You know how when you get back from a vacation all you want to do is tell people about it, but don’t know where to start because there’s so much to tell?
That’s kind of how I feel right now. Julie and I got back Friday from a five-day cruise to the Bahamas, my first-ever cruise. It was pretty awesome, even if our cruise director was a Canadian named Drew, and not a perky blonde named Julie the Cruise Director (wasn’t that her actual name?)
I know it can be boring hearing about someone else’s fun time, but hey, it’s my blog. Besides, I’ll try to keep this from running on too long. Plus, I’ve got a Final Four to prepare for, starring my Duke Blue Devils.
Anyhow, herewith, a few things I learned this week, as Royal Caribbean took us on a journey:
**Never snorkeled before Wednesday. Now it’s one of those things, like eating crab cakes and using Cetaphil lotion, that I wished I’d be doing my whole life. I’ve never been a big nature guy, only watched the Discovery Channel when my best friend Clay would force me to in college, and rarely swim in the ocean.
But oh my God, snorkeling was about the coolest thing I’d ever done. If you have done it lots of times before, think back to the first time you actually swam a few feet away from a starfish, or some other colorful one. It was fantastic, especially once I learned to stop instinctively trying to breathe through my nose.
On one of our snorkeling quests we took out these little Sea Scooter things that you hang on to and it pulls you around the water. Very cool.
**Parasailing = skydiving for wimps. Have done both now, and parasailing was way less scary. But extremely fun.
**To paraphrase Marcellus Wallace in Pulp Fiction, Julie and I are pretty freaking far from being big drinkers. We maybe go through 2 bottles of wine a year, and we imbibe only on holidays, pretty much.
But on these cruises, you cannot get away from the alcohol. The staff practically stalks you to order drinks, whether you’re in a bar, in the pool area, or just hanging out. Avoiding alcohol on a ship is like being in a garden and trying to avoid flowers. You just can’t do it.
We ran up a bar bill that astounded us, although it was worth it, since Julie did get to keep the cool glass every time she ordered the Drink of the Day. So it all comes out even.
**Definite No.1 highlight for me was getting to be Couple No.2 on the ship’s game show version of “The Newlywed Game.” Sadly, we didn’t get to use the blue cards Bob Eubanks and Co. used, but we were up on stage in front of, oh, 400-500 people in the main theater. We answered embarrassing questions, argued a little bit, and came in second place behind the actual honeymooning couple. For the next 2 days, we were like mini-celebs on the cruise, as people kept coming up to us and saying “Weren’t you the couple from the show? And you’re still together?”
I loved the attention because I’m a ham (even though I’m Jewish, which would seem ironic).
**My wife’s favorite odd person sighting of the trip: A heavyset white guy walking around shirtless with tattoos on each nipple.
The left one said “Sweet.” The right one said “Sour.”
You can’t make that kind of thing up. I’m not sure how he thought that might make him more attractive to girls.
**Learned a fun new acronym on the game show from a friendly guy named Terrence. Maybe it’s a black thing, but I’d never heard of the term he used for his wife’s derriere. He said she’s an A.F.D. I won’t spell out what it is; this is a family blog. But it brought the house down.
OK, enough trip rambling for now. Happy to be home. Perhaps more trip rambling tomorrow; I still haven’t told you about the kid who was a dead ringer for an “Addams Family” member who kept following us around.
**So Duke’s in the Final Four today, playing West Virginia. Not sure how other Duke fans feel, but for me, with this team, everything is gravy now. Just making the Final Four is the real accomplishment. If the Devils are to win today, they’ve got to shoot well, Kyle Singler’s wrist has to be OK, and Duke must rebound as well as they did against Baylor.
The experts all seem to be split on this game, so I’m figuring it comes down to two or three points. And K absolutely can outcoach Bob Huggins, so I think Duke pulls it out.
And hey, congrats to the UNC Tar Heels, for being the NIT runner-up, and clinching their spot as the 67th best team in America. Go Heels!