Today, I finally caved to the harsh reality of life and turned the heat on in the bird nest.
Thanks to newly replaced windows, eclipse curtains, and a downstairs neighbor who keeps things toasty, I was able to coast along the edges of winter for a while; but now that 30 has become the consistently highest high and snow has begun to gather on the front lawn, it is time to resign myself to the need for more than a fuzzy blanket and a hot cup of coffee.
These cooler temperatures have me feeling nostalgic and longing for the warmth of far away places–places like Florida and the Bahamas– both of which I had the joy of visiting last month.
It was the most incredible adventure– and It actually began on this blog two years ago. (But that’s another story for another time.)
In May, a Facebook status shared an invitation to partake of an amazingly-priced cruise to the Bahamas. Having never been on a cruise, and staring down 30 like the barrel of a gun, I decided, “Why not?” The likelihood of having either the free time available, the money, or the price point all together at the same time ‘someday’ in the future seemed pretty slim–and this was, after all, my year of living dangerously. On a whim, I booked an October vacation; and it was definitely one of the better of the impulsive decisions to which I tend to be prone.
Impulsive or not, the whole waiting for life to happen hasn’t been working out, so
I WENT TO THE BAHAMAS! ON A BOAT!
And Oh, my friends, it was both grand AND glorious!
It all hinged on the company–which was FABULOUS (especially considering I only knew one of the 3 people I was meeting up with)–and that turned the decadence, adventure, fantastic food, epic exploration opportunities, and delicious warmth into a dazzling cocktail of wonderfulness that I really have no idea how to put into words. Without compromising the anonymity of the delightful peeps with whom I cruised, here are some of the highlights:
- Ricky Skaggs and Lee Greenwood in concert!
- Art auction at sea! Sipping champagne whilst feeling utterly pretentious- and seriously wishing I had the ability to purchase the breathtaking painting combining the soft suggestions of impressionism with bold vibrant colors and vividly romantic storytelling.
- Snorkeling! Exploring coral reef! (Magical and tragical all at the same time!)
- Discovering while sitting on a beach that I really DO like pina coladas! (AND getting caught in the rain!) (Seriously, I’m 30 and had never had a REAL pina colada. But yes, on a beach in the Bahamas is a GREAT way to experience one ^_^)
- Impromptu Lindy Hop (swing dance) lesson at sea. (Which led to the current class I am now taking)
- Attempted karaoke (I murdered a song WAY out of my range because it was one of the only ones in the wretched selection I actually KNEW and made a complete idiot of myself, but at least had fun ^_^ ) (One of my friends made it to the finals!)
- Trivia Contests! (My friend won two trophies!)
- SO. MUCH. FOOD. (A separate post is required just to share pictures of why my pants now fit SUPER snug…. Not much grace for heading into the holidays…. ^_-)
The boat was HUGE–there were 14 decks. My room was on deck 10; and I was able to leave my room, walk down the hall, open a door, and be outside. Inside was air conditioned, but outside was gorgeous, and I don’t think I have ever more thoroughly enjoyed acquiring a sunburn!
Due to the scheduling of dinner, I was never able to catch an epic sunset, but the sunrises were amazing! I have no love of mornings, but my soul delights in daybreak- watching as light creeps slowly over the horizon before flinging itself boldly across the sky. Such extravagant beauty was not to be missed, so I slept little. Sleeping went wasting precious hours not being awake to experience all there was to experience. And there were 14 decks of things to experience! Not to mention touristy towns to explore and beaches to wander and waves to ride!
I took roughly a bazillion pictures. Here are just a handful to remind my feet that we have walked in warmth before and will again. Though they currently feel like they will never be warm again, winter won’t last forever.