Isn't it strange how a smell, taste or song can bring a rush of memories flooding back in your mind? So was the case with me this morning as I sat at a stop light, taking the kids to school. I had brought my coffee with me because I am weak and must have a caffeine infusion so early to stay awake. Waiting for the light to change I take a sip and although it was my normal cup o' joe with cream and sugar, for a split second I tasted a hint of orange cognac.
We boarded Sovereign of the Seas, Mother's Day 2002. Parker, our first son had passed away the previous September and our family was strained. I had quit my job, because I didn't want to get out of bed unless I had to for my girls or husband. I felt our girls had lost faith in us because we weren't able to keep their brother from dying and there for probably not capable of keeping them protected either. So what better to do than to take a big chunk of my 401k and put us all on a plane thousands of feet in the air and then get on a boat the size of a shopping mall for a week.
My husband and I had made this trip a few times before, but always in November when the weather was milder. The girls were excited, but scared. As the plane took off Melody did a chant of "Oh my God! Oh my God! Oh my God!" with her eyes squeezed tight until we were up in the air. Once we arrived on the ship she was officially bored and pouting because I forgot to put the swim suits in the carry on so we had to wait on our luggage to be brought to our cabin. I should have realized then that she wasn't feeling well.
The next day at breakfast she barely had time to tell me she wasn't feeling very well before she was sick in the dining room. With a patch behind her ear, some pepto and crackers she was mending, but that night Gracie and I went to eat dinner together while Hubby and Melody stayed in the cabin and had room service. Even though we felt guilty we had fun and the servers fawned over us, showing us tricks with balancing silverware and folding napkins.
When Melody was well again and able to go to the kid program we were docked in Nassau. Hubby and I, seeing that they were having the time of their lives reluctantly went on shore to look around at all the shops. We were walking and holding hands when it started to rain. We didn't run to find shelter or curse our luck. Instead we looked at each other and laughed. We held our hands out and lifted our faces toward the sky and then kept walking. We happened upon a liquor shop with their french doors wide open, welcoming in tourist to have samples.
Hubby laughed at me when I attempted to say Grand Marnier and it sounded like Grand Mariner. I had never tasted it or heard of it before, but as I stood there soaked the liquid warmed me down to my sandals and broadened the smile on my face. We bought a bottle and went back out into the rain before going into a little hole in the wall coffee shop. He had espresso with Grand Marnier, I had a glass of Grand Marnier and a slice of rum cake. We sat in the little shop and talked, laughed, looked around at the natives, and stared at each other. When we were ready to head back to the ship we were both disappointed that the rain had stopped.