Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Cruisecation: Day Four

And then?  And then!

Joel and I woke up at 6:30 to watch the boat dock in Haiti (the rest of my family is already up at 6:30, so doing same hardly counts for them) and to eat free room service.  It gets an A+ for convenience and timelihood but was sadly devoid of Enough Ketchup For My Hash.

We scooted off the boat for our Snorkeling Adventure, which I blogged about here (as it was on my life-list.  For every 'snorkeling' that I check off that list, I add 'attend a masquerade' or some such and The List abides).

Did I mention that Dad brought along walkie talkies for the family?  Without which we would have wandered the beach forever looking for boo and Darren, since the only way to NOT DIE on a Haitian beach is to ensconce yourself in a cabana.  With your plate(s) of food.

The rest of the afternoon is lost to me in a haze of napping and showering and then probably napping again.  I believe dad and Joel went jet skiing?  Something watery and adventurous.  At any rate, I had a lamb shank for dinner.

And the strawberry bisque to start.  Cold fruit soups, who knew you had so many iterations?

And a warm chocolate cake with roasted pears and ice cream, which I would not have had except for our excellent waiter's excellent recommendations (Simon was never wrong), and a raspberry panacotta.

Oh my.  And then we took in OceanAria, an amazingly dichotomous show.  The acrobatics and high dives and strongmen and whatall were insane, but the dancing girls were, as Joel said, like the music they make you listen to when you're put on hold.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Cruisecation: Day Three

I told you it would be food-photo-heavy.  For breakfastses we ate at an enormous buffet called the Windjammer Cafe but which we referred to alternately as The Wingaling and The Trough.  Breakfasts were similarly delicious, ranging from oatmeal with add-ins to waffles with pile-ons.  There was always some sort of fried potato bit

and as much as it felt like a waste to be eating tots when there were shrimp omelettes lying untouched, they were the best tots of all tots.  I miss you, tots.

We spent our first full cruising day lying pool-side and pool-in

drinking fruited beverages brought to us by the sippy-sippy dudes.

And ok, your room card not only gets you into your room, it is your charge card for things such as pool-side drinks (and exorbitantly-priced sunscreen for mid-week when your bottle runs out), as well as your ticket into free events requiring reservation like all the shows.  Did I mention that I lost my room card within five minutes of being on ship?  And that they make it idiot-proof, because when any vendor swipes your card they get an image of your face on their screen so even if you lose your card, only someone who looks eerily like you would be able to charge things to it, and only until you realized it was missing and wandered down to Guest Services to get a new one issued, at which point the old one is nullified.  Also, they are very jolly about it, because this happens all the time.

Where was I?  Oh yes.  One can only spend so much of one's day lounging in the sun, especially when one is pasty-colored.

So we played mini-golf, because YOU CAN DO THAT ON THIS BOAT.

Some hooligan nine-year-old hit me in the shin with a ball, but Joel gave him what-for.  Where are these kids' parents?  Probably drunk by the pool.  Anywert.  Joel also tried out the wavejammermathing...the faux-wave where you could boogie board (there was also one for surfing).

The rest of us were too wilty or ambivalent or pregnant to try.

For formal dinner I wore the zebra-print dress Joel bought me for my birthday

and had escargots

and a papaya and pineapple soup

and roasted duck with cranberry cabbage

which I resorted to eating with my hands, because knives and bones are difficult

and a double strawberry cheesecake with a chocolate souffle on the side.

And then we cottoned on to the late-night swim (about two days before the rest of the boat did) and went prowling for late-night eatables (there's a sandwiches-and-cakes place open all night, and a pizza joint open until 3) and took our tired selfs to bed.  Lying by the pool will wear you out.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Cruisecation: Day Two

Our hotel promised continental breakfast, which in Canada is toast and maybe jam if you get there early.  We were pleasantly surprised to find that the lobby smelled of waffles, on account of the hot waffle griddle and the dispenser of waffle batter, for the purpose of making one's own waffles.

We had some hours in South Beach, which we mostly spent walking said beach and wilting and getting as damp as possible.  Our summer in BC has been lackluster, and we are not accustomed to things like sunshine and heat.

Also, we saw Versace's mansion, where he was keelt.  The doorman in the black suit (who discreetly stepped out of our picture) looked like he was going to melt.

The bus that was to bring us to the cruise port broke down and all the company had to spare was this limo.  No complaints.

Ok and so the boat.  The Allure of the Seas is, together with its sister-ship The Oasis of etc, the largest cruise ship asea.  It is, you guys, so large.  It is a theme park and a city and a shopping mall and a food court and it floats.  It has a central park.  And a carousel.  And a mini-golf course.  And a cupcake store.  And a hot dog stand, where you can get hot dogs because it is afternoon and you sort of forgot to have lunch and are starving.

So for the first day we had hot dogs and ice cream

and looked at all the things, and planned our future eating and carousel-riding and staggered into dinner a little overwhelmed.  And ok.  I have never been on a cruise.  I have heard you can order All The Entres if you want.  This is nuts to me, but I am totally for ordering several appetizers and a few desserts, because THE MENU!  She entices.  Plus, if there was ever a time to try watermelon gazpacho with celery and cucumber, it's on the hottest of days.

And this may have been the cucumber talking, but it was refreshing as hale.  So refreshing that I would try all the cold fruit soups for the rest of the week.  Cold fruit soups are frequently just smoothies in a bowl, you guys.

I also had the fancily-named fruit salad

the pork medallions

and the peach and blueberry cobbler with a side of chocolate mousse.

They make the entres smallish so's you can justify two desserts, me thinks.  I would eat like this always.  And THEN we went and saw Chicago! because cruises have musicals, and then we all did silly vaudeville moves (is any vaudeville not silly?) for the rest of the week.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Cruisecation: Day One

Shall we?  Ok.  Our cruisecation began at an hour in which one does not normally choose to get up, when our limo came to fetch us to the airport (because it's actually weirdly cheaper to rent a limo than a van large enough to seat eight people and their luggage)

and continued at an hour in which I am usually still sleeping, in which we spotted both Mattias Ohlund (Canucks defenseman extraordinaire) and Will Wheaton (former Star Trek: The One With Patrick Stewart star and current cameoster on Big Bang Theory) at the airport.  Ohlund was on our plane, and I may have brushed his arm.

Some many, many hours later, in which planes were delayed and infants wept, we arrived in Ft Lauderdale and barrelled down the road to our hotel in South Beach.  The hotel's location was chosen partially because of its proximity to this:

wherein you are given the impossible task of choosing A Thing To Eat off of this monstrosity:

and end up eating this:

at 1:00 am.  Or maybe you get a tuna sandwich and put an onion ring in it, I don't know your life.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011



Mini donuts!

For cheap!

For five!

For my belly!

Pulled pork!

Trick motorcyclists!

Cotton candy!

Enormous cattle!



And one more for good measure.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Boxes, boxes everywhere, and not a drop to drink.

We are semi-unpacked.  I still don't know where any of my pants are, and I only just found my cache of socks.  But the important bit is done.

That's Señor Bones down on the bottom left, ogling Estella the Lady Skeleton. Sam Skellington is in storage, so the good Señor has roughly eight months to make his move.  But he also might be forced to wear Sam's various hats, so it's a bit of win/lose for him.

I have vacation posts (in my brain.  Not written.  Unpacking makes me nappish) but to tide you over, Joel and I stopped at Pig for pulled pork sandwiches on our way out of Victoria forever.

We will obviously be returning, if only for said sandwiches.  If you are of the meat-eating persuasion, and in our province's capital, and in possession of six dollars, make your way to Johnson and Blanshard.  They have soda pop in glass bottles as well.  I am jealous of my past self.

Monday, August 22, 2011

I just took a 2-hour nap.

We are home and it is raining and I can't find any PANTS because all of my pants are packed.  I had planned to re-wear hastily-washed cruisewear until we unpacked such unnecessaries as pants.  But Vancouver has other ideas.

I will have posts.  They will be photo-laden, and most of those photos will be of food.  Brace your hungry eyes.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Notes on the last day in this house.

Some people are enterprising and sometimes those people are me.  I have made soup out of Things Left In The Fridge.  Thanks, Past-Me, for leaving Future-Me the use of a deep enough saucepan.  And a knife.  And, inexplicably, a bay leaf.

I thought I needed to buy more bobby pins but I really just needed to clean my entire house.

Somebody is going to need a bath after this.  But not in my clean bathtub.  (Somebody is actually just going to go to sleep with very dirty feet.  Probably in the next ten minutes, actually.)

I am not as agile as formerly.

Eat New York!

You guys!  I have been packing!  It has been hellish.  We won't talk about it.

Instead, I will do a food round-up of our New York trip, which I just now realized I never did and should do otherwise it won't get done and then I will go on a cruise and come back with more food pr0n and forget about this.  Everyone knows trips are for eating!  So!  New York, how we ate you.

(I will be doing this without the aid of my beloved Document, which is now packed.  Woe for my memory.)

My sister and I are not mens, and as such we prefer near-constant snacking to several hearty meals.  So for the most part we got A Thing and then split that Thing and then a few hours later got another Thing.  That way you get to sample more Things.  But our first night in NY we were so starved that we each got our own Thing from the pizza place across the way.  The pizza slices were 'uge.

Mine had spinach and tomato and a soft cheese which was probably unpasteurized and therefore off-limits for my pregnant self, but mad tasty (and I didn't get listeria, so).  Bekah's had broccoli and diced chicken fingers, which SOUNDED TERRIBLE but was excellent (I hear.  Chicken was on my no-fly list, and I can still only eat it if I don't have to look at it or think about it.  Why you so gross, chicken?).

Our first morning we were all, What does one eat?  Because we hadn't yet fallen into the habit of ducking into ANY DELI ANYWHERE and getting scrambled eggs and home fries, or french toast and home fries, or french toast and scrambled eggs and HEAPS OF BACON for, like, $3.25.

So that first jet-lagged morning we ate at Dunkin Donuts and were like, Well now that's done.  We made up for it by going to Coney Island later that day and getting hot dogs

and funnel cakes.

We ate loads of tasty street-cart meats (and at least one more hot dog outside the BEA, which was nast and kind of put me off my feed) and no small amount of bagels (which really are better in NY and have forever ruined me for west coast bagels), all of which were delicious and none of which got photographed, because we were busy eating them.

But certain foods were iconically New York and obviously we had to get a soft pretzel in Central Park (it helps that wandering lost through the Met for hours works up an appetite)

and a cheesecake(s) from the bakery around the corner from our hostel.

That bakery was a dangerous sauce, because every night we'd be staggering home, exhausted and maybe a little hungry, and we'd duck into the bakery just to see and we'd walk out with fritters the size of my face.

I already talked about our Mexican extravaganza at Panchitos, so I'll just repost this photo and move on.

What I haven't talked about was Brother Jimmy's BBQ, half a block from our hostel.

We'd walk by there every night on the way home, hungry enough for the bakery but not quite hungry enough for some South in our mouths, but then the day that we got lost in Little Italy (again) we had PLANNED to have dinner there, like a bunch of fore-thinking grown-ups.  Getting lost = extra starved = hush puppies to start

and pulled pork to finish

and nothing left on the plates, and every one of the sauces sampled LIBERALLY

and everything was amazing and everyone was happy.  We need THAT to be HERE in my FACE.  (I would like to point out that there were four pickles and that Bekah ate three of them when I wasn't looking when HALF OF FOUR IS CLEARLY TWO and they were very excellent pickles and I'm still resentful.)

After Brother Jimmy's, what are you going to do, right?  Nothing.  I can't remember a single thing that we ate after that, except that I had a very disappointing bagel at the airport in Toronto, and that we had quite a good knish at some point after trying to figure out what they were for ages (a deep-fried mashed potato patty.  How is that not going to be good?) and that, aside from the Sarah Dessen whoopie pie (azmazing) and the Shel Silverstein black-and-white cookie (disappointing), we also ate some ridiculous tiny cupcakes at a booth that asked if we were a small business, and that nearly half the booths had candy out in the first few days and we lived kind of mostly off that for a while, and that none of our airlines fed us and so we bought some overwrought pastries from the pastry cart outside our hostel (that we weirdly missed seeing until the LAST DAY) and they got crushed in the carry-on but were perfect anyways, and that even though I was very newly pregnant I wasn't sick or tired, thank the goodness.

New York, you fed us well.