Sunday, September 24, 2006


It really sucks to have a cold and get seasick at the same time, especially when accompanied by a splitting headache on one side of the head. Off-roading and canoeing in the rain in Ketchikan probably were not the wisest activities, but my brother really wanted to so I took the excursion with him. I doubt I will ever do another 4WD trek again. Not only is it not so eco-friendly, it's not very lumbar-friendly either. If you are not holding onto the "oh-$hit" bar in the fron passenger seat, you really get tossed around.

A little bit about the Norwegian Star: this is a massive ship. It holds approximately 2,900 passengers. It has not felt too crowded, though., but the stewards assured us that every cabin is full. The decor evokes old-school Vegas, over-the-top tack, particularly in the Grand Atrium and the corridor carpeting. Rooms are really small, but the balcony my parents had was key for having a good view of the scenery and was worth the higher price. Food-wise, it ranges from mediocre cafeteria to decent restaurant fare. It's not quite five-star gourmet, but they offer choices from Cooking Light that taste good and won't bust the waistline. The highlight was the Chocoholic Buffet late Friday night. My dad claims I ruined his evening by not being able to locate him, which was all but impossible with the hoardes of people lining up to ogle the chocolate sculptures and scarf enough sugar to kill a shipful of diabetics, but I nonetheless enjoyed my chocolate mousse and petit fours solo and went back to bed.

Victoria, BC, is a delightful city. We endured a bus tour with a wannabe-Borscht-Belt-comedian and then enjoyed tea and the Fairmot Empress Hotel. On the way out, I even got a stamp in my passport - two pages to go!

My Filipino stewards were really friendly (half of the on-board staff if from the Philippines), one a little too friendly. Initially he thought my brother was my husband (hello? Separate twin beds?), but when I corrected him that my boyfriend sat this trip out, he felt more emboldened to be more affectionate. He told me I looked beautiful when I was in a ratty t-shirt and sweats, and when we gave him a tip he gave me a big hug. I was getting blips on the gaydar. Who knows...

The flight home was a nightmare. Despite being among the first off the boat, avoiding the baggage claim by hauling our own crap, the flight still managed to take off an hour late and then had to circle over Newburgh, NY for 30 minutes. The cab line was over an hour long, so I took the AirTrain. It's good to be back in my own bed, although occasionally I am thrown off-balance by hallucinations of the boat rocking side to side.

Tomorrow is back to work. Delightful.