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Where Carol Has Not Gone Before

The adventures of Carol Brown, representing Norwegian Cruise Line on a 6-month mission on the open sea to train the crew, explore new ports, seek new friends and experiences, and to boldly go where she has not gone before.

Carol’s log: Sea date: May 1, 2011

I’m not at sea yet. I’m in a cushy hotel in Miami, Florida for week-long training in my new role as an Onboard Training Specialist with Norwegian Cruise Line. I don’t board my ship,
the Norwegian Star, until Saturday, May 7, 2011.

My friend and packer extraordinaire, Marsha, got up at 4:30 a.m. to drive me to the airport. Marsha had been instrumental in my having all the right clothes and supplies and also ensured that I was packed appropriately for my 6-month sojourn, including a carry-on bag with enough overnight supplies just in case the airline lost my luggage. My daughter Camara came along for the ride though she was as sleepy as both me and Marsha.

I do a kiss and roll at the airport mostly to save myself from shedding tears at leaving everyone I love behind. I check my luggage and struggle ahead with the carry-on that is heavy and my purse that is burgeoning with my laptop, reading materials and teaching supplies. I spend $23.16CDN at a food outlet for 2 bananas, an orange juice, a breakfast sandwich and a bottle of water. Yeah, yeah, I know better than to buy food at the airport, but I was hungry.

My flight left Pearson Airport in Toronto at 8:45 a.m. sharp. I am sleep deprived because I’ve been too excited to sleep for three days before leaving but as soon as my butt hits the small cramped window seat that I’m assigned on American Airlines flight 2173, I fall asleep.  Not only do I sleep through the entire flight but I snore. And I know this because I hear myself snoring before I’m even really asleep. Those of you, who have had the pleasure to be in a space while I’m
sleeping, know exactly what my snoring sounds like. I’m sure my boys are having a hard time sleeping without the haunting rhythm of my snoring to lull them to sleep.

The couple beside me, and I’m sure everyone around me, got treated to some of my best snoring on that plane ride and I thought a collective cheer as I woke up when the plane started its descent into Miami. The husband says to me, “Wow! You can really cut some logs!” I smile sheepishly and reply, “Oh, was I snoring?” The wife tries to be nice and says, “I could hardly
hear it.” “Liar,” I wanted to scream but instead reply “I hope it wasn’t too loud”. I grabbed my carry-on bag and hustled from the plane, slightly embarrassed but feeling better for having rested.

What a pleasure it was for me to step into the stifling heat of Miami. The mugginess felt like an old comfortable fleece blanket swaddling me in its sweaty embrace. I got through the Miami airport a bit disoriented but without incident. I boarded the shuttle to the DoubleTree hotel and checked in to a standard room with a big beautiful King size bed and a view of the palm
tree-lined hotel parking lot. After unpacking the essentials, I went down to the Impressions Restaurant in the hotel for a lovely buffet lunch. Most of you know how I feel about vegetables but I’m trying to do things differently and I’m proud to say that I actually ate 10 green beans! That’s right 10 of them.  Mind you, they had been sitting in a chafing dish for quite some time so they didn’t have much of that “green” taste that usually prevents me from eating veggies. This, I can imagine, is why I was able to eat 10 of them without hurling.

After a yummy lunch of chicken, rice, the green beans and a salad with a vinaigrette dressing, I retired to my room where I promptly fell asleep. I didn’t budge until 4:30 a.m. when nature called.

So continues the voyage…


I make learning fun...and sticky!

Clover on May 4, 2011 AT 06 am

This wonderful Carol!
Sorry I missed the good-bye open house. I’m so appreciative of your willingness to do this, it very inspiring!
I’m looking forward to reading about the rest of your adventures. 🙂

Nicole OzJam on May 4, 2011 AT 08 am

TEN GREEN BEANS! You know I almost passed out cold when I read that. In all the years of our awesome friendship, the only vegetable I have ever seen you eat is chicken wings — and for some reason I don’t think they count. Thanks for the blog sis! It makes the missing you sting a little less!

    Pauline Crosby on May 4, 2011 AT 10 pm

    What an exciting novel this will be. Can’t wait to read it! WoW! You go girl!

      C. Carol Brown on May 5, 2011 AT 04 am

      You are the second person to suggest a novel about this adventure. I may just have to consider it. Thanks for all your support!

    C. Carol Brown on May 5, 2011 AT 04 am

    Unfortunately Nicole, chicken wings don’t count as vegetables, no matter how hard I try to convince others. It’s like me wanting to add chocolate as a food group on the Canada Food Guide!