Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Our cruise part two...

On the second day of our cruise, we were in Montserrat.  I had heard interesting things about this Irish influenced island and would have liked to have had a look around, but my husband and I were feeling pretty sick from the rolling seas.  I felt so icky that day... I threw up in the morning and then later ended up having chicken broth and crackers for lunch because my stomach was so upset.  Some of my friends on Cruise Critic encouraged me to go get "the shot", which is supposed to curb seasickness.  In retrospect, I probably should have.  Who needs to waste a day on a fabulous cruise throwing up?

Luckily, we were feeling better as the day wore on.  We had a relatively light supper and went to bed early.  After a good night's sleep, my husband and I were right as rain and prepared to visit Isle des Saintes, a beautiful island in Guadeloupe.  I'd have to say this island was my favorite of the ones we visited, though it wasn't the most interesting.  I liked it because it was very civilized and because it's part of France!  I'm a little tired of the Caribbean at this point, but if I ever took a land-based vacation there, I think I'd want to stay in Guadeloupe.

That night, there was dancing in the main salon.  My husband hates to dance.  I managed to get him on the dance floor once, but he was so nervous and upset about it that I gave up trying to get him to boogie and just watched everybody else.  We went to bed early.  I was a little disappointed, since I do like dancing.  Oh well.  Maybe next time I'll just stay up and flirt.  On the plus side, I did ask my husband if he'd consider taking dance classes and he said he would...

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Our cruise... part one

So... I have posted about our SeaDream cruise in other places, but I figure it's only right to post about it on my blog, too.  After all, here I can be snarky about it if I want to.  Not that I will snark a lot, of course.  We had a fantastic time, even though I threw up several times owing to seasickness.  I would much rather throw up from drinking too much than seasickness.

Anyway, after a couple of days spent in lovely Antigua, my husband and I boarded the SeaDream yacht on the afternoon of Sunday, November 13th.  We had been fretting about making the cruise in time, mainly because we took a speedboat excursion around Antigua and weren't sure about the logistics of picking up our luggage.  That, and we were so looking forward to this cruise.  We cruised this line once before in 2010 and we had an incredible time, and I had been counting down since January for our next SeaDream.  So we were glad to be back, and the crew seemed to welcome us back, right from the very beginning, when they spotted us hauling our bags to the yacht.  A very helpful baggage handler actually smiled as he relieved me of my suitcase.  I don't know what SeaDream does to make their staff so congenial, but they must do something.  This was a happy bunch.

We walked on the red carpet and climbed the gangway to shake hands with the captain and other staff, took a glass of bubbly and a cool washcloth, and headed for our stateroom.  We were both in dire need of showers.  After freshening up, we headed to the Top of the Yacht bar, where I exclaimed "This man needs a martini!"  The bartender gave me a disinterested look and went back to slicing his limes.  I was slightly taken aback by the aloof reception.  Later in the week, I found out the bartender was just kind of quiet and shy.  He took great care of our beverage needs.

We met several other passengers, including a charming British couple and a very snarky British man who had decided to cruise by himself after having lost his wife to cancer.   While we were talking a very tan man with a huge black mustache walked by.  His slender blonde wife was in tow.  I noticed the wife had enormous boobs.  Upon closer inspection, I could tell they were not real.  This was a couple that appeared to want to attract attention, yet not actually engage with anyone.  I have no idea what they did for a living, though we had actually sat next to their son on the flight to Antigua.  He mentioned that they were involved in consulting of some sort.  Anyway, their family of nine was on the yacht.  Besides the couple, there were four adult children, three of whom had spouses.

As the man with the mustache walked by, one of the Brits commented that his mustache looked like an overgrown caterpillar.  I had to laugh at that.  It was an astute observation.

After a drink and the muster drill, we were ready to get dressed for dinner.  I had forgotten how fancy SeaDream's dinners are.  The hotel manager escorted me to a nice table by the window.  While we were enjoying a very pleasant meal that included sorbet, a lady from the big family approached me and said she recognized me from a forum I post on.  Apparently, she had been following my posts about the upcoming cruise.  Way to feel like a celebrity, huh?

Once dinner was over, it was time to hit the piano bar, where I sang to my husband.  I actually have a pretty nice voice.  It's one of my few true talents.  One of the Brits joined us... he was a bit drunk.  He asked my husband if he knew I could sing.  My husband nodded affirmatively.  Then the three of us proceeded to get pretty hammered while the piano player played hits from the 70s, 80s, and 90s.  It was a lot of fun.

To be continued when I'm in the mood to write more...

Friday, November 25, 2011

Fabulous vacation...

And I'm still pretty busy, catching up with stuff that needs to be done because I wasn't around to do it last week.  We had such a great vacation, despite the fact that I did a lot of hurling.  Unfortunately, I have a tendency to get seasick.  But never mind that.  Our vacation was amazing and I'm grateful we were able to take it.  The staff on SeaDream's ships are truly phenomenal.  They made us feel like friends rather than passengers.  We pre-booked another cruise with them, which we will probably take in 2013.  Hopefully, it will be in Europe.

As for now, we are counting down the days until we go to Scotland.  Something tells me I'm going to love that experience, too.  If it weren't for travel, I probably would be truly miserable.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Back from vacation!

I don't have time to write a blog post right now because there's a lot to do after almost two weeks away.  Rest assured the trip gave me plenty to write about, though.  Stay tuned!

For now, here's a shot of one of the islands we visited last week...

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Michelle Duggar... pregnant again!

I have an odd love/hate relationship with Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar and their special brand of weirdness.  I find large families interesting, but the Duggars take the term "large family" to an extreme.  This morning, as I opened my eyes, Octomom was on my mind.  Not two hours later, I was hearing the news that Michelle Duggar is pregnant again with her 20th child.  Coincidence?

Now, I'm not a big fan of telling people how many kids they should have.  I think people should be able to make their own decisions about reproduction.  But when your pregnancies become the stuff of national news and you have your own reality show, you invite opinions about private matters like how big your family should be.

The Duggars' big news has been met with a lot of scorn and derision.  Plenty of people are lambasting them for having another child when their youngest, Josie, was born three and a half months early and has special needs.  They still have so many little ones who need their mother around, even though their sisters seem to be doing most of the childcare.  In that sense, I'd say it's kind of selfish for the Duggars to go for a 20th child.  That... and the fact that the 20th will probably not get to know his or her parents... they'll be old when that kid is a young adult.

I also have a sneaking suspicion that this child was conceived for selfish reasons.  First off, it's a fact that the Duggars' reality show is becoming a lot less interesting.  The ratings were starting to drop.  And once the show goes off the air, the big money will start to dry up.  Second, the Duggars are good friends with another mega-sized family who are about to have their 19th child.  I think there was some competition going on.  And finally, when you've had 19 kids, it seems only right to go for 20 so you'll have a nice round number.

Anyway, I hope Michelle Duggar has a healthy pregnancy.  And I hope it's her last.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Just a few more days...

We're leaving for the Caribbean on Thursday.  Actually, we're spending the night near the airport because we have a very early flight to Miami on Friday.  Then we have a flight to Antigua.  We will spend a couple of days in Antigua and then a week from today, we board our delightful SeaDream cruise.  Then it'll be a blissful week spent on the yacht, drinking, eating, swimming, taking pictures, and hopefully making a few new friends.  I'm really looking forward to it.

Once the cruise is over, I'll start looking forward to next year's cruise in Scotland.  Yeah, it's a tough life I lead as an overeducated housewife with no kids.  I should get a medal.  ;-)  It's hard to believe I wrote this post over 300 days ago....

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

My crown is hereby replaced...

I got the second half of my crown done today.  It seems to fit perfectly and I'm assuming it won't trouble me for awhile.  I was supposed to get my old crown back, but someone "forgot" to give it to me.  Oh well. I know some people trade those things in for money, but it was in my mouth for five years.  If someone has to steal my dental gold for their gain, they must need money more than I do.  I doubt I would have bothered to turn it in.

I'm glad to have this work done, but I'm even gladder that my business with the dentist is done for the time being.  That way, I don't have to be subjected to repeatedly being called "hon" by the receptionist.  I know I live in the South.  I know some people think I'm too sensitive.  I know that "hon" is part of the local color.  Whatever.  I still fucking hate it.

I think overly familiar pet names are inappropriate in business situations, especially toward someone you don't know so well.  It would be different if I had been going to that dentist for 20 years and everybody there knew me.  I probably would be on good terms with the staff and might think of them as friends.  But, as it stands now, I have been in this community for six months.  I don't know these people well enough for them to call me cute names.  I find pet names from people I don't know diminutive and patronizing.

A friend pointed out that the cute names are supposed to be warm and friendly.  But if the person you're addressing is uncomfortable with the pet name, you've not succeeded in comforting them with warmth or friendliness.  You've failed in your mission to put them at ease.

Seems to me, the safest approach is to address people by their names.  Then, once you get to know them, maybe you can start calling them cutesy names.  Or maybe not.  But if your goal is to make friends, shouldn't you give people the respect they deserve by allowing them to determine how they want to be addressed?  I think it's the polite and businesslike thing to do.