3 November 2015

Well, it had to happen sooner or later.  Bad night last night.  Up and down, up and down, unable to get comfortable.  Awake early this morning.  Don't know why.

Today is our day at sea through the straits of Messina and into Corfu tomorrow morning. No stops today, but we are traveling between Sicily and Italy and so it seemed an appropriate day to do a drug deal.

When looking at my meds last night, I realized, with a shock, that I do not have enough Metformin, one of my diabetes meds, to last the rest of the trip.  I need 18 more doses and have only 10 pills...and a full bottle still at home.  At 2 a.m. this morning, I e-mailed my diabetes consultant to ask whether I should skip doses or break the pills in half so that I take some every day.  She answered within minutes (time difference, you know) and goes with the "half" option.

Then this morning we had breakfast with Barbara and her daughter Elizabeth, the first people we met on this cruise, on day one.  Barbara was taking her meds at the table and mentioned that she was on meds for diabetes.  Conversationally, I told her about my problem and she said she thought she had extra Metformin.  Sure enough, she has 3 more than she needs, same dose as mine, so now I am up to 13 pills and won't have to have as many half doses as originally anticipated.  She called to let me know how many she had and Walt went up to pick them up.

This morning started early with a beautifully clear picture of the island of Stromboli, with smoke able to be seen from 3,300 ft. volcano, Iddu. It has been continually erupting for 2000 years and I heard this morning that sometimes you can see lava spilling down the side, but not today.  Just a stream of smoke.

Our "Viking Daily" says that communities live on Stromboli in three small villages, each one of them far from the lava flow that spills into the sea.  The island's residents only saw electricity for the first time in 2004.  "Accessible only by boat, they remain some of Italy's most secluded villages, with a population of around 400 inhabitants."

While we were eating breakfast, we passed snow-topped Mt. Etna, also spewing plumes of steam.

Since this is a "go nowhere" day, I thought I would record some pictures around the ship.  This is "The Restaurant" where we eat most (but not all) meals.

This is the display of wines that greets you when you enter.

This is the "Atrium," where small musical ensembles play (classical to rock) in the evening, where the "Explorer's Desk" (where you take your complaints) and the computer center are.

At the top of the Atrium steps is this huge floor to ceiling projection with sometimes pictures of nature scenes, or people or, like today, this...

The clarity of each of the photos is amazing.

We had lunch in the World Cafe (the buffet), and I noted that the joint is really jumping today.  There are people everywhere, by the pool, in the lounges, and on these lovely lounge chairs overlooking the ocean.

I've never seen these chairs so filled before, and in the World Cafe, people were lined up to get their lunch and most of the tables were full.  I wasn't really hungry, having had a big breakfast a couple of hours before, but could not pass up the chance to get a piece of pizza, since I didn't get any in Naples.

Legend has it that the pizza we know today was invented in Naples in 1889 when Queen Margherita was tired of eating French food all the time and the king commissioned a baker to make something different.  He came up with something that celebrated Italy, with the flag colors (white cheese, red tomato sauce, and green basil).  The queen loved it and a tradition was born.  (This version is apparently controversial, however.)

After lunch, Walt, Char, Linda and Bob all went to a wine tasting, while I, exhausted from my day's activities, decided to take a nap, and awoke refreshed. 

When they returned from their tasting, Char announced that after a whole day out of sight of land, she's convinced the world is flat.

After the wine tasting, Walt took a nap while I read.  He woke up to go to a lecture on "Key Events that Have Shaped Our World," while I continued on with my book.  At 6:30 we were back in The Restaurant for tonight's dinner, following which we stopped to watch one of the crew members, down in the Atrium, dancing a Greek dance with some passengers...

...and then Linda, Bob, Walt and I went to the evening's entertainment.

He's a British singer/comedian who has been working cruise ships for some 25 years and is very good.  Barrel-chested guy who reminded me of Jim Brochu.  He put on a wonderful show (he had an extensive audition for Les Mis when it was originally being cast.  He would have made a wonderful Jean ValJean and sang a "Bring Him Home" that brought tears to my eyes). My only complaint was with the tech crew.  Following the show we saw the first night, I commented on what a wonderful array of special effects they had and how well they worked.  Well...just because they have them, doesn't mean they need to use them all the time.  A couple of Fredericks' musical numbers were totally ruined by the busy backdrop and, with a ship that was already rocking and rolling, I'm surprised at least someone didn't have to race out for the bathroom.  But Fredericks himself was wonderful and he will be giving another show in a couple of days.  We will definitely plan to attend.

As I said, the ship was rocking and rolling as we enter the Ionian Sea and we all staggered...literally...out of the theater.  I'm not holding my breath that the movement won't get me at some point during the evening, but I'm hoping that once I get on the couch under a blanket it will feel like being rocked to sleep.

I inadvertently helped my medication problem by forgetting to take my pills to dinner and by the time we got back to the stateroom, it was too late, so there's another bonus Metformin!


Starter:  delicious squash soup with chorizo
Main course:  lamb shanks (waaay too much for me)
Dessert:  strawberry cheescake


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