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Caribbean Cruise & Hollywood, Fl Jan/Feb 2017 Part 11

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2/7/7 11:55am
America Social Pub, Las Olas Blvd, Fort Lauderdale, Florida

My moleskine notebook is almost full. I have a couple sheets of paper folded up in case I need a back up.

Caribbean Cruise & Hollywood, Fl Jan/Feb 2017 Part 10

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2/6/17 2:20pm 
The Taco Spot, Hollywood Beach, Florida


Caribbean Cruise & Hollywood, Fl Jan/Feb 2017 Part 9

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2/5/7 1:25pm 
The Taco Spot, Hollywood Beach, Florida

I found no party last night, but wandered the length of the boardwalk to the south (about a mile and a half). Maybe tonight, I’ll go north.

I went to bed around midnight and woke up at 9:30 this morning. I ate a bowl of cereal for breakfast, put on my swimming trunks and headed to the beach. I stopped off to buy a cheap beach mat on the way.

Caribbean Cruise & Hollywood, Fl Jan/Feb 2017 Part 8

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2/4/17 1:15pm
Hard Rock Café bar, Hard Rock Café Hotel and Casino, Fort Lauderdale, Florida

I woke up hard around 8am and slowly got myself up, brushed my teeth, dressed, and packed the last of my things in my man bag. Then, I did one last check of my state room before turning off the lights and closing the door for the final time.


Caribbean Cruise & Hollywood, Fl Jan/Feb 2017 Part 7

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2/3/17 6:40pm 
Carnival Conquest, Aft Deck, Somewhere between the Caribbean ocean and Florida


Caribbean Cruise & Hollywood, Fl Jan/Feb 2017 Part 6

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2/2/17 9:45pm 
Lido Deck, Carnival Conquest, Caribbean Ocean

Caribbean Cruise & Hollywood, Fl Jan/Feb 2017 Part 5

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2/1/17 11:58pm 
Lido Deck, Carnival Conquest, Caribbean Ocean


"Oh. I get it.

The Mega Deck Party is not a Mega Party on the Deck. Rather it’s a party (a term, which is used quite loosely) on the deck, which is mega in size. In other words, the deck is mega. The party is... not. There are a few people here and there hanging out, but not much is going on…"


I wrote this at 10:54pm. Just after taking this picture:

It was six minutes before the Mega Deck Party was to begin. I walked to the Red Frog Rum Bar and ordered a pina colada. I put my man bag down. Then, the DJ started. The cruise director and a bunch of the cruise staff came out on the deck and within in minutes an actual mega party broke out!

Caribbean Cruise & Hollywood, Fl Jan/Feb 2017 Part 4

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2/1/17 10:05am
Margaritaville, Georgetown, Grand Cayman Island

There was a lot of loud thumping music last night when I returned to my stateroom. Sleep did not come easily, but it came. I awoke chilled and stuffed up. I took a shower, because that seemed to help my sinuses last time and it helped a lot this time as well.

There were announcements from the cruise director, Eric, every twenty minutes or so about tenders and where to board them. You see, there is no pier at Grand Cayman and the ships just sort of float around off the coast while these small boats (tenders) bring people back and forth to the port.

I dressed quickly, because I was excited about Grand Cayman, and went up to the Lido deck for breakfast, which was cheesy eggs again and two glasses of orange “juice” (in quotes because it’s more orange flavored juice than actual orange juice).

Caribbean Cruise & Hollywood, Fl Jan/Feb 2017 Part 3

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1/31/17 10:25am
Aft Deck (inside), Carnival Conquest, Caribbean Ocean

I woke up around 9am feeling like I’d been hit by a truck. The extra Allegra makes me feel like I’m in a jar of molasses or that I’m a bear that’s been tranq… uil… ized…

I spent about a half an hour getting dressed before I went in search of more allergy meds that are not Allegra. They did not have anything in the Fun Shop, but they directed me to go to the Medical Center where they have various meds.

I waited about five minutes while the male, Russian nurse explained the pain scale to someone who appeared to be Filipino. The Filipino man kept saying his pain was a 10 out of 10, despite not appearing to be in any pain at all. The nurse, in a Russian accent: “You are in the worst pain of your life? You don’t appear to be someone who is in the worst pain in their life. Do you understand ‘worst pain of your life?’”


Caribbean Cruise & Hollywood, Fl Jan/Feb 2017 Part 2

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1/30/17 12:30pm Key Lime Pie Company, Just off Duval St, Key West, Florida
I slept fairly well despite loud thumping music coming from the lounge one floor below me. When booking this room, I was aware of the lounge and possible noise issue, but the lounge on my last cruise was lame and the parties died down by 10pm each night if they even lasted that long. On this ship, there are comedy shows in the lounge and for some reason they require thumping music.
I awoke just before 8am and I turned over to go back to sleep. However, the cruise director came on the loud speaker and said that we have docked and are ready for Key West, which excited me.


I laid in bed for about twenty minutes (I’m a 
slow waker) and then started my morning
routine. I put on long pants and a long sleeve
shirt and packed shorts in my man bag. I wore
sandals and went to the Lido Buffet for 
breakfast.
I ate on the enclosed aft deck (I think that’s what
they are calling it). Then I walked to the top 
deck to check out the view…

Caribbean Cruise & Hollywood, Fl Jan/Feb 2017 Part 1

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1/28/17 3:15pm
Albany International Airport, Albany, New York

I am sitting in the Albany airport sipping a Jade Citrus Green Tea while watching a plane taxi down the runway and pull up to the terminal. I don’t think it’s my plane. It’s just under two hours until my flight so it’s likely not my plane. I am going to Fort Lauderdale, Florida (after a changing planes in Baltimore) for a Carnival Cruise to the Western Caribbean.

I am very… hmmmm. Nothing. I am very nothing, I suppose. The excitement of an adventure is balanced out by the anxiety of any number of things that could go wrong. I am self soothing by breathing deeply, closing my eyes, and mentally walking myself through various scenarios where things go wrong and are easily fixed, despite the fact that they likely won’t go wrong to begin with. I’m doing this to calm myself. It’s working, but also subduing the positive excitement. Although writing about this in real-time is helping a little bit and I’m starting to smile (without…

Conor Oberst, Upstate Concert Hall July 2017

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Conor Oberst is my favorite songwriter. He sings about mental illness and melancholy, heartbreak and self help. His lyrics are clever and poetic, and they hit me hard in the place where my heart is supposed to be. I saw him play with Dawes -- who are another favorite of mine -- a few years ago at Brewery Ommegang in Cooperstown, NY. A good friend had actually won tickets and gave them to me and another friend. It was a great concert, but Conor Oberst has written his best stuff since then and I got to hear it live on July 22, 2017 at Upstate Concert Hall.