I’m back from a two-week vacation and almost ready to be part of the world again. Not quite, but almost. I’m finding it difficult to make my own bed, cook my own meals, and, worst of all, not be entertained hourly. A cruise can do that to you. I must say though, not once did I find mints on my pillow for the entire seven days. I guess cruises just aren’t what they used to be. J
|The Royal Caribbean Cruise Ship|
Prior to the cruise, I drove to Florida and spent two days with my girlfriend Sue. She took me to St. Augustine and we took a trolley tour of the city. I saw the entrance to Ponce de Leon’s Fountain of Youth. I didn’t go in, I don’t want to be young again and live life all over again! But I surely did enjoy my visit with Sue.
|The Fountain of Youth|
Then I drove to Ft. Lauderdale and, with my son Mike and his family, boarded the Royal Caribbean for a cruise to the West Indies, aka, Eastern Caribbean. We just missed Tropical Storm Erika and had smooth sailing for a week. Our first port was San Juan, Puerto Rico where I took a trolley tour of that city. I learned there are six bioluminescent pools in the world and three of them are in San Juan. How about that? At a stand near the dock I purchased the first of jewelry I’d be buying, a beautiful locally-made necklace.
The next day we arrived in St. Maarten. My sixteen-year-old grandson, Monterey, and I took a water taxi to the shopping area and had a good time walking from stall to stall looking for jewelry. He wanted to get a ring at every port stop and I wanted whatever I could find that caught my eye. As soon as we got off the water taxi, people loaded us down with flyers telling us to stop in and get free jewelry at the various shops. So we did. I got a free ring, pendant, cubic zirconium gem; then I bought a bracelet for a whopping $10 and got two more free rings. It was fun.
|Monterey and Me|
The next day we arrived in St. Kitts and Mike, Monterey, and I walked around town, picking up more free jewelry. Jewelry definitely appears to be the biggest business in the West Indies, by far. Before we got far off the ship, men were waiting for us with little monkeys wearing diapers wanting to know if we’d like to hold them. We certainly did and our cameras got a workout. We paid the men a tip for giving us the pleasure of these little guys for a few minutes.
|Monkeying around at St.Kitts|
The next two days were at sea days where I played Bingo and lost, watched napkin folding and fruit carving demonstrations, and finished the Lee Child book I’d borrowed from the ship’s library. I also participated in a Wii tennis tournament. I won the first round but lost the second round by a mile. For my efforts I won a key chain and a pen. I did relax at the spa for an hour’s massage, facial, and back exfoliation. Ooh, what a life!
|Getting ready to splash!|
There were a lot of activities on board during the week. Mike was in the belly flop contest and fared no better than I did at Wii. Mike and I played their nine-hole miniature golf course and he ended up beating me two games out of three. The shows at night were good and made me forget I was incommunicado for a week—no cell phone service and no internet. Good gracious! Mike beat me at Skee Ball, but I beat Monterey. Things do even out.
|Baked Alaska and chocolate ice cream|
|Me and Lollie|
After saying adios to the cruise and to my son and his family, I spent a wonderful two days visiting another girlfriend and her husband. I hadn’t seen them for thirty-three years; when we last saw each other, we were parents, now we’re great grandparents. Where has the time gone!?
I drove back to North Carolina with a smile on my face for all the good memories of the last two weeks.
Quote of the Day: Precious memories, how they linger. Old Hymn.