It wouldn’t take too much to convince me that this voyage is simply a continuation of Fall 05. The whole five years in between were just an extra-long port in our itinerary. The same crew is still here, the AV job hasn’t been updated at all, and I keep waiting for Chris, Jason, Karen, Yas, John, Gail, and everyone else to show up to the Staffulty lounge on the Seventh deck for a few drinks before going to bed. Because they wouldn’t miss a beat and fit right into the group that’s here right now. There’s a really good bunch of people here. I just really love being on the ship.
The only difference, of course, is that we now have a two-year old amongst us, and boy, does that change everything. It is a lot of work, and luckily, Elise isn’t the only kid here. There are five kids about her age, with really fun parents, and 20 kids total, some of the nicest kids in the world. Really – you should see them around Elise. They take her everywhere, they play with her, and they make signs for our door with her name on it. So she’s having the time of her life, running around the endless hallways on the fourth deck, and playing in the waves of the kiddie pool as the ship sways from side-to-side.
But she is a lot of work, and I can’t wait to get into the rhythm of classes so we can figure out exactly how to give Monika some relief of caring for Elise. Because you need to keep an eye on her every single minute on the ship… the railings around the deck of the ship are a lot wider than I remember them to be. We’re doing our best… we think she’s gotten the message that she can’t get anywhere close to them. She stops 5-10 feet from the edges, just like she does at intersections. And we’ll still keep an eye on her.
They tells us that it gets a lot easier when the students arrive, because there will be hundreds willing of babysitters, so perhaps Monika and I will be able to leave the room for extended periods of time after Elise is asleep after all. Though, I have to say, this whole thing is a giant Snooze Cruise for her anyway, so whenever she’s in bed, she’s been out, so I think we may take longer and longer excursions together out of the cabin, like we did tonight, which has been my favorite part of the trip so far.
The cabin is feeling pretty cozy right now. There are two twin beds with a huge window not far from the water with a great view of the horizon. When the swells get bigger, metal creaking of the ship sounds exactly as if there a dolphin laughing outside our window, and as far as we’re concerned, that’s exactly the source of the noise. Elise is sleeping on a travel crib that somehow manages to fit at the foot of my bed. We’ve put up a bunch of decorations… Elise’s alphabet magnets, since the walls are metallic in here, as well as these pictures of portholes that Monika’s dad took of an actual porthole that he purchased and gave to us prior to the voyage.
Seriously, he purchased a porthole at some point, then before we sailed, the printed out pictures of the sea, and of some trees at the Stanford foothills, placed them behind the porthole, took of picture of that setup, then laminated and gave it to us, in case we go an inside cabin with now view. But we do have a great view, and the portholes went up anyway.
We are starting to see a few more swells, and Monika has been pretty seasick a few times, which is miserable. We’re really hoping it goes away soon, and if it doesn’t, I’ll ask her to take a pregnancy test.
The main fun fact of the day is that Sandra-Day O’Connor has been sailing with us to Halifax, and she gave an hour-long talk today that really gave us a good sense of her colorful character. Judge Judy has nothing on her. If she’s this fast-talking, quick-witted, and sharp-tongued at 85, I can’t imagine what she was like when she was on the Supreme Court. In fact, Supreme Court justices tend to have as strong a personality as she does, I can only imagine what the table was like when they had to debate a case in front of them..
Alright, Monika is already asleep, so I’m off to bed. I should have gone to bed sooner… long days coming ahead of us…