Friday, January 27, 2012

T.H. and his friend Rhoda Q Tripp take a cruise!

Travel Hedgie (T.H.) here. I just got back from an awesome cruise with Jodi and Sue. The even let me take a friend along, Miss Rhoda Q. Tripp. We had a great time and want to tell you all about it. The humans are still recovering, so I'm taking over the laptop.

Our trip started off with a drive down to Orlando, Florida. Because the state of South Carolina won't give us a driver's license, Rhoda and I slept most of the trip. We woke up in Georgia just in time for a healthy breakfast:

Miss Joyce said something about Rhoda watching her caffeine intake, but we didn't have ANY problems. I always bounce up and down on the suitcases during road trips. How else are we supposed to get our exercise?

Now we didn't go to the cruise ship right away. Jodi wanted to go to someplace called The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at a place called Universal's Island's of Adventure. I'm not sure who this Harry Potter guy is, but his world sounded pretty fun. She was very excited about going there.

Sue and Jodi hit a mall once they settled into the hotel. Strangely enough, we never made it to a quilt shop on this trip. Rhoda was a bit shocked at that. Anyway, they left us alone in the hotel room while they went to eat. They did bring us back some yummy pizza and Sue found us some wine! Her friend Buddy even joined the party. That was some gooood pizza. Sue wasn't too happy that we ate so much. I think she wanted to eat hers for breakfast in the morning.


The next day was Harry Potter World. It was kind of cold out so we got to ride in Jodi's backpack. The houses were really neat and covered in snow and there was this giant castle with a ride in it. Rhoda and I didn't go on the ride. We actually got stuffed in a locker (hmph) but it's probably a good thing. Jodi anti-dizzy meds hadn't kicked in so she didn't enjoy it too much. Not sure we would've either. We did get to meet this nice girl with a pet owl outside one of the stores. Thank goodness we have quills and that owl was a pet. Normally we don't care for owls.

Jodi said the girl is a Hufflepuff. Not sure what that means. Maybe she ought to read these books to us. Then we can go back down again!

Rhoda and I did get to try a yummy drink after lunch. We were in the Hog's Head bar when Jodi let us try some Butterbeer. We wanted to take some home, but they only served it by the glass or mug. We tried to smuggle some into the backpack, but it spilled all over the floor. The barkeep kicked us out after that.

The rest of Harry Potter world got pretty crowded so we hid in the backpack for a while. Jodi shopped and bought some pumpkin juice and took lots of pictures. She stayed off the other rides, just in case :-) More of the pictures can be seen on her Webshots page.

Sue was nice and found us a quiet place to rest while she shopped in the Dr. Seuss part of the park. She likes the Grinch. See the cool furniture? Rhoda wants to know if Joyce or Beth will buy her one of the chairs?

We napped on the ride down to Tampa. The party last night and being stuffed in a locker (sniff) takes a lot out of a hedgie (and porcupine) The next time we woke up, there was new friend to talk to:

The ship we were going on was called the Norwegian Star. It was very big!
Rhoda and I wanted to explore on our own, but Jodi and Sue were afraid we'd get lost or scare someone. Unaccompanied rodents and hedgies usually aren't welcome on board cruise ship. We don't think that's fair. Sniff.

Day one was a day at sea while they travel down to the Caribbean. Jodi and Sue were busy around the ship, so Rhoda and I snuck out of the cabin and joined something called a "Pub Crawl." The organizer's name was Orlando and he let us join for free! Apparently they normally charge you a lot of money, but he figured we probably would be about to drink too much. (Rhoda laughed at that)


We had a hard time trying to get back to the room before Jodi and Sue got back. This nice cat helped us get there. She was kind of laughing at us. Rhoda said she reminded her of the cats she lives with, Janis and Bette.

The first stop of the ship was on an island called Roatan, off the coast of Honduras. It was kind of rainy, thank goodness we were on a bus tour around the island. It was a very small bus and the humans had a hard time getting through the aisle, said something about it being 6 inches wide? Rhoda and I didn't have a problem.

The bus drove around the island and made 4 stops. One was at this little resort type place where there was a replica of the Black Pearl (no Johnny Depp) and we went on a short boat ride. We got to see a couple wrecks and some sights.

Two of the other stops were at places where immigrants from Africa demonstrated some of the traditions they've still kept after 250+ years. We even tried some local food.

What did we learn about Roatan? What, this was vacation, not school! Ok, on the mainland (Honduras) the first language people learn is Spanish. On Roatan, it is English. It was a very pretty island, but very poor.

Back on the ship, Jodi treated us to a Pina Colada and the guy who cleaned the room introduced us to a new friend to party with.

More pictures of Roatan can be found on Jodi's Web Shots album.

The second day of stops was in Belize City, Belize. The ship had to anchor offshore about 4-5 miles so we took tenders to the pier. It was a very nice boat ride. Sue decided to do some less strenuous excursions than Jodi, so it was just the three of us. Our excursion was a boat ride up the Old Belize River and a visit to the Altun Ha Mayan ruins.

It was a very hot and sunny day, thank goodness Jodi brought sunscreen. I think she had some booze too (she kept saying something about 85 proof) but didn't share any with us.

The first part we did the river ride. That was sooo cool. We tried to help drive the boat, but Jodi snatched us back to our seat.

We saw lots of animals: dolphins, manatee snouts, egrets, herons, other birds, bats, monkeys, iguanas, and (EEK!) crocodiles! Lots of crocodiles! Rhoda and I kept a very low and careful profile around the crocodiles. I don't think they would've been too bothered by our quills and Rhoda would've been a tasty meal.

The pics of all the river sites can been on the Webshots album, of course. The link does go to start of the Belize pictures.

The river tour ended at a place where they served us lunch and we caught a bus to the Altun Ha ruins. There aren't any pictures of us at the ruins, and not too many of the ruins. Jodi took so many pictures on the river (with a lot of zooms) that her battery died and she didn't have a spare. The three of us did climb up the temple below. Well, Jodi did. They had a handrail off to the side. She was exhausted and blamed it on US! She said we'd been pigging out too much in the buffet and weighed her down. The nerve!

We were exhausted at the end of this day. Immediately went to the room and took cold showers and went to bed early. Whew!

Oh. Belize used to be called British Honduras. Because they were a British colony, their official language is still English.

Day 3 of stops was Costa Maya Mexico. Our excursion was to see another Mayan ruin, but we didn't have to leave until after lunch. Thank goodness, we welcomed sleeping in. Sue had a different excursion in the morning, but she decided not to go. She needed to sleep in too. Vacation can be exhausting!

Today's Mayan ruins were called Chacchoben. They left a lot of trees up around this site so it was much, much cooler. We weren't allowed to do much climbing on the ruins. The large structures were all roped off we could only climb up some steps to a plaza area. Rhoda and I tried to climb one of the temples, but we got caught just past the rope.


Jodi even allowed herself to be photographed. She did crop most of her body off before showing people. Crazy humans.

Around the back of the other temple on this plaza was a ravine. Some others in our group spotted some monkeys in the trees there. They were sooo cute. Yes they can be found in the Webshots album, (starts on the bottom row) but Jodi also took a small video of one of them eating. Let's see, we should be able to insert that...

There he is. If this doesn't work I'll put it on Youtube. We wanted to go play with him, but Jodi wouldn't let us.

Not as an exhausting day as the one before, but we did have a cool shower when we got back. We had to have another one later after playing on the chocolate buffet on the ship. They had some chocolate mice to eat, but no hedgies or porcupines.

Day 4 of ports was Cozumel, Mexico and the Tulum Mayan ruins. Rhoda and I were exhausted so we decided to stay on the ship instead of going with Jodi. It was going to be another loong day. She had to take a 45 minute ferry ride to the mainland, then an hour or so bus ride to the ruins and then the reverse after the ruins. 

Jodi said it was beautiful. It was the largest of the 3 sites she visited, but also the most commercial. In the shopping/food area there was a Subway and a Haagen Daz. The place was huge with a lot of neat ruins. There was a beach and Jodi brought her bathing suit, but there really wasn't time to go down in the hour they had to look around after the guide finished talking.

She took an awful lot of pictures of iguanas. Apparently they were all over the place. We're kind of glad we didn't go. I have a feeling she would've tried to take a picture of us with one. Who knows how that would've ended! Pictures, of course, can be seen in her Webshots album (starting on the bottom row).

Instead of the ruins (and wherever Sue went) Rhoda, Buddy, and I had our own little party with the towel critters that came to the room. Did we mention there was a mini bar in the room? Party Time!

The rest of the trip was pretty uneventful. The 2nd day at see was a hangover day, for obvious reasons. Jodi and Sue were not very sympathetic with our problems. They just left us in the room to recover. That's ok, we slept through the day and even the drive home. Hey, we had a busy vacation. 

We're back home now hiding from the humans. Sue has a cold and Jodi has what is probably a lighter version of it. They keep hacking and sneezing so we're playing with the real hedgies. Rhoda will probably have to go home soon, but we're having fun until then. Maybe we'll go play in some fabric tomorrow.

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