Sunday, May 23, 2010


The sail-away party is behind us and we are happily at sea.

Yesterday was travel day. I got up at about 7:30 a.m. because I wanted to go ahead and take Scamp to the Pet Hotel and I knew I would need to fill out some paperwork when I got there. But first – breakfast! Scamp happily accompanied me on a McDonald’s run, then scampered around the back yard while I ate my breakfast and drank coffee out on the patio. I was looking forward to a relaxing day because my flight wasn’t scheduled to depart Memphis until 3:30 p.m.

After breakfast, I started getting dressed for the day. I stopped suddenly because an inner voice said, “go ahead and check in for your flight on line”. I’ve learned to listen to that voice! When I pulled up my itinerary on Delta’s website, I found that my Memphis to Atlanta flight had been canceled. IEEEEE! The next 90 minutes consisted of me frantically rearranging travel plans for me and for Sam.

My new flight was scheduled to leave 90 minutes EARLIER than my original flight, because I now had THREE flights instead of two. I hadn’t even packed yet! I rushed Scamp over to the Pet Hotel. There was no time for a pedicure. I would just have to get one on the ship. I threw everything into the suitcases, hoping that my rush would not cause me to forget anything. Then it was time to go to the airport. When I arrived at the airport, I looked down and noticed that my gas light had come on. (That should make for an exciting journey home.)

On my flight to Nashville, I sat next to a Baptist preacher’s wife. She and her husband were relocating to Louisiana from Nashville. She lamented that one daughter did not attend church. I lamented that my son’s life had gotten derailed by an accident. We both agreed to pray for each other’s children. Her daughter’s name is Amy. But I am not praying for Amy to go to church. I am praying for Amy to find God, in whatever way she needs to do so.

Sitting in Nashville, I watched CNN. Part of the headline news was that the U.S. State Department had issued an advisory for Jamaica. I wonder if this will affect our itinerary. I suspect that it will not. I was a little hungry and spotted a Neely’s, which is a little restaurant. I love the Neely’s in Memphis. You may know the Food Network show based on their cooking. (Is it “Down Home with the Neelys”?) Anyway, I ordered a pulled pork sandwich that was HORRIBLE. It was about 80% fat and gristle. The meat that was there was overcooked and the BBQ sauce was just bad. I threw it away after about 2 bites.

Before I knew it, it was time to fly to Atlanta. I had an empty seat beside me. I arrived in Atlanta and headed to my new gate. I found Sam sitting in a bar next to our departure gate. We sat at the bar, drinking beer (Sam) and wine (me). Then we ate some chicken fingers. Yummy!

On our flight to Ft. Lauderdale I sat with a young couple who were FUNNY. They had a very animated conversation about a Redbook magazine that she had brought. He was hysterically funny, reading aloud from some of the articles, which he found absolutely silly, which of course they were. He kept asking, “Is this for real?” They were a very cute couple.

We claimed our bags, with me expressing absolute delight that mine made it through two plane changes. We headed out to the curb and found the Comfort Inn Airport/Cruise South van and off we went to the hotel. We arrived at our destination almost immediately and I knew that this was not the same place that I had stayed last time. Clearly I had made a mistake when I made the reservation. You can take your pick of any of the following descriptions for this place: 1. DUMP!!! 2. Dilapidated. 3. Disaster! It was really the pits. Sam kept telling me that it was perfectly fine for one night, but I thought it was just awful. The room was not in good shape. The “continental” breakfast was barely serviceable. I was very glad to get out of there!

We took a taxi to the terminal the next morning. Our driver was from Brooklyn and talked non-stop from the time that he picked us up until the minute he dropped us off. He was very entertaining. Once we arrived at the terminal, we found the Platinum embarkation lounge and waited our turn to board. It wasn’t long before they called us and then we were on the ship. I made a bee line for the Sanctuary. This is a section of the ship where you can reserve a plush lounge chair for the whole cruise. I think I was the first person there and I grabbed the two loungers that I wanted.

Then we went over to the buffet and had mediocre food for our lunch. Sigh. I’m on vacation and so far the best meal I’ve had was the chicken fingers at the bar in the Atlanta airport!!! Oh well. Next we walked to make reservations at the Crown Grill for Tuesday night and Sabatini’s for Thursday night. Those will be excellent meals!!!

After the muster drill, Sam and I grabbed a frosty beverage and enjoyed a bit of the sail-away party. Then we ran off to meet the folks that we had gotten to know on As I write this, Sam has gone off to the bar with some of the folks his age and I am relaxing before dinner. The movement of the ship is so soothing. I think I might hear a nap calling me!

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