In typical fashion, I’m not going to journal out everything we did on this trip. Just know that Erin and I, along with some good friends, recently got back from an eight-day cruise that visited Aruba, Bonaire and Grand Turk. I ate a lot of food, had a few glasses of wine, performed karaoke in front of a mostly-full house (video below) and took four naps in one day. I would call it a successful vacation.
I’ll share a blurb and then some relevant photos. These are just a few I’ve selected for the blog. You’ll see some of these if you follow me on Instagram and, as always, the high res versions can be found on my Flickr.
Our first port of call was Aruba. The port was posh and full of shops guarded by men in suits with earpieces whose body language said You can’t come in here which was great because we couldn’t afford to shop there anyway. We toured the nearby area on foot; mostly just going into shops, shuffling through a market and snapping photos of graffiti. There were a few unused, though not abandoned, areas worth shooting and we found a giant pink wall. The highlight for me was finding a dedicated reggae shop with giant speakers blasting out dub by the front door.
The next day we were in Bonaire. At around the 11˚ N line we were the closest to the equator we’d ever been. We walked 7 miles (nearly 1/3 the entire length of the island) in search of their Lourdes Grotto landmark which we never found. We found some neat shops, a dude grilling chicken, a great flea market and a giant french fry man. We also found some road crew workers, a front desk worker at a national park and a dive shop employee that had never even heard of our destination. At the dive shop we were worn out and after consulting their map realized we were still 3-4 miles away. We needed to be back at port soon so we cut our losses, called a taxi and chowed down on some fish and chips with Aruban Coke.
Our last port of call was Grand Turk, the small island whose claim to fame is being the splashdown location of John Glenn after successfully becoming the first American to orbit the earth. We signed up for an excursion that drove us the length of the island, gave us a brief history of its people and cultures, then fed us some fantastic jerk chicken and ox tail. Memorable moments were the lady nearly getting eaten by a semi-wild donkey and a man getting huffy with me when he tried to sell me weed and I wasn’t sure what he was asking.
We sailed on the Carnival Sunshine. I ate steak for breakfast, Guy Fieri’s cheeseburgers for lunch, gazpacho at dinner and pizza at midnight (once). We got massages, dressed pretty a couple of nights and I took a lot of photos of my main squeeze.
I’ll leave you with this: One night on the ship we decided to watch karaoke. I’d already joked with my coworkers and family about doing it, myself, and was suddenly feeling the pressure to follow through. While watching people get on stage and sing slow, dreary country songs and the like, I found myself in a bind: on one hand I was much too nervous to ever take the stage and belt out a song like that, but on the other hand, I reasoned, I basically get on stage with a microphone and dance and sing in front of crowds of people as many as four times per week as a fitness instructor, so how was this any different?
I ordered a glass of wine, downed it, then made my way to the emcee to ask “Do you have the Tina Turner version of Proud Mary?”