Monday, September 5, 2011

And We're Off! (We Hope)

Hopefully Linda and I will be departing today on Carnival Cruise Lines' ship, "Triumph" out of the Port of New Orleans. At least we're scheduled to leave today. Whether or not we leave on time today is up to Tropical Storm Lee and its aftermath. Most of the storm has now passed through New Orleans and its remnant is now on its way up through the southeastern U.S. to be enjoyed by our neighbors back home through the coming week.

I knew very well that a potential tropical storm, or a hurricane could complicate our plans for a Western Caribbean cruise, back when I made plans for this trip. After all, August and September are peak months in Hurricane season. However, this week would be the only week that would work for both of us, so we whispered a prayer and made our reservations back in June.

It's the first cruise for us, and I have approached this with mixed emotions.

Suffice it to say that an Ocean Cruise has never been on my bucket list. I am a landlubber with a capital L. I didn't even enjoy watching "The Love Boat".

The Ocean is a beautiful thing. The seas cover 3/5 of the Earth's surface, and have long fascinated mankind, and inspired countless poets. I have always viewed the ocean in awe of God's beautiful and powerful handiwork. I just prefer to view it from terra firma. I'm not even a "beach person". Don't get me wrong... I don't mind going to the beach for a day or so. It's great to see the beauty of the ocean, and enjoy the sun and sea breeze. But a day or two of that will do me fine. Sometimes I'll even wade out into the water waist deep or so, but that is the boundary of my comfort zone.

Their are varmints that live in that ocean. They range in size from tiny creatures to huge leviathans. Although God has created all creatures great and small, and each have a purpose in creation, I have always had an aversion to any animals with less than two legs or more than four. I firmly believe that God has given them that territory, and I have no desire to intrude upon it. In fact, once, about 20 years ago, something brushed against my leg as I played in the surf at Topsail Island, NC, and I have really had little desire to go out into the water since then.

Give me the mountains, with a cabin by the lake or river, and I'll call that a vacation!

Why then, one might ask, would I want to go on a cruise?

Because Linda Adkins wants to go on one!

Linda has always indicated that she would love to take a cruise. I usually said something like "Harrummph!" and moved right along. (pretty selfish, huh?)

Well, call it my conscience (or whatever) but when it came time to plan for something nice I could do for Linda for our 40th Wedding Anniversary, the concept of a cruise kept coming to mind. I honestly sought for several other alternatives, but deep in my heart I knew that, given the choice, Linda would have most certainly chosen the cruise option. So I bit the bullet, and asked my daughter in law, Michelle (our family travel agent) go into planning mode. It was the least I could do for one who has put up with me, and taken care of me, for 40 long years.

The smile on Linda's face when she was told of the plan, was enough to make the whole thing worthwhile.

Our anniversary was actually in June, but this is the week that we could both work out vacation, considering her work schedule and my own ministry constraints. We have both been looking forward to the first week of September, and our opportunity to get away for a special time together to celebrate the past four decades. All of our friends and relatives who have done cruises, say that we will love it. I expect we will!

We drove into New Orleans on Friday afternoon, just as Tropical Storm Lee arrived from the south.

Outdoor activities here have been scuttled, to say the least, but it has been great to be with our son, daughter in law, and two of our grandsons for the past three days.

Our ship was scheduled to depart today at 4:00 PM, but Lee put a crimp in the plans. The high seas and flooded Mississippi River have kept the Triumph at sea in the Gulf, until this morning. The latest notification we have received said that the ship has begun its trip up river and that (weather permitting) boarding should begin at 8:00 PM.

So, bags are packed, seasick patches firmly affixed behind the ear, and "Fun Passes" in hand, we are ready to go.

Praying for a timely departure, smooth sailing and a relaxing few days ahead.

(Don't tell Linda, but I think I'm actually going to enjoy this!)

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