Snails and Frogs and Creme Brule, Oh My!

Posted at about 9:27 PM local time

When we last saw our Fearless Hero, he was about to kill a few hours after making his last post and before going to dinner. And so he did. I grabbed my book, ordered up an Ultimate Mai-Tai from one of the bars, and then headed out onto Deck 7, starboard side. It was quiet and warm outside and I quickly found a comfortably cushioned seat on which to relax. Drinking my Mai-tai, I tried to read my book, but the view of the islands in the harbor and the light blue water was pretty distracting, to say nothing of the approaching planes (of which I took several pictures). Eventually, I dozed off out there and by the time I woke up, it was nearly dinner time.

I dressed for dinner and then headed to the dining room. I decided to wait outside for the doors to open (at 6:15 PM sharp) and while waiting, I saw a tennis ball come flying off from some upper deck and into the water. For some reason, I found that very funny.

Incidentally, despite my best efforts to avoid it, I got a pretty bad sunburn today, mostly on my chest. My arms, legs and face are getting dark, but for some reason, my chest got burned. I picked up some aloe tonight and applied it and it helped a little. I wonder how it will affect my massage tomorrow morning. Stay tuned…

vickyandnorm commented that they enjoyed my descriptions of the foods. So let me tell you about tonight’s dinner. Dinner was French Cuisine this evening and I decided to go for broke and try stuff I’d never thought I’d try (carpe diem, right?). So, for starters, I had the escargot in a delicious garlic and butter sauce. I admit I was a little nervous trying it, but once I was ready, I didn’t peck at it. I stuck a fork in it and transferred the snail from it to my mouth in a single, smooth motion. (If you’ve never seen escargot, they are blackish in color.) It was very good. The texture is very similar to Steamers, if you’ve ever had those and they seem to absorb the flavor of whatever they are cooked in, so mine tasted like a buttery garlic. I finished the half-dozen of them quickly. My second appetizer was the French Onion soup, which I love, and on which I quickly burned the dickens out of my tongue. Nevertheless, I managed to finish the soup.

The main course I chose was the frogs legs. It was a difficult choice mainly because I kept picturing Kermit the Frog in the original Muppet Movie. But when I saw the frogs legs, I quickly but that image out of my mind and concentrated entirely on the food, which was quite good. There were two legs and I was surprised by the amount of meat. (They must be big frogs!) They were in some kind of butter sauce and surrounded by leaks and a crouton as well as some potatoes. The frogs legs tasted much like chicken, although there was a vague fishy quality to them. I liked them, but given the choice between frogs legs and rabbit, I’d choose rabbit I think.

Dessert: once again, I chose two. I started with the raspberry creme brule and finished with the famous chocolate mousse, of course.

After dinner, Mom, Dad, Jen and Jason headed to the casino. strausmouse would love the casino here because all of the blackjack tables are $3 tables. Mom won something like $200 last night and Dad came out ahead as well. And so they headed to the casino where, I assume, they can still be found. I ran a few errands (got some aloe and bottled water) and then got ready to head to the fitness center for a workout. Before that, however, I went out on the deck and called Doug and Rachel to say hello. We’ve been texting each other several times a day, but I told Doug I’d call. Doug is so funny–he’s having a hard time wrapping his head around the fact that it’s 10 hours later here; that when they are getting up for breakfast, we are finishing up our dinner. I talked to Doug, Rachel and Ruby for about 10 minutes, giving them some cruise updates and passing along various messages.

At the fitness center, I did a full lower body workout, and it felt pretty good, although I imagine my legs will be sore tomorrow. It wasn’t crowded at the gym (I imagine half the ship was at the second seating of dinner, which helped, I’m sure.) Two weird things: running on the treadmill to warm up was a little disconcerting because the ship was moving in the same direction I was running. Since the fitness center is way up at the top of the ship with a 180 degree view of the sea, when I looked to my right as I warmed up, it looked like I was actually running because the water was gliding by. A similar effect took place when I was doing jumping jacks.

When my workout was complete the sun was about to set and I went out onto the deck to watch it set. The sky was clouded and the horizon was unimpeded so I got to watch the sun sink into the sea. It may be the first time I’ve ever seen it so clearly. As the sun sinks into the water, the surrounding area gets noticeably darker. The amount of light is proportional to the square (or cube) of the surface area presented (I can’t recall exactly; mabfan probably knows the right formula) and it was cool to see the effect in real time. Then, as the sun got about halfway below the horizon, it’s shape started to deform; it began to keystone and a “second” mirror-image half sun appeared above it. This is some kind of optical illusion, I think. Anyway, the fake sun disappeared first, and finally, the actual sun sank below the horizon and the last of it’s bright light was gone. It was really rather spectacular.

At this point, I’m sitting in the Wheelhouse lounge, listening to live music as I write this up and post it. In about 45 minutes, I’m heading up on deck to watch the movie under the stars tonight: Casino Royale. Tomorrow we are in Katakolon, Greece and then it’s Athens on Monday.

Tomorrow is a big day: Mom and Dad are having their vow-renewal ceremony at 5:45 PM. Just us, them and then Captain of the ship in the ship’s chapel. We have reservations for a late dinner at the specialty restaurant, Sabatini’s at 9:30 PM tomorrow as well. Jen and Jason have their couples massage; and of course, I have my sports massage first thing tomorrow morning.

Stay tuned, same bat time, same bat channel…