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Saturday, December 23, 2006

Saturday, December 23, 2006 – Maui Day Two
This morning Mom and I had a fairly leisurely start – our shore ex didn’t leave until 9:30, and since Grampa and Peter had an early trip (Road to Hana) leaving at like 7:30, it was just Mom and me for breakfast this morning. We decided to go to Crossings, and even though Anna was off (good for her, not for us!), we had a pleasant breakfast before getting off the ship and meeting up with our ‘Catch a Wave’ group.

While waiting for the bus, we saw one of our fellow surfers, who was um, brazen to put it mildly – she was wearing a shirt with a silk-screened picture of a bikini and a ‘bush’ in the slangy-est sense of the word with ‘good bush’ written under it, and then beside it, a silkscreened picture of President Bush with ‘bad bush’, printed under it. I felt a bit bad for the kids (her nieces and nephews) she was with - a time and place for everything and all that – it was a ballsy shirt, but um yea... Anyway – I tried to take a picture with my keitai, so if it turned out, I’ll post it. Oddly enough, I heard her tell someone that she lives in Japan (I would have guessed Saltspring to be honest), so when we were both bobbing around waiting for a wave, I asked her where in Japan she lives – turns out she’s an English teacher in Saitama... She seemed fairly shocked that I live in Shibuya, which I guess is fair enough! It’s so exciting to actually have a job to tell people about now-much less slackertastic!

So, surfing – it was interesting! It was pretty fun actually, but I’m way too competitive about sports to really enjoy something I’m not good at (let’s be honest here!), and since I really wasn’t great at surfing, I have to be honest and say I’d give it a mixed review. In terms of the teachers and lessons and everything, they were all great – it’s just kind of tricky! I’d say my canter stands were actually easier which surprised me! I was able to stand up, but not at the same time as catching the waves – every time I made it up, I’d run out of wave (they were super baby waves), and like basically start sinking. Mom had the opposite issue to me (she was out in the bigger waves) and was able to go zipping around, but only kneeling and semi crouching. I think, since we’re both determined to get sorted out, we’ll try it again in Waikiki. The actually zipping around in the waves was pretty sweet, when the instructors pushed us off, we got going fairly quickly, and I can see how this could become addictive! I also definitely want to try snowboarding now!

Anyway, after the lesson, we had about half an hour in Lahaina which seems like a great little town, but we basically just walked a block or two and grabbed a snack before heading onto the bus – it’s about half an hour back to the ship, along a coastal road with amazing scenery.

Got back to the ship at 2:30ish, had our requisite lunch buffet stop, and then went back to our cabins to pack a little bit as tonight is the last night on board *tear* Then we headed up for some relaxing/reading on the pool deck and waited for the boys to get back. Grampa turned up at about 6, but Peter wasn’t feeling so good with a cold, so he stayed down in the cabin to rest before our 8pm dinner reservations.

Dinner was quite an adventure tonight! First, Grampa and Mom disappeared off the deck where I was, right as I dozed off, and then got sidetracked, so I was waiting for them for like 20 minutes, before finally meeting them down at the dining room right at 8 – turns out that Peter mixed his cold meds and ended up overdosing on Sudafed, leaving him fairly high, plastered to the ceiling, and unable to make it for dinner – our table for ‘five’ was now down to a table for 3. When we checked in with the hostess (who has been great all week trying to accommodate our section requests!) she said that we couldn’t have a table in Anna’s section, and tried to seat us elsewhere, but Mom and I were firm, and we held out for Anna, which I’m really glad we did! It took us forty-five minutes to get into her section, but completely worth the wait! (I think we sound like we’re really picky here, but it just happened that we really got along with her, and besides that, we had a Christmas card to deliver ;). We also all love the freestyle concept, which might not come through with this, but honestly if we hadn’t hit it off with her that first night, we really wouldn’t have cared where they put us! With the exception of Ned when Oma was sick, I don’t think we’ve ever gone to this much trouble for a specific person before!)

Anyway, with the meal itself, there’s also a bit of back story here, because on night one we were looking at all of the menus which were on display, and I happened to see Cheese Tortellini was on the menu for the last night, and since I love it I was looking forward to having it tonight, despite much teasing from everyone else about my over planning. So, of course, I ordered it, and then I was a little surprised when the cheese tortellini Mom and I had ordered came out as lobster ravioli (they’d run out while we were waiting stubbornly to be in that section, so it was my fault, really). If it had been nearly any other substitution, I would have had no problem with it, but since I don’t eat seafood (though I’ve tried a few bits the last few months that I have to admit have been OK), I was trying to decide what to re order when Anna stepped up in a big way for me.

She grabbed the plate and marched off to the kitchen (she knew about the weeklong anticipation thing), and promised to fix it. Five minutes later, she was back with a rather chastened looking chef in tow! (cue me being embarrassed about making a scene haha!) He was very apologetic, and since they were completely out of tortellini, he offered to make me a trio of pastas – I had some delicious risotto from the pork dish, and then he made me penne, and linguine with really really good tomato sauce that had lots of big fresh tomato chunks in it. I felt really bad for being picky about the whole thing, but they were so nice about it, and it was really delicious! Certainly service which was above and beyond, I could have easily had something on the menu, but he insisted on trying to make it as right as possible for me, which he certainly did!

Poor Grampa still had to pack and was pretty exhausted after the Road to Hana trip, so he bailed before dessert, but Anna got his cheese plate packed up to go, and then thoughtfully and spontaneously made one for Peter as well, to hopefully help him feel a bit better with his cold/Sudafed combi raging in the stateroom. Mom and I closed the restaurant again (oops!), and left in great moods – after our HAL cruise, I really didn’t know why people stayed in touch with their servers and stuff, because while our server was perfectly nice and friendly, we didn’t really have any kind of relationship with him, despite more nights at his table. After this week, I can really see how one person can make a big difference in your vacation (and I’m not just saying that because you have the URL to this blog, Anna!). If anyone from cruisecritic is reading this, after January 7th, you’ll have to go to one of the specialty restaurants to meet Anna, but it would be worth it!

We missed the shows and stuff (just karaoke and do it yourself adult standup, so I’m thinking it was potentially no huge loss!), and I’ve ended up in the Longboard (sports bar) to do this final from the ship blog. I can’t believe this week is over so soon! I’m very glad we’re not all flying home tomorrow!

I seem to have landed amongst the teen group having their last night, and I have to say that’s the one thing that I missed from our last cruise, I should have just fudged my age and gone to chill with them occasionally! They seem to have made the same kind of fast, intense friendships we all formed too...

I was so lucky with our group the last time – Alex, Aaron and Candice really helped add a lot to the experience, even though this was definitely awesome as well, nothing quite beats dying your hair in the sink of your miniscule cabin washroom, and quickly scrubbing not so un permanent un permanent hair dye out of the grout and sofa before the cabin steward sees it (we were successful on that front luckily!) That was a good last night, plus making friends I’ve kept in touch with, and seen since which is pretty cool!

If that’s my only complaint though, I’ve done pretty well for this week! I think we all know I’m a cruise addict, and hearing Anna say that she loves working on here makes me continue to consider this as a way to spend six months or so at some point after I turn 21...(I will be going back to school at some point, REALLY!) Anyway, I hope for anyone who found their way over from that this was vaguely helpful for some of you...(and I do apologize for the lengthiness of it for everyone reading!) If you have questions, leave a comment and I’ll do my best to answer them...

Happy Holidays!


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