Friday, March 25, 2022

My Girl Scout Troop Went on a Caribbean Cruise... and on Day #3, We Sailed Across the Gulf of Mexico!

As stressful as much of the day before had been, I was ready for all of us to have the perfect, relaxing day at sea.

And I think we did!

It quickly shook out that there were two distinct groups of Girl Scouts on this trip: the early birds and the night owls. I'd been up LATE the last night with the night owls (another chaperone asked me later that day who I'd been out with, and to my horror, I had to reply, "I... don't remember!" I know I started and ended with the same kids, but I'd been so sleepy that honestly, they'd basically just hauled me around like luggage), and yet I was too excited on this morning to resist the messages of the early birds telling me they were up and about and heading to breakfast.

Why, *I* like breakfast!

I cold-heartedly left Matt lying in bed without even a note and headed up to Deck 9 to meet my early birds! 

Here's Will, eating my favorite food on the ship:

Every morning of our cruise, I ate a BlueIguana breakfast burrito: jalapeño tortilla, chicken sausage, Mexican-style scrambled eggs, hashbrowns, and guacamole.

It. Was. DELICIOUS. Syd basically had to force-feed me a couple of breakfast pastries on the last morning of the cruise just so I could say I'd tried something else... and fine, I do wish I'd known about those pastries earlier, because they would have made an excellent breakfast dessert, but nothing will ever lure my love away from my BlueIguana breakfast burrito.

A few of the kids had woozy tummies this morning, so I handed out some dimenhydrinate and prescribed big glasses of water and lots of fresh air. Here's my advice when teenagers tell you that they're seasick: gaslight them. The Navy conducted a study that proves that you can literally gaslight someone out of seasickness, and I think it works pretty dang well! So when a teenager tells you that they're seasick, you give them a Dramamine, but you also tell them that getting seasick on a cruise ship/on the Gulf of Mexico is generally pretty unlikely, and most of the time they're just dehydrated or have low blood sugar, so a big glass of water and a snack with protein and carbs will usually make them feel better. You also tell them that even when someone does get seasick, it usually just lasts a couple of hours, so if they're still feeling gross after their snack and water, they should try to take a nap, ideally out in the fresh air, and they'll definitely feel better when they wake up.

And to be fair, it IS fairly unlikely to get seasick on a cruise ship/on the Gulf of Mexico, and a teenager who feels ratty IS way more likely to be dehydrated or have low blood sugar, especially after two full days of traveling, a very late night and/or early morning, lots of excitement, and maybe a little homesickness. 

Anyway, I gave out Dramamine like it was candy on this day, but after that, I don't think a single person asked for another one!

Many of the kids scattered again after breakfast, but a hardy soul or two came with me to the Starlight Lounge for Creativity at Sea. You KNOW how much I love a craft project!

We made cross-stitch luggage tags, which I LOVE, even though I had to modify it a bit to minimize the use of scissors, since the activities director brought exactly two pairs to pass around--scissors are a scarce commodity on a cruise ship!

After the program ended, some of us found ourselves lounge chairs outside, although it was REALLY windy. Will determinedly kept plugging away on her luggage tag, the long loop of embroidery floss flying like a flag in the wind!

Some kids braved the waterslides, although the strong wind made it a little too chilly to be fun--our next sea day would be perfect for waterslides! Other kids, as far as I could tell, stationed themselves by the self-serve ice cream or the French fries--I can't imagine why there were so many yucky tummy complaints! Each kid had to be with a buddy or a chaperone, and although occasionally a kid would accidentally get ditched in their stateroom and have to message for a companion or permission to leave alone, for the most part the system worked well. The ship that felt so big and overwhelming just the day before was actually also small enough that we all also ran into each other constantly, and it was nice to happen upon some Girl Scouts or four and see that indeed, they were all having a lovely time.

I did not win Harry Potter trivia, but I like to think that I came VERY close!

I blanked on both Tonks' Hogwarts House (Hufflepuff!) AND the dragon that Harry faced in the first task of the Triwizard Tournament (Hungarian Horntail!), sigh. Although I wouldn't have been able to answer the tiebreaker question, anyway--what page did Professor Snape have the students turn to when he subbed for Professor Lupin?

Page 394 would have won you a ship on a stick!

After Harry Potter trivia, some of us met up for Afternoon Tea, which was delightful:

In our pre-trip meetings, the kids had all been very enthusiastic about the idea of meeting up altogether on our at-sea days for "projects." They were less enthusiastic about my declaration of the rule that one of these projects would be travel journaling, but I brought stickers and colored pens, and if everyone didn't exactly "journal" in the strictest (or not-so-strictest) sense of the word, then everyone did, at least, make marks on paper. And they all spent time together, ate snacks, compared notes, and made plans for the evening, so it was well worth it just for that. 

I'd been worrying out loud about the ever-changing number of Girl Scouts under my direct supervision, and how my obsessive need to continually count them over and over again to make sure they were all there was working against me when I kept forgetting how many of them were actually supposed to be with me at any given time, so Syd made me a cheat sheet:

I'd have to mark out that number and write in a new one on the next day for our Progreso excursion, but on this night, eight kids all dressed up for Elegant Night, eight kids giggled as they passed around one kid's order of the ox tongue and tasted it or not, eight kids ordered WAY more than eight desserts between them, and then eight kids bopped off to change out of their elegant clothes and find more adventures.

Matt and I found adventure, too! If by "adventure," you mean virgin pomegranate margaritas--

--books read in a window seat--

--and a lovely walk in the moonlight:

It's quite possible that I was asleep by 10:00 pm, that's how much adventure I found!

Here's the first day of our vacation, road tripping our way south!

Here's the second day of our vacation, finally making our way out to sea!

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