Monday, June 13, 2011

I went on vacation an all I got was this lousy cold...

and of course I had a fabulous time.

I know it's been a while since I've made a meaningful update (since last Friday!), but things have been busy and I don't really blog from home for the simple fact that I like to kill as much time at work as possible with blogging (phew - long sentence!).

After this sum up of my vacation I plan on posting about at least two things - so here is my blogging to-do list:

1. Delta continued
2. Steel Pans and other BCs
3. Monica appreciation birthday post (late, I know!)
4. Bucket list (which I will mention during this post because I have a weird idea of how to approach bucket lists)

But before I get to all of those - here's how my vacation to Bermuda was. I have lots of pictures thanks to my amazing dad who actually bought me the digital camera birthday present he promised me (best camera ever though, and worth the wait).

I packed on Friday night, until 12:30am. I think I must've packed and re-packed about a million times (and I still managed to overpack but at least I wasn't flying so I didn't have to pay for heavy baggage). I was supposed to go out with Nyeg that night but because of my slow packing, that did not happen and it was probably for the better.

I woke up relatively early the next morning because before we picked Jared up from the airport and went to NJ to our cruise ship, we had to drop my aunt off at the airport. Now New York being obnoxiously large sometimes, and nothing ever being convenient, we had to drop my aunt off at a different airport than the one we had to pick Jared up from. So we went to Laguardia (LGA) to drop off Jill, and then off to JFK to pick up Jared. Of course JFK was in the opposite direction from where we were going, but alas that's how it was meant to be. Jared's flight got in early and he ended up having to wait about an hour at the terminal, but hey, we were picking him up and saving him a ton of money on a cab, so stuff it!

This was actually from the boat on the way back
We made our way over to Bayonne, NJ having to pay the amazing $13 get out of Brooklyn via Verazzano Bridge toll. It always blows my mind just how expensive bridges and tunnels are here in NYC. It's pretty absurd if you ask me, but I don't know if anyone is really asking me. Anyway, we got to the dock around 2pm which was great timing. We made it through security pretty quickly as we had prepared well. The one thing that hung us up a little is that I brilliantly decided to leave the credit card I used to buy the tickets at home because I didn't want to bring all of my cards. Idiot. I panicked, my heart raced, and I felt like a dipshit. It really wasn't that bad though and I had to fill out this one page form to change the credit card number, but my heart was a-pitter-patter for the next half hour...because honestly, what would we have done if they had been like "Sorry you need the credit card you used to purchase the tickets with"? ANXIETY.

We spent the first few hours of our trip exploring the ship. The Explorer of the Seas - run by Royal Caribbean International. By exploring the ship, I obviously mean sitting on the main deck drinking until they had the Muster Drill (basically a fire drill for a boat).We returned to the deck after the drill and just kind of hung out there for a while.

Our Stateroom

So we could remember our room number
First day on the boat, exploring at sunset
From the Promenade
Looking down at the promenade
The rest of the time on the boat was pretty much the same. We wandered around the boat, spent time outside on the decks tanning (burning) and drinking. We read a lot, relaxed a lot and I froze a good portion of the time thanks to the wind. Can't say anything truly eventful happened.

Dining Room
 We met this great couple that was on their Honeymoon and ended up hanging out with them later in the trip. We had the late seating at dinner (8:30pm). The food was out of this world. Seriously the prime rib was pretty much to die for. Their desserts were alright though. We noticed that as the trip went on they started having more sugar free and fat free options. They were basically telling us that we needed to cut down the calories because everyone was getting fat from the constant flow of free food (unless it was after midnight in which case you could order not so great room service, or eat dessert/mini croissant sandwiches from the Cafe on the promenade).

Prime Rib
Crab Cake


They had really cool fruit sculptures at the Windjammer Cafe (buffet where you could eat all of your meals) that I had to take pictures of on the last day. Come to think of it, they were big on making sculpture things, because we had towel animals in our room every day which I loved! Our state room attendant (room service), Audrian, cleaned our room twice a day and would incorporate the accessories we left around the room into the towel animals. It was always pleasant to come back to. Also, he was usually in the hallway and always opened the door for us. I pretty much loved him. He was from St. Thomas and precious! I wish now that I had gotten a picture.

Towel Aardvark

Towel Monkey!
Towel Elephant
 On the first night there we actually went for a midnight dip in the hot tub. In fact, that's the only time I got in the water on the boat. I didn't get in any of the pools. It was kind of chilly and all of the pools were chlorinated salt water. Salt water makes my hair feel nasty, I can't even imagine what chlorinated salt water would make it feel like!

Deck at night
I forced Jared to see the stage show on the second night. It was an homage to 70s/80s dance movies like Flashdance and whatever that one with Baby and Patrick Swayze...I'm blanking right now. Either way, the show was meh - but I got some good action pictures with my awesome camera.

Docked Ship in Bermuda
On Monday morning we docked in Bermuda at King's Wharf. We had a really busy schedule that day. Our first excursion was to see a ship wreck and then go snorkeling. The tour guides were hilarious Bermudians. Now let me tell you something about Bermudians, you would not be able to pick a Bermudian out of a crowd. They have no distinctive accent, features, skin tones, ANYTHING. They don't have a local cuisine, they don't have local music, they are basically a bastardized British culture with influence from everywhere and nowhere. I mean Bermuda is a lone island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean at least 500 miles from anything else. It's so weird. No one could put their finger on these people. The only thing we found out however, is how damn expensive Bermuda is. The whole country is rich, pristine (clean) and expensive. They have a crazy low unemployment rate, and with a population of 65,000, they have to import almost 2,000 people to fill out their labor force. It's just a really weird place.

Anyway, the shipwreck was pretty cool. Jared was annoyed because he didn't want to call it a ship wreck since they purposely sunk the damn boat. Whatever though, I thought it was pretty sweet. We also were in a glassbottom boat so we rode over some coral in the reef and it was a unique experience. They have about a bajillion parrot fish which they fed from the boat and you can see them in the picture below. SAVAGES.

The "shipwreck"

Where we snorkeled

Snorkeling was fun. I could hardly get my flippers under the water and I almost had a heart attack when a fish that was way bigger than my head (on my new bucket-list - CHECK) popped out of nowhere less than a foot away from my face whilst on my way back to the boat. I saw some pretty awesome stuff though. I mean it wasn't as bright and vibrant as I'm sure the Great Barrier Reef is, but it was a lot of fun nonetheless and we got a complimentary Rum Swizzle on the boat.

Bermuda houses with the typical roofs

Now let me tell you what a Rum Swizzle is (actually you can see below for the ingredients), but basically, this is their national drink. All they do in Bermuda is make rum, rum cake and blow glass. Seriously, they import everything else. They even have to import some fresh water (because they're in a drought, normally they would collect rain water in holding tanks under their houses that have been purified by this white lye "paint" that they are required by law to cover their roofs in - I'm telling you, weird shit). Milk is $9 a gallon, gas is about the same and it costs about $140 for enough water to make it through a week in a drought. It also costs $1500 every two years to re-cover their roofs in the correct paint. This place is bananas with their prices.

From the glassblowing workshop
Bermuda Triangle Rum drink and fish stew

Anyway, back to the Rum Swizzle. Everywhere we went, rum swizzles were thrust at us. They're delicious, but CRAZY SWEET. I only had a handful of them before I moved back to my comfy vodka cranberry/tonic. After the first day on deck I pretty much only drank on Monday in Bermuda.

Jared on the Ferry

After snorkeling we had a little time to kill so we took the ferry over to Hamilton (the capital). Where we had lunch and I had fish stew with none other than...rum. The architecture was really nice (see below) and then we made our way back on the ferry about two hours later so we could go swim with the dolphins.

That's right folks, I "swam" with the dolphins. (Bucket list item 2 - CHECK). 
We got close up...
We twirled...
They kissed...

It was a pretty wild experience. I have a video of the dolphins doing some tricks but we actually purchased those pictures above (SUCKERS - because you can get them online with a "proof" think over them).

From the dolphins we went back onto the boat and got changed to go to a beach barbecue at this open air bar/club. It was a lot of fun. I'm kind of sad I missed dinner on the boat because it was pretty lame barbecue food, but I didn't complain. There was lots of entertainment and we were with the Honeymooners again. They made us conga line for free shots and this guy sang lewd but hilarious songs. Then there was a traditional dance performance by "Gumbays" which are pretty hilarious and the costumes are outrageous. There was a little kid gumbay that was the cutest thing I've ever seen (he's in the blue below). Also, the Ms. Bermuda pageant was the day before so the contestants were at the barbecue.
Gumbays and contestants

Sunset at the barbecue
Jamaican fire limbo-er
After the BBQ we went back to the boat because it was still early and we wanted to look for this club that one of the tour guides from earlier in the day had told us about, but neither of us could remember the name. We figured it was "Snorkel" and the place that we were at earlier so we went back. We hung out there for a little while and drank a few drinks and then Jared went back to the boat and I stuck around and drank a lot, rapidly.

Peach bulldog...mmmm
This was bad news. I quickly finished two drinks and then those drinks quickly left from the same direction they entered from...but I was determined to be sloshed, so I went back and re-upped with my double drinks. Some guy said I looked nice, he stared at me for a while as I slowly made my way towards the dance floor and hovered a little drinking my drinks again, quickly. Feeling sufficiently buzzy I started to dance. I had a blast. BLAST. I danced and they played dancehall and I shook my groove thing and I disregarded that when I was dubbing that my dress was probably up around my waist. I met this guy Leonard. He was a cook on the other cruise ship docked in Bermuda at the time. We spent the night dancing. He bought me drinks. I danced with this fabulous gay man that told me he loved me after we dubbed.

I checked another thing off of my bucket list. You see, in Jamaica circa 2009, I had begun to have sex on the beach, but then there were too many people and thus I had sex in a park. Classy, I know...but I lose my mind on islands. This time, Leonard and I made our way down to the beach and found a sanitary beach chair on which to copulate. Worry not folks, I always carry protection. Sadly, the club was closing before we finished. I still don't know if it closed because it was 3am on a Monday, or if it was because a fight broke out. When we were walking out, there were two EMTs hovering over a Bermudian with a busted face. Who the hell knows. Leonard walked me back to the boat and said that he would wait for me between 1-2pm tomorrow outside. I told him he didn't have to because I didn't know when I would be back from the beach. I don't know if he ACTUALLY waited, but I didn't wait for him when we got back from the beach the next day. Yeah I looked around for him and his adorable dimples, but I didn't plan on ever seeing this man again. I gave him my number, but the odds of him using it are slim. He lives in Boston, is 23 and has a 3 year old son that his mother takes care of. Not necessarily ideal, but good for one night. If I made my bucket list task "finished having sex on the beach" I would still not have that checked off, but at least this time I got closer?

By the way, Tuesday I has THE WORST HANGOVER OF MY LIFE. I felt like garbage. We had to wake up at 7am to go to the beach and I was just not happy about that. It was Horseshoe Bay though, and the sand was supposed to be pink. I mean it is pink, but I was expecting pinker. I slept on the beach the entire morning. Jared got an umbrella that ended up being useless and it sprinkled rain for a few minutes, but was relaxing overall.
Note the useless umbrella
Doesn't look too pink, eh?
It's beautiful though...
We got back from the beach around 1pm and went back on the boat. We dropped our stuff and walked around King's Wharf where we tried rum cake and bought glass (see sculpture above). Then we loaded back onto the boat and I went back to sleep. I missed push off from Bermuda, just like I missed the one in New York, but I was still nursing a gnarly hangover, so I was alright with that.

Bermuda from a distance

Tuesday night and Wednesday were pretty much spent relaxing. As I said before, the deck of the boat was ALWAYS packed, even in gale force wind (we played mini golf on Wednesday in the wind which was pretty hilarious). There was a lot of swaying on the boat, but nothing TOO bad. However, I felt like I was on the boat for the next two days.

Packed Main Deck

Windy Mini Golf

Jared golfing
Anyway, here are some random pictures from the trip that are easier to put at the end than to incorporate into the text!

Day two lounging.
This is the life!

Jared's sunburn from Sunday
How we spent most of the time.
Starbird sunset formal day
Free Champagne on Formal night
 The sun sets on another day

Starbird sunset Sunday

Starbird sunset Wednesday

Farewell! View from the Windjammer.
Back to New York

Pretty much it was a great vacation. Sadly, I ended up bringing back a cold. I went straight to work on Thursday when we docked. We did express checkout and then took a shuttle to Newark airport to get Jared's rental car. He dropped me off at work, and then went and got my GPS from my house. He picked me up from work and we went to go have drinks with Courtney in Westchester. We definitely reached our limit of time spent together. After 24 hours a day with someone for 5 days, you definitely don't want to sit in a car with them while they're aggressively driving and ignoring your GPS because they think they remember how to get to their destination from years ago having been in New York.

I tried to keep calm. I was kind of out of it though because I was sick and because of course as soon as I got back and turned my phone back on I had a million messages, one of which was from Delta. Delta is still a goddamn idiot. He says the dumbest shit and it's becoming easier to ignore him and not care about him at all (it's about damn time).

Friday I went to work, still sick and then went to this dinner thing to talk about going to Carnival in Trinidad in February. We stood outside waiting for people and to be seated for an hour and a half. After that I was wiped out and didn't want to do anything for the rest of the night.

My TV also broke this weekend so I was sick and just wanted to watch my DVR. This resulted in me crying and getting frustrated and fighting with my parents. Ah sickness, you make me into such a great person.

I think this entry is probably long enough now. Stay tuned for my tackling of items 1-4 listed at the beginning of this blog post!


Little Miss Me said...

Quite simply: DAMN I AM SO JEALOUS!!!!! (not about the cold can keep that)

Not who I will be said...

Lol! It definitely was fun, and hopefully this cold will go away like...NOW

It was worth it though :)

theTsaritsa said...

Looks like you had a very good and eventful vacation! I've never had a rum swizzle but now I am interested in trying one! Those towel animals are adorable :)

Not who I will be said...

I had never heard of a rum swizzle before until getting ready for this trip. They are INCREDIBLY sweet, but they are really delicious. You forget they're alcoholic. Basically throw every tropical fruit juice you can find with some rum and a little bit of brandy and voila. Enjoy!

Toni Rose said...

gaahhh yes i am also jealous of you right now .. lol ... and the monkey towels are amazing!!!

the food the everything i dont think i need to repeat it here since you're the one who experienced it first hand anyway... lol..

btw... i replied to you on the post on cultural psych :))

B said...

Lucky you! Those Rum Sizzles sound really good.I've never been on a cruise but I've always thought their food would be gross good to know it isn't! The whole island make you crazy sex on the beach thing was to funny!Too bad you got a cold! It was raining all weekend over here so those first few days must have been rough when you guys were leaving the east coast.

Monica said...

I wonder if they are trained on how to make these towel animals...think there is a class i can take?

Not who I will be said...

Mo, they definitely have a class. They actually had one on the boat! I didn't make it to the class of course...but that's because I was being lazy. I'm sure it's not hard to learn!

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