February 15th
At sea…..

I think I managed to read one chapter last night before the ship’s rocking just knocked me out.  I slept like the dead.  So, when I checked the clock at 7:25, I was more than ready to get my day started.  I thought I’d go right to the computer & see how fast the connection was this morning.  I got lucky & was able to get all of Adelaide’s blog uploaded.  If I wasn’t so anal about putting in too many photos, it wouldn’t take so darn long.  But pictures tell more of the story than my words do.

I watched the morning show while I worked; & I was still at it when Capt. Glenn gave his morning report.  We have turned a little more northwest, skirting around the southwestern corner of Australia (did ya follow that?).  The closest land is now just 23 miles to our starboard side.  We have slowed to 14 knots; & it’s another beautiful day in the neighborhood….sunny & low 70’s.  He also informed us that there will be a slight change in our plans for Bali.  We were supposed to anchor in Pedang Bay (which I’ve been told is very picturesque).  We will now actually dock a little further south of Pedang Bay in Benoa.  That should make disembarking easier than having to go by tender.  But the shore excursion office is having to scramble & fine tune all of the tours. 

Capt. Glenn’s thought for the day….”Even though you are on the right track, you will be run over if you just sit there.”  (Don’t you just love these?)

I wasted so much time on the computer this morning, that I had to really hustle to shower & get a quick bite of breakfast at the Bistro before bridge class at 10.  I must hand it to Rachel & Eddie for structuring this class in a way that clarifies the mysteries of bidding.  They set up certain hands (same hand for each table); & ask us how we should bid.  We discuss amongst ourselves; & by process of elimination, come up with the most logical bidding sequence.  It takes us so long to come to the right conclusion, that nobody would have the patience to play with us.  Again for those of you who don’t give a crap about bridge, I’m sorry……but this is REALLY important stuff.  And for ANYONE to turn this cloud of confusion in my brain into something that actually makes sense…….well, they should win a World Games medal for this!

After bridge I went to the library to pick up & work on some more practice Sudoku puzzles.  That is until the librarian ran me out at noon.  I wish they didn’t have to close just so the librarian can get a lunch break.  They could lock up all the books; & keep the room open.  It’s not like anyone is going to abscond with a book without properly checking it out.  This is Crystal after all.

It was a tad early for lunch; so I wandered around a bit.  I happened to notice that the Vintage Room was all set up in preparation for a dining event.  For those of you not familiar with the Vintage Room; there is a special dining room on deck 7 where (for an extra fee of $210 pp) up to 14 guests can have an evening of fine wine paired with a special menu.  You could sign up as an individual, or ‘rent’ the room & put together your own dining group.  Since I’m not a great lover of wine, this experience would be totally wasted on someone like me.  But for those who do, especially with a select group of friends, it appears to be a very long & memorable evening.  Someone is going to have a great time in there tonight.

I had a great lunch at the Lido buffet about 12:45.  My plate was full of all sorts of goodies…..hearts of palm & shrimp cocktail (of course), baby red peppers stuffed with spicy cream cheese, German sauerbraten on braised red cabbage topped with sour cream, a small grilled patty of ground veal topped with cheddar cheese & mushroom cream sauce, half of a ‘veggie melt’ (sautéed vegetables with avocado & Swiss cheese on an English muffin).  Everything I tasted was very, very good.

There were some awesome smells coming from the pasta man’s station; & I had to get a little taste.  It was farfalle (bow tie pasta) with diced ham, caramelized onions & chives.  OMG, it was the best pasta I think I’ve ever eaten.

And if that wasn’t enough, the dessert table had something caramel…..caramel & banana bread pudding.  It was primarily caramel bread pudding with a few slices of dehydrated banana chips; topped with caramel sauce.  Lord, just take me now….it was to die for!

Just as I was sitting down with dessert, Che came by with her dessert.  Even though she’s my next door neighbor, I hadn’t laid eyes on her since Sydney.  We had a wonderful talk over dessert. We were lamenting about how much time & effort it took to get your home life in order prior to such a long trip.  Since she’s on for the full world cruise, she had a lot more to do than I did.  Funny, how all that work seems so long ago.  I really enjoyed getting to know her better.

The time got away from me; & I missed the start of Shelby Coffey’s lecture entitled ‘Crimes of Passion from the girl in the red velvet swing to O.J. & beyond’.  He pointed out how the media frenzy often determines the outcome of celebrity trials.  He has an off the cuff sense of humor; & he pointed out many cases where the lawyers became bigger celebrities than their celebrity defendants.  Thank goodness they had the good sense to move his talk to the Galaxy Lounge, because there were very few empty seats.

At 2:30, I went back to Silk Road to see if any of my beginner bridge friends would show up for some ‘social bridge’ play.  Louise, Elaine & 2 others came to play.  So, we rotated each hand; with the 5th person ‘helping’ one of the others for about an hour & a half.  I found this VERY beneficial.  Since we only have about 50 mins. worth of class time each day, we spend a good part of that learning something new; & very little time actually playing.  It’s hard to clear your schedule in the middle of the afternoon with so many lectures & the Olympics going on.  But I hope we can do it again on our next sea day.

I went back to the cabin; & got 2 more days of the blog uploaded before dinner.   I also watched a rerun of this morning’s lecture by Peter Vidmar (Olympic gymnast).  While I would find his gold medal winning performance fascinating to watch, listening to his explanation of each performance & how the difficulty of the routine factors into the scoring wasn’t quite that interesting.  It’s sort of like….would you rather see the play or have someone tell you about the play?

Tonight I joined Bill, Celeste, Keith & Anne Marie in Silk Road for dinner.  Lots of lively conversation.  Keith was awarded a gold medal this afternoon for winning the basketball foul shooting competition.  He’s got the textbook ‘follow through’ down pat.  Between the 2 couples, they shared a lot of interesting & funny stories about their travel adventures.  It was a wonderful evening.  And there was one gorgeous sunset too.

We all started with our own favorite sushi & sashimi as appetizers.  Their sushi platters are truly works of art.

While others had spring rolls or soup, I had the Nobu salad with a teriyaki dressing.  Very good.

For my main course, I had the Nobu Box.  It is a sampling of 3 of his most popular entrees:  Wagyu beef with steamed asparagus, miso marinated black cod & tempura fried rock shrimp with a spicy sauce.  I had a side order of brown rice.  As always, dinner in a Nobu restaurant is ALWAYS an exceptional experience.  Many thanks to Celeste & Bill for arranging this evening.

After a scoop of lychee sorbet for dessert, I was stuffed to the gills & very tired after such a busy day (& no nap).  I have an early tour in the morning; & will have to stay in town to shop for a camera afterward.  So, when I leave in the morning, I’ll have a lot to pack in my ‘day bag’.  It’s now 10:30; & I’m shutting down & heading for bed.  Hope sleep comes soon.

The medal platform in the 'Olympic Village'

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