Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Honey, I'm HO-OME!

Yup. I got Dusty to wear the t-shirt in the Bahamas. He got stopped so many times. People wanted to know how he benefited. For those who can't quite read what it says: My wife writes romance novels. I benefit. Big time. (P.S.: The lady in the picture is his mom, but I forgot to ask if it was okay to post her picture. Hence the blue sunshine smiley over her face.)

The first thing we noticed about the cruise ship was how beautiful it was.

The second thing we noticed was the size of our cabin.

Yup. Four people, two under the age of eighteen, in that room for three nights. We spent very little time in there, thank God. I won't even go into the size of the "bathroom", or how I had to sit sideways on the bed to do my makeup in the "bedside" mirror. But it was clean, and quiet, so I can't complain too much. I just wish we'd known exactly how small the rooms would be. We might have upgraded rather than going with this. Getting the scooter in and out was an exercise all by itself.

So we left our tiny cabin and went exploring. Guess what the first thing my family found was?

Yup. The video arcade. Le sigh. M wanted the pool, R wanted the video games. R won, and M had to wait to go swimming. M was not happy. M took it out on the poor, defenseless dirt bike riders in the virtual world. Poor virtual people. How many times can you be run over by a five year old before you give up and cry like a little girl?

But we eventually made M happy.

Night-time swims will do that to you. He collapsed soon after into an exhausted little heap, wet, happy and clutching his stuffed puppy. R on the other hand had to have his PSP taken away before HE'D go to sleep.

That let us know we needed to try harder. Heh.

Day two of the cruise: NASSAU!

Yup, sunny, hot Nassau. Which, by the way, was NOT designed with mobility scooters in mind. I didn't take a picture of the "handicapped-accessible" curbs. I was too busy cursing the fact that I couldn't get up them. That kind of curtailed our enjoyment of Nassau. But what I saw was beautiful. A tip for those of you like me who are mobility challenged? Try some of the tours where you ride a boat or a bus for most of it. Don't try and sight-see on your own unless you're in a wheelchair with tall wheels and a nice burly guy to help you on and off the sidewalks.

We skipped the beach in Nassau thinking we'd hit it in Cocoa Cay the following day. After all, it was the Bahamas, right? Beautiful sunny and hot are like synonyms for the tropics. So we hit the pool for a little while before I left to get my hair done for the formal dinner with the family. Which, unfortunately, I don't have a picture of yet. I need to scan it in after I unpack. We had a lot of fun, met family Dusty hadn't seen in a while and I'd never met, and afterwards took the kids back to the pool. Once again the PSP had to be removed from ten year old hands before sleep took place.

Maybe he'd sleep after a day on the beach, right?

Last day of the cruise! We head to breakfast, eager to bury ourselves in warm sand and swim in turquoise oceans. This image didn't bother us too much.*

After all, sunny, Bahamas, beach. Then the couple next to us told us that the trip to Cocoa Cay was canceled due to the weather. Apparently they use a ferry to get you on and off the island and the seas were too choppy to allow the ferry to safely meet the cruise ship. We were handed a modified "ship compass", a sort of what's-happening-today outline. The boys were disappointed. As R pointed out he really wanted to bury M in the sand. And M really wanted to be buried. We quickly headed off a meltdown by offering a day by the pool. The boys agreed and we hit the pool deck, ready to enjoy our day.

And the pool deck hit back.

Sunny my very large tushie. I thought I left October behind but, damn it, it found me. I'm pretty sure it was between fifty and sixty degrees after wind chill, and the wind was fierce. If not for a quick grab my new red hat would have become a dolphin's latest fashion accessory. But the kids wanted to swim. Insisted on it, in fact. So we compromised. We'd allow them one hour, then back to the cabin for warm, dry clothes. So I parked my behind in a lounge chair, covered my bathing-suit clad self in a long towel and tried not to shiver too much. People in jackets and long pants walked by and stared at the crazy people in the pool, two of which were my children.

The beach picture I promised you? This is pretty much it.

After five minutes M decided it was too damn cold and hit the hot tub for the remainder of the hour. Much more stubborn, R pretended he was a polar bear until his tummy started to hurt. Then he, too, hit the hot tub. Of course, after five minutes he decided he felt better and got back in the freezing water. Gah. We dragged them out as soon as the hour was up. We then forced them to go to the children's play area of the ship, where we dropped them off for a few hours of supervised fun while we hit the casino (I still can't win at slots, damn it) and Dusty headed off for a relaxing massage. Dinner that evening was fairly informal. I somehow wound up at a table full of men. Not that I'm complaining, but most of them were either jail-bait or just past jail-bait. It wasn't a big deal, since I have nephews who range from eighteen to two years old. I know how to talk to boys. ;D

Unfortunately my back was beginning to make its presence felt. Forcing the scooter up and down ramps with my legs and my back, plus standing around in heels for family pictures during the formal dinner was taking its toll. I took a Tylenol with Codeine because I realized I might not be able to walk back to the cabin without it. Then I ordered the tiramisu for dessert without reading all the ingredients.

Did you know they soak the ladyfingers in Kahlua on that ship? I didn't. I had to be dragged back to the cabin. I still couldn't walk but really? I didn't care. Dusty took the kids back to the kids' area where they did some kind of pirate thing. He went to visit his family once they were signed in.

I went to sleep. It was a happy sleep, until The Dread Pirate M got back to the cabin and landed on my butt.

The next morning arrived way to early. We were told the night before that our call number is Lavendar Two, and we have the luggage tags to prove it. After breakfast (which is from six a.m. to eight a.m. this time) we are to go to a lounge and wait for our call.

We missed breakfast. We got there at eight fifteen, by which time they'd already called our number. The crew sighed and shook their heads at us when we told them we hadn't heard any announcement in our cabin. "That's because we don't do ship-wide announcements anymore," explained one crew member. Apparently everyone would respond rather than just the ones they wanted and that created chaos. So instead they wander through the lounges holding up a card that has the different colors on it and yell for you.

Yeah. That works. Not.

Off the ship, through customs, on the dock and damn it's cold out! Florida isn't supposed to go below seventy, damn it! I'm shivering in a maxi-dress and a shawl, and my kids are huddling together for warmth. Off to the airport earlier than we'd planned since they pretty much boot your ass off the ship with a smile and a fond farewell, and did you know you can't check your luggage in more than four hours before your flight? Home sweet home, order pizza because no way in hell am I cooking, and sleepy-bye for this tired, sore writer.

And we didn't give R the PSP either. He slept like a baby.

*P.S.: Ignore the date/time stamp. I didn't realize it was screwed up until I looked at the pictures. Some have the right day and time, some don't.


Melissa said...

Ooh, it looks and sounds like you guys had a fab time~~thanks for sharing the pics!!
And ugh on the lack of sunshine~~and rofl about the lady fingers. I bet they were made of awesome, though!!
And wowza on the size of that room. I rode a passenger train all across the west once, so can SO relate on room size and bathroom NON space, lol. I tell people I could sit on the toilet and wash my hands and comb my hair all at the same time, lol.

Dana Marie Bell said...

Yup! And after one step you're in the shower! WHEEE!

And yes, the tiramisu was SO made of awesome. :D

Jeanne said...

It still looks like you had fun. I have been freezing my fanny off until today. Got up to 70 during the day. Saturday we actually saw snow - had to go to the top of a mountain to see it!! Heading home tomorrow but stopping in Jacksonville and then Mothers. Was great seeing y'all in Cape Canaveral.

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