About five minutes from home, we stopped at a red light. Lucy thought we were done and piped up from her car seat, "This isn't Belgium!" We parents laughed. Jacob joined in half a beat later. If only we could drive in five minutes, we'd go all the time!
About an hour and half later, we arrived at Hull, the harbor town from which we'd sail to the continent. We parked in the ferry's parking lot and walked over to board our ship. Jacob was very excited. We went up the covered ramp and saw the cars driving into the belly of the ship. Now that I have the skills to drive on the wrong side of the street in Britain, I didn't want to push my luck with having to drive back on the other side of the road in Europe. Bruges is a walking town anyway, so we'd be alright without it.
|Lucy was skeptical of having her picture taken.|
On board, we walked through the shopping area to get to our cabins. The duty free opens twenty minutes after departure and lasts until twenty minutes before arrival. We might shop there, but I didn't see anything critical we needed or wanted. I wondered if every boat makes you at least window shop.
We did discover something awesome on the boat--the children's play room! Jacob immediately set up an obstacle course with the big foam cushions and was running it while the rest of us watched some sled puppy movie on the little TV in the room.
|The entrance looks hungry!|
|Lucy smiles...really, it is smiling!|
We had the buffet dinner on the ship. It was fine. Jacob had bread, Lucy loved the sausage. I had a variety of little things, including little cocktail sausages wrapped in bacon. Yummy! They also had a carvery, with turkey and beef. This was the only turkey we ate this Thanksgiving Weekend. You'll be shocked to discover what I did have for dinner on Thanksgiving. But I will leave you in suspense.
We wandered the ship a bit afterward. The outside beckoned us. Jacob thought we were going to get back off the boat to go outside! Jacob was fascinated by the extra boats (i.e. the life boats) and going down staircases outside. The back of the ship afforded our last view of England.
|Spare ships on our ship!|
|Goodbye to England!|
We waved goodbye to our new homeland and headed back inside. We found about four bars on the boat, a small casino, and a video game parlor. All the games were at least ten years old. Lucy tried her hand at Star Wars Trilogy. Jacob was fascinated with the racing games.
|Use the force, Lucy!|
The children were finally tired and ready for bed. We headed back to our minuscule cabin for bedtime. I went in search of milk and juice for the nighttime snack, which I was able to get from the Costa Coffee bar on the boat. My wife let me go enjoy myself while the children slept. I settled into the Moonlight Bar, which was on our deck, with the laptop to catch up on cropping photos from this and previous trips. The piano player showed up soon and started playing American pop classics from the 70s and 80s. Lots of Billy Joel and Elton John and Eagles. He was okay but not great. I had a nice, nutty brew from the bar.
|It's beginning to taste a lot like Christmas, everywhere we go!|
Christmas has come even to the brewers! It was a very warming and pleasant ale, and helped me get ready to sleep to the gentle rocking of our ferry. The next day we'd dock in Belgium.