Monday, February 22, 2016
Mike and Me
For three years now, Mike and I have been gracious guests of Mountainland Supply Company on a Caribbean cruise. Each cruise finds us in a traveling group of 60-100 people, made up of fellow landscape and plumbing contractors, and of course the MSC workers that serve as our hosts. We both feel tremendously blessed for the opportunities, and we thoroughly enjoy the downtime, and the forced separation from real life that comes from being on a ship at sea.
I know it isn't the case for every couple, but Mike and I really enjoy spending time together. Life with a business, five children and regular life gets sort of crazy at times, so we don't take for granted the time we have alone together. Whether it's a Scrabble game on a Sunday afternoon, a quick lunch together during the week, or a week alone in the Caribbean, Mike and I do our best to make the most of time alone.
Mike and I frequently make it a point to make sure our children know that our relationship with each other comes first, and we make little to no apology when we turn down other things to be together.
Our time spent on cruises have always included plenty of time together; playing Scrabble, reading, simply relaxing, and most of all NOT BEING INTERRUPTED by five demanding children. Our first cruise we spent a lot of time on the top floor in a library that opened into a bar area, that had lots of tables and we spent a fair amount of time playing Scrabble and Rummikub with a couple from CA that invited themselves to join our game one afternoon.
I'll interrupt myself to mention that upon arriving on the ship, one of the first places we explore is the library and check if there are Scrabble games available. This most recent cruise scored big points because it had brand new, unopened games available to play. Hooray for Scrabble games with no missing tiles!
Last year's cruise, we spent a lot of our free time in a mid-floor office type room that had an awesome spiral stair case up to a library. And this year, our favored place became the back of the ship behind the main cafe. It wasn't so much that the couches we frequented were comfortable, but it was in close proximity for the hours of offered sushi (Mike) and crusty bread and cheese varieties (me).
I have never really given much thought to the time Mike and I spent together while the ship is sailing the sea. We make it to the 2 "work meetings" that are really just fun games with cash prizes but called "work meetings" for the IRS purposes of bringing people on a free cruise, and we frequent the formal dining room to socialize with our group a few nights of the cruise.
Throughout the time on the ships, I've always seen different groups of people from our large group hanging out at different times and places together, I've never given any thought to Mike and I preferring to be alone. I didn't think anyone else noticed, until this last cruise, one of the ladies who has been on all 3 with us said, "So where is your private hide-out on this ship?"
Her tone was hard to read. I'm hopeful she was being facetious.
But I'm not sure.
And now I've got myself wondering if next year's cruise I have to feign the desires to be more social.
But if that's the cost of a free cruise.
I'll likely oblige.