Thursday, May 19, 2011

Wrapping It Up-ALMOST done

Today I woke at seven, on my last night but one aboard the Norwegian Crown, cruising northward somewhere off the west coast of Chile. It is dark out and I have no idea what the weather is. The ship is moving contentedly and it feels soothing and comfortable. There is a decent movie in English on the tv, and I called room service for coffee and juice for two. A letter accompanied it with rehearsal times for the talent show.

Plans for the day will be packing, the rehearsal for the talent show, the talent show, one more session listening to the trio, use up the internet minutes that I have pre purchased. Prolly won’t swim due to not wanting wet suit in suitcase. Chuffed about going to the Sheraton for the day and glad I didn’t insist on the wrong luggage tags….Hannah was awful sweet about that.

Read my 15th birthday diary and transcribed some of it, still torn between doing it verbatim or extracting. I did the verbatim bit for now. Shaved, collected some dirty laundry and bagged it for home washing, and went up to the gym where I weighted a bit over 156 lbs, so I have my work cut out for me when I get home.

Yesterday, Hannah noted and commented on my Kathmandu t shirt, and today at breakfast, one of the servers was from Bali. Regretfully, I didn’t bring the Berlin one, as the trip has a substantial German population on board.

Went to the library and logged on and downloaded aviation info, posted on fav site, and checked email and hotmail without finding anything. S** and ** still owe and so does H** who hasn’t opened his.

Chatted with Jayson awhile who is from Edmonton and going aboard a dutch ship out of Valpariso next. He was pissed that he didn’t go to Antarctica when the plane was switched to a 767. he may borrow some of my photos for himself. It looks to me as if 15 minutes of my internet time slipped away somewhere, but then…. I read drudge, AP breaking and the comics and logged off again, with about a half hour remaining for this afternoon.

Then I decided to do breakfast, which was simply ham, hot ham, cold cuts and lots of bacon. Cleared my stuff out of the bathroom and resumed packing with quite mixed feelings. I don’t think I bonded with this ship the way I did with the Dawn, but it is sad to leave a pampered life and resume being alone and caring for oneself totally. I do have visits and a meal at H** to look forward to. Now to prep for the debarkation briefing. By the way, twice I have stumbled onto lectures in the stardust lounge that were not on the daily briefing newsletter.

I stopped by purser and got length of the cruise (4,119NM) and left a note for Pablo telling him rehearsal at 5 is prolly better bet for him to visit than show at 8. we shall see.

Went to the debarkation lecture and they were thorough but did not give the wx for tomorrow, which is in the fifties and sunny and overcast, and the poor girl at desk was too busy for a philosophic argument over that. I said goodby to the very nice and friendly Argentinaian guy working at shore excursions who had said he remembered me from the Sea, and who is going to Alaska next – a beautiful cruise that may be on some future agenda, depending on my band schedule and possibly someone to go with.

Lunch gave me the opportunity to say goodby to the food and beverage director as well as I waited for some strawberry and vanilla ice cream in lieu of lunch. Going back for some more, macadamia crunch. Back to the cabin where I did a decent job of packing and prepping for the trip home tomorrow. Will be more dressed than grubby, due to hanging out in the Sheraton.

Found my lightweight gloves on this, the last day of the trip, in a zipper pocket on the leather carryon, but I’ll be glad to have them in NY most likely. We are heading right for it, as it is due north of us, but still almost six thousand miles ahead. They did a ‘we are the world’ thing on the stage after the debarkation, and Hannah invited me personally to stay and watch, and I took a lot of pix, most of which I’ll likely discard. I misted up a bit as I have the last two times this was done on ships and I was there, but not as much as finding the internet signal is gone again (joking)…I still have a few unused minutes to dispose of, and will keep trying.

Lying in stateroom and someone is painting outside my window which is basically waist to ceiling triple. Perhaps the bottom quarter to a third is obscured by lifeboat four. I keep coming up with more things in drawers to put in the two suitcases, but I think I pretty well have it licked. I am packing the boots and wingtips and traveling in the good slacks, a cashmere turtleneck and blazer and carrying the outer coat. I have my card, agriculture documents, a few patches, passport, visa statement, and twenty six us bucks ready to go. Never did use the casino again.

Out the window is fog mostly, but those on deck risk a sunburn, as I could well advise them. The internet is still shut down, so I shall read aviation website which I again downloaded, and digest my macadamia ice cream. I have three more hours to the rehearsal and not too much to do till then.

Local time 1545. I have walked an honest two miles on deck seven, with no less than 12 laps and maybe one more. The sun has come out and the sea, tho with a gentle swell, is almost dead calm and even the hurricane force winds at the sides of the front have abated.

I walked thru the casino and stopped to watch a bit of the blackjack tournament and quite frankly, am glad I trusted my own instincts on that place and stayed away, because the winner in quotes of that tourney is gonna be the guy who loses his chips slowest. Even the good players were getting clocked, and I walked away and got two cookies at tea time..

At the internet cafĂ© I used up my minutes and was posting on the blog of the Queen of Fried Foods when the time ran out, and I dunno if my post took or not. No PMs or emails that I found. Redownloaded trbbastsoit for reading later (well, maybe now). The rehearsal for the talent show is in a little of an hour, but I can’t claim to be nervous. Hope I can replicate the Iridium experience of the week prior to the sailing.

Just interrupted by knock on door by sweet Philippina with chocolate. THIS I will miss when I get home for sure. About three hundred people are staying on board for the trip up to Miami, but I don’t recall whether this was ever offered to me an option nor whether I would have seriously considered it. The one trip that I DID price out was $5500 for the trip stopping at Gibraltar. They were power washing the deck when I did my dozen turns around same, and as usual, there were people walking the wrong way, over and over. Never did pass them just at the sign with the arrow, but one has to wonder.

To do is closing the suitcases and putting them in the hall before midnight. Need a wakeup call I suspect. Need to turn in the adapter for the computer cord. Bill should be all set as I gave them a credit card imprint again. Hope the trio makes the rehearsal, but am not holding my breath. // Just in fact met Pablo and he will be there at 5PM anyhow for a different reason, but I forbore to ask if Paula would be coming..

It has turned into a perfectly lovely day out. I asked Jayson if he wanted to see the Antarctic pictures, and he was off to the bridge to see the Captain. Sigh. At least the social director, Soozy hasn’t been as obnoxious as most of the other CD’s in chirping constantly that they are speaking ‘from the bridge’ which is verboten to the rest of us.

//the rehearsal for “Indiana” went well. The talent show is pretty much what it was on the Dawn… A group of Texans are playing kazoos and singing Take Me Out to the Ballgame, and another woman told a very old joke, and the third of four acts is a trombonist who fancies himself a lounge singer. He was quite interesting however, and blew me away with knowing B& B in Port Jeff, the Iridium where he had heard Les Paul, flying direct from Sacrament to Islip, knowing a good deal about jazz in general, and having properly remembered that I had tried to play Liza on the piano by the casino.

When the dust had settled, I am the cleanup act following the others. Nobody from the trio showed up, but I have a chance to go and whine at them one more time when they are playing in the Lido lounge next, in about an hour twenty. On this, my last day of the cruise, I figured out that they hang a menu on the wall of the restaurant where I have eaten 29 or more meals.

The weather remains fine, and I walked a total of about three miles now, as I did quite a few more turns around the deck while waiting for the rehearsal. Should be fun. May go walk the deck some more, as the weather, the sun and the gorgeous clear clean blue ocean will very very soon be nothing but a happy memory!

//Now it is quarter to ten, and I am sort of suffering from emotional overload. I just returned from the Lido Lounge and saying goodby to the Pablo DeLuca and Paula K and Christian trio. They play an absolutely hauntingly beautiful song about rain falling on roses, in which she almost uses her voice as an instrument , and Chris does very intricate and pretty things on the bass. I asked for it twice tonight, once when I left to go to the talent show, and once when I left for the last time, shortly after they began their set at 2115. They didn’t make it to the talent show because they had a reservation at a restaurant that they had been trying to get for three months. However, Paula did give me a hug and kiss when she found out that I had won the talent show.

So yes I reprised my triumph from the Iridium and did the exact song with the exact same arrangement – a slow rendition of On the Banks of the Wabash, followed, expertly by a rimshot and trumpet pickup which went swimmingly, and three choruses of Indiana. What I had not expected was that the show had three judges and that I would fill out a questionnaire which goes off to NCL Hq in Miami for consideration of God knows what. Twas a packed house but I could not see it. The guy who comes to Islip was better than I was, by a lot, but I had the band. So, I won the talent show.

So, said goodbye to Hannah and tipped her as well as the maid. Walked a total over three miles on the deck, looking at the pretty moon hanging over purple clouds that were on the western horizon just at sunset. Have taken so bloody many pix that have quit now, cuz again, overload. I managed to pack the second bookmark, the NCL coffee mug, the 14” trophy and something else into the big suit case and they are both in the hall now. I have checked and re checked and re re checked that I have everything I am gonna need from the time I wake up tomorrow until I meet my bags in the Sheraton sometime later in the day, and again at the airport.

Lots of people have asked me if I am staying on, and I don’t really know how I didn’t know it was an option,. Oh well, I belong at home I suppose. G** will be happy I am home, and S** and t probably will, and I am sure derf will be glad to get his wireless card back, as well as his camera and a look at all the pix, some of which I think are really good.

(This is not one such, btw)

All this and Antarctica too


Fijufic said...

Love reading about this trip. Awesome detail. It confirms to me that you are NUTS!

Now having said this, I'm nuts because I love reading this stuff...

Perhaps we understand each other.

Cheers buddy,

Carla said...

What a great entry!! WOW!

maggsworld said...

Interesting treatise through the eyes of you