I have a ton to catch you up on as we sail through Glacier Bay.
The Newlywed Game provided the most surreal experience of my life thanks to contestants "Gladys" and "Sylvia" who are in their 80's and met 2 years ago. When asked to describe Sylvia's favorite part of her body, Gladys, sitting on stage with her purse in her lap, responded, "My pussy."
The crowd erupted into hysterics as I sat stunned, staring into the dark, dumbfounded. Even as I remember it now, 36 hours later, I find myself pausing, both pleased that Gladys and Sylvia are still enjoying sex WELL into their twilight years and horrified that this grandmotherly woman in the appliqued sweatshirt used the word "pussy." Sylvia's answer as to her favorite part of Gladys' body, "her boat" was accepted.
Her boat, you guys. Her boat.
Speaking of boats, we docked in Skagway yesterday and wandered around town, stopping into a small diner for grilled cheese sandwiches and wandering around the wooden sidewalks in the rain. I actually really liked ye olde village in the middle of the mountains and could see myself living there for 2 whole weeks. The town lesbians, of which there must have been 2, organized an Olivia Happy Hour and tour of "Skag-Gay" but we hiked back to the ship in our rain gear, snuggling up with tea and books and our constant questions.
Like "What is the story with Del Sol?"
Del Sol is a store located in EVERY port. Apparently, everything for sale in Del Sol changes color in the sun. Everything. Why they've chosen to operate in Alaska is beyond us. There's also the Alaska T-Shirt Company which we patronize with great enthusiasm. This is the last week of Alaskan cruises. The 'season' is over this week. So everything's like, a dollar. We chatted with a gentleman yesterday who comes to Skagway just in the summer to work at an internet cafe and fish. The rest of the year, he studies industrial engineering in Ohio.
We also have lots of questions about the ship, like what happens if someone gets murdered. This subject came up when I was upgrading rooms on the second day. When asked by the front desk staff if I was having a good time, I thoughtlessly responded, "Yes. I hope there's a murder."
In relaying this to Melissa, she asked me the context.
"None. I really do wish there was a murder mystery on board. Don't you?"
What happens in the event of a maritime crime? Is there a brig? Who's in charge? Are marshalls on board? We're debating going to the naturalist lecture in a little while and asking this during the Q&A.
Each time we dock into port, we're docking with the same Holland America ships. Melissa and I would prefer to race them, imagining ourselves in the Captain's Deck screaming, "Go! Go!" Should our fellow travellers take too long to board, we envision ourselves pulling up the gangplank and hollering, "Sorry, ya took too long! Get a ride with them!" We'd yell this, motioning with our heads to the ship next door, our arms laden with ropes in our desperation to beat The Svenerdam or The Copendam to the next port.
Needless to say, we're desperate for some action.
I can report Betty DeGeneres holds unofficial court every night in the Ocean Lounge, the bar that employs the classical music quartet. Last night as Melissa and I walked by, they were playing the Schlinder's List Theme. Schindler's List, by the way, is available on DVD to be delivered to one's stateroom.
"Can you imagine?" Mel asked. "What a great day! I'm exhausted and having too much fun. Got any downers? Oh, here. Schindler's List. Terrific."
I was out strolling Deck 6 this morning, the walking track that surrounds the boat. As I stopped in my ski jacket and knit hat to record my thoughts on global warming, I was met by a group of very serious looking lesbians just as I announced, "I don't see what the big deal is. Global WARMING? This shit is freezing."
The glaciers were nothing compared to their icy stares. Brrrrr.
There are occasional sales listed on our daily program. Last night from 9-11pm was the $10 sale. The line started to form at 8 and by 9:01 (at which point I was in line, obviously), the doors had yet to open and mutiny had begun. These ladies did not fuck around, including one in a tank top, tattoos and sunglasses who started yelling at the staff in her panic and frustration. "It's after 9!"
She actually ducked under the gate and started digging through the glittery $10 watches and bedazzled clutches before they'd managed to turn the lights on. Mel had seen hints of the sale situation earlier when all hell broke loose over the discounted earring sets on the Lido Deck. Needless to say, I was throwing elbows with the best of them and am now the proud owner of a very cheap looking watch I refer to as "my bling."
Tonight is the "white party" to which I have nothing to wear and the comedian Mimi Gonzalez, one of the equally shocked hosts of the Newlywed Game. And tomorrow, we arrive in our final port of Ketchican. For the most part (Gladys and her boat aside) this is very much like a normal, relaxing cruise. We're drinking a lot of herbal tea, reading lots of books and have learned the hard way to avoid the deviled eggs.
We are keeping our heterosexuality in the closet, so to speak as I've come to find a new appreciation of why one would want to go on an exclusively lesbian cruise. I'll talk more about this later, but there's a very obvious, very nice sense of comfort these women are experiencing, especially those from places perhaps more conservative than San Francisco. I'd hate to take away from that, even in the littlest bit, by revealing our slight difference. I'm on their turf, after all. And am grateful for the opportunity.
Thus far, my favorite part of the cruise is that every day, someone changes the carpets in the elevators to reflect the days of the week. What a marvelous job, sneaking in each (of the 12!) elevators at midnight, removing Wednesday and throwing down Thursday. It must be so satisfying.
(Betty DeGeneres just walked by!)
I'm off to pretend to admire the glaciers. But really, I'm just biding my time until "Trivia" and some game called "Spot the fake Amber." Anything that gets me closer to 11 tonight when the White Party's DJ Tina Saldina spins a "Tribute to Michael Jackson."
Melissa just leaned over and pointed out we hadn't seen Gladys and Sylvia in awhile.
Hello? I think those two are utilizing the "Do Not Disturb" door hanger and that's all we need to know...
*Ranger Randy is making an announcement in his awkward Southern drawl. He keeps stumbling over his words and I think it's because lesbians make him nervous. I assure you, these ladies have some serious questions about nature and glaciers. Oh, I'm wrong. A woman on a scooter behind me just announced over her hand of playing cards, "I like Ranger Randy! He gave me a hug."