07/12/13
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Elegant Marriage

On July 12, 2013, Ivan woke up at 8 am and watched the Morning Show.  I heard the show, but went back to bed.  Ivan went back to bed after the show.

It was a Sea Day so it was nice to sleep in until 1:50 pm.  Ivan and I headed to the Caribbean buffet where we had grilled fish, potato wedges and sweet potato salad.

Lil Dave was out having fun with his monkey friends – doing the usual monkey business and eating too many bananas.

Went to the theatre for the Marriage Show.  Ivan noticed Tim and Gabbie sitting off to the side, so they could avoid being chosen.

The cruise director John asked for people who had great or horrible marriage proposals.  He chose a few people from the audience.  Then, he kept asking for any really special marriage proposals.  Ivan and I knew he was looking for Tim and Gabbie since he read about their underwater proposal.  John pointed in their direction and Gabbie went up.

We heard good and bad marriage proposals.  One guy put a ring on his girlfriend while she was sleeping, woke her up and asked him to marry him.  How weird is that?

It was Gabbie’s turn and she said how Tim proposed to her while diving.  Tim was to re-create the proposal, although it wasn’t underwater this time.  Tim had to get down on one knee and sing a few lines from their song “(Everything I do) I Do it for You” by Bryan Adams.  It was cute and sweet.  Tim sang better than the other two guys before him.

We all went to Tea Time and enjoyed a tasty scone and a brownie with our tea.

It was time for the Bean Bag Tournament.  Ivan and I got knocked out in the second round.  Tim and Gabbie ended up winning the tournament.

Tim & Gabbie win the Bean Bag Competition

I headed to the jacuzzi while Ivan, Tim and Gabbie went to the Mini Golf Competition.  I chilled reading Lee Mack’s funny autobiography Mack the Life.  They got knocked out pretty quickly and came to meet me at the pool.

Tim and Ivan talked awhile while I continued reading my book.  Gabbie chilled on a lounge chair.

Everybody went to get ready for Elegant Night.  Ivan made some Hammer & Sickle drinks for us.

Ivan and I took pictures on the staircase with our fancy clothes on.

Ivan & Jen all dressed up

It was dinner time.  Ivan started off with pea soup while I had a lovely ricotta cheese and spinach crepe.

Ricotta cheese & spinach crepe

Our main dishes were blackened tilapia for Ivan and Cornish game hen for me.  We decided to share a delicious chocolate melting cake for dessert.

Ivan, Tim, Gabbie and I went to The Big Easy show which has a Louisiana theme.  It was an amazing show with terrific dancing and singing.

We stopped by our room to grab the vodka.  There was a cute hanging monkey towel animal hanging in our room.

Monkey towel animal hanging around

Headed up to the Lido deck to get orange juice, but lemonade is only available at night for some reason.  Vodka and lemonade is tasty, but really sweet.

Tim thought we should play a Bean Bag Drinking Game.

Gabbie, Tim & Ivan having fun

The lights kept changing different colors while we were enjoying our game and drinks.  I think Security was watching us since the lights went off after we finished playing.

Ivan thought we should check out the nightclub Medusa’s Lair.  It was nice to see lots of people dancing in the club.  It’s a really cool club.

Gabbie and I went on the dance floor and danced around.  We noticed a few of the entertainers.  I was drunk and told Gabbie that I danced better than the entertainers which I thought was funny since they dance professionally on the ship.

We had all had another drink in the club.  After dancing, we went to Tim and Gabbie’s room and chatted for a long time.  It was another fun night with our favorite Aussies.

Ivan and I went to sleep at 6 am.

07/8/13
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Helsinki

Ivan, Lil Dave and I woke up early at 8:55 am and the Carnival Legend was in Helsinki, Finland.

We went to Truffles for breakfast with Tim and Gabbie.  I had a baked apple and smoked salmon with cream cheese on a bagel.

There was free internet at the port and we used it for a few minutes.

We all took the shuttle into the city center which was 10€ for each person round trip.

Got off the shuttle bus.  Ivan was looking at a city map.  A lady told us about a market nearby.  So, we walked down the street to the market.  Tim and I took some pictures.

Ivan wanted to use the internet, so we said bye to Tim and Gabbie.  We walked around to find a café where we used the free internet.  Ivan and I both had an espresso since we were tired.

We walked to the Hotel Klaus K for the meeting point for a tour.  This hotel is filled with lots of cool décor and artwork.

The Helsinki Food tour started shortly after noon.  Our guide was a goth girl who had pink hair, not sure what her name was.  She was really in need of a tan.

Bread with sour cream, veggies & herring

We had a spruce drink and a tasty bread with herring, cream cheese, onions and cucumber on top.

The small group of eleven started walking to our next food destination.  Eromanga is a home bakery.  Here, our guide started handing out meat pies called lihapiirakka.  Ivan said that he was vegetarian.

Lihapiirakka, a Finnish pastry

The meat pie was like a donut on the outside with meat and rice on the inside.  It was slightly sweet.  The guide plopped down Ivan’s substitute and didn’t say what it was.  Our guide never even told us anything about the meat pie.

It was off to our next stop which was at the market.  Our guide gave us reindeer meatballs with a cranberry sauce and little fried herrings with sour cream.  Ivan asked if he could get a water.  The guide looked at one of the guys who ran the stalls and said Uhh, I think you have to buy it.   You would think that since we’re paying 55€  per person for the tour, we could get a bottle of water for free.  Ivan ended up buying a bottle of water.

The reindeer meat was tasty.

Ivan with a little fried herring

Ivan and I both enjoyed the fried fish as well.

The group’s next stop was at Pure Bistro where we had a pine slush which is made from the sap of the pine tree.  An American guy said it tasted like Christmas which it actually did.  I could definitely have more of this tasty slush.

We walked to a square where you can see a big church on a hill.  The guide tried to gather us together to tell a story, but everybody started taking pictures.  She did tell one person the story.  She was a really bad guide.  She seemed shy and didn’t want to talk to us.  I think she thought it would be fine just to take us to places and not really explain anything.

Helsinki Cathedral

The group walked up to Helsinki Cathedral.  I asked her what it was.  She said something about it, but it didn’t make much sense.  All I got was that it’s a famous church on a hill.

Our next stop was Krypta Cafe.

Krypta Cafe in Helsinki

It was cool being in a crypt, but the food was really weird.  It was a cafe that sold tea, coffee and cakes.  We got a chocolate cake and an apple pastry.  Again, we didn’t get any explanation about the food.  It was just cheap cakes that you would get at a hospital cafeteria.

We walked by a lovely Roman building, but our guide didn’t say anything about it.  On most food tours, they will talk about the places we are passing by.

The group went to Anton & Anton next which is an organic grocery store.  A lady from the store told us about the blueberry and cardamom ice cream.  She was much friendlier than our guide.  Our guide seemed to look at her in envy since everybody was listening to her.  The ice cream was delicious.

We also got to taste cheese that was aged 5 months that was on a cracker with jam on top.

Tasty cheese & jam on a cracker

The last stop was at Chjoko which sells Finnish chocolate.  The store sold lots of chocolate and truffles.  Our group got a dark chocolate bar that was broken up in pieces and little milk chocolate balls.  Ivan thought it was cheap that we didn’t get any good chocolate truffles.  The guide only told us what kind of chocolate we were getting.  She said it would be our last stop and gave us our diploma.  A lot of people were asking what places we visited.  Our guide had to think about it.  She has got to be the worst guide we’ve ever had on a tour.  We’ve done a lot of tours during our years of traveling.  She wasn’t a good storyteller and never explained the foods we were eating.

The Helsinki Food tour was good for the food.. but it’s overpriced.  I’m sure it would have been a lot better with a good guide.

We walked back to the drop-off area and boarded the shuttle bus.  Ivan and I saw Tim and Gabbie sitting down.  The bus left at 3:45 pm headed to the port.

We tried to use the free internet at the port, but it wasn’t working.

Back on the Carnival Legend, Ivan went walking around.  I watched music videos in the room while I tried to work on the blog.  It was nice to chill on the balcony.

Ivan came back to get ready.  I fell asleep when he was in the shower.  When he was done, he told me I should get ready and meet him at trivia or at Truffles for dinner.

I fell back asleep since I was tired.  I showered, got ready and walked to find Ivan.  He told me that he, Tim and Gabbie won the British Pub Quiz and they each won a Carnival medal.

Ivan started off with a fruit appetizer while I got a vegetarian soup.

Ivan had the vegetarian Indian meal – the dishes change nightly.  I had a cheeseburger with fries for my main course.  I do miss my burgers when I’m pescetarian.

The waiters were getting ready to dance.  I told them Gabbie and I wanted to dance.  I went up, but Gabbie didn’t want to.  We danced to DJ Otzi’s Hey Baby (If You’ll Be My Girl).  I copied the moves of the waiters which were very easy to learn.

Jen dancing with our waiters

I love dancing and I realized I miss doing it.

We talked awhile with our dinner mates at the table.  Everybody left at 10 pm.  It was really windy outside and the ship was really rocky tonight.

Ivan and I decided to call it an early night and went to bed at 11 pm.

05/24/13
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Beach Trance

Ivan, Lil Dave and I had lunch at Mar A Vila again on May 24, 2013.  Lil Dave got the chef to make a variety of banana pintxos like bananas and goat cheese and bananas empanada.  Ivan and I got goat cheese with vegetables, a tuna stuffed pepper, empanada with cheese and mussels and a new one a ravioli with octopus and tomato.  It was tasty food again.. this time enjoyed with a nice light beer.

We walked down to the beach in the Figueretas area.  It was such a lovey day out.  It’s always nice to have the sun shining with a lovely blue sky.

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We walked along the Figueretas Beach until it ended and then walked to Fusion to get a drink.  Ivan and I each got a mojito.  Lil Dave opted for a banana smoothie.  This restaurant is a great place to people watch.  Ivan and I chilled out for awhile while enjoying the tasty mojitos.  I wrote a message on the funny postcards that I bought yesterday. 

Stopped at an art gallery called Mad Dog Gallery.  The art work was really cool inside.  My favorite was definitely the Pink Panther with boobs.

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Ivan, Lil Dave and I walked back to the apartment.  Ivan used the internet while I worked on the blog. 

Later that night, Ivan and I walked to Formentera Restaurant for dinner.  Lil Dave decided to go have a banana pizza at a nearby pizza joint.  Ivan and I shared the tasty Padron peppers and the seafood paella with calamari (also, comes with shrimp and mussels). 

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This time we shared a jug of sangria which was sweet and tasted lovely.  It was another delicious meal here.  If you love paella, definitely check out this place.  Their paella is one of the best I’ve ever tasted in Spain.

It was time to walk up to the Dalt Vila Castle stage area at 10:30 pm.  It was a lot more crowded in Ibiza today since it was a Friday.  I had forgotten what day it was until Ivan mentioned it earlier.  The guy at the door recognized us, but he still asked for Ivan’s ID.  He said that there was no re-entry which was different than last night.  Also, they didn’t check IDs yesterday. 

Ivan guided us to the front of the stage.  Sven Väth was playing who is a trance DJ. 

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I was dancing around and the deep trance music made me feel like a zombie.. kind of drunk and drowsy.  I know that’s the point of trance.. but it wasn’t the best trance music I’ve heard.  Ivan wasn’t into it, so we left around 11:15 pm.  We definitely prefer house music that’s more fun.  Trance can be good, but it’s better with some lyrics every now and then… otherwise, it’s a bit repetitive. 

Ivan wanted to walk around Dalt Vila before we headed back.  This area is simply beautiful. 

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The white buildings, the colored doors and window coverings and the peeling walls are quite charming.  I’m going to miss walking around this beautiful part of Ibiza.

Back at the apartment, we used the internet.  Lil Dave was already sleeping.  It was time for bed at 5 am.  Hopefully, we’ll return to a normal sleeping schedule soon.

05/23/13
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Tapas & House Music

Ivan, Lil Dave and I had a really late lunch on May 23, 2013 at Bar Restaurant Vara De Rey.  Ivan and I shared a few tapas: anchovies, Spanish omelet, potatoes with octopus and squid.

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Lil Dave got a banana stuffed chicken.  It was tasty food once again.

We walked up to the stage in Dalt Vila Castle where Fatboy Slim and other DJs will be playing later tonight.  It was already busy since the website said that people should arrive by 6:30 pm.  Ivan figured it was a mistake and found out that you could arrive later.  Ivan was surprised to see so many people in shorts.  Sure, it’s warm during the day.. but the nights get chilly.

We chilled out in the room for awhile.  Lil Dave decided to head out into Ibiza Town while we went to hear some great house music. 

At 8:40 pm, we walked up to the stage to see Idris Elba.  He’s an actor who’s known for being in the tv shows The Wire and Luther.  His DJ name is Driis.   Ivan and I were curious to see what kind of music he would play. 

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He was good, but not amazing.  He’s getting popular as a DJ, but I think he needs to practice more.  He messed up and stopped the music altogether twice.  He apologized the second time saying that I’m gonna tell you the truth…I played the wrong f’ing song.  At least he admitted his mistake.. he’s only human.  He did have a weird sudden music change which I thought didn’t really make sense.. also, a build-up that wasn’t exactly perfect.. think he put in a beat in too fast.  I also think he has too many build-ups.. where the music escalates up and goes nuts.  I’m not sure of the actual name.. but that’s what I call it.  His music was funky music with some deep house.  Ivan said his music reminded him of house music played during the 1990’s.  I think in a year or so, he’s going to be wonderful.  I loved that he was dancing around and really into the music.  You can tell he’s enjoying being a DJ.  I’m sure it’s an amazing feeling making people dance and getting that lovey energy from the crowd.

There was a massive queue (line) for the port-a-potties.  We just walked outside of the stage area and walked to a bar nearby.  Ivan and I each got a glass of red wine and used the loo (toilet).  It was quick and easy unlike the long port-a-potty line.

We went back to the stage to see Pete Tong.  He played great funky house music.  Ivan and I love dancing to good house music.  You seem to lose yourself in the music.  I’m happy there was room to dance in the front.  It’s great to feel the music up close and see the DJ as well.

Ivan and I walked back to the bar to use the toilet again.  We shared a red wine before heading back.

Pete Tong was finishing up his set.  I was getting excited that Fatboy Slim was going to come on.  He’s definitely our favorite DJ.  He’s just so fun.  As usual, Fatboy Slim had awesome visuals with funny pictures of him like a big yellow smiley face.  There was even smiley faces projected onto the castle. 

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We danced non-stop for an hour to Fatboy Slim.  He seems to throw in cool songs that he loves.  The vocals are always fun.  I love his funky style.  If you want to dance to awesome house music.. you have to see Fatboy Slim.

We had a wonderful time dancing for almost 3 hours.  I love dancing.  It makes me so happy.

We left early so we could avoid the crowd.  Ivan always thinks ahead.  He’s so smart.

We went to eat at Tentazione right near the stage area.  Ivan and I shared cod ravioli and tuna and onion pizza. 

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The meal was delicious. 

Ivan and I wanted to see if we could get in to Fatboy Slim’s other show at Cipriani Downtown Ibiza right next to Ibiza Gran Hotel.  We couldn’t find a taxi that would take passengers on the street.  There was a long queue for the taxi rank and ALL taxis went there.  I guess it’s the law that the taxis are only allowed to pick-up passengers in a taxi rank.  We walked to the Gran Hotel which was only a 10 minute walk.

We went to Cipriani Downtown Ibiza and Ivan found out that it was 40 Euros per person for the entrance fee.  I thought was a bit steep.  I wasn’t chuffed if we didn’t see him since we just saw him perform a wonderful set.  Ivan and I saw the restaurant and it looked really small.  It would get crowded very quickly.  Ivan told me later that Fatboy Slim was supposed to perform at the new club Bomba that is close by which hasn’t even opened yet.  Since that didn’t happen, the owner of Bomba who also owns Cipriani Downtown Ibiza moved the event to the restaurant.  Ivan told me earlier that a lot of people from the International Music Summit would be at Pacha instead.  He was right since when we left in a cab later.. there was big crowd outside Pacha. 

We were back at the apartment and yet again.. we had jetlag and couldn’t sleep until 6 am.

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