Day 3 Scandinavia – At Sea and Ellie Tries to Kill Her Grandma

The sun just coming up at sea at 5 a.m.. Notice the slip of a moon in the upper right-hand corner.

The call of nature, and habit, woke me this morning.  I love going out on the veranda to see what the sunrise has to offer.  It gives me a little shiver of pleasure to think I’m somewhere exotic and this special spot and time is mine to savor.  What an opportunity to live in the moment.

This morning, I paid tribute to the moment and then the lure of the soft, cushy bed drew me back.  We are all exhausted, and today is a day of recovery at sea.  Yes, this will be a day of regeneration and get ready for Copenhagen tomorrow.

Last night, when Ellie was working me over in the gym, I had stupidly agreed to attend a 7 a.m. fitness class with her.  Something about finding my core.  I just wanted to find my bed.  Fortunately, Ellie was zonked out and I “forgot” to wake her up.  In fact, I slept until 9:30 a.m., which is very late for me.  Ellie slept until almost 11 a.m., and I was more than happy to tiptoe around so she wouldn’t wake up.

We missed breakfast altogether, and went to the dining room for lunch.  The menu was more casual than usual, and the only vegetarian option was a veggie burger.  I’m fussy about my veggie burgers; a lot of them taste like beige mush.  There are a hundred ways to make them delicious, and it seems like there is an unwritten law against adding flavor through spices and herbs.  Sure enough, it was a mushy burger.  It came with fries, which I wasn’t thrilled with, but the Fat Gods intervened and they were barely warm.  Hot, greasy, salty fries?  Yum.  Really hard to not to eat every one of those artery hardening butt building treats.  Cold?  They can stay on the plate.  I ate the burger because I was starving, and decided I could hit the buffet if I got hungry later.  I did enjoy the fruit plate for dessert.

We attended a lecture on the Baltic Sea, which was interesting.  Can’t say that I knew much about it, and it was interesting to find out about it.  It’s obviously cold and up to 600 feet depth in spots.  I won’t bore you with a lot of scientific mumbo jumbo, but it is interesting to note the old guy lecturing is very proud of his younger wife.  Midway through the lecture, he switched from detailed graphs on the oxygen saturation levels of waters at different depths to photos of his much younger wife in a bathing suit.  She appeared to be in water, but somehow it didn’t look like the chilly waters of the Baltic Sea.  I think he just wanted an excuse to show her picture.  They had gone to Tallinn, Estonia (where we are going) and the lecture turned into a tour instead.

We also stayed for the excursions overview, and George decided he doesn’t want to go to Berlin.  It’s too much for him and he is going to opt for the local sites near the ship, and Ellie and I will head to Berlin together.

Ellie went back to bed and slept away the afternoon.  I woke her up at 4:30 pm to get ready for the big dress up dinner event. Twice during the trip they have a dress up dinner.  Everyone wears their finest and the food is extra special.  We each had new outfits to wear, and George had a new shirt, which had those new shirt wrinkles.  Last trip I had bought a travel steamer, which is lighter than an iron, and doesn’t require an ironing board.  It isn’t fast, however, and serious wrinkles take awhile.  I had hung George’s shirt and was industriously steaming that perma-wrinkled sucker.

George, who was laying on the bed watching TV and eating chocolate while I helped Ellie and got our clothes together, remarked “Isn’t it great how that steamer saves you so much work getting my clothes together!”  In other words, I should thank him for getting me the steamer.  Except that I had bought the steamer and found it on Amazon.  And why wasn’t I the one laying on the bed, eating chocolate?   Sweet little kind domestic goddess that I am, red dots flashed in front of my eyes.  I can’t remember my exact words, but it was basically something about “you have nerve….laying there eating chocolate….can’t put your own shoes on, much less put your underwear in the dirty clothes….when was the last time you said “please”  and how would you know if it is easier, you’ve never touched the steamer…..”  George had that mystified look husbands around the world get when they just aren’t sure why their wife suddenly started foaming at the mouth and attacked.  This man is a survivalist, however, and knows when stop talking.  There was a sheen of sweat on his bald head while he tried to figure out what he said, but experience has taught him that I eventually calm down.  Don’t mess with a woman holding a potential weapon of destruction filled with boiling water.  There was a body part I was considering steaming…..

My humor restored, we had our pictures taken in our finery (haven’t got them back yet), and I had a great selection of gourmet, low point foods.

Salmon Tartare – minced, raw salmon combined with onion, herbs and caviar garnish. Oh So Good – and zero points


Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms, filled with spinach, setting in a red pepper sauce. Tasted lovely, but the two mushrooms were very small. Delicious, but not filling.
Cauliflower with Cheese. I was worried the portobello mushrooms might be small, so I ordered a side dish of cauliflower – and it was a good thing! Estimated 4 points for cheese.
Amazing dessert! Phyllo tart cup, filled with fresh fruit and served with lemon sauce. Generous estimate of 5 points.

It was a lovely meal and very low in points.  Definitely made up for the crappy veggie burger!

After dinner, George went to bed, and Ellie and I headed to the evening show.  It was a Motown program and received a standing ovation.  I was ready for bed, but Ellie, who had slept most of the day, wanted to exercise.  Ugh.  The Fitness Center was closed, but we gamely changed into jogging clothes and headed up to the top deck.  I couldn’t keep up with Ellie, but I walked/jogged – and I have to admit it felt great.  Ellie is such a little health bug; and she is dragging me along with her.  Initially, it sounds like a terrible idea to go jogging at 11:30 p.m.  But the weather was warm, it wasn’t crowded and we had fun.  A couple of times around and who should appear in a formal gray suit and Harry Potter glasses, but Conrad.  He is the 13 year old (who turns 14 on Friday) who charmed us at breakfast yesterday.  He made jokes at me as he laid in a lounge chair eating apples and cheese, while I walked/jogged past him.  I invited him to join me, and he leaped to his feet and starts racing along in his formal suit.  He is quite tall and made a sight in his suit and long legs, quickly outdistancing me.  He reminded me of some leggy puppy that can’t contain his enthusiasm.  He started doing leaps and spins as he jogged along.  What a fun kook this kid is!  Ellie out-lapped us and came up onto us.  The two of them soon left me in the dust.  We all jogged along; Ellie in her jogging outfit and Conrad in his suit and dress shoes, and the breathless old woman.  What a sight!  He ran four laps and decided that was enough and disappeared to bed.  Ellie and I walked until we made our step goals and enjoyed the midnight air.  I’m either going to die of a heart attack, or I’m going to be in great shape by the end of this cruise.  We made it to bed around 1 a.m., regretfully knowing that we had to get up no later than 7 a.m. tomorrow.  We arrive in Copenhagen at 6:30 a.m.and expect to be able to get off the ship by 7:30 a.m.  I’ve made reservations through a private company for a bike ride around the city.  Big day tomorrow!


Author: Traveling Grandma

As an aging mother of six and grandma to seven, travel was always a dream. Diapers, work and an eccentric high-maintenance husband just seemed to keep those trips a distant desire. Eventually, however, the kids potty trained, lived through the teenage angst years and left the nest to start their own families. Work still gets in the way for my husband, but it does help pay for the trips! Can't do much about the eccentric, high-maintenance husband; after 36 years I have reconciled that he will never pick up his underwear. He's my partner for life, travel companion and can always be counted on to do something totally odd. It makes for a good story, and besides - without his major financial contribution, we would sitting at home year after year, watching yet another rerun of NCIS. Due to a major health scare, I recently retired - and love retirement! I have always LOVED to cook. My love of food, and birthing those babies, led to an 85 pound weight gain. After joining a weight loss program, I shed the weight, went to work for them and found a new career. For me, it was a dream job. How many people can say they loved their job? I got to work together with people and help them live a healthy lifestyle, and lose weight. And it changed the way I cook! Instead of coating foods with fat and/or sugar, I've learned to bring out the real flavor in foods and keep them healthy. It's a joy to travel the world and explore new foods. I'm always on the lookout for different foods and willing to try almost anything. George, my husband, is always aghast at my choices. He's looking for a McDonald's while I'm trying to find the best local eatery. Checking out grocery stores and food forums in different countries is endless fun. Bringing back cooking ingredients keeps the memories alive every time they are used in a recipe back home. Paprika from Budapest, Sumac from Turkey, dried squid from Japan....what a lucky person I am to experience it all. Life is interesting everywhere, and there is always something humorous to be found, even in my own backyard of Mt Hood, Oregon. I love to journal and people have been telling me for years to become a writer. As Medicare is now a prominent part of my life, I figured this was as good a time as any. If I don't do it now, I'll be writing stories about my neighbors in the nursing home. A big trip will probably be whacking along in my walker to the day room to watch the Travel Channel. I take heart that Colonel Sanders started his finger lickin' fortune late in life because he wasn't afraid to try something new. So here I go!

One thought on “Day 3 Scandinavia – At Sea and Ellie Tries to Kill Her Grandma”

  1. Margaret,
    Day 3 made me laugh out loud. You are a good writer and it looks like you are having a ball! 😀


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