Sunday, December 14, 2014



All my bags are packed, I'm ready to go, I'm standing here outside your door,
I hate to wake you up to say good-bye.
But the dawn is breaking, it's early morn, the taxi's waiting 
He's blowing his horn.
Already I'm so lonesome I could die.
So kiss me and smile for me, tell me that you'll wait for me, hold me like you'll never let me go.
'Cause I'm leaving on a jet plane, don't know when I'll be back again. Oh, babe, I hate to go.

Every single Carnival cruise I have ever been on - too many to count, as I am nothing if not brand loyal, you know me - Hellman's mayonnaise, Heinz ketchup, and Carnival Cruise Lines -  has ended with this old chestnut being sung at the last dinner before departure, by the entire dining room staff, all claiming English as a second language.  It's corny, I know, but sweet.  And premature; this cruise is just starting.  And inaccurate; I have come to hate flying.  How about this one?

I'm sailing away, set an open course for the virgin sea
I've got to be free, free to face the life that's ahead of me
On board, I'm the captain, so climb aboard
We'll search for tomorrow on every shore
And I'll try, oh Lord, I'll try to carry on

I look to the sea, reflections in the waves spark my memory
Some happy, some sad
I think of childhood friends and the dreams we had
We live happily forever, so the story goes
But somehow we missed out on that pot of gold
But we'll try best that we can to carry on

Better, at least for this stage of the trip.

If I wasn't in desperate need of a vacation before this, preparing for the vacation wore me out to the point that I really need a vacation.  (That's convenient, because as I type this I'm just under 2 miles from the cruise terminal.)  The effort expended to prepare all my cases for next week was beyond crazy.  Well worth it, though.  This is an awesome ship, folks.  Although it is Carnival's newest ship, it is not, technically, a new ship.  I never sailed on the Carnival Destiny before it's uber-refit and rename to the Carnival Sunshine, so I can't make any comparisons, but this is even nicer than the Carnival Dream, which is/was a brand new ship.  I look forward to exploring.

We're in the Alchemy Bar now, sipping on martinis.  Make mine chocolate.  The first toast of the cruise always goes to Bethe and Maurice, God bless their precious, generous souls.  We did have lunch on the Lido deck, but deviated from our traditional stop at the deli counter and chose from the regular buffet.  Oh, it was great!  Very different from the usual Lido Deck fare.  What I particularly loved was a baked eggplant slice topped with melty cheese and a caponata-type topping.  I am also a sucker for chicken fingers and honey mustard dipping sauce.  Good lunch.

Getting ready for the cruise involves a lot more than preparing all my cases for court.  It involves making decisions.  Tough decisions about important stuff, like which knitting projects to bring?  This takes some pretty heavy thought, my friends. I have to consider all angles - am I working outside or inside?  What projects are at the top of the list to be finished?  How heavy are the bigger projects, like shawls and afghans?  Will they sit nicely in my lap, or are they so heavy and warm as to set off hot flashes?  And what about downloads to my Kindle app?  When I am on vacation, I can read a book a day.  Cornwell, Fairstein, Haddam, or classics likes Rex Stout and Ellery Queen?  Such gorgeous choices!

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