Weighty Matters

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Country Cruise – Day One

on January 27, 2014

Although I happily disconnected digitally while on my cruise, I discovered early on that I did not want to disconnect from my process. Away from this blog, I opted to keep a journal of each day’s adventures and any light bulb moments or things of great awareness. I have several dozen photos to go through, which I started to do earlier this evening. Unfortunately, I’m still catching up on my sleep and dealing with the lingering effects of a cold that are wiping me out. I didn’t make nearly the progress that I’d hoped on sorting through and sizing down the pics to post. So, forgive me if I don’t post any yet, but opt instead to write a bit here before heading for bed.

On the very first day, I jotted some notes about how I was smiling and chatting with everyone. I toured the ship, which helped logged steps. The spa looked lovely but I resisted purchasing the expensive “hydrotherapie spa” package. I realized that the daily schedule of cruise activities was so packed that I didn’t plan on having a lot of time to lounge in a big mineral hot tub. I did, however, schedule a massage for the first “at-sea” day.

While I was enjoying my first meal on board – a light, fresh salad — I made the resolution to take the stairs up and down as much as possible. That’s also the time that I first stated the goal to not gain any weight. When I returned to my room I noticed a small card that asked me to state my fruit preferences. This was not only a nice touch from Holland America, but also a great reassurance that I would always have easy access to a healthy fruit snack. Oh sure, I could run up to the buffet deck any time, but that would mean that I would also have to walk by the dessert shelves. Fruit in the room acted as a safeguard. It also helped with my plan to keep up my activity level. I could eat half of a banana before I set out for my daily morning walk instead of delaying by running up to the buffet for breakfast first.

Overall it was a terrific first day. I went to the Sail Away Party where I met nice people and line danced. I discovered that it is actually possible to dance in flip flops but pivots and 180 degree turns are hard.

Singer Bryan White was interviewed for the entertainment company’s “Backstage Pass” feature. I went to that taping before dinner. It was fun and interesting to hear more about his background. I can’t remember what my meal choice was that night, but it was good. I tried everything on my plate but pushed the rest away when I’d had enough.

The evening’s main show entertainer was Jo Dee Messina. Her new album’s songs are terrific. She funded the project herself with a Kickstarter campaign and is involving fans in selecting the cover art photos, the first single, etc. She also spoke a great deal about the challenges of caring for her mother who’s been ill and hospitalized for several months. A nice couple named Leslie and Paul came in and sat next to me in the theater. He’s the bass player and a lead singer for the group Restless Heart.

One of the best things about this cruise was the amount of entertainment. In addition to the main theater show each night, there were two lounges that were set up for shorter, more intimate shows. On the first night, I saw singer Ty Herndon in the location dubbed the Opry Bar. Great performance. Singer-songwriter Anita Cochran accompanied him as his guitar player and backup singer. They sang beautifully together and separately. I remembered her name from a duet she did several years ago with singer Steve Warner. She has a powerful voice and great range.

After the show I could have gone up to the Lido deck where they had nightly late parties with a band, or to the Crow’s Nest for line dancing. On this, the first night, however, I was tired and went to bed at midnight. Even with all of the activity, I didn’t quite make 10,000 steps, but I was damned close and resolved to do better the next day.

I went into this adventure believing that I would have no trouble being sociable and that I would never feel out of place or strange about traveling alone. Since I was having enough fun on Day One to not even go to the special gathering of single and solo travelers, I figured that my initial instincts about myself were true. Good to know and the affirmation boded well for the rest of the trip.

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3 responses to “Country Cruise – Day One

  1. Hope says:

    Sounds like you dove right in! Now I want to see if we can leave our daughter with her grandparents and go on a cruise together. :p

    • Mary Stella says:

      Did you see my comment on one of your Dad’s posts? The “house” band on the cruise was a group he met in Nashville. Plus friends of his were on the same cruise.

      It would be fun to cruise together. You could enter the talent show. 🙂

  2. Skye says:

    That sounds terrific! I’m so glad you started your trip so well! That fruit thing is a terrific idea.

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