Hello faithful blog readers! Thanks for stopping by (college roomies- you know that video of that kid from New Mexico popped into my head when I just typed that.."Hello my future girlfriend....bye, thanks for stopping by!") Ok, I digress...
We're back in Sweden after our 2 day cruise to Estonia (we got back on Tuesday but I'm just now having time to blog it up). What an adventure! Before we left, the other staff with us warned us not to set our expectations too high and that the word "cruise" may be used liberally here. So I was a little nervous heading to Stockholm on Sunday...what exactly am I getting myself into? Is this going to be a little ferry boat that we're sailing through the Baltic on? And mostly...why, oh why didn't I bring Dramamine with me?!
Thankfully my fears were not realized as we pulled up and saw this...
Yay, a real cruise ship! We boarded late afternoon on Sunday, got settled into our miniature room and left the dock around dinner time. There are a lot of little islands off the coast of Stockholm, so it was beautiful to see them as we sailed by.
The cruise, like any in the US, had a big buffet. Unlike the US cruise ships however, I didn't know what much of the food was. What I did know was what cheese and crackers looked like so I went with that for dinner the first night. Josh was a little more adventurous in his food selection- some pasta with mystery meat in it and such. We had purchased the cruise tickets about a week before we left back in Uppsala and found out that if you wanted unlimited soda it was going to be like $20 more. We decided we could all drink water for that long and opted out of that expense for the project. What we didn't realize until that first night at dinner was that the water was not included for free either. Water? Are you serious?! After much miscommunication with our waitress (a hilarious moment that I can't do justice to over blogging) we realized that we could either buy $3 bottles of water or not have anything to drink. We opted for the expensive water rather than spend night #1 parched. Random moment #1 of many. Here is some of our group at dinner:
From dinner time Sunday until about 10 am Monday morning, we cruised the Baltic Sea headed for Estonia. There were so many hilarious moments on that cruise. The first night we decided to check out the entertainment and shows they had going on. And I am so glad we did. They had a band playing lots of early 90's obscure hits. Such as "Crush" by some girl band I can't remember, some Sheryl Crow tunes (which we did the electric slide to...why not?!) and "Achy, Breaky Heart." I really don't think I've heard that song in at least 10 years and I've heard it twice now since I've been in Sweden. Anyways, the band was called "Night Flight" which just made me laugh (1) at how cheesy the name was (2) how we aren't on a flight but on a boat and (3) how all of their outfits and decorations were straight out of the early 90s. I definitely felt like I was on a time traveling cruise ship. Side note: here we are on the boat. It was a little windy if you can't tell...
Wow, this is long. We haven't even gotten to Estonia yet :) I've just decided this post is going to be about the cruise and I'll do a separate one about Estonia.
So yes, the cruise was hilarious. One of the highlights for me was that they had Karaoke. Um, yes please!! The first night there were alot of people signing up so I didn't sing but alot of the students did. A little Bon Jovi, Backstreet Boys and lots of Swedes singing Mama Mia (shocker!). Random moment #100 was hearing a middle-aged Swedish man sing "Feelings, nothing more than Feelings."
We headed back to our tiny cabin later that night and tried to figure out how we were going to sleep in these little beds. Not me so much, but Josh. There were 4 bunk beds sandwiched in there- Josh finally found the one where his feet could hang off of the end most comfortably and called it a night. Our bathroom was hilarious too. The don't really have dividers between toilets and showers here in Sweden and they definitely didn't in the tiny cabin bathrooms. So anytime one of us would shower the entire bathroom would be soaked.
So we arrived safe and sound Monday morning in Estonia and had the day to explore (more on that later). That afternoon, we hopped back on the cruise and headed back across the Baltic. By the trip back we discovered that there was a children's buffet with fries and chicken nuggets so I sneaked that instead of eating cheese for dinner again. All 27 of us bought drinks in Estonia so we wouldn't have to drink $3 bottles of water.
And since I missed my 15 minutes of Karaoke fame on the first night, I made sure to get my name on the list early. I sang "No Scrubs" with some of the girls. I never realized how much the chorus repeated itself until we were all standing up there repeating it about 80 times. Then Josh and I finished out the night with "I Swear," a cheesy 90's love song, which I could barely sing because Josh was making me laugh so hard. Here's a pic one of the students got of it:
The cruise was really fun- a great time to bond and just have good down time with our summer project team. It was refreshing to have some time away before we wind down ministry on campus. We've had 3 days of ministry this week and will have 4 next week before we head to Germany for debriefing on Friday. Hard to believe our time here is coming to a close!