Friday, September 25, 2015

Family vacation, day 5

We spent the next couple days steaming north through fog and rain.

This ship, like all of these types, has a small shopping mall. One store is always for sundries you left at home (like overpriced band-aids, antacids, & nail clippers) and souvenir crap (hats, shirts, jackets, etc.) with the cruise line’s name on them. The other stores are inevitably jewelry, watches, perfume, and leather goods for people who have nothing better to do then spend a fortune on jewelry after they already paid similar to book the trip in the first place. I do not understand this.

One store had this ad in the ship's newsletter. The tagline can be interpreted... in many ways.

"It's not the size of your gold chain, it's how you use it."

This ship has several good bands. Perhaps the most interesting is 2 guys who sit in the main atrium and play violin and accordion. After a few days of Fisherman's Wharf you find yourself looking for a can to drop a few bucks in, then realize that this is included in the trip. I liked them, but my mom wasn't as impressed, and called them "The Screechy Twins."

There are 3 other groups in lounges and theaters, and a good piano player/singer in the martini bar. Music is pretty hard to escape from on a cruise, except in the corridors and your cabins. It's everywhere else. If you're not hearing live music, then they've got elevator music in the background. All over. You cannot escape. We are Muzak. Resistance is futile.

They had a backstage tour of the ship's main theater. I noticed this hanging on the costume rack:

Tonight Peter was again shocked. Marie bravely decided to try escargot... with, of course, Ranch dressing.

Then he went around the table. My family has always had a thing about sauces, preferring to have them on the side. Peter was not wired for this concept. After the 4th person in our party of 6 asked to have whatever sauce was included “on the side” he snapped.

Peter: “What is this with the sauces? Is there a problem with the sauces? Did you have a bad experience with our sauces on a previous cruise?”

My mom: “No, we’d just like to try the sauce first before putting it on the meat. That way, if we don’t like it, we don’t have to scrape it off.”

Peter: “Okay, I assure you...”

My wife spilled her water.

Frank’s phone began playing “Amish Paradise.”

(Craig raises his hand)

Peter: “Do you have a question?”

Craig: “I just like raising my hand.”

(Puts hand down).

Marie: “Instead of sauce, can I have Ranch dressing? A lot of it?”

The family next to us started passing around Limoncello and singing "Happy Anniversary."

Peter was pale and his lips were twitching. He mumbled something and went off to put our orders in.

Following dinner Craig and I went to hold some seats for tonight's show. After we got situated Mrs. Bitchy (who else) came over.

Mrs. Bitchy: "You'll have to move. I had my eye on these seats earlier."

Dr. Grumpy: "No one was sitting here, and they weren't marked."

Mrs. Bitchy: "I usually sit in this row on cruises."

Dr. Grumpy: "We're only taking up 6 out of 20 seats. You can sit on either side of us."

Mrs. Bitchy: "That isn't acceptable. I don't like being near teenagers."

Dr. Grumpy: (referencing the shipboard app) "It's a 1000 seat theater. I'm sure you'll find something."

Mrs. Bitchy gave me the bird and tottered off, looking like she was being waterboarded with lemon juice.

Walking past a pool later, I passed this existentialist sign:


Anonymous said...

I'd of watched were she ended up sitting & sent, Craig, Craig's Hair, Marie, Frank @ Siri to sit in the seats right next to her! And, you, along w/ the rest of your group could remain in the seats you had your eyes on since you disembarked the ship you were on five years ago!

Were you able to go the entire cruise w/out loosing your DC Card?

Anonymous said...

i actually think ranch would probably go really well with escargot. for crying out loud. it's snails. anything that will give them taste and distract you from eating snails will go well with them. plus, the kind i had in paris was smothered in butter and garlic, so ranch isnt even that different. i agree with marie. as americans it's your god given right to eat your snails however you want to eat them.

Anonymous said...

I don't know if I would have been able to keep my cool around Mrs. Bitchy.

bunkywise said...

YOU ARE KILLING ME! Can't you all sponsor a Grumpy cruise and charge crazy prices to travel with you? Excuse me while I go to the iTunes store to preview "Amish Paradise".

Anonymous said...

But how thick is the gold chain?

Anonymous said...

Whatever you do, don't break the chains of love.

Whelk Lad! said...

"I must say, Ted Lange really brought a unique interpretation to the role of Macbeth..."

Anonymous said...

Hmmppphhh. Screechy twins indeed. Their mother probably spent a fortune on the lessons. I think someone needs to adjust their hearing aids. Actually, I am at the age where things are settling down to a dull roar, and even though my ears don't fail me, yet, for hearing mice in the pantry, or what my son said below his breath five rooms away, I do wonder sometimes about the audio quality in my car radio.

That red suit jacket sure showed up nicely on my computer screen, but I take it that the name badge said more than 'Isaac'?

Anonymous said...

I really hope you're exaggerating Peter. As a server, he could go in the kitchen and snark all he wants about that idiot family at table 6, but to you, NO COMMENTS ABOUT FOOD PREFERENCES.

gloriap said...

Someone (preferably a teen but not yours) needs to accidentally tip Mrs. Bitchy overboard without anyone seeing. Or maybe she needs to hear someone (your family Nerse?) discuss Norovirus onboard where the prevention is to hole up in the cabin for the rest of the trip.

Anonymous said...

hmmm, anonymous @1:59pm. I guess you had a life in the 80s Or maybe weren't even born yet. Isaac was the activities director, or something like that, on the Love Boat.
Before the days of 350 channels, some of us watched it out of desperation,as there really wasn't anything else on.

Rick T said...

Issac was the bartender, Julie was the Cruise Director

Candi said...

The leather and jewelry and all that? They're conversation pieces when they get back.

Someone compliments or at least mentions the item. The owner says, "I bought that on [cruise] on [date]" and proceeds de braggin'.

It's basically a wedge to talk about how much money they can afford to not save.

Anonymous said...

Optima really gives text that sense of gravity, doesn't it?

Anonymous said...

I can just see it. Three months from now you get a new patient.
And it is your old pal from the cruise, Ms. Bitchy.
You know the self involved harridan wouldn't recognize a minor annoyance like you.
Would you renew your "friendship?"
Or would you be professional and let it go?

Personally, I'd post a picture of her with a red circle and slash behind Mary's Desk.
Life is too short.

Anonymous said...

Maybe you didn't miss out on Edsel Ford Fong after all. Maybe Peter is his reincarnation.

Anonymous said...

When we tread, do we tread upon ourselves?

Dr.M said...

These are hilarious. You should go on vacations more often.

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