Sunday, September 20, 2009

It's Starting to Feel Like Home

I’m writing this on Sunday evening as the ship is leaving Livorno, Italy and headed for Monte Carlo. We’ve got the balcony door open so we can hear the ship moving through the sea, although the view is anything but calming—we look out onto two tender boats and all of their greased-up and gunky rigging. Nice. It rained all this morning but cleared up just in time for our afternoon tour of a 15th-century Tuscan villa and winery, but it’s storming again with plenty of lightning and rain. I’ve yet to hear thunder, although there was a lot of that last night—that storm was so thorough that the top-deck stargazing was a washout.

In a little while, we’ll go have dinner at our assigned table in the Brittania Restaurant. We share it with a nice couple from D.C. who work for the government—the man is with the EPA, and the woman is with something I can’t remember. They have interesting stories to tell, and we’ve been swopping stories about our travels.

We have developed a bit of a routine: sometime before dinner, we go all gussied up to a lounge (The Commodore Club) where we listen to a piano player and have cocktails. The pianist is not always the same man but is always good. Last night, the guy was playing classic Gershwin and Kern, and I was quietly singing along in between doses of a cosmopolitan, and I was thinking that if the gentleman were to take requests, I would suggest The Way You Look Tonight—you know—Someday, when I’m awfully low, When the world is cold, I will feel a glow just thinking of you, and the way you look tonight. And the next song was that very tune, and I had to suppress a silly grin. It wasn't my show, so I was careful to sing along very quietly.

After cocktails, we have dinner, and then we head to a different lounge (The Chart Room) for some coffee or a glass of port, and we listen to a jazz trio for a while. It’s the same three musicians every evening, although last night they added a trumpet player, a very mellow trumpeter who was as smooth as silk with each number. If we haven’t fallen asleep by then because we’re old and decrepit, we go to the theater for a show that is usually so schmaltzy, you need to wash your hands and brush your teeth after a performance. Tonight, the feature act is Ireland’s Ambassador to Comedy. Really?

I am actually looking forward to his act because sometimes schmaltz and corniness can be absolutely delightful in the suitable setting. I can’t guarantee we’ll make it, though, because we really do seem to be falling apart. I have had a headache for two days that is sometimes in my sinuses as well, and my kidneys hurt, and my ankles swell like a circus fat lady’s—isn’t that all so attractive? Husband has had his own bouts with headaches and a similar kidney sensitivity, and this evening, he had the hiccups so bad, we had to leave the common room where we listening to a string quartet and go wait the upset out in our room.

Oooooo, thunder. I do appreciate weather drama. Let’s hope this turns into a hearty storm. Ciao.


dive said...

Hoorah! I know you love thunderstorms, Robyn, so even crappy weather isn't going to dampen your wonderful cruise.
The entertainment sounds deliciously relaxing.

MmeBenaut said...

I do hope that the head and kidney aches have disappeared! What a lovely post Robyn: I almost feel like I'm on board with you. I've never been on a cruise - my agaraphobia would prevent it - no way off the boat!