Friday, July 8th
The first of two consecutive days at sea. The day consisted of eating (duh)…
…walking around by myself…
Christie and her dad got 1st and 2nd in the mini golf competition!
…the Men’s International Belly Flop Competition (as ridiculous and hilarious as it sounds), and some other random activities. But the highlight by far…
I MET US THE DUO.
If you don’t know about them, they’re a married couple who sing together, and they’re pretty famous. Daliza and I saw them in concert two years ago in Orlando!
Here’s how this went down:
I’m walking along the “Boardwalk” with my friend Monica and her parents. I catch Carissa (the girl pictured above) from the corner of my eye walking with her parents. I do a double take and see her famous tattoo on her arm, but I’m not 100% sure it’s her. Monica and her parents don’t know who Us the Duo is, but they encourage me to see if it’s really them (after 30 seconds of “ahhhhh I don’t know…it’s fine…I won’t go…but wait…”).
I decide to stalk Carissa for a minute, and in less than 10 seconds I see Michael (her husband with an unmistakable curly man bun) sitting at the tequila bar, ordering some daiquiris. I go in for the kill:
I’m so sorry to bother you, but are you Us the Duo? (I knew it was them for sure at that point, but I thought it was polite to ask anyway.)
They introduce themselves (as if I didn’t already know their names, haha) and we all hug. Carissa’s dad takes a couple photos for us, and my cheeks are TREMBLING as I smile for the photo. What I feel like:
They ask for my name twice and say, “Hopefully we get to see you around the ship again!” I cry inside.
A quick couple small slices of pizza before a 2.5-hour show that afternoon.
Now, it was not my intention to stalk Michael and Carissa (I’m a fangirl, but I try to be cool, ya know), but my parents coincidentally grabbed seats right next to Us the Duo and their families for the matinee showing of Mamma Mia! I came in late because I went to the bathroom, so when I saw that they were right there, I freaked out.
a) It’s Us the Duo again.
b) They definitely think I’m stalking them.
c) I had to squeeze past them in the aisle, probably smelling a little bit like sweat and ocean spray.
I got to chat with Carissa’s dad though, who said my parents are amazing dancers (he saw them at the club the night before lol).
should have changed out of my athletic clothes // peep Michael and Carissa doing their social media celebrity thing
nervously playing with my pinky ring
I have to take a second to thank Madre for loving taking photos as much as I do and thus for capturing these special moments.
Anyway, Mamma Mia! was Broadway quality and so fun to watch!
After a 16 minute workout at the fitness center, I showered for that time of day again…DINNER.
Royal Seafood Salad for appetizer
Classic soufflé with vanilla Grand Marnier sauce
shared a couple bites of Ben’s baked Alaska
I’m a new fan of soufflé! I think the table shared one order of prime rib that night as well. I had a couple bites, and it was divine. This vacation assured me that I’m not becoming a vegan anytime soon.
Later that night, we went to two game shows that were wildly entertaining. My parents turned into different people during those game shows.
At around 11pm, my parents headed to the Dazzles club for some more dancing, so Ben and I joined them. Guess who walked in on me while I was doing the Macarena with only one other little boy on the dance floor???
I kinda sorta danced the Electric Slide with them later. At the end of the night, my family got to meet them and chat with their family as well. Me all night in my head: “Is this real!?!?”
Michael’s mom wanted to hop into the photo!
“He dislocated his shoulder on the FlowRider.”
Michael and Carissa are incredibly down to earth and easy to talk to! (p.s. they’re tight with Tori Kelly NBD.)
What a top-notch way to end a Friday, am I right?
Saturday, July 9th
Last day on the cruise 😦
I decided to go way out of my comfort zone for breakfast and get mostly savory foods, including something called “vegetable upma”— some sort of grain with vegetables and spices. I loved it!
also pineapple + split a blueberry muffin with mom
I somehow got lost from everyone when we split ways after breakfast, so I spent some time planning out these blog posts and writing thank you letters to some of the crew members who served us the whole week. Eventually, I went to lunch and rock climbing with Monica and my uncle.
Took some groovy photos with Mort the squirrel (“jungle rat/mouse lemur”) from the movie Madagascar.
Over at the fitness center, I did an impromptu cardio workout on the bike for 30 minutes while Monica and Ben cheered me on. When they left, I stayed to do an upper body and core workout.
Our last dinner of the cruise was delightful and as epic as the first dinner we had on the cruise.
scallops and chorizo
roasted turkey with brussels sprouts, carrots, potatoes apple bread dressing (!!!) and cranberry sauce added on the side later
warm apple strudel a la mode
The night ended with a game show based on “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?”, where Ben went up for only one round because neither he nor the audience knew the shape of a British twenty-pence coin.
(It’s a freaking heptagon, by the way.)
We stayed in the same venue afterwards to spectate some superstar karaoke. Holy talent on that ship!
And finally, dancing at Dazzles as our last huzzah! With our friends Us the Duo, of course (I promise we were there before they arrived…although I left and came back after Ben called me that they were there. I’m creepy, I get it).
This was the singer at the Dazzles nightclub all week. She and her husband and their band are super talented! It was actually so sweet to see Michael and Carissa cheering them on from the dance floor like fans too.
I want to go to their Dublin show so badly this fall, but they’re sold out!
In case it wasn’t obvious, this cruise was the experience of a lifetime. Thank you to all who made it happen, especially my parents ♥︎
Sunday, July 10th
We had our last breakfast on the cruise at 6 am before disembarking.
My family went to Mass before we met up with our friends in Miami for some tourism and lunch.
walking in 92 degrees at 10 AM should not happen more than once a year
Farmers’ Market beauties
a parking meter that accepts change for feeding people who are homeless!
fresh rolls, lettuce wraps, and green papaya salad for lunch
Our families parted ways after lunch and a sweaty walk back to our cars. Four hours of driving later, dinner was Greek!
falafel to share
chicken salad for me
Ben and Jerry’s awaited us the freezer (you can’t out-dessert me).
a few spoonfuls from each 🙂
Monday, July 11th
Pop and I had a 4:30 AM wakeup for our flight back to New York. Madre kindly dropped us off at the airport, where I had a salad with walnuts, tomatoes, mandarin oranges, and blue cheese for breakfast (my brain was not functioning quite right at that hour, and I really wanted veggies).
In flight snack:
I slept the whole flight, not surprisingly. Back at home in NY, I did a quick 12 minute workout before showering and heading to a full day of work!
Back to reality, and I cannot complain at all.
These were some looooooooong recap posts. I’m keeping these posts as my “vacation diary”, but I hope you guys enjoyed reading too!
So tell me:
Have you ever run into a celebrity unexpectedly?
Have you heard of Us the Duo?
Do you like soufflé?
Have you seen your parents become different people in a different setting?