Sadly, Monday was our last day with the group from Toronto. They were all leaving Tuesday morning and Evan and I were not leaving with them. We extended our trip by two days because the flights from Calgary and Vancouver got changed and they arrived two and three days after us, and we wanted to spend more time with Lisa, Scott, Heather, Brent, Eric, Kenya and Dixon. And Sean, he also arrived on Thursday. But we had a full day on the catamaran, so we had a fun time ahead!
The bus picked us up at 8:15am to take us to the catamaran, and let me tell ya I was not feeling it when I woke up at 7:30 that morning. I was just a little tired from the whole wedding thing the day before. But I put on my game face and my favourite mermaid bathing suit and I got on that boat, and I’m so glad. I had the best day. It was sunny, the water was beautiful, the drinks were a’flowin (open bar was included in the price of our catamaran excursion) — that is a recipe for a great day.
Sherrie is the brave one sitting on the very front up there.
Not everyone came but we had about 26 of us, including the moms, so it was a good turn out.
Heather and I getting our sun on.
I never really burned but I tanned very extremely, so much on my back and shoulders that my tan just peeled off like a snakeskin. Leaving me rejuvenated underneath? I’m not sure it works like that, and I’m sure that isn’t great but I did wear sunscreen every day so, what can ya do.
Sherrie driving the boat!
Emily and Corey unfortunately didn’t make it (long story) so the captain’s hat that Brad brought was sort of an ode to our Emily.
We’re on a boat!
About 20 minutes into our ride the crew said there was an emergency and they needed everyone to come inside immediately. An emergency DANCE PARTY.
It was the biggest catamaran I’ve ever been on. There were a lot of seats, which was great ’cause our moms mostly parked themselves in the shade and enjoyed the view. Of the sea, and of us being ridiculous.
Dixon getting his tan on like the bronzed god he is.
We tried to get another Cartwright High School pic but we got photobombed.
About an hour into our sail it was snorkel time.
Varadero isn’t really known for snorkelling — Holguin and even Cayo Coco are known to have better reefs, but it wasn’t bad. Snorkelling is fun anywhere, and we saw some nice fishies.
I saw a conch shell on the bottom so I mermaided down to retrieve it, as one does, and when I brought it up to the surface I realized it was HUGE. Like the biggest conch shell I’ve ever seen. And it had a critter living in it. I had to put ‘er back, no one likes a reef ravager.
We snorkelled for about half an hour or so and then it was back on the boat. I got to drive this time.
Actually the captain did leave me there by myself for few minutes, I told him I was capable since I’ve driven a houseboat. It’s the same, probably.
I didn’t know where we were going so I just kept it straight and blew the horn a bunch of times.
After a few hours of sailing the ocean we pulled up to Cayo Blanco, a beautiful island off of Matanzas, Cuba.
Hannah and I got adventurous on the front with Sherrie as we approached.
Once we got off the boat we immediately all headed to lunch, which was included in the price of our trip.
It was extensive, there was even lobster, and it was so good!
And there was live music, because it’s Cuba and there’s live music everywhere.
After lunch we headed to the beach and set up shop near the coolest little bar with THE BEST pina coladas.
We got a bit of leisuring in.
We spent the next couple of hours hanging out on the sand and in the water. Some sand castle building went down.
Evan’s contribution was the outhouse.
It had the best landscaping of the entire castle for sure.
Cayo Blanco has a beautiful beach.
And Dixon has beautiful hair.
That he needed to brush.
It’s a beautiful beach but I don’t think it’s quite as nice as Varadero Beach where our resort was. That is truly one of the nicest beaches I’ve seen in my life and I feel like I’ve been spoiled for all beaches now. This one did come close, but it was also more busy.
While we were swimming there was a group of exceptionally beautiful people frolicking in the water beside us and filming everything with a GoPro (think thongs and bathing suit leg holes that go up to your armpits). Joel ended up talking to them, because Joel ends up talking to everyone, and he discovered that they were famous instagrammers and Virgin had paid for them all to come here and film themselves looking young and footloose and fancy free. That is living the dream. Once we found that out we may have put a wrench into their beautiful video footage plans. Dawn and Heather swam behind them and started doing high leg kicks and such, which I’m sure looked just as gorgeous as their slow motion frolicking.
Good times at Cayo Blanco.
And then it was back to the catamaran to sail back to Varadero.
We had quite the treat on the way back — we saw dolphins!
At least three of them came and swam beside the boat and were jumping out of the water. It was so amazing.
Of course, none of my pictures are great. It was so cool to see though.
And then one of the dolphins accidentally jumped into the side of the boat and then they all sort of got awkward for a minute, and then they swam away. We were saying later that the dolphins were probably like “Ugh, way to freakin’ go, Carl! We were being all graceful and then you had to jump into the boat and make us all look like IDIOTS.” I’m sure that’s how it went.
My mom was super excited about the dolphins!!!
It was a highlight for sure.
I made new friends on the way back, and they let me drive again.
It was a really fun day.
The lady behind us starting just dying laughing after she photobombed us. I thought she did something really ridiculous in the photo but nope, just her presence.
It wasn’t a super party catamaran, and actually Brennie said it was the first time she’s ever been on a catamaran where everyone was still able to walk off the boat at the end. But I was okay with that. I like being able to walk.
As soon as we got back to our resort we all headed to the pool to meet up with our friends who didn’t come on the catamaran. It was the last hurrah.
We took over the shallow end and there were many shenanigans.
I do not often see Joel get picked up, so that was a treat.
There may have been a few chicken fights.
I just watched from afar (Evan would never put me on his shoulders in such shallow water, are you kidding? he likes safety) and it was highly entertaining.
I think Brennie, our parental supervisor, was the ultimate winner in her white bikini!
Thank you Evan for your feet.
What a freakin’ time.
When the pool closed we headed down to the beach to swim in the ocean for a bit.
Evan and I had a pretty early night since we had a big day in Havana on Tuesday, but it was a great last day with the whole group!
I love them! What a time with them all. I am so glad we had a destination wedding and forced them all to come party with us for an ENTIRE WEEK!!! I will never forget it!