Tyler and I met the rest of his family across from Riverwind Casino and fought the urge to get caught up in some wake-up slots. I settled into the front passenger seat as Tyler's brothers, Josh and Chris, slid into the back.
I attempted to nap in a few unnatural positions, but to no avail and grew increasingly frustrated. My mood is often directly related to the amount of sunshine in the mornings and the pitch black night sky made Tyler's typically endearing air guitar tendencies begin to grate on my nerves.
As the McKee brothers began to quote Arrested Development among each other, I jammed on my headphones and jabbed at the volume to wake up Carly Rae Jepsen. Could I get a girl to call me maybe?
I knew the exact moment that we hit Houston, not only because of the HEB on every corner, but also due to my expanding ponytail that threatened to snap its harnessing elastic as the humidity wreaked havoc on the already overheated car. The turning of the wheels brought a genius idea to mind which I plan to implement during my next road trip.
Take a sip of your NON-ALCOHOLIC drink of choice for every McDonald's sign that you see. Whoever has to pee first loses and subsequently must purchase road trip snacks for everyone else at their gas station pit stop. It pays to have the bladder of a camel.The trek to Galveston continued. I struggled not to inhale as we passed one of the longest cemeteries ever. I almost joined them trying to hold my breath. Finally, FINALLY, we arrived at port and lunched at The Spot. After scarfing down waffle fries we stood in limitless lines where I saw...THE SMAILS! A family that I used to babysit for about 2 years ago before their older kids got old enough to take care of themselves. The parents and their three kids were all there to board "The Mariner of the Seas." I honestly hadn't seen them since 2011! So it was extra crazy to find them on my same cruise! It reminded me of my previous cruise when I ran into Grace Jones (a childhood friend) in the town square of Cozumel without any prior planning.
Thanks to the Titanic, safety is always first on ships now so we stood at attention for what was described as a "make-believe drill."....Aren't all drills make-believe...? Hence the term, drill?
Regardless, we learned what to do in case of an emergency and I went to the cabin I would share with Hunter, Tyler's step-sister, for the week.
A double bed greeted us.
Granted, we are both nice people and could have made it work...but, neither of us had spent more than 5-10 minutes at a time with each other previously. We weren't quite ready to spoon. Thankfully, our helpful stateroom attendant separated the ominous double bed into two manageable twin beds.
While I waited for my luggage to arrive I wasted no time in stripping down to a bikini and exploring the decks of the ship.
One of the best places on "The Mariner of the Seas" is the cozy library located on Deck 7, coincidentally right down the hall from our stateroom. It is filled with books that you can check out; books purposefully left behind by previous passengers. Many of the books were in different languages and it boggled my mind that so many different kinds of people could appreciate the power of written words and want to share their experience with a stranger.
Dinner came soon after and I feasted on 18 sourdough bread rolls, Caesar salad, prime rib, and a strange mango dessert that resembled melted and remolded Peeps. Although I think melted Peeps might have tasted better. I washed away the bad with a decadent chocolate dessert and all was right in my world.
After marveling at the library and gaining one of many pounds, I finally had my suitcase and discovered my genius in forgetting to pack eyeliner. But, the show must go on so I made do with eyeshadow and a shaky hand and strutted off to the Battle of the Sexes in the Lotus Lounge. Technically, the women won the game. But I have to say I think almost everyone lost some innocence on Sunday night as I tried to shield my eyes from the middle-aged and older women who were dropping it like it's hot to "Sexy and I Know It" like I wouldn't ever dare.
You go Glen CoCo! No, literally, go. Like away from me.
It's safe to say that a week ago Sunday was a stellar start to a beautiful vacation. A Very Lucky Girl can't wait to share the rest of the week with you!