Tuesday, May 3, 2011

I'm back!

I can't believe it has been since April 11 that I posted something here. I was incredibly busy trying to get ready to take a vacation. Then, when on the ship, I didn't have access to the web without paying exhorbitant prices, so I decided to wait until today to get back in the saddle.

I think I managed to keep the weight gain down to 3 lbs on the 7-day cruise. I go to Weight Watchers tonight to find out. I hope I find my WW paperwork before tonight.

To celebrate getting back home Sunday, I ate a whole package of cashews, then a double-meat, double-cheese jalapeno burger from Sonic and a large order of tater tots and then I followed them with a package of chocolate covered almonds. Needless to say, I was miserable with a capital MISERY the rest of the night. I felt bad all night. So yesterday, I took it easy on my poor stomach. And I realized that what I did was stupid. I don't know what I was thinking. Well, obviously, I wasn't thinking at all. Just being stupid.

A friend and I went on a 7-day cruise to the Western Caribbean (Cozumel, Grand Cayman, and Jamaica). We had a lot of fun, but I have to admit, I was ready to get back home. I was exhausted the whole time we were gone. The first couple of days, we kept ending up on the wrong end of the ship and walked the length several times just getting our bearings. Then our first excursion was to the Mayan ruins of Tulum on Cozumel. The trek was pretty hard; our guide walked fast, plus it was hot and the trail was rough and uneven. The ruins were worth the discomfort. They were much more extensive than I expected, and the view of the ocean was breathtaking. I survived -- barely -- and I guess I never really recovered. My sinuses started acting up in Cozumel, and I was exhausted the rest of the trip.

Our second stop was Georgetown, Grand Caymen. There we went on a very disappointing glass-bottom boat tour of the bay. There was a "ship wreck" that could just as easily have been some steel forms thrown down and left to rust. It was less than underwhelming. The boat was followed by a bus tour of the island, which was OK. We went from tourist stop to tourist stop. Another disappointment. We went to the turtle farm; I got to send a postcard from Hell; we visited a rum and tortuga rum cake store (overcrowded at first).

In Falmouth, Jamaica, we went on a bus ride to Good Hope Estate for high tea. It was really nice. Another hot day, but the view from Good Hope Estate was nice, and the tour guides were nice. We had Walter and Kevin the bus drivers, then Daniel and someone else conducted the tour of the estate. The view was nice, and the stories they told us about the estate owners were very interesting. Falmouth is a new port that Royal Caribbean is helping to build. There is lots of new construction going on, and lots of vendors with the usual Jamaican souvenirs right off the ship. There is no real infrastructure in Jamaica. The roads are poor and narrow, and the homes look abandoned. The bus driver told us that people build a home of bathroom, kitchen and bedroom. Then when they can afford more, they build on. They own what they have. The interest rates are 25%, so they don't borrow to build their homes. Unless they're rich.

The best part of the whole vacation is it is completely paid for. It didn't follow me home. I even have money left over. We budgeted ourselves pretty well. My companion and I spent about the same amount of money while on the ship. We didn't buy but about 4 drinks each, and we didn't gamble at all. We walked through the Casino twice, I think. I meant to go down and hit the quarter slots, but didn't make it.

Once I got on the ship, I didn't like the clothes I packed. I felt fat and tired the whole time. I don't know what was wrong. Maybe it was the hives and the Benedryl I was taking to combat them; maybe it was walking on the ship. Every once in a while, we'd stagger for no reason. Then we'd remember we were on a ship. We got up early Saturday morning to see the sunrise. That was nice. We ate breakfast, then went back to sleep. Plus, I didn't drink coffee until after dinner each night. That probably contributed to my lethargy.

When we returned to Galveston, I watched people arriving to go on the two-week cruise to Spain that I really wanted to take. I was so envious. That's my next cruise.

One thing I learned -- never take a cruise the week following Easter. It is a break for kids from Mexico. Our ship was full of school-age kids that were rude and loud along with their loud, screeching mothers.

Anyway, I'm ready to get back to reality. I've been going through emails here at work to make sure everything was taken care of in my absence. So far, so good. I have an awesome team who takes care of everything as it appears. Very few things waited for me to come back. Those few things make me feel needed.

My son kept the house clean and the cat fed and medicated while I was gone. He was just about out of gas when he picked us up. We cleaned out the refrigerator last night, preparing for my trip to the store tonight. I took it apart and cleaned places that had never been cleaned before. He emptied the wine and beer bottles that had accumulated. The beer was so old that when he opened the bottles, they foamed up and practically emptied themselves. Some of the wine smelled like vinegar. We're just not drinkers. I guess it would be better for me to make sure half-full bottles find a better home than mine. They just go bad at my house.

I'm back on the WW track today. I had 2 slices of double-fiber bread with 2 tsp of mayo and 2 egg whites (4 points) for breakfast. A can of black-eyed peas for lunch (7 pts)

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