We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea, whether it is to sail or to watch - we are going back from whence we came.
That was John F. Kennedy. In a way I think I understand. It may be a JFK metaphor but in my case it is quite literal. I've been asked what my favourite part of cruising is. The adventures as we explore other countries and cultures? Is it the food? The history? What is it?
For me it is the ocean. My favourite place is in the middle of the ocean, no shore to be found, rolling over waves, the sound of the water bashing against the ship and flying fish flying through the waves. Walking the decks with fresh sea air. It really is a mystery how I settled in Edmonton, a far cry (and I highlight the word cry) from an ocean or even a decent lake. Admit it Alberta. We have crappy lakes.
My fascination with water started as a kid when my parents had a sailboat at Ontario Place. We'd go there and sleep over on the boat every weekend. I could rock to sleep, and during the day we would sail into the middle of nowhere. My dad always knew where he was. I'm not sure how he knew but he had a natural ability to sail.
In just a few days we will be making our way back to the ocean. In fact we'll be away from land for six entire days. Returning from whence I came...
Well it is official. We are now going to Sardinia instead of Tunis, Tunisia. It looks like an interesting place. I do feel for Tunisia and their tourism business. It appears all the cruise ships are making new plans and are going to cancel Tunis.
There are reports that 21 people are dead in Tunis. The shooting was at the Bardo Museum, a museum we were going to visit in a few weeks. Tourists were killed and wounded. So hopefully Holland America takes us somewhere else or I am not leaving the ship.
When you log onto Holland America's website it reminds you, just in case you forgot, that you are leaving on a cruise soon. in fact it counts down the days. I just popped on to see if we have a room yet (sadly no) and I was told it is 19 days until we depart on our cruise. That means it is 18 days until we leave Edmonton for Fort Lauderdale, and that means time is running out for our planning. Really it is a mad dash work wise to get ready for the exit. And then there is the home world, dog sitter, cleaning, organizing, packing, and all that kind of jazz.
The part I'm a little scared of is the exchange. Canadian money is in sad shape vs. the US dollar. Should I hold out and buy Euros and US dollars just before I leave in hopes the dollar rebounds? Or do I bite the bullet and get on with it. Not sure but I think I'll leave that until at least 18 days and counting. So tomorrow.
You should visit Mellissa's blog while we are away as well. She usually gets the story and the details a bit clearer than me. I'm all for video and photos and a little thought or two. She gets the darn story right. Here's her URL: http://mellissak.weebly.com/
This is what Holland America calls the 21 day passage to Spain and Mediterranean Glamour cruise. Actually there is no "u" in glamour but hey, I'm Canadian! I'm excited to return to a few places we've been to before (Cadiz/Seville, Rome, Monte Carlo, and Barcelona), and new places. I'm also thrilled that we are going to spend an additional few days in Barcelona to explore even more.
One of my favourite (another "u"!) things about cruising is sea days, being in the middle of the ocean, the rocking of the ship, the reading of books, happy hours, walking the deck, mixology, travel talks, and if the price is right, getting the thermal suite package to relax and unwind. So when we wave goodbye to Fort Lauderdale and head out to sea we will be away from land for six days. I'm sure day seven and our arrival in the Azores will be fantastic and we'll be ready for adventure.
We have a few rules on the cruise ship. The big one is no using the elevator. We use the stairs. And there are a lot of stairs when you are on the move. It is good for burning off calories and preparing for off ship experiences. And there is one other funny thing about it. You get to lose track of what day it is. You see, the elevators have mats that have the day of the week on it. I don't want to know.
Oh and finally, as many of you know, the cost of internet on the ship is crazy, so I will be especially sly in the way I post on the trip. When we're in port I will find some free internet, and on the ship I will be especially efficient when I'm posting.