Thursday, October 13, 2016

The Princess Diaries, Part 2: Really Random Thursday edition, 10/13/16

Let's be honest. One of the best things about cruising is the food you eat and the people you meet.

Actually, Mark and I were quite careful about the amount of food we consumed, something that isn't easy to do on a cruise ship. If you have cruised before, you know what I'm talking about.

The stats are quite amazing. For example, on a single cruise there might be between 110 and 115 tons of food delivered to the ship. The average amount of meat cook daily includes 930 pounds of poultry, 975 pounds of beef, 385 pounds of pork, 250 pounds of veal and 120 pounds of lamb; 8 gallons of mayonnaise used daily, 900 pounds of pasta, 1200 pounds of potatoes. That's a staggering amount of food!

So consequently, we also did a lot of walking. If you walked around the promenade deck 2.8 times, it would equal a mile. We tried to do six laps most days. And climbed a lot of stairs.

For breakfast, every single day, I had scrambled eggs, bacon and an English muffin, completely bypassing all the many breakfast pastries there were to choose from. And for lunch I usually just ate a sandwich and some watermelon. It was one of those cases where I was so overwhelmed by choices that really nothing looked good.

That has happened to me in a fabric store once or twice. But I digress.

Our big splurge, calorie wise, was having dinner in one of the specialty restaurants. We had received a voucher for a free meal where they usually have a cover charge of $29/person. Even if we had had to pay the cover charge, the meal would have cost so much more in a fancy Fresno restaurant.

Mark started out with barbecued alligator ribs. Seriously. Alligator ribs. They were actually quite tasty.
We did pay an extra $5 each for lobster. And they were huge!
The desserts that night were outstanding.
The bread pudding was the best I have ever had.
Mark was looking forward to the night they serve escargot. Not me. But he really seems to enjoy them. If it was just butter and garlic, and no escargot, I might consider one of these little plates.

This was the weirdest thing I saw the entire cruise. Some kind of fruit. Does anyone recognize this?
So you saw them in half, and inside is something that looks like an egg but tastes like a grape with a big seed in the middle. So odd.
One day at sea I was in my usual hangout, doing some English paper piecing, and people started looking outside. There was a capsized boat floating past. Our ship slowed down and we heard later that the captain had been in contact with the Coast Guard. We never did discover whether it was just a boat that had come loose somewhere, but there was talk of "no survivors." It was quite eerie.
Before the hot weather hit, in other words, before we got to our first port in Mexico, Mark was able to watch football. On the big screen. By the pool. With a blanket. Like I said, pre Mexico...

My usual hangout was the Crooner's Bar. It always had a good view and I would sit there and happily doing my hand sewing. It generated some interest so that once in a while people would say, "Oh, you're the person who does all the sewing...." Good times. I got quite a bit done.

I even came home with a little quilty inspiration.

Worn by a man in the buffet line...
The first morning at breakfast, we happened to sit next to four people who became some of our best friends during the next two weeks. It's a funny thing that happens on cruises. You can get to know people quite well in a short amount of time you have. They are from Ft. Myers, Florida

Gary and Debbie.
Bill, and Gary's brother, Larry.
After that first morning, we often had breakfast and lunch together. Also, it turned out that their table in the dining room was next to ours. It was great getting to know them, and we had lots of fun conversations.

We also had very interesting people at our own table. Probably some of the youngest on the whole ship were Ben and Anne, honeymooners from Germany. They were the cutest couple, as I probably mentioned every single night at dinner.They both came from East Germany and were born just a few months after the wall came down. We had some very interesting discussions on what it was like for their families after that historic event.
Anne braided her hair each day. I kept taking pictures and told her she should do a YouTube video on her technique.

The rest of our tablemates included Larry and Margie, from Arizona.
Norman and Micheline from Palm Springs (Norman is British and Micheline is French Canadian). Among the many interesting things we learned about this couple, many years ago Norman sailed around the world in a 50-foot sailboat, including sailing through the Panama Canal, where it cost him only $8.
Randy and Marilyn from Santa Maria. I'm sure we will get in touch with them the next time we make it over to the Central Coast of CA.
And here we are on one of the formal nights.
Lastly, a sneak peek at our day through the Panama Canal. This one's for you, Steve and Anne.
Tomorrow, part 3 of the Princess Diaries, the journey through the Panama Canal.


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Charlotte said... #

it all looks so delicious! Those funny fruit are rambutans - really yummy :-)

lauraoc said... #

Looks like fun, glad you are back, missed your blogging!

Ariane said... #

Looks like you were having a fun time. I love your paper piecing blocks!!

Needled Mom said... #

Glad that you found time for a bit of stitching between ALL of the buffets. ;-) Meeting your tablemates is fun. I love those braids.

I'm looking forward to seeing the adventure through the canal.

Debbie said... #

What a great time!

Robby said... #

I think that fruit must be rambutan, which I have never had a chance to taste, but read about. See? I'm a nerd on both sewing and food! I was recently in Dresden and hearing about the changes after Germany re-unified was quite interesting. Thanks for taking us along on your trip.

Wendy @ Wendysquiltsandmore said... #

I thought the fruit must be rambutan too, but you didn't mention a strong smell. If they are really smelly, they are rambutan. Looks like you had a lovely time.

Marg said... #

Looks like loads of fun. And you had an amazing time. I was lucky enough to sal through the Panama Canal in January but we sailed from Fort Lauderdale to LA. The spiky fruit are definitely rambutan. They are delicious. I think Wendy might be thinking of durian, another tropical fruit but has a terrible smell The smell is so bad, most hotels in SE Asia have signs up banning durian. Apparently they are a delicacy.

OPQuilt said... #

So many people to eat! Wait. So many people to meet while eating! I'm glad you got a lot of sewing done--your work is beautiful.

Anne / Springleaf Studios said... #

You sure met a lot of people for a proclaimed introvert. Fun Fun Fun.