Break-Away from Reality

I have promised myself that a blog entry would be completed before the Norwegian Breakaway Cruise comes to a close. Remember when we were children and our teachers would always assign journal entries to complete while on a luxurious, family vacation? In retrospect, I understand this was a healthy use of time. The transition back to reality is often unbearable so it is always helpful to hold onto just a morsel of the non-vacation world while utilizing our two tickets to paradise or something to that extent. I sadly did not succeed in writing the many postcards and reading the library books that I had brought along. The ridiculous ambition to complete an outline for a new book also did not come to fruition. But this blog entry is being completed while on vacation so this makes me partially Square with the House or something along those lines. I could be indulging in the water slides along with the euphoric children but have made the choice to create something. I also extend my apologies for those people whose birthdays have been neglected on Facebook. I always take birthdays very seriously but it has been impossible to give everything the attention they deserve considering how expensive Wi-Fi access is on the ship. It has been difficult and yet easy to forget about Facebook for a week.

This has been a very special vacation because we are celebrating my father, Lewis’ 70th Birthday! He arranged for me; my sister, Dena; my significant other, Alison; Dena’s fiancé, Cliff, and my mother to go on the Norwegian Breakaway Cruise. The Cruise left from New York City and goes all the way to Burmuda. It is hard to believe that a vessel could start from the dreary urban background of NYC and eventually dock in what is arguably one of the most pristine places in the entire world. My normal vacations over the past few years have always consisted of spending three full days at Wildwood Crest, NJ where I play Russian Roulette with the weather. It is always a fear that most or all of my time at the beach is going to be ruined by foul weather. My happiness cannot also complete with cigarette butts and garbage.

As this entry is completed, I am staring out the window at endless miles of a watery world that is as vast and empty as a desert. It is both incredible and lonely at the same time. My favorite expression about the ocean is that nobody is around to hear you scream. Obviously, this does not quality on a cruise ship filled with thousands of people. But at the same time, if families are possessed to bring a colicky baby on the trip, it is not a possibility to have the grandmother speed toward the cruise ship on a high-powered speedboat to babysit for a while. There are children all over the place who either ended private school in May or are living the dream of having been pulled out of school to go on this beautiful cruise. I enjoy seeing the thrill in their eyes.

There have been many highlights of the trip. Ever since having been taught by a woman named, Mrs. Joan Storm in the third grade, it has been a lingering fantasy to go scuba diving. A lot of people want to mingle with aquatic wildlife and explore shipwrecks. I was able to accomplish this desire after thirty years when Alison and I signed up for a beginner’s scuba diving lesson. We explored the reefs of the Bermuda shore and avoided touching the fragile world down below. The coral and fish was not as elaborate as in say…Finding Nemo, but it was still a veritable forest of living organisms. As they had warned me, the air from the tank was extremely dry and not the same as the oxygen that we normally breathe. It is difficult to describe in a blog entry, but an image that stands out in my mind is seeing coral that reminded me of a perfectly round, sponge-like stone. Scuba diving is one of those adventures everybody should try at least once or think of placing it on a Bucket List.

My family warned me about one thing that happens on a cruise. There is food all over the place! The dining hall is always open and one has the freedom to eat themselves into oblivion at the many restaurants that are at our disposal. This not the best environment for someone who has already has been struggling with a weight problem for a long time. Of course, I am talking about myself. One is placed with an impossible choice of turning down all the free cuisine that is as plentiful as the Chocolate Room from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory or overindulging all week long due to the natural feelings of entitlement that come from being on vacation. The damage will definitely reveal itself when I have access to a scale back in my apartment, and I’ll have to work on fixing this lingering problem.

There are so many advantages toward being on a cruise. For one thing, we are not plagued by the typical pests of summertime. The ocean starves off vermin such as mosquitoes, ticks, house centipedes, and spiders. Even if one were able to stowaway on board, it would not last very long with thousands of souls happy to destroy the thing as well as any offspring. The ocean blue has become our backyard, and staring at the wavy landscape never gets old after a full week. It is also a nice feeling to be able to stand in front of an open window is a disrobed state and the only things that will witness such a hideous sight are a few fish and single-celled organisms.

It is rare to take a vacation that is so incredible. But I have learned over the course of seven days that the easiest way to ruin such an excursion is to expect everything to go perfectly. In a world that is fair, people would deal with the realities of school, work, and drama the other 51 weeks of the year they are not in the throes of paradise. When that lone week finally arrives, anything unpleasant would completely back off! Misfortune would not be allowed to intrude on this precious week. Unfortunately, the second night of the cruise was marred by an illness I just tried to brush off. The night ended with me shivering uncontrollably in my cabin while raging against the forces of the universe that dealt such a hand. “Why now?!” The continued throughout the week but was not nearly as bad as that particular night. I would feel terrible in the morning, start to feel better in the day, and then the illness would spike once more at night…preventing me from keeping the party going or fully enjoying whatever activity was happening at the time. Part of me is grateful that it did not leave me confined to the cabin for more than one night and another part is angry that illnesses cannot happen during the workweek when there is plentiful sick time to throw at the problem as we recuperate while watching cartoons

The summer vacation will be over soon…or will it? This would normally be a vacation taken toward the end of summer as we make one last grasp at what reminds of the intense beauty where the grass always will be greener on the other side compared to the dead of winter. But in reality, summer has technically not even begun! It is still in its infancy, and there is still so much fun to experience before deciding to pack away the bathing suit in a drawer for numerous months. It is now the last day of the cruise and am very proud of myself for completing this entry before noon. I will leave it up to all of you to check for typos because it is prudent to go on to the next task to be crammed into the final day of Heaven on Earth.

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