Paradise: Day Two Part One

We got up early and made our way down to the buffet for breakfast by about seven a.m. There was a variety of tasty foods and we found our way back to our favorite little half-booth/table. When we returned to our cabin at about eight a.m., Rich called the dining room to request a dining assignment change from late night seating to “your time” or whatever they call it. The woman who answered the phone was quite helpful – volunteered to send a message to the Maitre’D and told us she’d let us know later that day.

Then we waited in our cabin for some kind of announcement that we were free to leave the ship for Ensenada – that’s the way it’s worked on all of our previous cruises. Finally, it was getting close to nine o’clock and our tour was scheduled to leave at nine. We made our way down to the shore excursion desk and she informed us our tour had already left? What? We didn’t even know we’d cleared customs. But she called the tour guide and the bus was still there so we were told to hurry and we made it. Whew! The photographers were a bit upset when we blew them off – no time for pictures – sorry!

The first time I’d been to Ensenada, I took the La Bufadora/winery tour and was quite impressed. Well, all of these years later, I didn’t know what to expect in Ensenada and while that winery is no longer in operation, the wine region has exploded in the inland area.

It was a gorgeous day in Ensenada – sunny and in the 70s. First, we rode the bus up into the hills to get to the first winery we would tour, stopped off at a picture taking spot overlooking a bull ring/vineyards.

And then went on to the winery where we were given a tour of the barrels. We noted that some of the barrels were from Pennsylvania.

We’ve been to several wine countries – Napa, Sonoma, Oregon, Washington, etc. and when we were here, we felt like we could be in Napa or even Italy – the Mediterranean climate was so similar. Wine in Mexico? Not your first thought when you think of Mexico. We sampled several wines in the tasting room and the owner was a fabulously, feisty woman – lol! We had a great time!! BTW, there were several Angels fans on the tour – one lady, posed with her Rally Monkey in several locations for some sort of content and she told us how she had bought some property south of Ensenada for retirement.

The next stop was at a very small winery, compared to this large one. There we enjoyed sampling different wines on a patio overlooking the vineyards and they gave us some amazing pizza to go with our wine. Fabulous wine and pizza in Mexico? Who knew? We also picked up some jalapeno jam (awesome) and some kind of brittle.

After our three- or four-hour wine tour, the bus dropped us off near the ship, although you could get off in town and shuttle back later. We stopped in at the shop near the dock and picked up a t-shirt for Rich and a beautiful cross. The tour guide was wonderful and we were so happy they’d waited for us – would not have wanted to miss this tour. We almost didn’t go after the problems in Mexico in Tijuana and Mazatlan, but we felt totally safe in Ensenada and we were glad we made the tour.

The first winery had given us two bottles of wine to take home, but the Carnival wine police made us turn them over to be picked up after the cruise. Before returning to our cabin for a nice, long nap, we stopped off at the Pizzeria and had a slice of the most amazing Greek pizza ever. This is what I remembered from my first cruise – the pizza is awesome!

When we arrived in our cabin, we found a note from the Maitre’D waiting for us, acknowledging that he had honored our request to change our dining assignment.

Next: Day Two Part Two

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Novelist & Music Producer