Saturday, November 10, 2012

With My Sister

I found this photo today of my sister standing next to me on the deck of a cruise ship in summer of 2005 -- during hurricane season.  My parents, sister, and I all joined a pre-planned cruise that began in Los Angeles and ended in New Orleans. I used the term pre-planned because some extended (as in I had never met 95 percent of them before!) family members and their families from my dads side of the family tree apparently take annual vacations.  Note - this was the one and only time I attended, and as far as I know, the only time the four of us were invited.  I think another family "dropped out" at the last minute and we scrambled to get my sister and myself our first passports so we could even go!

Despite it being hurricane season (we did have to miss one of our ports of call plus stay out at sea one extra day because of smaller hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico) -- we were SO BLESSED to escape Hurricane Katrina! We were out of New Orleans in late July (if I recall correctly) and Katrina hit in August 2005... Lots of memories from that trip, most great, unfortunately some of my mind feels as though it was erased :(

Everyone had a great time, despite the ups and downs in the weather.  I actually woke up one night and went over to the glass wall that faced the ocean and tried to get a good photograph (who am I kidding! A halfway decent photograph!) of an amazing lightning storm that went on for several hours.  Eventually I kept falling asleep in one of the two tiny chairs and had to go to bed again -- but I did get a photo of lightning stretching from the clouds in the sky all the way down to touching the ocean waves! Along with some others... however they were on a computer that died past the point of anything being saved.  I *think* I might have a print copy in a box somewhere (closet perhaps?) but am not sure.

Luckily this photo I had sent to my grandparents in an email, so I still have it available! The only thing I can tell for sure about where we were in our trip is that the ship had left Los Angeles and that we had at least made one port of call - Jamaica - because of the cloths we have on.  Also I recall that it was rare to have full sun, I think that it started pouring less than an hour after we had been walking on deck!

I can remember some details (such as the fact we only got to stay in New Orleans for one night instead of two nights because the ship had been ordered to stay at sea during one of the hurricanes)... I know we shrunk down to a group of perhaps a dozen family members (instead of the 30plus group we had been on the ship) because most of the family had only planned to stay one night in New Orleans.  I recall taking a trolly... that our hotel room had floor to ceiling windows (but they were narrow, not the length of the room)...  Bourbon Street after the sun had set after we checked in but prior to heading out to dinner... My poor sister had some sort of allergic reaction/rash that was so horrid we went straight to a local emergency room and waited (and missed joining on a large family dinner) -- thank goodness she ended up being helped and we made it through a great dinner at what we later learned was a great little corner restaurant "Mr. B's Bistro"??? I think??? ...So thankful my sister was cleared by the ER to fly back home!! The ER had not been 100 percent sure of their diagnoses but we had to get back... As I started out this rambling paragraph, I can remember some details very well because this was only the second time we had been on a cruise (as a family, plus it was a family reunion) -- also the other cruise was only three days, this one was somewhere closer to ten or eleven days long and I realized how much I love being on the ocean! I think that I was one of the few people happy that we had to miss one of our ports of call -- being my typical bookworm self, I got a treat of three chocolate-dipped strawberries, grabbed one of my books, and found a quiet space somewhere on the ship where I curled up in a comfy large chair/mini loveseat and read the book from cover to cover while looking out at the ocean!

...Lots of Rambling.  Perhaps you followed, perhaps not!  Either way, have a wonderful Saturday and if possible say hello to someone you care about!!

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