Leaving On Our Cruise

Trip Start Jan 13, 2008
Trip End Jan 20, 2008

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Flag of United States  , Louisiana
Monday, January 14, 2008

How excited can I possibly be today? Especially since Michael just told me last night that we're going to Honduras. As much as I hate changing plans at the last minute, I think I can get over it this time. Usually, when we plan a trip I get all excited about what we're going to do and see and I just hate it when things change at the last minute. But this time I think I can handle having our plans changed because I absolutely LOVE a surprise! Biltmore Estate can wait until another time.

However, I'm faced with the obvious reality that I've packed all the wrong things--long-sleeve shirts and jeans--thinking we were going to be hanging out in New Orleans this week. But thankfully, last night after Michael revealed the surprise, he opened his suitcase, pulled out a bunch of clothes and said, "Can you wear any of these?" He had packed some of my summer clothes AND my sunscreen! That was really a surprise. I don't know what I'm going to do with him. Now I only need to pick up a few T-shirts to make sure I don't suffocate in the heat of Honduras.

To the store we go to pick up a few last-minute items, then back to the house to finish our packing. With all of the excitement, I'm fishing for clues as to what else will happen on this trip, so I start asking a bunch of questions. "I'm worried that my bag is too heavy to make the 50-pound limit for the airline. What do you think?" I ask Michael, hoping his answer will confirm that we're headed to the airport. "It's fine," is all he says. Darn! That didn't work. "Should I bring a book or a few magazines for the trip?" I figure this question will let me know if we'll be relaxing the entire time or if we'll be too busy to read. "Sure, bring your book," he replies. He really isn't giving up any additional information. So I give it a rest.

I jump in the shower and emerge to find the bags all loaded in the truck and Michael just about ready to leave. I'm still not sure about his idea to have his dad drop us off at the airport and then drive the truck back to the house. I've never seen Pa-pa behind the wheel, and something tells me this 79-year-old man doesn't have a valid driver's license, but hey, I'm just going with the flow. Here comes Ma-ma. I guess she's coming along to see us off. How nice. As we drive along to our destination, I jokingly tell Ma-ma and Pa-pa that they are not allowed to drive over 35 mph and they must be home by 9 p.m. Michael adds, "And be careful driving this truck, it has a lot of power!" something his dad used to tell him when he was younger.

Along the way, Michael decides to take a detour and drive through his old neighborhood. We must be making pretty good time if we have time for a guided tour of Old Algiers. He's pointing out this old building and that renovated house and the three of them are chatting it up about the good old days in the 'hood. I'm trying not to be alarmed about the time (for goodness sake, I don't want to miss our flight because we decided to take a trip down memory lane), so I just sit and enjoy the sights. We drive onto the Algiers Ferry, which quickly takes us across the Mississippi River and into downtown New Orleans. As we drive past the infamous Convention Center, I suddenly realize that this doesn't seem like the way to the airport. And then I notice something. "Hey, that looks like David and Arlette's truck!" I say to Michael. "Yeah, it does," he replies nonchalantly.

As we round the corner, I notice a sign that reads "Cruise Ship Terminal" and immediately I feel that I've been PUNKED! We're not going to the airport after all; we're going on a cruise! I can' believe he pulled a fast one on me! I glance over at Michael and he's got this big smile on his face. We exchange no words.

As we pull up to the unloading area, a friendly fellow rushes to remove our bags from the truck and for some reason, we all get out. Ma-ma and Pa-pa and I are just standing around while Michale shuffles through paperwork for the guy. Then I swear I see Arlette in the distance. I know that's her. Hmmmmm, I guess that's part of the surprise, too. David and Arlette are going on the cruise with us! This ought to be fun. Then, I notice this guy is pulling out a bunch of bags; 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 ... Where did all these bags come from? Michael and I only have 3. Hey ... wait a minute ... is this why Ma-ma and Pa-pa are here? Are they going on the trip, too? Did they know this all along? You've got to be kidding me! This is too much. I'm putting the pieces together in my head.

As we board the enormous ship, Michael tells me that his parents knew they were coming with us, but didn't know we were going on a cruise. If Pa-pa had known, he probably wouldn't have come. They also don't know that David and Arlette will be on the trip. I guess I'm not the only one who's being punked. So as Michael coordinates with David on the phone, I sweep his parents away to check out the ship. When we meet up with Michael several minutes later, up from behind us emerge David and Arlette, much to the surprise of Ma-ma and Pa-pa. 
We all enjoy a laugh.

Michael takes a deep sigh of relief because now the entire secret has been revealed and he can finally relax.

We grab a bite to eat before setting sail,
and then walk around some more to begin familiarizing ourselves with the ship. It is beautiful.

As the ship sails, we all make our final farewell phone calls to family

and then prepare for a lovely dinner,
our first on board the Norwegian Spirit.

I can't wait to find out where this ship will take us this week! 

Slideshow Report as Spam
Where I stayed
Ma-ma and Pa-pa's house
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