Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Ship of Fool

London was a whistle stop compared to the portion of the trip spent sailing from Southampton to New York.

I find that I feel odd writing about the crossing. I have my notes, and I have my photos, but I still can't believe I did it.

Here's the thing: I am not from a family that often indulges in life's big luxuries. When I was a kid, five of us (parents, grandmother, and sister Sue) did make an epic journey of sorts; but it was from the Arizona to Ohio in a Plymouth Scamp that was pulling a U-Haul trailer. We stayed at Holiday Inns, we ate at McDonald's, and we liked it.

The last of my relations to travel from Europe by water was my great-grandmother, Anna, in 1910 or so. She came over in a leaky bathtub called the Re d'Italia and (to hear her tell it, and I often did) she spent the entire journey from Palermo to New York in the baggage hold eating her own hair because my great-great grandparents couldn't even afford steerage.

As with the London write-up, what's below is taken from my travel notebook mostly unedited, so hang on tight.

London to Southampton

The romance of travel is dead. How many old, British novels have I read in which Lady Cordelia Tosspot pulls on her gloves and says crisply, "I must dash, or I shall miss the boat train." Then she pops into a cab, and arrives at a soaring train station amid puffs of steam, and is handed into a brass-bound coach and served a drink while a flotilla of eager porters heaves her trunks and hat boxes into the luggage car.

The boat train is no longer how you get there. You now take the boat bus. It is not a luxury experience, though it has a luxury price tag. First, you sit at Victoria Coach Station in a plastic chair, inhaling fumes from the adjacent Burger King and watching the pigeons crap on the cell phone vendor's pushcart. Then you drag your own suitcases out to the baggage van, and pile into an overcrowded coach. You drive for two hours down the motorway listening to the obnoxious Italian next to you (who doesn't think you can possibly understand him, since you're American) rag on American clothes, deportment and culture while noisily devouring a Coca-Cola and eating a ham-and-cheese sandwich from Subway. His elbow frequently digs into your ribs, and you retaliate with a surreptitious lace needle to the arm.

Arriving at Southampton, you stand in line for forty minutes at the Cunard terminal, which is a large, tin shed heated to about 22 degrees Farenheit.

Then, having posed for the obligatory "Welcome Aboard" photograph of yourself looking like a neglected rag doll, you step into the Grand Lobby.

Lobby

The string quartet is playing. The fresh flowers smell heavenly. The light makes you look ten years younger. Every surface is polished and glowing. And your steward, Charles, welcomes you warmly. This assemblage is waiting on the table in your stateroom along with a tray of hors d'oeuvres.

Welcome Aboard

Suddenly, you feel a whole lot better.

This, by the way, is Southampton as it looked from the balcony of Stateroom 11.136.

Southampton from the Balcony

And this is what happens when you're taking panorama shots but your traveling companion has already popped the cork on the champagne.

Goofball

A Day at Sea
  • 7:30 am. Room service arrives with coffee (Tom), cocoa (me). Room service is free and they will bring you anything, anytime. Regret now that I did not test this by ordering a chocolate milkshake and a peanut butter sandwich with the crusts cut off at 3:27 am. Maybe next time.

  • 8:30ish. Shower, dress, breakfast in the Britannia Room.

  • 9:30ish. Nab good seat in Sir Samuel's (wine bar on Deck 3 which in early morning provides unlimited access to pain au chocolat). Knit.

    Knitting Spot

  • Alternately, nab choice seat in library looking out over prow.

    My Seat in the Library

  • Or, sit at library desk and work on big project am not supposed to talk much about right now but please stay tuned.

  • Noonish. Lunch in Britannia Room.

  • Nap.

  • Or, go to ship's planetarium and nap there. You're not supposed to, of course, but the chairs are very comfortable and it's dark and the gentle rocking of the waves makes it impossible to stay awake and listen to Tom Hanks talk about mapping the universe.

  • Or, walk on deck. Photograph Transatlantic Hat at work, and admire the ship's funnel, which is the sexiest piece of industrial design I've ever seen. The horns are from the original Queen Mary and can be heard for ten miles.

    Hat

    Funnel


  • Or, get a massage in the ship's spa. (No photo available.)

  • 3 pm. Needleworkers Group in champagne bar on Deck 3. Meet, over the course of six days, endlessly fun, fascinating and talented parade of knitters, quilters, embroiderers and lace-makers. Learn much. Laugh much. Knit not so much.

    Needleworkers Aboard

  • 4 pm. Friends of Dorothy meeting in Commodore Club. This is, believe or not, an "official" shipboard activity listed in the Daily Programme. We are given our own section of the club complete with fresh flowers and a little sign. Enjoy hearing, at least once a day, loud inquiry from clueless passenger to waitress: "Who is Dorothy? And why are all these men friends of hers?"

  • 5 pm. Dress for dinner. Three formal nights (dinner jacket), one semi-formal (dark suit), two elegant casual (jacket and tie). Would like to point out, please, that I tied my own bow tie.

    The Bow Tie is Real

  • 5:45 pm. Cocktails in the Chart Room. Since I don't drink I only had several very unglamorous glasses of water, but the chairs were extremely comfortable.

  • 6–8 pm. Dinner, Britannia Room. We are extremely lucky with our tablemates. Three entertaining couples, two from the United States and one from Canada. We are usually one of the first tables to fill and almost always the last to empty–the company is that good.

    One of the guys is an independent movie producer and gave us an advance copy of his latest, a Western romp in the good ol' style called Palo Pinto Gold. If you have fond memories of Roy Clark from "Hee Haw" (and I do, thank you very much) or you voted for Kinky Friedman when he ran for governor of Texas, you have to see this movie.

  • 8 pm. Retire to stateroom. Charles has turned down the bed and left chocolates (check flavor, hoping for Dark or Orange) and the Daily Programme for tomorrow. Tom reads aloud highlights from schedule while I knit.

    Programme

  • 8:30ish. Check out the dancing in the Queen's Room, which you might expect from the name to have been full of Friends of Dorothy but which emphatically was not. Was full of very white people dancing very whitely. Slowest damned waltzes I've ever heard. The rising generation needs to reclaim the waltz as the breathless, invigorating thing that it ought to be.

    This is a shot of the the Officers' Gavotte in full flight.

    Officers' Gavotte

    As you can see, I experimented with a slow shutter to make it appear as though the dancers had actually been in motion.

  • Or, take off tux and put on swimsuit and robe and go sit in hot tub on Deck 12. Perfection, as very relaxing before bed and entire pool area is empty. One memorable night, we took the wrong elevator (there are four elevator banks, it's easy to get confused) and wound up on the open deck instead of at the pool. So we ran, giggling, across the moonlit planks through the Atlantic wind in our robes and slippers. I felt like Zelda Fitzgerald.

  • 9:30ish fall asleep reading fantastic book on Louis XIV from library.

Doorbells

[Written on day two] When housekeeping shows up at my cabin they just knock on the door. But today I noticed there are some Fancy People on this deck, traveling in what Cunard calls "Grill Class." They have suites, butlers, and their own dining room and pool. They also have doorbells. Little shiny brass doorbells.

I am sorely tempted to take the cloth laundry bag out of our closet, ring somebody's doorbell and scream, "Trick or treat!" when they open the door.

The Pet Lamp


The stateroom was faultless except for one of the two sconce lamps over the writing desk, which had come loose and jiggled frenetically up and down, like Paris Hilton on date night. At first we meant to ask Charles to have it looked at, but we kept forgetting. And then we became fond of it. You'd open the door, and it would jiggle happily at you like a puppy wagging its tail.

By the second day it had become our "pet lamp" and I photographed it.

Our Pet Lamp

Being out of sight of land for more than two days can make you act very, very weird.

Don't Get Too Cozy

On the navigational chart that's posted so you can see where the ship is, has been, and will be, the captain helpfully marks the spot where the Titanic sank and lets you know when you'll be passing over it.

New York

It is far too easy to get used to life on a Cunard ship and extremely heartbreaking to give it up. So the night before arrival, everybody gets a little crabby–except the people who are staying on another couple weeks to sail to Miami and the Caribbean. (Those people, if they know what's good for them, don't say much and keep to their rooms until the rest of us disembark.)

When the Queen Mary sails into New York, she doesn't go to Manhattan. She's too big. They had to build a new terminal for her, in Brooklyn. To get to the terminal, the ship sails under the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge.

The top of the funnel clears the bottom of the bridge by about six feet. Here's a picture.

Under the Bridge

That shot was taken at 4:15 am. The temperature on deck was about 18 degrees Farenheit. I am glad I got up to see it once, but will happily to sleep through it next time.

This was New York in the morning.

Bridges

Manhattan

New York

Arriving in the United States by ship was oddly disorienting. It was very much as though we'd gone to sleep in a British hotel, woken up and found that everything outside had gone American.

I have no photographs of the plane from La Guardia to Chicago. We left New York early, and it only took two hours to reach O'Hare, but the flight seemed to last a whole lot longer than six days on the ship. No dance floor, no elbow room, and when you tell an American Airlines stewardess you'd like a chocolate milkshake and a peanut butter sandwich with the crusts cut off you're not likely to get the answer for which you were hoping.

Getting used to life on shore has been so dreadfully trying, my dears. Dreadfully.

104 comments:

Anonymous said...

But of course you tied your own tie.

Lorraine said...

What an experience.

Anonymous said...

I feel so-o-o sorry for Dolores -- she would have been the belle of the ball, ne c'est pas?

Zelda said...

Pain au chocolat plus knitting sounds to me like an easy recipe for disaster and heartbreak. (Unless the pain au chocolat was *shudder* cold.)

Having learned to waltz in the Appalachian tradition rather than the Viennese, I quite like them slow, thankyouverymuch. It's a gentle stroll in your partner's arms, or, if you are following a strong and familiar lead, you can close your eyes, and then it's like flying.

Definitely staying tuned here.

amanda @ lorna's laces said...

the verrazano-barrows bridge is my favorite piece of architecture in all the land...absolutely stunning.

kerrylinnet said...

Hot damn! You look awesome in a tux!

Zelda said...

Forgot to mention: My married name was Fitzgerald. Thank FSM that's over.

And, of course, you look smashing in the tux.

Nikki said...

You look so handsome, content and happy. WHat a amazing journey you had! I hope you can do it again soon, but bring Delores, so she can do the "trick or treat" thing.

Nelly Olsen said...

*sigh*

Lynda the Guppy said...

You're looking very debonair and (dare I say) sexy in that tux! Sounds like you had an amazing trip. Thanks for taking us along!

Areia said...

That's a wonderful account of the crossing. When we moved to the US three years ago, my (American) husband and I treated ourselves and our two cats to trip, and it was one of the best travel decisions we ever made. We had zero jet lag on arrival, the cats got to be the novelty of the kennels, and best of all, I got to immigrate by sailing past the Statue of Liberty and have the New York Seaport as the Port of Entry on my Green Card.

When we eventually move away from Chicago we have every intention of going back the same way.

Knitting Librarian said...

How did you decide what knitting to bring?!?

B and the boys said...

Thank you for sharing all your pics and entertaining stories with us from your trip. What a terrific journey!

Anonymous said...

This has nothing to do with your ship crossing and everything to do with your book ... I just received it as a birthday present ... it is a wonderful book and I am so pleased to own one ... thank you for such a delightful offering!
NOW I just need a view like some you had on board to inspire my knitting!
Soozuhn

quinn said...

Franklin, what the heck were you "reading" in the library...the Bayeux tapestry?

I'm so glad you had this trip. I come from Scamp People, also, and find it difficult to truly revel in luxury. But I think it's important that we *try* - don't you? ;)

Gail said...

Am so glad you mentioned Pugin ... and your photos of the ship reminded me of Sheeler's paintings of factories ... made me smile instead of remembering teaching recitations of "baby art."

But what, no Brideshead Revisited? Charles and Diana on the ship heading back to London?

The QE2 used to give "free-ish" passage if you agreed to "teach" a class - one of my colleagues taught passengers about the art they would see in London or Paris.

Hope Dorothy (and you) come to NY/NJ one day for a visit.

Kim U said...

Wow, what an experience!

kirsten said...

Thank you for sharing this lovely journey. It is doubtful I will ever do this myself, and it is wonderful to do it vicariously through you.

judithrcns said...

This now goes on my bucket list - lovely, lovely, lovely.

soxanne said...

Are you positive you're a Friend of Dorothy? 'Cause you can by MY friend anytime!

(Great tux - nice job on the tie)

FrozenExtremities said...

*GASP* What a magnificent trip! The QM2 visits Halifax in the fall and I always try to be out to watch her arrive and leave. One of these days I'm doing that crossing. Thanks so much for sharing!!

Sarah said...

What fun!

Anna M said...

There's no way you can knit the Bayeaux Tapestry but if you are looking for yarns to match the colors try Renaissance Yarns, they are in France I believe and make matching skeins.

Frankly I stitched a portion of this tapestry once and it bored me to tears.

Anonymous said...

Wow, you look so suave in formal dress! And Tom's hat looks terrific, and nice and warm. I'm going to reminesce (sp?) vicariously for a while!

Paul said...

The pictures of your trip are terrific, and how dashing you and Tom are in your tuxes (which, of course, is NO surprise)!

Shanti said...

That looks like a wonderful trip - and you two look so dashing!

I particularly liked the picture under the Verrazano Narrows bridge. Bridges are always exciting on a ship. When we crossed under the Coronado Bay Bridge the bridge had a contest - a six of the driver's choice if he/she could get the ship precisely in the middle of the bridge. Never happened, but it was fun trying.

Dana said...

Ah...sigh...I'm so glad I can live vicariously through you Franklin. Both in ridiculous lace making and in fantastic trip taking.

M-H said...

Wonderful pics, and a great post. Thanks for your memories.

Liz said...

I'm waiting to see how the Bayeaux Tapestry will be incorporated into the secret knitting with a bit of fear and trepidation since it's one of my favorite works of art and I have a table runner and pillow on my living room sofa both inspired from bits of it.

--Deb said...

And when I tell people I'd like to sail across the Atlantic someday, instead of flying, they think I'm crazy ... ha! It's the only way to travel.

Northmoon said...

Isn't it wonderful to live like the wealthy do once in a while? A friend and I splurge once a year and stay at the Fairmont Royal York on the "Gold Floor" for a weekend. Worth the outrageous price to see what luxury living is like.

But a whole week on the Queen Mary!! That would be amazing. Thank you for sharing your experiences.

crazyknittinglady said...

OH MY GOD. I had no idea a boat trip like this was even possible, and now I want to do this more than anything. This sounds much more civilized and relaxing that plane travel!

ISABELLA said...

Wonderful
and of course you can tie a bow tie, any of those knitting people fans of yours?
have a great thanksgiving
fergie

Jessica K. said...

Oh my god, the waltz is a bold, invigorating thing to my young(er than you) generation!!! Have you ever been to a contra dance? Waltzing is very hip, awesome, etc.

Knitting Linguist said...

Is that the Bayeux Tapestry I see in that picture? It does seem appropriate for a voyage by sea. The picture of you in your tux is wonderful!

kmkat said...

Franklin, you are to die for in your your tux and self-tied bow tie! Oh, and Tom ain't bad either...

But what happens when global warming hits full force, all the glaciers melt, and sea level rises six-and-a-half feet? What will the Cunard people do then?

no-blog-rachel said...

Welcome home. That part about the doorbells just cracked me up. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Darci said...

Dear lord that man in the tux is sexy!

rozaroni said...

Franklin in a tux = hawt!

sloth-knits said...

*sigh* That sounds like an incredible journey!

I initially misread "Friends of Dorothy" as "Friends of Dolores" and was 1) thinking how great it was that news of Dolores had spread that far, and 2) wondering what such a meeting was like and whether anyone had to be fined or arrested :).

JanKnitz said...

Thank you for sharing MY dream trip with us. I had a lovely (if vicarious) time.

(OK, I still have a few issues with the fact that it was you and NOT ME who got to go on my dream trip, but I'll get over it . . . someday . . . maybe).

Just color me green (with envy)

And, really, I'm glad you had a good time--can't wait to see what Delores was up to while you were gone.

P.S. I never thought I live a sheltered life but I had to look up Friends of Dorothy. Learn something new every day ;o)

JellyDonut said...

I wept when I saw the photo of the Grand Lobby. Getting to the point where you actually board the ship is pure hell, but that moment when you finally step into the lobby makes it all worth it.

I cannot thank you enough for the posts about your trip. I shamelessly live vicariously through your lovely prose and photos. Now if I could just get my hands on that hat pattern...

Thanks again, and Happy Thanksgiving.

Snarled Yarns said...

Boobala, it's ok you'll get used to it again. Thank you for the pictures of the city, I've been homesick for a bit. You looked dashing in your formal clothes and you also tie a great bowtie.

April said...

Wow, what an incredible adventure. And I would be hard pressed to think of someone who deserved it more than you. And that Tom - what a cutey patooty. Is that how you spell "patooty", I can never remember.

eliz.luttrell@mindspring.com said...

What an amazing and beautiful story! Thank you so much for sharing it with us. And I am with the rest of the gang - you look uber-fantastic in a tux!

PS, will you email me please, I have a gift for you!

Amy said...

I'm extremely jealous.

"As you can see, I experimented with a slow shutter to make it appear as though the dancers had actually been in motion." This is definitely the funniest thing I've read all day! If you want fast waltz, go to a Viennese ball. There's some major collisions there.

anne marie in philly said...

such a handsome man in a formal dinner jacket! dayum!

the pix of the ship's funnel reminded me of art deco architecture.

the pix of the tugboat and the statue of liberty reminded me of barbra (hey mr. arnstein, here I am!).

and you and tom are back home safe and sound. that will end when dolores gets home. was harry glad to see you?

may you and your family have a peaceful thanksgiving day! smooches!

puffthemagicrabbit said...

Beautiful.

DPUTiger said...

I'm sorry, but is that the Sta-Puft Marshmallow Man's hat in the photo of the ship going under the V-N bridge? Sure looks like it!

Your crossing sounds fabulous, but I'm terrified I'd get horribly seasick and be miserable the entire time. Maybe someday.

maurimoii said...

Wow. Obviously I'm going to have to reconsider my 'no sea voyages' decision.

Kate L said...

I'm pretty sure there's a Friends of Dorothy section in the Bayeaux tapestry, by the way. It's on one of the pennants being waved. Honestly.

Rabbitch said...

These posts made me get sort of mooshy.

My grandfather, you see, worked on the QEI and the QM also. No, not *on* the ships -- he helped build them.

He likely got to hear the very same horns you did on that ship.

I'm so glad you had this opportunity. It sounds wonderful.

Linda said...

Lucky Dolores wasn't there to disgrace you.

Sarah said...

If you think being at sea for 2 days will make you weird... the longer you're out, the weirder you get. Which is why I have a story about my grad school advisor singing "Danny Boy" to a pod of killer whales!
And as a friend of Dorothy, do you know Tobias F√ľnke?

the Lady said...

Love.

KarenJoSeattle said...

Don't you look dapper in the tux. As one who grew up traveling the West by Ford station wagon and Airstream Little Loafer trailer, since hotel rooms were too expensive for a large family from a turkey ranch, I'm very impressed. Heck, as someone who had high tea at the Ritz on my first afternoon in London 20 years ago, I'm impressed.

And, as someone who lives in the Emerald City, I figured the Friends of Dorothy all came from somewhere over the rainbow. I hope you can travel that way again some day.

Violetsrose said...

You took the bus???? - why on earth??? - there is a perfectly good train from Waterloo to Southampton that takes just over an hour and you could have travelled in comfort (and even upgraded to first class if you were feeling really frivolous) - then a nice taxi would have taken you round the corner to the docks taking about 5 minutes from Southampton railway station - MUCH better than a stinky coach from Victoria!!

Mum and I used to drive down to Southampton water to watch the cruise liners go out all the time - most leave on a sunday afternoon so it was a nice end-of-weekend activity to watch the boats and walk along the shoreline - I was there when the Queen Mary II made its maiden voyage out of Southampton - the shoreline was packed with cars with people watching and as we beeped our car horns the boat replied with her horns - it was an amazing sight

I can't believe you were in Southampton (just down the road from where I used to live in Winchester) and I'm now miles away living in "the North" - so annoying!!

Sweet Camden Lass said...

Nothing quite like a Viennese waltz: if you want to really whirl, then go for a Swedish Polska. Bit smoother, too.

Will be inviting you to the next ball I go to. ~x~

DutchJan said...

Gosh, what a nice trip. Take the next time first the cruiseferry to Holland :-)

Anonymous said...

You have made travel by ship sound wonderful. And you are one sexy devil in a tux! Sexy before, but totally out of control in a tux. That pic should be in next year's calandar.

Anonymous said...

Absolutely wonderful. Was just wondering wether as a published author you could suggest to your publisher a knitting travel book. You would be wonderful. Jacqueline x

Elizabeth said...

Darling boy, welcome to the world of cruising. You are now spoiled forever from travelling any other way. ENJOY IT! Remember the words of my Auntie Mame--"You can always go first class, you just can't stay as long.."

Cheers- Elizabeth

Liz said...

You both look terribly elegant in evening dress - and great photos. The trip sounds heavenly. (And I hadn't heard the phrase Friends of Dorothy for ages...)

JO said...

I not only voted for Kinky, I collected petition signatures to get him on the ballot. I'll definitely look for the movie. :)

yarnpiggy said...

Thanks for the lovely account of the voyage. I've wanted to cross the Atlantic by sea ever since hearing about my mother's trip when she emigrated to Canada.

Mind you, I'd probably spend every morning in Sir Samuel's scarfing pain au chocolat, and never experience the rest of the ship's treasures. :-)

Tini said...

"Or, sit at library desk and work on big project am not supposed to talk much about right now but please stay tuned" so you ARE writing about the Hanse in the medival times in the Baltic area....

Anonymous said...

You were SO meant to live that life!
And today I give particular thanks that you have the education/intellect/writing skills to take us along with you.

Bgstoner said...

You are so damn lucky and I hope you know it mister! :)

Ann (yet another) said...

For a split second there I could have sworn that said "Friends of Delores" - oh my!

FOD was probably a much more sedate meeting.

Beautiful photos, and a pair of handsome devils you are!

My verification word is bessings.

Bessings be on this house!

bobbi said...

Thank you SO much for taking us along!!!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like hell, pure hell. When are you going again?

LittleWit said...

You've made me really want to take a ship from England to the US now. :) Your trip looks like it was marvelous.

Miss Sandra said...

I know its just me, but the pic of the ship's stack looks like its moving...
Awesome trip, I hope we get to do it again soon. (though it will be ceremoniously thru you. No boat rides on the Queen Mary for me I'm afraid. Sigh.)

ML said...

Maybe you and Dolores are working on a remake: The Baaa-yeux Tapestry?
Thanks for sharing your unforgettable experience with us.

Yvonne said...

Thank you for sharing the experience. I especially loved the Doorbells thoughts.

(Just as an aside, a strange coincidence here: my word verification is shipt.)

Emily said...

Love your evocative travel notes, am confused about when the Queen Mary acquired the Bayeux tapestry, and if there is any travelogue that makes me want to risk my motion sickness to a cruise, this would be it.

Judy in Indiana said...

Please do not let Delores know about the Friends of Dorothy, or she will demand equal tme with the Friends of Delores club. I think, though, that might be more befitting of the Carnival Cruise Line.

KnitNana said...

Wow. You in a tux.
(sigh)

daisy in the shenandoah valley said...

You are such tease! The big project that you can't tell us about... So coy. Like we wouldn't notice.

Umm, so, when can you tell us?

Thoroughly delighted for you (and Tom, too).

Kristen said...

Oh, but you are just smokin' in your tux. Woof. Thank you so much for sharing your Atlantic adventure!

Roggey said...

Again, welcome home and thank you for sharing your trip.

Am still wondering how you could leave a place that served unlimited pain au chocolat. While you knitted. *sigh*

christine said...

I LOVE you in your bow tie!!

....and I know who Dorothy is.

the mental image of you trick-or-treating cracked me up totally.

BTW....where DID you stash Dolores?

(studio_fishy@y7mail.com)

chellebelle said...

Absolutely stunning... and the pictures of the ship weren't bad either. But really Franklin, it is your humanity, intelligence, and wit that have me coming back each day to see if you have something else to say. Welcome back, you were missed.

undeadgoat said...

Dear Franklin: I love you at least as much as I envy you. Will be asking for your book for Christmas after all.

P.S. Friends of Dorothy? How . . . old school!

Sharon Rose said...

Has the ground stopped moving yet?

Toby Wollin said...

My mother dragged my sister and me to England via the QEII in 1960, in cabin class. I was 8 and got to sleep in a crib because that is what we could fit into the room with the bunk for two that my mom and sister got. I got to watch Dirk Bogard in "Doctors in Love" three times on the way over, listen to a girls bagpipe band from a college in Ohio practice on deck, drink beef tea at 10 a.m. daily, take salt water showers, and got a trip to the beauty salon to have my hair washed, dried and braided into what was 'the latest style' by a lovely girl there. Somehow, I don't think we got the same level of trip that you and Tom did.

ErickaJo said...

You make me so happy. You look very smart in your bowtie, I love picturing you with a laundry sack full of candy, and your pet lamp? You saw Anchorman, right? I love lamp!!

Glad you had a good time. Thank you for sharing it.

2muchfun said...

Oh my. Someday. Someday.

deniasha said...

It's very easy to get use to being that pampered that quickly isn't it? And Americans just seem so rude afterwards even if you are an American.

texasdawn said...

Franklin, you look awesome in that tux. You're breaking us gals' hearts here. I know how hard it can be to talk about a big trip because it is so huge and and overwhelming in your mind. I studied in europe for six weeks over thirteen(!) years ago and have never really sat down and told everyone the whole story of the experience. I am so glad you and Tom had such an awesome time and I have added this cruise to my "must do before I die" list. p.s.(I'm loving the book.)

Julie said...

Wow! Look at YOU all dressed to the nines, tying your own bow tie! What a fantastic cruise...I'm so glad you had a chance to go, and even happier you shared it with us!

Seanna Lea said...

I'm filled with envy. That sounds like a beautiful trip.

alala said...

Lovely. Thanks so much for documenting that.

Patti said...

nice.. and I must say you are quite dashing in your tux. btw, I FINALLY found a copy of your little book in my LYS,and have been giggling ever since! Loved the poncho essay the best. Welcome home

dale-harriet said...

Franklin, THANK YOU! I'm one of those who revels in Vicarious Experiences; this was one of the best. I'm not surprised you know how to tie a tie, you have a big streak of 1920s Elegant, to my way of thinking. And welcome home, by the way - it's all well and good for you to go globe-hopping, but you belong to US! :o)

TracyKM said...

You look awesome. We just got back from our second Caribbean cruise and can relate to alot of what you wrote. I'm Canadian though, and after a few days, got tired of the many 'stereotypical' Americans. The rudeness in the Miami airport alone was astonishing. But, a cruise is an awesome way to be made to feel somewhat important, even when you've got the tiniest inside cabin :)

Colleen said...

What a wonderful chronicle, Franklin. And you look smashing in a tux.

Eileen said...

Oh, you write it well. (But you lived it perfectly.)

I've been on the original Queen Mary (she's drydocked in Longbeach, CA) for an Art Deco festival. It was glorious, even though not up to the standard of her glory days. (Food was not very good. Service? Teeeheeehee.)

I'll stay tuned!

Kathleen said...

Of course you tied your own bow tie. Looks like a wonderful adventure.

ellen said...

Oh the envy! Looks like the best kind of cruise, and in good company too.

GuildWars2Items said...

I will spare no efforts in doing things WOW Power Leveling, the master of a single trade can support a family. The master of seven trades cannot support himself wow gold, No one has ever been or will ever be strong enough to take our freedom away from us Sell WOW Gold.

GuildWars2Items said...

It's a serious question D3 Power Leveling and one you're likely not asked all that often Diablo iii Power Leveling, successful in each endeavor D3 PowerLeveling, take a look at what you do each day and ask yourself "why am I doing this?"

Timbaland said...

I have interested in studying English since I was Sell RS Gold in high school. I love it very much. I watch english Sell Runescape Gold movie and listen english music frequently, but I don't have much opportunity to speak english in my real life. Fortunately, I have a chance guild wars 2 gold sell to practice my speaking and improve my english in language center.

Timbaland said...

The past is sell guild wars 2 gold gone and static. Nothing we can do will guild wars 2 gold sale change it. Thefuture is before us and dynamic. Everything we do will affect it. The consequences of today are sale guild wars 2 gold determined by the actions of the past. To change your future, alter your decisions today.