Through the Prism

After passing through the prism, each refraction contains some pure essence of the light, but only an incomplete part. We will always experience some aspect of reality, of the Truth, but only from our perspectives as they are colored by who and where we are. Others will know a different color and none will see the whole, complete light. These are my musings from my particular refraction.


The Tale

Wednesday, 5/24

Drove east through St. Louis, southeast to Nashville, and east again to Knoxville, where we stayed for the night - had a cooler with food and drink so we didn't have to buy anything on the road (except expensive gas)

Thursday, 5/25

Headed across the Smoky Mountains on I-40 - stopped an hour into it to hike for a couple of hours on the Appalachian Trail along the Tennessee-North Carolina border - dense forest, kinda backwoods hillbilly lonely/scary - on and off rain, mud, damp - but really pretty - some people spend months hiking the entire 2,175 miles from Georgia to Maine - we saw one of the shelters they sleep in; pretty rough - a fun change of pace from driving

Headed on through North and South Carolina to stop for the night just into Georgia - had a nice run to stretch the legs - had dinner and walked around after to experience the nightlife of historic Savannah - a very interesting place

Friday, 5/26

Headed down the coast on I-95 - got excited the minute we reached Florida and skirted around Jacksonville to Jacksonville Beach - frolicked in the ocean for a bit around noon and got our first sunburns of the trip - continued on A1A for a while right next to the water - saw expensive houses and preserved coast - eventually got back on the interstate and continued to our hotel in Pompano Beach (Ft. Lauderdale) - ate at the fisherman's wharf and had the fresh catch of the day (mahi-mahi) and walked on the pier watching the night fishermen

Saturday, 5/27

Drove the last bit into Miami, found the pier with lots of time to spare - headed over to Miami Beach and saw it begin to spring to life for the Memorial Day weekend partying - had breakfast, swam in the ocean, walked, and checked out the very hip stores - watched all the people trying to impress everyone with their bods and bling - headed back and boarded the boat (Carnival Triumph) - found our cabin, had lunch - she slept, I roamed, got moved in - watched Miami fade away - headed to the dining room and met our table-mates for the week (Canadians from Halifax), had excellent food - tried out the on-board casino - crashed

Sunday, 5/28

"Fun day at sea" - slept a lot - worked out - watched the ocean - mostly avoided the sun - ate excellent food

(If you've never cruised before, all the food is included in the cost of your ticket. If you care to dress up, you get really nice, multiple-course meals in the dining room. Fancy things like escargot and chilled mango soup. Pick whatever you want from the menu, no worries about cost. We went this route every evening and a few mornings and lunches. Then there are a couple of more casual buffets, the 24-hour pizza place, the chinese kitchen, the hamburger grill, etc. And room service. You will never go hungry.)

(While the food is free, the alcohol and pop are not. The have numerous night clubs, a casino, gift shops with alcohol, jewelry, etc, and lots of other ways to spend money and find entertainment. They have lounge shows, magic shows, and comedians, bingo, games like survivor and newlyweds. The spa with makeovers and massages. All kinds of stuff, most of which we didn't get into too much.)

Monday, 5/29

Day at port - the island of Cozumel, Mexico - got ready to leave and found our excursion (Mayan Jungle Adventure) had been canceled - ran and got a bike and snorkel one instead - rode along the road in a bike parade behind our guide, so nothing too adventurous or strenuous - saw iguanas, the coast, and a cenote - learned about how the island is recovering from being underwater for 60 hours during a hurricane last year - then enjoyed some excellent snorkeling

After the excursion, we walked into town - had lunch and checked out the very tourist-oriented shops - kept walking and found a "locals" beach on the other side of town - swam some more and enjoyed being away from the other tourists for a while - walked back and found ourselves sun beaten and tired (maybe 6 miles of walking throughout the day) - had dinner and went to bed

Tuesday, 5/30

“Fun day at sea” – tried to stay out of the sun – slept a lot – paid $10 to do a spinning class – pretty low key

Wednesday, 5/31

At port in George Town, Grand Cayman – our excursion started with a trip to a turtle farm – saw huge sea turtles and held baby ones – pretty neat – then stopped by a small shop to sample Tortuga rum cake – then went to Hell – an area of volcanic rock that’s pretty severe and barren named Hell, with a post office, so we sent some postcards home from Hell

Then the bus took us to a boat and we headed out into the bay on the backside of the island – it took 20-30 minutes to get to the sandbar – like the perfect beach without a shore – soft white sands, 3-4 feet deep in the middle, clear blue water, gradually deepening off to the sides – and swam with stingrays – way cool – they eat squid out of your hand and let you hold them – but are still pretty scary – but we hung out with them for a good while – then our boat wouldn’t start – one of the guides climbed under the boat and the battery blew up in his face – he wasn’t too badly hurt, but a police boat took him to the hospital while another tour boat took us back to town

Town was a bit different since the Cayman Islands are still British and exist for reasons other than tourism, so we saw people in suits going about their business and we weren’t accosted by salespeople in front of every store – found a nice Thai restaurant a bit off the main road – resisted the temptation to buy pirate souvenirs - walked and shopped before reboarding, sleeping, running, and having our usual nice dinner

Thursday, 6/1

At port in Ocho Rios, Jamaica – the first land with any kind of elevation in days – did an excursion that started with ocean kayaking – two person kayaks – calm seas – stopped by an isolated little beach with a cascading waterfall and everything – absolutely perfect – rested and swam for about 20 minutes – then went on to Dunn’s River Falls - the gimmick there is to climb your way up for a good half mile or more - would be lots of adventure and fun if it wasn't so controlled - have to walk in a line and hold hands, follow the guides, etc. - still really pretty and pretty fun

Didn't spend much time in town this time - the people were way too aggressive and in-your-face about getting you to look at/buy their wares - we lounged on the beach right by the boat for a bit, then called it a day - enjoyed the usual evening routine on the boat

Friday, 6/2

"Fun day at sea" - chilled - packed

Saturday, 6/3

Had breakfast on the deck while waiting for our turn to debark - watched the flurry of activity making repairs, refueling, and such to get ready for new guests coming in the early afternoon - made it through customs and such to get on the road by 10:00 - drove through the middle of Florida into Georgia, took a back highway to Montgomery, up to Birmingham, stopped for the night 2:00 EST/1:00 CST the next morning just outside of Memphis

Sunday, 6/4

Rose after 8 hours of sleep - drove through Arkansas and Oklahoma to catch I-35 north into Kansas - stopped at the parents for an hour to pick up our dog and tell them about the trip - got home a little before midnight


At 6/09/2006 10:33 AM, Blogger The Girl in Black said...

And quite the tale, it is!

Even with the disappointment on the canceled port calls, it sounds like a lot of fun.


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