Well, David and I are going on a cruise next month. We’ve been on cruises before and loved them, but haven’t been for the last few years, mostly because my disabled daughter, Dawn, has had some scary times with kidney stones. It’s hard to go far when you don’t know when you’ll get a call that she is headed toward the hospital.

Now she is kidney stone free, and I decided I could go on a cruise again. At least I’m trying to. We’ve paid for it, so I guess I’d better actually get there.

We go with my daughter Jenny, her husband, Matt, and two of their children, Ashlyne and Tyler. They love, love, love to travel! They are in fact going to London and Paris in a couple of months.

“Ashlyne has always had a dream to go to Paris,” Jenny said last year when they first started thinking about the trip.

“She’s 15, for heaven’s sakes,” I said. “I’ve had unfulfilled dreams for 60-ish years.”

But I’m happy for them that they are going. They aren’t worried about anything, so I’ll worry about their trip for them.

I want to ask “Isn’t the Chunnel awfully claustrophobic? Are you going to go any places that might have bombs? Don’t get lost and wind up in Siberia. Don’t drink the water. Don’t eat the food.” Like that last one is going to happen in Paris.

Thankfully, Jenny also loves to plan travel, which I don’t. I couldn’t even find a link last night to reserve a hotel room for the long drive to Miami.

“It was just there,” she said.

“But it’s not,” I said. Then, “Oh yeah, here it is.”

She tells me what to do and I do it. She responds with a “Yay!”

David and I also let our passports expire the second week of December, just three weeks ago, so we paid the price for that.

I call Jenny our “personal cruise director.” I guess I’m the “personal worrier.”

I called her yesterday and asked her what she was doing. She said she had planned to exercise, but got distracted by all the fun things we could choose to do on the cruise.

“I’ve explored the ship online, and there’s apparently a restaurant that has a really good roast beef sandwich,” she said.

“Yummy,” I said.

“And then there is another place that has a good ranger cookie,” she said.

I didn’t know forest rangers bake, but “cookie” is enough for me.

“Doesn’t that sound good?” she said. Then she started talking about the choices of excursions, such as snorkeling.

“But David doesn’t swim,” I said. I didn’t add that having anything on my face makes me claustrophobic.

“The water isn’t deep in one place,” she said.

“Could we just walk along the bottom?” I asked.

I also remembered another cruise when David and I were bobbing along in floats in a beautifully clear ocean, and Matt came bopping along with a snorkel.

“There’s a barracuda over there we’re going to see,” he said excitedly and hurried on.

“Have fun!” I shouted to his disappearing snorkel. Then I turned to David and said, “Are they crazy?”

Apparently this barracuda is famous. Google “barracuda at Half Moon Cay.”

Back to my conversation with the excited Jenny ... I asked her if she would like to know what I had Googled that morning. Of course, Puerto Rico, one of our destination ports, had just had a big earthquake. Again.

I told her that I had Googled “What keeps a cruise ship from sinking?” and “Can cruise ships tip over from a tsunami?”

“Really?” she said. In my defense, we had talked about the tipping over question the other day.

I was happy to tell her that science actually keeps cruise ships upright with a balance between gravity and buoyancy. Let’s hope that science doesn’t change. And a tsunami doesn’t affect a cruise ship at all because it’s so big. And I imagine if there were an earthquake at our port, the cruise ship would head out to sea.

Jenny and I do agree on taking buses up on winding, narrow mountain roads, so I’m not sure if we’ll even get to the best snorkeling/strolling-on-the-bottom beaches on the flip side of a mountain on some island.

I think I’m good for the cruise, though. I’m just going to keep repeating “ranger cookies, ranger cookies, ranger cookies.”

Elzey is a freelance writer for the Register & Bee. She can be reached at susanelzey@yahoo.com or (434) 791-7991.

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