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DECEMBER 4 - 10, 2005


The Arch at Land's End, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

Planning a celebration of 55 years of marriage turned out to be more complicated than we expected. In early summer, 2005 we booked rooms for the four members of our family at the "Aventura Spa Palace" an all-inclusive resort on the Mexican Caribbean coast, 60 miles south of Cancun, near Puerto Aventuras. Shortly, we learned that the eye of Hurricane "Emily" had roared right over the Aventura Spa Palace, effectively destroying the southern half of the huge complex. But--not to worry, we were assured that the northern half of the resort would be open by October and in good shape by early December, when we planned to arrive.

Then, in late October, Hurricane Wilma parked herself over the Yucatan Peninsula! While the Aventura Spa Palace escaped the eye of the hurricane this time, the beaches and trees around it pretty much disappeared. We decided that we would give the area time to recover from recurring hurricanes and started looking for other ways to celebrate this major milestone in our married life.

Our ultimate choice was a cruise on the Celebrity ship, the "Infinity" sailing from San Diego to Cabo San Lucas in early December. This was a rather unusual length for a cruise--six nights, instead of the usual seven. And, it visited only three ports: Catalina Island, 70 miles from San Diego, Cabo San Lucas at the tip of Baja California peninsula, and Ensenada--again, only 70 miles from San Diego.

We've taken several cruises, but this was the first one that allowed us to visit relatives at one of the ports. Glenn's niece, Terry, lives on Catalina Island, where her parents once lived and operated a bus company. This was a real treat, as Terry gave us the "insider's" view of life on an island within sight of southern California, but a thousand miles away in lifestyle.

By the time we booked the cruise the only cabins they had left were in the "concierge class." So, we were treated to a little more pampering by Celebrity than we've enjoyed on other cruises. No complaints though! We were able to have adjoining cabins with Mark and Karen which was very convenient.

Our dinner partners were involved in various ways with fighting wildfires--all over the West--and sharing experiences made for great conversation as we all enjoyed Celebrity's well-deserved reputation for outstanding cuisine.

Mother Nature relented after messing up our original anniversary plans and gifted us with the most spectacular seven days of sunshine and smooth seas we've ever experienced. All in all, it was a fine way to celebrate our anniversary and if you have the time and inclination, you can share some of the photos that four people, all armed and dangerous with digital cameras, can produce!

Be warned! We took LOTS of pictures and most of them are in this photo album. They may take awhile to load. Also, to see all of the the vertical pictures you will need to use the scroll button. You can also scroll through the "thumbnails" at the left edge of the album if you want to jump directly to a particular picture. Click here for the photos.

Happy vicarious cruising (and no dramamine required).

Barbara and Glenn


Unless otherwise noted, text and photos are the property of Glenn, Barbara, Mark and Karen Halliday, 2005