Saturday, October 16, 2004

Trip Journal -- Day One

9 Oct. 2004

Portland is cold.  The hotel lobby is cold.  We've been told to pack for "mild to warm" weather and, just sitting here, you feel like you'll never wear shorts again.  I strike up a conversation with a couple from Houston (who, bless their hearts, think I might be the same age as their grandson.  He's 20.)  Anyway, they've cruised with this company before (to Alaska) and the woman and I both think that we didn't pack nearly enough fleece.

I probably did, actually -- although I packed it in my checked bag -- and that isn't going to do me a whole lot of good until I'm reunited with it on the ship.

We got on the ship around 3:30.  I met my room.  My office is bigger.  The room is certainly doable for one -- and two people and their suitcases would, actually, fit in a room this size -- but I've no idea how the people could open the suitcases and get to the contents.  Seriously.  I unpacked my bag on the other (twin) bed, I've got my shoes on a ledge and my empty bag wedged under the bed.  And I'm still sitting in my own lap when I brush my teeth.

Rooms are equipped with "marine toilets" -- a box about the size of a phone booth housing a john (biodegradable TP only) and what looks like a fairly decent shower head.  The towels are on bars surrounding the toilet, and a shower curtain has been hung to prevent them from getting soggy while you shower.  This may be the first time I've rested my feet on the toilet to shave my legs while in the shower.

We had our introductory kayak explanation/waiver-of-liability-signing session.  Outdoors on the deck (where the kayaks are).  I had to go back to my cabin for my fleece jacket.  (You'd think I would've thought that one out.)  The kayaks look awfully stable and the whole insertion/paddling process is designed so that we don't ever actually get wet.  A completely dry kayaking experience.  (I hear Wil laughing his butt off already.)  I'll let you know tomorrow.

Dinner was scrumptious.  Seriously.  Steak with portabello mushrooms and mashed red potatotes. 

Afterward, we had sign-ups for white water rafting on Thursday.  I'm a little concerned about freezing my ass off (and the one "class five" rapid on the route) but still managed to be first in line to sign up.

I'm unique in my age group on this ship.  I've seen many older and a few younger people.  (Some folks brought teen or adult children.)  Generally, it's an older crowd.  But an older wanna-get-out-there-and-do-stuff crowd, which I respect.

I'm extremely tired and gonna turn in for the night once I master the Gamble of the Thermostat.  We have individual fans/H/AC units -- but whether they blow hot or cold depends on how the crew sets the main switch.  Now, it's kinda cold in here and presently blowing cold air.  But I don't want to miss it if they decide to blow hot, y'know?  So I have it on the lowest fan setting, on the theory that I won't get too much cold, and it'll be worth it when they flick the switch to hot.  Flick it!  Flick it!

P.S.  I pulled down my sheets to find -- no mattress pad.  Just a bottom sheet directly on a mattress.  The weird thing is, there's a mattress pad balled up on the floor under my bed.  (I saw it when stowing my suitcase.)  The other bed has a mattress pad.  I shall now revise my original assignment of "bed bed" and "dresser bed."  Too bad.  I was lying on this one while writing the journal and I got it all warm.

Tune in tomorrow for the next thrilling installment of NZforMe's vacation, sailing down the Columbia...

1 comment:

annalisa135 said...

Tiny, tiny, tiny!!  I wouldn't have been too happy about that, especially shaving my legs on the toilet while in the shower!  (lol!!)  Thank goodness you're a small chick.  Imagine if you were big?  Dry kayaking?  (giggles)  Looking forward to hearing all about it.  ((((nz))))