November 18, 2005
Girl's Getaway Cruise
Wow! What a fabulous time Clancy and I had on the First Annual Girl’s Getaway Cruise. I will do my best to tell you as much as I can about the trip but I’m sure I’ll leave something out. Just like I’ve already had to weed through and eliminate a ton of pictures I wanted to post alongside this journal entry.
Let me start with a bit of back story. Over a year ago, I was in a hotel room (I was supposed to be writing a book, but that’s a whole ‘nother journal entry) when I received a phone call from my manager, Ron. He asked if I would be interested in speaking on a cruise. Of course I told him I would have to fast and pray about it. So I prayed real fast and said, “Duh! Yes.” He then told me the dates of the cruise, November 10-13. I couldn’t believe it. Clancy’s 13th birthday was going to be November 12!
For each child’s 13th birthday we’ve taken them somewhere special. Tucker went with his dad to San Francisco. I took Haven to a Spa & Resort. It doesn’t get much better than a cruise for a milestone birthday celebration. Traditionally, we would bring along Dr. Dobson’s “Preparing for Adolescence” tapes and in between fun times and good food we would listen to the tapes with the kids.
Considering Tucker warned Haven to “pack a barf bag” before her trip, Clancy asked if she could forego the “poohburty” tapes for the cruise. Her argument was, “I’m going to be sick enough as it is just being on the boat.” So, considering it would be a shame to “lose” all that delicious cruise food, we struck a deal. She could listen to the tapes when we got home.
So, last Thursday, Clancy and I got up at 3:30 in the morning and caught a flight to Florida where we met some of the other speakers and artists and took a bus to the ship. I felt like such a fan. I was sitting next to the girls from Point of Grace!! I LOVE them. I have all of their CDs and it was quite a privilege to meet them in person. I must tell you – they were SOOOOOO nice. Very unaffected.
Here’s a perfect example. Clancy absolutely fell in love with this cool army jacket with a PofG patch on it that the new girl, Leigh, was wearing. I leaned over, tapped Leigh on the shoulder, and asked if they sold that jacket on their website because my daughter loved it.
She bubbled over, “No! I bought this at Target! I just sewed the patch on. But, hey, let me air the pits out and I’ll just give it to her!” We all laughed and assumed she was kidding. But, no! The next morning, she gave Clancy the very jacket off of her back!
I have to tell you, everyone on this cruise was this nice. Let me tell you about some of the artists and speakers. I got to hear Angela Thomas for the first time. Oh my goodness, she’s amazing. If you ever get a chance to hear her speak, you must go. More than that, if you have any influence in your women’s ministry, you must see about bringing her to your church. She was awesome and so sweet. If she didn’t have such a fabulous body after four kids I think we could be good friends.
I was equally impressed with Lisa Harper. She told some stories I will never forget. Some of them were hysterical and some of them simply brought important truths to such a practical light that I don’t think I will ever be the same again.
Clancy enjoyed meeting Susie Shellenberger, the editor of Focus On The Family’s Brio magazine for girls. I thought it was very “coincidental” that we had just received the email two days earlier about the magazine’s mission trip to Peru that Susie is leading. Clancy REALLY wants to go because they will be doing Street Drama Ministry and she loves that kind of thing. Clancy was already talking to me about ways to save money and send out letters for support. And now she got to meet the main lady. How cool is that.
It was wonderful to run into my friend, Chonda Pierce, again. That lady is the sweetest, funniest, lady you would ever want to meet. I just love her! Unfortunately, she only stayed on the ship for one night so I didn’t get to spend nearly as much time with her as I would have liked.
I thought the same was going to be true of my friend, Kim Hill. Thankfully, on the very last day I got to have lunch with her and then we got a good talk in on the bus back to the airport. She has a similar personality as my mother’s and since my mom is my best friend, I really enjoyed hanging out with Kim.
Clancy and I had some really special times together. Although, on the very last day of the cruise I was waxing reflectively with Clancy about how much I was enjoying spending one-on-one time just with her. Her honest reply was, “Me too, Mom, but it is weird how the more quality time I spend with you, the more annoying you get.” I wasn’t offended; I was glad she could be so honest with me. Besides, I understood, I’ve felt that way about too much quality time with family before myself. Continuing with her theme of blunt honesty, we were in the gift shop later in the day and she said, ‘You know, you’re less annoying when you buy me things.” Another very true statement!
3. Eating soft serve ice cream cones around the clock.
2. Taking pictures at all of the photo set ups.
1. The practical joke we played.
Let me tell you about this last one. When we arrived at the harbor from the airport, we all had to leave our luggage to be inspected and brought on board by the cruise staff. We were told to get on board, eat lunch, and our rooms should be ready shortly after that and we should expect our luggage to be in the cabin when we got there.
After a delightful lunch with Angela Thomas, and her friend, Liz, we found our cabin. We also found something else. Our luggage was not the only luggage delivered to our room. Gary Gentry’s, the co-owner of Premier Cruises, luggage was also there. Now, I really don’t know Gary that well. I have primarily worked with his partner, Roy Morgan, over the last few years. I did know enough about Gary to know that he is a crazy jokester.
I looked at Clancy and said, “We can’t have Gary’s suitcase in our room and not do something with it!” But what could we do. Everything we thought of was either inappropriate, too risky, too mean, or boring. We tried to call Chonda Pierce for an idea – she would definitely know what to do – but we couldn’t reach her. We finally decided to take everything out of Gary’s suitcase and replace it with our things (sans a few of the more delicate articles.) Then we got to thinking, what if he needs to change clothes for dinner. So we also included one complete outfit, a pair of shoes, and topped it all off with his Bible. We then had the porter deliver it to the correct room.
I was a nervous wreck. What if Gary needed something? What if he got mad? How and when were we going to ‘fess up? I finally broke down and told his partner, and my friend, Roy what we had done just in case Gary needed some of his stuff back right away.
All evening long, the main topic of discussion among the Premier staff was who did this to Gary? I discovered later that everyone was secretly thrilled because Gary was always the one “hanging” every body else. Bets were placed on who could have done such a thing and gotten away with it. The conversation zeroed in on Chonda or Wendy, a fun girl on staff. Roy tried to tell them it was me and Clancy but nobody would believe him.
Finally, after midnight, Clancy and I had to confess so we could get our pajamas and toiletry bags, not to mention our clothes for the next day. We walked around the ship looking for Gary and finally stumbled upon him talking with Roy, Roy’s wife Kathy, and Wendy. Clancy nonchalantly walked up to him and sweetly asked, “Mr. Gentry, do you have a bra I could borrow?” You should have seen the look on his face – it was priceless. Thankfully, he wasn’t mad at all. In fact, he commended us. What a great sport!
The whole cruise was full of wonderful memories but I think Clancy and I had the most fun that very first night. By the way, I believe they are making plans to charter the whole ship next year for the 2nd Annual Girl’s Getaway Cruise. You really should check it out at www.PremierChristianCruises.net. Get a group of girls together or plan something special with your mom or daughter. You, too, will definitely make memories of a lifetime.
Posted by weblion at 09:27 PM