Oh… where do I begin? Let me count the ways. We got back today from a week long cruise on Royal Caribbean Navigator of the Seas and I am BEAT, I tell you. BEAT. At around 6am this morning in our cabin, I could hear my phone once again had service. Yay? It went all buzz buzz crazy. I had emails out the wazoo. I have bills to pay and I am terribly behind on my blog reading and writing.
All week I thought about what I could write about on my blog. Like, should I do something deep and meaningful? I could describe all the things I learned about myself over the course of a full week, being totally unconnected electronically. Or I could write about particular adventures and events that happened. I’m thinking I’ll just toss it all together. After all, that would pretty much cover the week’s chronological timeline (everything all jumbled together).
First let me just start with — Gerald does NOT like my green nail polish. He’s pretty much not a fan of anything that is not in the pinkish/redish/etc. family. But when I left the decision up to my boys as to which color to go with for my toenails, “Sea Green” just made sense. Sorry, Gerald, but sea? How can I not go with the sea green?? So once we arrived in the cabin, I swear it was fate. Take a look at the tile flooring in our (teeny tiny) cabin bathroom. What are the odds? Oh wait, it’s sea green. I guess the odds were actually in my favor.
There were several occasions when Gerald and I found ourselves dining with just the two of us. This is a rare occasion, and treat I might add. When Gerald would leave the table for the restroom, it would leave me sitting there. Alone. No one else to talk to, no blog stats to check, no Words with Friends to play, no favorite blogs to catch up on. I started wondering what in the world I used to do when Gerald and I were dating and neither one of us had a smartphone. Smartphones didn’t even exist back then. I did have my big brick Motorola phone, but I don’t remember if I would actually carry that clunky thing around with me, especially on a date. My handbags back then probably wouldn’t be mistaken for a piece of carry-on luggage like they could be today.
Perhaps BS (Before Smartphones) I did some people watching, or maybe I thought about future plans. On the cruise though, I let my mind wander to summertime family beach vacations when I was probably around 11 to 14 years old. We would stay for about a week at a friend’s beach house in Port Bolivar, Texas. I loved sitting on the big covered porch watching the goings on out in the ocean. We saw the occasional waterspout, the occasional fin, and the industrial tanker boats sail by. On this cruise, I actually spotted a school of dolphin swimming by (very cool but unfortunately no pic because it happened super quick and the camera lens got all fogged up when we would first take it outside), and we saw other ships pass by and caught the outline of random gulf oil rigs. It rained on us quite a bit when we were docked in Honduras and how cool it was to watch rain downpours from the comfort and cover of the ship. Reminded me of the porch in Bolivar. <–Warm fuzzies go here.
Speaking of Honduras, my youngest wasn’t feeling well so Gerald stayed on the ship with him while my oldest and I ventured out. But, as mentioned, it rained cats and dogs on and off the whole day so mainly all the ship goers were sticking close to the port shops. I wanted to go out a little and see some of the “real” Honduras so I led my son past all the persistent excursion pushers and taxi drivers and onto the poorly paved, narrow street that led out of the port and to a line of shops. We had no idea what we were doing and even though there were some other tourists, it probably would have been better if we had Gerald with us.
As soon as we stepped off the final paved concrete of the port, this young local sort of attached himself to us. ?? He was very friendly and asked us where we were from, and what types of things we were looking for, etc. etc. ?? I told him I wanted to see the market shops I saw “advertised” on the side of the multi-story building I spotted from our cabin’s balcony. He led us up some dark stairs. I know! What was I thinking?! What was I doing? What if someone decided to snatch us right up for a million dollar ransom or something? (Ha! Good luck trying to collect that ransom.) What if my son and I got blindsided and our belongings stolen? But up we went anyway and found were all kinds of beautiful treasures from local artists that you were never going to find in the over commercialized port shops.
We ventured a little more, with our uninvited guest in tow, but it didn’t take me long to chicken out at the prospect of going any further down the dangerous and dirty street. We turned back, with our guide still leading the way, and once we got back to the entrance of the port, I asked our new friend’s name. His name was George (not sure of the spelling). I thanked him and gave him a small tip, which I’m sure this is what he was after. Looking back, I realized George really did serve as a helpful guide. He told some of the pestering locals to back off and he spoke very proudly of his country. Pretty sure George bonded with my son as well. George liked my son’s “Kicks” (popular sneakers, and probably not the smartest thing to be wearing in such a poor country), and asked my son’s age and about his schooling. I really wish I had gotten a picture of George. But my son and I were so freaked out by the whole experience and we thought it best not to get out the iPhone, lest we may get robbed (by some other observer of course, not George!). My son and I couldn’t wait to tell the rest of the family about our Honduras adventure. (I don’t get out much, do I?)
There were more vacation experiences, of course, but I suppose the ones I’ve written about here are the ones that struck me the most. We really didn’t see much of our oldest for the whole trip. He made fast friends of some other kids on the ship and he is still gushing about all of them. We enjoyed the shows, the food, the spoiling of the Royal Caribbean staff, the warmth of the people met in Mexico and Honduras. It was a very nice vacation. One that my oldest has declared “the best vacation so far.”