|Ace Hotel, Seattle|
|Explorer of the Seas|
We were greeted at the door with an option of juice or champagne. The gentleman handed my 18 year old champagne, and I quickly realized how much things have changed since we started this adventure six years earlier. My girls are growing up.
|Paradis and her Champagne, Photo by Paradis|
We walked around the ship navigating from the front (forward) to the rear (aft), and committing to memory the port and starboard sides (all while thinking "can't they just use regular terms like front-back-right-left...we aren't joining the Navy?"). Our first stop was the library by the request of Annelies. Annelies has volunteered endless hours at our local library. I wouldn't say she reads any more than the average teenager, but libraries are her Happy Place. I am not sure if it is the organization of the books, the simplicity of the belongings, or the quiet, but she feels at home inside any library. Paradis sipped her champagne.
|Annelies in her Happy Place|
At 1:00 our room was ready, and we dropped off our carry-on bags. We went to lunch at the Windjammer Cafe', which will be our main dining option all week (a buffet). At 3:00 we were told to report to deck for a muster drill (again, why not "Safety Drill"?). Annelies is a rule follower, and her anxiety demands listening to every.single.word. I try and respect that, but as we are at port and I am anxiously considering the fact I am going to quickly lose cell service, I can't help but take selfies, text, and Facebook Numb while listening to "get off your phone mom", "mom, seriously you need to put your phone away". I admit I rely on her to listen to all the details during these types of things. I dig that kid.
|In line during our safety...I mean, muster drill|
|Photo by Paradis|
After setting sail it hit me I had been up since 5:00am, so I suggested a nap. I like naps. We always set an alarm, so we do not 'piss away the day'; after forty-five minutes we were up and walking around the ship once again. I admit the three of us felt a bit lost. We like schedules. We like having a plan. We wandered. We looked at the daily newsletter to see if anything appealed to us. But we just wandered, and explored. At 7:15 we went to the theater, which is another Happy Place for my girls. We settled into the seats, and the girls talked about the lack of catwalks, and Paradis made comments on the lighting. We enjoyed a forty-five minute show which was a teaser of sorts for the shows that will occur every evening. We will be back.
At 8:00 we left the show a bit early because the Optix had a Meet & Greet. The Optix is the teenagers Night Club. Since arriving on the ship, and receiving the Optix schedule of events, I could tell Annelies wanted to check it out. Teenage years are awkward. The three of us stood outside the Optix for nearly half an hour as I used every motivational speech I could think of to get her to enter...I offered to walk in with her, but the sign "for the safety of our teens, NO ADULTS allowed sign" discouraged me from entering (well, the rule follower wouldn't let me). Finally, I convinced Paradis to walk in with her, and when the staff asked for their SeaPasses to verify age Annelies told Paradis she could leave. We told her we would be in the library.
|Blogger taking photo with MacBook since she only|
gets wifi on one device at a time, and can't use her phone. Sigh.
|Paradis, at the Library|
|Rae Ann, at the Library|