The Navigator of the Seas Part 1: The Not So Good

Posted by Danny

Spring Break!!!!  Whoa-Whoa!!!!

Someone once told me that the best way to keep your kids from getting into trouble during spring break is to get them in the habit of taking a great family trip that week.  I’m doing my best!

Last week we headed to Florida for a five night cruise on Royal Caribbean’s Navigator of the Seas.  I’d never been on a cruise before so this was quite an eye opener.  We really had a great time and I’m going to write more later this week.  But there were a few things I could have done without!

I went with some reservations.  I get a little claustrophobic and don’t really like the idea of being somewhere with no escape. 

My fears were realized when I walked into our room.  It was smallish.  And the bathroom – whew.  The shower was so little I had to wash the front of me, back out into the room, turn around and shimmy back in to wash my back side.  I am convinced that some of the passengers were unable to wash themselves on the boat – there just wasn’t a way.

I’m also convinced that one woman, who quickly garnered my attention (and ever other male on board) at the 11th floor pool, had to wash some of her parts individually as well.  She should have considered that before her surgery.

On night four, late in the evening, the boat pretty much turned over.  I didn’t like that. 

 I was in my room and although I did not fall, I turned sideways, back parallel to the door.  A friend was in a store on the Lido deck (I’m not sure of the name of that deck but I learned Lido from the Love Boat and liked saying it) and the sunglasses display toppled over onto the floor.  Apparently several hundred pair.  The women manning the shop began spouting out what must have been cuss words in a foreign tongue.  My friend wasn’t sure if they were torked at the captian or if they were fearful for their lives.

That night I slept with no covers thinking that if water came rushing in, I’d struggle to get the wet blanket off.  If it weren’t for a couple of Tylenol PM, I don’t think I’d have seen sleep the rest of the cruise after that debacle.

The final thing I wasn’t a fan of was the constant rocking.  It was particularly noticeable in bed and in the bathroom.   At night I sort of felt like my mother was rocking me again – a couple of nursery rhymes and I’d have been sucking my thumb.  It made me feel happy inside.  But peeing on board was like trying to take a leak while on a skateboard.  Number 2 wasn’t much better – tough to read a Newsweek in motion.  You didn’t move much in the shower because each side of you was sandwiched by the wall.

I never got sea sick but had to take a break while ice skating on the Promenade Deck (again, not sure of the real name).  Yes, they had an ice skating rink.  And an ice dancing show – which was remarkable considering it was the size of a school multipurpose room.  Imagine a triple sow cow in your den.

I nearly cried as we walked off the ship on Saturday… for two reasons:

1) I decided it would be faster to carry our own lugguage out of the ship.  I toted eight bags down six floor because we couldn’t get an elevator to stop and then they requried you to walk three miles to customs where I declared two $11 neclaces and a pair of pink earrings.

2) We had to drive 12 hours home.

Dad, got any gum?

Posted by Danny (written last Sunday)

My trip responsibilities used to be:

1)      Carry all suitcases to the car after they were packed.

2)      Load the car.

3)      Get cash.

4)      Drive.

5)      Swim with the kids at the hotel (Lisa did NOT swim at indoor hotel pools).

6)      Carry all bags into the house when we returned home.

My have things changed. 

Packing:  I do pretty well at remembering the critical things that must accompany us on trips:  bathing suits, toothbrushes, rubber bands for hair.  It’s picking out the clothes that stresses me out.  I can’t imagine that we’d ever be in Boston in February and need shorts or flip flops.  But I pack them.  What if a heat wave rises from South America?  What if we unexpectedly get invited to a Hawaiian themed party when we get there?  My mother-in-law can fit two weeks’ worth of clothes in a book bag.  It’s a combo of good folding and strategic planning.  Not me.  What if someone pees in their pants?  Might need an extra outfit or two.

Shopping:  In Boston I went with DJ to a store to help pick out flats (that’s a type of women’s shoes) for the cotillion dance on Thursday.  Actually, she’d already been in the store with her Nana and Aunt Sallie, but since I was carrying the credit card, I got to make the final decision.  She asked for a size 8.  I made the woman bring an 8 ½ too.  I’m not sure why – when Lisa bought the kids shoes, there always seemed to be a lot of boxes sitting around; it seemed like one just wasn’t enough.  I had her stand up and walk and felt for her toe.  I’m pretty sure I came across as knowledgeable.  After that I looked at the saleswoman and at DJ and said, “What do you guys think?”

“The 8” they replied in unison. 

“Yeah – my gut was leaning in that direction too.”

Gum:  Does gum come with the pocketbook or do you have to buy it separately?  I’ve never met a woman who did not have gum or lifesavers on her person.  Men produce sweat.  Women produce lifesavers.  They never run out.   I’m now in charge of trip gum.

As kids my mom always made us split a piece of gum in half.  Until last year, I didn’t know you could fit an entire stick in your mouth.  And when I finally did chew a full Wrigley’s, I felt ashamed. 

“Dad, why can’t we have the whole piece?” 

“I don’t know, ask your grandmother next time you see her.”

Skipping and dancing:  Today at the airport, Michelle was holding my hand and said, “I like to skip.”  Although it was phrased as a comment, it was really a question.

“I like to skip too.  There’s a big, long open hallway right here.”  And off we went.  I thought I’d get some eye rolls but instead got warm smiles.  It gave me enough courage to take the next step (the airport wasn’t crowded).  I learned to Chasse and Grand Jete.  Took me about 12 tries, but once mastered, it was good enough for Michelle to brag on me to her siblings.  At least I think it was bragging, she said, “Everybody, everybody, look at Dad!” and she was laughing in a proud sort of way.

I might give Jesse some props too.  Yesterday at the nephew’s birthday party, he broke out some impressive moves to in Sync’s Bye Bye Bye.

I did do two things that are typical dad.  We ate dinner at Dunkin’ Donuts tonight and this morning I coaxed Stephanie into going to the lobby to fetch my coffee.  Some things never change.

Raleigh or Bust!

Posted by Danny
We’ve escaped!  Flew out of Raleigh at 6:55 am on Thursday to spend a long weekend with Lisa and Jesse’s sister and her family in Boston.  Finally, we get to meet Kinsey – the new addition to the family (remember who’s the Godfather!?).

This summer, Sallie, Matt, Sam and Kinsey are moving to Raleigh!  Sallie has accepted a job with Duke and Matt is seeking employment in the Raleigh area (he is gainfully employed in Boston – head of marketing and communications for a large national nonprofit – if anyone out there needs him, I can forward his resume in a matter of seconds).  We can’t get them down here soon enough.

I thought I’d share the top ten things that I believe Matt and Sallie are going to love about Raleigh:

10.  Not as much snirt (snow mixed with dirt).

9.  We throw our empty bottles of liquor in the recycle bin.

8.  No Maritime museums where you have to look at Uncle Jesse in too small dress-up clothes.

7.  If you’re a witch, less chance you’ll get burned at the stake.

Site of the Salem Witch Trials (or close)

6.  No toll roads – ahh, well maybe we shouldn’t really count that one (North Carolina Turnpike Authority – ooops!).

 5.  We don’t have these.

I'm not sure what this is and I'm not 100% comfortable sleeping in the same town with it tonight.

4.  No need for locks on your hub caps – seriously, they just bought a new minivan and opted for the hub cap locks (we do not have hub cap locks in NC).

3.  I think there may be a Fatima’s franchise in Wake County.

Fatima's Psychic Studio

2.  Warmer climate; no need for a hat like this.

DJ's cheer pom poms weren't that big

And the number one reason Matt and Sallie are going to love Raleigh:

1.  They may be sited in this blog more often!

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