Once again, with the noblest of intentions, we had set the wake up call for 6am, hoping to catch the sunrise. And once again, the idea was quickly abandoned as soon as the phone rang and we reset it for 7am.
At 7am, I forced myself out of bed and headed up to the Windjammer Cafe for breakfast. Mike opted for sleeping until the last possible minute, so off I went. It took significantly more caffeine to wake me up this time, after two long wonderful days and two very short nights. But I managed to get moving and then headed down to the cinema on Deck 2 for Donna and Gillian's Script to Screen talk. Evidently others were having similar problems, because the theater wasn't full. We also found out that the winning raffle tickets had been posted at the Highlander store on Deck 7, and the prize was lunch with Donna and Gillian or Peter.
It was nice to be able to see them work of off each other, although it was almost the same talk I'd seen Donna give alone at CCC. They described the trials and errors of Cross of St. Antoine and showed the footage from Homeland. They also didn't bring spoilers from future episodes this time. (I guess we're getting too close to the end for them to do that. *sniff*)
However, they did bring two new things of interest. One was more of the blooper from FuoT where PW and EG can't stop giggling over getting their own show. Scene after scene, they'd almost get there, but one of them always lost it (usually Peter). It was wonderful to see.
The other was a scene from Avatar, not included in the US version. Remember the scene where Duncan pulls out the katana, looks at it, then puts it back in the trunk? Well, the episode was running short, so they added a montage there in post production. It was a montage of the katana. DM pulls out the katana, and as he looks at it, they fade to the montage. They showed DM fighting many times with it from different episodes. The final scene in the montage was from Archangel - DM killing Richie. The scene returns to the present, and DM puts the katana back in the trunk. It was very powerful.
Donna and Gillian went overly long and so didn't have time for Q&A right then. They announced that they would be having a "Stump the Writers" contest at Cococay, if we wanted to ask then. Also, Liz would be passing out her signed pictures on the island and Jim's band would be having a 'Beat the Band" contest in volleyball.
With much excitement, we headed back to the room to change into swimsuits and go over to Cococay. We headed down to Deck One where the little ferry boat was taking people over to the little island. We waited in line to get our towels and boarded the two story open air boat that would take us over. As we were sitting there, I was in a picture taking mood, so I took a shot of people getting on the boat and one up at the boat. Little did I know who was coming down the ramp at that very moment!
I saw Peter a few moments later, but had no idea he'd been in the picture. Peter sat behind us and I used all of my concentration 'not' to look behind me. I did take several other pictures before we landed at Cococay. It's a beautiful island!
We got off the boat at Cococay and I just had to pause to the side to watch Peter pass. He was in bathing shorts and a MFW t-shirt, which impressed me. After he went by, Maxi and Anita (Maxi's roomate) decided to eat lunch, but Mike and I weren't really hungry, so we doubled back to the beach.
As we were trying to find the sign to the beach, who should walk by but JB. I'm ashamed to say I was so startled I didn't even say hello. He seemed to be in a hurry anyway, so we just let him pass.
We found the beach and walked until we found a part that wasn't crowded. It was a little overcast and the water was colder than it had been at Nassau. Plus, there were more fishy denizens swimming about and the ocean floor was more coral than sand, so we didn't stay long. (Not to mention the wise guy floating by who advised us to watch out for the stingray and jelly fish.)
We dried off and headed for one of the beach bars for a drink. I had a Pina Colada and it was heavenly. After finishing it, we headed back to where we'd left Maxi, looking for her and Anita. I grabbed some fruit (delicious pineapple!) and headed for a bench...which just happened to be a couple tables over from Jim and his wife. It was the first table I'd found with space, but with a clear view of Jim, I couldn't complain. Mike came back and told me Maxi was sitting with Donna and Gillian, but I hated to leave that spot. Mike sat down to keep me company, and a bold idea came to mind. I wrestled with it for a few minutes before asking Mike what he thought of it. He said that I should go for it, so I did.
Jim and his wife weren't really talking, they were more simply enjoying the view. They were sitting at the very end of a row of tables, so I went to the end and kneeled down beside him. Trying not to show my nervousness, I said, "If I'm bothering you in anyway, tell me to leave and I promise I won't be offended." and I included both of them in that statement. Jim waited, evidently expecting me to plunge on, but I sincerely wanted an answer.
He smiled. "No, not at all."
"I just wanted to thank you for coming on this cruise. Heck, any excuse for a cruise, but this is one of the best reasons I could think of." He chuckled and his wife smiled. "I also wanted to thank you for the wonderful music and the amazing job you've done on Highlander. Thank you."
A slow pleased smile crossed Jim's face and he thanked me for saying so. Okay, he talked for a few minutes, but I can't remember for the life of me what he said. I only remember what I said because I'd mentally rehearsed it enough times. I tell you, that man's eyes cause memory loss!
I said I'd let him get back to lunch and thanked him and his wife for letting me interrupt them. He reassured me it was fine and then I headed back to Mike, remembering how to breathe. (I assure you, I am a rational human being and I know they are too, but JB and PW do something to me that defies rational explanation!) We stayed until my knees worked again, then went to join Maxi. By then, they'd moved to a sandy place on the beach for the "Stump the Writers" contest, so we pulled up a towel and joined everyone else already there.
I was still a bit hazy from the run in with Jim, so the details of the Donna's and Gillian's talk are a bit fuzzy. I remember some of the ones that stumped them - What was Anne wearing when we first saw her (they guessed the wrong color of scrubs)? What type of motorcycle was Richie riding in such-and-such an episode? Some of the ones they answered - Name all of the priests since season 2 (when D&G joined HL). What women have slept with more than one main character (Donna referred to it as the Brothers of the Sword question ;) )?
Those are the only questions I remember, unfortunately, The prizes were your choice of HL:TS trading cards, HL: Movie trading cards, and the studio shot of Adrian, Peter, and Jim. (Hmmm..guess which one was most popular?) The official prizes never arrived, so these were the ones that Gillian had brought, just in case.
That was from 1:00 to 2:00. At 2:00, Liz was supposed to be handing out her autographed pictures, but she hadn't arrived yet. Mike and I sat with several of the forumlanders near the tables where she was supposed to show up. Maxi decided she was ready to head back for the ship and left. We stayed there talking for a while, when I started to feel really tired. I crashed in a nearby deck chair for a quick nap.
Eventually, I gave up on waiting for Liz and decided to find the 'Beat the Band' volleyball game. Mike was delayed, so I went on a head. The volleyball courts were behind a little beach bar. As I was passing the beach bar, I glanced at it casually and was startled to see Jim and Peter there. Jim was sitting on a picnic bench, talking to his wife, and Peter was talking to a couple of Hl fans. I was torn. I didn't want to bother them, but since Peter was already being sociable... I still couldn't decide, so I went around to the front of the beach bar to get the local drink, a Cocoloco. I heard Mike calling to me, and I looked over to see him standing with Peter. I told him I wanted to get the drink and tried to think of something, anything to say when I got over there.
Eventually, I went over to Peter, just as the previous fans were leaving. Mike and I talked to Peter for a while about several things, few of which I can remember. (I do remember King Lear is his favorite Shakespeare...) At one point, I held up my camera with a pleading expression and asked, "Would you mind terribly?"
Peter smiled and said he didn't mind at all. I handed the camera to Mike and Peter leaned in for the shot. I put my arm around his back, mainly to keep from doing a real life *thunk*, but feeling the muscles in his back only made it worse, but somehow I stayed upright.
Peter looked around behind me at Jim. To me, he said, "Would you like Jim in the picture, too?"
Was he joking?!? "Absolutely!" I said enthusiastically.
"Jim....Jim...JIM!" Peter called.
JB, who'd been in conversation with his wife, looked at Peter. "What?"
Peter pointed at the camera. "Oh! Sure!" JIm said, turning to face the camera.
"Thank you so much!" I said with all of my heart.
He looked me in the eyes and said, "My pleasure."
(Danger Will Robinson! Eminent knee failure!)
Mike then asked if Peter would mind having a picture taken with a guy. "Not at all! We'll be Manly Men." he said in a deep voice reminiscent of his Horseman voice. I managed to keep the camera still enough to get the shot, thankfully.
Mike left to get a beer, offering to get one for Jim or Peter, but they declined. I talked to Peter a bit more, said hi from Mousie as I promised, before a few more fans caught on and came over. A crowd started to build around Peter, so I fell back and just enjoyed watching him interact with people. He really seemed to be enjoying himself, too.
I noticed that Jim's wife had left and JIm was looking very left out. I sat down beside him, wracking my brains for anything to say. Then it came to me.
"Jim, do you mind if I ask you a question?"
He focused on me and smiled. "No, go ahead."
"I don't know if this is asking too much, but do you remember the convention survival kit that the harem gave you at CCC?"
Jim's eyes narrowed as he concentrated. I felt it only fair to jog his memory. "It was a black tote bag with..."
"Oh, yeah!" he said, his eyes lighting up at the memory. "That was great!"
"I'm so glad you liked it. We wanted to give you something to help survive these things so you'll keep coming back." I said with a grin.
He laughed. "Yeah, I appreciated it."
"I'd also like to ask something, and if the answer's no, it's not a big deal, but we were curious..."
"We also gave you one to give to Peter. Did you ever manage to get it to him? If not, that's fine." I said, not wanting him to feel bad if he hadn't been able to.
He nodded. "I dropped it off at the office for him. I haven't seen him at work since then, so I couldn't give it to him personally, but I'm sure he got it."
Big grin from the haremite. "Thank you!"
About that time, his wife reappeared, so I left them alone and rejoined the Peter crowd. It *was* a crowd at this point, so I moved farther down the side of the bar and set up a towel. Mike decided to go try for Elizabeth again, but I was content where I was.
David A. showed up after a while, and everyone gave them space in case they wanted to talk alone. They made everyone still feel welcome, though, so people started talking with them again.
Somewhere around here, the Clan Denial arrived and took pictures with the guests. David A. asked them the long awaited questions about their Clan Denial shirts, so they turned their backs so he could read them. He seemed delighted and chagrinned by their effort (chagrinned because he'd killed Richie and caused their reaction). Overall, I think he loved it. He even posed for that wonderful picture where the Clan is pointing at him in accusation. It was easy to tell he was touched.
After a while, they started trying to leave, but everyone had one more picture, one more autograph, etc and they didn't get very far. I left at that point to rejoin Mike.
It was 4pm and getting near the time when we'd be pulling out of Cococay, so we headed for the dock. We stopped by the little shops there for a bit of shopping. We got TH's keychain and I got a shirt saying "Hey, mon, No Problem!" (I couldn't resist for five bucks.)
Then we boarded the ferry and headed back to the ship. Once there, we went back to the cabin to relax and get ready for Jim's second concert at 6pm. We changed out of our swimsuits and sat back to watch some more Eurominutes HL. (That was such a joy to have. If only they could do it here!)
At about 5, we headed to the Music Man, where we thought the concert would be. Maxi was there, saving a table up front. After a few minutes, the guitarist and sound guy from Jim's band came in to set up for the show. Maxi asked them who won the volleyball contest. They laughed. One said, "Did you ever know any musician who were good at sports?" The other said, "Well, we had fun." I said that was the important part, and they agreed.
Meanwhile, a couple of stewards were setting up what looked like a buffet table on the dance floor, which confused us. They finally asked us what we were doing there, and we said there was a concert here at 6pm. The stewards disagreed, there was to be a cocktail party for a different group from 6:30 to 8:30. The band members got into a discussion with them over who was right.
It turned out that the stewards were right and that we were supposed to be in Finnian's Rainbow Lounge in the middle of deck seven. The guys grumbled as they picked up instruments. Maxi offered to help and Mike added that we'd love to help in order to enjoy thier music. They seemed stunned by the offer and very touched, but said they had everything. So we all headed down one flight to deck seven.
There were already several people there, but we were still able to get a table in the front. Once we'd staked our territory, I headed for the Highlander store to see what they had. They were offering discounts, so I bought two new Methos pictures and a 98 calender. (Hellooo horsemen!) As I was leaving, I passed Liz on her way in with her boyfriend. I was tempted to stay and see if she'd do a Syndicon repeat performance, but it'd been too obvious that I'd been leaving. I went to the table and told Mike to go to the Dealer room now! He headed off and I headed off to drop off my pictures in my room. (No vandalism on her part, this time...)
I came back and settled in for the concert. Once again, the guests were a couple of tables behind us.
Jim started the concert and I was in heaven once again. I remember he played "That River" and "Stand By Me", but again I blank on the rest. I think because we were all tired at this point, people were slow to start dancing. Gillian and her guy, Donna and her guy, Liz and her guy, and David and his wife all came down and danced in the beginning.
Slowly but surely, more and more people joined them. I loved that Donna and Gillian danced with each other during "Stand By Me." It was neat to see. Gillian and Donna were both wearing buttons that said "I killed Richie." (I know, I miss him, too, but I appreciated their daring!)
I was so disappointed when the concert ended. I could have stayed there forever!
Immediately after the concert, a crowd formed around Jim. I saw that the band members were just hanging back, so I went up the the guitarist we'd talked to earlier. "I'm glad we didn't have to haul the drums and stuff down here, but it would have been worth it. Thank you!"
He gave me a big smile and shook my hand. "Thank you!" he said. I smiled back at him and then went beck to the table.
Our little group split up and Maxi and I headed back to my cabin to look at CCC pictures. (If there'd been an autograph session, I would have had some of them signed, but I really can't complain!!) We decided that we weren't up for a formal dinner at that point and had room service bring us some wonderful tuna sandwiches while we watched more Eurominutes. Maxi and I had just decided to go up to the Sun Deck when Mike came in from dinner. At the same time, Finale pt 2 came on, so we decided just to watch the tango...then just a few more minutes...and a few more...and ended up watching the whole darn thing. After that, we finally headed up to the Sun Deck.
Maxi and I ended up sitting by the pool chatting and having a great time. After a while, my eyes just would not stay open anymore, so we started moving again. We played a bit in the casino and I was just happy to come out a dollar ahead. :)
Unfortunately, this was the one night when the boat really started making me motion sick. I could feel the deck moving up and down and so we headed back to the Sun Deck for some fresh air. Maxi gave me some great tips for dealing with it and I soon felt good enough to try to sleep.
I went back to the cabin, where Mike was also heading for bed. Again, I was asleep before my head hit the pillow.
And again, the wake up call came at 6am on Monday morning. This time, darnit, I was getting up and watching that sunrise! I threw myself out of bed and Mike and I stumbled up to the Sun Deck...only to find it was too overcast to see a darn thing. Sigh.
It was on the heels of this disappointment that I had a horrible realization....when I left the concert the previous night, I didn't have my camera in my hands! The camera which had the film from Cococay and my picture with Peter and Jim!!
We immediately headed for the Purser's desk to see if it had been turned in. Nope, they didn't have it. Then we raced up to Finnian's, but it wasn't there either. I was crushed.
Resigned to the awful truth, Mike went back to bed and I headed up for breakfast. We'd had to have our luggage packed and outside our door by midnight the previous night, so that was out of the way. I could hardly eat, I was so upset. After breakfast, I ran into Maxi who helped me search Finnian's again. No luck. Finally, we went back to the cabin so she could say goodbye to Mike, and as a last ditch attempt, I looked in my backpack...and there was the camera. I didn't have it in my hands because I'd tucked it in my shorts pocket. I almost cried in relief.
Maxi left then, off for an official tour of Miami. Mike and I went up to the Sun Deck to wait for our color to be called to disembark. I finished off the Cococay roll by taking pictures of Miami and the Sun Deck. Before our color was called, we had to wait for everyone to settle their bills that hadn't done so. They announced the names of everyone who still needed to do so, and guess who was among them? Yup, "Peter Wingfield, please report to the Purser's Desk to settle your bill." A while later, there were still a few folks who hadn't settled their bill. You guessed it, Peter Wingfield was still among them. He must have taken care of it eventually or we'd still be there! (Not that I'd consider that a bad thing... ;) )
Then we disembarked and headed for Ft. Lauderdale. It was very hard to leave!
We went to the mall in Boca Raton to have lunch at Friday's and had a couple of rolls of film developed. To my relief, the picture with Peter and Jim came out wonderfully. We then headed to Mike's to scan what we had and say hi to the harem. Then it was off to the Ft. Lauderdale airport for the flight back to Colorado. I slept through both flights and got home around 11pm.
Thus ends the Highlander Cruise. *sniff*