So on January 22nd of 2016 our journey began. Names are changed to protect the insane.
We found out that our chances of making our flight out of NYC on Saturday night to then make our connection for our cruise in Miami were looking like slight to none. On Friday morning I got a phone call from “Claire” who will be referred to as Carol and she asked if I could be ready to leave by car by 9 AM? I lied and said sure. I wasn’t packed yet. After much confusion in my head I met Carol and “Marc”, who will be called Matt, at the head of the island and our adventure began at 10 AM with a destination to drive to Miami. One of the first things Matt said was that we were traveling to St. Louis to get to Miami to miss the huge snow storm. Now if you talk to anyone who knows me well they would quickly tell you I am not a geography genius, but I knew that St. Louis was in Missouri and was not really on the way to Florida. Shall I say the trip and story continues and I began to wonder “who are these people” and at times during this trip my life will be in their hands. So by the time we had driven to Ellsworth…just fifteen minutes later it was realized that Carol should not be in charge of handing out the medications to Matt. It just so happens that Matt and I were both sick in the head with reciprocal head colds. The reason that this task was taken away from Carol was due to her attempting to supply the driver with
advil PM. Oh my it was a good thing that Matt was alert enough while he was driving so that he did not take the pills that were handed to him by his helpful wife. I then handed him straight advil and the story continues. Matt drove a really long time and got us out of the state of Maine. Blue juice was passed to him also with something “dissolved into it” I watched out for Matt but there was only so much I could do. All I can say is when they called for the blue juice at the vet office where I used to work it was never a good outcome. We continued to track the storm, eat lots of yummy food such as barbeque from the “Naked….” near Freeport. The team of C and M continued to talk to google and ask them various questions the entire trip. This made me think they were sort of crazy but google gave us a very safe pathway to travel. We only saw a small amount of snow in PA and we met my friends at an exit in OH to have coffee and a bite to eat at 1:00 AM. We now headed south but still traveling west. We headed towards Louisville, KY and this is where life became interesting. While trying to come off an exit the car slide partially off the road. We now were sitting in a dangerous position along the exit. We got a wrecker to eventually come to help pull us back onto the road. All the time we were in a dangerous situation with eighteen wheelers flying off the exit and just passing by the back of the car missing it by a foot or two. We met a few christian people before the wrecker came by and they tried to help us with the problem and we felt blessed that they stopped. Finally we were back on the road and met the wrecker driver at a gas station to pay him and thank him. I will add that when I stepped out of the car I was almost hit by a women driving a little fast into a parking spot next to our car so I quickly stepped onto the curb to avoid her bumper. She asked us directions and then I think she sensed we were “crazy” and walked away. Now we realized that the car could not be driven very far because it had a terrible shimmy. Now we had to locate a garage that was open in KY on a Saturday. We found someone open that would look over the vehicle. They found a problem with the back tire that contributed to the issue with skidding off the road so we felt very lucky that the accident had not happened at a more dangerous situation because our ability to control the car in wet or icy conditions was greatly hampered. Eventually after a great lunch at a buffet across the street we were back on the road. The road conditions were a little more treacherous. There was ice frozen to the road in a rough pattern and at times we were driving on secondary roads with snow pack. I am convinced that no one in KT but one person owns a shovel. For miles we drove and only one person was seen with a shovel everyone else was inside praying for sun! We managed to make it to Valendosta, GA by 11 PM on Saturday night. During the travel in the car we had found out that our flight to Miami had been cancelled and we were glad we had chosen to drive down. We were very tired and glad to be off the road and had safely arrived. The next morning we were on the road by 8 ish and traveled until 1 PM where we stopped at a sports bar to watch the football playoffs. I realized now that Carol was quite the fan and I needed to be careful to keep the “fan” happy. It was a lot of fun and the food was great. Again I will emphasize no one informed me how crazy my new friends were! We then landed at our hotel at 6:30 PM and checked into our room while Matt continued onto another location heading towards Orlando with ten no I think it was eleven dollars in his pocket. I felt like I needed to tip him for the fabulous transit from Maine to Miami. We went for a short walk and were glad to be finally in the location that would get us onto the cruise the following day. It had taken us 44 hours including one overnight to travel an estimated 2,200 miles traveling through eleven states…oh my.
The following day we ate lunch at the Naked Taco and had a little tequila drink to get us started our vacation. We walked along the beach and enjoyed a little time before taking off for the port of Miami. We had a little trouble locating our hotel and while we were looking for the entrance we were standing in front of it but neither of us realized this. We walked back towards the Naked Taco and then eventually found the entrance. I was glad we were going to be on a boat and as long as we stayed on the boat we most likely could find our room…though this deemed difficult for me one afternoon.
On Monday afternoon we took a taxi ride over to the Port of Miami that was short and fast. Next we waited in a long line for multiple hours and then made it to our cabin!!! YAY we were finally on the boat. We arrived so late that the food court was shutting down just at the time we got up there to eat. But trust me eating on this cruise was not an issue we did plenty of it!
We were on the K-love cruise and had three concerts to look forward to on the first night
on the ship. The evening began with Matthew West, followed by Mercy Me, and then later in the evening we saw Sidewalk Prophets. It was amazing. Amazing doesn’t even describe it. I could have gotten off the boat the next day and been totally happy with the cruise.
On Tuesday we had time to look around the boat and in the evening we had the concerts for Crowder and Skillet and possibly Moriah Peters. It was a good evening I did not realize I knew so many songs of Crowder. In the morning I attended a country dance lesson that was a challenge for me but I stuck with it. I got a few of the steps before it got out of hand. It was fun anyhow. In the afternoon I met a woman that was sitting on the deck near where an artist had just finished painting. I asked her if she had seen the artist and she had just gotten there. I asked her how she liked the cruise and she said she was sort of bored. I thought to myself…wow how could someone be bored. I sat down next to her and we began to talk. She had lost her husband just two years earlier and needed some encouragement. It was good to share with her and we exchanged email addresses. I attended a single’s mingle in the late afternoon and it was a little out of my comfort zone.
On Wednesday we had an excursion in Georgetown, Jamaica. It took a while to disembark from the boat. It was a hot day in Jamaica. We were loaded onto a bus and transported to the location where we were to zip line. We got instructions on how to manage the zip and then were put into our harnesses. It was a little out of my comfort zone but I enjoyed it. I was a little on edge for the first couple zips and the anxiety was raised a level with the help of the people running the excursion were joking with me when I came into the landing and the person ending the zip would scream as they came into the landing but she was just having fun. Once I was comfortable with their safety I was okay with joking around. It was a humid day and we enjoyed Jamaican chicken at the zip line location. It was tasty. Other than Carol losing track of me following our bathroom break we managed to find the right bus and get back onto the boat. The evening concerts were amazing. We listened to Unspoken followed by Chris Tomlin. I thin in the late evening we saw Citizen Way.
On Thursday we had a relaxing morning. We enjoyed Stanley Savage as he spoke on marriage. That we should remain pure and avoid known poor choices. We should focus on the three T’s, Time, Talk, and Touch. We had time for second breakfast before we got off the boat to be loaded on a tender to be transported to the dock in the Grand Caymans.
We again found a bus to be moved to the another dock area to then be loaded onto the catamaran. It was a really pretty day and the weather was warm but comfortable. I saw a frigate bird flying near shore. It was a rather large bird. I realized shortly after seeing the sailing began that I should have worn a bathing suit. I told Carol that I had not worn a suit and she wondered why we were on a boat going to get out into the ocean. I said well I know but I don’t have one. I decided to check out if I should get off the boat in my bra and underwear (which were black boy shorts). Carol thought it would work and later told me though she agreed I would be okay parading around that she would never do it! It was a little colder getting into the ocean than I thought it would be but it then became really comfortable as long as you did not get a wave in the face. The sting rays were very gentle and we got to pet their bellies and stroke their backs. They felt as soft as dog’s ears and were constantly rubbing your legs like a cat that walks by and rubs your leg. It should not have been scarey but it felt rather odd and they would appear from behind and without warning they were rubbing against your leg. I enjoyed the time spent with the sting rays.
I then got back onto the boat which was a little more of a challenge to get up the stairs with the waves rushing in rapidly. I managed to get back to my seat without frightening too many passengers. In the evening we got to see Danny Gokey and Tenth Avenue North.
I cannot remember who did the late night concert.
Friday morning we again went to the morning worship and each day we enjoyed the music and the message. We had a concert in the evening of Citizen Way and again later in the evening. The events through this day sort of blend together. I think this morning I went to the inspirational stories of held in a lounge and also to christian mingle. I met a lady that had been blind for eleven years and was enjoying the cruise.
Matt picked us up at the Port of Miami and we began our travel home. We left about 10 AM and were on the road traveling north this trip instead of west and south. We went to a Cracker Barrel the following morning which marked us on the road for twenty four hours. Carol picked up travel bingo cards. I thought this would be fun and I guess it was even thought the competition was about two levels too high for me. Picture this….I am sitting in the back seat barely able to see out the windows and traveling on an interstate with barely a house in the south. I am looking for a satelite, a wagon, a silo…that was a good one. I can barely see anything and Carol I find out very quickly is very competitive. She begins calling out items that she sees so I cannot use them and she doesn’t even need them to fill out her card….oh my a time we had. I could not wait for someone to win so I could take a nap.
At one of the rest stops we stopped at a McDonalds and while we were waiting for Matt to fill the car with gas Carol managed to steal some of his fries. I mentioned how this was not fair nor should it happen and we got laughing hysterically. We continued to laugh until she was attempting to show Matt that she was eating his fries and one slipped into her mouth lodging in her windpipe. Oh my it turned from funny to half a chinese fire drill and finally Carol coughed out the fry. Matt assured me that death is always just a breathe away with Carol and that this is a frequent occurrence.