Friday, April 17, 2009

dateline: princess cays

Today we took the tender over to the private island. I had reserved a "clam shell", which is an temporary shelter that you can adjust to provide some shade for the two lounge chairs that come with it. I burn instantly no matter how much sunscreen I have applied. In fact, I have had almost no direct sun exposure and my skin is showing pink and a very light brown where the reflected light affected my skin throughout the week. Amazing.

Mother wanted to get her feet wet so she walked slowly down to the edge of the water. She is a bit unsteady on her feet, but she felt like she could manage. She made it to the water and took several steps into the water, lost her footing and PLOP, sat right down in the water. But the momentum of the sideways sit carried her on over so she was stretched out on her side. She played it off beautifully, however, ending up in a position that made it look as if she had planned it that way all along. I still rushed over to make sure she hadn't hurt herself. She was fine, but she wanted to get up. I pulled her up and asked her what she wanted to do next. She wanted to go back to the clam shell immediately. So we did. Then I walked to the food pavilion and brought back some food. We ate that, then walked along the edge of the water together for a few minutes. Then we headed back to the ship. I don't think we were on the island more than two hours. It was nice, though.

Mother took a shower and a nap. I went back up to the Sanctuary and relished my last relaxing moments on my lounger. I just love that place!!! I am actually considering a short, three-day cruise in December on this same ship.

Tonight is our last night on the ship. As always, I just want to cry when I get to this point. I don't want to stop!!! But this has been a lovely cruise. You know, I am always amazed that there are people on board the ship who complain and yell at the ship's personnel. They complain about everything!!! It strikes me that people who insist on being unhappy will be unhappy everywhere they go. It reminds me of a story that I read somewhere. I wish I could remember where so I could give the original author proper credit. It goes like this:

An old man is sitting outside the gates of a large city. In the distance he spies a traveler walking in his direction. As the traveler reaches the gates of the city, he asks the old man, "Sir, I come from a long way away and I am searching for a new place to live. Tell me, what are the people like in this city?" The old man looks at the traveler and asks, "What were the people like in the city you just left?" The traveler scowls and says, "They were selfish and rude. When I needed help, no one came to my support. I was taken advantage of and treated terribly." The old man pauses, then says, "So shall you find them here, young man, so shall you find them here." A few days later the same old man is sitting outside the gates to the same city when another traveler happens along. As the traveler reaches the old man, he asks him, "Good afternoon, sir. I've come from a far distance in search of a new place to call home. Tell me please, what are the people like here?" The old man looks at the traveler, sighs, then asks, "What were the people like in the place you just left?" The traveler smiled and answered, "They were some of the best people I ever knew. I made many friends and was sad to leave, but the road was calling me." The old man smiled and said, "So shall you find them here, young man, so shall you find them here."

I love that story.

(An aside for Martha Jane Thompson: I am sitting in the Internet Cafe as I type this blog entry. Behind me is the piazza where a pianist and violist can be heard playing ... you won't believe it ... "Papa, can you hear me?" from Yentl. What is it with Princess and this song???)

If you've never cruised, what in the world is stopping you? You can do a seven day cruise on Princess in an inside cabin for under $400 per person. Of course, once you go balcony, there is no going back! But I highly recommend this experience to everyone who reads about my trip. This is my 9th cruise and it still remains my favorite way to travel. I can't wait to come back!!!

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