Friday, August 6, 2010

San Diego Trip, Part III, or, TITANIC Disaster

[If you missed parts I and II of my trip recap, you can read them here and here, respectively!]

First of all, good job to those of you who tried to guess the mystery city in which we're having our next reunion in two years. It was...CHICAGO! Woo hoo! I've never been to Chicago but always, always wanted to go.

Now, Saturday, the third and final day of our reunion, was by far the most eventful. And by eventful I mean exhausting and terrifying, with more than a few familial spats. I won't lie, day three of a 24-hours-a-day reunion can get some nerves on edge!

The day at least started out beautifully, when we all traveled about 45 minutes to Vista, California, to Tiffany's mom's house, for her bridal shower. I won't post about that now, since I actually wrote about it as a guest post on Date Girl's blog for next week (I'll link to it then so you can all check it out!), but I won't leave you hanging without at least a picture of all the loot:

After the bridal shower, however, we were all feeling pretty pooped out from the exciting day and from possibly a few too many glasses of champagne. However, my brothers had planned for us all to board a San Diego harbor cruise from the Catamaran Hotel that night, as a good-bye sort of thing, and though I and most of the other girls would have loved nothing more than to stay home, throw on some sweatpants, and watch tv, we had to go.
The boat tour my brothers chose was on the boat called the Bahia Belle out of the Bahia resort, but we docked at the opposite side of the bay, at the Catamaran Hotel. The deal is that you get on on either side of the bay, and the boat runs continuously back and forth between the two hotels all night, taking about a half hour each way. You can stay on as long as you'd like.

Do you guys know the episode of the Office, Booze Cruise? Remember the boat they go on in that episode? Guys. I kid you not. We were on the SAME BOAT. Down to the hokey dance floor and live music and EVERYTHING.

The night actually didn't start out too badly. It was absolutely beautiful outside, even though it WAS freezing and all I had on were shorts, a tshirt, and a cardigan.

However, pretty much as soon as we got on the boat and pulled away from shore, things started going downhill. Neither Tiffany, Christine, nor I felt much like having a drink because of our long afternoon, and while that was fine, have you ever been the person not having a drink on a booze cruise? The loud, raucous people really started to wear on me and my poor headache not soon into the ride. Moreover, a big reason why we had gone on the boat was to see the fireworks at Sea World from the middle of the bay. However, we boarded the boat at 8:00pm. The fireworks didn't start until 9:50.

My mum and I cozied up on a bench on the top deck of the boat around 9:30 or so and I told her that I was exhausted and would really like to get off the next time the boat reached our shore. At that time, we were docking at the Bahia shore, and all those guests were waiting to get on. I had hoped that we could catch the fireworks on our way back to the Catamaran, and then unload there and head home, where I could crawl into bed. At this point it was probably about 55 degrees outside, and I was in shorts and sandals, but didn't want to go below deck because of all the drunk people and booming music.

And right at that moment, disaster struck.

While the Bahia guests had been waiting on the dock to board the boat, the boat officials had had them all line up on one side of the dock, making it easier for the passengers leaving the boat to unload. Well, all that weight on one side of the dock, combined with no doubt faulty maintenance, caused something very, very bad to happen.

Suddenly, everyone on the top deck of the boat was screaming and running to the railings. Then, they started yelling, "the dock collapsed! The dock collapsed!"

The dock had just given out, causing about 60 people all in dresses and nice clothes to fall about ten feet into the freezing bay. The outside air was about 55 so I can't even imagine how cold that water was--I know I was numb just standing on the boat. At very first, people sort of chuckled--you could possibly see how it could be funny, like that scene in It's a Wonderful Life where they all fall into the swimming pool under the gym floor.

Except, it really wasn't funny. People actually got hurt--one man broke his nose, another his arm, and countless others got bumps, bruises, and scrapes. Not to mention, they were all soaking wet and didn't have anything warm to change into. It didn't take long for the ambulances, fire trucks, and even search helicopters to start showing up. One particularly drunk, fratty boy started shouting rude things about the tax dollars and helicopters, and I really wanted to say, "Excuse me, but if you thought you had a little kid lost in that water, you'd want a search helicopter too."

The situation quickly became dire. The boat captain, who sounded aghast, came over the intercom to announce that we wouldn't be going anywhere for the time being. We were stuck on the boat for at least an hour, if not more. The fireworks did start going off, but they just felt so inappropriate. Then, we all had to remain exactly where we were standing so they could conduct a head count, which meant I had to stand in the freezing cold night air for another hour.

Finally, when the situation was under control, we started heading back to the other shore--at which point the boat turned the music and dance floor lights back on. Ugh! Christine, Tiffany and I agreed that it was so distasteful. People were shocked, tired, and freezing, and just wanted to go home, not dance and drink.

I was sort of bummed that a mini-diaster occured the last night of our reunion, because as good as it was, something like that can't help but put a damper on the festivities. But then we all got to talking and realized that there have been disasters almost every year in the last decade or two that we've held a reunion. Last year in Rome, NY, a tornado (!) touched down right near the hotel and caused the power to go out. Two years before that, a giant thunderstorm also caused the power to go out, leaving everyone stranded at someone's house. And two years before that, there was another tornado incident. Isn't that absurd! I hope we don't have any tornadoes in Chicago in two years!

By Sunday, I was sort of ready for a vacation from my vacation. Family reunions are exhausting! I'm totally looking forward to Chicago, but it was awfully nice to get off the plane, get back to L. , and even go back to work. Which is nice, because I think I managed to counteract the post-vacation blues! That's why, even though we were invited to a massive birthday celebration in New York City this weekend, I think L. and I are happy to have a relaxing weekend in. (Plus, the party is for the same guy who threw the New Jersey Pool Party, and I could not survive another day like that one) .

Hope you guys have fun (or not/relaxing!) things planned this weekend! I have a lot of fun posts planned for next week (including a GIVEAWAY!!!), so get excited!


  1. :S that sounds like a crazy end to the night. I'm glad no one was seriously injured though..but something like must really ruin a cruise. The picture with the pink clouds reflected in the water is lovely :)

  2. I was so right about Chicago, woot woot!

    Yikes, I can't believe that happened with the dock, but I'm glad to hear that no one had any major injuries or something much worse. I know this is so twisted of me, but I'm surprised you didn't snap a picture of it. Ack, I'm terrible.

  3. I thought it was Chicago too! I so want to go on a trip to Chicago. I also love San Diego. I was surprised to hear how cold it was though because isn't San Diego supposed to be the best weathered city in the US? Never too hot, never too cold :) I admire your courage with the booze cruise, I can't stand to be around intoxicated people if I haven't had one drink, I think I would have had to given in!

  4. That's such a crazy story about the dock collapsing! I can't even imagine what that would be like, especially as exhausted as you were. Glad you're OK and you had a fun trip!

  5. Oh wow I can't believe that the dock collapsed! So glad you are okay and avoided it- also I am dying of jealousy. What a fun vacation!

  6. @Rachael: It definitely put a damper on the fun! For good reason, of course. Thank you! I caught them at the perfect moment.

    @DG: Haha indeed you were! If I had snapped a picture, I would have been thrown overboard! People were actually snapping pictures on the shore and I even said to my mom, "If people were taking pictures of me, soaking wet and freezing, I would throw their cameras in the bay!"

    @Brittany: You girls know your cities! It IS supposed to be perfect, but we caught it at its worst weather since the 1930s! Figures.

    @Stephany: Thank you! I'm glad my family wasn't unloading when it happened.

    @Melissa: Me too! And yes, aside from docks collapsing and freezing cold weather it was a fun vaca!

  7. NO WAY! I cannot believe that happened and you witnessed it all! That is truly insane!

    And I totally love that your next reunion is in Chicago! :)

  8. Meghan, I know! It was so unreal. And I figured you would! Ha!

  9. OMG dude. That is just awful. Those poor people!