Friday, November 26, 2010

A very thankful day

We're celebrating Thanksgiving out here on the 26th vice the 25th because of "the requirements of the service" and conveniently that means we're really celebrating on the same day as folks back in the states (it's a time zone thing--just trust me).  Though it's a holiday today I don't feel very different from how I feel every day--too far away from where I really want to be.  The kids and Frank are nearing the end of a 2-week stay in Maryland where Frank is taking a class and the kids are enjoying time with the family there.  I am able to admit that I am jealous.  I'm happy that the kids are having fun, but at the same time I'm hurt when I call and they have no interest in talking to me because of all the fun at the house.  I knew it was going to be like this, but it still stinks.

The Culinary Specialists ("CS's") that serve our staff made a remarkable meal of all the traditional favorites.  They were up all night baking tons of pecan, pumpkin, and sweet potatoe pies and prepping for the feast.  It was great and for the most part we were allowed to relax for the day--no meetings! 

I'm thankful for that great feast, for my wonderfully supportive family, and for the friends and family that have helped Frank, Katreina, and Trent in my absence.  It's a beautiful thing.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Bahrain

I've just wrapped my first visit to the Kingdom of Bahrain.  Like any good port visit, my time was split between eating and relaxing and little else.  The first night in town I went to an Italian buffet with some friends I used to work with in Mississippi.  This was not your Pizza Hut style buffet, but rather one with lamb, risotto, cured meats, cheeses, breads, calamari, pasta, and wine!  It was great! 

The second day was my "treat" day.  I lounged on the beach at the Ritz Carlton, sipping a beer and reading People magazine--a perfectly brainless afternoon.  I took a nice, long dip in the lagoon, too.  I could have stayed in there for hours.  With evening came another food extravaganza at a Rug Flop.  That's where a rug dealer brings a selection of rugs, teaches the group about them, then tries to sell them.  I learned a lot, but let's face it--fancy silk rugs really don't belong on a sailboat.  Instead I enjoyed the shwarma, hummus, and wine!

After a day of duty, my final day in Bahrain was a real treat!  I spent the day with my friend Sonja and her girls, Mia and Cecelia.  Mia and Katreina had been best friends back in Everett before they moved to Bahrain and it was great to reconnect with them.  We went to the mall and ate out (a rare treat for Sonja) and had ice cream.  Then back at their house Mia and I did crafts together and took pictures for Katreina.  It was such a great way to spend the day.  My visit to Bahrain was finished with a nice "girls night out" to dinner with Sonja.

It was a decent place.  I can't say I'd yearn to return, but it was alright.  Now, onward...