I was admittedly very nervous about making a transatlantic voyage with writer pal, Christina Dodd. Two weeks sans husbands, internet, or any stops between our departing port of St. Maarten and our arrival port in Lisbon, Portugal. What was I thinking??
Our goal in taking this trip about a luxury sailing yacht (watch the video) was to write, write, and write some more. During the two weeks at sea I worked on Eternity Springs #11, REUNION PASS (Chase and Lori’s story) and Christina worked on her next Virtue Falls book, OBSESSION FALLS.
Here are the trip highlights from my travel journal:
Day 1: Arrive at the boat and leave from St. Maarten after saying goodbye to our hubbies. (At our first look at the Wind Surf, Christina says, "It's so big!" and I say, "It's so small!" Turns out it was a Goldilocks moment: It was just right.) Won Acupuncture treatment at the ship’s spa and decided to try it out. OUCH.
Day 2-7: Lots and lots of writing with some Pilates mixed in.
Day 8: Rougher seas today. More writing and Pilates. Hope I like what I’ve written when I get back to shore. I’m a head case when it comes to what I write!
Day 9: I’m missing my family. Two glasses of wine after dinner convince me it’s a good idea to use the ship-to-shore phone in my stateroom to call home. My husband doesn’t answer the strange number, so I call my daughter. We talk. She calls her dad and tells him to answer the next strange call. He does. We talk.
Day 10: Wake up and bravely walk down to the information desk to discover just how my phone calls cost. GASP!!!!
Day 11: First sight of land in days as we sail past the Azores islands. Line dancing practice with the ship’s photographer and I totally fail as a Texan. Two-step, I can do. Forget all this kicking and sliding while the boat is rocking.
Day 12: Writing and dinner at the captain’s table. Very interesting conversation about burials at sea and I’m oh so tempted to pull out my phone and start recording. I resist. Barely.
Day 13: Celebratory dinner as we catch sight of Portugal! Sailing beneath the Golden Gate sister bridge is an optical illusion. Seriously looks like we won’t fit.
Day 14-16: Disembark & tour Lisbon. The tile museum was fabulous and so helpful for research for HEARTSONG COTTAGE!! We also visited Sintra and climbed to the top of a Moorish castle. I burned enough calories for extra dessert.
Day 17-18: London! Love London. I was treated to tea by my most wonderful editor and the marketing director with my UK publisher. That evening treated myself to the London production of Wicked—love that musical.
Day 19: Headed home!!!!!!
Overall it was a great experience and Christina and I got a lot of writing done which was our main goal. Would I do it again? Absolutely!!!
...As long as the cruise line agrees to disable the phone in my stateroom.