Wednesday, March 31, 2010

CRUISE--Part Two

So we spent the night catnapping, talking, reading (with reading lights, silly), listening to our ipods and just looking at the dark countryside fly by.

Friday was DD's 30th birthday. Hard to believe that my little baby girl was that old. But she was and did it gracefully!

Yep, Graceful....that's my DD. Somewhere early morning Friday, we stopped at Waffle House to have breakfast. We still had half the journey ahead of us (15+ hours to Orlando where we were stopping for the night and Georgia and Florida are LONNNNGGGG states). We were tired and travelworn already from a long sleepless night and so we went in and sat down and ordered a good breakfast. DD, meanwhile, went over to the Jukebox and filled it up with "breakfast music"....So it's 7ish in some small Georgian town in a Waffle House filled with older folks having a quiet breakfast and here is Skynard blasting out of the jukebox and DD with her hooked horns flying, yelling Freebird. Yep, she's a shy, retiring peach, that one!

The trip otherwise was uneventful, just long. Thinking back I don't even remember stopping for lunch but we arrived at Orlando sometime late afternoon and checked into our hotel. This is where Papa and I were stepping off the family vacation train and hiding out in our room for next 12 hours. DD and SIL were meeting up with some of their friends, our fellow cruisers, to go out on the town and celebrate DD's 30th and another girl's 21st.

Nice new hotel, quiet, comfy beds, huge room, cable tv, everything we needed to R&R quietly before our 8 day vacation began. We popped out to grab some burgers for dinner but otherwise, uneventful and we were both snoozing early, trying to catch up from the night. We're not spring chickens, ya know, and staying up all night can be a bit taxing.

Until tomorrow....

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Continuing----CRUISE Part One

OK, no more excuses about why I'm not writing. I will just start again. Thanks for hanging in there. Referred to my book of ideas...the Book of Ideas and figured to start with most recent and work my way back. Yeah, that's the plan.


Scary, Overwhelming, BIG, Exciting, Leery, Unbelievable, Once in a Lifetime, Optimistic, Pessimistic...just about every word I could think of entered my emotions before, during, and after.

And I haven't been the same since I returned. I'm not destined to live the life I've been living. I need to be independently wealthy, have numerous servants, and assorted people in my employ to take care of my every need. Travel the world, seeing all there is to see. Definitely not sitting here in middle America, toiling at a boring desk job, enduring crappy weather, and living a routine life.

Oh well. I'll try as I can to endure in between my vacations!

Darling Daughter had brought up this idea way back last summer. She was getting ready to turn 30 and wanted to do it up big. I was amused as I had my 30th in Cracker's first husband's basement and she had her 30th party at a VFW hall.

At first a cruise wasn't the idea. It was just going someplace tropical. For her friends and family to all get together and have fun. As she investigated, a cruise popped up as the ideal way to get tropical, travel, and do something most of us hadn't ever done before. So we scrimped and saved and talked to travel agents and started making reservations. The Carnival Dream, which at that time (last summer), wasn't even done being built yet, let alone sailing.....ah, The Titanic came to mind.

Then there were a rash of stories about people falling off of cruise boats (happens more than you know--just look out in the internet.....I did!) So I quickly crossed off a balcony stateroom and chose an inside cabin. If I had a do-over, I would have stuck with the balcony. But at the time, I could envision, me, early one morning, sitting on the balcony reading a book and enjoying my solitude while Papa slept in and the boat hitting a "bump" and over the rail I would go whereas Papa would be reporting, "she was just here, I have no idea where she went off to...."

I was equally afraid for my friends and family falling off the boat as well and thought, I'm just going to have to bring a long rope and start tying us together or I'll never be able to relax and enjoy this trip at all. Now after the fact, I see how hard it would be to actually fall off. Oh, it can be done on purpose or on accident, but it wouldn't be quite such a simple accident.

So by fall, we had our trip booked and paid for and spent the long, long, cold, snowy, miserable winter buying summer clothes and anxiously awaiting March and our departure.

Our group consisted of DD and SIL, Aunt Cracker and the Weatherman, Papa and I, and about 8 of DD and SIL's friends, many in that group were prior cruisers. We so wanted Fantastic Son and Serious Girlfriend to come along but they couldn't make it happen this time.

Everyone was flying on different days and times but DD, SIL, Papa, and I were driving down together. Now if you know our "family vacation" history, you might wonder if this was a good idea but we were determined to make this work and prove that we COULD enjoy a vacation as a family (regardless of what happened on all the past family vacations)...our history was NOT going to be the pattern for the future. Or at least this was my main objective.

So Thursday night at midnight, we all got in their van and off we went.....

Part 2 coming next.
Traveling Grammy