The Therapy Journals of the Fat-Headed Klingon Woman

One woman's journey to becoming Her True Self

Allure Trip Journal Part 2: The Water Taxi and Embarkation Morning June 7, 2012


Water Taxi

Water Taxi (Photo credit: Joe@HIO)

Hello All!!  And we continue…

After stopping to take pictures with a few more little dinghies  😉 that would make my poor Dad pea green with envy, including one incredible boat named Milk Money, we made it to the Water Taxi stop, taking the long way around the back of the building, thanks to my spectacular lack of instinct for locations. Daughter S. was quite certain by this time I was the WORST navigator on the planet. She turned out to be quite good at finding our way around different places, and at ever-so-gently verifying with me whether or not I knew for sure where I was going before she started making suggestions. She’s such a wise child. J


The kids plopped down on the edge of the pier or whatever you call it, and started checking out the water below, arguing about whether their shoes would get eaten by an alligator if they dropped them in the water. I issued dire warnings that NOBODY had better drop their shoes in the water, and struck up a conversation with a rather perturbed lady sitting nearby, who had apparently been misdirected and had hiked all over land and valley to find her way to this stop, only to discover that the boat she desperately thought she needed to catch, being the last Hollywood Connection, or something, was too full to allow her and her husband to board. With many oaths and declarations of severe retribution, she sent her husband into the office to find out exactly where the next boat would take them and exactly when it would get there, stating quite firmly that she was not taking another unnecessary step that night! Eventually, the next boat came, and Happy Shirley was ready to go, but her husband was still in the process of getting informed, and besides, another boat was pulling up right behind this one. So we got on it and tried to make our way to the back where the empty seats were, without causing injury to the exposed toes of the other passengers. We found spots at the back and off we went!


I definitely want to point out here that the water taxi was one of my favorite parts of the trip, mostly because it was the first step and it made us feel like we were having an adventure! We rode through several stops, listening to the tour guide talk about all the different houses, marveling at them and being amazed at the amount of money some people have. I kept glancing and smiling hopefully at the kids, like “Isn’t this fun? Isn’t this cool? You’re having a good time, right?” And they assured me it was fun, and cool, and they were having a great time. The tour was a bit of a torture, though, because we kept passing eating establishments with the most delicious aromas leaking out of them, and if I hadn’t been 99.99% sure they were outside our budget range, I would have happily jumped ship at any one of them. 


We had been perusing the water taxi brochure for the whole ride, trying to decide at which stop we should disembark, and the kids thought Stop # 7 looked promising, because it had listed under it, a pizza place. Doughboys, or something like that. My kids can always be counted on to be in the mood for pizza, so we left the taxi at this stop and proceeded to walk. And walk. AND walk! We had asked the tour guide when she came to sell us our tickets where exactly this place might be, and she said something like it was just a little walk down the street from the stop. Now keep in mind, we didn’t know our way around, and ok, boys and girls… how is Mommy with directions? Terrible, yes, thank you! I kept telling myself, “If we don’t see it by the next corner… ok, maybe the next corner.” Finally, the children were getting hostile and we started to go around one corner, then changed our minds and decided to cross the road, and The Boy almost darted out in front of a car, whereupon words I don’t normally say issued from my mouth. 


We joined another group of folks crossing the street (who happened to be CCers, btw!) and continued on a little farther. Finally, we turned a corner into The Shops on 17th Street or something like that, and desperately stumbled through the door of 5 Guys Burgers. My pizza-loving children were not exactly pleased at this point, but we were exhausted, starving, it was dark, and I. Didn’t. Care. Anymore! We threw ourselves on the mercy of the cashier, asking what was good and what we should order, etc. She was really super nice to us, coming over to chat a couple of times, and upon request, giving us the number to call a cab, and I paid it forward by asking for the manager or shift leader after we finished eating, and telling her that the girl was really great to us tired, hungry, out-of-towners, and that I just wanted the manager to know she was a good employee. I was trying to set an example for the kids that when people are kind to you, you try to be kind back.


Then we called a cab and took a short, uneventful, mostly silent ride back to the hotel. (Fare was $7 including tip, if you’re interested.) A little note about cab drivers here- remember when I said I feel l should at least try to make conversation with airplane seatmates? Same goes for cab drivers. I always feel guilty just talking to the kids or riding in silence, so I always asked the drivers how they were doing, in my whimsical, Southern Oklahoma way: “You doin’ alright today?” Some answered that they were fine, some barely spoke, and some were friendly and chatty. Mostly they seemed to want to just drive and not be too social, which I can understand. Back at the hotel, we checked out a few more things on TV, being very careful not to hit any channels that would result in having to pay more money. The girls showered, and we all eventually passed out. 


I woke up early the next morning, like “isn’t this still the middle of the night?” early. The Boy and I had been sleeping in the same bed, and he was awake too. I had thought we might be up early enough to watch Allure coming in, (squeeeee!) and I had heard and read on CC all about going to the top of the tower building to do so. So I asked The Boy if he was up for an adventure, told him I wanted to go check out the tower, and as always, he was gung ho. We walked over (my borrowed camera takes less-than-great pics in the dark, I discovered) and went up to the top of the round tower of Pier 66. My son was a little concerned that maybe we weren’t allowed to be in there, but I assured him it would be fine. As we walked in, we were bowled over by the beautiful scent of the flower arrangements still on the tables from the night before- calla lilies, and I don’t know what else, but they were so lovely. We stepped outside, took some pictures, admired the wrong ship (I forgot my glasses back at the room) and posted a preservation of the moment to Facebook from my phone. (Internet Addicts Anonymous, remember?)


We decided to head back and stopped at the pool. It was very gradually getting lighter. He stuck his feet in the pool and I took my first “lounge chair” picture, despite the fact that it was 5:30 in the morning or so! (I’m such a dork!) We went back to the room and tried to rest a little longer. He fell asleep and I got up and showered, and I let them all sleep until the last possible minute. Woke them up, finally, and everybody put on their new Allure of the Seas t-shirts that I had had made at home, which many people asked about throughout the day. Daughter J. was peeved that her shirt was too long and her shorts were too short, and she was rather cranky and irritating, but we snapped some “happy family pictures” on the balcony and went to check out. Easily got a cab to the port, but the kids had been hoping for some kind of breakfast, it being about 10:30 a.m. at this point, and I asked the driver to stop at one of the pharmacies on the way. We stopped at Walgreens and I grabbed some Pop Tarts and similar items, a cheap plastic watch because I’d forgotten one from home, and some Gatorade. We arrived at the port, all excited and nervous, flashed our IDs at the gate, and he took us to the terminal.

Up next:  Embarkation, First Day aboard, and Sailaway!


Until next time,



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