December 7, 2013
Our First Cruise
Dear Child of Mine,
Your Dad and I love each other very much. For realz. We're currently in the "Act I" stage of our marriage, as the TV show Parenthood would say - the time in our married life before kids (Act II) and long before retirement/empty nesting (Act III). And as much as I want you to join the two of us and complete the circle of love (what's that? a Friends reference? yeah...I do that a lot), I really do cherish the time we have just the two of us. It's only been five years, but I can see the changes we've gone through together, growing up more and more each year. Experiences will do that to you.
Ok, ok, enough of whatever *that* was. On to the cruise!
Last year we took a November vacation to Washington, DC, so when April rolled around I was already getting excited about planning another trip. We had talked about taking a cruise but thought it would be WAY out of our price range. Come to find out, after a lot of number crunching and internet researching and vacation-staging (I LOVE planning), we discovered the cruise was by far the CHEAPEST way to get away for a week.
And so, at 3am on Sunday, November 17th, we loaded up our trusty '98 Honda Civic and drove into New York City, Port 90 on 12th Avenue at 55th Street. We paid the $270 in parking for the week (and just who do you think you are, New York???? yeeesh), and wandered around the city streets to Time Square before checking into the Carnival Cruise. We boarded the 2008 Carnival Splendor and set sail around 6pm
We spent two turbulent days at sea, cruising down the Atlantic Coast. (Can I just say, it was really not a good idea to try running on the treadmill with the waves crashing out the window and the sensation of changing incline? I almost fell off many times and finally resorted to holding on to the handrails at all times.)
The second night on board was the Elegant Dining Night which is why we were all dressed up in that picture up there. ^ Don't we look charming and completely silly?
Once we reached the Southern States, temperatures continued to climb. After a few days, we sank into a beautiful routine - breakfast around 8:30, then sitting on the quiet deck until lunchtime, reading and soaking in the sun. Your poor father has extremely "English skin" (as he says), and burnt quickly on the first time in the rays. I, on the other hand, benefit from my one quarter Italian bloodline and was able to stay in the full sun almost the entire day without burning. (Here's hoping for no skin cancer when I'm 50.)
We did get off of the ship at Port Canaveral (though we didn't get further than the parking garage....), and Nassau and Freeport, Bahamas. The ports of call were rather disappointing, though, as we weren't interested in having to pay to get anywhere and do anything fun. We wandered around the touristy shops which really didn't interest us, and then headed back to enjoy the quiet decks on the cruise ship. Those were the BEST days on board, because all of the loud crazy crowds were on their excursions. Many people may think we're weird for not experiencing more, but the destination wasn't really the point for us--just getting away together, reading, resting, napping, soaking in the warmth. And we accomplished that!
The most involved we ever got on the cruise was during the 4 days of Team Trivia. On our first day at sea, we wandered in to check it out and were quickly flagged down by Mike and Allie (foreground on the left and right). They had formed a team with 2 Australian ladies (sitting to my left) named Mandy and Marie. The 6 of us had a blast together and won the first day's round! We gathered a few extra teammates over the next 3 days of competition and ended up getting 2nd place over all.
My proudest moment was when I correctly defined and pronounced this word: hippomonstrosesquippedaliophobia. "HOW?" you may ask. Well, thanks to your dad, I knew that "sesquippedalio" means "big words" and when I added the "hippo - monstro" meaning "large or gigantic" to the "phobia" suffix, I got "Fear of Large Words." Nailed it!
While we weren't impressed with this particular ship's service or food or decor or entertainment, we achieved our goal of fun and rest together. It was a wonderful time and I can't wait to plan another trip together. Maybe you'll get to come with us sometime. I hear Disney Cruises are the way to go! (We'd better start saving now!)
I hope you'll never question the deep love your daddy and I have for each other and how much we genuinely like spending time together. We'll plan plenty of family trips to be sure, but you shouldn't be surprised if we tuck you in safe and sound with grandparents or good friends while the two of us get away together.