Day 10: On the Road to Shambra-la

Ah-ha, ooo-ooo-ooo-ooo yeah. Yeah, yeah. Yeah, yeah. Yeah
On the road to Shambra-la.

OK, this is more a of a Shangri-La, but….

Welcome to Day 10

I can’t believe I’ve been on vacation for 10 days…

It’s amazing to me that I could be on vacation for this long and not want to go back to work. Usually by this time, I’m chompin’ at the bit, checking work emails, getting ready to go back. I”m fine with finishing this vacation in sheer relaxation mode. Work can wait till Tuesday!

After last night’s late night scribble-fest (it’s a good thing I’m typing this journal, not writing it long-hand), I went to bed and didn’t wake up until…

7:00am! When my mother said to me: “We should get up if we want to get some breakfast before our workouts…”

So, I laid in bed for about 5 minutes, then we headed up to breakfast.

After a fantastic breakfast of oatmeal and grapefruit (can you believe that I’m on a cruise? I haven’t had a good ‘American’ breakfast since I got on board!!), it wasn’t quite time for tai chi, so I went out on the Lido deck and practiced my forms. For about 20 minutes.

After that, we had our tai chi class with Jay, our Lifestylist (the names they come up with for these job positions!) We reviewed all of the forms individually, worked through them, then ran through the entire routine a couple of times.

Once we’d run through the routine a couple of times, Jay asked me to come up to the front of the class, where he had ME run through the routine, with the whole class following ME!!! O-M-G!! I didn’t freak out. I was cool and calm and collected. I’d been practicing for a couple of days on my own to get it right, so it wasn’t that big of a deal. But STILL!! Me? Really.

Honestly, though, I’d spent most of my time in the back of the class, so I had ample opportunity to watch as the ladies in the class learned and and performed the forms. Very few of them could remember what to do. I have no idea what I look like performing the routine, but I could (for the most part) remember what to do.

It was a nice little ego boost. I am really loving the tai chi. I can’t wait to get back home to find a new instructor…

After my stint as tai chi guinea pig, I headed back to the cabin to prepare for my 9:15 massage. I was really looking forward to it, since, in addition to the enjoyment of being physically abused by an extremely strong Filipino woman, I had a gift to give her. Shhhhh. Not supposed to fraternize with the staff…

9:15am. Massage. O–M–G–!!!!! OW!!! But, really, in the best possible way… Seriously, though, it was SOO GOOD!! Even better than the last one, which was amazing! But, holy crap, it is not a painless process!

While Jean beat on my, we chatted about movies and anime and manga. She told me about “Pan’s Labyrinth,” “Perfume,” “The Skin I Live In” (?) We talked about “Labyrinth.” Yes, “Labyrinth,” the 1980s movie starring Jennifer Connelly and David Bowie.

In the end, we ended up “hangin” for quite a bit longer than my 1 hour massage. What a sweet woman. Too bad I have to throw her back… Yeah, yeah…

After the massage, I headed to the thermal suite for a few minutes of “table” time, before heading to lunch and out on our excursion for the day.

12:20pm. Misty Fjords Excursion. More breathtaking scenery. Must post pictures, again, because words cannot do justice to the AMAZING ‘scapes! Lots and lots of mountains and water and islands and waterfalls… Just incredible.

The excursion ran till 5:30pm. Our mode of transportation during the trip was an engine powered catamaran. It had a nice warm lower cabin and an upper cabin with an amazing view of the world around the boat.

In addition to all of the great ‘scapes, we saw more wildlife than we’ve seen the rest of the trip: harbor seals, a brown bear, porpoises swimming alongside the boat. It was like a wild animal park out there!!

After the excursion, we went and hung out, you guessed it, at the thermal suite. I am so glad that we signed up for that. It has really paid for itself in working out soreness and stiffness througout the trip.

7:15pm. Dinner.
8:00pm. “Encore” show in the “Showroom at Sea”. Not the best show of the week. Some good parts, but mostly, I was disappointed.
9:00pm. “Name that Tune”. Got 11 out of 15. Really only 10. Got 1 point for identifying the them of the 15 songs.
9:30pm. “ABBA” Night at the Crow’s Nest. Just listened to the music and hung out. It was fun. Uneventful.

Ran into Helen and Sandy in the Crow’s Nest at 9:30 and exchanged stories about our trips. They are such a lovely and amusing couple!

I think my “name” memory is really kicking in strong. Everytime I see someone I’ve met, I’ve been able to pull out a name, wih the exception of one woman we met on the first evening. Remember her husband’s, just not hers!!

Time has jumped forward one hour. It’s now 12:50am. Still gotta be at tai chi at 8am, so I better get my ass to bed.