When I introduced myself last month, I talked about my desire to collect experiences. While not all firsts are good—breaking my first bone, first trip to the ER with my son, my first car accident—I’m always looking to try something new.
Last week, I added a few more firsts in one fell swoop with a trip to Miami to catch a Caribbean cruise with most of my husband’s family. (My first vacation with the in-laws in 16 years of marriage.)
This was my first visit to Miami, and after two-and-a-half days of driving, I hit the beach for a run before we met everyone for dinner at a Cuban restaurant. Later in the week, we took a four-hour bus tour through South Beach, Key Biscayne, downtown, Coral Gables, Coconut Grove, and Little Havana.
The really, really big first though, was my first cruise. I’ve avoided them for a long time, but it seemed like the perfect way to travel with family while still having some “escape room”. Plus, my boys got to roam freely with their similarly-aged cousins, and hang out in the teen lounge.
I’m still not sure cruising is quite my thing—I’m not big on bars, gambling, karaoke, or getting lobsterized next to the pool—but we had a good time. There was plenty of great food, the staff was friendly, the gym was decent with an amazing view at sunrise, and the view of the stars at night was spectacular from the upper deck.
I skipped the experience in France, but I ate my first escargot on the cruise. Our friendly waiter, Iggy from India, liked to bring out appetizers and desserts he thought we should have picked, so even though we all ordered something else, he couldn’t let us go without trying the snails. Honestly, it was like eating a tiny scallop smothered in thick, garlicky, buttery sauce.
How could it not taste good? I’d probably eat rubber covered in that stuff.
The three ports we stopped in were Nassau, Coco Cay (Royal Caribbean’s private island, also in the Bahamas), and Key West. So now I’ve been to the southernmost point in the continental United States, and I’ve driven by Hemingway’s house on the Conch Train in sweltering, sticky heat.
The last first that’s worth talking about was our jet ski ride on Coco Cay. Hot damn that was fun. It’s probably the most fun I’ve ever had on the water. Ever.
When the guy in front of me put too much room between us, I just had to catch up with him. I have no idea how fast Taz and I were going, but I had the throttle on full and we were absolutely flying. We sped over the water bouncing from swell to swell, catching air, laughing and giddy from the rush. Worth. Every. Penny.
So that’s a recap of my week of firsts. How about you? Had any firsts lately—good or bad—that you want to share?