Sunday, April 4, 2010

Bon Voyage and Happy Easter!

Bon Voyage.   This is a recap of yesterday.   Took me until today to figure out how to log in.   Without my knowledge, apparently my last name on this ship has been changed to "Cler".   Of course.

Way underestimated how much fun this trip is going to be.

Today was ship boarding day.    I am sailing on the Holland America Eurodam.   Relatively new ship making it’s spring transatlantic voyage to Europe.    More about the ship later.

Uneventful morning.   Woke up early, got my bags ready, grabbed a banana from the breakfast area and then stood in line for my shuttle to the port at 11.   Met some nice couples in line from New Jersey.    Interesting story.    One of the couples was celebrating their 10th anniversary.   The two couples had taken their first cruise together ten years ago to celebrate their wedding.    Nice way to celebrate an anniversary.   

Dropped off at port.   Checked bag and started the process.   I was literally on the ship five minutes later.    Around 11:30am.   Hardly anyone there and everything was very quick and easy.  

I couldn’t check into the room until 1:30 so I plopped down on a comfy cushioned chair by the pool and went through my materials.    I was one of the first there, but shortly joined by a number of other couples.   At one point, I looked around and about half of the men were sleeping around me.    It is definitely a different demographic.   Kind of like traveling with all of your favorite grandparents.   Fun and interesting in a non-Carnival ship way.    A little Seinfeld-esque at times.

Found the spa and ship library.    As one of my goals for this sabbatical period is to read War and Peace in its entirety, and since the book was too heavy to pack, I was thrilled to see a copy in the library and checked it out along with a truly chick book.   A nice juxtaposition I think.    I am on page 29.     Roughly 1300 to go. 

The ship is gorgeous.   Not flashy.   Classic.  If I could live here, I would.   But since that is not going to happen, I will just enjoy my 16 days.

Checked into my room a little early.  Several surprises for me!   John left me little gifts of chocolate covered strawberries and a new robe.   I can’t tell you how happy I was to see that robe.   John clearly knows that I will live in this as I sit on my balcony each mornings drinking coffee and eating my little banana slices.    Sigh.

Lunch in the Lido.   Sushi and salad. 

Boat drill.   No jackets anymore.   I am definitely the youngest person here with the exception of the two small children on board.      It is kind of fun being the ship’s unique commodity.   Definitely making lots of friends.  

Spent the rest of the afternoon back up in my comfy chair with a glass of wine, listening to music and chatting with people.   Last minute phone calls with John and Dad before we lost connection.     Strange being so disconnected now.    John informed me that he also booked me a massage.      Double sigh.     Checked with the spa and I can book for whenever I am ready this week.    How fun!

Met a wonderful couple from Houston and spent quite some time with them in the afternoon.     Hoping to run into them again on this cruise.   They were a lot of fun and great conversation.

Ordered room service.  Cheese and crackers and shrimp cocktail.   Glass of wine on the balcony as the sun set.      I had some time before dinner and it was nice to just sit in quiet and enjoy.

Walked around the ship again before dinner.  Caught the last very exciting minutes of the Butler Michigan game.  

Dinner in the main dining room.  I had booked a reservation for dinner at Tamarind tonight  but last night wanted to see the main room.   Spent most of dinner chatting with the two guys at the table next to me from Canada.   Dinner was a scallop seviche with coconut cream sauce, a spinach and mushroom salad, and poached salmon with artichokes.    I wasn’t going to have desert but was having so much fun and ended with a recommended coconut and pineapple trifle.   Yum.    The staff here are really great…. Got to know several of them over dinner.   It is nice to talk to some people closer to my age.     A nice story from one of the waiters whose wife just had a baby one month ago… his first.    Hasn’t even met him yet, just seen him in pictures.

And then I crashed.   And slept solidly until this morning when the knock arrived at my door and coffee was delivered.   Could definitely get used to this.

I am still kind of half asleep as I write this.    Probably a little dry… but wanted to write as I have time.     Sitting on the couch watching the blue sea roll by out the window.   Nothing more relaxing than a gentle rocking of a ship.    Hopefully things will stay this smooth for the rest of our crossing. 

Today I need to rejuvenate and get a little healthy.     Then, whatever!     I suppose from here on out, I will probably not be writing every day, and definitely will begin to eliminate some of the minutia.      As I am writing about yesterday now retroactively, Happy Easter!

PS - Pictures are taking a ridiculously long time to load.  I will add them after the fact!

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