Peanut Head and I just returned from a Caribbean cruise in celebration of our 20th anniversary. Now remember, we were 12 when we married, so that should help you to reconcile my immaturity level with my chronological age.
Or not. Whatever.
Cruising was a brand new experience for Peanut Head and I. I'm not letting him count his time on NAVY ships when he was a Grunt. Totally does not count. We had so much fun. We relaxed, we read, we slept, we ate . . . and we barely thought about our kids at all. They were safe at home with Aunt Marcia and Grandma Louie-Ann. Yay for us! That's probably why we didn't give them much thought. They were in good hands.
We cruised out of Miami, so that meant we had to fly to get there. Going there and back we had layovers at the Dallas Fort Worth airport. It was my first time at DFW, and I'm not exaggerating when I say that it's very spread out. It's so spread out that there are freeways intertwined amongst the runways. I kid you not. We took off on a runway that was elevated to cross over the highway, and the air traffic control tower is situated between the opposing direction lanes of the highway.
I guess you would call that a median. It certainly maximizes space, that's for sure. Perhaps the tower also doubles as a rush hour traffic reporting station? Maybe budget cuts prompted them to lay off the Eye in the Sky Man or something, and the Air Traffic Controllers had to pick up the slack.
You know, because they don't have enough stress in their jobs.
The layout of the airport and its various runways is arranged in a triple circle pattern. Circles that do not intersect, mind you. Because the circles do not intersect, the airport has its own little bullet train dealie, manned by RoboCops, to get you from one terminal to another. The RoboCops do not particularly care about speed limits. They are more about efficiency, but just to show that they do have a softer side, they play the first few notes of "Tomorrow" as the train doors open. It's actually kind of eerie and I found it a little unsettling.
Tomorrow will be better, but right now you're aboard the Crazy Train, so hang on.
Since the RoboCops alerted me to the fact that we were entering the Twilight Zone, I was on the look out for anything suspicious. Check this out.
Is it me or does TOILET seem icky somehow? Peanut Head thinks its a language deal. Since DFW is an international airport, perhaps "Restroom" isn't clear enough. Let's list all the possible alternative linguistic options to replace "Toilets," shall we? All I can come up with is Potty Chairs. You try now. It's not as easy as it sounds. If it's going on a sign, it should be somewhat tasteful, right?
And that's just the airport. I have to say that duct tape anywhere on an airplane does not instill confidence. I spotted it on the armrest of a seat on our airplane, and I spotted what looked suspiciously like duct tape on one of the wings, arranged in a way that made it look like it was supposed to be there.
Peanut Head insists that it could not possibly have been duct tape, and he pooh-poohed my suspicions vehemently. Still, I kept a stern eye on it the entire trip, watching for the hairy-sticky edges to start curling back, thereby signaling the advancement of our rapid, spiraling, flaming descent.
I have a vivid imagination.
Paranoid and delusional, call it what you like, I care not.
Since I'm already irrationally recounting our vacation, when we were boarding our Fun Ship, I turned to Peanut Head and asked "Is it wrong that I keep thinking about the Titanic?" Everywhere I turned there was opulence. Heavy opulence. I could not fathom how this big hunk of metal opulence could float. I know it has something to do with physics and the time-space continuum, but I still could not wrap my brain around it. I just kept picturing women in fancy dresses, swirling around in frigid water, cascading down the fancy staircase, tangled in chandeliers and bed linens. Cut to the scene with Leonardo DiCaprio taking his last breath and sinking into the dark abyss.
At one point during the cruise, I spotted our Captain on deck with his ship's officers, playfully bantering and enjoying the sunset.
I turned to Peanut Head and asked "If he's here, who is driving the ship?"
To which Peanut Head replied, "They probably have it on autopilot or something."
"What?! Well then who is watching out for icebergs?"
"This is the Caribbean. There are no icebergs anywhere near here."
"Well there could be. With global warming, freaky things are happening all over the world."
"Global warming would cause the Caribbean icebergs to melt."
That Peanut Head. He's impossible to argue with. He has an answer for everything.
He's such a smarty Smart Alec. He also has an uncanny sense of direction. I think in a previous life he was a homing pigeon. As a result, he has another name, one he shares with the Rocket Scientist. That name is Compass Man.
In contrast, I can't fight my way out of a wet paper bag. Hence, the Rocket Scientist bestowed me with the name of Perpetually Lost Girl. It is a name which I earned deep in the bowels of the indoor sidewalk city of Minneapolis, where I was lost without food or water for at least 45 minutes. A harrowing experience, one which I might share with you at a later date. For now, I must share the intelligence gathered aboard the Fun Ship.
Anyway, as I was saying, the Fun Ship is huge. And I am not directionally inclined. Which means I was lost. All the time. Peanut Head took to quizzing me and challenging me to find various things on the ship, as he trailed me, amused and wearing his smirky little smirk. Then he took to teaching me about the correct names for the different parts of the ship. Like the front of the ship is the bow and the back is the stern. The left side is the port side, and the right side is the starboard side.
The part that really messed with me though is the use of the directional terms of fore and aft. Aft means toward the back of the ship and fore means towards the front. Except that alphabetically, that makes absolutely no sense. Correct me if I'm wrong here, but it seems that aft should be towards the front of the ship since "a" comes before "f."
On second thought, perhaps aft stands for after and fore for forward? Never mind.
People should tell me these things when trying to introduce me to nautical terms which are foreign to me.
I do believe Peanut Head enjoys discombobulating me.
While Peanut Head was exploiting me for his personal entertainment, we had a very polite Room Steward from Indonesia looking out for us. I was not prepared for the level of attention we received from this quiet man. I took to calling him our Room Fairy because he managed to sneak in and tidy every time we left our room. We always came back to a freshly stocked ice bucket, tidy room, fresh towels--even when we had three shower days, and this little purposeful touch.
That's right. Room Fairy kept a point on our TP at all times. Because you need a point when you have business to attend to don't you? I'm going to add that chore to the girls' list of chores. Three times a day, I expect to see points on my TP.
Our Room Fairy seemed to never sleep. He was always tidying rooms, whether we were leaving our cabin at 7:00 a.m. or returning at 11:00 p.m., he was always there. I'm a little worried about him, working so hard like he does. I told him he needed to take a vacation. Go on a cruise or something. He nodded and looked at me with a pained smile.
This is the little Towel Menagerie our Room Fairy made for us. The elephant is my favorite.
It was a vacation to remember for us, and it was a great way to celebrate our 20th anniversary. It recharged my batteries, and now I'm ready to take on some projects that are long overdue. I can't wait to get started and share my progress with you.