We woke up today to a chilly, windy, hazy day morning. The sky was dark and foreboding and filled with muted hues of red and yellow.
Today was our last day and it was going to be a busy one. But I am getting ahead of myself. Randy went up to the lounge and brought coffee back while I started the process of packing. I like to get most of it done in the morning so we can go off and have fun the rest of the day.
After a quick breakfast in the lounge, Randy and I went up to the Solarium Pool, settled into our lounge chairs and began to read. It was overcast and chilly so we did not put our bathing suits on. However, it seemed like everyone else on the ship did.
I read for a bit but decided I would like to go check out the pool deck. There were people everywhere. I suppose the fact that the sun was playing peek-a-boo and there was a crisp wind blowing really did not matter today. Everyone was going to get every last minute they could before returning home.
As I passed the children’s area a young boy jumped out of the pool and within minutes he was shivering. His parents hurried over and swaddled him in a large towel.
After taking a few pictures I returned and picked up Randy so we could go down to the Promenade for the FreedomFun! street fair. The street fair on the Freedom is always fun.
The Promenade was lined with tables for demonstrations for towel folding, napkin folding, vegetable carving, learning bar trick secrets, culinary advice from several chefs, and photo opportunities with DreamWorks characters and much more.
We walked up one side of the promenade and down the other enjoying ourselves at each stop. At one table we spotted the largest apple pie we had ever seen. It was being cut into small squares for tasting. Amazing! I thought.
And, of course, there were the ‘last chance’ sales for jewelry, purses, hats, scarves, tee shirts and so much more.
Eventually, we stopped at Sorrento’s to have a small lunch before heading over to the Next Cruise office to inquire about a future cruise. Diego was very helpful and we finally booked a cruise for next January on the Oasis of the Seas.
Then it was down to the casino for our three free pulls on a one-armed bandit. I won an extra pull. We did not win anything today but we have won tee shirts and key chains in the past. Randy and I always find this activity funny.
That done, Randy wanted to return to the cabin for a little rest. While he was catching up on his email, I decided to take a few pictures of several pieces of art that had caught my attention during the cruise.
What is it about art that touches us in so many ways. Some art makes us smile, some makes us cry, some provokes deep thought and, some makes us wonder, what in heaven’s name is that all about? For me, roaming around all these wonderful ships is like spending endless hours in a favorite museum. I love it.
The first day we boarded I noticed a piece that made me smile. There was nothing funny about the piece but I had promised myself that I would not think of politics at all on this trip. But when I saw this I just had to laugh. I am sure by now that everyone is familiar with the Bernie Sanders campaign slogan “Feel the Bern”. Well, in the stairway closest to our stateroom was a huge art piece that read “You Burn Me…”
Now, do not ask me why that brought to mind the campaign slogan; it just did. The mirrored glass artwork was done by American artist Rob Wynne. The plaque that accompanied the piece read: “Rob Wynne is inspired by cultural elements from literature, movies, art history, theater and opera. He uses these cultural influences in his artistic creations. For instance, “You Burn Me” is a sentence taken from Sappho, the Greek poet.
I continued my walk down the staircase and stopped at a vividly colored piece; so much so it is breathtaking. I needed to know about this beautiful display of color. I learned that the piece was entitled “Light Drawing Burnt Orange” was done by British photographers Rob and Nick Cartere (Carter). The piece is called a unique cibachrome. The description read, “As opposed to canvas and paint, light and light-sensitive paper are used here. In complete darkness the image is gradually built through added increments of colored light. This is photography in its purest form: light and light-sensitive paper, no lens, no shutter, no negative, and each piece is unique, Vibrant, high glass colors are a fundamental part of the work, creating images with visual energy”. I loved it.
The last stop on my journey to capture photographs of favorite artwork found me standing in front of the four light columns at the ends of the lighted bridge in front of the Guest Services desk.
The four light columns are the work of American artist Larry Kirkland. The piece is named “The Four Elements” and is made of aluminum, gold and light. The accompanying plaque read, “The four light columns are topped by a gilded angel, an exact reproduction of an original bronze sculpture “Vittoria Alata” – Winged Victory – found in Positano, Italy, and dating back to 1930. Each angel is holding an astrolabe representing one of the four essential elements of our world; air, water, fire and earth. Above it is a disc of ever-changing light suggesting the evolution of the cosmos and the mystery of the origin of the universe.
I have been known to sit on deck six looking down at the promenade just to enjoy the every-changing lights of the columns and bridge. They are just beautiful!
It was time to return to the cabin and dress for the evening. We spent our cocktail time in the Diamond Lounge with Sal and Anna. As we readied to go to dinner, we stopped for a few moments and said our goodbyes to Larry and Phyllis and exchanged contact information knowing that we would meet again on another ship.
I decided I wanted to eat lite this evening and started with a small bowl of French onion soup and for my main course ordered, once again, the sliders. I rarely order the same meal twice on a cruise but the sliders were just the perfect meal for tonight. We learned that Sal and Anna had had a quiet day walking around the ship and enjoying the street fair. We talked about our plans for leaving the ship and returning home and agreed to meet in front of the pub the next morning.
Randy and I returned to our cabin to finish packing and settled in for a quiet evening.
This wonderful cruise was over but I was already thinking about our next adventure. Our next cruise will take us to the shores of Norway, the Arctic Circle and a cruise around the Baltic. Stay tuned!