On my way home...not my official home but….my former home of New Jersey…must see my Grandma otherwise I would skip the cold ass weather part and go straight back to Cali….but again... as long as Minnie Pearl resides in New Jersey…I will call it my home and get there as often as possible to see her.
It’s been a crazy voyage…started in south beach on the 17th……hopped on a cruise line ship…one of those hugantic ships..holds about 2,000 folks..I had never been on one..never really thought about it, but when the opportunity came up I had to jump on it. I worked with a film crew on a commercial shoot. 18th – 21st. I originally had a lot to say about this floating hotel...but the inspiration has seeped from my pores. I'll say this...It's Massive and filled with a bunch of folks who assumed I worked FOR the ship because I'm a black woman with dread locks....after the tenth person asked me some f'in question about today's activities or which way the main dining room was or yadda, yadda, I had to ask a few crew members why everyone assumed I worked there (although I already knew the answer). One diplomatic chap said it was because I looked like one of the girls who works as a hostess in one of the restaurants...I told him there was no way the people who just got on the boat had seen this woman they speak of (and I never did as well) and one honest chap let me know the deal..I look like I'm an islander and that's what mostly works there...in other words I'm black and Should be working for the boat if I can afford to be on it. Well they can have that floating disaster waiting to happen.
I did love the route...Fort Lauderdale to the Dominican Republic to Puerto Rico...I had never been to any of those places, nor have I ever seen water as deep blue and beautiful not even in Saint Barth's (one of the best places I've been). And if the only way I can get to see deep ice blue beautiful water again is by cruising on a big boring ship filled with a bunch of old school fools who think I work for them....then I'm pleased as punch I took pictures because I never will again. The wrap party our crew decided to have the night before the last shoot day was a beautiful and fun release of "trapped on a floating hotel" tension...we danced and drank and partied like it was 1999. And then overslept like nobody's business. Ahhhhhhhhh......a load of liquor and the big blue sea...man was I sick the next day. It was a great experience, definitely something to behold...my biggest head trip was being in an elevator on a ship (there were four).....very happy I got paid instead of having to pay. Three days is the maximum cruise for me and definitely not on a boat with a 2,000 person capacity....way to many folks to be trapped with. My next cruise (if ever) would need to be more of an Oprahesque cruise.....beyond frou, frou with 200 of my closest friends. :-)
We were done in Puerto Rico (though I felt like I was still on the boat for two days after I was off)...the ship cruised on to the Bahamas and back to Fort Lauderdale...Thank the Big God's of Little fishes, our part of the voyage was over. Everyone flew back to Miami, or Los Angeles or wherever they wanted or needed to be for Christmas...I booked a room in Rio Grande, Puerto Rico called one of my buds.... Al....one of my friends who has weathered the storm that is my friendship for over 23 years and God Bless her..she puts her foot in my locs......that's right..... and we spent Christmas basking in 86 degree weather baking our (own) buns in the sun....It was great. Had a wonderful Christmas dinner at a local restaurant in a city called Fajardo. Metropol was the name....delectable food was the game....if you ever find yourself on Deste 3 highway in Fajardo, Puerto Rico.... STOP....and eat. If you're in a rush.....STOP.....and get a black bean soup to go....Seriously...take my greedy food lovin' word for it.
And two seconds in to the 4th leg of my trip....New Jersey/New York...unneccessary aggravation came to wash away the island dreams and give me my shot of reality with the "annoying passenger syndrome" elixir. This guy is looking over my shoulder right now..... so I shrunk my word viewing to 75 % on my computer and now I can’t even see what the hell I’m typing…but this guy pissed me off so bad I can't even understand how I was able to control "THE TEMPER" long enough to keep me from causing a delay by being beaten and dragged off the plane by airport security. He and his wife thought I just fell off the turnip truck…they learned really quickly that I own my own turnip truck and I push fools off mine.. when I got to MY seat, they had already negotiated with seats they didn’t even have..a couple of dumbass yahoos with a foolish and false sense of entitlement tried to take my window seat and then asked me "Well what’s wong with a middle seat?" obviously a whole lot..... as your asses have been pissing everyone off trying to negotiate your way out of two middle seats. Sigh......I will love God's children despite their arrogant dumbass 'selves. And I have to say in all honesty....I would have softened and given up my EXIT row window seat to sit in an EXIT row non-reclining Exit Middle row had their approach been different..I'm that kind of gal. But they were way to arrogant and jackassy to get anywhere with me or the other passengers because the guy on the aisle seat in my row told me they tried the same with him before he got to his seat....how the hell do you start taking and switching before all groups have been boarded? And with nothing to negotiate because middle seats aren't great negotiating vehicles. So of course the big man had to sit next to me while his wife went to the seat behind...and you know this dude was all in my personal space...but I made it through....and this is how. It's nice being grown and coming up with more peaceful ways to handle stupid situations....23 year old Dayna would have went neuroballistic....33 year old Dayna pretended to be nauseaus during take-off. Watery eyes, gagging, grabbed the barf bag and held it by my side for take off......obnoxious guy leaned his ass back into his seat space...it was great. I wish I didn't mind the whole cattle call feel of being an actress because I acted my way right into actually feeling sick for a minute...that was crazy. But it was worth it and it was a peaceful resolution not one in which I would be forced to attack a strange man and his strange wifes character and then cry about it later because I gave FOOLS my energy. So I leaned against "THE WINDOW" and lost myself in the stories of the first women in "The Red Tent" ....one of my Christmas gifts from my friend Sarah....the same friend who schooled me on "Wicked" which is now historically one of my favorite reads.
From 86 degrees to 40 degrees in 60 seconds. Puerto Rico to New Jersey.....damn. I have to add a little about the feel of Puerto Rico..because what God made....the ocean and the sun...was just grand and beautiful....but something is lost there. It has the feel of a beaten society. A society who is bummed out at the 5 dollar minimum wage as they see how it's going down in the country that claims them. Fat Joe is making millions..I'm at this resort making a dollar....damn. I swear that was the feel and a local cat trying to do the right thing told me and my friend about it because I had to ask. And maybe it's because I'm comparing it to St. Barth's and Jamaica. So far...as far as the spirit of an island....Jamaica wins hands down. Even the Bahamas (though I'm quite tired of the place).....there was an undeniable spirit for life and living. Puerto Rico and Hawaii are both a little too tamed for me...at least the parts I've been too. I'll go back and try again...just not anytime soon. I must get to Jamaica....it's so my cup of tea.
*foot in my locs = she started them and maintains them with love and it shows.