Putting this post together over lunch breaks over the next few days as I have my desktop background changing every fifteen minutes of our still too far away but getting closer vacation to Hawaii. We are so excited for this vacation and it’s primarily because we finally were able to convince the “fahja” to come with us after some extenuating circumstances.
But as with all stories, this one has it’s roots long long ago, Dogfather and I are together but we’ve only been together for about 4 months…All the way back to October 2011 and my first cruise ever.
In the year to 2 years prior my family who had never been cruising started. One of my sisters took my parents on a cruise to celebrate their fiftieth wedding anniversary, other siblings with their families and I, as the youngest and baby of the family stomped my foot down and proclaimed that “I wanna go on a cruise too! Not fair that you all go and I don’t get to!!!” At this point I’m a full grown adult around 25-26 when I through my temper tantrum and my sister closest in age very quickly acknowledges this and indicates that she is more than willing to go with me to split the cost of a room. Perfect…and my parents decide to come too, even better.
At the job I had at the time where I only got a week vacation a year so this was it (important and relevant later) and being with my family we set forth with my sister and parents to head out to Cocoa Beach, Florida on October 7, 2011. We check into a hotel, I think it was the La Quinta, that said sister had previously stayed at and double checked that a huge spider that had made it’s way into the room last time, we were in the exact same room, was not there anymore…It wasn’t, but we would have other problems with the room. We get to the hotel early enough in the day that we take our travel cramped selves for a walk on the beach, after all, excluding my mom, sorry, we average a height of 6’2” so plane seats are not our friends.
After dropping off the luggage in the room we meander north and the cool Atlantic breeze wafts scenting the air with salt and seaweed. We walk north as we are only about 2 miles south of the port we will be departing from the next day. For peace of mind, you never travel for a cruise the same day as cruise departure, something that we have flirted with and were grateful for once due to a five hour delayed flight due to crosswinds at the departing airport and we therefore missed our connection.
Funny tangent story; both times we’ve experienced discord on flights have revolved around flights to get to a cruise vacation to Alaska and both times were due to issues at SFO. The first time we were flying and had a tight connection, but reasonable from our second flight of the day to the final leg. We go, take care of the business that is easier not done on a plane & when we get to the plane and boarding starts…and the power goes out. Ultimately, we had to deplane, at this point there were some people who due to the uncertainty of when the power and we would be cleared to fly decided not to take the flight anymore.
As we were flying into Vancouver, BC, an international flight…they had to take ALL the luggage off the plane as they obviously can’t have luggage flying without its owner (sure this is old now as I can’t imagine this happening on a domestic flight either) and manually check us all back in. All in all, the turn was actually pretty fast and 2 hours later we were on our way.
The other incident involved the exact same flight route as before we flew out of Casper and TSA wiped down my carry on luggage, which is everything we’re bringing as we were flying United and we are not paying for the checked luggage. It gets flagged for getting wiped down and it gets flagged for explosives. They look at the bag in question and see it just has the snacks, head phones, miscellaneous crap you want easily accessible is a tote. Get told to go ahead without issue, awesome. We get to Denver and flights are grounded due to the cross wind and I get a feeling that I need to call to make an alternative arrangement since I am certain we would miss our connecting flight to Vancouver out of…SFO. Flight is delayed about five hours and finally we are able to take off, we end up missing the connection by roughly fifteen minutes, including five of those minutes being leaving early.
Fortunately, I had called ahead regarding the probable missed connection and we were able to get a flight to Vancouver the next morning. The airline put us up in a tiny room, albeit, all we needed with vouchers for meals and two toiletry water bottles. Have to give credit where it’s due, we were taken care of pretty darn well. We have some questionable pizza in the hotel restaurant and we might have broken the hard bed as when we sat down we heard some crunching and cracking. Up early to catch the return shuttle to the airport and have to go back through security.
Well good news, SFO TSA is on it as they caught the same mischievous whoppers explosives as the Casper TSA did, but they decided / were required to go through our tote goodie bag and the carry on bag that had all of my clothes for the week and a half and let me tell you…we had that thing stuffed to the brim. About 20 minutes later after impressing TSA with how much we had in the carry ons, we were cleared, used our remaining meal vouchers for breakfast and all in all arrived in Vancouver only about 12 hours later than originally planned. Regardless…We will always try to avoid flying into San Francisco as we are not friends anymore.
Back to the originally planned story…
We walk back along the beach and head to a pier nearby for dinner to formally kick off the vacation with an amazing meal of fresh seafood. After dinner, storm clouds are brewing. Being October 8th, we are still in hurricane season and we are catching the edges of a tropical storm coming in we get back to the room and a light rain is falling. By midnight, the need to go to the bathroom arises, feet swing off the bed and the floor is not just damp, but a puddle is on the ground. Being confused and subsequently turning on the light, our ground floor room might not have spiders in it, but the sliding glass door I do believe has sprung a leak, flooding the beach side of the room. Taking the towels out of the bathroom, we attempt to sop up as much water as possible and then never really get back to sleep as the wind & rain continue and we wonder what we would wake up to in the morning.
Using the towels, we were able to dam the entrance point of the leakage and only a small pond had formed. Due to everyone being awake, we put ourselves together and get out to the car we rented. Dropping the car off at the rental facility, we wait for a shuttle to take us to the port along signs to be vigilant as alligators are in the area. About 15 minutes later, we are on our way to board the Disney Magic for our seven night eastern Caribbean cruise.
This whole time however, I am “stealth” texting the Dogfather as I have not told ANYONE about us. The very short version is the Dogfather was my first significant other and I didn’t want pressures and excitement to get some people riled up. We had 3 months of anonymity so far and I wanted that to continue as long as possible.
When we arrive at the port we drop out tagged luggage with the porters and pass through security. When our boarding group is called, we finally are able to embark on this new adventure for me at least. As we knew that we would be able to get on board early, we did not have a large meal waiting for the gluttony of cruise ship life for the next seven days. Early afternoon and we are able to enter our stateroom and get set up for the week. This is long enough ago where the now unseparate-able queen bed was separable into two twin beds. Sister and I were talking and we talked about her Disney Vacation Club Membership and what she was able to do with her family thanks to it and that if I was interested they would hold informational meetings during the cruise. I would be able to experience some of that stay as after the cruise, we would spend a day at Magic Kingdom and the night before our flight home at Kidani Village at Animal Kingdom Lodge. I was very intrigued and went to a meet where they were selling the real estate interest in Bay Lake Tower. Ultimately as I only got one week of vacation a year, I determined that the timing wasn’t right but maybe someday….Someday…