We’re two days away from being back in the US, having spent a week just watching the uninterrupted sea go by. It’s been somewhat of a lazy morning – we had our formal Ambassador’s Ball last night (themed “A Med Summer’s Night Dream”. Get it?), complete with a late night dance on the Pool deck. It was sweaty enough to remind me of some frat parties in college, but that’s not important right now. Everyone had a blast, and I was surprised at how many people woke up for breakfast this morning.
The reason I know how many people got up is because we have a 2-year-old aboard. And while many people would love the extra hour (of sleep) we get every feel days from sailing west, as Dave wisely pointed out, for those of us with kids, the extra hour simply means that we have an extra hour watching them. Their biological clocks don’t seem to adjust as quickly as ours… resulting in the earlier and earlier bedtimes (3pm, anyone?), and, of course, earlier and earlier wake up calls (4am, anyone?). I mean, she’s up for good. And wondering when breakfast will be served (answer: three hours later). At least she’s usually in a great mood at that time (“Momma! I’m awakey-jakey!”) the sunrises are magnificent at sea, which makes the early calls quite nice. But really, we’d pay big bucks to install a snooze button on her. I know I would.
With the earlier and earlier bedtime, she fell asleep at 3pm yesterday, and by the time dinner came around, she was comatose. But we had to wake her up – we were seated with Dean John and Nancy, as well as Tom, Rebecca, and little Parker, and couldn’t miss the amazing meal that the crews prepare that night. So somehow we managed to awaken her, and once she got up, she was in a surprisingly slap-happy mood, which made for a great meal with lots of hugs for everyone.
(That reminds me… ever tried putting pajamas on a comatose baby? Elise fell asleep with her clothes on, so we had to get her ready for bed, and the scene was straight of our “Weekend at Bernies”. It would have been easier to dress a cat. We couldn’t stop cracking up… and definitely documented the entire ordeal).
Back to the meal, boy, do the crew members do a great job getting the ship ready that night. They’ve been working on it for over a week, and fancy up the hallways quite a bit. What an amazing. amazing crew.
I think, like last time, that’s one of the things we’ll miss the most. The crew is simply amazing, working so hard for us, always with a smile on their face, and with Elise, they turn it up another notch. They are so exceptional with her. Many of them have families back home, usually in the Philippines, and don’t see them months at a time, for years on end. So the children really pick them up quite a bit, and they treat them like family. Elise knows so many of them by name – Perry, Ismael, Archie, Darwin, Ingrid, Rey, Joel, Allan, Clyde, Lea, Malaya, Mandy, etc, etc… - and they go out of their way to make sure she’s at home on the ship. I can just picture that we’ll be sitting at dinner when we get back home, and she’ll be asking us, “Where’s Perry? Where’s Cletus? Where’s Vic”? Makes me sad just thinking about it.
And for me, one of my absolute favorite part has been sailing with Allan “Sparky” Pesado for yet another voyage. He’s my AV crew counterpart, and we get along so extremely well, that I pray he’ll be back on the ship next time I sail, sometime in the next five years. He’s been on the ship over 16 years now (I don’t remember the exact number), and always makes the experience so much fun.
Some of my favorite memories from Fall 05 involved singing Simon and Garfunkel songs with Allan, since we share “The Boxer” as one of our all-time favorite songs, and we did it again this year, several times, with me on the melody, and Allan on the harmony and guitar. And he’s one of Elise’s favorites – when he retires, I will make sure our family files to the Phillipines just to visit him in the future farm he will someday build.
So we have two more days at sea… today is a day of reflection, and tomorrow is convocation, and then we’re home. We can’t wait to see everybody soon.