So far and yet so near

Aruba, Aruba
Friday, March 28th
At Sea

How did this happen? How can it already be the last day of our cruise?? We are sailing north to Fort Lauderdale between Haiti and Cuba and will follow the Cuban coast a lot of the way.

The winds are calm this morning; Jeff has set his alarm for 6:50 so we can watch the sun rise but it is too overcast. It is nice out on the balcony though. He goes to get us coffee and I crawl back in bed. We drink our coffee and dink around…deciding to walk our 5 miles around the Promenade deck. We don’t get started until 8-ish, but it is early enough that there aren’t a lot of others out walking yet. The deck and some of the stairs are wet from the spray of the ocean last night.

After the walk we shower and, feeling virtuous, have breakfast.

It’s a lazy day…Jeff reads while I nap. At 2 we wander down to the Princess Theater to see the movie ‘Philomena’ which I’ve seen before but Jeff hasn’t. It is a powerful movie.

At 3:40, after the movie, we are considering going to tea, but decide just to pop up to the buffet for our tea and scones. I am careful to put the clotted cream and strawberry jam on correctly as my dear friend Eve Measner has taught me. The tea and scones are a great pick-me-up.

We relax in our cabin…I am writing and Jeff is standing out at the balcony railing. He stands there for hours and loves to do so at night.

We open and share our last little bottle of champagne – there is just enough for two glasses. There is not quite a sunset as it is mostly overcast.

Sunset in gray
Sunset in gray

Jeff comes in to begin packing while I stand outside watching a seabird. It takes me a while to figure out what the bird is doing and I realize that when it swoops down and flies very close to the water it is pursuing a flying fish. I see the bird catch one of the small fish – then it settles on the water. A few minutes later it starts flying and swooping again. I know I’ll never get a photo of it…

We pack. On the last night of the cruise you pack and put your suitcases outside your door by 10pm. The crew takes them away and tomorrow when we disembark our luggage will already be on land. It requires some thought as you have to think about what you’ll need the next day. I put on the tank top and shorts that I’ll wear tomorrow. We are going to take a tour of the Everglades and that tour will take us on to the airport. I pack my blue jeans and jacket in the top of my suitcase – easy access as I’ll change into them at the airport for our flights. If we weren’t taking the tour we’d have to sit in one of the ship’s public areas for hours waiting our turn to disembark and then we’d be at the airport about 5 hours before our flight.

Everything is packed and out so we go have a very unhealthy dinner – pizza!! We did both have big salads with our pizza, but still…

We catch Phil Tag (the comedian)’s last show. The theater is packed and the show is very funny. It doesn’t feel like our vacation is ending.

But back in our room, all the flowers are gone, no books are on the table, the closet is empty and Pokey and Gumby look sad in my backpack. It’s time to turn in and let “mother, mother ocean” rock us to sleep this one last night.

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