Monday, November 26, 2012

En route to Mexico

Tori is the way I like to see her best: cheek heavy against the pillow, dark brown hair fanned out over the pillow, covers wrapped around her burrito-style. She stirs and slowly opens her eyes. They get big, fast. She says, "It's so beautiful out there!" The curtains and balcony doors in our stateroom are wide open. She sees the sea. Blue. For miles and miles. This is Day 1 of our extended family's Thanksgiving holiday.

It's been more than 20 years since Dave and I have taken a cruise together. Back then we were surrounded by couples our parents' age and older all celebrating milestones. They looked at us like we were crazy and said things like, "You're just on vacation?!"

This cruise, this week, is a little different. There's an American holiday in the middle of it so we're amongst multiple generations of families, our own included. Still, if you average the age of the travelers, we remain on the young side.

The food service is endless and literally around the clock. The plates in the main restaurant, the one with the nonstop 6am to 11pm buffet, are as big as platters. There is an ice cream dispensary at one end of the main pool. On the other side of the pool is a counter serving up grilled food and fries from 11a to 11p. The ship has five more dining rooms for formal breakfast, lunches and dinners. There are six more restaurants (Starbucks-style to pizzaria to steakhouse) and eight bars elsewhere on the ship. There is room service.

We've spent our first two days at sea exercising, eating, reading, seeing shows and sitting by the pool. A lap around the deck is 1/3 mile. They are not easy laps to run because of the geriatric blue hairs. Bonus points for them though. The other distraction is the occasional feeling of weightlessness as the boat shifts. My sister-in-law says it's especially strange during yoga. I never got up early enough to find out.

We watched Monday night football poolside. The kids recruited others to play Colors while Dave and I curled up on chaises with the other 49er Faithful. I tried to not to explode from dinner. Italian night.

The youngest Pinks go in and out of the kids' club depending on their level of interest in the activities. On this day they decorated cakes in the galley under the watchful eye of the head pastry chef. We then ate the cakes at dinner. Or attempted to.

Paris is having the best time running around with her older cousins. They check in with us from time to time and are making the most of the 1:30a teen curfew. Family dinner is de rigeur. The three of them share the stateroom across the hall from us. They refer to it as The Cage. Finally age has its privileges. Our age.