Daily Archives: 2009-06-28

Sea Trip Trial – St. John, NB

I met Marshan on my last Transatlantic cruise, and thought she was pretty brave, independent, and charismatic. I am always looking for good travel buddies so it seemed like a good idea to plan a trip. We both have a lot of freedom so we decided on a long term cruise over the Pacific.

As 30 days is a long time in small quarters, we thought it best to take a short “test” cruise from her hometown New York. A short four day dress rehearsal would reveal our level of compatibility and then we would decide if we could stand each other for a couple months in the fall. We boarded the Carnival Triumph and headed up to New Brunswick. Both of us had been on this ship before, though for me, the memories are quite foggy. As I reacquainted myself with the boat, I fondly (but vaguely) remembered the party cruise of 2000 with Sonya.

We were in a suite which was my first time with a balcony and I must admit, it was heavenly. In fact, I loved it so much I spent most of the four days lounging around taking baths in the Jacuzzi tub. It was a real treat to lay in bed at night watching the stars from the window. I can imagine how much more use one would get of the balcony on more southern itineraries. As it happened, the weather was not top notch, so I didn’t spend as much time out there as I would have liked.

It was my first time to the Maritimes, and St. John was a blast from the past. I took Marshan to Tim Horton’s for her first TimBits and coffee explaining to her the whole Canadian fascination Timmys. After the experience, she was reformed. Sounds like she will trade Dunkin’ Donuts for her new favorite “Yum Hortons”. As we perused the Antiques and Used bookstore, I was charmed by the odd little trinkets they sold.

I waited for Marshan to have a pedicure in the beauty school and then we wandered around the market then the waterfront. All in all, my impression of Eastern Canada was quiet, laidback and somewhat slower pace than the rest of the country. Some may call it boring but I thought it was quaint.

The rest of the cruise home was pretty foggy and chilly so there wasn’t a lot to do top deck. I did enjoy an impromptu session of Tai Chi that a few passengers gathered for in the room I happened to be reading in. I also had a good time watching the hypnotist who put on a few shows, one late night revue more racy than the rest. I was shocked into a fit of embarrassed giggles when a few of those volunteers in trance did unmentionable things to their chairs.

When we confronted one of the participants after the show, it was clear the whole thing was not staged. The shade of red his face turned once he realized his antics (he was instructed with the suggestion that he would remember ALL once he looked in the mirror, which we placed him in front of), was a telltale sign that this was the real deal.

Grateful for deep relaxation.

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Donut Collecting – Union Square, New York

I was able to meet my long lost friend Sarah from Sudan who worked in the Chrysler Building. We attempted to compact 7 years of our lives into an hour while sipping on frozen coffees. Obviously, we ran out of time and vowed to meet up again the next day and have a proper visit.

I hurried along into the subway and made my way to Union Square where I was to meet Moniquea. I found the “man on the horse” but realized I must have just missed her. I caught up to her and her friend at the restaurant. I wasn’t able to finish my lunch but I did somehow find room for the donut that followed.

The air was hot and sticky as we ambled down the streets popping into the Donut Pub, the Pickle Guys, Economy Candy, and the Donut Plant. We explored a market that housed all sorts of interesting delights. We sampled what may well be the most disgusting cheese I have ever tasted. It was like a whole mouthful of farm. Gross.

I decided to test some commercially made kombucha which has a distinct vinagery flavor. It is supposed to have more than a billion live organisms inside and is touted as very healthy. I guess I hoped it offset the four donuts and muffins that had stolen away into my belly.

Grateful for donuts.

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