Story Style: Honeymoon Cruise

*In an effort to keep my journal fresh and fun to both read and write, I sometimes switch up my writing style. Often I write in Little Snippets, but sometimes I write Story Style. I like having a lot of different lenses so that looking back becomes a "you never know what you're gonna get" experience.*

“Where’s our map?” I asked, digging in my purse to see if I had shoved it inside. “Do you remember what deck?”
Derek pointed to a map on the wall near the elevator. “Okay, so we’re….we’re here.” He said, pointing to a spot on the map. “And the food’s all on deck 7.”
“Perfect,” I said, popping the tootsie roll into my mouth that I had found while looking for the map. I crumpled up the wrapper and stuck it in my pocket. “Let’s go.”
Hand-in-hand, we started climbing the steps to the buffet.
It was the first day of our honeymoon, and we had just boarded the boat a half hour before. We were both a little overwhelmed and not sure exactly what to expect, but we were excited. Before we boarded the boat, we were given information that lunch would be served until a certain time, and then our dinner appointment would be later in the formal dining room.
Finally, after both of us felt like our legs were going to turn into Jello, we reached the buffet deck. Walking past the pool and all the deck chairs, we were welcomed by the smell of hamburgers being grilled.
“Nice” I said, looking around. There were lines of food, salad-bar style, and a team of chefs busy behind the counter grilling burgers and taking orders for quesadillas and tacos. There were all the fixings for both foods lined up for people to self-serve, as well as fresh fruit. It all looked delicious, but I was a little underwhelmed. I had been expecting a bigger buffet, but I couldn’t remember the other cruise I had been on very well, so I didn’t really know what to expect. Still, this would definitely do the job. I had nothing to complain about.
“Do you want a burger?” I said, looking to Derek. I was ready to eat.
“Let’s keep walking a little bit,” He said. “This can’t be it.”
I was thinking this little joint might probably be it and that the different dishes were swapped out for breakfast and lunch depending on the time of day. But I didn’t want to disappoint Derek. Maybe I had amped up the food too much.
“I’m not sure, babe.” I said. “This might be it.”
“Let’s just keep walking,” He said with that effortless smile. “Let’s look around.” He wiggled his eyebrows at me. I smiled.
“Okay,” I said.
We walked past the food without taking any (something I never do) and went through a set of automatic doors. To our left was a wall of windows, showing us the city of Long Beach where we were currently ported for our arrival. There were tables and chairs lining the edge of the hallway we walked down, and people were sitting and eating.
Out of nowhere, we rounded the corner and both had to pause. We stood there, taking in the view. The hamburgers and tacos had most certainly not been our only option.
There was food (and people) everywhere. Buffets lined up with various types of food, from exotic pastas to classics like mashed potatoes. Chefs behind the counters worked furiously to keep the food bins stocked. There were two large pot roasts being sliced by request, a deli counter that served made-to-order sandwiches and wraps, two massive dessert stations, hot chocolate machines, ice cream and frozen yogurt self-serves, juice, and a 24-hour pizza and calzone station.
I silently sent gratitude toward Derek for wanting to check things out before we had the hamburgers we first saw.
“Whoa,” Derek said. He looked in awe.
I grinned and kissed him on the cheek, unable to handle how adorable he looked. I linked my arm through his, already eyeing the soft-serve machines. “Let’s go.”

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