Usually, after I come home from vacation having enjoyed, but very happy to be home. I know this was a particularly fantastic one because even after 11 awesome days of adventures, I wanted moremoremore. More days. More adventures!
I’m thinking this is probably going to be about a long, three part post. So, buckle your seatbelts and expect that this may get pre-empted by some race reports and goal posts and speculating, oh my, because, oh yeah, my HUGE MAJOR A RACE is in 10 days. *flail*
Saturday: Getting There
I had epic planz to be up at the crack of dawn (literally) and knock out 16 miles. Well, I slept in and woke up in time for about 12, max. Then, after I got out, I had a miserable day. Little body niggles everywhere, heel in effect, and a poor choice of food made it so I just felt ucky. After the second bathroom stop at 6.35 I called it with approximately a 12 min/mi pace (yeah…). I wasn’t going to jeopardize my vacation being awesome to get in a certain amount of miles. I rescheduled 16 for the next Monday and made final preparations and then hopped a plane after a “last Texas meal” of bbq beef, with our lightly packed bags in tow (we each brought 2 bags, and 3 of the 4 were over 45 lbs).
The flights were smooth and uneventful. Zliten loves talking to people on the plane, and he found a lady with lots of stories to chat with. I however, was in antisocial book read mode. I conquered the 8th Galaxy Unknown book and I started another Sci Fi series called Annihilation. We got there on time, and as we were flying over Seattle, I was impressed at how pretty it was. The sentiment continued as we taxi’d from the airport to the hotel. We got a text en route asking if we would make the rehearsal at 6… not so much. However, right after we checked in and as we headed to the elevator, we saw half of the wedding party! Success! We made it to go to dinner with them on time!
We noshed on amazing pizza (my favorite was essentially a greek salad on top of a pie, but no surprise there), and got to hang with some friends we hadn’t seen in a while, and ended up with some gorgeous bridesmaids gifts – the bride had contacted someone on etsy, and gave them some simple descriptions on a necklace for us. Mine was something like “classic, timeless and sparkly”. I am in love with what happened.
(EDIT – think this one may show it better…)
And, this was our friends, so there was a lot of wine. Then, some of us moved up the street to another bar to have the after party, so more wine. And then a few of us moved back to the hotel bar for the after, after party. Then, we retired to the room and I made use of the nice garden tub. There were bath salts. I didn’t eat anyone’s face though, except maybe the complimentary rubber ducky that we kept.
Sunday: Mawwiage and Hallway Pizza
Woke up feeling a *little* worse for wear, but I can sip wine like a pro without a crushing hangover, so I was up really early, and started getting pretty for the wedding, which involved actually blow drying and straightening my hair. It happens a few times a year. Soon, it was time to go, so we cabbed it to the dock and OMG I forgot to check out. *facepalm* They were nice enough to do it over the phone at least.
We got there, and we’ve now decided that each cruise, someone needs to get married. We were given our own little boarding area, and we got to get on the boat first. It was AWESOME. Then, we were able to converge on the bride and groom’s suite and HOLY FUCK it was amazing. It was on the top floor, it had a huge balcony with a hot tub, it was the size of a HUGE hotel room (which, if you’ve ever been on a cruise, you know it’s a BIG DEAL because the rooms are teeny tiny) with a shower and a garden tub. The gals finished getting ready up there, we donned our peacock feathered hair clips and our awesome homemade bouquets, and we got goin’.
We had practiced how to come in, and as the wedding started… the music we walked in to was the Star Wars Imperial March. Ha! They both met doing QA on a Star Wars Game, so while it was good and nerdy, it was also really symbolic (and the music we walked out to was the Cantina Song – loved it!).
It was a very sweet and short ceremony – although the officiant did call my friend Anita (which is NOT her name) during the ceremony, and the ring bearer spent about half of it playing with the petals on the ground, it was just perfect. Then, our work was over, the bride changed into her sparkly blue converse (and me into my knee high black boots) and we started eating and drinking and toasting and a little dancing.
And hugging. Somehow, this tradition started at our wedding, I think, and it’s an awesome one! 🙂
All too soon it was over, and our non-sailing friends had to leave. We decided to go back to the room and check and HELLS YAH we already had our luggage. Being fairly obsessive about my clothes being straightened, we were able to get completely unpacked and settled by the time we had to do the boat drill. After that, our duty performed, we sat on the deck drinking champagne and eating french fries and enjoying the fact that we were footloose, fancy free, and setting sail. However, the minute we set sail it went from nice to COLD and I knew that part of it was already starting (let me tell you, it was weird being on vacay and not breaking out a swim suit and coming back paler than I left).
Pretty soon after we sailed, we hit dinner. It was a nice first night of cream of broccoli soup, ceasar salad, seafood canneloni, and key lime pie, with a bottle of red wine split between 3 of us. Our friend J’s wife was tired and went to the room, so we indulged him and went and hung out and watched the end of a football game on the two-story screen. I gave excellent commentary the whole time and kept myself extremely amused. Then, we ended up walking through the shops as they were doing a drawing, and I won a bottle of champagne! This day is even more magical! We tried to meet up with some friends at the ultralounge/nightclub area, but they all looked pooped and went to bed pretty quickly and it was just J and Zliten and I. We hung out at the bar after that for an inordinate amount of time, and then had to check out the 24 hour food. By this time, things are hazy, and I remember being there, and ordering something. Possibly with cheese?
Then, we hit the mini bar in the room, and hallway pizza happened. So – they advertised that you could pay 5 dollars, and get a pizza delivered anywhere on the ship. J was OBSESSED with this and the concept and goal of hallway pizza was born. A pizza, delivered to the hallway outside our room, just because we could. And, around 3-something AM, we met our goals.
And then, having eaten and drank like an asshole all day, I passed the hell out. Check my soft hands. Thank you gymnastics and dance for perfect form!
Monday: Don’t Rock The Boat. Really.
…and slept until 11AM. I can’t remember the last time I slept that late – some people begrudge the interior rooms of the cruise ship because they can’t see light – I enjoy the hell out of it since my bedroom wakes me up no later than 9 most days unless I try reallyrealyreally hard. We both woke up going “FOOD NAOW” because obviously 3 meals and pizza wasn’t sufficient yesterday, so we grabbed some soup, and I made an epic salad from their salad bar, and I noshed on some fresh bread. However, the captain rudely did not understand that I had tied one on last night and kept rocking the boat which was not making me thrilled, and I couldn’t eat very much of it.
I pushed through and we met up with J and M to play some Phase 10. J had beginners luck and he won… sadly I never got a rematch. After enough hot tea and adrenaline pumping game playing, I started feeling better. Since I couldn’t eat my lunch, we hit up the 24 hour diner and I snacked on some wonton soup, fish, and coleslaw. We retired to the room after and I curled up with my book and napped and read and napped and read all afternoon. It was fabulous!
It was dress up (or not) night, and we brought lots of fancy clothings, so we got up and put on our fancy duds but I got lazy with the makeup and didn’t even put in contacts. I think I did alright. We took fancy pics and one actually turned out, so we got it. We swang by the karaoke and found the bride and groom and hung out with them for a while waiting for dinner – we were all going to teppanyaki that night. When we met up with the flower boy and A, she and I were wearing the exact same setup, same color/cut of dress, same black bolero, same color shoes and tights, and practically the same jewelry. It was uncanny how good her taste is! Sadly, no pics (EDIT: of both of us but here’s Zliten and I lookin’ swanky)
But oh, the teppanyaki was pretty epic. We started with miso soup and seaweed salad, and then we got veggies, fried rice, and I got filet and shrimp. Perfectly cooked, and the show was fun – he tossed eggs at the boys to catch in their mouths, and was incredibly talented. Then, we got some amazing green tea cake and ice cream. So, so, so good, and it was fun to dine as a group – the whole wedding party and both sets of parents, our whole cruising party.
After that, our peeps headed to the bar to drink a bit, however, since we had tied one on two days in a row, and we were running long the next day, we sipped mint tea while we chatted, and bowed out early. More reading in bed, and then we drifted off dreaming of what adventures we’d have on the Juneau trails tomorrow. If only we knew what was in store…
Part 2 of the Epic Vacation saga soon!