It was a glorious trip. After our flight left Detroit (we flew from SLC to Detroit, and Detroit to FL), I never experienced a moment of anxiety. For 8 days, I didn't snap once. I never raised my voice, and the only time my blood pressure rose was when the group we were traveling with did an organized scavenger hunt and as the team captain I felt it my responsibility to secure our team a win. (1st place and $25 per couple later, I relaxed.)
Motherhood isn't quite as glamorous as cruising. As tempting (and relaxing) as becoming a full-time cruiser looks versus motherhood...I have no plans to quit my day job anytime soon.
One of the good and bad things about being on the cruise is we didn't carry our cell phones around with us constantly. Which translates into not always having a camera immediately at our disposal. Though we carried a camera around with us off of the ship, on the ship we didn't so much. And there are some things not captured on film, that are some of my favorite memories.
~ Me singing along (Karaoke style) with the Piano Man performer. I didn't really plan on it, but when he started playing "Summer Nights" from Grease as part of a "Name that Tune movie trivia", and said, "I think I need some women voices to come help me out...", I couldn't resist. It was by far one of the most bold and daring things I have ever done. I don't sing on key, but yet the microphone was held in front of me the entire time. Me and the talented Piano Man. I can only imagine how it sounded, by the look on Mike's face when I returned to my seat. I know Mike was trying to figure out how to pretend he didn't really know me, but alas when I plonked down next to him, his disguise was up. It was actually all fun and games until the next day when on a boat ride, somebody said, "Hey-you're the girl who sang last night at the Piano Bar." I was just trying to quietly acknowledge her comment, when another man began clapping and said, "Oh yeah! I was there too, that was great. Guess that's what happens when you have one drink too many." I'm not sure what was more embarrassing--having them recognize me or the fact I had to admit, "Actually, the sad reality is--I was completely sober." Heaven help me and my enthusiastic non-singing voice.
~ Mike and I made frequent trips to get ice cream cones. We may or may not have gone several times a day.
~ Mike and my walks around the deck of the ship that was used as a walking track. Mike walked plenty, but he didn't choose to participate with me in the Ship 5K Cancer Walk. Instead I ended up walking alongside a lady from North Carolina who didn't really have anything positive to say about anything. ESPECIALLY when she found out I had 5 children. I won't type her response.
~ Spending almost 24 hours a day with Mike for 8 days straight and us never tiring of each other. Okay, well if you don't count that teeny tiny snap I made at him while in Key West. But I gave him a bite of my key lime pie, so it probably cancels out.
~ The 80 year old man that invited himself into our basketball game, and fell and got hurt 5 minutes later, and subsequently had to visit the ship's ER.
~ Making friends with a couple from Washington while in line for our food at the Mexican Fiesta, who happen to be LDS.
~ A girl I went to high school with tapping me on the shoulder and saying, "I know you."
~ Making friends with a couple from Northern California and enjoying many games with them while enjoying the nearby solo guitarist.
~ Feeling an appreciation for the beauty around us at every corner. I was overwhelmed with the thoughts of the diversity of the world's creations.
~ The temporary tattoo I got on the private beach in Cozumel. One of these days I'll get the real deal, but until then I'm testing it out. For the record, I LOVE IT. Mike...not so much. (One of my biggest regrets from my college days is that I didn't get a tattoo.) I know. I know. Some of you are judging me right now. Go right ahead.)
~ Checking in via email each morning with my family at home, and having full faith they were in good hands. Serious shout-out to my cousins, Andrew and Ashley for taking on parenting 5 extra children for a week.
~ Enjoying chips and salsa and drinks at a bar in Mexico, and Mike paying two different times for men to serenade me in Spanish prose. For some reason, Mike was more amused by it than I was. His attempts at romance were somewhat lost on me.
It doesn't seem right to sum up a 7 day cruise with just a handful of photos and a few paragraphs, but it will have to suffice. I feel overwhelmed with the generosity of Mountainland Supply for sponsoring the trip, and the kindness of my cousins and BFF for helping make it all possible. And although the return to real life has been painful, I've been repeating the following Dr. Seuss quote the last few days,
"Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened."