Saturday, October 23, 2010

Stop the Boat, I'm Ready to Get Off

My body is still on the ship.

No, not literally. I disembarked 24 hours ago so literally, my body is nestled in at the Grotto, wrapped in pajamas and ingesting my home coffee...which, to me, is the best coffee in the world.

But I'm still experiencing the feeling of the motion of the ship and it's a little disconcerting.

Lex assures me it'll dissipate after a sleep or two. I've had one sleep. I'll trust him that it'll be gone after two.

Oddly, I never once felt sick on the ship - at least, not from the motion of the ship. I wasn't sure how I'd do seeing as the most time I'd ever spent on the water was a ferry ride from Seattle to Victoria, BC when I was 10 and I was so petrified of falling overboard, I sat with my back to the bulkhead the entire time with my nose buried in a book.

But I was fine. The Bonine I'd taken with me went untouched and I had no trouble looking down at the water or navigating around the ship.

However, yesterday was rough.

We disembarked around 9:30, collected our suitcases, breezed through customs, and then found ourselves unceremoniously dumped out on the curb with 2 cruise ships' worth of passengers all attempting to make their way from the port to somewhere else. Most of us had no clue what that process should be.

We took a moment to toss our airplane carry on unfriendly liquids from our overnight bags to our suitcases and then attempted to figure out how to catch a cab of which there were plenty. Unfortunately, it was impossible to tell who was waiting for cabs and where the cab line started and ended. So when a Latin man came up and asked if we were going to the airport and I nodded yes and he directed us to a shuttle, I followed mutely. In hindsight, perhaps not the smartest move on my part. Still...we arrived at the airport safely, more cheaply, and possibly more quickly than if we'd managed to catch a cab.

I was still pretty relaxed though.

Once inside MIA, we checked in, went through security, and found our gate with relative ease. We found a brewhouse restaurant in which to sit and have something to eat...something we hadn't done until then. I, of course, ordered my bloody marys along with nachos - The Works (I needed the protein of the beans and chicken). It wasn't until the bill came though - when I was feeling more than tipsy - that I realized the waiter who'd been difficult to understand had been serving me double bloody marys. Twice.

So, it should not be a great surprise that afterward, when I went in search of a smoking lounge, that I was a bit stumbly.

** Side Trip **

1.  MIA has several concourses.
2.  Each concourse has its own security check point.
3.  MIA only has one concourse with a smoking lounge...4 concourses away from mine.
4.  In order to smoke, I had to leave my concourse, discover that it was easier to just go back outside, cross 6 lanes of heavy traffic (drunk) to the parking garage, light up, realize in the process that I'd forgotten to leave my $4 bottle of water just purchased on the concourse, and smoke 2 cigarettes while slamming my water gold before heading back across 6 lanes of heavy traffic (still drunk) and back through security.

Houston, where we had a layover at George Bush Airport, has no smoking lounge I could discover. They did, however, have a Fox News Channel gift shop. WTF?!

1 in 4 people still smoke in this country, Airport People. And when you put us in a situation that is wrought with stress without providing us a place to satisfy an addiction? You are asking for trouble. And lots of it. You, Airport People, suck.

** End Side Trip **

Where was I?

Oh yes. Having returned from my smoky treat adventure, I sat down next to my mom and promptly dozed off for a couple of hours (we had a 5-hour wait for our plane). When I awoke, I was sober and headed off to the bathroom.

When I came back and sat down, I was suddenly overcome with lightheadedness - verging on passing out - and broke into a cold sweat and the shakes. I put my head down toward my knees, hoping the feeling would pass before I A) passed out or B) threw up.

It did. Thankfully.

I bought more water. Guzzled it down. I bought another bottle of water and carried it on to the plane which had mercifully begun to board, found my seat, and inflated my newly purchased neck pillow in anticipation of a fabulous (or, at the very least, adequate) 3-hour nap.


Hello screaming baby/toddler in the row directly behind me.


This kid started screaming before the cabin door was even closed and did not stop for the next 3 hours. And this was not a baby who understood nothing. This was a child who was old enough to have begun developing language skills but was clearly a spoiled rotten little shit whose mother had no idea what to do. Mid-flight, the father switched places with another passenger - a woman friend of theirs - so he didn't have to sit next to his wailing offspring. Asshole.

I pulled out my headset and tried to find something relaxing that'd be conducive to sleep but I could still hear clearly the caterwauling...even over the top of Covenant and 16Volt - who are not sleep conducting - turned up to maximum volume.

So I fantasized about a world where there are laws regarding flying with small children. Holding containers that are sound proofed, gags, mandatory sedation. Don't judge me.

Round two: Houston.

Still not feeling particularly well, we found a place to grab Betsy a sandwich (I ate nuts and drank water in an attempt to settle my queasy stomach) and then our gate blessedly near a bathroom...which I had to use...several times.

We didn't have a long layover - only about 20 minutes from the time we sat down at the gate to boarding call. And I was grateful to board the plane, knowing I only had a couple more hours to go - hours I was going to sleep through.


Oh yes, Beloved Blog Readers, there was another screaming baby in the row directly behind us. I am not making this shit up.

Fortunately, our plane was on time. Completely full but on time. We landed in Denver 15 minutes early even.

But my nerves were completely shot by the time we got onto the concourse. I am ashamed to say I was angry, tired, unwell, and snapped at my mom. I am ashamed to say that, once I'd collected our suitcases, I was so desperate to get out of the throng, panic/anxiety overwhelming me, that I gave her a quick hug and kiss, told her I loved her, and then practically ran for the door, leaving her to find her way to the bathroom and shuttle bus to Wyoming on her own - no easy feat for someone who cannot see very well - before I had a meltdown at baggage claim.

I feel ashamed and sad that that's how our loveliest of vacations ended. I can't take that moment back. And I'm terribly terribly sorry for it.


At least I was able to give her deck 12 aft for 4 incredible nights. It doesn't make up for my behavior at the end, but maybe it offsets it a little.

At least now I'm home.


But still waiting for my body to get off the ship.

No comments: