Tuesday, 22 January 2013

A Few Final Tidbits from Our Last Sea Day

This incredible experience is winding down. There is some sadness in that it all seemed to go by so very quickly, but positively outweighed by the tremendous excitement and giddiness felt at all the new things we have witnessed. Today is our last sea day. Tomorrow we pull into Tauranga and finally debark in Auckland on Friday. I am so not looking forward to the marathon flights back to North America, but I do take comfort in the fact that I will be returning to the Southern Home and not to those horrible subzero temps that I keep reading about emanating from The Great White North. Stay warm, my friends. I feel your pain. (Really!!)

I thought that I might do a bit of housekeeping on this final lazy day and just share a few of the stray thoughts and stories from our trip.

I have a cold. A miserable, sinus congesting, cough-inducing, eye-watering rhino virus. The good news is that it is occurring now and will be clearing up in time to fly. The bad news is that I have a miserable, sinus congesting, cough-inducing, eye-watering rhino virus. It seems so unfair. I have been extraordinarily vigilant about hand washing and Purell, (Even more that my usual almost obsessive/compulsive behaviour!) and I still caught the f***ing thing. Here's the spooky/crazy part of it all. I had a cold on the day of President Obama's first inauguration too. (Remember Sephora Maven?) I am wondering what this might portend for the President's second term. I will accept your thoughts on the matter.

There is a lovely little string quartet on board that often plays in the lobby at cocktail time. They are a far sight better than most of the wannabe musicians here. We have sat and listened several times. They did an hour long concert one evening featuring the music of Beethoven, which we unfortunately missed because we forgot the time and were instead at the other end of the ship listening instead to a poor unfortunate British lass butcher The Girl From Ipanema for the umpteenth time. But, I digress. While sitting and enjoying the quartet one evening, I happened to remark to The Husband that they got me to thinking about the band on the Titanic that supposedly played Nearer My God To Thee as the ship plummeted to the bottom of the Atlantic. Just as the words came out of my mouth, the foursome started playing the theme from the James Cameron movie. I half expected to see Leo and Kate round the Promenade deck. It was weird.

Speaking of The Husband. He seems to have developed a schoolboy crush on the very very young (25 years old tops!!) Ukrainian girl that refills the fruit in our cabin. Svetlana is tall, willowy, very blond and very accommodating. Every evening she knocks on the door, brings in fresh fruit and hand-dipped strawberries, and says in the most sunny of voices, (you must imagine this being spoken in a Ukrainian accent or it just doesn't have the same cache.)

"Hello Mr. _____(Insert his first name here!) How are your fruits today?"

Of course The Husband has turned these benign episodes into a sexual fantasy that has spun ridiculously out of proportion. Now if she had enquired as to the health of his fruits and nuts, I might have something to concern myself about. In all seriousness, she is a terrific girl who I think will be the recipient of a very large tip come Friday.

A nice non-bashing Husband story. Many of you who have know us since childhood will recall what an amazing photographer he was in his youth. He started taking pictures as a kid and before long, he had a darkroom setup in his parents' basement and was winning awards in school for his photos. We still have some of his phenomenal concert pics from the 70s of Queen, Rush, and Harry Chapin shows he attended. (I would have to dig through boxes to find them, but they are definitely there!) And then.....he just stopped. I never really understood why. Maybe he found other creative outlets or maybe it wasn't a challenge any longer considering that any bozo (that would be me!) with a cellphone can snap a picture today. Or maybe it was because Sister/Cousin married a pro into the family. Whatever the reason, there just wasn't any artistry in it for him anymore.

I was the one snapping photos at birthday parties, school assemblies, and family functions. Until last year. I wanted to buy him a new DLR camera for his birthday. As I began to do the research, I knew that I was out of my league. I told him of my plan and he sat down with The Photographer to get some updates on the new world of photographic equipment. He bought his new camera and lens, and has been like a kid with a new toy ever since. You have seen just a small sampling of his amazing eye and artistic vision with some of the shots I have posted. (If you can't tell the difference between his pics and mine, then I pity you. That's like saying you cannot tell the difference between Barbra and the hacks on American Idol.) I have been pushing him to post a shot of the day on Facebook during this trip. If you are fortunate enough to be his friend there, you may have seen a few more. Everybody knows him as a computer geek or a distillery geek or even a temple geek. I have always loved the artist in him. It gives him a creative soul. I'm glad that he is re-embracing it.

A quick update. The winner of the New Zealand trivia contest was Brother/Cousin with the first correct answer of takahe. His email was time stamped a few minutes earlier than Twin Son's Better Half. There were a few others that were correct, but his was indeed first and thus wins the tacky NZ souvenir that I will bring home just for him. Did any of you not Google the answer? Cool bird though, eh?


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