As I am writing this, I am sitting in the Writing Room of the Sapphire Princess cruise ship looking out at the Pacific Ocean through the window. The day started out quite cloudy, but has now become sunny with the clouds just hovering on the periphery of the sky.
The cruise to Alaska was originally meant to help celebrate my parents’ 50th wedding anniversary, however, due to health reasons, they were not able to come. So that leaves me to find a new purpose for this unusual and unexpected vacation with my husband and two daughters, my brother, and my sister and her husband and two children, a girl and boy.
I also want to keep a record of this journey to tell my parents when we return, since they will have to live it vicariously through our memories, pictures, and tales.
Today is Monday, and we have an entire day at sea, as the ship travels from Seattle, Washington to our first stop in Ketchikan, Alaska. We spent one day in Seattle as we flew in from Cleveland, Ohio on Saturday, and had about 24 hours to drink in some sights there.
I really enjoyed the brief time we had in Seattle. I was born there, but do not remember it very well, as I left there at age 6 months, and have only been back once when I was twelve. This time, as an adult, I could appreciate the clean and active downtown, the wonderful weather, and the amazing Pike Place Market, including the Pike Place Fish Market featured in the book Fish! which I read several years ago. Very colorful, and entertaining, this city is one that I would like to spend some more time in on a future trip.
There is a peace inherent with the movement of the ship, and the waves emanating from the ship as it passes cleanly through the water. The Sapphire Princess is immensely large, and has numerous decks, activities, restaurants, and clubs throughout the ship to entertain just about every kind of passenger. There are four pools, and an awesome nightclub up on deck 18 that allows you the view of the entire ship from the aft (back) end. However, today I want to just do nothing, something that I never do. I am always working, trying to build my business, work out the financial details of running a retail gallery in trying economic times, and working to stay on schedule with our family schedule, which includes school, college, and work.
This is our last family trip before my older daughter goes to college for the first time, which will change the dynamic of our family unit, so it is a uniquely poignant time for us. On top of that, my husband and I will be celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary during this week, and we have been through a lot in 20 years, but we can also see a future before us that will include some us time with grown children. We have not taken a week off and actually gone on a trip away that did not include a family event since my older daughter, who is now 18, was 3, so you can imagine how much this week in time stands out for us.
Today we will use this time to just relax, cut off from the internet and cell phone service for one 24 hour period of our life, a rare occurrence these days, and just allow the movement of the ship, the sun, and the sea to seep under our skin, and just be.