So here's my list:
1) Satisfy my inner geek.
When traveling through Italy two years ago, I discovered that many of the cities have anatomy or zoology museums that are hundreds of years old and that are open to the public. I absolutely loved these museums, and ever since I've sought out similar museums when I've traveled to other cities. I couldn't find an anatomy museum in New Orleans, but I did find a Pharmacy Museum that definitely appeals to my geeky side.
2) Relax with a book.
The last time I traveled, I couldn't tear myself away from the mountains long enough to sit down and read a book, but I'm hoping to find time to do it on this trip. I've had the Hunger Games sitting on my bedside table for almost a year, so hopefully I'll be able to get through it on one of our days at sea. A (very overpriced) margarita may help.
As I've mentioned many times, I have an odd fascination with sea turtles, so I'm very excited about going here. I'll probably devote an entire blog post to my visit to the turtle farm. (I'm sure you can't wait to read it.)
Work has taken a lot out of me lately, and so as much as I want to see and do everything on my trip, I also want to slow down and spend some quality time in bed. My cats will serve as a good example for this one.
5) Spend some quality time with my Ma.
I've written before about how my Mom and I butt heads sometimes. I love her dearly, but we don't always see eye to eye on the world, and we often want to do very different things with our time. I'm hoping that getting away from all of the regular life stresses will give us some time to connect and work past some of our differences. If not, we've already pre-booked our wine package, so we should be good.
6) Practice good skin hygiene.
If I ever go missing and need to be described to the police, a list of the risk factors for melanoma would be a pretty good start. Fair skin, light eyes, freckles, and burns easily? Yep, that's me. So I won't be lying in a deck chair until I turn bronze, but rather will be slathering myself up with SPF 55 and wearing a hat. If you happen to be wandering around the cruise ship port in New Orleans on March 2, I'll be the only one who is still completely lacking any skin pigment.
7) Take a ghost tour.
I've been on ghost tours in Edinburgh and Calgary, and I find them to be an interesting way of learning about the history of an area. I'm not one for memorizing dates from a textbook, but I do enjoy hearing stories about grizzly murders and about entire stretches of cities that have been wiped out by plague. (Further proof that I'm a wee bit odd.)
8) Listen to jazz.
The airport in New Orleans is named after a jazz great. How can I not listen to jazz while I'm there?
9) Prepare for the end of the world.
Just in case the world comes to an end this year, I'd like to first see the remains of the civilization that predicted it. Thanks to the suggestions left in the comments, we've decided against making the long (and potentially seasickness-inducing) trip to Tulum, and will instead be taking in the San Gervasio ruins that are much closer to our port. I have my camera ready!
I hear rumours that there's some good food in New Orleans. Erin of the White Coat Files quite kindly provided a list of good places to eat in response to one of my earlier posts, so between her list and Trip Advisor I think we should be well-equipped to find some good restaurants. My list of things that I want to eat while in New Orleans includes, but is not limited to:
mac and cheese (and not the boxed kind)
fried green tomatoes
collard greens (I haven't the foggiest clue what they are, but they sound Southern to me)
I will not, however, be partaking of cooked turtle in any way, shape, or form. Or oysters. I like to think of myself as open-minded when it comes to food but 1) turtles are not food in my world and 2) the first (and only) time I tried an oyster my stomach absolutely refused to allow it entrance. And gagging in a restaurant is not my idea of fun.
Ahhhh....sounds like eleven fabulous days. I can hardly wait! And I don't have to much longer, given that my flight leaves in six hours. Sigh. Time to get a few short hours of shut eye.