Days 7 and 8: Day at Sea and Home at Last

As with yesterday, I’m talking about my vacation excursion in this post, so if you’re looking for my regular post, in which I dicuss goals and such, then it’s below this one. That was probably a really bad run-on sentence, wasn’t it?

And then on the seventh day… they rested…

Sort of. *grin*

We had long day at sea on Friday (Dec 17) as we hightailed it back to whence we came – Miami. I spent 75 minutes in the best massage I’ve ever had. It was well worth the price – practically free. Since I pre-booked it before the cruise, I got that money back as credits. WOOHOO! Of course, I had to leave the tip and I purchased some massage oil to “continue treatment at home.” Which you know I haven’t even done yet. And it was $60 of “continued treatment.” I need to put that on my schedule of Things To Do.

So while I was up on the Spa deck getting pampered, Man was on the Lido deck soaking up the sun and reading his Nook. I joined him a short while later. We enjoyed a lot of time there on the deck with our Nooks in hand. It was glorious but, alas, we had an appointment with the wedding photographer at 12:30 which, of course, we kept.

It took a while to go through all the wedding photos. There were so many good ones and it was really hard to choose. We had to pick 25 8x10s and 18 5x7s. I wanted the bigger package so we could get a CD with all the photos we purchased. We must have gone through then a dozen or so times to pick out exactly the right ones. Some were no-brainers, others were more difficult to pick. We finally settled on our choices and handed over the money (ouch, by the way…not cheap).

Afterward, we made our way to the restaurant for some food and stood in the longest line ever. Since it was a day at sea, everyone and their mother (literally) was in line to get food. Even at 1:30 in the afternoon. But we persevered.

We saw all sorts of nationalities on the ship and heard languages we’d never even heard before. For example, as we stood in line waiting for food one gentleman and his children walked by. I swear it sounded like gibberish. To which Man replied, “Say what?” which immediately cracked me up. The man even chuckled.

After lunch, we went back to the Lido deck for more sun and more reading. I started reading Eloisa James’s A Duke Of Her Own and am enjoying I immensely. It’s a wonderful book and a quick read.

When we got tired of reading, we wandered around the ship, looked at the photo gallery, bought more pictures (like we need them!) and then it was finally time for dinner. We had lovely service the last night and our hostess (and also point of contact for the wedding) told me she would always remember me. It was sweet. She asked for my email address so I hope she really does email me! She’s a lovely lady and I look forward to talking to her via email.

We spent a little more time in the main lobby bar, just hanging out and watching people until time to head back to the stateroom and pack our final belongings. We debated on whether or not to let them take our luggage for us or take it ourselves. Since we have three large pieces, we opted for them taking it. Which meant we had to leave it outside our stateroom by 11 pm that night.

Despite the fact it was smooth sailing all the way back to Miami, we didn’t sleep well. There was a lot of noise in the hallways and the front of the ship. At 3:30 am, my phone came back into the network and I got a ton of push notifications all at once. At least I had bars again! I could text but I was too afraid to do anything else since it would cost $20 PER MEG. I don’t need to be on Facebook that bad. *grin*

We docked somewhere around 5 am (Dec 18) which was the time I had total give up. I got up. Man went to get breakfast while I showered and we finalized our packing. They shuttled us up to the Lido deck to wait for our group to be called to leave the ship which was about an hour later. We made our way through the port terminal and to the baggage claim. We managed to claim two of our bags but guess what? The baggage claim broke before we could get number three.

There was about a thirty minute delay in getting the carousel working again and then more minutes as I waited with the bags while Man went to retrieve the last suitcase. Then it was outside where we had to rearrange some items in the luggage and into a taxi to the airport.

I should mention that at this point it’s only around 10 am or so. Our flight wasn’t until 7:30 that night. Which left us with a large amount of time to fill. We went to the airport anyway and tried to check it. But we were even three hours too early for that. I should have remember that but I was travel weary at this point. The lady at the desk was super helpful though. She said she could get us on the 12:20 pm for a change fee of $50 per person.

I said YES. Because it would get us home about seven hours sooner than scheduled. I was ready to see my house, my kitty, and sleep in my own bed. We ended up checking all three bags again (another $85 plus $100 to change our ticket…eck…) but we were confirmed on the flight and had an hour to get to the gate.

The security line was rather painless, however, this is where TSA confiscated our snow globe (which I mentioned in Day 4). It was a very long way from Gate 24 to Gate 42. We were tired and I was highly upset about the snow globe. When we got to the gate there is practically no place to sit. There are a couple of seats together but one lady has her bag in front of one, so I march up to it and ask if anyone is sitting there. She looked dumbfounded for a moment before moving her bag so we could sit.

Thankfully, we were in Group 2 to board, so it wasn’t long before we were getting on the plane back home. It’s a very full flight and we’re on the exit row (the only two seats left together but we didn’t care at that point). There was a slight delay – a maintenance issue – but they got it resolved fairly quickly and then it was off the ground and in the air for nearly three hours. We arrived late at DFW and they switched gates on us but failed to tell us the new baggage claim. So we went to the wrong one. By the time we figured out the right one and got to it, they had already removed our bags from the carousel. At least we were around to break that one. 😉

The shuttle bus to take us to the parking lot appeared almost immediately after stepping outside the airport. We were terribly happy to see the truck still there, unscathed. It started right up, we got out of the gate, and we were on our way home!

Our first stop was Sonic – because were starving and wanted “real food.” As we approached the front door, Man took all the cups and bags out of my hand and ordered me to stay. A few minutes later, he comes back out, picks me up, and carries me over the threshold and I’m laughing the whole time.

I was very glad to see the cat, that the house was still intact, and that we had Sonic burgers for dinner. It was a great trip and now we know what to do and what not to do for the next one.

I can’t wait.

By Michelle

I wish you all could be inside my head. The conversation is sparkling.