Tag Archives: cruising

Mother Daughter Cruise Extravaganza 2011 In Review

Last Saturday I returned from a 9 day hiatus vacation and cruise extravaganza with Momma Sassy. We had a FANTASTIC time, to put it simply. The cruise vacation really is one of the best vacations one can take as far as cost, food, quality of service, and fun for the money. Unless you go on a Carnival cruise, then I’d say there are no guarantees. My family is a big fan of Royal Caribbean, and after experiencing my second RC cruise, I’m super hooked as well. This is not an endorsement for RC nor is it a bashing on Carnival. To each his own. Just saying.

This 9 days of ridiculously radical relaxation gave me ample fodder for this publication, but in this first edition of my Mother Daughter Vacation 2011: Cruise In Review, we’ll talk about everything that is completely awesome about cruising and specifically our trip. It’s a long list and there were many laughs but here we go.

The first thing I super love about our cruise: having a suite room with a balcony. Everyone knows that cruise staterooms are ridiculously minute, hardly bigger than the cubicle I am writing this from, plus a bathroom that is basically the size of a port-o-john. Yes, including shower. Pleasant. Some say it’s cozy. Some say it doesn’t matter because you spend almost no time in the room. And some, like Momma and me, say it is totally worth the upgrade to get the couch and extra space and wonderful balcony. We took breakfast on the balcony, and it is the perfect spot to sit and read with a light breeze, giving respite from the searing Caribbean sun. It also provides an escape from all that comes with lounging on the upper decks by the pool, namely loud children, dudes walking around yelling “bar service!!!” far too loudly every 5 seconds (not conducive to napping), extremely large people in extremely small swim suits, and Bob Marley’s greatest hits on repeat (for 9 days…oy). Not complaining whatsoever. The balcony is wonderful. Also gives one a chance to take in the gorgeous sunrise (at 5:50am!) and/or gorgeous sunset from the comfort of your room in undies. Winning!

Next super awesome thing: group dining. The family we sat with at dinner was super awesome. Nothing is worse than taking the risk of potluck dinner mates and end up with duds or bratty children for 9 whole days of dragging dinners. I mean. If you’re not a risk taker, invite your own friends and form your own dinner table. It’s like getting a random roommate at a large university. You never know what you end up with…best friends, or an enemy after 1 meal. Momma and I ended up with new friends, and thanks to Facebook we can keep in touch. How awesome is that. Where would we be without Facebook?? We’d have to exchange emails. Or phone numbers. Or, gasp, snail mail addresses! Then you know we’d never speak again. Good dinner mates always makes for an enjoyable cruise.

Speaking of dinner. And food. This is the other great thing about cruising. Everyone eats. For free (sorry Poppa Pants, I mean included). All the time. As in, 24 hours a day you can order food from any establishment that is open and be charged nothing. Except for room service between 1am and 5am, but something tells me that is not too much of a Debbie Downer. And the other great part about eating all the time? The food is always awesome. And if what you chose to eat isn’t completely the best thing you’ve ever had, they’ll bring you something else. And if that diamond ring don’t shine either, you get yet more food to choose from. One day for lunch I had a crazy craving for potato chips, one of the few items that wasn’t available on the lunch buffet. A server overheard me say it and brought me a plate of corn chips. Awesome. Gracias, Jorge.

And speaking of awesome service. That’s the other awesome thing about cruises, or at least RC. Everyone is SO nice. Our stateroom attendant, Moses (awesome), remembered my name seamlessly after asking only once when he introduced himself. Incredible. Same with our dining room staff. And when I say everyone is SO nice, I mean not a single grouchy worker was encountered. How many times can you say that for a regular hotel? Also it seems like the competency level of people working on the ship is exceedingly higher than other hotel-hospitality workers. How many times can you say you’ve had seamless service by competent workers who were not only nice, but seemed to be genuinely happy that you were there? If you’ve been on a cruise, you’re nodding your head. If you haven’t been on a cruise, then perhaps this is the opinion piece you need to change your mind.

Other highlights from my completely awesome 9 days with Momma: no alarm clock, but feeling so rested by 8:30am, thereby not missing out on all the gorgeous days. Learning to foxtrot with a bunch of newlyweds…I was the man, so that means I probably still can’t foxtrot with my own male partner, but what can I say? We were cute. Reading 7 books in 9 days. Working out 7 of 9 days to keep our girlish figures while consuming 2 to 3 desserts at dinner. Plus 1 or 2 ice cream cones per day. Momma Sassy wins the award for doing P90X 9 out of 9 days of our trip. High five. Finding fellow Hokies at our dinner table. Epic. Finding a whole bunch of fellow Hokies all over our ship. Loves. Getting a tan. Looking super cute for all of our pictures around the ship. Wearing matching dresses for our stroll around San Juan. Having a good hair day 9 days in a row (I know!). Breakfast room service. Cute George Clooney-esque assistant waiter. Rainbow Sherbert for dessert. Meeting the cute singers from the Unexpected Boys (don’t be jeal). Walking out of a horrible comedy/theatrics show in favor of an AMAZING steak dinner. Laughing at a great comedy show. Laughing until we cried at a Love and Marriage Gameshow (newlywed couple and a couple that had been married for 61 years…PRESH and hysterical). Being a little bit drunk after free drinks from a random old Scottish guy. And trying to play Canasta (fail). Thanks Jerry. Towel animals on our beds. Funny pictures with towel animals. Wine involved in many photos. Missing Poppa Pants even though we know he doesn’t really enjoy the heat (and was on his own epic 9 day golfing trip…to each his own). Mommy/daughter time = priceless.

In conclusion: cruising is awesome. 7 days is not enough, 9 is just right though I wouldn’t complain about more, and check back for more cruising hilarity. That’s all.

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Proud to be an American, where at least I know I’m free

Hellooooooo and Happy Memorial Day! Despite being a day late for this holiday, today we’re going to discuss how awesome it is to be American and talk about the things, both tangible and intangible that make America great. Oohrah!

Firstly, foremostly, and most importantly, our entire armed services are completely BADASS. As mentioned here, the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, Coast Guard, National Guard, and Reserves are completely awesome and BADASS. It’s one of those times where it must be spelled in all caps all the time, because “badass” feels too small. Like it’s just kind of badass but it’s not super awesome BADASS. If you feel me. Also, name one nation who has a more BADASS military than we do. I’ll wait. Cue Jeopardy music. That’s right, you can’t. Anyone who thinks Vladimir Putin isn’t a badass is just not in the know, but he’s only one man (I mean, yikes). We have hundreds of thousands of BADASSES all over the world, many or most of which are exceedingly better looking than ol’ Vlad, AND could probably kill that tiger with their bare hands. Thanks to everyone I know and do not know who sacrifice their lives, cleanliness, pride, and all creature comforts to hunker down in the deserts and jungles and no-mans-lands of the world to keep the children of the United States of America safe from dirty commies, terrorists, and etc. bad guys. Luh you.

And now on to less serious and less important but perhaps more entertaining and slightly more comical but definitely still awesome things that make Amurica great. I’d like to start out by saying that pretty much everything discussed here is only available to us because we have such awesome BADASSES protecting our country. So it’s two fold: going to the beach on Memorial Day weekend is awesome but it’s even MORE awesome because we are being kept safe by men and women who can’t go to the beach because they be busy hunting terrorists. Thanks ya’ll. Ok for real here we go.

Sort of an obvious one, but going to the beach for a long weekend is totally Amurican. Wearing teeny tiny bikinis, even when you are way too large to wear such garments is also totally and completely Amurican. Wearing super skimpy banana suits is not Amurican and may I say I’m glad (for the most part). Keep your shorts on, guys. Cookouts are also super Amurican, some of which even take place on the beach, which makes it that much more Amurican. Hot dogs, hamburgers (with AMERICAN cheese, obviously), chips or some yummy waffle fries, and some Bud Light. Maybe even Corona. I hear they don’t drink that in Mexico which makes it that much more Amurican. A game of corn hole is so completely Amurican, especially when it takes place at aforementioned cookout on the beach. Beer pong also is pretty Amurican.

If you have a boat you are totally Amurican. And if you took your boat out on the lake, river, sound, bay, gulf, ocean, etc. body of water and ate hot dogs, hamburgers (with AMERICAN cheese, obviously), potato chips and washed it all down with some delicious Bud Light, perhaps while singing country music, and towing some of your buddies behind the boat in a tube or wakeboard, you are so Amurican. Boating is completely Amurican. I can’t say how many boats I saw in transit this weekend. It looks super fun. Also thanks to my cousin’s Facebook post, I saw one boat sinking off of a small island in Destin, FL. Good times. Which leads me to: it’s super Amurican to have or use a tractor. I know people use tractors all around the world. And that John Deere is basically the only American name for a tractor brand (Kubota = clearly not American) (though Caterpillar sounds pretty American), something about just the word “tractor” is super Amurican. Say it out loud. TRACK-ter. Fun, yes?

The epic 9-day cruise I took with my mother ended over Memorial Day weekend. Upon leaving and re-entering the Chesapeake Bay and the Port of Baltimore, we had a United States Coast Guard escort, complete with a completely BADASS guy holding a machine gun at the helm. The entire scene was completely BADASS and American. Also slightly sexy. Something about a man in a uniform with an automatic rifle. Is it just me? Anyway. Sexy is also super American, but I will say there are plenty of Italian and Greek and even British men I think are sexy so that’s not an exclusively American thing. I’m about to digress so lets move on…

…to more American things. Collared shirts and pleated khaki shorts with Rainbow flip-flops (or whatever the trending sandal is this season) and croakies holding your Oakleys to your face. Super Amurican. Also cute boys in pickup trucks, with massive work / cowboy boots (Tims are excluded from this), an old tshirt, and ratty baseball cap OR cowboy hat. Cowboy hats are special in that not all of them are good looking, but you know it when you see it. That’s Amurican.

Other things that come to mind: going to the pool with a cooler of beer, rooftop bars, concerts in a field (versus a fancy basketball stadium or something), waiting in line for an iPhone, waiting over 24 hours in line for whatever is trending this year, chugging beer, shot-gunning beer, dieting unsuccessfully, triathalons, building things from scratch, working hard, hiring people to do things for you and paying way too much, a good handshake, apple pie, fake ta-tas, HUGE fake ta-tas, eagles, the concept of the girl-next-door (and if this girl exists, she has very American blond highlights or dye job), corn bread muffins, sweet tea, Long Island ice tea, BBQ, back decks, wrap-around porches, hammocks and porch swings, football, baseball, catching a home run in the stands, American cheese (obviously), George Washington, patents, patent infringement, tailgating, kegs (of Bud Light obviously), hiking, coupons, suing someone, being sued, declaring bankruptcy and starting your own business the next year, bouncing back, fighting hard, and kicking ass.

Thanks to every military man and woman who has served, is serving, and will continue to serve our country, give their lives and time, and sacrifice awesome family time at the beach with a hamburger with AMERICAN cheese so we can all stay home, enjoy a terrorist free beach, a terrorist free concert, a terrorist free football game, pirate-free waters, and everything else. Go Amurica!