Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Paradise found.

Remember when I said that my mom and I were planning a getaway cruise? Well, we got-away. And it was amazing. Honestly, I could not have asked for a better time. We really were able to just relax and enjoy each other's company. A recap:

Day 1....mind you this was not day one of the cruise. We met up in Indianapolis the night before our flight. Didn't want to deal w/traffic, delays, etc, considering we were both traveling 2 hours to get to Indy. Memorable moment from that evening? I broke my just-manicured nail. Yep, I am still pissed about it. But we had a little fashion show (Fashion show. Fashion show. Fashion show at lunch.) and filled out some forms, and caught the end of American Idol. I watched 1/2 of one episode and decided I wanted to punch Kristy Lee Cook right in the neck for choosing a cheesy, pandering song like "Proud to be an American." Stupid girl.

Day 2....flight to Ft Lauderdale....easy flight, no issues whatsoever...amazing. We had a wonderful chat on the plane, and realized that we hadn't been able to really talk like that in 10 years....seriously, 10 years. I blame Mr. P. ;) We arrived in Lauderdale, and caught a shuttle to our hotel...where we were staying for a night before getting on the boat the next day. Highlight? Sitting by the pool, having a drink, avoiding the creepy cat walking around the pool deck, and then going on a mile trek to find cigarettes (not for me). We crossed major roads, wandered through a Kmart, and eventually found the gas station that was supposedly "five seconds" away, according to the bartender at the hotel. Duh.

Day day! We grabbed a shuttle from the hotel to the cruise port without a hitch. The logistics to get 2500 people checked in onto a floating resort is outrageous...and Royal Caribbean does it right. We got on board....had some lunch and went to our room, where I surprised Mom w/our own private balcony. Needless to say, this is where we spent much of our days. We wandered the boat for the remainder of the day, then got dressed for dinner. At dinner, we sat w/this couple from Miami....interesting folks. I can definitely say that Mom and I will never forget Juan! Big guy, big personality, always kept the drinks flowing. Caught the show after dinner - like a big show choir show - and then went back to the room to enjoy our balcony and more wine :)

Days 4 and 5: Phenomenal! We had breakfast on our balcony both days - which was seriously enjoyable. The first day was spent at Cococay, a private island in the Bahamas. We had a great time chilling out at the beach, reading and working on our tans. Seriously, the day could not have been better. Came back, had was the formal night...lots of pictures. We then hit the casinos, where I had all sorts of luck (Thank you, Kenny Rogers!) and then went back to the room to enjoy our balcony some more. Seriously, that was the best money I have ever spent. The next day we were in Key West. We took a walking tour of Key "Weird" and went to the Hemingway House. Very interesting...but more creepy cats...these with 5 toes! That Hemingway had himself quite the life, too! We walked Duval Street, went to Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville Cafe, and shopped for souvenirs. I picked up some "Atocha gold" for Mr. P. at the Mel Fisher Maritime Museum, and then we walked back to the boat.....more sunning, more dinner (on our own....thank goodness!) ...more casino success (Don't be a hater, Mom!) and more balcony time, where we planned our next day's events....with some wine :)

Day 6: The day at sea! Woo hoo! We staked out a couple of deck chairs at about 9:30 am...and then proceeded not to move for the next 5 1/2 hours! Ha! We even ate our lunch in those chairs! I went through another book or two (I read about 5 books on the trip!), and we took in some serious people-watching, as well as the "Belly Flop Contest." We then joined our shipmates in playing TV Tune in, they play 2-3 seconds of a TV theme song, and then you have to write down the answer. And I kicked ASS....I won 2 RCCL hats...woot! Come on, though - A-Team? Soap? Greatest American Hero? And my personal favorite, Facts of Life. How could you not know those?! We also played some bingo...hilarious..........and we lost. Oh well. Still a fun way to pass the time. It was a sad day, though. We had to say our goodbyes to our dinnermates as well as our waiters, Ervin and Joey. We also had to tackle major packing so we could set our suitcases out before we went to bed.

Day 7: Debarkation. Suck. Bummer. Sad. It all went well....and then we got to the airport, where we were told it was too early to check in. We had, like 7 hours before our flight. So, we said screw it. We stored our suitcases, and grabbed a cab to the Ft Lauderdale beachfront....had some lunch at Sloppy Joe's, and then we literally sat under a palm tree for about three hours. It was great. The weather was perfect, and we didn't have to sit in a crappy airport chair for 7 hours! We grabbed a cab back to the airport, caught our flight back to Indy, and when we arrived we found Mr. P. and Tommie B. (aka Dad) waiting for us at the baggage carousel. Awesome. We said our goodbyes, and Mom and Tom went one way and we went the other.

I could not have asked for a better way to spend 7 days.

I love you, Mom.

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