Wednesday, December 31, 2014



Today is Saturday, December 13, 2014, a sea day here onboard the Carnival Sunshine, née Carnival Destiny, and we are relaxing on the Ocean Plaza, reading, writing and drinking coffee.  I've got some sock knitting at the ready as well.  Everything is copacetic unless we look out the window, so we have pointedly moved ourselves as far from those starboard windows as possible.

It is also the last day of our cruise, but I am definitely not giving that any thought.  I am going to enjoy every last minute of what has been a truly wonderful, relaxing vacation and I am not going to start worrying about anything coming up at home or in the office.  I've got all day tomorrow to transition my brain.  Today the most serious thing I am going to think about is which pair of socks to knit.

Things we did not do on this cruise:

I did not go to the spa for a massage.  I was afraid that instead of relaxing my muscles, it would wake up my fibromyalgia, which has been quiescent of late, although a few recent twinges have concerned me.  Pain is distracting; no need to tempt fate.  I've got life to live, latkes to fry.

I did not drink even one Cosmopolitan.  My tolerance for alcohol has dropped to practically nothing, and a Cosmo is all alcohol.  It's hard enough to walk on this ship as is.

We did not attend any of the art auctions.  We still haven't hung up all of the art we collected on other trips.

We did not listen to any karaoke.  God is good.

So here we are at Bonsai for lunch - Japanese rap music and those are indeed two ladies wearing bathrobes to eat sushi.  I ordered the Wagyu Kakuni appetizer for my lunch and I positively swooned.  Those were among the two best bites of food I have had in my life, ever.  Who knew it came with a small salad?  An awesome salad  with Korean flavors of sesame and soy. The ultra-tender Wagyu (American Kobe beef), having been slow-braised, and redolent of sweet Korean teriyaki, could convert any vegetarian to a carnivore.

As this special day winds down, it's been all about the food.  For breakfast we went to the omelet bar instead of the regular buffet.  Then the lunch at Bonsai.  After lunch we do some more shopping.  We watch TV, Rob reads, I peruse recipes in my new cookbook, I knit a little, I sip some wine.  We go to another tea party at 3:00, where the pastries are superb.  I keep reviewing recipes in the cookbook.  So many recipes I want to try - this cookbook is a treasure trove.  Leaving the tea party, we stop to check the menu for tonight's dinner.  We discuss whether the frog's legs appetizer will be prepared as badly as last night's oysters.  I remind Rob that they did a fine job on the escargot.  We go upstairs to check the menus at Ji Ji Kitchen and El Capitano.  Finally the decision is made, it's the main dining room.  Besides, they have the Grand Marnier soufflé for dessert.

Amazing what you can accomplish when you are in the middle of the ocean and happily cut off from the internet and wifi.  And tomorrow will be time enough to start moving back into the real world of ISIS, the protests over police brutality, the school shootings, the Bill Cosby scandal, and the closing argument I have to make on Monday afternoon.

Tomorrow morning, we will self-disembark at 7:30, a privilege afforded to platinum level cruisers.  It has been the best cruise, marred only by the constant rocking, and those damn oysters Rockefeller.

The food tonight was wonderful.  Before dinner, we saw another live music show - the third one, all different, all terrific.  At dinner, Rob ordered the frog's legs while I got the crab cake.  Awesome good.  Then we both went beef, prime rib for me, flatiron steak for Rob.  Soufflé for dessert.  Everything was delicious.

As I said, this was our 12th cruise on Carnival, across six different ships, including the brand-new Carnival Dream.  This was the best ship with the best cruise director. And I had the best time.

I hope you enjoyed the travelblog.  We will return to our regular scheduled cooking program tomorrow.  A new series, Six Degrees of Separation and Consanguinity, will be starting for the New Year.  Stay tuned, stay safe, stay happy and healthy.

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