Happy Friday! I’m back in the States, just ate Taco Bell, crushed a large Mountain Dew and I’m all caught up on all of the football I taped while I was away. Let’s get cookin’!
Reader beware, there was only one question about Iowa and a whole lot of questions about cruisin’, CRUISIN’ THE WAHHHHHHHHHAHHHHHAHHHH, yeah, yeah!
How much weight did you gain (or lose!) while on your cruise?
As a big boned gentleman that has spent the majority of his post-college life downing pre-workout, lifting heavy, slamming whey protein and creatine post workout cocktails with an end goal of looking like a 9-5 version of Tom Hardy’s Bane, weighing myself isn’t really something I enjoy doing. I yam what I yam. And I yam not ever going to be the 205 pound kid I was entering freshman year of college. It’s just not going to happen. Shoot, at any given time, I’m carrying between two-to-twelve pounds of water weight alone because I’m that lunatic that spends half of his work day peeing and filling up my water bottles because it’s healthy, dammit!
Basically, weight to me is more of a feeling/look at this point. Do I feel good today? No, no I do not. Do I look good today? No, no I do not. I’m basically the 30-year old, blonde version of Tim Allen’s The Santa Claus getting a check up:
But, after eating gnocchi and pizza and cheese and prosciutto and salami and pasta and other anti-pasta’s that I still don’t know the name of and lemon cakes and crepes with half a container of Nutella inside and cookies and papas fritas how could I not?
But there is a bright side to all of this, of course. I learned back in Pompeii and Rome, the Gladiators were NOT built like Russell Crowe or some diesel Hercules replica. No sir. Instead, they more closely resembled the likes of Hank Schrader from Breaking Bad or Tony Soprano himself. And if the LeBron James of Pompeii and Rome was built like Tony freaking Soprano, well, I don’t care what the scale says.
ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED?
Q: What was the best excursion you did and what did you enjoy most / hate most about the ship?
Let’s start with the Vatican and in particular the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica. Perhaps it was my naivete after sleeping through a majority of my high school history lessons from the robotic Mr. Zmuda and a little dash of the divine, but the Sistine Chapel was, for a lack of a better word, mesmerizing. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever experienced before. After spending roughly an hour touring the rest of Vatican City, the build up getting there was intense. Our tour guide kept hinting and teasing our eventual ending point with such a sincere passion that even the not-so-holy like myself couldn’t help but buy into the mystique.
Then, when you finally enter the door right under Jonah and his whale, you immediately see a mass of humans shuffling around in near silence like a hoard of zombies. Heads darting here and there, everyone trying their best to take mental snapshots of the landscape hanging above their heads. No cameras or phones are allowed to be out, and if the armed guards that hover above the guests see them, they will rush up behind you and slap/push them down. If it falls out of your hands, tough you know what.
After starring off for a while, my wife asked if I would be comfortable receiving a blessing for our marriage from the on-hand priest that was waiting on the opposite side of the door. I’m glad I agreed. Despite her little joke at the beginning about us still “liking” each other after a year of marriage (we should be in love, which was hard to explain to a man who spoke English as his third or fourth language), he talked to us about openness as the key to a long relationship and taking the time to always put each other first.
As I mentioned above, I’m not much of a religious man. It just wasn’t, for better or worse, a big part of my family growing up, but I have to admit, it’s nearly impossible not take in that entire experience and immediately walk into St. Peter’s Basilica and not believe in something a little more omnipresent.
The other best excursion was hands down Pompeii. Those dudes didn’t just tattoo Carpe Diem on their shoulder blades, those dudes LIVED Carpe Diem like they were eventually going to lose everything to a giant volcano. I’m talking about a 79 A.D. McDonald’s ordering menu painted on brothel walls that patrons would just point to. I’m talking about the wealthy eating as much food as they possibly could while laying down, drinking some sort of sour beverage to throw it all up only to start it all over again as a way to show off how rich they were.
The ship itself was great. It was the perfect rest stop in between all day excursions with plenty of deck and pool space to catch the final few hours of sunshine and watch it finally set behind Mount Vesuvius or Florence.
The worst part was a clear tie between our Cruise Director Andre (who took some liberties to horn up every single event he was in charge of) and the Cristiano Ronaldo look-a-like Black Jack dealer that never cracked a damn smile, offered us luck on our Aces and stole all of our money at a record pace.
Q: What do you figure the over/under age was on the cruise?
My wife and I decided that we would set the over/under at 41.5 and honestly, I might pound the over.
Q: Serious question, why in the hell did you book a cruise during American football season?
I didn’t want to Hawktober. I didn’t want to at all. I boycotted it at first. I stomped my foot and I said “No way, Jose”. Anything after Labor Day is off limits.
But that only goes to far. You see, you need to understand one thing about my wife... she’s a better salesperson than I am or ever will be. Her persistence and reckless abandon is unlike any thing I’ve ever seen. I’m basically some Wolf of Wall Street lackey and she’s Alec Baldwin telling me that “coffee’s for closers only” and that she’s from “downtown” and that “my leads aren’t weak, I’m weak” despite the fact that I have no idea what any of that has to do with booking a cruise.
But it worked. You bet your ass it worked. Because she knows the ABC’s of closing and I know how to sling some cheap penny stocks.
Plus, it wasn’t scalding hot. And if you ever go to Italy and see their air conditioning systems, you’ll understand why you’d want to visit when it’s a perfect 78 degrees outside rather than 110.