Sailing North

last night on board Liberty of the Seas, Rudy and Deloris Zepeda, Ginger and Joe Watkins

Sat. Dec 14th  Sailing North  
Up early. Breakfast and coffee at the Windjammer. Beautiful day. Much cooler already. Water on all sides, no land in sight. No rocking today. We walked Deck 12 then lounged in the sun, where we were joined by Dee and Rudy. Later we headed to the Promenade Deck. Everything was on sale. We had coffee at the café and browsed the shops. Crazy with people. We ran into JR and Jackie. Joe and I got T-shirts, 2 for $30. In one jewelry store we asked about a beautify necklace and earrings to learn they cost $3,000+ for the pendant alone. Later we found two pendants, a silver turtle and a shiny owl for $30.
           At 11:30 we went to spa for a seminar on Chinese medicine and acupuncture. De and Rudy went with us.  A young doctor from China, a small  man with glasses, used a tiny human figure covered in lines he called meridians or energy rivers, marked all up and down from head to toe, and finger tips to finger tips, right to left.  It was interesting.  He is an acupuncturist.  His English was broken and he kept telling us Chinese medicine “thousand year old”. His ancestors all practiced acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicines.  Joe was curious and asked if the needles hurt. The doctor stuck a very thin needle in Joe’s arm and Joe said he didn’t even feel it.   I made an appointment to come back for an acupuncture session to hopefully help relive the swelling and pain in my left knee. It would be awesome if having little needles stuck in me every month or so could keep me from having knee replacement surgery.
           So after lunch me and Joe went back for my appointment. First the Chinese Doogie Howser asked me about my knee pain, was it an injury? I said, no, just arthritis. He did not agree with that assessment. He pointed to his knuckles and curled his hand and said, arthritis in all joints.  So I did not argue with him. Once I was on the table, I tried to relax and was able to through most of the session, but a few of the needles he inserted hurt and caused me to tense up. The one in the base of my thumb was especially uncomfortable. I did try to imagine my energy flowing and the needles releasing bad mojo.  The doc moved around me asking about pain and comfort, pushing and moving needles, adding more. The one he inserted in my right knee hurt like hell. And the needle in my right ankle felt like a bee sting when he pushed it in.  Needles in both arms, tops of my feet, several in both my knees. He even stuck needles in the top of my head and one or two in my face.  Soon Joe said I looked like a porcupine. I tried to relax and allow the process to work. Joe was quiet. Chinese Doogie would leave me for 10 minutes then come back, move needles, push and prod and ask me how I felt. He would move my knee around, asking if it hurt. I soon learned if I said, yes another needle went in.  So after he left me again, I willed my knee to stop hurting, and so it did.  I think the whole session lasted about 40 minutes.
           When the needle torture was over, Dr. Doogie brought in bottles of Chinese herbs.  When I asked if I should follow up with an acupuncture practitioner when I got home, he said No. But I should continue with these medicines.  He set down 6 large bottles all with JOU on their green label. He said it was traditional Chinese herbal medicine. He held up one bottle that was for my liver, which I should take for 3 months. The other for my joints, which must be taken 3 times a day for 3 months.  At $99 a bottle for a one month supply, I decided to only buy  just one to try and no liver medicines. He was not happy. Said it would take up to three months before I would feel the benefits, that I must take it long term or it was not going to help.  Well the whole business with 40 minutes acupuncture session and 1 bottle of joint supplement cost over $200.  They saw me coming.  I’ll report back if I have a miraculous recovery with these magic Chinese Herbs. But for now I feel OK. I really hope these meds work. I would gladly do alternative therapy rather than undergo invasive surgery.  I hate that I have been limping every day since we started and that my knee is still swelled.
           Again all of us had dinner at the Windjammer, our last night. Good food, good conversation. Joe and I hit the Mexican bar for enchiladas and nachos, guacamole and beans.  JR had crayfish and gumbo. We know we only went to two other restaurants on this boat, favoring the buffet meals on Deck 11 Windjammer instead.  There were several reasons for this. First it saved us money.  All these meals were included in our cruise and the second reason is Dee and Rudy had to pay for their meal that first day, when me and Joe and JR and Jackie were treated to complimentary dining. It was not worth it to have them singled out like the unwanted guests at a party. Thus we enjoyed some very good meals from the various buffets on Deck 11 each day at no extra charge.

our last sunset over the Gulf of Mexico – heading north

Our last dinner onboard, we were all together. We each enjoyed sharing some of our experiences on the cruise. Jackie told us about the Royal Promenade Parade that we missed. A farewell extravaganza.  She said everyone was dressed in costume, British Bobbies and Victorian dress; live music, movie characters, dancers and singers.  Lots of fun. Sorry I missed it. Later I began to think about our time on this cruise. There was so much to do and see, and there was no way we could do it all. We had planned on going to see the live musical show, Saturday Night Fever one night, with Deloris and Rudy, but somehow we missed it. Later I asked if she went, she said, no because it was late and they were tired.  Also on board the Liberty of the Seas was an ice skating rink on Deck 2 and there was a holiday skating show, that we also did not go to. Without the ability to text or call one another, we seemed to be unable to get ourselves in sync enough to do the shows. And we wanted to sit outside and watch the movie Judy starring Renee Zellweger one night, but again our bodies could not cash the checks our minds had made.  But all in all, no regrets, just a great time and a great cruise with wonderful family.
           Back to our room to pack early. We decided that we were not going to check any of our bags, but were going to take them with us when we departed the boat early the next morning.  Much faster exit that way.  Jackie knocked on our door and brought us over a tray of fancy cupcakes she decorated with the bakery chef on the Promenade.  We picked out 2 for us. Mine is a fluffy doggy.
           Our last night. We sat on the balcony. The ship was slicing through the dark water heading north in the center of the Gulf of Mexico.  The sound of the waves rolling away from the boat sounded just like the waves on a beach. I had a glass of wine. The moon was big and orange, rising out of the ocean. A harvest moon with no land.
           We settled in bed by eleven, everything packed except for the essentials needed for morning.

Read Next Post Dec 15, Port of Galveston and New Orleans

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