After flying on cramped airplanes, waiting in looooong lines to board, and otherwise being treated like cattle, I have decided that travel itself sucks. But oh, was that week-long cruise worth it! Will and I got to see parts of the world we’d only seen in pictures…bought new wedding rings in Cozumel…played in the surf on Grand Cayman…shopped and drove around Montego Bay in colorful Jamaica. And on the last night of the cruise, our son-in-law performed a renewal of our marriage vows. Not that we’ve ever lacked for romance, but this was arguably the most romantic thing we’ve done since he proposed to me in the shower over 35 years ago.
The cruise ship experience was also wonderful. I swear, you can’t walk 50 feet without bumping into a buffet or a waiter with a tray full of tropical drinks. I don’t think I was hungry for a second…food was EVERYWHERE. And I have to admit I’m glad I didn’t try this during the first decade or two of sobriety, because they really push the booze and I might have given in to temptation were I not so invested in remaining abstinent. Fortunately, they also had yummy drinks that came sans alcohol, and I enjoyed my strawberry daiquiris and my pina coladas and my non-alcoholic beer without a bit of guilt. (Except for the fact that I probably gained five pounds just from consuming fluids!)
Another cool feature on the ship was the combination pool/entertainment center in the middle of everything. Several nights we sat out under the stars watching recent movies like Jurassic World and The Martian on the huge screen over the pool. Other times, Ethan and Clark and I hung out together in one of the many hot tubs (Will chose not to). And speaking of whom, he was enjoying all of this as if he were a pardoned life prisoner…I’ve rarely seen him so happy and carefree, and to make things even better, he felt unusually well throughout the entire vacation. God was that good to us.
Then there was the casino, where I managed to lose $200 of my hard-earned money over two nights (I only play the nickel and quarter slots), and the formal dining room where tables were assigned and the menu changed every night. Clark encouraged me to try new foods—something I am VERY reluctant to do under normal circumstances—and I found that some of them were actually very good.
Naturally, I sat out in the sun on one of the three days we had good weather and tried to get a summer’s worth of tanning in a single afternoon. And of course I got the requisite sunburn because my sunscreen had been confiscated at the airport. It turned brown by the next morning but has since peeled; still, you can tell I’ve “been somewhere” because I’m not pasty white like I was. Too bad it’s December, it’ll be a long time before I have the opportunity to get a little color again. In fact, it was hard to remember that it’s December even with all the decorations around the ship, because it was like 85 degrees even when it rained. And rain it did: we just about drowned in Mexico, and we saw a couple of magnificent lightning storms at sea.
But what amazed me the most was the intense indigo blue of the Caribbean Sea, and the teal green shallow waters where you could see all sorts of fish swimming around. Pictures can’t possibly do it justice. I’ve never seen water like that in my life. Such incredible beauty! It made an impression I’ll never forget, even if I don’t get to see those waters again in this life. Now I have another tool in my box of coping skills to use whenever I’m anxious or upset: I’ll just visualize the waters and the feeling of wonder when I saw them for the first time.
There’s a lot more to this story, but I figured that was enough for now. I’m sorry I didn’t post immediately after we got back, but I was so thoroughly used up by the end of the vacation that I just didn’t have the energy to do much of anything for a couple of days. Tomorrow I see Dr. Awesomesauce, so there’ll be more material from that meeting I’m sure. I know I’m losing readers because I haven’t kept up with the blog very well; I’m going to try to do better in the future even though I’m totally asymptomatic and having a tough time writing about bipolar when I’ve never felt less bipolar in my life.
So for right now you get to read my travelogue. Hope you don’t mind. 🙂