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Published: August 8th 2019
August 8, 2019
Today, we woke to the gentle rocking of the ship. Nothing out of the ordinary. Nothing to worry about. A one meter swell. Just enough to get the ship swaying like the hips of a lazy hula dancer lost in thought. Not much at all.
When one wakes up full, is that a bad thing? The thought of breakfast holds no interest for me, at the moment. Dinner last night is a fond memory. A fabulous meal, and I didn’t finish anything – I still heard faint strains of “those starving children in _________” as I left portions of my meal untouched. I think they need to follow the lead of the “Fine Chefs” at a multi course meal….SMALLER PORTIONS. You KNOW some damned fool will complain – at least there’d be less waste.
UP. AND. AT. EM! Seriously? Why can’t I get back to sleep? UGH! Brain thinking about too much “stuff”. GO TO SLEEP BRAIN….no, not permanently just enough to rest and recharge the battery. I may have to resort to a jump start. After a while I made the decision to get myself up and out of bed.
Both ready to face another day. We decide to get to the Grand Dining room before it closes at 9:30 – we have about 15 minutes to spare. Piece of cake. I get an eggs benedict – I ask for ONLY ONE please – and 2 sausage links. Done. Christopher is giddy about his avocado toast and poached eggs.
After breakfast, RUMMYKUB….for a few hours. We exchange wins back and forth, I won the last round. By this time it is 1:00 and ready for lunch….if it seems like all we do is eat – you’d be right! That is ALL we do! Living from one meal to the next. Clothes still fit (thank goodness).
We went to the Grand Dining Room for a Salad Nicoise, with seared tuna on top. Once again, we failed at our dining strategy. If we order the same thing, one orders it plain, the other with the fish so nothing is wasted. Neither of us finished the fish. Those POOR starving children…..
We are cruising through the Inner & Outer Heberdies today. This morning it looked like another storm coming. By noon…NADA! Glorious sun, not a cloud in the sky and a warm day with slight breezes. Perfection. Every now and again an island pops up on the horizon, or a spit of land tries to make a connection with us. It is a dramatic coastline, then nothing but the wide wild sea. Being and nothingness. Hmmmm…I sense a title in there somewhere.
After lunch we take a stroll – the pool deck is FILLED with children and parents and LOUD voices and rancid fragrance (YES….it was HER). So, a perk of the Penthouse Suite…SPA DECK. Quiet. Calm. Two jacuzzi tubs – spotless and available. Lounge chairs, no children – empty chaise lounges. NICE. Back to the room, change and back to the Spa and…WHAT THE HECK? Where did everyone come from??? We weren’t gone more than five minutes and in that time, the deck filled up – we still found a place, but it went from empty to full in minutes.
A stint in the tub to relax the muscles and clear the cobwebs from our brains. Turn on the eReader, I’m reading The Nickel Boys, just started – compelling page turner. Christopher making his way through Hamilton – his first comment after a minute or two today….”how the heck did we win the war of Independence with ALL that infighting?” RIGHT!? The more things change, the more they remain the same. And that Jefferson….Don’t get me started!!!
While we were in the pool a family walked by. We have noticed this beautiful family before. Mom, Dad and a beautiful boy, betrayed by his 23rd
chromosome. This boy, perhaps a teen is non-verbal, but is able to express more emotion with his smile than ANY word can. He is filled with joy. We have seen him listening to music and he is nothing if not ecstatic and SO HAPPY to be a part of something beautiful. We waved hi to him, he waved back so excitedly.
Too hot for Christopher, so he gives up. I remain, read a little more then proceed to fall asleep on the comfy chaise. I have NO idea how long I’m out, but I get back to the room at 5ish. So….it was a while!!
Before returning to the room, I made a diversion to the Executive Lounge for one of my Mocha Surprises. Dark Chocolate powder, 2 shots of espresso and hot water. SURPRISE. You’re awake!
So….we have reservations for dinner tonight at Toscana (which, along with Red Ginger is our FAVORITE restaurant on board Oceania). BUT…before dinner we crack open the bottle of Champagne to celebrate my birthday. Sitting on the veranda, sipping champagne….does it get any better? I. THINK. NOT!
Time for dinner. We arrive at Toscana with our bottle of 2010 Joseph Phelps Backus (a single vineyard 100%!C(MISSING)abernet Sauvignon). This wine is VERY SPECIAL indeed!!
I ordered the Fried Calamari, Beef Ravioli and Filet Mignon; Christopher had the Carpaccio of Octopus, The Beef Ravioli and Osso Buco. Neither of us finished our main! Dinner was so wonderful. We arrived at 7:45 and left at 10:00 pm. Now, THAT’S how to dine! (not unlike last night).
SO….I received a Birthday card from the Master and Hotel Manager – very nice. It was on the door when we returned from the spa deck. At dinner, there was a “look” exchanged among the staff – but NOTHING was said. AT. ALL. So – dinner is over. We each ordered a Grappa, because dinner in an Italian Restaurant WITHOUT Grappa is a violation of some law or something!! Amiright? No dessert menu. The biscotti have arrived – but NO DESSERT MENU! WTF?????
Well…..you know what happened…right?
A birthday cake. Gaia, Massimo, Arturo and a few others all came out to wish me a very Happy Birthday – THEN…they ALL began to sing. I BEGGED they sing sotto voce…..they did. Then got louder, and LOUDER UNTIL…the final line. Full Volume! UGH. I must have been crimson at this point. I have ALWAYS told Christopher this is a NO, NO! He said NOTHING. I said NOTHING. I know it is on my profile – so… I guess they pay attention to this stuff. I (we) were so surprised, embarrassed and touched. The birthday cake was wonderful and so very light and NOT too sweet. It had “Happy Birthday James” on it. I ALMOST wish it has “Mr. James” on it, as that is how I am referenced!
After dinner we went for our walk on the deck. It wasn’t too cold, a slight breeze and the orange sky made for a dramatic walk. A cloud formation off in the west resembled a Ship – as the sun continued to fall the cloud formation dissipated and the moon grew brighter and brighter. Finally, dark, we arrive at Horizons. The place is PACKED. No thank you! We look out the windows for a bit and decide to call it a night.
Back to the room. What do we find on the bed - aside from the requisite dark chocolates? The bed is COVERED in balloons! SO. CUTE!!! Good thing I’m not freaked by balloons. I know some people who are AFRAID of balloons…it happens. No judgements. NO. JUDGEMENTS. PEOPLE!
OK. Tired. Great Birthday. Relaxing Day. Lots of Fun. But…I’m tired.
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