Adriene and I have just returned from a cruise for 8 days sailing to St. Maarten, St Lucia, and St Kitts. We left the girls with Adriene’s parents and enjoyed actual, extended adult time together. We actually had conversations without being interrupted or repeating ourselves fifteen times. We ate meals without cajoling or begging or asking anyone to sit down. I didn’t watch Dora the Explorer for over a week. While on the boat we didn’t do much at all. We had a balcony so we sat on the balcony and read books. I knocked out the entire Chronicles of Narnia series. It was amazing. In St Maarten we participated in a regatta working the lines and the grinders in a mock race with another sailboat. These guys work hard and then hit the bars afterwards and drink hard. Adriene and I, on the other hand, worked a little bit and then slept all afternoon in our room afterwards because we were exhausted. The catamaran in St. Lucia was more our speed. There are many, many worse ways to spend a day that lying on a net and watching the sea speed below you as you circle a beautiful mountainous island. On St Kitts we just did a regular tour around the island in a van where we were the youngest people by about 30 years. That’s ok, though, the views were unbelievable. When we returned the girls were so thrilled to see us and we were so thrilled to see them that the neverending drive back from Savannah didn’t seem so bad at all.
Cruises are weird. From the moment you get on the ship, you have staff waiting on your hand and foot for everything, carrying your baggage, cleaning your room, fixing your meals, providing entertainment. It really doesn’t take long to get a distorted view of life and entitlement. Oh, and there were plenty of entitled people on that ship. Being around all the fat, loud, rude people reminded me of the time I lived in South Florida. By the end of the cruise I was feeling pretty fat myself (maybe loud and rude, too, I hope not.) Just like the last cruise we took six years ago, I vowed to exercise every day and try to stay healthy, but after nearly getting blown off the running track from the winds at sea the first day, I didn’t run again until the last day. That didn’t stop me from eating every thing in sight, though, with dessert every night and drinks a plenty. Maybe it’s a good thing I’m not absurdly wealthy. I’m not sure if I’d have the self-control to stay healthy, responsible, and humble. It’s easy to understand why so many Hollywood and sports stars go off the rails when they come into so much money so suddenly.
I’m glad Adriene and I had a week off. I had more time to reflect in that one week than I’ve probably had in the last two years combined. I thought a lot about my friends who are working so hard right now in life, whether at work or at home, just like me. Don’t let anyone fool you, the 30’s are a grind and your friends aren’t nearly as close as they used to be to support you. If your faith isn’t strong life can chew you up and run you into the ground. I hope many of my friends get an extended break in some way or another soon like we did last week sailing around the Caribbean Sea.
We do have photos from the cruise on my Flickr site if you are into that sort of thing. Such beautiful scenery that it’s almost impossible to take bad pictures.