Just to tie up the loose ends of our cruise, Saturday morning, we got up at a decent hour, got dressed and went up for breakfast. The debarkation process was very structured, and unless you had an early flight and wanted to carry all your luggage off the boat yourself, you were assigned numbers to keep everyone for trying to leave at once. Our numbers were fairly high, and we wouldn't be leaving town until the next day, so we took our time eating and then leisurely headed down to the 3rd level when our number was called.
Upon leaving the boat, we had to go through what was essentially baggage claim and then customs, which we managed to do without incident. Upon completing that process, Brandon went off to find a van to take us to our hotel.
This was the view upon entering the van:
It was all we could do to keep from busting up laughing.
Let me explain: all week long, at a table near ours at dinner time there was a very large black lady, who apparently looked like someone from one of those Eddie Murphy Nutty Professor movies that I've never actually seen. All week, we were trying to get a decent photo of her. Up to this point, the best we'd gotten was this:
So, to find ourselves in the van with her, out of all the thousands of people on the boat, was just too funny. We managed to get this final, better photo of her:
Anyway, it was funny to us to end up in the same van with her and her husband after noticing them all week.
The van took them to the airport first, and then us to our hotel, which was near the airport. We relaxed by the pool for a bit, then took a walk to a Wendy's a few blocks away for lunch.
At some point in the afternoon, we decided that we ought to try to find a movie or something to do that night, so with the help of the internet (Fandango + Google Maps, FTW), I managed to find a few nearby theaters that looked like they'd be near a place we could find dinner as well. I printed out the movie listings page from Fandango, that also had the address for the theatre on it.
I'd looked at the directions from our hotel to the the theater and it seemed pretty straightforward. Pretty much just 20 blocks or so, straight down the main highway near our hotel. The 8 of us had to split up between two cabs, and as the other group was getting in their cab, I asked if they knew where they were headed. They didn't, so I handed Mel the sheet with the theater listings and pointed to the theater address on it. Unfortunately this sheet also had another theater listing at the top, and when she handed it to the driver, the driver assumed she meant the one at the top of the page. We didn't realize this until 15 minutes later our cab was at one theater and the other cab was at another one. Sad! Given that it had cost us about $20 to get to our respective locations, we ended up deciding to just stay put and see movies where we were.
Brandon, Eric, Julie-Ann, and I found a Qdoba for dinner and then decided which shows to see. Brandon and Eric opted for Inglorious Basterds, and Julie-Ann and I saw (500) Days of Summer (which for me was the 2nd time, but still very enjoyable, and maybe less bitter and more sweet, than the first time I'd seen it. There's a lot in that movie that makes me laugh, and also some sadness and frustration that hits close to home for me. The other group (Cara, Colleen, Mel, and Kellen) saw Julie & Julia much to Kellen's chagrin.
We all ended up back at the hotel fairly late, and hit the sack.
The next morning we got up, walked to a fairly nearby McDonalds for breakfast, took the hotel shuttle to the airport and dragged our way through a long day of airporting. About an hour layover in Cincinnati along the way. Airport food for lunch (Pizza Hut) and dinner (Great Steak & Potato), finally arriving home to Salt Lake in the evening.
Julie-Ann rocking her airbrushed tattoo in the Cincy airport
Kind of a long, tiring day. Definitely good to be home again. Quite a great trip overall, though. I give it two enthusiastic thumbs up!