Monday, October 11, 2010

Here We Go- Cruisin! Part II

When I went on my cruise, I knew that I was going to make it adventurous. I had to. This was the year that I marked as my beginning of living free, daring to live, trying new things, etc. and etc.

Freeport, Bahamas. Our first destination. Hot sun, clear waters and clean air. Since my mom and I cruised before, we were kind of familiar as to how it worked when we arrived at an island. You have to move beyond the port area to get to the action. A few cruisers were leery of the taxi drivers shouting and urging you to their vehicles so we had to let people know that this is how it works. There was nothing at the port, but a few shops and a little welcome band.

Dove, mom and I hopped in a taxi with a few other cruisers and headed to Freeport. We had one thing that we had to do - swim with the dolphins. Well, *ahem* pet the dolphins according to my mom. Although I wanted to swim, she was not quite ready to join me on the adventure. We made our way to the touristy area of Freeport and found the excursion office. (We didn't book any excursions through the cruise ship because they were too expensive.) That was a fail. We were sure that we could take the 2 PM and be back by 4 PM, leaving us 1 1/2 hours to play. However, the little lady at the counter insisted that we had to be back on the ship by four. Which was not the story at all. So, we missed it that excursion. We didn't have to be back on board until 5:30!!! Ugh!

We sauntered over to the beach area. Beautiful! The sand was white and although it was hot as a brick oven out there, the sand didn't burn my feet. And, the ocean - man oh man, the ocean was clear and amazing. I loved it all except for me feeling like a chicken on a rotisserie rack. The sun was broiling my skin! All I needed was a little olive oil and I would have been ready to serve on a hot platter! Whew!

We decided to take a ride on the banana boat to cool off. We boarded with several others to ride out to see dolphins, million dollar homes, and a pirate ship. We bounced on the waves and soared like the wind! It was great, except for my mother screaming from behind me, "Slow down! There are children on here!" I believe she was crying out more for herself, but used the excuse of the children. It was a good thing because at one point we turned around and a man with his 4 year-old son bounced off the back of the banana boat and was floating in the water. Poor baby! There was no way I would have put a baby on that thing.

Back to the ride, yeah, I did say that it was all fine and dandy, right? Well, that was until the ocean smacked me right in the face! Yep, we hit a curve and I could feel the boat turning over - it felt like slow motion - and I tried to slant the opposite way for balance. Problem is, I don't think everybody else was trying to balance it out. We hit the water - bam! And, I went under. My baby, Dove, went under, too! Thank goodness she was closer to the boat and reached it to get pulled in, but me - ha! Did I mention that I can't swim and panic when my feet can't touch the bottom of the pool? Even with the life vest, I was in the water feeling as if I was about to drown...the water was touching my chin and that was entirely too close to my face. I looked a hot, dramatic mess! But hey, I got back on. (Photo: notice the people still floating in the water.)

I got back on only because I couldn't stand to hear my mother's warning. "I knew something was going to happen, my spirit told me that it was going to turn over, that's why I got off. My spirit...blah, blah, blah..." I got back on to show her that things happen. If you ride a bike, you're gonna fall off. If you get on a banana boat, it may very well turn over. Things just happen!

Back on the beach, as we played around in the water, guess what happened? Another excursion boat pulled up exactly where I was standing. And, my Zumba peer, Diana Stewart, got off of it. I didn't even know that she was in Freeport. Isn't that the craziest thing? We hugged, took pictures and even Zumba'd on the beach. (What was crazier is that she was covering my Wednesday night Zumba class for me!!!) That chance meeting which really gave meaning to the phrase, "It's a small world."

Well, after our traumatic experience, my mom was rather toddlish cranky. She was hot, needed water and probably wanted to get out of the sun. But, I wanted to do something else. I talked Dove into parasailing with me. My mom didn't want to and went off to seek bottled water. I wish she went out with us to take pictures for I have none to show. (sad face) I love Dove, she is such a team player. She's down for trying new experiences.

We waited our turn out on the wooden, floating dock. We were in the middle of the ocean! Me - the one who fear the water. After a quick tutorial on how to take off and land, we were harnessed in and ready to fly. It was truly amazing taking off and going high in the air. I looked back at the balloon, down at the water, back up at the ropes and harness, and thought, "Man, this takes a lot of faith. There is nothing keeping us from plunging in the water, but these ropes." With that thought, a little panic set in. I glanced down and mumbled, "Holy, moly! What was I thinking." But, Dove was calm as a little dove. She said, "Close your eyes and let go of the harness, it'll feel like you're flying." Ha, the innocence of a little kid.

I did just that. I relaxed a little bit and trusted God to land us safely. I took in the heavens and the ocean below. I saw stingrays, turtles and the beautiful colors in the water. It was a sight!

These adventures were the best so far this year!

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