Su Lum: Slumming
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado
By the time you’re reading this, I’ll be on my chaise lounge on my balcony at the end of the boat, overlooking the sea and the sky, basking in tropical warmth and soothing, salty air that turns my horny hooves into baby feet.
If I’m not on the balcony I’ll be up on the Lido deck where the free food flows from dawn until midnight, or down in the gala dining room with my friend Hilary enjoying a Little Nell-quality dinner, or rabbiting down the long hallways on my electric scooter.
Screw winter. Screw the election.
The ship is Holland America’s Oosterdam, departing from San Diego, a seven-night journey down the western side of Mexico and I hope Pitkin County’s airport comes through and we actually get on the plane and onto the ship.
I’ve had my share of traveling disasters – last cruise I forgot my passport, an enormous crisis – so I’m not overly confident, more like hoping for the best and I’ll believe it when I see it.
Unfortunately the ship is stopping at the big resort places – Mazatlan, Cabo San Lucas and Puerto Vallarta – so I won’t have much chance to check out little grass shacks on quiet beaches where I might retire. It’s enticing to think of life without supplemental oxygen, which I don’t need at sea level, but overwhelming to consider cleaning out my desk at The Aspen Times, much less the accumulations of 38 years in my little miner’s shack in town.
Ports of Call, especially the big tourist spots, are a good time to stay on the boat. Everyone pours down the gangplank into the clutches of various hawkers of services and wares, squash into buses, broil in the sun and stagger back loaded with crap that won’t fit in their suitcases, while I can relax with my new Kindle and have the pools and hot tubs to myself.
We like Holland America for the food (fantastic) and because the ships are smaller than the huge mothers, the service is great and we love those back-of-the-boat rooms – not all ships have them. The balcony is best at night, with the sky ablaze with more stars than I see in a year in my little corner of the forest in Aspen. The balcony overlooks the wake of the ship, stretching for miles as we chug along at about 25 miles per hour.
Also, there are very few children on Holland America – it’s a more geriatric crowd. Nothing against kids, but they do tend to trip you up and then there are those screams. When I’m scootering down the halls it’s not likely that a cabin door will pop open and an unwary child will step out in front of me.
I have to take my Sequal Eclipse oxygen concentrator for the flights, the airlines now allow them, thank god. For the past week I’ve been dragging it around the house, charging and testing the batteries. Once I get on the boat, the Sequal sits unused in the closet. I bring a supply of the comfortable cannulas I get from http://www.softhose.com and hand them out to the many oxygen users on the ship.
I’m crossing items off my lists (I leave at dawn tomorrow), the passport, driver’s license and credit card are in my purse, Hilary has a handy folder with all our tickets, doctor’s permission to use oxygen on the planes and baggage stickers for the ship.
What could we have forgotten?
That will be the surprise.
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