Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Curacao, and Back Out to Sea

Day #5: Tuesday, February 16

On to our second island! We did not have a shore excursion booked for Curacao, so we slept in that morning until 10:30 a.m. We had breakfast at the back pool looking out at Curacao, which was really gorgeous. After breakfast we walked around the upper decks, enjoying the view.

My first look at Curacao from Heather's port hole - much more scenic that my wall view in Aruba! Look at that water!

The backdrop to our breakfast

View of Curacao from the ship deck

Me in front of Curacao

Heather had told me that Curacao is really cute, and from the ship it sure looked like she was right, so I was eager to get off the ship and check it out. We were greeted by a lovely "Welcome" sign right off the ship, and we started our afternoon with a walk along the water, following a "Historical Walking Tour" of Curacao (really a series of signs with information about the island, including population, brief history, language, etc.). The most entertaining part of the walking tour to me was the sign that described the various theories about how Curacao got its name. Some theories say the name came from the Spanish or Portuguese word for healing (because of the healing effects of many tropical fruits found on the island), while others say it was given its name because of its heart-shaped bays. However, my favorite theory is that the name comes from the Spanish phrase cura asado (meaning "grilled priest"), because "the Native Indians had apparently grilled a Spanish priest." Ummm....okay?

Welcome to Curacao!

Look at me! I'm on a cruise!

Heather in front of her "house," of sorts

After the Historical Walking Tour, we entered Rif Fort, which houses a lot of shops and restaurants. We did some shopping - I found my magnet and postcards, and bought a new dress. We then walked along the water to Curacao's main attraction: the floating bridge! It's just a footbridge, but it does float on the water. When a ship comes through, they move the bridge to the side (rather than, say, raising it up like a draw bridge). Then they just move it back and you can walk across it. When we first got there the bridge was to the side for boats to pass, so we found a spot to sit and wait and I wrote Eric's postcard in the meantime.

Rif Fort

The bridge pulled to the side

Before long, the boats had passed and they moved the bridge back across the water. We got to see them push it back in place, then walked across to the other side. It was a little crazy, because it was sort of drifting and moving as we walked. I mean, hadn't I been having enough of that sort of thing on the ship, now I have to be stumbling around on land, too? But it was very cool and the scenery was stunning. If I thought Aruba was colorful, Curacao was even more so. Again, how could you not be happy and cheerful all the time if you lived in a place like this?

VIDEO: The floating bridge moving back into place

Pedestrians crossing the floating bridge

Gorgeous view from the bridge

On the bridge

View from the other side - bridge to the left and more happy houses

Once we got to the other side, we just wandered around a bit, checking out all the shops. It was just so pretty. We also made our way to the coast again and walked out on a long pier to watch the waves crashing around. It was very windy that day so we saw some good waves.

Streets of Curacao

Gorgeous wall down an alley! See? Happy! The alleys in New York sure don't look like this.

Waves crashing along the colorful coast

On the pier, with our ship behind us

After that, we just continued to roam around town, then crossed back over the bridge. We passed some souvenir stands and I bought a really cool chess set for Eric. We then went back to the fort, where I mailed Eric's postcard and we went up to the upper level for drinks. We got a nice spot overlooking the water, but it was so windy and the waves were so big that we were getting wet, even on the second story above the water! It was crazy. But, I had to have a cocktail with Blue Curacao liqueur in it, so we had our drinks and then played rock-paper-scissors to see who got to treat for them (we both had planned to do so!). Yay, sisters!

My "Curacao Blue" cocktail

Looking down at the waves

We then went back on the ship and had lunch at the grill, then back to the cabin to relax a bit before Heather had to get ready for her show that night.

Heather had another sound check at 6:00, then performed the first show of "Cinematastic" at 8:00. This show is all music from the movies, and I really enjoyed it. Heather was featured quite a bit more and she sounded so beautiful. Even the elderly gentleman next to me commented on how beautiful her "My Heart Will Go On" number was, and I hadn't even told him she was my sister!

Heather singing "Summertime"

"Windmills of Your Mind"

"Unchained Melody"

Big finish!

Below I have a video that includes all of Heather's solos/duets from this show. Again, my camera skills were pretty awful for this show, so I did some creative editing and adding of still photos to try to make it better. Also, I realize this video is crazy long. I try to keep the videos I post on here much shorter than that. But, I just thought it was easier to post one long video of all Heather's numbers, rather than a bunch of individual ones. Feel free to skip through if you don't want to watch the whole thing (although she does a great job in all of it!). To make it easy on you, this is where you will find the start of each new number in this video:

0:04 "Summertime" - lovely!
2:01 "Windmills of Your Mind" - this one is a really cool Cirque du Soleil-esque performance!
5:30 "Time of My Life" - who doesn't love this one?
8:48 "My Heart Will Go On"/"Unchained Melody" - this is gorgeous. My favorite.
13:01 "The Rainbow Connection" - Kermie! Of course, Heather does a wonderful job.
14:16 "Footloose" - not a Heather solo, but the grand finale! (Just a snippet of it)

VIDEO: Selections from "Cinematastic"

After the show, Heather changed and we went up to the buffet for dinner. We then went back to the cabin to make some Aruba Scubas, then went to the Explorers Lounge for what was supposed to be a "Mardi Gras Party," but due to some cruise director miscommunication, it wasn't much of a party. But, we still hung out and sipped our drinks, and were later joined by Leisel, Ryan and Peter. We talked and listened to the Caribbean band for a bit before retiring to Heather's cabin for the evening. We called our boys (although I was unsuccessful in reaching mine, thanks to lousy phone service in the middle of the ocean...go figure) then watched some TV and went to bed.

Day #6: Wednesday, February 17
At Sea

Ah, another sea day. This would be our last until the very end of the cruise!

We slept late, till about 11:30, then lounged around for a while after that. We checked our email and were generally lazy. Then, we went to be lazy in the sun on Deck 15 for a while, mimosas in hand. It was such a gorgeous day for laying out - nice breeze, lovely sun, calm waters. Very relaxing. We both fell asleep for a bit.

On the deck, mimosa in hand

Around 4:15 we went to the grill for a late lunch, then returned to the cabin so Heather could get ready for another sound check and I could get ready for our second formal night of the cruise.

This is when that "miracle seasick patch" becomes the OMG I MIGHT BE DYING patch. I thought I was in the clear with that thing - see, before I put it on, Leisel and Heather warned me of potential side effects including dry mouth and blurred vision. I decided to chance it, and was thankful that my only side effect was being a little extra thirsty (and drinking more water in the Caribbean is hardly a bad thing), but no eye problems. You're only supposed to wear the patch for three days, so I had already removed it by this point. I thought I was good to go.

As I was showering, my contact lens in my right eye felt like it might be falling out, so I stepped out of the shower to check it. That's when I noticed my right pupil was HUGE. Fully dilated. My left one was totally normal. I showed Heather as soon as I got out of the shower and we were both pretty freaked out - I mean, the difference was astounding between my two eyes. Heather asked if I wanted to go to medical, but I told her I thought I would be fine so she left for sound check.

While she was gone, I called Eric and asked him to Google this for me to see if it was something I should be alarmed about. I'm not one to take chances with my eyes, so I wanted some more information. After Googling, Eric didn't tell me what it might be but said I should go to medical. I knew that meant something serious because Eric is not usually one to rush to the doctor, and I knew if he wasn't telling me what it was, it was because he didn't want to scare me. Yikes. That scared me.

But, by that time medical had closed for the day. I could call an emergency doctor, but that might be costly. I decided to wait it out a bit and see what happened. I went to Heather's first show of the night (she did another two performances of "Cinematastic"), then before the second show I called Eric just to let him know I hadn't gone to medical. That was when he told me Google had informed him that one eye dilating is a warning sign for imminent stroke or seizure, which is why he was freaked out. BUT he also saw one random mention that it could be a side effect of the seasickness patch. DING! DING! DING! That was when it clicked - the eye that was dilated was even on the side where I was wearing the patch. Sure, it was weird that it popped up after I REMOVED the patch, but who knows with these things. Eric did some more looking into it, and sure enough, that seemed to be a very common side effect. Let's all breathe a sigh of relief that I wasn't having a stroke or seizure, shall we?

So, I went to Heather's second show with no more fear of death, just fear of any potentially permanent damage to my unable-to-constrict pupil. I decided it would be hats and sunglasses for me for as long as this lasted, because Caribbean sun is probably not good on a dilated eye. BUT AT LEAST I WASN'T DYING.

It worked out well that Heather and I had a quiet night in planned for that night anyway, because after all that eye drama I just wanted to relax. After the second show we ordered room service, polished off a bottle of wine, and watched some Jersey Shore episodes. Then it was time for bed - we had another big day ahead!

Heather modeling our delicious room service

Up next: An adventurous day in Trinidad!

And, your standard daily reminder: there are more pictures of beautiful Curacao (as well as a bunch from Heather's "Cinematastic" show) on the photo share site!


Becky said...

I just love that sunflower wall.
:-) I even saved the picture!

Molly said...

Did nobody seem to think the theme song from the Titanic was maybe not the best choice for a show on a ship? I just had to say it :) Gorgeously sung, however! I watched the whole thing, I love listening to Heather sing. She's so good!!