I must say the best way to turn 30 is overseas…..or on top of the sea for that matter.  My birthday cruise (Charleston – Freeport – Nassau) was 5 days of awesomeness.

This was the 1st cruise for both of us, so it was quite a learning experience.  We spend a ridiculous amount of money on zee boat, but it was all worth it.  Alcohol is expensive even when there is no tax in international waters.  The biggest take away from cruising?  It will be the best sleep you have ever had.  Our stateroom was in the stern of the boat; between the hum of diesel power and the boat rocking, I had the most intense dreams of my life and my REM cycles were basically comas.  It was amazing.

Our adventures included (but were certainly not limited to):

  • Running a 5k at sea on their running track
  • Driving a stick shift jeep around Freeport and the country roads with a couple from our dinner table
  • Dressing up in formal wear for an evening of elegance (and yes, I wore a dress I bought at the age of 15 — spandex gowns always fit)
  • Hitting up Taino Beach and experiencing the crystal clear blue waters of the Bahamas
  • Eating the finest food I’ve had in my life
  • Gaining 6 pounds from said food
  • Best mixed Long Island/Bahama Mama ever
  • Getting marooned in Nassau due to engine trouble for 4 hours
  • Reading a Clive Cussler book on deck
  • Going down a waterslide on the ship
  • Saw a reef and snorkeled for the 1st time (even though I dropped 2 snorkels in the reef 15ft below so I eventually just gave up and just put my masked face in the water to take in the beauty of the fish and coral)
  • Had my 1st ever catamaran ride
  • Thoroughly enjoyed my marriage (as my pastor would say)
  • Ate my birthday lunch at Senior Frogs.  I know, there’s on in MB, but here was way awesome.  I would go back, the veggie fajitas were perfect
  • Finding out one of the ladies from my bible study was also on the cruise and we ran into them in the cafeteria
  • Saw a live show on stage — I had “notes” for whoever the TD was due to their lighting choices (the entire grid was freakin’ technobeams. Seriously?!?! Rail was intel with ETC parcans with odd gel holders) — but actor/singing wise it was well done – women dancing in thongs and fishnets for a scene can be tasteful if done right, believe it or not
  • Learned how to play roulette – and lose.  Did the same with the 2 cent slot machines – I was up by $5 – but I kept going and lost it all.  The game of craps was explained to me but it was way over my head, so I didn’t play that.  I lost about $30.  How fitting, eh?

Dinner was fun – not only was it a 3 course gourmet meal – but you had to dress nicely, which meant no flip flops.  So to dinner every night I wore my 5″ Guess peek toe patten leather pumps.  Oh yeah, finally had a reason to wear them.  Our dinner companions were all from South Carolina and it was quite the motley crew.  Even though I was a sophisticated 30 year old for half of the cruise, I was the youngest there by 10 years.  2 of the couples were on their honeymoon: a super-Christian couple (they were so cute) and a couple from MB that went with us on the jeep adventure.  They were so easy going and we laughed a lot.  One couple was hit or miss – they only showed up a handful of times.  The oldest couple there were obviously wealthy and cultured — and very interesting.  When everyone was exchanging “how we got engaged” stories, they were mum.  “We’re getting divorced,” the man said.  How odd, I thought, to get divorced and cruise with your soon to be ex-wife.  I brought this up to The General and he laughed.  What they meant was they were divorcing other people to be together.  And this was their celebration.  Oh.  Wow.  How I missed that context clue, I don’t know.  Nonetheless, we all gelled and had excellent dinner conversation.

And the service?  OMG.  I’ve never had such wonderful examples of customer service than on that boat.  Wow.  They even turned down our bed at night.  It would just magically happen!  We’d come back, and tada! complete with pillow chocolates.  I suspected gnomes.  We have gnomes in our house, but instead they leave crumbs on the counter, sand on the floor, and stuff all over the place.

To quote The General on my voicemail during his 1st day back at work, “I want to get back on the boat.”  Indeed.  We’d totally do it again, now that we know what to expect….and spend.  I’m already planning a Mediterranean cruise for my 50th.

2 things really hit home on the cruise.

Kure Beach is still my favorite.  Sure the waters were clear in the Bahamas and the reef made me want to be SCUBA certified, but there were no waves.  It was like a giant blue lake, even thought it was an ocean.  I ❤ my KB.  That didn’t change.

The General has joked (half joking, I believe),  that he would buy me boobs for my 30th birthday if I wanted them.  I’m a 36B, but the “B” stands for barely.  Since I’ve started packing on the pounds with the cruise and then my parents had to go and spoil me rotten with Harry and David goodies (cookies and truffles) — so needless to say, I got some boobs.  Unfortunately I got the free hips and thighs too.  And I lost my receipt.  The pavement and I are going to go on a lot of dates in the next few weeks. <sigh>  I really do want to tone everything.  And no, I’m not getting a boob job.

The most awesome gift came from my mom and husband – Rosetta Stone for German.  The General and I are planning a Berlin adventure for next summer and my German consists of what I remember from my freshman year of high school and bits of Rammstein lyrics — I really do want to learn the language of my ancestors.  So far, it’s been quite a challenging study plan.  My next goal is to start reading books in German — but I don’t have a firm enough grasp of the language for novels just yet.  I asked The General to get me the book “Twilight” in German for Christmas – it’s easy language and I know the story.  It’s hilarious: in German that title is “Biss Zum Morgengrauen,” which literally translates to “bite of the daybreak.” I guess that would be twilight, huh?  It’s going to be an amazing ride and I hope I can speak it well enough to say, “Ja, Ich sprache Deutsch” – yes, I speak German.

And so there it is: dreissig (which is 30 in German).  This decade is gonna rock.


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