By: Paul S. Cilwa Viewed: 6/16/2019
Posted: 1/2/2008
Topics/Keywords: #Cruise #Humor Page Views: 2927
The vacation starts tomorrow.

We leave tomorrow for this year's vacation.

Is one day long enough to prepare for a cruise? —But I won't even have a day. I have to work and won't be able to pack until afterwards, maybe an hour. Is that long enough? Maybe it's too long…I wouldn't want to start stressing over it. After all, it's a vacation; which is supposed to be the antithesis of stress.

I don't want to imply that this is a spur-of-the-moment vacation. We've been planning this trip since August; and by "we", I mean my daughter, Karen. This will be our second cruise, the first having been taken last May.

That one was a lot more ambitious. It was a whole week, and departed from the East Coast whereas we live in Arizona; so we had to first fly there. This one is just three nights at sea, and departs from Long Beach, California, which is driving distance from here.

Kind of. Occupants of our vehicle will be myself, Michael, Mary, Karen, and Zachary. And the trip takes about 7½ hours, which would be a tad uncomfortable for the adults, especially if we were unable to give Zachary a heavy sedative prior to departure. (The doctor hasn't been cooperative on that point.) We have an SUV, but it's an older one and a little cramped for that many people on a long drive.

Solution: A rental van with built-in DVD. Zachary is so excited about watching the DVD in the van that he doesn't really care if we go anywhere. We could drive around the block for 2½ hours and if the time was spent watching Pirates of the Caribbean 3 he'd be happy.

Additional solution: We aren't driving all the way to the pier at Long Beach in one stretch. Instead, we intend to stop at a motel in Banning, about 5 hours from Phoenix and 1½ from Long Beach, for the night. That way we can make the final dash to Long Beach after L.A.'s horrendous rush hour, and still have plenty of time to get to the ship by 1 pm, before which we wouldn't be allowed to board, anyway.

The motel is apparently associated with a casino and an outlet mall. Proximity to the casino means the availability of good food at reasonable prices; and proximity to the outlet mall means we won't see Michael until Friday morning when it's time to head for the ship.

Traveling with us, but in another vehicle, are Michael's sister, Surya, and our friends Barbara and Peter. They'll be meeting us in the motel, and we're looking forward to spending some time with them on the ship.

I'm not certain how much blogging I'll be doing during the cruise; it depends on the reliability and cost of Internet access at sea. (Last May it was a bit problematic, though I have seriously improved my blogging mechanism since then.) But we'll be taking lots of pictures and I will be sharing them here—so stay tuned!