Pre-Thanksgiving Celebration, The Finale

Sorry about that – my hands cramped up from writing so much.  I just realized I’ve written nearly the same number of words here in these last two posts as I have on my novel.

But I digress again.  Where was I?

Oh, yeah – I’d asked the security guard where he I could toss the empty beer bottles I’d slammed, expecting to be rebuffed with a “somewhere else”.

Instead he said “sure – around the corner (of the building he was standing against)”.  Not one to miss an opportunity I promptly headed in with both empty bottles, took a left at the building, tossed them and decided it was time to put on the “I belong here” act and not leave.

Everybody inside was as accommodating as outside – I got no “no thanks” while in the confines of the party.  It was awesome.And so I did – wandering around the VIP party, taking pictures of pretty much everybody there.  I got some really good shots (the one on the left at the top of this post is one of my favorite; the woman on the lower right was funny, absolutely gorgeous and had one of the best smiles I’d seen all day).  With the cruise ship in the background, floating serenely on the open blue ocean it wasn’t hard to find some great shots.

By the time it was time to leave I had a smile on my face that was going to be hard to remove. It was probably a mile wide I had had so much fun, and I captured many millions of megapixels worth of memories to remind me of it when I was locked inside my house on a cold, gray winter’s day.

And then it all became hazy.

Not entirely – I remember my wife coming to find me, concerned my socialness would have resulted in me staying on the island while the other 5,000 passengers cruised back to Miami (I might have been OK with that – Coco Cay was that beautiful).  I remember standing in a long line for the last tender of the evening – and by “long line” I mean a really long line of people who had drank a lot and weren’t really ready to leave.  I remember accusing a guy of being a Pirates fan (I know – pot calling the kettle black since I’m a Royals fan).  I remember making a temporary excursion into the woods to return some of what Mother Nature provided for the Bud Light back to her.  And I remember getting on the tender and enjoying a leisurely, slightly rocky ride back to the Majesty.

I even remember getting to the cruise ship and watching the boat go up and down like it was attached to the Steel Dragon.

But the last thing I remember as we were standing in line waiting to disembark (we were on the bottom half of the boat) was excusing myself to go to the side of the boat in case I had to throw up…and then it was 6:30 in the morning and I felt (mostly) great with no hangover.

The time in between was spent sleeping hard – I fell asleep when we were in the bay of Coco Cay and woke up when we’d ported in Miami.

All that was left to do on Monday was get up, pack (we were supposed to do that Sunday night…didn’t happen), eat breakfast and then start the journey home, leaving with just the stuff we brought, the stuff Bud Light gave us (hats, shirts, bags – some good stuff!), the items we purchased and a whole head and camera full of memories of the spectacular time we had that past weekend.

Would I do it again?  In a heartbeat, as long as neither Bud Light nor Royal Caribbean ban me for trying to be ultra social and crash their parties. And even then that’s just what we call “a challenge”.  I’d take a cruise on Royal Caribbean any time, and have no doubt if I have an opportunity to score a spot on the next Bud Light Port Paradise cruise I’m there, no thought required.

I’m not sure my wife would join me on the latter, though – she had fun but I suspect she would have preferred a more relaxing kind of cruise so I may need someone to join me next time.  But hey – with no kids for four days, a boat full of adults (we were probably a little older than the average; I’d guess the median age was probably early 30s) and beautiful beaches/ocean/food/weather/fun it’s hard to argue with anything about it.  Oh yeah – and (mostly) free.

So thanks to Bud Light, Royal Caribbean and my home away from home – Volleyball Beach (especially Jen!)- for giving me the chance to quote Lonely Island this weekend.

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