I guess I should give all of our excursions their moment in the sun. I am so obsessed with our last experience of the trip, that I can hardly wait to write about it. And, yes, I realize that I am a complete lunatic.
Ok. In Costa Maya we walked around, souvenir shopped and laid in those picturesque hammocks. In Roatan, Honduras, we had a lovely little private island with rescued wildlife [up close and personal with sea lions!], the most beautiful water I've ever seen, and a killer lunch buffet where we were baffled that we couldn't go back for seconds [cruise-spoiled]. And in Belize we rode a charmingly janky bus into the Belizean jungle for over an hour. Me - terrified, Dustin - thrilled. I just new we were going to discover some unseen, ginormous species of snake on our Mayan cave tour. I panicked a little more as they suited us up with a harness, helmet, and head lamp and chilled out a bit as we started hiking up Central America mountains and crawling through old old caves. After we got through the first repel, I was happy to zipline and trample across some rope bridges from then on.
Alright now that that's done, let's talk about Cozumel. I keep saying that Cozumel was the best experience of my life, but then I remembered that I stood on stage and married my BFFL [<-- that is a joke] just a few days earlier. So, yes, the wedding/marriage excitement totally trumps this. But it's the SECOND best moment of my life.
We swam. with. DOLPHINS. For some background, I've been a long-time dolphin lover. And though I have friends that rag on me for it, I'm proud of my childhood dolphin figurine collection. That sounds so much more lame when I type it. At some point during junior high or high school, I thought it a good idea to make a life to-do list, a bucket list (though I didn't know that it was called this until that Jack Nicholson/Morgan Freeman movie). Number one on this list: swimming with dolphins. Really deep and meaningful, I know. But all I can say now is check, check, CHECK!
I'm pretty sure the people in our group thought I was a complete idiot. I continually waved to Athena [our dolphin] while everyone else listened to directions like normal people. Poor Dustin. Hopefully my excitement only enhanced his experience. I was the first to get a kiss from Athena and yelled, "that was awesome!" which my whole group laughed at. I supposedly hugged her a little more passionately than instructed. And the instructor may have had to pull me off of her when I didn't let go early enough at the end of the ride. I'm probably flagged at Dolphinaris as a hazardous visitor. It was well worth it. This could possibly [but hopefully not] be a once in a lifetime experience. Gotta live it up!
Afterwards, we headed back to our home at sea for our afternoon ritual: Dustin watching all the embarkation mechanics while I journaled the days memories. I think I filled up an entire page about Athena, and I knew that I had caught the new adventure/experience bug. And, in that moment, that desire to live this life to its very fullest became so much sweeter because I knew that I'd always, if the Lord wills it, have Dustin to share it with. I got anxious to step off that boat and into this brand new life we now shared. What a loving God we serve. He began this journey as a rich blessing and promises to uphold and guide us through every turn, both slight and sharp. And that's all for the mush. We've just got this party started!