Sunday, March 15, 2015

Lemmings to Landlubbers

I've upgraded my solo cup 
(Sigh)... how to say goodbye to one of the best weeks/vacations of my life. Daphne has been to the crop room and cleared her desk, as well as the room of all her contents, neatly stowed- with space left over I'll add- in her luggage. Well, I despite my best intentions, I had not been in any of the four hot tubs on board during my stay, so I made plans to meet Nancy and Lani in the adults only area at 9:30 Saturday. Hadn't been able to finish my celebratory champagne at dinner but didn't think it wise to bring that to the party, so I cleverly filled a plastic water bottle, grabbed what was left of the dark chocolate Trader Joe's peanut butter cups I'd rationed for the week, and headed out to relax in splendid company.
The bags aren't due out in the hall until 11pm, and our formal ship photos aren't promised until 10:30, so I've got plenty of time! Hmmm, perhaps I will just pause for a moment to gather my belongings the best I can; you never know when the urge to continue conversation uninterrupted may present itself in a hot tub! Can you imagine the mental crowing that occurred when I found not one but 6 Survivor watchers outside under the faux star sky? Oh around the time the champagne kicked Nancy out of the tub I realized I'd better get my bikinied bottom dried off and in line those prints we'd ordered.
I should have guessed I'd not be alone down there in the photo gallery, located just outside the Sapphire Dining room on deck 3. Yet, I stood there grinning like the only person not going home tomorrow, handing out candy to whomever I could tempt. Enjoyed another one of those, my scrapbook could help your life moments when I engaged in conversation with a young woman whose mission upon getting home would be to write the sort of introductory letter one sends to a prospective birth mother giving her child up for adoption. Not only have I been blessed with astoundingly easy conceptions- I am also best friends with someone who has herself struggled with infertility.
This trip was full of times when I would be reminded by a loved one back home, like this one- or even a whole group of them, like when I saw those family pictures being taken! I gained a new appreciation for the small parts each of my friends and family make in getting me through each week, one shared call or text or coffee chat at a time. I'm super supported in a life that other's would find extravagant- for as my bio reads, literally every spare moment not dedicated to child rearing, food prepping, or house cleaning is spent with a bit of paper nearby and probably some glue residue on my hands (which is why I don't wear gloves for doing dishes- gotta get that gunk off somehow)!
When I finally got back to the room, I was desperate for a shower, but realized that if I didn't get my suit in my suitcase and out in the hall, I'd be carrying more than just a wet bag off the ship. Stripped down in a flash and, propping the door open with one foot, pushed my tiny crop bag I'd used as luggage outside and tried to shove my wet clothes, now bagged in a Belize souvenir transportation device (i.e. plastic bag, which will remind us of all the "stuff we don't need" left behind), into my already full to bursting bag.
Sayonara Champagne Sippins
Just as my hair decides to fall in my face, exasperating the situation, I am started into the air by a loud "Whoooeeee!" Oh Lord, it's Gina, across the hall and holding her door wide open and laughing for Donna to see what she found! Thank goodness they didn't have cameras in hand. Although, now that I'm retelling it, a photo would have given new meaning to that expression, Priceless. I finally secured my belongings and after a quick mental debate about closing the club a fourth and final night, opted instead to retire early and cherish my fading buzz and accompanying memories.

Can you find Waldo?
Don't know what it is about  large crowd mentality that practically prohibits any expression of happiness, and man do I ever not enjoy being in that kind of negative atmosphere. Lot's of eye widening and brow lifting going on between myself and the other mutually oppressed happy souls standing nearby while our shipmates all slowly snaked out of the ships dismemberment terminal on the morning of Day 7. I even considered breaking into a sing-a-long, but memories of my off-key Karaoke session from Day 1 quickly dispelled that far fetched idea.
Not being dispelled? The thick layer of fog that engulfed Galveston- I couldn't even see to the back of the ship once we finally got outside. Delayed by an hour or more, we had finally started the final leg of our trip, from the ship to Seattle, after a lot of confusion about what the correct departure time really was for each of the sections being called to approach the gangway.
Until we meet again...
Our instructions, given the night before in paper form and confirmed by our crop leader, were to arrive early and wait in the theatre for further instruction. Trouble with that was that there were also repeated overhead announcements stating that departure times had been delayed one hour and please wait for your number to be called before approaching the gangway. Not hearing our group 3 called, I suggested we just wait in our room, enjoy the balcony view a little longer, and keep away from the cesspool of germs standing in the hallways! 
After a powerful brainstorming session, a quick once-over and a farewell pat on the hat we said goodbye to room 9228 and headed for the elevators and down to deck 4. Uh-ohhh, turns out they had already gotten to group 27 being called to exit! So we ended up swirling in the hallways until we were corralled in and around the top of the balcony of the theatre. I disgustedly told Daphne, jump in line earlier, like, don't follow all those people when you're standing where you'll end up!
Sensing her appalled feeling of demanding cut-sies, I pointed out that there was going to be a long line of just standing and waiting to get the exact same place we were at now. Looking down the line I selected our victim and formally requested that my friend's cane advertised her need to not walk and stand to excess. Honestly, that was the only time on the trip we used her status to gain a favor, and it was entirely against her will to, as she said, "take cuts." But the woman we approached was very gracious. Meet you at the suitcases! I called over my shoulder,  and proceeded to cut back (into my original place) in line too.
Once we were actually off the ship, I could see the people filing down the connecting corrider- literally walking the plank! Shuffle shuffle shuffle a few hundred feet and then it was another hurry up and wait inside the terminal warehouse. I had completely lost sight of D by now, but figured, really, how far ahead could she get? Happily, my sightings DID include my  dance floor diva friend Denise and her husband, who I kept wanting to call Dennis. Since I cannot remember if this is true, I'm hereby dubbing him my "protector."  What a relief to spend what I thought would be the last of the line standing time with one of my favorite onboard couples- and their ready smiles!
So, about it being the end of the line-waiting... how about a big loud NOT! Turns out, once we retrieved our luggage on the other side of the customs warehouse, we were then expected to return to the entrance for, you guessed it, more line waiting, that would once again, you guessed it, go directly by the place we had just been! Yeah right; I made Daphne stay with the bags and hopped onto the end of the snake so to speak.
Well it wasn't long before I swooped past her, snagged my luggage handles and entered ANOTHER winding line! This one (eventually) led us through Customs and out into the muggy Galveston day. Luckily it was no longer raining, because we ended up standing in line (some more go figure) while one of the rotating transport busses shuttled passengers to their airport destinations. Our plane wouldn't be leaving for another 5 hours or so, no worries for us as we enter the air conditioned high rise of the road. 

Consideration for a new 'Do?

Airport Amusements
The next time I go on a cruise, I'll book my return trip for the same time frame. The wind down time was great for letting go of the last week of pampering. I was able to get started with my blog posts, create  a few more photo collages, and even captured my next dream hair cut from  fellow passenger. A much different attitude was achieved in comparison to the other couple who had shared the front row seating to the air port. Their plane was scheduled to leave at 1:15pm they were just sure they would not make it.
Our driver hauled that bus butt like the dickens and I'm sure they did indeed make their flight- or at least I hope so after he accidentally knocked off his side view mirror on a bus stop sign trying to get them as close to their gate door as possible! That man was a saint, but I was to find another one waiting inside to brighten my day. Airport security is not known for the friendliness of it's staff, however the woman I observed assisting a wheelchair bound traveler had to be vocally complimented. Her warm voice and calming demeanor were a pleasure to hear and really, it's just not that often you hear a person doing their best to be kind to someone in an awkward situation. If I had flowers, I'd have gladly passed them on to her!
Red Skies at Night, Sailor's Delight
Well, you can guess how the rest of our return to normal went, one stunning sunset later and we were waiting curbside outside of Sea-Tac, watching for DF's hubby Bruce to arrive. I offered to load the bags while they canoodled and then it was home again after a swift retrieval of both our two dogs and the car waiting at my moms in Tacoma. The house was freezing and it took about two days to acclimate despite the soaring high temps of 55-65F in the afternoons. My children returned from visiting their East Coast grandparents and we all suffered the lasting effects of communal living in the way of a deep phlegmy cough and running nose that has lasted pretty much through the end of this retelling.
See, like the man in Belize said, you can take home "some junk you don't really need" as souvenir from any destination vacation!
Thanks friends both old and new, for following along as I relived my days of sea onboard the Royal Caribbean Navigator of the Seas. I'll be hosting my own CraftWithAnna: Scrapology and CraftWithAnna: Back to Basics classes on 3 cruise ships next spring and fall, so keep the end of February 2016 open for vacationing and come back often for more updates.
I've got domain rights now so you can just type and end up here anytime you like. Also in the new business section of this post is the news that I'm now previewing Embellish It!'s kit club offerings, sharing kit contents, a tutorial from each, and even the bonus projects I complete with the left over scraps. A lot of fun will be had and it all starts on Tuesday, my dear grandpa Donnie's birthday and a great day for a celebration if you ask me... green beer, anyone?


No comments:

Post a Comment