Sunday, April 29, 2012

Love and Marriage


It seems that every ship hosts their own version of the famous Newlywed Game.  On Royal Caribbean’s Adventure of the Seas it’s called Love and Marriage. They select three couples: one married less than a year; another married between 10 and 25 years; and for the third pair, they choose the oldest couple who are still able to climb the stairs to the stage.  Kellie wanted to play; I was not so eager. I tried to get her cruise husband to take my place, but Kellie insisted this was a job for the real husband, so I defaulted to my rote vacation response: “Whatever you desire, dear.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Topless Night


(Today’s post is a continuation of Monday’s story. Please read that post first if you haven’t seen it already.)
What happens at sea . . .
Kellie’s Cruise husband, Ron, wasn’t the only person to make significant sacrifices in our unsuccessful attempt to win the The Quest.  Susan took one for the team too. Just before the game started, we met a couple, Carl and Susan, who joined our losing effort. They had sailed on Royal Caribbean before and they came to game prepared.  Susan had a bag filled with some of the items she thought we might need: women’s underwear, a bra, the ship’s daily paper, kitting needles, and other assorted items.  Still, there were a few other necessary items that she didn’t have: dentures, a body piercing at a location other than her ear, and fruit. Luckily, the cruise director was sometimes rather liberal about what he accepted in satisfaction of a given task, and when he requested that we bring him two pieces of fruit, my team was given full credit when I appeared in front of him clutching my crotch.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Kellie's Cruise Husband


One of the things we like best about cruising is the opportunity to meet new people. During dinner, Kellie and I always request to share a table and we’ve made several new friends: John and Judy, from Canada; Mike and Barbara from Texas; Ron and Richard from Oregon; and the three traveling sisters, Joy, Toy, and Thelma from Missouri. 

Not What I Imagined


Whenever we travel, there always seems to be at least one nude beach somewhere along our journey. Like most people, and by most people I mean most men, I’m often a little intrigued about a visit to the naked shoreline.  However, the reality of a nude beach never lives up to the fantasy.  In my imagination, a nude beach is packed with hard bodied, athletic young women, skin glistening with suntan oil, playing volleyball in a wild Playboy mansion party atmosphere. In reality, the sand is strewn with bloated, lethargic, refugees from a cruise ship buffet who look like they fell overboard and washed ashore, sunburned in areas that were never meant to see the light of day, their body parts having long ago surrendered to gravity.  Nearly all who are naked should be clothed and, in some cases, tented.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

So You Think I Can Dance?


Kellie dragged my butt to its first dancing lesson four months ago while we were cruising aboard the Caribbean Princess. There, a pair of energetic, twenty-something dance instructors, Fernando and Isabella, ceaselessly toiled in a hopeless effort to get my hips moving to the rhythm of a salsa beat. They failed. Undeterred by my lack of progress, Kellie made me attend each day’s lesson.  After a week of instruction, I successful demonstrated incompetence in the salsa, the rumba, and the cha-cha.  So when we embarked on Royal Caribbean’s Adventure of the Seas, I was fully prepared for a week of ballroom torture.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Booze Battles


From all the traveling that we do you might conclude that Kellie is an extravagant woman, but that would be incorrect, she’s actually quite frugal.  Kellie perpetually scours the Internet for looking discounts and special rates, she selects and uses credit cards based upon how many frequent flyer miles she can accumulate, and when it comes to cruising, she employs whatever measures are necessary to avoid paying the exorbitant shipboard prices for alcohol.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Kellie and Joe are in Da House


No, seriously, we’re in Da House; it’s the name of our hotel in Old San Juan.  I was a little worried when Kellie told me about the place because she described it as a youth hostel. I don’t how she came up with that description. When I think of a youth hostel, I picture the place we stayed at in Cassis, France, where we had small 8-foot by 8-foot room with a sink, bunk beds, and a shared bathroom down the hall. This place was nothing of the sort. (I'll explain the picture a little later.)

Sunday, April 15, 2012

I Stand Corrected


We were in a bit of a frenzy as we tried to clean the house last Friday before leaving for the airport.  Kellie’s mom, Bev, was going to stay at our home to look after our 15 year-old daughter while we’re away, and we wanted to get the house cleaned for her.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

I'm Leaving On A Jet Plane (I Hope)


Our flight to San Juan, Puerto Rico, departs tomorrow at 4:10 PM.  Kellie and I have yet to agree upon what time we’ll leave for the airport.  I’m not comfortable unless I’m seated at the gate at least an hour before the scheduled takeoff.  When determining the precise time to leave our house, I take into consideration the length of the drive and the expected traffic conditions, then I’ll add some buffer time for contingencies such as accidents and mechanical breakdowns. (OCD is a wonderful thing.) Kellie has a different perspective, of course.  For Kellie, unless we’re the last ones to board the aircraft moments before the agent closes the gate, we’re way too early.  Naturally, this disparity in viewpoints is a constant source of irritation whenever we fly.  And we’ve run into some problems in the past.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Damn Taxes


California and I had a little disagreement about whether or not I had to file a 2010 tax return. (That was the year I retired and became a civilian again.) They won; I filed. After submitting 18 pages of income tax forms, how much did I owe? Zero, nada, nothing. What a waste of time. Processing my return will produce a net loss for this financially strapped state. 

Monday, April 9, 2012

Analyze This


Kellie had a dream.  She was walking through a hotel bar one afternoon when she noticed a man sitting on a barstool.  She could only see the back of his head, but there was something familiar about his coiffure that made her suspect that the gentleman could be Howard Stern.  As she approached, he turned around, confirming her suspicion.  “Hi, I think you know my husband,” said Kellie. 

Thursday, April 5, 2012

There's Something About Kellie


Last week, Kellie and her friend, Liza, took Kyra (my daughter) and Jordan (Liza’s daughter) on one week mother-daughter cruise aboard the Carnival Splendor.  I knew that without me around, Kellie would get hit on by everything with a pair of XY chromosomes.  Sometimes, my presence doesn’t even deter other men from trying to approach her.  Plus, once Kellie has a little alcohol in her, she tends to get a little flirty and she significantly reduces the amount of personal space between herself and whomever she’s speaking with, which can be misinterpreted as a signal that she’s expressing more than a casual interest in her interlocutor.  Kellie doesn’t think that she gets flirty while drinking.  According to her, it’s only flirting if there’s an intent to do something beyond talking, and since she has no such intent, she’s not flirting.  I’m not sure I agree with her definition.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Money money money money, MONEY!


Money allows men you’d never expect to have access to very attractive women – just ask Larry King.  But money does not ensure that such a man will be able to keep a woman happy – just ask Larry King’s former wives.  Lack of money won’t necessarily kill a relationship, but it can add a level of stress that makes staying together challenging.  Whatever monetary resources a couple may possess, they need to have a similar outlook with respect to saving and spending.

Monday, April 2, 2012

An Apple A Day Makes Joe Insane


Somehow, Kellie and I can manage to lose synchronization on even the simplest communications.  A few weeks ago, while walking into the commissary at Camp Pendleton to pick up a few groceries, we were enumerating all the fruits and vegetables we already had on hand and identifying those items that we needed to restock.  I know that I clearly said that we did not need any apples because Kellie got just a little annoyed after I repeated myself for the third time.