PART I: ALL ABOARD
Bermuda: land of pink sand, crystalline aqua water, coral reefs, and a fish called wahoo. I’m glad I’ve been there before, because the two days we were in port at King’s Wharf, aboard Royal Caribbean’s Grandeur of the Seas, I never got off the boat. I’m recovering from a sinus infection and although I’m much better, I hadn’t realized how weak I was until I was pulling a small suitcase up a multi-level gangplank. There have been a few times in my life when I though I might pass out (though I never have, a major point of irrational pride) and this was one of them.
Tagging along with my sister and bro-in-law, I drove us to the Baltimore port in my beloved Kia Soul, the color of which is called Alien II. That’s of course is the main reason I bought it.
After boarding and finding myself still alive, I said goodbye to the, um, beautiful? Port of Baltimore.
Sister and bro-in-law headed to their room. I stopped by my (own!) room, then went to eat something while I could still walk. That night I took it easy and looked forward to feeling better the next day.
PART II: NOT FEELING BETTER
Day 1 at sea, and I’m still weak and cranky. Fortunately, I brought work with me and was surprisingly productive writing-wise while drinking club sodas with cranberry juice in the Viking Lounge. Great views, nobody up there, and I was quite content.
Later, I decided that sick or not, I was going to have a damn drink. I went to the pool bar and asked for a banana daiquiri. Bar-lady actually went to the restaurant to get fresh bananas to make me one! Apparently I’m the only person who likes to drink those. Not only was it extremely tasty (as far as I could tell, I still can’t really taste anything), but she made extra. A whole extra second drink, all for me.
Day 2: We arrive in Bermuda. I always forget how beautiful it is here–the water, the sky, the friendly people, the culture. I didn’t feel well enough to disembark, but I went to the pool for a little swim and some sweet, sweet sunshine.
Day 3: Oh am I ticked off. I feel worse. Sinuses, cough, headache–I hate when I take care of myself and it doesn’t work! Everything I do should be magic and rainbows with perfect 100% success! Doesn’t the universe KNOW WHO I AM?!? No extra tip for you, universe, put in a little more effort!
I realize that getting in the pool was a mistake and I need to not do that. I think, hey, I’ll just walk around port a bit, maybe look at some touristy shoppy whatever, grab a drink, head back. But the thing about cruise ports is it’s often a 3/4 mile walk just to get to the customs area.
So–I hang out, drink club sodas with cranberry juice, and write. Who knew cruising could work so well as a writing retreat?
PART III: TAO MEETS AN UNEXPECTED FRIEND
So, you know, I’m gonna be chill about it. I accept my fate as a not-totally-healthy-person on vacation, but I still get to take in all the beauty around me and hang out a little with sis and bro, who are mostly out and about and eating in all the specialty restaurants.
After a writing session, I head back to my room on a lower deck where all the frugal people stay (and a very quiet deck, I might add). Suddenly: serendipity hits! I knew the universe would respond to my cosmic ranting!
A towel-based, bowtied life form that looks like an earth-penguin sits on my neatly turned-down bed, awaiting my arrival! She instantly adopts me and insists I take care of her. (I don’t mind telling you that I anthropomorphize anything with eyeballs very, very quickly.) I told her all about my frustrations and she says, “Don’t worry Tao, I can go do all the stuffs and tell you about it!”
So Trixie grabbed my SeaPass and set off to visit Bermuda.
She came back so excited to tell me everything she saw and did! We headed to the Schooner lounge for cocktails while she talked about all the places she visited.
That evening, she journaled about all the fun she had–the National Museum, the art gallery in City Hall, the shops at the wharf, and the glass-bottom boat tour.
Filled with excitement, Trixie insisted on a night of dinner and dancing. She got ready and let me snap a pic before she left:
I had a hard time that night getting her to settle down. She didn’t want to sleep! Finally, she slid under the sheets and snuggled in with her kindle.
The next morning, she couldn’t get started without a good, strong espresso.
We strolled around the ship a bit and we got some more caffeine. When we returned–what?!? Another towel-based life form-friend who needs me to take care of him?
His name is Squidge and he is very shy. Trixie liked him right away and became very protective of her little brother, especially because his head kept falling off.
Fast friends, and both very smart little creatures, they decided to go to movie trivia. The hostess read a movie’s tag line and the year of its release. They had to name the title of the movie.
Five out of nineteen right?! C’mon guys, didn’t you tell me you knew lots about movies?! They said the stupidest one was “Earth was fun while it lasted.” Released 1998. They guessed “Mars Attacks,” which was a very good, intelligent guess. But they were wrong. Oh well. They had fun playing and drinking!
Finally, it was time to pull out of Bermuda and back to Baltimore. We marveled at the gorgeous coral reef, so shallow and hazardous that the ship must cruise slowly and carefully through a small passage.
This morning, I disembarked, picked up my dog from the pet hotel, (“Mom, where have you BEEN?!? I need TREATS, STAT!!”) and returned home, so happy to have met my two friendlings. Something tells me I better get a regular travel buddy.