Sunday, December 11, 2011

Ferry to Hull

In spite of the restless night before, Lucy and I woke up on time for a yummy breakfast. We were just getting dressed when Mommy and Jacob knocked on our door. We donned shoes and Lucy put on her last diaper (which we borrowed from the ship's emergency first aid kit the night before--the on-ship stores don't sell diapers) and headed out from our tight little cabin.

What more do you need on a ship?

The sea had calmed down quite a bit overnight. We saw the coast of England from our table in the restaurant. A very encouraging sight! We were ready to get home. Lucy had her usual sausage-heavy breakfast while Jacob remained true to cereal. We heard an announcement that there'd be a delay in getting off the boat. In several languages!

After a slow and steady repast, we went for a walk outside. The boat was already at the docks but we hadn't pulled in yet. It looked like another boat had yet to depart.

Backlit Mommy!

Traffic jam!

After a bit of walking around, we returned to our cabins to consolidate into one cabin. People were already queuing up to get off the boat but we knew the children would not have the patience to stand around waiting to get off. We heard another announcement of a ten minute delay in getting off the boat. In our cabin, the laptop provided some video entertainment for the kids. I went in search of some tea or other hot beverage to tide me over.

The Costa bar was no longer serving. As I walked up I saw the baristas counting their coins from the till. All the equipment was turned off. I saw lucky people sitting at nearby tables sipping hot beverages from little cardboard cups.

I went back to our cabin and noticed many other cabins that were open and already being cleaned out by the crew. There was another announcement. This one asked people to vacate their cabins. The boat would dock soon. It seemed ominously vague.

We got our luggage together and took Jacob and Lucy to the boat's exit, which was still closed. We saw some of our friends in the crowd and hung out with them for a while. The next announcement came from Jacob. At first he said something in English, but then a bunch of gibberish came out of his mouth. When asked, he explained that he was also making the announcement in Japanese (the most popular alternate language for him, thank you Ninja Warrior!). After a long wait (about half an hour, which may not seem long unless you just stand around with a two-year old and a four-year old), we finally were able to leave the ship.

Getting through customs took a long time. Since we were Americans living in England and returning from Europe, apparently we were suspicious. Or at least we needed extra processing. Such delays must be common, because one customs desk was dedicated to Americans and everyone else went to the other desk. The other desk processed a lot more people. Finally we got our stamps and headed outside.

Our car was still in the parking lot and was easily loaded. By the time we were ready to drive away, we were long overdue for a snack. Jacob and Lucy let us know. We drove for a while. Finally we stopped in the town of Goole, which seemed appropriate for a zombie family (wouldn't a zombie spell "ghoul" as "gool?" And in merry olde England, why not add an "e" to the end?). We bought some snacks and lunch and extra diapers for Lucy.

Fortified for the final leg of our journey, we made it home. The trip was a lot of fun and we would definitely go back again if given the chance.

Goodbye, see you again soon we hope!

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