Wednesday, July 2, 2014

The Last Island

Barbados, not too far from the coast of South America, is by far the most developed island I have visited on this cruise. When I looked off my cabin balcony this morning, instead of seeing lush forests and mountain peaks, I briefly wondered if we had arrived in the middle of Dallas! Buildings everywhere. The ship docked right next to a bustling warehouse.

The island is still very beautiful but in a different way than St. Lucia or St. Maarten. Barbados (at least the parts that I saw) is beautiful in the way that a tropical, smaller New York City would be beautiful. Now, I will admit that I only ventured around the shopping areas today. I saw pictures from my mom's camera of their time at the beach, and everything they saw was quite beautiful there.

My family split up today so that everyone could participate in different activities. Grandpa Frank, Grandma Marcia, and Courtney took a catamaran around the island and swam with sea turtles. Mom, Amy, and Luke visited a sunny beach with soft sands and vibrant waters. Dad and I went exploring to find some sort of internet cafe so that we could download my calculus textbook and get started on my first week of homework for the summer.

The joys of being a college student.

Internet could be found in a shopping center a quarter of a mile off the pier. Best yet, it was free connection, so we didn't have to add onto the $30 worth of failed downloading attempts accumulated on the cruise ship.

The weather on the island was very tropical and warm. After an hour or two of wandering around, Dad and I returned to the ship and brought Nawnie onto the island. She just turned 81 and has been perfectly happy to spend the days of this cruise resting, with family in the evening, and seeing the sights from her balcony. She ventured briefly onto St. Maarten a few days ago. Today she wanted to go souvenir shopping to buy a gift for her best friend, so Dad and I were delighted to show her around a piece of Barbados. We shopped for a bit and for a short time we went to an outside bar while I sipped on a virgin pina colada.

My time on Barbados was brief. But I am not being dishonest when I say that I was thrilled to be able to just have quiet time and read Water Walker by Ted Dekker on the sunny balcony outside of my cabin while watching the waves rise and fall below.

I am an introvert by nature. I'm like an old electric drill that needs eight hours of charging for every two hours of use. When I travel and share a room with people, spend extended periods of time with people, and am constantly surrounded by people, I sometimes need to get away and crash on my own. Today I got the recharging time I needed.

It was lobster night at dinner, something my entire family had been looking forward to experiencing. The food was delicious, particularly my favorite sweet: creme brûlée. During dinner, we felt the familiar, gentle rocking of the ship that meant we had departed from Barbados.

Our cruise is nearly finished. Tomorrow will be a day spent entirely at sea. Instead of roaming about a tropical island, it will be time to explore what adventures this towering cruise ship has to offer.

Two years ago: So Many Prince Charmings.
Three years ago: What do you think?
Five years ago: My first steps into Africa

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