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The Accidental Cruiser

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StaRed

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I set the phone back in its cradle and with a sigh of irritation I leaned back in my chair. The custom shower tile was going to be late…even later than it already was. Delays are a part of custom home building, but this particular job has had hiccup after hiccup, and frankly this little gem of good news is not going to be received well by my client. Deciding to put off that impending phone call for just another moment, I instead began opening up the mail. Bill…bill…bill…junk…bill…junk…big manila envelope. Hmmm…it’s from our lumber supplier. Frowning in puzzlement, I slid out the glossy brochure and a letter that was addressed to myself and my partner-in-crime and “boss,“ my husband Scott.

Dear Scott and Stacey,
Congratulations! As a thank you from SmallTown Lumber Company, we are pleased to announce that you have qualified for our end-of-the-year “SmallTown VIP Giveaway!” As a top customer, you are one of our “SmallTown VIP‘s!” As a token of our appreciation, we’re giving our largest customers an all-expense-paid “VIP” dream vacation! This “VIP” vacation includes a 7 night Alaskan cruise, airfare to Seattle and all transfers. Please contact our corporate travel agent for scheduling and details. From everyone here at SmallTown Lumber, we thank you for being a “SmallTown VIP!”

I believe I read the letter a dozen times. Is this for real? Yes…the return address is correct. Yes…I recognize the signature on the bottom of the letter. Holy cow…this is for real!! I started thumbing through the glossy brochure in amazement. The photos showed an enormous ship silently gliding through channels of sheer cliffs and snow kissed mountains. Happy looking people dotted the outside decks pointing in amazement at the beautiful scenery. A bald eagle majestically soared through the unbelievably blue sky in the background. The plume of vapor from a whale erupted from the glassy surface of the water. Bright white icebergs were dotted all around the ship’s hull.

Wait…ICEBERG’S?? Reality hit me like a face full of arctic water.

Uhhh…me…on a cruise??? I’m too young to go on a cruise…I’m only 28!! We’re too active for a cruise!! We’ll be bored!! What if we get seasick??!! Why, I’ll surely feel trapped! Oh. My. Gosh…What if the ship hits one of those iceberg things? What if it sinks??!! I can’t swim in freezing water! A mental image of Scott and I running together in panic, hand in hand just like Jack and Rose flashes through my mind.

Ok, enough. I snapped myself out of my dramatic little daydream and snatched up the phone to call Scott to tell him the news. He had the same reaction as me, while we were overwhelmed with gratitude and disbelief at the generous gift…we just couldn’t shake the, “Oh goody…a cruise,” state of mind. While we love to travel, we’d never even considered taking a cruise before. Knowing we could not turn this down, I called the travel agent to get the details. By the time I hung up, we were booked. June 6...a ship called the Diamond Princess….balcony room…Seattle round trip to somewhere called the “Inside Passage.”

A cruise. We’re going on a cruise. Blinking a few times in shock, I started thinking of all the planning and research that was ahead of me. Me, on a cruise? In six weeks??!!

Little did I know, I was about to become “The Accidental Cruiser”….

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To be cont'd...

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Thanks everyone for the super kind words of encouragement! I can't tell you how much they mean to me. Now...if you listen closely...you'll hear a faint whooshing noise. It's the sound of my head swelling from all of your compliments. ;-)

Again, and in all seriousness, thank you! I would like all of your comments, but apparently I reached my quota of positive votes for the day, according to the error message I received. Ha!!

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