Did you know I was gone?
I spent a glorious long weekend at sea, cruising the Bahamas.
Josh is now officially husband of the year for sending me off on the trip while he kept the home fires burning.
I would have rushed right to my computer when I got home last night to tell you all about it, but I needed to spend some time appreciating my wonderful husband.
And I was appreciative.
(Taylor, my dad just read that.)
And now I shall make all of you who were in the cold wintry weather relive the cruise with me!
I'm sorry, but I must do it.
Inquiring minds want to know, and I cannot hold back any detail, no matter how minute or uninteresting.
For your sanity, and because I have a short attention span, CruiseReview 2011 will take place in installments.
In this episode: We get out-tipped by a kid on a missions trip, establish ourselves as the Bad Girlz of the Norwegian Sky, and get kicked out of the teen zone.
Despite my fears that all of the bad weather across the country would interfere with our flights, my friend Heather and I met at the Miami airport just as scheduled.
This is Heather:
And so is this:
There are definite perks to being the one who brings the camera on the trip.
We met many moons ago when we were all stationed together in Texas. Our first ever cruise was with Heather & Scott. We didn't have children yet (read: we napped a lot), and we convinced them to leave their sweet baby behind and cruise the Caribbean with us.
Fast forward 8 years, and here we are (looking just a touch older and with more chins) waiting for our complementary shuttle to our hotel.
Note to self: Whatever motion I used to pull my head back in this photo must never, NEVER, be repeated again. I seriously have 5 chins in this picture.
And this was taken before the food-laden cruise.
We called from the courtesy phone in the airport, as instructed. They told us to meet them outside and they would be about 20 minutes.
We took the chiny-chin-chin (plus 2 additional chins) picture after waiting about 10 minutes.
30 minutes later we called the hotel again.
They told us to wait outside and they would be there in 20 minutes.
This wasn't going well.
We finally got picked up by the shuttle.
It was just us and one other guy, probably college-age, who walked up right as the shuttle arrived.
No doubt he was thinking that was quick service.
He was heading to Haiti on a church trip to help provide clean water supplies for the Haitian people.
We were headed to a never-ending buffet while we sang "Welcome to Miami" over and over.
He tipped several dollars.
We tipped one.
Because we waited an hour.
And if mission trip boy hadn't tipped, I wouldn't have even tipped the dollar.
Did I mention they forgot to pick us up?
Final result: Boy going on missions trip was generous, 2 women going on a cruise were not.
We spent the night at a hotel that would have been frightening had we been staying alone, and took the shuttle to the cruise port the next morning.
Being the prudent travelers that we were, neither of us was traveling with passports. But that's okay! All you need is your original birth certificate and government ID.
First, she had the nerve to have been born in Germany. Secondly, the document that she did have to prove that she is an American born abroad did not have a raised seal on it.
So we stand nervously at the check-in desk as the lady helping us told us she would "Be right back, I need to get clearance for this."
Tick-tock. Ten minutes pass.
We start to make alternate plans to stay as hobos on South Beach.
Lady returns, and says she convinced the powers that be to allow Heather to enter the ship.
You really can't take that girl anywhere. She causes trouble.
We embarked! Hooray!
It was lunchtime, so we made our way to a restaurant for a nice meal. Then we changed into our swimsuits and headed to the deck to lounge for a bit.
But on the way we passed a buffet, and the fresh fruit looked too tempting.
So we stopped and ate again.
Then we headed to the deck.
But on the way, we passed an ice cream machine.
You get the point.
We found a couple of chairs at the very front of the ship and got comfy with some magazines and a newspaper.
Warm, glorious sun.
It was so warm and glorious that we didn't really pay any attention to all of the announcements about the mandatory muster drill.
I've cruised twice before, and I must say that the mandatory muster drill is the only part of a cruise that is not pleasant. You don life-jackets and pack into a small area like so many stinky sardines. People have already been drinking and they follow directions poorly. It takes too long. It's a bummer. I figure if the ship is really going down, I'll manage to find a life boat just fine.
So Heather convinced me to stay where we were until they came and forced us to join the ranks.
They never did.
Bad girls, bad girls. Whatcha gonna do? Whatcha gonna do when they come for you?
We skipped the muster drill.
And lived to tell about it.
Consequently, we were still in the best seats in the house for our departure from the port, perusing the paper.
Could we have picked a better time to be in Miami than this past weekend?
And can I also say that we were totally blessed to have made it to Miami?
Amen and Hallelujah.
When the sun began to dip, we did a little more exploring before Dinner, Part One.
We found all of the important parts of the ship.
Like the Pulperbooster Pump Room.
And a nice little area with a foosball table.
There was no one in it, except one ship employee.
We went in and thought we would play a game.
He kicked us out.
As luck would have it, we had found the teen zone.
And apparently we no longer look like teenagers.
Had they not heard that we were the rebels who skipped the muster drill?
Doth not our reputation for living on the edge proceed us?
Nevertheless we were denied entry. So we fed our sorrow with the outdoor sail-away barbecue.
It was better than foosball anyway.
That brings us to the conclusion of CruiseReview 2011, part one.
Coming up in the next episode: Two Women in Flip-Flops walk way too far, and pay for it the rest of their cruise. And beyond.