December 27, 2009

Christmas at Sea: 1

Decorations on the atrium stair rail, 2009.

Himself: Really perky and full of fun. Came home very relaxed.

Herself: Tired only after walking for six or seven hours every day. Tylenol helped. Laughter is the best medicine. Not being shy helps everything. Forgot more than usual. Arrived home coughing again, darn it. Yesterday a big struggle with my “new” Medicare Advantage Plan….they switched me to a new doctor and a new clinic, and I spent most of the afternoon switching it back.

Reading: Two Elizabeth Cadell’s by the 24th, and later started At Seventy by May Sarton.

Balance: Finding a few minutes of quiet time while doing all the dumb things offered on board. I actually had fun with the scavenger hunt.

December 22: Boarding was easy. Warmly dressed with umbrellas in hand, we rolled down the hill, and after only a short wait, rolled onto the ship. While waiting for the Lifeboat drill, we photographed the lido deck. Then, much to our shock, they did a lifeboat drill without the life jackets. When we left harbor, the storm hit the ship, and most of our very newlywed dinner companions got ill. We had on patches and wrist bands, but still sick people make me slightly ill. I let the ship rock and roll and went to bed.

December 23: Sea day. Smooth sailing. Games and photos.

December 24: Catalina today after spending the whole day yesterday doing three knots in circles around the Channel Islands to make it look as if we were going somewhere on our one day at sea.

So we were up early today. Too much bacon….even for me. Nope, I am not telling any doctor what I am doing on these cruises. Croissants too…with butter. This ship has baker extraordinaire on board. My soul knows to the core of it’s being how wonderful these melt-in-your-mouth-pastries are with too much butter in the mornings. Then we were off. He wanted to do two shore excursions, and I wanted to buy some real Catalina tiles somewhere on the island.

We photographed our ship’s slow crawl into Avalon, photographed our climb down into our tender, and spent the rest of the day with a camera in hand. First the glass bottom boat…yes it was fascinating stuff. Yes, the fish know they will get fed whenever this boat arrives in their preserve. It was still fun to watch and identify the various fish, and G saw a cormorant dive under the boat too.

After an hour’s wait, we took a bus ride into the interior of the island. Not far…just more thorough inside the town than the previous tour which took us up to the airport and back down to the sea. I have a better idea of the politics of the whole now, and too, I can see the tiny cottages on their 20x40 lots clearly.

It just feels like home to me. I’d move there in a second if there was a reason….if there were finances.

One of our tours took us across town to the wonderful casino with its newly restored murals. We couldn’t get inside to see the interiors, but they had also given us a free pass to the local museum…a tiny place. It had the feel as if it had been tucked up under the eaves…only here it was tucked next to the basement.

Here I found a display of tiles made in the old way. Later in a tiny stand just off the pier, I found two more tiles by the only person who is still making them in the old way. Much like the Pegasus tile I use for my morning coffee, these have raised dams to control the glazes to specific areas. The new style tiles have sunken lines between each painted or dipped on area. The later are made off island.

The young woman at the museum recommended a hamburger joint where the locals ate….and it was just what we needed. After lunch, I curled up with my book by the beach while he wandered away shopping a bit an amusing himself. The day was perfection….sun, blue skies, friendly everybody. Quiet. A day to cherish.

We had been out and on tour at nine, and we were back to the Elation by 2:30pm ahead of the ship’s three o’clock cut off time. Too short a visit for us.

On board, he wanted to partake in everything this trip so we did trivia games in that awful mauve bar and trivia games in the show room. Later we dressed up just a little were good to go to a Christmas Eve dinner. Still later I went to the show alone. When G didn’t advance at a black jack tournament, he came to join me.


  1. Oh your back! Merry Christmas! Sounds like a lovely time was had!

  2. Wow. A very nice Christmas. Catalina has a casino? OMG. I was there decades ago when it was just a rich persons stop in the Pacific.

  3. Very nice ...enjoyed your little trip blog ...I'm going on my first cruise in August!

  4. I shall afford will disagree with you

  5. Glad to hear the storm settled quickly. Had to laugh at the idea that they just kept on circling slowly to give you the sense of a cruise. Besides coming home with a cold, poor you, it sounds as though you had a lot of fun. Thanks for the travel log.

  6. Sounds like excellent fun! We are taking a cruise in February - haven't planned any shore excursions yet. Trying to think about saving, lol! I am enjoying your travelogue!

    We took a cruise at christmas a few years ago, but missed the family too much to do it again. But oh, had such a wonderful time!


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