Random circumstances...such as a chance meeting, or perhaps a shared interest...will sometimes bring life-changing consequences...
...or in my case, a cruise taken last summer brought about a friendship that has led to the most craziest of circumstances for myself.
Why am I mentioning this, you may ask?
Because, dear readers, this explains why I find myself in a hotel in Ft. Lauderdale tonight, awaiting to embark on a week-long Caribbean cruise in the morning on the largest cruise ship in the world - the ALLURE of the Seas. (Not the Oasis of the Seas - I keep getting them mixed up!)
A cruise that wasn't even a twinkle in my eye a mere five days ago...a cruise that I haven't planned on, haven't dreamed of, or had time to really soak in yet.
And yet...here I am. Yowza.
It began with a friendship from last summer - Steve and Amy - a couple from Pittsburg, that we were fortunate to meet on our European cruise, and decided that either they could adopt us - or we'd adopt them - as our compatibility was pretty awesome.
Steve and Amy decided months ago to go cruising next week in the Caribbean, and I do vaguely remember Amy trying to convince me, via email, to cruise with them. And I laughed.
"Amy, I won't even be in Florida in January. Surely you jest. Besides - I would NEVER cruise on the Allure - it's too darn big!!!"
Because it really IS big. The largest ship in the world. I'd get lost...or exhausted...or both...trying to navigate the darn thing.
I promptly forgot all about their upcoming cruise....
...and then a funny thing happened Wednesday morning.
While on Facebook, I saw that Amy & Steve were planning on having a pre-cruise dinner in Ft. Lauderdale with ANOTHER couple from our European cruise - Carol & Jeff. Not being one to be shy - or to be left out of anything - I promptly butted into their conversation.
"Wait - what??! What are you guys doing this weekend??" I asked.
"We're meeting for dinner Saturday night in Ft. Lauderdale, before the cruise on Sunday. Want to join us for dinner?"
Well, sure. Why not? However - this necessitated a two-hour drive for me, and not wanting to do the two-hour drive back - late, in the dark, by myself - I promptly reserved a motel room in Ft. Lauderdale for the night.
And then...my mother said, "Why don't you go on the cruise with them? I mean...you might as well. You'll be over there, right by the ship. Just go."
"What??!!" I asked...and then remembered that Amy, herself, had suggested it months ago, and I had quickly shot down the idea.
"I couldn't do that," I said..."Hubby would NEVER let me just up and go on a cruise - at the last minute."
Well - I was wrong. When I broached the idea to Hubby, his exact words were, "Go for it. Have fun. You deserve it."
So...I called Royal Caribbean on Wednesday morning, and managed to snag one of the last available cabins on the ship...an interior cabin at the extreme front, which should be interesting...a completely enclosed dark crypt that will bounce all over the waves. Woo hoo!
I am now part of Amy & Steve's adventure, and what an adventure it should be....
Unbelievable. This - from someone who meticulously plans out vacations months - if not YEARS - in advance...a spontaneous cruise with less than five days to get ready.
So...here I sit...we had a lovely dinner tonight at the Southport Raw Bar, and I'm now getting ready for embarkation tomorrow on the beautiful - but HUGE - ALLURE of the Seas (NOT the Oasis of the Seas).
A dark picture of our dinner group tonight...but the conversation was lively!
Don't ever say never...and don't ever turn down a good adventure when it lands in your lap. And always be grateful for generous and understanding husbands who let you be spontaneous every now and then.
Let the adventure begin!