Monday, May 28, 2012

Va-cayman-tion 2012: The Cruisening: Day 3 - Ft Lauderdale to Key West

Day 3 - from Ft Lauderdale to Key West

You are the small fragments of stone and sand and shell
and the water can't decide if I should have you,
as it pulls you from under my feet and like a child
brings you back

The morning began with a very Nana breakfast. I love being fussed over and I think she enjoys fussing over her family a little. I think every mother does. There's something in their nature to care for people. Though I found it strange how she rushed us out the door and slammed it behind us. I think she was glad to see us leave.

As we packed the car, we could hear what sounded like Nana chanting in the distance and--was that burning sage I smelled? Whatever.

We set out for the car rental return and I was lamenting having pre-paid for a tank of gas to realize we had only used about a third. It's hard to gauge how far one will drive in Florida. It would be easier if there were any fucking mountains in this godforsaken shithole. I mean, gosh! who knows how--oh fuck it. Get some landmarks! I read somewhere the highest point in Florida is the Everest Ride in Orlando (right after I wrote it).

Getting on to the cruise ship is a line-a-palooza. You stand in line to check your bags, then you stand in line for security to approve your worthiness, then you stand in a line to go through the actual checkpoint machine, then you stand in a line to get your room assignment, then you stand in a line to get on the ship, then you stand in a line to get food because by now it has been eight hours and people are dropping dead all around you from starvation. Kidding. Half the people on cruises are from the mid west. We just eat them for sustenance. You'd be surprised how far a woman in her 30's will go. I'd wager we fed twelve people before we had to start eating her offspring.

Finally on the boat, our luggage was going to be delivered to our rooms, right after they went through it and tried on all our underwear. Many of the waitstaff are Asian, so I imagine they try to see how many of them can fit in just one pair. I'm sure three maids and one steward can fit in a pair of BVD's from Alabama.

So we eat the food and drink the drinks and finally the ship embarks from its… holding place, and we go up to the top and take a bunch of pictures. It is actually really beautiful.

My biggest concern with being on the boat was getting motion sick. So, naturally, I decide to go to the gym, while Gregory and his mom went to light the shopping scene. It is a very strange experience to run on a treadmill while on a ship. I feel like I'm giving one of the hamsters in the engine room a break. It seemed like there were a lot of people there, and I'm not sure if that's just a first day thing, or what. We'll see how many returning faces I see throughout the week. And I didn't barf! Yay me!

We were late for dinner which we thought would start anytime after 8:15, but apparently it starts right at 8:15. We tried to get to know our table mates, but I'll have to talk more about them later, as I can't exactly recall their names, what they do, or where they are from. I sat next to a nice girl. That's about all I know.

After dinner there was an Opening Night Welcome Spectacular, which featured hot chick dancers with prominent cleavage and some guys that were so-so dancers (it was the floor show equivalent to straight-porn), and a couple singers, and a couple of comedians, all accompanied by a really great big band (also a lot like porn).

After that we decided to head over to the comedy club, to see one of the comedians full acts. It got really awkward when he asked, "Who here supports same sex marriage?" And the three of us were the only people in our section that clapped and hollered. Everyone else was silent. Same with the "Who here thinks gays should be able to serve in the military?" Though they laughed at all the punchlines, though, like "think of how fabulous the parades will be."

Seriously? That joke isn't even that funny. I could give a fuck about designing a float.

It occurred to me that a number of people in that section probably agreed with that preacher that gay people should be corralled into concentration camps. I don't have a stick up my ass about making fun of people, or being racist for comedy's sake, or whatever. Go 1st amendment, for real. Say all the shit you want to say, good, bad, ugly, hurtful, shameful, degrading, funny, sexy, supportive, endearing. It's just when you are in a room full of hostile people who don't think you deserve any rights as a human being, and you can FEEL it, there is something wrong with that situation.

So we jumped over two sections and exited with other people who were applauding their support, or indifference--because really, who gives a fuck? Honestly, if you care that much, you… need a hobby… or else, is there something you'd like to tell us?

By this point, I was exhausted and it was time for bed. So we went gambling at the casino. Gregory had received a free $5 coupon for the roulette table, so he got some chips, and it was fun.

I kind of wanted to get drunk after the whole comedy club thing, but, Ugh! Calories! Besides, I'd rather spend those delicious little dollars on real key-lime pie tomorrow.

Just before bed, I stood out on the balcony and just listened to the ship cutting through the waves, and churning the wake. It was so warm and humid, a light breeze and no jacket needed at 1AM. Just the sea and the stars. I'm starting to get the draw, Jack Sparrow.

Internet service for the remainder of the trip will be intermittent. There will be daily updates written, but they will possibly be posted in groups. Internet service is available, but expensive and roaming charges are somewhere around $495/MB or something like that.

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