Monday, January 3, 2011

Cruise Chronicles

We spent the last week virtually internet- and cell-phone free on a cruise to Mexico with 22 extended family members, special thanks to Mammom and Bampa. 

As I type, the room is rocking...

Monday, December 27

Last night I could not sleep as I anxiously conjured visions of children falling overboard.  My mind played out the entire grim scenario, vividly, repeatedly:  the plunging, the flailing, the ship speeding away, the hopelessness and helplessness...

Feeling only slightly more rational this morning, I checked our kids into Kids' Camp (no balconies or railings in sight), lost my party, and lounged alone by the pool reading The Sun.  I caught only snatches of dialogue from the family sitting ahead of me but my ears perked up when a woman mentioned that "statistically, on an eight-day cruise of a few thousand people, someone on board dies." 


Tuesday, December 28

I figured out why cruising is not my ideal vacation.  It's not the crowds or claustrophobia--there are plenty of perks to make up for those relative cons.  It's the lack of living things, like plants.  I've come to equate vacation with escape to beautiful natural surroundings or exotic locales.  From the cruise ship, one experiences nature and foreign countries sort of like through museum glass.

Wednesday, December 29

I almost exclusively run outside and rarely work out in a gym.  Today I exercised on an elliptical machine and on a treadmill while on the cruise ship.  Then I fell down the stairs and almost took out a woman doing weights. 

Thursday, December 30

Old Mazatlan reminds me of Guatemala.  I love it.

We brought a game called "Things" which entertained us in the pre-dinner hour. Everyone writes answers to a category ("things adults wish they could still do"), answers are read ("breastfeed," "pee in my pants," "throw a tantrum," "believe in everything"), and then guesses are made about which responses are whose. The game is great fun (don't get bogged down in the scoring).

Friday, December 31

Cabo San Lucas and fish tacos. 

Last time we cruised I won $100 playing blackjack and bought my husband a massage. That must have been beginner's luck; this cruise, I focused on maintaining my "allowance" for the week. I made it to New Year's Eve. And then, thankfully, I knew when to walk away (particularly after watching a fellow player lose $1000 in fifteen minutes).

Big Sis and her cousin rang in the New Year dancing with their Mammom and Bampa.  Toasting my siblings, kissing my husband...almost all my family members in one place:  a great way to start the new year.

Saturday, January 1

In keeping with my resolution to eat better, I started the day with an egg white omelet with veggies.  Then I ate more fish tacos.  Then we went to the Steak House for dinner.

At Guest Services this afternoon I stood in line behind a man and his teenage son; the tension between them was palpable.  As Dad approached the desk he announced, "Let me introduce you to my son, who decided to drink too much champagne last night, and got sick all over our cabin.  He'd like to pay for the cleaning."

Sunday, January 2

A windy, wind-down day. 

Little Sis entered herself and a friend in the Kids' Camp Talent Show. They sang the ABC Song.

If I thought any part of my personality was "cruise director," Stu's ebullient and superfluous use of the word "splendid" over the loudspeaker and the course of the week set me straight. 

Today, he declared, was "crackin'." 

Monday, January 3

Last year, when our family booked a short cruise to Ensenada over Thanksgiving week, I forgot to wonder if one of students might be on the same ship, until we watched passengers boarding behind us from my parents' cabin balcony:  perfect timing to catch a former student heading toward the gangway.  This year, I was slated to share my vacation with a current 11th grader, but our ship's engine burned up and the cruise was cancelled.  Our families rebooked on a new ship--the same one!  But we disembarked the ship this morning, and he's boarding this afternoon.

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