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Monday, November 19, 2007

Welcome Back Hank

Vacations are often times really tough. That's the case today for me. Currently I'm sitting on the train to New York, my usual Hoboken route disrupted as a direct consequence of my vacation. This is how it usually goes, which is one reason I say vacation is tough. I usually get back in serious need for change. I was going to drive to Jersey City and take the Path from Journal Square, but the 1 inch of snow plus the fact my car barely started canned that idea. So I took the NY direct and expect to get to Brooklyn by about 8:00 this morning.

Vacation was good. It was nice to get away. This snow is interesting and makes the landscape look appealing, at least while we're still on this side of Maplewood. But it's a stark contrast to the 90 degree temps we saw down in the Caribbean. Am I ready for it? Yeah I guess. What choice do I have? I woke up at 5:30 this morning and got out before the sun came up. I like change. I need change. I'm dying to rearrange the furniture in the living room. I may change my name to Hank.

I think it's safe to say we're done with JetBlue. The flight down to Fort Lauderdale was delayed so we got to the hotel at 11:30 Friday night. No big deal save for the 19 month-old in tow. The cruise was good, a nice change of pace with a crazy amount of food, a fair amount of alcohol, and good friends in tow as Terren and Cheryl and little Livia joined us as well.

I have no cool highlights of the trip really. I broke an exercise bike in the fitness room as I put it on the highest level and did the hill workout. About 20 minutes in the belt went POP and that was that. It rained in Jamaica so we stayed on the boat. It didn't rain in Grand Caymen so we got off the boat and did a little beach and shopping. Overall it was a bit heavy on food and drink and light on stuff to do. But it was good to get away from this place for a while. I'm already looking for cruises and flights around Christmas time because I want to go on vacation again. It's unrealistic because the prices are mad high. But I want to get on a plane and go somewhere, even if it's a flight to Oregon and we stay no more than 2 nights. Just, you know, get the hell away.

The New York train is smoother and faster. But then the subway ride will be longer. But but the Path ride is cut out and I don't have to go outside. But but but this is more expensive. This NY train is really pricey now, $10.50 one way. I think the Hoboken is $8.25 though so it costs a lot either way. The Path adds $1.25 real money so it's $9.50 total with both legs. And I don't think this will end up being much faster, maybe 10-15 minutes, we'll see.

Our basic vacation day went like this. I would wake up before anyone else, maybe 6:30 or so. I would head up to the cafe and get a coffee and cereal and then either get another coffee or go to the gym. Nat would wake up around 7:30 and we would shower and have coffee then wake up Julia at some point. We would sit down for breakfast, all 6 of us, around 8:30-9:00 until about 10:00, and drink more coffee.

From 10-12 we'd find something to do, a kid's class where they would run out of the lounge every 30 seconds, or the splash pool, or get off the boat, or just explore all the while drinking coffee. Then we would eat lunch at 12 and nap the kids in the 1-3 realm, when Nat and I and sometimes Terren would sit out in the hall eating a second lunch and having more coffee. This is usually when I would start drinking beer or wine for the day. Between 3-6:30 we would find something else to do, such as Bingo or trade off watching the kids, and keep drinking. Then 6:30 dinner and after that Terren and Cheryl would get Livia ready for bed while we would go back to the room or walk around with Julia. Bed was usually 10:00 for us.

Yeah I know it sounds boring but it was a nice break in the routine. Would I do it again next week? No thanks. There's just not enough to do for the kids at this age and the cruise line doesn't go out of its way to help that. So there are no play groups or rooms for them which leaves us finding conference rooms to hang out in. But would I do it again someday? Yes, absolutely. Funny I was talking to Orion yesterday and he said basically this: Cruises aren't my thing but man that sounds really good right now. Right on, exactly that's how I feel now. I never much cared for the idea of a cruise but right now it lingers as a nice memory and stands in stark contrast to the white stuff on the ground. I think waiting until Julia is 3 or going with my parents in tow would make it better. It was a good time either way though. Good to escape from NJ for a brief foray into a world where people are paid to be friendly to you. One thing that's almost depressing is how not-friendly society is now that I'm back. Jeez what a bunch of jerks we all are.

On the bike, I rode Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Friday I felt like I was drunk on the trainer, my balance was all out of whack. Saturday I was outside and it was cold but not too awful. Sunday I did intervals of pain. So this kinda marks the start of the 07/08 season now. Sorta. On that note my 10 day drinking binge is over as well. Thursday I turn 36 and as a birthday present to myself I'm riding my bike out to my parents in PA where Nat and Julia will meet me and we'll have turkey and all the good stuff.

Anyway, welcome back Hank. I'll detail the return journey in tomorrow's blog if I don't drive to JC. I felt like I was in the movie Planes, Trains, and Automobiles that day. JetBlue dropped the ball again on that one. More to come when I get the time to sit down. Right now have to stare out the window for a few minutes.



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