clothes and head back to the karaoke lounge for more entertainment. Now while I won't get up in front of everyone and sing I will definitely sing along from the safety of my seat in the audience. If only they had played more good eighties music. By that I mean the music I know.

The comedian this night handled his hecklers in a different and better way and was able to complete his whole set. He ended the set by giving away a cheap bottle of cham-pagnee to the audience member who produced the best fake orgasm. The first contestant was lack luster. The second contestant, who required assistance from a friend in the audience, had obviously never seen, heard nor had an orgasm. The third contestant who not only was visibly chilly, definitely knew what an orgasm was, but also had a penchant for taking it in the poop shoot. Needless to say she was the winner. Win-Nar! I'm sure we were in bed by no later than 3. Definitely. Maybe?

Sunday was a day at sea and we lounged around the ship in groups and separately. By this point I'd eaten so much food I was physically uncomfortable. I headed up to the jogging track and proceeded to put in over 22 laps which was the equivalent of about 2 miles. It was cool and overcast so after socializing a bit I headed back in, grabbed my book and headed down to the coffee bar. Upon procuring my coffee I snagged a seat directly across from the sushi bar and proceeded to read and sip my coffee until the bar opened up. I sat there for about two hours waiting. After sampling about three plates of sushi I headed back to the cabin to "relax" for a bit before dinner. Tonight was our last night in the formal dining room and it wasn't a formal dinner. I broke my pattern and ordered prime rib and totally threw down on the deserts as well. I was again feeling uncomfortable and headed back up to the jogging track for another two miles of walking. It helpled.

The four of us then headed back to the karaoke bar for the Paradise's version of American Idol. Eh, it was ok. The old dude who won is apparently a regular on the ship and this wasn't his first win. He was good, but not that good. He did pick fun songs though and sang them from memory rather than reading the lyrics from the karaoke machine. For his efforts he got to take home a wonderful plastic ship on a stick. Yippee. We all had had a good time singing along with the karaoke prior to the show starting so when it Idol ended I was more than ready to hit the sack.

We were up and ready to debark at 7 the next morning and I think we were off the ship before 8. Needless to say it was an early night that night and heading back to work on Tuesday sucked ass. Now we're just counting down the days until Maui this summer.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Grateful For The Irish

So we were supposed to arrive for the party at 5, but I ended up working later than expected and we didn't get there until closer to 8, but what are you gonna do. Unfortunately we were bringing the cheese and I lagged. Oh well.

We started the night with four types of Irish cheese in honor of the occasion. Cashel Blue, Blarney Castle, Dubliner and a Vintage Irish Cheddar. The blue was a very smooth blue. Not being very salty at all, it was really good. It spread very well and was a really creamy blue. The Blarney Castle comes from the castle of that name where the blarney stone resides. It's a very light, but solid cheese. It comes in two varieties and we had the smoked. It was very similar to a light smoked gouda, not overpowering at all. Very nice as well. The Dubliner is described as a cross between a Cheddar and a Parmigiano Reggiano and that pretty well sums it up. It has a slight bite to it like sharp cheddar and finishes off with the classic Reggiano character. Awesome! The Vintage Irish Cheddar is made by Kerrygold the same people who make the Blarney and Dubliner. It gets the "Vintage" designation since the cheese is aged two years. A very easy to eat cheddar. Not too sharp, but sharp enough that you know you've had some cheddar. All four selections were winners and I finished off what was on the plate from last night this morning for breakfast. Mmmmmmm.

A side note on the cheese. I had purchased at igourmet.com for a friend a couple of times and she enjoyed it alot. So I finally decided to try it for myself. Most of the cheeses were probably available locally here, but I ordered all four online and they came well packed in a styrofoam cooler. Inside the cooler were the cheese and three reusable, washable cool/heat packs. Nice bonus. The cheese arrived in two days(2 day shipping) and the cheeses were still cool. Each was individually vaccuum wrapped and we popped them into the fridge until the weekend. If I couldn't find what I wanted locally or just felt like trying something new I would definitely shop there again. Ok back to the main story.

After the cheese we were served the classic Irish fare of corned beef, carrots and cabbage. It was roasted for 4-5 hours during the day in a bath of Guinness, water, onions and assorted seasonings. At the end it was removed from the pot and an Irish Whiskey/brown sugar/mustard glaze was applied and it was baked for about 15 minutes. Holy moly! It was a good tasting corned beef and man was it tender. The sweet glaze added at the end made a perfect match to the flavor of the beef. We also had mashed potatoes with a bit of spinach mixed in. Very nice. A loaf of soda bread and a loaf of brown bread were also freshly baked earlier that day for dinner that night. I was stuffed to say the least. Didn't stop me from having a couple of cupcakes later on though.

Throughout all of this were interspersed many trips to the cooler to retrieve fresh, cool Guinness. We finished off the night with a drink called an Irish Car Bomb. It consists of a pint of Guinness and a combined shot of Irish Whiskey and Baileys. You fill the shot glass with equal parts of first the whiskey and then the Irish Creme. Then you drop the shot glass into the pint and down the pint. Yummy with a capital Yummy. I must say though that after looking up the recipe online we only did Irish M80s. We only went with the Baileys Irish Creme last night. I didn't know until this morning that you're supposed to split the shot equally between the Baileys and the whiskey. Next time we'll do it right, but I must say just using the Baileys and Guinness made for an excellent way to finish the night.

We followed that up with some more chatting and watching crazy skiers and snowboarders and then finally headed off to bed around 3AM. Another successful party thrown at the P&B residence.

I'm really slackin'. Again no pictures. Totally weak.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Another Mun Fonday

Sink is still leaking,
Laundry is done.
Little Kenny is still losing weight,
Ain't we got fun.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Remember When

So a while back I had a month where I was supposed to post something everyday that made me happy that day. I posted quite a bit that month. Turns out it's a bit of work coming up with something to put here. Well this week I picked up some stuff that I grew up with and it's been really enjoyable going back in time.

Yes that is a double album set and As Seen On TV.

As for the books I went through the first one in about 5 hours this morning. I'm taking a break, but I envision finishing the next two before tomorrow is out.
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