Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Back at long last!

Have I been gone FOREVER or what?!?! I really need a vacation from my vacation...and here's why:

Home to Dallas to Miami to Chicago to home to Oklahoma to St. Louis to Orlando to Port Canaveral to Nassau to St. Thomas to St. Martin to Port Canaveral to Orlando to New Orleans to Houston to Oklahoma to home.

I've made 18 stops in 13 different locales since Monday, May 10th!!! WHEW!!!!! That's alot of luggage haulin'!

Cruise was great, but 7 days was too much. If we did it again, a 5 day would probably be perfect.

High Points:

Tropical beauty/ warm weather
Awesome food (fancy dinners & great wait staff!)
Fun group from my city
Water slide on boat!
Great party music
great gym on-board
Fun activities (including bingo (for large sums of cash which I did not win), "magic" show, gambling, art auctions, on deck games, Salsa lessons-with Renaldo "aye, aye, aye!") and much more.

Unfortunate Points:

See above re: luggage hauling and standing in endless lines.
"Mudslide" drink full of broken glass (last nite on boat)
"Deep Tissue" massage during which therapist kept dozing off (there's a whole story w/ that one)
Diving was sub-par, especially in Nassau where the reefs are mostly dead. Did see 1 shark in St. Martin, though.
Wretched hyperpigmentation regardless of facial SPF. My days of a real tan are o-v-e-r.
Feeling 10 lbs. heavier despite not going hog-wild! Doh!

We went with a random group of hometown folks (as advertised on a local radio station.) Everybody in our group was way fun, but there were two single girls (our age) and two single guys (a bit younger) that ended up being the life of the party. By the end of the trip we all acted like we'd known each other for years. Total riot. I think 1/4 the ship hated us for our loud, drunken, over-the-top antics. Tee hee. Lighten up, people!

Our travel agent also came. She was a cute, petite, blond lady. She was a hoot, too! It was nice to be in some type of group so you had people to kind of hang with, or not. Options are good.

We ended up spending way too much money at the art auction because we were both continuously drawn to a painting (giclee':pronounced zhee-clay. Highest quality reproduction available) that will go so great in the new office. It's called "Martini Limbo" by Michael Godard. You may never see it, as it is ONLY available from the Cruise Lines. You can view the artist's other work at www.dontdrinkanddraw.com though. Great stuff. Carnival has a pretty cool system set up regarding their art auctions, though. Lifetime money-back, so we didn't fear buyer's remorse.

Our daughter actually missed us this time, and we're very glad to be home. Nothing major went down while we were gone, as so often happens, so that's great. The dogs only destroyed a few things. Not bad.

We're both still staggering around like drunks because of the ship's swaying. Anybody that tells you that you can't feel it is FULL OF IT! Thank God neither of us gets motion sick because the boat WAS a-rockin'!! It really messed with you when you were actually drunk!

Well, we have lots of pics, and grand memories...some of which I shall share soon in better detail!

Sunday, May 02, 2004

The Final Countdown!!!

Only about two weeks left before the "big day!" And when I say big day, I do mean VACATION! There, I said it. There are only about eleventy billion things left to stress me out between now then.

First, my boss decides he needs to come into town & work with me the week before our company sales meeting. Yay. I mean, he's a nice guy & all, but the week before I travel, I usually have a zillion things to do. This time I have two zillion things to do because I have to leave my meeting a day & a half early to make my vacation. Thank God I already had my vacation request in when they announced the meeting dates!

You see, for some unknown reason, my vanity climbs to an all-time high before either a company meeting, or a vacation, so the week before means glamourama. I need to: get a pedicure, get a set of nails put on (two different Vietnamese nail locations, don't ask), my hair cut, colored & highlighted, a couple of tans & an eyebrow wax. And that's just the stuff I can remember. Hard to get all that in with your boss hangin' around. And of course there's the whole packing thing. This is the longest trip we've ever taken, so naturally I had to go out & buy a suitcase that would literally hold the kitchen sink.

The real packing problem can be summed up in one word: shoes. I need to bring them all, and MAN do they take up alot of space. This particular trip is our first cruise, which apparently means we will be expected to, on occasion, dress for dinner. Normally on trips I strive for super-casual, but when you know there are nice restaurants & clubs involved, I have to bring everything. *sigh*.

I hate to sound like such a griper, but sometimes the stress of travel barely evens out the experience. Since it is a long trip, I feel confident that by the end I will be a puddle of Jello with not a care in the world.

I bet you'll have Betty Sunshine writing this blog by the end of May when I return.

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