I've lived for 65 years and never once felt the need to get in a boat, whether it be a rowboat or a huge ship. I have given in to peer pressure and gone out on ski boats with friends occasionally and actually got out on skis once. Awful experience...absolutely awful. Debbie has been pushing a cruise on me for years now and I've always been able to avoid it. After I retired though, Deb got busy and planned an Alaskan cruise for us and it finally came to fruition last week. I did not want to go and planned to make life miserable for any poor soul I encountered along the way. Everyone kept saying, "Oh, you'll love it...you'll be hooked...you'll want to go on more...". I was not convinced. Finally, Debbie called on help from my cousin Mike and his wife Nancy. They are seasoned travelers and agreed to make the trip with us. It was nice to know I would die among loved ones.
We left DFW Airport early one morning and flew in to Seattle, Washington. I had always wanted to see Seattle so I agreed to go that far. We had a wonderful day there touring the city, sampling great food and drink. We visited the Pike Marketplace and went by the original Starbucks. I say "went by" because our plan to go inside for a cup was thwarted by a line reaching halfway down the block. Our hotel was beautiful and made even better because it was a gift from our son Cody. The boy has good taste in hotels. I kind of enjoyed cruising so far....
The next morning we loaded up and headed for the pier. As we drove up I saw this mammoth ship rising from the water up to...well, I don't know where...it was absolutely huge. My first comment to Debbie was, "I'm not getting on that thing!" She laughed...I was serious. Things began happening so fast though that before I knew it I was committed. The cab pulled up, everyone piled out, bags were grabbed, taxi driver was paid, and the groundswell of people joyfully lining up to meet their doom encompassed us and away we went. By the time I found my senses I was in a long line waiting to get to another long line that led to security checks, that led to another long line that led to the ship. It was mind-numbing which I figured was necessary to get most first-timers on the ship. After a grueling hour and a half we made it to our room. I was impressed. I expected steel walls and bunk beds and maybe a little porthole to watch the ocean rise and consume us. What I found was a beautifully decorated place with king size bed, carpet, nice amenities, and a very nice balcony from which to fall into the ocean and drown.
I was still feeling uneasy about the situation until Mike and Nancy talked me into exploring the ship. I thought it would be best to sit in our rooms safely belted into our seats while the ship was actually moving but Debbie coaxed me out for the walk. I was amazed. We were in a floating city. An hour into the cruise I had forgotten I was actually in a ship. By the end of the day I was on the top deck checking out every view I could see. I wanted to soak up every minute of the experience of sailing. The wind blowing across the deck, the clouds moving about as the waves slowly moved below was more than I ever imagined. The feeling of being alone on an ocean stretching out as far as I could see in any direction left me humbled and so thankful for the opportunity to appreciate a yet unseen part of God's creation. We were one day into the cruise and I wanted it to never end.
Tomorrow's post will give more details. For now, we're home. It's hot and humid. We're asking ourselves why we continue to live in Texas. I would get back on that ship today if I could.