Saturday, June 03, 2006

Destination: umbrella drinks.

I have never been particularly enamored of the idea of cruises, except in the mid-century notion of actual ocean travel, as in getting on a ship in order to go somewhere. Crossing the Atlantic, for instance. Sometimes, fidgety and sleepless in the middle of a trans-Atlantic flight, I have thought that taking however long it might take--a week? ten days?--to sail there would be infinitely more civilized than trying vainly to stretch my legs, fall asleep, etc., all the while worrying that I'm going to have a stroke from deep vein thrombosis or whatever.

But as it turns out, the historian and I, along with my parents and my sibs and their spouses, will be sailing from Los Angeles Harbor shortly, to celebrate my parents' 50th wedding anniversary. This week, we got our travel documents, which were like a study in a foreign culture. You can, for instance, reserve a tuxedo for formal dining nights, something we hadn't considered. I'm pretty sure that the historian was, up to this point, thinking that his wardrobe would consist of four tee shirts, a pair of red shorts, a back-up pair of red shorts, and a pair of jeans. Maybe a pair of khakis. Maybe. Now, he has to think about a suit, in lieu of a tuxedo, unless he decides to go for the cruised-up tuxedo option.

I myself have been planning my wardrobe for weeks, but that's nothing new. However, I am contemplating the meaning of the term "resort wear," which my travel documents have assured me I'd be comfortable wearing while aboard ship. This reminds me that all the fashion magazines I have read in my life have a resort wear issue, usually in January, when a certain class of people apparently take trips to warm locations. I may have been to resorts in my life, but I don't think I have any resort wear. This is just another invitation for anxious over-packing on my part. As if I weren't going to overpack anyway.

Anyway, I find myself looking forward to this little adventure immensely. First of all, we will sleep for four nights on a ship! This sounds exciting and sexy to me. Second of all, there will be exotic ports of call, such as San Diego (okay, maybe not so exotic), but also Avalon (on Catalina, where I've never been despite many years in SoCal) and Ensenada. Third of all, I will get to spend time with my sisters and brothers and spouses, which I consider a lot of fun. Fourth of all, I plan to bring a pile of books to read. Fifth of all, I have reportorial urges to fulfill. What will the food be like? Will it be just like the Love Boat? Will we ever be out of shore-viewing distance? Finally, I live in hope that there may be karaoke somewhere on board. Mightn't there be? I will report my findings after the voyage.


  1. The Love Boat! Exciting and new! Come aboard, we're expecting you!

  2. This sounds fantastic. I've been vehemently against cruises my entire life but lately its been starting to seem more and more ideal. Forced idleness, or something like that. Marvelous! And Catalina is great...

  3. I hope it's like the Love Boat. This is how I imagine it: you run into an old high school flame, who gets a little too friendly. The historian misunderstands and you get into a seemingly irreconcilable spat. When everything seems lost, a member of the friendly crew intervenes to set things right. You and the historian disembark all smiles, only letting go of each other to embrace the friendly crew who saved your marriage.

  4. Yes. It must be like the Love Boat. Followed quickly by Fantasy Island (Catalina?). If either you or The Historian were heavy drinkers, I'd warn you off standing too close to the railing late at night (see recent cases of "Drunk man overboard!"), but since you're not, have fun! And drink many umbrella drinks from the safety of your deck chair. And say hi to Isaac for me. I always had a crush on him (he's a bartender!).
    I find it odd that Sleepy E is into cruises, as lately MB seems to think it's a good idea. It does seem attractive, but certain aspects still scare me, but I won't mention those.
    Also, read "A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again" by David Foster Wallace. Hilarious!

  5. And love, won't hurt any more! It's an open smile, on a friendly shore!



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