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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Buenvenidos a Miami

Can't buh-lieve it's over now. We're back at the Miami port.

Had our brekky first. I got some omelette and bacon. We're trying not to think about the end of our vacay.

I had to settle my bill before checking out. Then we got our bags and bid goodbye to Royal Caribbean. We went through immigration security and presented our travel docs.

We're supposed to meet Trix's friend but she couldn't get hold of him. Ogz offered to use his free stay at Hilton for our bags' temporary storage. So he called Hilton and arranged everything. When we got there, Ogz talked to them once more. He didn't have to use his free stay anymore. They let us use their luggage storage. Yay!

It's time to check out Miami. Our goal is to check out the Art Deco along Ocean Drive and of course, get inked at Miami Ink. Art Deco is where Dexter usually cruise for those serial killers. That's the only thing I know about this road. I think this place is more alive at night. We also noticed a lot of peeps with yummy nekkid bodies. We wanted to transfer here.
Joy used the GPS on her phone to find Miami Ink. We're soooo excited to see it! By the way, there are two Miami Ink tattoo shops. One was converted into a retail shop (where you can buy shirts and stuff) and the other (it's called "Love Hate Tattoos and Choppers") is where you can get inked. It's located a few shops away on the same side of the road.
We talked to the receptionist named Guy (a deadringer of Dominic Monaghan). I showed him my design and he said they could do it for this price. I said "Okay". It's pretty expensive but I so want this tattoo. Joy, on the other hand, had a slight prob. They couldn't do a small version of her design without compromising the deets. She had to think of another design.
Guy asked us to be back around 2. Had to deposit 100 bucks.

It's time to have lunch. We found this cute Spanish village where we had an Italian lunch at Hosteria Romana. The food is really good and inexpensive. Perfect-sized servings too.
Went back to the tattoo studio and waited. Joy & I signed some waiver. It indicates that the person to be tattooed is not under the influence of drugs or alcohol, that the color and design may vary, that the tattoo is permanent, etc.

Trix with daughter, Isabelle, and Cathy had to catch their flights so we bid goodbye to them. We hope that we could have another exciting gimmick in the near future.
Then it's time to face the music. Guy setup the area where I'll get inked. He put plastic cover on everything. Morgwn is my tattoo artist. He looks like Adam from "Mythbusters". He placed the design transfer on my right upper arm and asked if the position is good. I checked myself in the mirror and nodded.

I saw the inks (black, red and white) in tiny cups. The needles. Vaseline.

Morgwn started on the outline. Uhm, it wasn't that bad. I thought it would really, really hurt. I dunno. I may just have a high tolerance to pain.
After the outline, he worked on the shading and coloring.

It took more than an hour. At times, I fell sleepy. I tried not to move though. Morgwn commended me for being still the whole time.

Ami James, the owner of the tattoo shop, dropped by. He reminds me of Scofield.
I checked out my tattoo in the mirror. Freakin' happy!
He advised me to rinse it off after a few hours. He put bandage on the wound. I need to buy Dial antibacterial soap and a fragrance-free lotion like Curel to keep the skin moisturized.

Joy was next. She opted to have the Eye of Horus tattooed on her left arm. Another artist named Danny took care of her. I kept telling her that it doesn't hurt so bad. I caught her mouthing the F word though ;oP
After a few minoots, she's done and here's the final product. We found out later that Adam Lambert, one of the American Idol contestants, has the same tattoo on his right arm.
Before leaving the shop, we took some photos. I thanked Morgwn and gave him my tip (it's customary!).
Around 4, we decided to head back to the hotel to get our stuff. The airport is pretty close to the hotel though.

Got our stuff and did a quick check-in. We had dinner at one of their restos. I had ground pork, plantains and rice. I miss eating rice ;oP

It took 2 hours to reach Virginia. Richie picked us up at the airport. Thank you, Rich!

Ahhhh, vacay is officially over.


Sunday, March 29, 2009

Royal Caribbean Cruise, Day Three

Ugh! Woke up with a bad hangover. I couldn't enjoy my brekky. My friends advised me to drink lotsa water. Drank a strong coffee and agua. Ogz gave me some Excedrin.

It's Bahamas time. We docked at Nassau Port. Before leaving the boat, we're advised to bring our SeaPass card and an identification card. Most of the shops in Bahamas will be closing at 3 'cause it's Sunday. We need to make the most out of our time here.
We're welcomed by a local who offered his services but it's too expensive for us so we turned him down. Plus, we know where we wanted to go and what to do.

We took a taxi boat ride to Paradise Island. The tour guide explained that most of the houses that we see along the way are owned by celebrities. He also mentioned that the bridge-looking connection between the Atlantis hotels ain't a bridge but rather a suite called the Michael Jackson suite. You have to pay 25 grand a night for you to stay there.
First thing we did was to ask where the beach is. We passed through different hotels and walked a few distance.
When we found the beach, we had the mandatory picture taking session, sunblock application and tested the waters. This is WAY better than at CocoCay's. The sand is much finer and no sharp rocks!
Afterwards, we checked out the area. We found this lagoon where hammerheads are swimming! We enjoyed taking pictures of the scenery. Joy mentioned that there's a big aquarium down below but I didn't check it out anymore.
Around 2, we headed back to the port. We still had to buy some souvenir stuff.
I got a Bahamas tumbler from Starbucks. We also exchanged our US dollars for Bahamas dollars for keepsake. I also got some magnets ;oP

Then all of a sudden, we noticed that Cathy wasn't with us anymore. We had to look for her. We checked all the souvenir shops and cafes but still no Cathy. OMG! At 3, I finally saw her standing at the corner where we'll supposed to meet should we head back to the boat. She had this worried look on her face too. Whew!

We haven't eaten anything yet so we went back to the boat. Cathy opted to stay 'cause she still had to buy some more stuff. It turned out that she was held up by some Filipinos asking some info. I thought she got kidnapped.
Anyhoo, we had our super late lunch at the cruise ship. I made my own crepe.

Went back to the cabin and started packing our stuff. A bunny was waiting for us. Yesterday, it was an elephant. Cute!
Around 6, Cathy suggested that we took pics of the sunset. We can't believe it's our last night here. So sad.
Then it's time for our last dinner on the boat. I ordered some steak, ice cream and parfait.

Next, we attended a musical show. Songs like "Fallin", "Georgia On My Mind", "Proud Mary" were performed. We wanted our photos taken with the performers so we stayed a bit. There's a Filipino named Roy Rolloda in the group (not surprised) and we chatted with him a bit. He was very friendly. We got his Facebook account too.
Adult comedy show was next in our list. The comedian who entertained us last Friday is back. Funny as ever.
Ricky's back to host a game called "The Quest". It's like a "Bring Me" game. We were asked to group ourselves into 10 participants. Then he'd ask for an item or a task that someone would do for the group.

It started out tame. He asked for a purse, a baby picture and a set of keys. As the game progressed, it got wilder and naughtier. He wanted to see a girl & guy with tattoos (none here yet), with piercings other than on the ears (none yet), pink undies (I volunteered Joy), a guy in woman's shoes (I got this one too), a couple showing their favorite sexual position and two guys showing their sexual positions. 

Then he wanted two guys that would take their shirts off for the rest of the night (I was one of them) and then one of the half-nekkid guys that would wear a woman's clothes (Joy surrendered her gown for me). Oh man!

Ricky asked the guys in woman's clothes to showcase their beauties up front. We're asked to state our stage names too. My "Thrilla from Manila" didn't have any impact on the audience though.

Then he asked us to circle the area to get votes. I don't think I could walk in heels so I removed 'em.
It was a crazy night alright!

Then the party started. Cathy found Dingson, a Filipino in the entertainment crew. He introduced me to Craig, one of the singers. Craig recognized me from the karaoke the night before. 
We danced with our other team members also. I recognized some familiar faces on the dance floor: Chris, the guy who bought us free Patron shots the first night, along with his brother, John; a guy we call "Jonas Brothers" because of his curly locks; a guy with a nice bod with terrible dancing skills; and the wild sisters.

We bid goodbye to our Filipino bartenders/friends. One of them actually lives near Joy back home.

The party lasted till like 3. So effin' drunk!


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