Last night I went to my first-ever Dancing Under The Stars event! I wasn’t dressed right (my black uniform clothes were not as much fun as all the dresses people were wearing), but I still had a blast.  It’s all upbeat, group dance music, and there were definitely some cheesy bits, but I am a cheesy person and I like it every now and then, ok?  Ok.  There’s something wonderful about dancing and enjoying a Bailey’s late at night on a ship in the middle of the Caribbean Sea.  Everybody had a good time and the carefree, I’m-on-vacation mood was infectious. I think that this three and a half month chunk of my life has brought me more Caribbean and reggae music than all 21 years combined.

Yesterday I got to go to my favorite restaurant off the ship.  It’s a French restaurant in St. Lucia, and the food is so delicious that I’ll be happy for at least a week after.  I’ve only eaten there one other time because it’s a little pricey, but I absolutely love it.  You have to take a water taxi to get there, but it’s right across from where our ship docks.  After you get across you have to walk through the jungle, past an old gym with equipment littering the lawn, through some more trees, and you’re there!  I had some guava juice, pumpkin soup, goat cheese salad, and creme brulee for dessert. Oh. My. Goodness. Ship food is good, and I appreciate that it’s free, but it’s so nice having something other than chicken, salad, and rice.  Salad on the ship = ice cubes in the lettuce and maybe tuna on top if I’m realllllly not in the mood for the chicken.  Yesterday’s salad = different types of lettuce! walnuts! raisins and dried fruits! goat cheese! red wine vinegar dressing! HEAVEN!

Two of the things I really miss about summer in Iowa are going to the farmer’s market and cooking.  I actually started learning how to cook last year, and now I’m not doing it at all. Strangely enough we don’t seem to get any tropical fruit on the ship.  Maybe the guests do, but we get apples, grapes, and pears.  They’re great, I know, but it’s easy to tell that they come from far away.  At port it’s easy to get delicious food at most ports, but I’m trying to save money, and delicious food is not free. Today I wouldn’t have spent any money at all, but I was guilted into buying a coke here at the casino.

Back to the topic.  I miss farmer’s markets.  Wait a minute, I freaking miss the Iowa State Fair! I can’t believe I didn’t mention that yet.  I got to see a bit of it on the news thanks to the Straw Poll (as interesting as that turned out, it was nice to see a bit of my Iowa), but it wasn’t enough.  No, I do not want fried butter.  I don’t want fried candy bars (I’m avoiding normal candy bars at the minute).  I don’t even know what the main stage acts are, so I don’t really want to go to those.

I want a corn dog! Maybe some fried cheese curds. I would be satisfied if I could share some with my mom.  I want to go to the photo building! I want to go look at all the horses and llamas and sheep and other animals.  Hogzilla? I don’t even know if I saw it last year! I wasn’t expecting my fair withdrawal, so I didn’t live it up last year. I want to ride the double ferris wheel and the little roller coaster ride.  I love the people watching! Oh my gosh, all of Iowa turns out for this fair and Iowans are an interesting group of people.  This is the 100th anniversary of the Butter Cow.  Not sure what the other butter sculpture is this year, but I’m sure it’s epic. One of my favorites from years past was the butter Harry Potter scene.  I have some friends playing on smaller stages and it’d be so fun to sit outside and watch.  Ahhhhhhhhhh, Fair Withdrawal, why are you so strong?

Farmer’s markets would be great too.  I was able to cook some gooooooooood food last year thanks to the market in Cedar Falls.  I think I bought fresh honey and made muffins for my Emily too. I miss waking up and cooking food when I have the urge!

Of course I miss all the people. That’s a given.  It feels a bit strange to not get ready for school this weekend, but I don’t miss buying textbooks and school supplies.  My heart goes out to friends getting ready for another year, but I needed this break so much. I’m leaning more toward going back to school later, but this is right for me right now.  Right here, right now-the phrase in the Welcome Aboard Show every week finally applies!

Tomorrow I’m going on a regatta yacht tour, and I’m sure I’ll write about that on Saturday.  Back to the ship and Vibeology!


3 Comments Add yours

  1. marc says:

    This is so cool!! I am envious of the opportunity you have here. It sounds like so much fun!! You get to combine your love of music with a the soft Caribbean trade winds!! That is super cool!
    Yet, despite the fun and new experiences, there is nothing quite like home. I remember when I was 20 and moved to Oregon from Delaware. It was so exciting to be on such an adventure and to be on my own, but, I started missing the things that I never even thought of while I was in Delaware, such as Tastykakes and Casapullas subs. My mom even sent me a care package of Tastykakes! Of course, I missed my family and friends from the beginning of the journey. But, I learned during those years that you have to soak it all in. It is a cliche, but we only live once. We need to make the most of it and experience as much as possible.
    Your experience in the Caribbean sounds absolutely incredible!!!

    marc, your cousin whom is back in Delaware


    1. Brooke says:

      I didn’t know you moved to Oregon! What did you do there? I want to try going west sometime too. Hopefully we can see you all at Christmas! I think Mom, Sam, and I are leaving Iowa on Christmas Day and will be in the area until New Year’s Eve. Or are you guys planning any trips to Barbados before December 10? Let me know!


  2. marc says:

    I worked in the railroad biz and that took me west, first to Oklahoma, then Oregon and then Detroit. I loved Oregon and was there the longest of those places. It was so exciting to experience the left coast and the way that part of the country lives. Very laid back lifestyle. I lived in Portland, Oregon and then in Vancouver, Washington. I turned 21 in Oregon! Man, what a night that was!!

    It would be great to see you all at Christmas! No trips to Barbados before 12/10, although my parents, my sister and her kids are going right after Christmas. Actually, my girlfriend is going to Barbados on 9/3 and staying until 9/10. She is staying at my parents place and her sister is staying in a friends place right near my parents place.


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