Monday, June 30, 2008

A Little Romance

Every once in a while it's nice to have a romantic outing, isn't it? I love when my husband and I have a chance to go out together and do something special. This past Saturday our something special included a dinner cruise on the St. John's Waterway. Someone gave us a gift card for the Rivership Romance.
Now, we see the Romance sail by all the time. It's moored at the Sanford Marina, which is about three miles from our house. It cruises across Lake Monroe, which is directly across from our subdivision. We've been out on the lake before and watched the Romance sail by. I always wondered what it would be like to sail on that ship. At first, I just thought it was a sight-seeing cruise, and that didn't really appeal to me. I mean, we're on the lake often anyway. Why pay money to sightsee something we look at all the time for free? Then someone gave us the gift cards and when I logged onto their website, I saw that they have lunch and dinner cruises. How fun! They even have one that has a show--on Friday night. The show they were offering was a musical cabaret event entitled, Respect: A Musical Journey of Women. Yeah, right. There was no way my husband would want to endure four hours of that!
So I booked us for the Saturday night dinner cruise. I was really excited about this outing. I planned my clothes, hair and makeup in advance. (Haven't done that since the pre-kids days!) I even wore eyeshadow which just goes to show how special an event this was. When I made the reservation, they told me the dress was business casual so I didn't go too all out. I did wear my Cinderella shoes, though, (High heels, lots of sparkles)and dangling earrings. I had Terry wear a dress shirt and tie. When we pulled up to the dock, there were only a few people already checked in. Several of them were wearing shorts and t-shirts. Terry's tie came off in about two seconds. We did start to see some people a little more dressed up, but not one man had a tie on so I guess I had to cut him some slack.
The outside of the ship was beige, with red trim and it really did not look that impressive. When they told us to board, we had to go down a really steep ramp, and I was worried I would slide right out of my Cinderella sandals. But then we stepped through the doorway into an elegant dining room. The room was the width of the ship, with a wall of windows on each side. I was a little disappointed to find out we were in the center row of tables, instead of at a window. We could still see out easily, though, and the center aisle got to eat first so that was a nice trade off. A waiter came by for our drink order and seemed a little surprised when we ordered a Sprite and a Coke. I think we were the only ones on board that weren't drinking alcohol. You know what? I'm glad I don't need anything to dull my senses in order to have fun.
After we cast off, they served hors d'oeuvres consisting of a shrimp and artichoke dip with crackers, vegetables and dip and assorted cheeses. It was all good, and I was glad they were there because they announced that dinner would be served at 9:00. We staved off immediate hunger and then went up to the next level to stand on deck. We found a spot at the railing and watched the familiar shore drift by, including the entrance to our subdivision. Terry commented that it's like we were vacationing right at home, which is kind of true. Since we live on the north side of Orlando, there's a whole lot of vacationing possibilities every day. The upside of that is, we can have lots of fun without incurring a motel bill every night. The downside is, you have no anonymity so you can't do something such as ... kiss passionately on the deck of the Romance. It didn't really bother me though, as we're not the public display type of couple anyway. A little handholding, an arm around each other. That's plenty for me. We learned quickly which direction of the ship our eyes needed to avoid since there was one or two couples that weren't quite so discreet.
As daylight faded, we were called back to the dining room where we feasted on prime rib, garlic mashed potatoes and green beans, followed by raspberry cheesecake. It was a really good meal.
Our twenty-second anniversary was two weeks ago and this was a belated celebration of that. One of the things we both enjoy about our marriage is that we are now best friends as well as spouses. So it was kind of funny to us that, while we enjoyed the whole cruise, we were a little dismayed after we ate to find out that we still had another hour before we docked. A full meal that late at night, following several stressful weeks of planning VBS made us both long to go to sleep. The fire is still there, it just banks earlier than usual.
Back up on deck we went, this time sitting in deck chairs. I put my head on his shoulder (okay, we had a little PDA there, I guess) and we watched the lights on the shore go by. We also saw an occasional burst of fireworks in different directions. It was so nice and leisurely with just a hint of a cool breeze. (Don't get that often in Florida during the summer!) Then we moved back up to the bow and had a front row seat to watch as the ship was piloted back through the marina and into it's slip.
It was a great outing and a great way to celebrate our anniversary. Now if we'd only remembered to bring a camera!

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