Fri. 6/13 (At Sea)
Finally, a great night’s sleep (for all 3 of us)! I think I’m going to live after all. Got up just before 10 & just before room service tapped on the door w/ my breakfast. This morning I had an eggbeater’s ham & cheese omelet, mixed fruit yogurt w/ granola mixed in it, & a glass of milk. A day at sea finally gives me a chance to catch up w/ this diary. I dressed & went upstairs for a quick look at the gift shops; fortunately, nothing interests me. So I proceeded to look for the strongest wifi signal I could find. I found 54 mb’s/sec in the Explorer’s Lounge; & even a U.S. 3-prong plug so I could run off of electricity. Not gonna find any better than this; so I made my nest. And this is where I sat for the next 4 ½ hrs.
Melita & Bill happened by about 11:30; said they were going to get a good look around the ship. Next time I saw them, they came back by at 3 having just had their lunch. I realized by now the Lido buffet was closed. So, having completes only 2 days of the journal, I pack up & move up to the pool area to have lunch by the grill. I had a cold ham/mozzarella salad, created my own taco & had a (bun-less) hamburger & hot dog w/ some sauerkraut. They have the dome cover closed over the pool; so I decided to stay there to continue my writing. No wifi signal; but there was an electrical outlet.
One thing of note as I sat looking out to sea…… every few miles you see an oil platform. Obviously the North Sea has some prime oil drilling. Those platforms are just about all you can see. As I’m not dressed to step out on open deck to see, I have heard talk that it’s pretty nippy out there. There are moderate swells; & there’s a comfortable bobbing motion under your feet. There are patches of blue sky; but mostly white clouds. So, anyway, I parked there & “worked” another 3 ½ hours. In the meantime, Melita & Bill went to tea (she was craving scones); & then back to their cabin to rest a while.
At 7 pm, I rushed back to my cabin to shower, wash my hair & dress for dinner. It’s formal night; & Bill made reservations for 8 in the main D.R. Not that reservations are necessary; but it will guarantee that we won’t have to take a beeper & wait for a table. We were seated right away at a table for 4. And, lo & behold, our old friend, Ricardo, the wine steward was at our table w/ 6 more jokes. One he had told the first night. I think this is going to become annoying. So far the menus have been strong, varied & excellent. Tonight’s was a little less so for me, yet I found more than a few things I wanted. But Melita being the voice of reason, keeps encouraging me to make wise choices. So as not to get on her bad side, I obeyed.
I had an appetizer of tiny Portuguese fish cakes w/capers, fried leeks, jalapeno/bell pepper/tomato salsa. It was beautifully garnished & plated; but one bite, & I found it to be very fishy. Although it was not stated on the menu, it was salmon (tasted like the “right out of the can” type my mother used to make salmon patties with). Next I ordered a chilled mango gazpacho, with high hopes that it might as good as Crystal’s lobster melon gazpacho. It was a sad disappointment; way too sweet. Two bites; I’m done. Bill had a “so so” French onion soup that’s always on the menu. Melita started w/ sliced pineapple & mango drizzled w/ rum draped over a pineapple boat made to look like a Viking ship. From there she went to wild mushroom soup (what’s w/ her & this wild mushroom fixation?). Bill let me taste his blackened swordfish rubbed w/ spices & seared w/ grilled polenta, roasted zucchini & bell pepper. We both found it quite dry (which was helped somewhat by a squeeze of lemon).
Melita & I both had the seared sea bass with Tunisian vegetable salsa. It was supposed to be rubbed w/ North African spices. I don’t know what N.A. spices consist of; but it added nothing to the taste of the delicate fish. It was accompanied by roasted squash (which was almost orange in color & cubed – just “so so” as Bill would say); & by a few wedges of yams (delicious). I really wanted the rack of lamb w/ Dijon mustard rub & Herbs de Provence; but she was right to keep me in line. Bill had the no sugar added apple “pillow”, which was granny smith apples in a thin pasty puff. He asked to substitute the sugar free ice cream for “real” vanilla ice cream. I had a scoop of sugar free chocolate frozen yogurt & decaf.
We finished dinner just before 10; & parted ways. Melita was going to see if she could lose some more money in the casino; & I went back to the cabin for my laptop. There’s more journal work to be done. I went back up to the Explorer’s Lounge & plugged in. Got 3 more day’s worth of the journal typed & uploaded to AOL w/ pictures attached. This took 2 ½ hrs. Out of a 250 min. internet package; I’m now down to just 38 mins. I can see the upload time it takes to make the journal entries is going to eat me alive! Back to my cabin at 1 am. Hopefully sleep will come w/o drugs tonight…..