Aww, It’s Over

  • I couldn’t find a picture of the Norwegian Getaway by itself, so I cheated and put in a picture of two cruise ships docked next to each other
  • just to give you an idea of how huge these things are and
  • give myself an excuse for not writing before now.
  • I’ve been too tired.
  • I’ve spent the last week since we got home last Sunday laying on the couch.

The problem I’m running into with this post is that I somehow managed to put TWO pictures in the post, and the first picture is of a lovely Maya Angelou quote with beach sand and gentle ocean waves.

Unfortunately, the picture comes out as blank when I try to share the post. When I click the not-so-obviously clickable title of the post, (it’s a black link in a black lettered title, who does that?) though, the ships come up.

However, when I try to share that on Pinterest, only the picture comes up with no post. And of course I don’t know how to turn a picture into a clickable link because I’m a technologically impaired moron.

Did I mention how much I hate Pinterest. It’s not a user-friendly site, and for some reason known only to God and the Pinterest site developers, it kept dumping me out on my daughter’s page.

Then I’d have to find my page again, and lo and behold, redo something I’d spent 30 minutes already doing.

I fought with that Pinterest site all afternoon, because many hours later I was still redoing stuff I’d done at least four times already.

By this time, it had become a point of pride for me. I wasn’t going to back down, no I was not.

You know how this ends, of course. By afternoon’s end I was reduced to a sodden, sweat-soaked ball of fury.

I deleted everything and stalked away from my iPad spitting fire but still unable to figure out the problem.

I was a dejected, beaten woman.

Pinterest had won.

So, I don’t use the app much, my bad.

But there’s always tomorrow.

Now where was I? Oh yeah, two massive ships docked side by side to gain pity points because they demonstrated the suddenly immeasurable amount of steps I had to take just to get from point A to point B anywhere on the ship, not to mention the miles we had to walk to get from the ship to an excursion point.

And did I mention my still hurt toe and the fact that the ship’s doctor worked only from 7:30-9:30 am, and again from 4:30-6:30 pm?

Yes, I was in that much pain.

Yes, we tried to see the doctor.

  • I don’t know what kind of venomous sea creature bit me that reef snorkelling day, but the skin came clean off my toe.
  • And of course, I’d always manage to get at least two grains of sand caught between it and my flip flops so that I could feel every excruciating step grating away the flesh on my toe as we walked between shore excursions and ship and back.
  • Add all the walking my unexercised body had to do just to get around the massive ship
  • to the three very physical and very early morning shore excursions following on the heels of
  • late night blogging sessions, because
  • blogging is so much more fun after midnight, I think,
  • and didn’t I read somewhere that being groggy makes one more creative?
  • The only problem is that all my cruise creativity came at a price,
  • namely it left me with very little physical rest
  • and a huge case of sleep deprivation.
  • Yeah, try being up for an excursion in this body after all that and not fall on your face by Saturday night.

Plus, that’s the night I ran out of Adderall.

I’m going to have to fact check that creativity/grogginess bit of knowledge link sooner rather than later, I believe.

I was just so damned happy to have something to write about, I may have gone and strained my entire body and pulled something somewhere, like in my brain, because as John so succinctly put it, by the end of the cruise the little engine that could just couldn’t anymore.

Talking about me, of course. He was fine and dandy when we got home.

To be fair, he exercises (and did so religiously before the trip) and does alot of walking during any given day at his work, where he is a Construction General Superintendent and has to walk the job site constantly if he doesn’t want the current high rise he’s building to come crashing down around his ears because of shoddy sub-contracting work.

He’s the one that keeps everything and everybody on track and running smoothly, which is harder than it sounds because we’re from South Florida and a very large portion of his workforce doesn’t speak English as a second language.

Or at all.

And all I’ve got to say about John’s ability to speak Spanish is that his Spanglish is second to none.

I think sometimes he feels if he says something loudly and with a thick Hispanic accent while gesticulating with all the vigor  his overworked soul can muster, his point will eventually be made and what was done poorly or just done plain wrong in the first place, will magically be put to right by the non-English speaking workers who are smiling and nodding and saying “yes” over and over again while he explains to them what is wrong and what they need to do to fix it.

I have assured him this isn’t so, and he needs to learn more of the Spanish language than is in his current repertoire of Hispanic phrases which largely consists of curse words, and the words “como?”, “donde,” “que?” (“how?” and “where?” and “what?”)

Sometimes, he prefaces this by “es un” (insert Spanglish word here), which means “is a,” followed by his mangled version of a Hispanic word or phrase.

But I digress.

I did manage to drag myself around the ship on Saturday (which, Thank God, was a sea day so I got to sleep in) though, hurt toe and all, and make it to and enjoy the shows I had made reservations for.

Cirque du Steam Dreams was fantastic.

There were acrobats and gymnasts and magicians and people who could do amazing things with their bodies.

Plus there was a four course surf and turf meal served right before the show started. John and I were glad we saved it for the last night.

Afterwards, we went to Deck eight and sat out on the Deck. They have some of the best chairs on that Deck.

We didn’t get to see a sunset, although God knows we tried. Either there was a cloud on the horizon, or we were booked somewhere else inside for a show at sunset.

I had a wonderful experience on our first-ever cruise, and would do it again, no matter how tired I was when we got home. Next time I’ll exercise faithfully and with fervor before we set sail, though.

And this is definitely not the paragraph where I tout the magical qualities of Adderall in keeping an out-of-shape woman going full-throttle on a cruise full of physical exertion and activity, a woman whose idea of exercise up to the point of the cruise was moving from the couch, where she watched re-runs of Supernatural all morning, to getting up and moving to her reading chair where she read books downloaded to an iPad all afternoon… although the part-time addict in me will say otherwise.

No! Just say no (and dole out your stash carefully on physically taxing endeavors you may happen to undertake in the future. Don’t blow your wad in the first week no matter how much fun it is. You’ll thank me for that bit of advice one day when you’re not laying prostrate on the couch for a solid week after you get home).

We went ziplining in Honduras, Thursday, I believe it was.

Believe me when I tell you, these people, who took us in a truck that had to be 30 years old, up a mountain grade of roughly a little less than a 90 degree angle, had never even heard of OSHA safety requirements.

Remember when I told you we’d be on platforms and there would be hundreds of steps to climb to the platforms?

Well, that didn’t happen because THERE WERE NO STEPS!

Nope. It was straight up to the highest point the truck could get us, then a very steep climb up a rock strewn path to the first platform.

I was so winded from the climb, it took me a moment to realize we were so high up the air was thinner, then another minute or so to process the fact that we had cable strap harnesses around our bottoms but that was it.

There were no nice, sturdy helmets and knee pads for us, no siree, not like I’d seen at the ship’s zipline shore excursion, which by the way only went one zip from one point to another.

Yawn.

No. We had entered a world right out of “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom,” complete with rickety, wooden rope bridges with missing slats, that swung in the breeze as we traversed our way from platform to platform to get to the next zipline.

And the only way out was down.

There were 24 platforms and 19 ziplines. I was holding on to my rope so hard, I got a rope burn, even though we were harnessed securely at the buttocks and thighs and probably technically didn’t need to hold on at all.

God knows the workers didn’t. They just sailed into space, gravity be damned.

Their idea of safety precautions was that one of the men would leap out before us (and they leapt, spinning, diving, even hanging upside-down), and get to the next platform, which were buffered by old, torn, mattresses.

Then I would jump into the void, and the first man would “catch” my zipline, for lack of a better word, as I came zipping into the platform he just zipped to, usually backward and blind (I never did master the whole going forward facing front thing because it had something to do with using your hand to turn the hook that was holding me to the line and I was not about to touch anything that hooked me to the zipline) not entirely sure he was going to stop me in time to prevent a collision with their  mattress padded platform.

But, he stopped me every time, praise the good Lord.

Then, John would go, and that was a sight to behold. Because he’s heavier than me, he went much faster.

“I’m coming in hot!” He’d yell as he approached the platform at lightening speeds.

Then the second man would follow John to the platform.

I swear I made that poor man check my harness before each free fall into space.

That’s 19 times.

I know he was tired of me by the end.

I was just tired, period.

Then we’d go down yet another swinging rope bridge with missing slats to reach the next platform from which to zip.

It was 💯 degrees of high-humidity outside, and we traversed some pretty dangerous spots.

It certainly wasn’t the safe ship shore excursion.

Our travel agent, Gary Whitehurst of G Travel by Cruise & Travel Experts, (561) 424-6003 (you can find his page on Facebook), has deals with certain vendors he works with, and this ziplining company was one of his vendors.

All I can say is we had the time of our lives.

It was much more exciting and fun than anything we could have booked off the ship, I’m sure.

We arrived back at the ship soaked in sweat and tired as hell, but happy and energetic enough to have dinner at The Tropicana Ball room, which is one of the nicer complimentary places to eat on the ship, and there’s a floor show to boot.

Then we went to see a comedy show, but we hadn’t had time for dessert in The Tropicana Ball room because I scheduled the time for the comedy show too close, so I made John take me to one of the ship’s other nice, complimentary restaurants for dessert after the show.

And I made him order a dessert he didn’t want.

And I ate it, too.

Yes, I sure did.

It was my mission to eat at all the nicer complimentary restaurants before the cruise ended.

I didn’t care too much for the buffet, even though there was a buttload of food to choose from.

I know, food snob.

But why eat at the buffet when there were three nicer restaurants, a pub, and a Noodle Bar where you could eat off the menu and it was still free?

Alas, my hopes of eating at the Noodle Bar never came to fruition because we ran out of nights.

The other three nicer complimentary restaurants served basically the same menu-just a different ambience in each.

And our travel agent booked us a three meal dining package so we could try the finer restaurants on board, the one’s that charged big dollar if you didn’t have it already paid for by your dining package.

Good thing I made reservations online before the cruise. They filled up quick.

On our last shore excursion, on Friday, we had a small hiccup.

It was for horseback riding in Cozumel with beach break.

Unfortunately, our voucher gave us directions to get to the bus… from Carnival Cruise lines.

From where The Norwegian Getaway docked to the transportation bus wasn’t on the directions we were given.

But we didn’t know that.

We ended up taking a taxi to a whole different port when our ship had the same excursion and all we would have had to do was follow the crowd to the exit where the bus was waiting because the bus came by and picked us up along with the Carnival guests in front of the Hard Rock cafe which is where our directions said to go.

Major glitch on the tour operator’s part.

They said they would fix it immediately. Going back to the ship at the end of the excursion was easy because now we were on the same bus, but with the right people going to the right ship.

And I misunderstood beach break.

I thought we’d be laying on a beach somewhere for a little while, so when John helpfully suggested I change into my swimsuit at the ranch, I did just that.

Imagine my surprise and embarrassment when I was the last person on the bus AND THE ONLY ONE IN NOTHING BUT A SWIMSUIT.

Turns out the beach break was a short stop on a, very rocky, beach for lunch at a little Mexican outdoor diner for those who wanted to eat authentic Mexican diner food.

Everyone else seemed to know this.

I threw my shirt back on, and put on a pair of John’s shorts and tried to play it off, like yeah, I was sweating in those jeans and just wanted to cool down, so I changed clothes.

Smoothe.

And nice call, John, for suggesting I change at the ranch to make it easier on me, when clearly nobody else was changing.

The rest of the day was great, though.

John looked hysterical on his horse, especially when it decided it didn’t want to be in the back of the pack, and became Secretariat all of a sudden and broke free to race to the front.

I’ve never seen a man grip a saddle horn with such ferocity before.

And that, my friends, was how our first-ever cruise’s,  last day shore excursion came to an end.

With me half naked and still fully embarrassed on a rocky beach surrounded by beautiful coral outcroppings and blue, blue water in Cozumel, Mexico at an authentic Mexican restaurant where we were both too scared to eat the authentic Mexican cuisine for fear of contracting Montezuma’s revenge.

In all fairness, I was scared. John’s always hated Mexican food.

I know I promised you I’d get right back to you and waited over a week instead, but the little engine that could ran out of steam and Adderall at the same time and needed some serious couch time to recover.

But, today was what I call “pharmacy day”

Pharmacy day is the day I get my Adderall prescription refilled for the month and let myself go wild for one night.

I usually stay up all night and sleep the next day.

This part-time addiction used to end up with me buying stuff online I didn’t necessarily need, but John cut me off and I’ve already bought anything senseless I could possibly want but not need anyway.

Thus, the blog.

I’m committed to you guys at least once a month, on pharmacy day when I will blog all night and half the next day if I have a month’s worth of crazy to share. Or you do.

Or Pinterest gets my goat, again.

I call it my part-time addiction because after the one night of either needless spending or totally random blogging, I skip a few days of my Adderall, then go back to using it as prescribed.

Amongst other mental illness, I really do have Adult ADD. Here, to make you feel better about your own life, and to let you understand that I get you and I got your back, is a list of my mental illnesses. I’ve been diagnosed with: Bi-polar II disorder, anxiety, depression, Borderline Personality Disorder (although I don’t believe that one-I think that particular Therapist just didn’t like me), and have been diagnosed (in my peri-menopausal days, which were two years of hell on Earth) as Schizo-non affective because I was having hallucinations-I saw letters for crying out loud. Letters, like ABC, Only in my mind they spelled out love letters my husband was writing to other women, and they to him. I was convinced he was having affairs with at least five women.

But the only person who could see these letters was me, because of course they weren’t there.

Oh, those were some dark times.

Yes, I understand mental illness, and I feel your pain, but remember this: it lies. Once I hit menopause, all the letters disappeared. Then my Doctor found a drug regimen that works for me, so I’m stable. I feel pretty good most days now and my marriage is strong. John is my rock.

I will probably never work a “real” job again, but I’ve made my peace with that. I raised three beautiful children, and each one of my children continue growing into their uniqueness as caring, responsible adults. I am proud of them all, Ryan, Matthew, and my “baby girl,” Greyson. Raising you was, and ever shall be, my real job.

And I have you all to talk to now.

That’s important to me.

You are important to me.

And, I have the dogs, Blizzard and Tsuki, who never leave me, even if I’m pulling an all-nighter downstairs and they want to go upstairs to sleep.

Stability is possible. Hell, it’s probable. Talk to people, take your meds and remember that mental illness lies to you, and that there’s no shame in having a mental illness. Don’t listen to the lies.

You are worth it.

Vicky

I am a freelance writer who makes words beautiful, exciting, persuasive, concise and alive, if a little loopy sometimes. I was born in S. Korea on an army base, and traveled the world from the age of 10 months into the present day, so I know a lot about many different topics. I've spent the last 22 years (and counting) raising three children into responsible young adults, and that is no mean feat. I've been writing for as long as I can remember: fiction, non-fiction, creative writing, poetry, creative non-fiction and all that falls in between. I'm a great researcher. I am also easy to work with. If you've got a topic that needs to be written about, I can write it. I've been married for 26 years to the same man, and that's a whole topic unto itself! If you need a freelance blogger or writer, hire me. I won't let you down. Contact: vicky@vickypoutas.com, Twitter.com/@vickypoutas, Instagram: @vickypoutas, LinkedIn.com/in/vickypoutas, Facebook: www.Facebook.com/vicky.batson.poutas

4 thoughts to “Aww, It’s Over”

  1. I love your honesty about your mental issues– I am sure it will help people and am so proud of your writing💗
    It truly makes me lol🙃

  2. Loved your cruise posts. Glad things have improved for you. I remember how hard it was for you when you were seeing “letters.” Only up all night once in a while? That is such an improvement. You are right: mental illness is a liar. Looking forward reading more of your blogs.

    1. Thanks Darlene. It’s always good to hear from you and I’m glad you’re enjoying the posts. Keep reading. The next trips are back to back Universal Studios for five days, then driving to NC for our yearly mountains cabin family reunion trip. We’ll be a week in Black Mountain, NC with all three families and my dad. You KNOW that’ll be craziness, lol.

Comments are closed.