JULIA SPENCER-FLEMING: Yesterday was more snow, followed by sleet and freezing rain here in glorious southern Maine. It's been two months of - as it says in the lyrics from a song I used as a book title - snow on snow, snow on snow. Followed by melting, mud, refreezing, etc. I am SO tired of cold and miserable weather, I'm about to sell my left kidney for a trip to the Caribbean. Unfortunately, the market for kidneys is down right now, so I have to take my trip in my imagination.
So Reds, lets plan a fabulous cruise.,,What do we want? A writing trip, where everyone works on their books while watching blue waters pass by during the day, and eating fabulous meals at night? A workshop cruise, where we all teach and learn and go snorkeling and eat fabulous meals at night? An historic river cruise (during the height of summer so it's nice and warm) where we tour and shop and eat fabulous...oh, you know.,,
Me, I'd book us on a Windstar cruise - small (250 passenger) ships that sail to places like Egypt, India, Southeast Asia. I'd like to go to Tahiti to experience the amazing waters and soak up the sun (while wearing spf 50, of course.) I picture us all sitting at tables on the poop deck or whatever it's called, under awnings, working away ceaselessly except for the occasional dip into the netted pool hanging off the stern of the ship. We could get a massage at the end of the day, followed by waiters named Raul and Jean-Paul bringing us fruity cocktails before dinner. The person who produces the most words gets to be the first to snorkel when we reach the next atoll. After eleven days, we all return relaxed, rested and with fifty pages of new material.,,
How about you, Reds? What cruise would you design for us to escape to? Or if water isn't your thing, what resort? And should it be work, play, or a little of both?
HALLIE EPHRON: I hate confined spaces and I get seasick. So hold the cruises for me, though the one you describe, Julia, sounds pretty great.
Having said that, we ARE booked on a cruise! A small ship (20 staterooms) in August, the Inside Passage from Sitka to Ketchikan. There’s no other way to see it except from a boat. For me priorities will be birds/wildlife and food, not necessarily in that order and certainly not at the same time. I plan to bring my binoculars and my Kindle, warm socks, and leave my computer at home. I will, however, take notes.
HANK PHILLIPI RYAN: I'll go anywhere with the Reds! But preferably someplace on land. Could I maybe drive or fly to wherever it is? I think of cruise, I think of norovirus. AND of my dear pals who just got back from a cruise in Vietnam and Cambodia, which they said was gorgeous, (eventually) but on their first day on the river cruise, on a glam 6-stateroom yacht, they were all out searching for caves in a kayak, and realized they were being stalled about going back to the ship. When they finally said--you know, we'd like to go back to the ship, the fowling conversation ensued:
Ship guy: Well, there's a little problem with the ship.
Friends: Like what?
Ship guy: Like, well, there was an engine fire and it sank.
They got almost everyone's stuff off before the final sinking, except for the clothing of the people who had unpacked. So--let that be a lesson.
But if we're doing imaginary, I'm thinking ...Amalfi Coast. And work and wine and relaxing, and food and Reds? I'm totally in.
LUCY BURDETTE: Oh Julia, we've been on a Windstar cruise and it's heaven. The food is terrific, and you don't have to dress up (I hate the idea of lugging formal wear on a trip!), and the ports are pleasant and small. And Tahiti sounds excellent. About the working all the time though, hmmm, not sure that's realistic. I get seasick too, but I popped Dramamine every day and I was fine.
Hallie, can't wait to hear about your Alaskan adventure. And love the idea of traveling somewhere to work with Reds...
RHYS BOWEN: Gee, thanks a lot for sharing that, Hank. John and I are booked on a cruise in June--around the Mediterranean. Now I won't want to unpack my bags!
We've done quite a few cruises, two Med cruises with Holland America before, several Princess, the classic transatlantic crossing on the QE2 and a Danube cruise. I think I liked the latter the best. The ship is small and low enough to go under bridges and the windows are just above the water so life on the banks is right there. And they anchor in the middle of town so you can step ashore when you feel like it.
We chose a cruise again this year so there is not a lot of packing and unpacking and dragging bags onto trains for John, who still isn't that mobile or strong. But I enjoy the relaxed feeling of no decisions more than do I want the filet mignon or the lobster?
But for an escape with the Reds? I'd choose a beach-front cabin in the Caribbean. So much more relaxed and quiet. Cruises are noisy and it's hard to find space. Our cabin would naturally have a chef and maid and food would miraculously appear at meal times. And a shady beach with good snorkeling and a big deck over blue water.... sigh.
JENN McKINLAY: I've only been on one cruise. Hub and I celebrated our first anniversary on the Love Boat. You know, the ship that leaves Los Angeles and stops in Ensenada, Mazatlan, etc., and -- SURPRISE! -- we discovered I was pregnant with Hooligan 1, so I slept and slept and went to the buffet and slept and slept some more. I remember naps, ornate fruit sculptures, and towels folded into manta rays and penguins. So, I figure I am overdue for a cruise where I am upright and conscious. Reds, you can take me anywhere!
How about you, dear readers? What sort of getaway would you plan? And would you relax and read, or refresh and write?