So... I went on a cruise. That was fun. Hopefully I'll get to do it again someday.
I'd never been on a cruise before, but the friend I was traveling with went on one with family years and years ago. It was her idea to turn the trip into a cruise. Initially, we'd thought a road trip would be fun, but when we factored in the rental car and gas and a different hotel every night, etc., etc. this was a better option. Food was included, we didn't have to drive anywhere, and there was always something to do.
The food was good— I tried Baked Alaska, which I now have to figure out how to make because it was excellent— and I thought it was a wonderfully relaxing way to travel. The boat rocking meant I slept really well but also that I randomly tottered over one way or the other when I was trying to stand still whenever we got off the boat for an excursion...
I could really go on and on about this. I live in Minnesota; I love it here, but there aren't any oceans or mountains. Sometimes the horizon just begs to be made interesting.
We flew out from Minneapolis to Toronto, then Toronto to Quebec City to catch the boat. They lost our luggage going from Minneapolis to Toronto. Not much fun there; we had to go to a lot of different desks over the course of the day and tell people about it since we were jumping on another flight and then getting on a boat. It worked out, though; we had our luggage by the next morning.
From Quebec City (which I wish there had been time to explore) we hopped along from port to port down the coast and ended 11 days later in Bayonne, New Jersey. Despite all the chatter about the hurricane, we had near-perfect weather. It got a little chilly on deck with the wind, and especially when the sun went down, but there weren't any rainy days. Hell, there was only one day that even partially qualified as overcast. We missed one stop (Bar Harbor, Maine) because there were 20-foot waves at the pier and it wasn't safe to go ashore, but it was a nice day out at sea— my friend and I are both bookworms, so we parked it in the lounge chairs and powered through our reading lists.
I got a picture of the ugliest sheep (or possibly a particularly pathetic-looking goat) at the Fortress of Louisburg:
Peggy's Cove was probably my favorite:
There was a man in a kilt playing the bagpipes out on the rocks. He was very good. We did our exploring, then found a nice rock to sit on and listen. The rock was sun-warmed, the view was excellent (man as well as lighthouse), and I've always liked bagpipes.
We arrived in New Jersey last Sunday, and then waited around a lot. We waited to get off the boat, we waited to go through customs, we waited for the shuttle to the airport. We got to the airport a few hours too early to check our baggage, so we waited for that chunk of time to pass. Then we waited in the terminal for boarding... you get the idea. The upside is that I got to finish one last book.
And now I've been home. Back to reality. I did laundry, vacuumed, all that real life stuff. Also work. I had to go back to work after nearly two weeks off. On the upside, there are some really pretty Fall colors going on at home right now— I heard the famous fall colors of the East Coast were running about a week behind the usual this year, which means we missed them on the trip.
So back to the usual, then. Sorry for carrying on so much. (And the selfie.)