APRIL 13-14, AT SEA
The mighty North Atlantic took pity on Steve. Two potential days to produce just one, decent, Dramamine worthy undulation, and nothing. I’ve been robbed of a dramatic finale!
APRIL 15TH – NEW YORK CITY
We passed under the Verrazano Bridge heading towards our berth in Brooklyn at 4 AM this morning. It was pitch black and surprising mild as I stood on our balcony sipping tea (look out coffee beans, I’m comin’ home). I recalled the exact moment we passed under this structure on January 4th – 106 days ago. The temperature was hovering around zero with bone clattering winds. I was feverish with anticipation and numbed by the cold as I listened to the drone of cars whizzing by above my head.
The sky was brightening as the Captain swung the ship around and backed down the waterway. When the Statue of Liberty came into view, my face screwed up with a tangle of emotions and I started blubbering. This epic journey has come to an end! I felt oddly untethered and melancholy, while elated and relieved.
I tried to hold it together when bidding farewell to “the guys” in the dining room, but failed. I even put on mascara before our final breakfast, hoping the threat of “raccoon eyes” would stop the flow. It didn’t. We would miss our new friends. We saw pictures of wives and children. We told stories and celebrated milestones. We played tricks and shared jokes. We basked in communal laughter.
Only 400 passengers disembarked in New York, making for a delightfully “queue free” exit. We left the ship for the last time at 9 AM and headed into Manhattan. The mass exodus of 2,100 passengers happens in Southampton, England, seven wavy days from now. Most will attempt to fly home in planes dodging Icelandic ash after the the massive eruption of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano .
We spent the afternoon weaving through Central Park as our bodies compensated for phantom waves. Onlookers steered clear of the loonies blathering about The Queen.
We stayed an extra day in Manhattan before picking up the rental car and heading home on April 17th. With keys in hand, Steve made a beeline to the passenger side before altering his course with a sheepish grin. He swears he did it on purpose… so he could delight in the panicked expression that bloomed across my face. Hooey.