Happy 4th from the 49th

Our first full day on the Sun began early for me.  I woke up at 4:45am to catch the sunrise—me and about 6 other people without balconies.  All of us discovered pretty quickly that a dense fog had rolled in overnight.  This made for some beautiful, moody photos (reminded me of the cloud-streaked landscape of Milford Sound), but none filled with the warm rose gold dawn I expected.  So, after snapping a few pictures, I walked the spookily empty hallways back to my room and went right back to sleep.

My second wake-up time was still pretty early for the rest of the snug and sleepy Kress-Davis family, so I left notes, grabbed my laptop, scored a cup of coffee, and settled into a comfy seat in the empty sports bar to blog-up day one while watching the ocean go by.  An hour or so later when my hunger overcame my sense of family togetherness in all things, lo and behold, I found the rest of the fam at the buffet. 

This was a day at sea, and while some passengers reported seeing whales, we saw only endless ocean.  Gorgeous but kind of the same after gazing at it for 30 minutes. So, our plan was to make the most of the Sun’s onboard activities on our nation’s birthday.

Penn and Ned went in search of the ping pong table, and Harper and I chilled until we heard the Cruise Director’s bing-bong-bing chime: Bingo! We were on it!  And, we won … nothing.  But it was still super fun, especially when the host had to tell an older gentleman that although he did have a Bingo, he had called it too late and would get nothing. Hah—take that, winner!  By playing Bingo, we got raffle tickets for a cruise for two to the Caribbean, which we are completely certain we will win.  We also got some quick pick tickets and across four strips, we won a $1. Ah, the sweetness of victory.
As Bingo was ending, the boys texted about lunch.  Our Seven Seas table had another amazing view of the ocean; this time growing waves, which we could feel, too.  We’re all wearing scopolamine patches, so even the least sailor-y of us (that’d be me) could go with the flow of the churning sea and down fried chicken with the best of them.

After lunch, we checked out the card and game room hoping to work in a card game, but on a ship-day, this idea was shared by about half of the Sun—no room at the inn.  We did find a choice table for lobby Shanghai, though, so all was well.

As we were playing, the bing-bong-bing announcement for the next round of Bingo came on, and although Harper and I were mocked mercilessly for throwing money away when we played, this time we decided to take this challenge on as a family.  And we won … nothing.  But it was still super fun—well maybe a bit less fun than losing the first time.  (But, we will be back. $205 jackpot, you will be ours, even if we have to spend at least that much to win you.  Oh, wait, now I see why they were mocking us.)

Following Bingo and in keeping with the 4th of July spirit, the Sun held an American History trivia contest, which was run by a lovely young woman from Brazil whose confidence in her abilities was matched only by her lack of understanding of American History—which turned some questions into SAT logic questions.  But, in the end, our team (Team Garbage Plate, ROC represent!) actually won!  And, unlike in every Bingo game, there were—of course—no prizes.

Next, more eating because cruise.  Another decent meal in one of the Sun’s main dining rooms: Cajun mac and cheese, veggie lasagna rolls, and steak.  But, this dinner was made because Harper got GF pasta Bolognese!  And at dinner, for reasons unknown to all, Penn turned into some bizarre-world elf.

From the restaurant windows, we could see the waves undulating evermore lazily because the water was getting colder, heavier, and more difficult to churn.  The result was pure beauty: the darkest blue of the sea folding in on itself in thicker and thicker swirls.

After chilling our bones watching the waves, we finally scored a table in the gameroom with a view and played Yahtzee.

The kids begged off on the evening’s show (a musical review of rock from the 60s to the 80s), but Ned and I gave it a try.  It was easy to see how hard the singers and dancers were working and how much they appreciated the audience, so even though it wasn’t anything we’d typically seek out, it was a pleasant diversion. (Stage picture only–cameras during the performance would apparently turn the cast to stone.)

By the time the review ended, it was already 10:30.  We could see the sunset out the windows on our walk back from the theatre and ran to the room for hoodies and gloves to make the trek out to the windy deck.  It was more than worth it!

Back “home” for the night, we found the kids content with their adorable towel animals, all watching Lego Batman. We reconfirmed our excursion for the next day and were happy to all it another day at sea.

Good night, Alaska moon.

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