Sunday, February 1, 2009

Dream if you will a courtyard.....

Every day trumps the last as "the best day of my life".

Loved Spain. Every last minute. Every sip of every cafe' con leche'. Every cheerful courtyard with Spanish tiles. Every last singing parakeet (which are native to Cadiz). Every stomp of every flamenco dancer's foot. Every breathtaking view of the sea.....

Here are some highlights:

Kate, Becca and I took a bus to Tarifa, a little seaside surfing town. There are all of these little shops selling surfboards and suntan lotion and such. It is off-season there, but we managed to find a cute little sandwich ship with azure blue tiles framing a door that exits to a courtyard with fig trees and sunshine. So happy, makes you wanna sing Van Halen songs all day. In fact, here are Kate and I enacting "Jump!"

Kate and I think alike. We got the great idea to drink the chocolate left over from the chocolate con churros. It is this amazing sludge, a little bit thicker than hot chocolate and a little thinner than pudding. I think usually people just dip their churros in it, but what the heck else would we do with the left-overs? Drinking it seemed like a great idea to me.

We also found Duff Beer in an Irish pub in Cadiz. Here is Sarah's husband (his name is Nate, but we renamed him Dustin, because that just seems to fit him better) and here is Kate:

Let's see.....what friend Jason and I fell in love with Cafe' Con Leche, as I had mentioned before. He is leaving the ship in a few short days. We keep cracking up at every single thing we see. We create our own humor. Gonna miss you, Jason!
Shirl is the dry sense of humor in our group and she also cracks me up to no end. In addition to being hilarious, she is the Spanish speaker of the group and I thought a good blog title would have been "Who needs a Spanish Phrase book when you've got Shirl?" She is the Judicial Officer for the voyage and she has the perfect attitude for this role. Very calm, never gets worked up about things and you are never quite sure if she's joking or serious. Here we are enjoying these mini-sandwiches. The best one was with churrizo and brie and pimento. At first I couldn't figure out what I was ordering, so I ordered a chocolate sandwich on whole-wheat. It was kinda like eating a Lindt chocolate bar on some bread (but the bread here is mucho mas mejor que any bread we have in the US) Here are Shirl and I at the sandwich place. (Where was she when I was ordering my chocolate on whole wheat? Probably snickering at my Spanish.....)
Speaking of judicial, I reverted back to my days working in Residential Life once again. I was on-call the other night in port. Now when and if the phone rings at 5:15 AM it is never a "good morning sushine" sort of call. It is more like "Laurie, get down here fast, there's an emergency" call. Unfortunately I had one of those calls "Laurie come down to the gangway immediately" and it was a drunken student who got the great idea to climb the 12 foot fence to get back to the ship instead of walking around to go through the gate. He fell, busted open his forehead, and the Physicians Assistant on board had to suture him up. John (the PA) and I were kind of rolling our eyes, but kind of laughing a little too. I walked the kid back to his cabin and noticed as he stumbled there that he was eating the ice we gave him for his head.

Aside from that it was just a fantastic time in Spain. Here are some of my friends and I on our last day. Becca, Shirl, Jason, me and Sarah (not to be confused with my sister-in-law Sarah). Speaking of which-Scott and Sarah- notice the MBT sneakers!

And now I'm back on board. They are streaming in the Super Bowl as we speak. Kinda surreal since it's almost midnight.

When the students came back onto the ship, my staff had Gangway duty. It was definitely an interesting role. They had an on-ship time of 1600 or else they get "dock time" which means they can't get off the ship for awhile at the next port. I feel like I said "do you have metal?" 18393038 times because students kept leaving stuff in their pockets to set off the ship's metal detector. Finally when it was all done the Ship's Crew carried on the actual gangway, which is the ramp that leads up to the ship. It is this big gray metal ramp and they walked through the metal detector. I couldn't resist asking them "Do you have metal?" Our staff was slap-happy and exhausted from Spain so for some reason this cracked us all up to no end.

We are currently stuck in the pouring rain in Gibralter where we are waiting to bunker (fuel). It is storming- lightening and all so the weather is too poor for the fuel ship to extend the line to our ship. So we have to wait it out and we'll probably get to Casablanca late. Probably not until tomorrow night (we were supposed to arrive at 8 AM). It looks like my overnight trip to Marrakesh may get canceleled. It's okay though, I'll find something else to do in Morocco. I've already discovered how easy it is to create my own fun.

Grandma, I think it would be appropriate to end this blog with one of your favorite metaphors here:
"Any port in the storm."


Kat said...

I'm soo glad your first port was amazing! As warned, in-port and gangway duty will always leave you with an interesting story none the less.

Sorry you're delayed, you can only look at and enjoy that rock for so long before you start to think if you can jump and swim to shore before anyone notices ;)

Keep the blogs coming! I love them!.

Courtney Rogers said...

How do you like the MBT shoes?