So, where to start?
Friday, June 28th: I had a meeting with Garry. I drove to his office, & we just chatted a bit. I then had to run some last-minute errands. Target, the vet for cat food, etc. I probably didn't start packing until around 2PM, & had to leave for the airport around 6:30. I had to try some things on (since I have put on some weight since last summer, sadly), model outfits with shoes, etc. I started getting frantic, cause I still had laundry going, wasn't done packing, & still needed to bathe & shave my legs. I was really rushed for time, & shouldn't have put things off til last minute. But chappell was there until Thursday, & there wasn't anywhere to put my luggage out. And I worked until late Thursday night on the movie. Yeah, yeah..that's it...I'll blame my brother. ;-Þ So my neighbor knocked on my door, & we were off to the airport. I went over a checklist, driver's license, passport, tickets, immigration forms, birth control pills, etc...all the important stuff. Nick drops me off, I get into line slightly after 7PM (the flight left at 8PM). The line was moving really slow...when I am struck with the realization that I left my contacts at home. *ACK* I hate wearing my glasses, & I knew I'd be doing active stuff on the cruise. I couldn't wear glasses to kayak & river raft! Not to mention, they hide my pretty eyes! :-) So now I start FREAKING out! I couldn't get out of line to call Nick from the pay phone, because the line was getting long & 8PM was coming fast. I finally said to the girl in front of me, "I will give you $5 if you will let me briefly use your cellphone." She was like, "Please, you don't have to pay me, use it all you need." Ah....good Samaritan #1. Bless her. I called Nick, lucky to remember his number by heart. No answer. *ACK* See, I am NOT calm in these situations. I just started envisioning the cruise with me in glasses the whole time. WHAT AN AWFUL THOUGHT!!!! I considered BEGGING one of the many cops outside for a ride home (the airport is 5 minutes away), but Nick had my keys, so I wouldn't have been able to get in, anyway. After I was checked in, I called back, & thank GOD, he answered. He agreed to bring them to me, & drop them on the curb. Good Samaritan #2. I blessed him many times, & after a bit, he drove up with my contacts. I thanked him PROFUSELY, & off he went. Some lady behind me was like, "Boy, I know how you feel. I can't imagine going on a trip without my contacts." At the security search, they searched my make-up bag. D'OH! I had put my sharp, $50 tweezers in there (they are $50 at Sephora, but I paid $10 through an employee!). I could just see them demanding I leave those behind! Sheesh! Luckily, it was so full of make-up, they didn't find them. *whew* I knew I wasn't going to do anything bad with them! Off I went. The flight to San Fran was really short. Then I boarded another plane for Boston. I sat next to a very nice couple...but the flight was hell. I think I might have arthritis in my knees, & sitting for longer than about an hour just kills me these days. My knees hurt SOOO badly. I tried to sleep, but around 2AM, I work up & stood up in the back for almost an hour, chatting with a very nice stewardess. I stretched & stuff. I was dyin'. The flight arrived around 7AM-ish, after seeming like one of the longest flights ever (it was about 5 hours or so).
Saturday, June 29th: GOD bless him, cypher met me off the plane in Boston (you might have enjoyed his quite funny photo editorial of our adventures in Boston airport...I'm surprised we didn't get kicked out!). I honestly don't know what I would have done if not for him. I was exhausted, & would have gone NUTS alone in the airport until around noon (the first bus to the ship wasn't leaving until around 11:30AM-noon). cypher is very funny. I was just so thankful that he was there to amuse me. Around 11:30ish, they loaded up the first bus to the ship. For hours, I was the only one there, but lots more passengers trickled in by that time. By this point, I had been up since 8AM the day BEFORE (so well over 24 hours), so ALL I cared about by this time was getting in my room on the ship & in my bed to sleep. *yawn* But there was more waiting to be done. We sat on the bus a while at the pier while they tried to figure out how to unload us & our luggage (what?....they hadn't done this before?). Finally, we left our luggage on the curb (I had been smart enough to do as instructed & put the tag with my room number on my luggage...and smart enough to keep my carry-on with me, unlike some people). As we walked into the warehouse like area, we were handed a number. I got number 5. They called the numbers in order, for you to go upstairs to check in. They were on #2. I stood up & went to flirt with Krass, the ship's fitness instructor, to make me closer to the door for when they called #5. Finally, as Krass was telling me all about the classes on board, they called #5. I made my apologies to Krass & hurried off. I didn't have to wait too long to check in, & the process was pretty quick. Then you had to go to ANOTHER waiting area, until they called your number AGAIN, to go through security & embark. They finally called #5 again, & as I was near the front (of course), I was one of the first ones up & in the line (still some #4s there). The gay couple behind me said, "So, do you often travel alone," as if I was taking a cruise by myself. Like, who does that? How sad! I explained I was meeting family onboard. Then we got to the embarkment photo location. I have managed to avoid it for the last two years. I refuse to be photographed alone, like a loser, & having been awake for 29+ hours straight...I wasn't looking all that pretty. The photographer asked me to take a photo, & I politely declined, explaining how long I had been awake & how awful I looked. He said, "No, you look lovely...please?" Well, he was cute, so who was I to refuse? I struck a really silly pose, though. He laughed, & probably thought I was quite strange...not to mention, I was carrying a fuzzy zebra print blanket! :-) I got in the line getting on the ship...it moved fairly fast. They great you onboard, & then someone is dispatched to take you & your carry on up to your room. I didn't have my room number memorized yet, so I gave the guy the wrong room...but I looked it up & corrected myself before we got off the elevator (at least I had the floor right!). I got in my room....and crashed. I knew my sister's plane was getting in around 1, so she probably wouldn't be more than 1-2 hours behind me. I wouldn't be able to nap once she there. I was awoken a while later when she came in. The rest of this day is kinda a blur, but I think she & I toured the ship, checking things out. I think we saw my cousins, Robert & Neill, in the hall before anyone else...they had the room next door (Uncle Bobby & Aunt Sara had our same room on the opposite side, & Katie & Momme Dot had a suite one floor up). I don't remember when we saw everyone else. But we all met up for dinner at 8:15. The photographer from embarkment came to our table to take pictures. I must have mentioned that he was cute, cause Bobby proceeded to embarrass both of us. He asked the photographer if he was single, told him I was, & maybe we could hook up. *cringe* The photographer was so embarrassed---or disgusted---that he finished the pics as quickly as he could, & scurried off. *rolls eyes* So it's going to be THAT kind of cruise is it? *sigh* Momme Dot graced us with the first funny comment of the cruise (& the funniest one we can remember....we didn't spend enough time with her this cruise to get too many funny comments). When we took our Caribbean cruise in 2000, my uncle hired a driver to take us around St. Lucia. He took us up to the volcano on top....which smelled AWFUL (sulfur). We were delirious by the time we got up there. Momme Dot asked Robert, "Robert, do you want to buy a hat?" I said, "Yeah, he really wants a hat that smells like ass." We all lost it, even Momme Dot, who probably didn't really understand what we were laughing about. Kathy chimed in with, "Yeah, take home a little piece of the ass with you." So when Bobby suggested we rent a van & explore Bar Harbor, I mentioned the stinky memory of that St. Lucia adventure. Momme Dot got indignant, & said, "We will NOT see anything stinky! We are in the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA!" ROFL! As if nothing in America stinks (& it's much funnier when heard with her Southern accent). After dinner, we had the welcome aboard show. C*H*E*E*S*E. After the show, I think I went into the photo gallery (the show empties into the photo gallery, you kinda can't help it), & found my embarkment photo. I got a kick out of that. I think I took note of the cute photographer's name...Alan. It became kinda clear---not sure when exactly---that he was pretty much going to be my only "love interest" option this cruise...him & Krass (who was hot). All the wait staff, stewards, etc., were Indonesian. I found this odd, because the Royal Caribbean ships really have a huge diversion of countries. There were employees of just about every country in the world (Anis was Tunisian). I have never been attracted to anyone of Asian heritage. I have always been attracted to a very "white boy" look. So, there were definitely few options for me on this ship. After laughing over my pic, off to bed I went. I was beyond exhausted.
Sunday, June 30th: We arrived in Bar Harbor. I can't remember if I slept in or not. I can't remember if I got room service breakfast or skipping breakfast. I don't think we were able to sleep in, really. Me, Kathy, Katie, Neill, & Sara (I think) went ashore to go to the town. Sara & Bobby had gone in earlier, & they said there were some cute shops. We had to take a tender over, since the port was too small for us to dock. We went to the famous Cool as a Moose shop, where I got two t-shirts (a tie-dye that said, "Peace, Love, & Cool as a Moose, & an Acadia National Park one that said, "Hike Naked...it puts color in your cheeks.") & a postcard. We walked to a liquor store & got some water/powerade. Then we met Robert, Bobby, & Momme Dot at our tour van, driven by Patty. We got started....and almost immediately, I smelled something stinky. Déjà vu? I didn't say anything, though, not for a while. Finally, it was driving me nuts, so I turned around to Kathy, who was directly behind me. I just looked at her. "What," she said. Then all I did was scrunch up my nose. She started laughing, & said, "Yeah, what IS that?" I said it had to be B.O., but who was it? I said I thought it might be Robert, who was sitting next to me. You know, a 17 year old boy...maybe he didn't shower that morning, since he likes to sleep late. I started sniffing around, & kinda eying Robert. He noticed me doing that, & said, "What?" I told him that somebody smelled bad. He asked, "Is it me?" I said I didn't know, & he asked me to smell him. I politely declined. He then took a GIANT whiff of his own pitters, which made Kathy & I laugh hysterically, & Bobby finally caught on. I could tell by his face that he knew what was going on. When we got out of the van at one stop, I got close enough to Patty to know it was her (apparently, she's really into the "natural" thing...natural shouldn't mean you stop bathing or using deodorant). Kathy came up to me & said, "It's the driver." I said, "Yes, I know." Momme Dot had argued with me over the front seat. When we got back in the van, I told her she could have the front seat, & I would gladly take the back. *ACK* You could still smell it back there, but not NEARLY as strong. We stopped some pretty places. I got a few pics. Katie & I took the Intro to Pilates class when we got back. Almost all of us got in the jacuzzi. Then we headed off to dinner. After dinner, the show was a ventriloquist named Mike Robinson. Dooode! He was SOOOOO funny! The dummy was the best I had ever seen. It was an extremely funny show. After the show, Kathy & I made a brief appearance in the night club. Kym, the asst. cruise director, took a liking to us (we were her age), & offered to buy us drinks. We declined, & she said, "I will take that as a raincheck then! Come back tomorrow night!" I am pretty sure I then crashed. I don't think I had any Alan sightings today...but then, these first two days are pretty hazy.
Monday, July 1st: lovely Halifax, Nova Scotia. Bobby decided to rent us a van to take a family trip to Peggy's Cove, where there would be a bunch of lighthouses. Robert & Katie wanted to stay behind, so me, Sara, Neill & Momme Dot went to wait for Bobby & Kathy, who went to pick up the van. Neill decided it was cold enough to need a jacket, so he went back to get his. Sara & MD waited for him on the gangway, but I went down to flirt with Alan, whom I saw taking disembarkment pictures at the end of the gangway. I also looked over into the water & saw HUGE jellyfish! Ewww! I started talking to Alan, & just found him so cute. He asked how my cruise was going. I said it was "okay." He commented that the passengers on this ship were a "bit older." I said I had noticed. I told him we had traveled on Royal Caribbean for the last two years. He worked for them once. I told him that MD paid for all of us to cruise every year...and he said, "Do you think your grandmother would adopt me?" I told him *I* would adopt him! :-) The rest finally came down, & we met Bobby & Kathy at the van. Peggy's Cove was quite lovely. Very touristy. It started raining while were there, & it was FREEZING & VERY windy! I had a C 47 left in my pocket from working on the movie, & used it to keep my sweater's hood on. Kathy & I picked up some Vanilla Coke & cheese bread & Dasani at a store, & we all headed back. We dropped off MD, Sara, & Neill, who carried our stuff up, & me, Bobby, & Kathy went to return the van. Kathy had to call Chad while we were there, & then the guy drove us back to the ship. When we told him we hadn't see the Citadel, he insisted on taking us up there. He also mentioned it being Canada Day, AND Cannabis Day, the only day in Canada where you can smoke pot legally. That was the most excited I had seen my sister the whole trip. *rolls eyes* Back at the pier, Kathy bought a moose head (which we named Melvin). Growing up, she always stuck her head through the front seats in the car, leading to our parents nicknaming her "Moose Head." I bought some maple candy & a Canadian head umbrella. Hey, who could resist? I took a brief nap, & then jumped into the shower. Tonight was the first formal night, so I needed time to dry my hair & do my make-up. I wore Amy's borrowed dress. The 2nd sitting show was BEFORE dinner tonight, at 6:45. I think it was just me, Katie, & MD watching the show, Broadway Showstoppers. C*H*E*E*S*E! Afterwards, I went into the gallery to "look at pictures." I walked by Alan, & said, "Hi, Alan, how's it going?" He seemed surprised that I knew his name. He was helping someone, but turned around & said, "Hey, what's your name?" I told him, & when he had a moment, we talked a bit. Then we went to dinner, & had some pictures taken of the grandkids (we were not in Alan's section). After dinner, I changed into my red & white outfit for Canada Day, & Katie & I went upstairs to the Red & White Ball. I wore my white jeans & my red & white t-shirt that says, "I Kiss Better Than You." As you can imagine, this shirt gets a LOT of attention. Cruise staffer "Crazy Karl" wanted to slow dance with me & kept threatening to make me prove what my shirt said. Later, I danced with Rusty, the cruise director...he threatened to make me prove the shirt, too. He was pretty cool. True to her word, Kym bought me a Shirley Temple. She was really cool. Katie & I stayed quite a long time, & danced a lot. We danced with these two moms of teenagers, who were the coolest moms you could ever meet! We had fun. Katie has come out of her shell a bit. Being around me helps, I think! Off to bed I went!
Tuesday, July 2nd: Sydney, Nova Scotia. What a boring town. Bobby, Neill, & Kathy decided to rent a car & drive up the Cape Breton trail. It would be about a 3 hour drive there, a drive along the trail, & then a 3 hour drive back. No thanks. I hate car trips, & I certainly don't take a cruise to go on a long car trip. So I slept in a bit, & later, went into town with everyone else. I wore the same shirt as the night before, & Canadians couldn't stop talking about it. We were desperately trying to find a battery for my camera, cause I realized it was almost dead. That would have been a huge bummer. There wasn't much in the "town." We found a drug store...they had many batteries, but not the one I needed. The slightly stupid salesboy at the drug store tried to convince me that a larger battery would surely fit. He looked down the battery hole & said, "It looks like it would fit to me." *sigh* We finally found a battery in another, smaller drug store. Hallalujah. We had dinner. Then we went to see the Paul Tanner Show. He was supposed to be a talented impressionist. *ACK* He was awful. At the end, the old folks were chanting, "En-core, en-core, en-core," & my cousin Katie starts chanting, "No more, no more, no more!" How embarrassing, but I agreed with her. Torture, it was! Momme Dot then dragged me to the Sing-a-Long Lounge, & insisted that I sing. She went up & asked the piano player if I could sing with him right in the middle of a game of "Name that Tune." I went to talk to Alan. Soon after, Sara & Kathy came to drag me back, saying MD was FREAKING out that I had left. I went back, & she placed her "cold hand of death" on my arm, & insisted I sing. I looked through the guy's book, & while I was familiar with a lot of the songs he had, I didn't really know any of them by heart. I decided that I might possibly be able to pull off "What I Did For Love" from "A Chorus Line," since I had done that show years ago. So I hid behind the piano player & sang it. When I was done, there was a huge reaction, & everyone insisted that I sing another & come out from behind the piano. I said I really didn't know any others. But no one would let me leave. So I did "Cabaret," singing one verse twice, cause I didn't know it all that well. When I finished THAT song, I said, "I'll be here all week...try the veal." That was a joke with me & Kathy. The night before, she commented on how you hear that phrase all the time. I sarcastically said, "Oh yeah, I hear it all the time." She turned to me surprised & said, "You do? Where?" I thought that was hysterical, cause she had JUST said you hear it all the time. Anyway, the piano player announced on the microphone, "That was Alice, ladies & gentleman, & she will be back every night to sing again." I WILL?!?!? Do I have any say? I AM on vacation...I sing for a living. Afterwards, Kathy & I went back to the gallery, & Alan offered to take Kathy & I up to the Lido Deck & "buy" us some coffee. I told him I didn't drink coffee, so would he be willing to "buy" me some water? He was, so off we went. Krass was up there eating, so I greeted him warmly. He was excited to see me. There were two other employees there, a masseuse & a hair stylist. Alan did some card tricks for us. He was actually really good. After a while, Krass, the girls, & Kathy left to go to bed. Alan & I stayed behind & talked til 4AM. We talked about lots of things. He told me after his last girlfriend had hurt him terribly, he had started to believe that women were the Devil's work. I told him we are not all that bad. I told him some sob stories, & he told me some sob stories. At one point, he said, "Why am I telling you all this personal stuff?" I told him it was because we felt really comfortable with each other. He said, "You aren't doing too badly yourself!" He told me he wasn't very close to his family, & explained some things about his dad. We made tentative plans to have lunch off the boat the next day in Charlottetown. By the end of this intimate conversation, I was pretty snookered on Alan. He was just adorable. Even my sister, who at first said, "He's okay," was now saying he was adorable. It's his personality...he's just so sweet & cute. Off to bed!
To be continued! Gotta go to bed NOW!