Archive for February, 2009

Grand Cayman

OK, here’s the body count:

Me? Still obnoxiously happy, HOWEVER it is tempered slightly by the fact that…

Madi? Has bronchitis.

Like, officially. We went to the ship’s doctor and everything. She has a cough that sounds like she has been smoking non-filtered Camels for about 20 years, a fever of 100.8, chills and a headache. She sat in the clinic, (located in the bowels of the ship and manned by the same doctor that was on the ship when Anthony died– he is an amazing man, and now the Inspiration Cruise people request him specifically for every cruise they do) and every time she did one of those gut-wrenching, ship-rattling coughs she ended it by saying quickly, “I’m OK!”– this is not a kid that wants to miss anything. But alas, she had to sit Grand Cayman out. The doctor prescribed antibiotics and cough medicine, and she slept from 11:00 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. yesterday, bless her sweet phlegm-y heart. She is better today, but guess who has a scratchy throat AND a cough now? Charlotte. (And Russ, but he is still in denial.) Thanks to God and Zumba, apparently my immune system is still holding strong, though I realize I may eat those words later. For now though, I am managing to casually slip the fact that this is now the THIRD round of sickness I have NOT succumbed to into every conversation. My happiness is now not the only obnoxious thing about me…

So anyway, I found out the week before we left that our dear Nashville friends Carlana and Aubrey who happen to have a condo in Grand Cayman were actually going to be there when we were- what are the odds of that? When the ship docked, Russ, Charlotte, Sue Buchanan, Bill, Gloria and I  grabbed a cab and headed for their condo. It was so much fun to be back– twelve years ago, on our 20th anniversary, Carlana and Aubrey generously offered us their place and we took 3 month old Charlotte and 4 year old Madi there for a week. We have a darling photo we took on that trip of Madi gingerly balancing baby Char in her lap on the beach. We used it as our Christmas card picture that year. I was hoping to recreate that picture, however A) Madi was still on the ship sleeping away and B) She had already informed me that there was no way in the world she was going to hold Char in her lap, so it was kind of a moot point. I did get these pictures, though:

**Here they are sitting around the condo pool, drinking iced tea and telling stories.

**Russ is always so very happy to have his picture taken. (Good thing we can’t read his thought bubble.)

**While they solved the world’s problems, Char and I headed off to walk the beach and play in the tide pools.

**My budding marine biologist.

**Lots of neat things to look at and dig around in.

**Eating lunch at The Lobster Pot restaurant.

Still working on getting a picture of Russ and I together– not that easy since, you know, he LOVES having his photo taken and all. But here are a few solo shots of the happy Taffs:

More later– I have a bunch of pictures of the Big Honkin’ Midnight Dessert Buffet!

More pictures!

Because seriously, what’s more fun than looking at photos of somebody else’s vacation?

I can’t help it. When I’m obnoxiously happy, I just want to share the joy. (Sadly for Russ, when I’m obnoxiously NOT happy, I tend to want to share that, too. You know, just to verbalize it. Luckily for Russ, I’m not unhappy all that often.)

So. Ever wonder what your cruise ship cabin’s deck might look like? Well, now you know.

Russ and I have a date to eat a nice private lunch together at that very table today. I have to make dates with him on cruises because boy howdy, Bill keeps those artists hopping. (But do you hear me complaining? NO YOU DO NOT!!) If you come on one of these cruises to get your fill gospel music, by the time you leave you may be kinda… done for a while. Two words: money’s worth.

Since Madi would rather have her corneas pecked out by small birds than actually sleep in a bed with her sister, she opts to sleep OUTSIDE on this deck in a lounge chair. I know. But she’s been doing it for years and absolutely loves it. The first couple of cruises I got up about every hour and checked on her, because hello– I saw Titanic! But she is perfectly safe, and these days I just kinda open one eye and wave goodnight when she gathers her downy white (freshly laundered–lordy, I love cruises) comforter and three downy white freshly laundered pillows and heads out the sliding glass door. Although last night, she tiptoed back inside about 3:00 a.m. because it started raining! Still didn’t slip into the sofa bed with Char though– made a pallet on the floor. Here’s a shot of her sound asleep our first (mid) morning at sea:

This is a lovely bowl of floating blossoms placed in our cabin upon arrival. I notice these kind of details. This is one of the reasons I am obnoxiously happy. My real life does not include near enough bowls of floating blossoms thoughtfully provided by smiling Indonesian guys.

Charlotte apparently enjoys them as much as I do.

Why, look what we have here! ANOTHER ridiculously gorgeous beach!

And another weird water shot– this was taken standing on the pier and looking straight down, that’s how clear the water is.

I’ll leave you with a shot of my beautiful Madi… (There’s something kind of heartbreaking about a 16 year old, isn’t there? Or is that just me, the mom, speaking?!)

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