We returned yesterday from a two-week vacation that began with Joe's 50th high school reunion in Pennsylvania. If you are the spouse at a 50th (or any other "th") reunion, it's kind of like being a third thumb...no one needs one. But...it was great watching him interact with all the people who had been such a big part of his "youth". He had a terrific time and everyone was very nice to me. I found a couple of other spouses to talk to and thanks to the annual convention of Volunteer Firefighters for the entire state of Pennsylvania, we had some additional entertainment (their first and second-place winners of the marching band competition played for us). A local trio played and sang a lot of the "oldies-and-goodies" we both danced to in high school. It brought back lots of memories. Of course, I remembered my classmates I danced with...Joe remembered his...but his were all there!
I found myself wishing more than once that I had lost the 30+ pounds that is my goal. It seems most of his male friends from high school had either passed away or decided not to attend. But...every girl he dated in high school was there...and none of them brought male companions. I took several pictures for him with all the former girlfriends, but none will be posted here. This vacation will be remembered as "The Vacation of Everything-that-can-go-wrong-will-go-wrong" with regard to Joe's camera.
First, while taking the aforementioned pictures, I got a message stating "Internal Memory Full". When Joe investigated, he found he had left the chip in his computer back in California! Since I knew I'd be taking pictures for him since I didn't need to be in any of them, I left my camera back at the hotel. So, we got just a few shots at the reunion.
The next day St. John didn't offer much better weather but by early afternoon I was feeling well enough to go ashore. We spotted a restaurant that boasted steamed clams and lobster and ordered a bucket of clams apiece. I can't describe how disappointed we were when the first clam offered enough sand to fill half a teaspoon! The others were the same so after a brief souvenir shopping for a Christmas ornament (that's all I ever buy on cruises...no need for trinkets...and this way we relive our travels as we trim the tree), we returned to the ship to find something "sand-less" to eat.
At Bar Harbor, Maine it was raining hard and I was coughing harder so I stayed on board and slept while Joe saw the sights and returned with an ornament to make me smile. (I have to add that later that night I felt better and went to the casino and won almost $900...that's a great "tonic".)
In Boston the weather still didn't cooperate so once again I slept and Joe went ashore. The next day the sun finally found us and I was almost feeling human so we went ashore in search of a restaurant recommended by a friend. It turned out to be over a mile from the dock and when we got there we were greeted by a "Closed" sign on the door. Turns out they only open for dinner after summer season. :-( We found another restaurant recommended for their clam chowder and this time it was as advertised. The day couldn't have been prettier and Joe got some great photos.
Not to make the cruise sound like our worst ever...I have to say that if you're going to feel sick on board, the Norwegian Dawn is one of the nicest places to do it. First, they have "Freestyle Dining" so you don't have to eat at a certain time with the same 4 to 6 other people at every evening meal. If we had been assigned dining room seating, I probably wouldn't have gone to the dining room at all with my cough, which persists still. (Doctor assured me yesterday that I am not and was not contagious after the first three days; cold triggered bronchial asthma which I've had twice this year.) So, we didn't meet a lot of new people this time, but the food at our table for two was delicious. In addition, the entertainment on board was so good there were times we had to miss the main showroom to see one of the acts in the lounges. We're booked on another NCL in the near future and I can't wait (I'm going to get well and get a flu shot before then).
The morning after Newport, we docked in New York and Michelle and Mike picked us up. We went to their house to spend the rest of the day watching football with all the Sheracks. It was great to see Mike's parents along with his brother, sister, and cousin. We wanted to get a picture with everyone there so Joe went to his bag to get his camera. This is where the saga gets sad: the camera wasn't in his luggage! We've sent e-mails, posted on the Cruise Director's facebook page, Joe made numerous phone calls, and I've been wearing out St. Anthony with pleas to find the camera.
I probably don't have to put it in writing, but here's my rule for travelers: ALWAYS go back one last time to check the room/stateroom before leaving!