Monday, October 02, 2006

I'm back, but WTF Blogger??!

So, I'm back, we're back, we had a nice vacation on the cruise. More about that in a bit.

First of all, what the hell is wrong with Blogger these days?? I tried to upload some art before I left; no worky. I just sent a phonecam message to my proper blog address, a pic of our ship which should be up here; nothing. The site seems to barely function and I'm wondering if this post will even show up. So I'm going to test it right now.

Aaaaaaaaand... it's still barely functioning. Ah well. This is really annoying, but what do I want for free?

Vacation week. Yes. It's good to not work for a week. The cruise was fun, but not perfect. There were many great moments and pleasant experiences, but we learned there are downsides to being on a ship for several days, the worst of which is probably that there are about 3000 other people (including the crew) who come from many different locations... and bring all sorts of exotic germs with them. Your immune system takes a massive hit from this sort of thing, and it put The Girlfriend down for the count for a full day, while I also felt not 100% but wasn't flat on my back from it.

What I was flat on my back from was the hangover, or rather the wake-up-still-drunk-over, which resulted from me consuming 10 1.5 oz snifters of Courvoisier VS cognac. Yes, that's right, I said 10 (ten). Amazingly, that didn't kill me! I was also able to stave off the worst of the hangover with a bloody mary and a couple of strategically-nursed beers. I guess it's good to know I can still take a night of drinking, but that's a dubious distinction at best. And that's one of the other downsides, too: the booze ain't cheap, plus they give you an onboard "credit card" (which doubles as your room key and ID) to which everything you buy onboard ship is charged... which is nicknamed the "Drink and Sink Card." It wasn't as bad for me as I might be implying, but I can see how someone could get into massive trouble with that arrangement, especially since the card also serves as your money interface with the casino slot machines and cashier! *Shudder* yeah, that one we stayed faaar away from, yikes.

We went snorkeling in Catalina, and that was really cool. They even had a set of prescription goggles so TGF could see underwater, excellent. Many thanks to The Parents for loaning us the rest of our snorkeling gear, it was most helpful! We sang some karaoke, I in my rented formal-night tuxedo, and that was fun. TGF spent an afternoon at the spa where they massaged and pampered her and sold her lots of skin-care products. We dressed up nice and got photographed a lot, and we bought a lot of the photographs, several of which actually managed to make me look decent, as opposed to my usual appalling non-photogenicity (is that a word?).

Other than that we mostly ate and also spent time around the pool. The food was really rather good. And I do mean good, like top-notch good for the most part. 4-star minimum. Except for the cheesecake, which was disappointing, but then again after our neighbor David's hand-made cheesecake, any other cheesecake would be disappointing.

The best part of the whole experience, I think, was that the crew and staff of the ship take absolutely extraordinary care of all the passengers. I mean, they really seem to go out of their way to make your stay as comfortable and enjoyable as possible, especially the cabin stewards who take care of your rooms. I know that tips are a big part of their income, but the service wasn't the sort of ingratiating, money-grubbing fake act that you find in so many places. They really seem to enjoy their jobs and enjoy treating people well and to want to be the best they can be at what they do. And it did rightly earn them some fat tips from me, and I hope everyone else on board. I hear that competition for cruise line jobs is stiff, so it must offer a lot of satisfaction. I guess when they're off duty, they get full run of the ship and passes for shore activities too. Not too shabby.

So that's the cruise. It was good, we would do it again, but not for a while yet. Next time we have a week off we'll probably just go up somewhere between Santa Barbara and Monterey and lay on the beach for the whole time. Yeah. That will work.

I'm not going to talk about football today, because the AFC North games this week made my head hurt. At least the Bengals got crushed, but this is gonna be a weird year for Pittsburgh.

OK lots of work to do so I'm off. I haven't drawn anything in nine days, so I actually want to do some work for a change! :)


Blogger RichK said...

Sounds like a great trip. 15 ounces of Cognac?!? What an iron liver.

How was the weather?

7:31 AM  
Blogger Jeff Z said...

The weather was nice, sunny the whole time with just a few clouds. We did get some time on the sun deck, which was nice.

Yeah, 15 oz. of cognac. Let's be fair, that was spread out over about 6 hours, but still that's a lot o' booze. I don't normally drink any more than about two drinks these days... but I used to be able to drink like a fish back in the Rocker Days (it's the Scottish genes from my mom's side of the family I guess). It was a handy skill back then! :)

9:43 AM  

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