Sunday, November 27, 2016

7H: my kind of cruise ship

Seven and a piece hours driving, including lunchtime stop at Texas Roadhouse in Gainesville, yielding absolute, total collapse into bed exhaustion, not at all a good octogenarian Saturday. Televisions in TR had the Michigan game on, score 3-0 Michigan at the time before we headed on down the highway. Hint: don’t get overly excited when the score is three-oh, and don’t order the “country fried tenderloin steak” I mistakenly anticipated was going to be real Texas chicken-fried steak, ‘twarn't. Fool me once.

27-30 and 13-31, 'twarn't no good football Saturday neither. 

On the drive down yesterday, at least we weren’t heading the other direction on Florida’s Turnpike, mile after mile after mile of stop-and-go bumper-to-bumper traffic creeping and crawling out of Disney northbound home from the holiday, clogging the northbound lanes on both the Turnpike and on I-75 from north of Gainesville all the way south to the Orlando exits.

Not this trip but one of these days I may return to WaltDisneyWorld to see if renovated Pirates of the Caribbean is still my favorite ride. Decades ago, arriving early mornings, I’d hurry straight there and, before crowds started creating a long line, ride round it half a dozen times before heading over to the Haunted Mansion.   

With more of Ray and Britany’s wedding party, we’re off to breakfast at ten o’clock this morning then to the Carnival cruise pier at Port Canaveral to board their good ship Valor. Linda and I’ve not been on enough cruises to have a favorite, but we do anyway and so far it’s hands-down Disney Cruise Line. For me actually, it’s neither Disney nor Carnival but either a WW2 Navy destroyer or 7H.

Not much of a cruise-ship cruise fan, last time I enjoyed sea duty was 1959. SOP, my ship went to Guantanamo Bay for refresher training after shipyard overhaul, early winter it was. Underway from Norfolk, Virginia, USS CORRY in snow flurries as we entered the Atlantic Ocean and headed south for GTMO. Because Fidel Castro and his band of guerrillas were in the mountains nearby, we were not permitted off base. 

Couple days later sailing on Guantanamo Bay with close friend and shipmate, skipper in sailing, and partner in whatever Don Senese and an iced tub of Heineken. From Boston and a fan of the Boston Pops, Don hated the same Navy that I so loved, couldn't wait to get out while I was augmenting to Regular Navy, he was a Russian language major at Harvard, his family’s Episcopal parish served sherry at coffee-hour, mimosas and bloody-marys I recall him saying, then the family headed home for martinis before Sunday dinner. Evenings at GTMO, two Navy ensigns in the O Club sipping pure sunshine: Añejo and soda. 

Castro dead with his hatred of America for our pre-revolution imperialist treatment of Cuba (we are sadly a nation of blind to self, always placing the blame elsewhere narcissists). With respect to all who escaped from Cuba during Castro and are still understandably filled with hate, the Cuban people, who have long endured evil government, equally feared and detested Batista before him: their oppressive governments nothwithstanding, our right way is to cultivate cordial relations with the Cuban people.  

Tonight supper on board, 6:30 dinner reservations and I may have lamb chops and a glass of dry red.

DThos+ overdoing life in +Time+

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