Monday, February 18, 2013

Kate Miller 3: Ice Cream and Elephants

3. Ice Cream and Elephants

            The spread on board the Norwegian Jewel was everything a pregnant lady could hope for. There was greasy pizza, sausage links, and bacon, spicy Chinese or Indian fare and fresh na’an, yogurt and fruit, not to mention a beautiful daily rotation of desserts—and that was just the cafeteria! Of course the dining rooms had less daily variety, but each dish was cooked per order.
            Kate’s favorite was eating a leisurely dinner in the Czar’s Palace—an exotic room with rich carpet, ceiling murals, and Russian portraits—which looked out low over the water from the sixth deck. After the appetizer and the main course, the real dilemma was whether to get the classic cheesecake or the unknown daily ice cream, which had always been delicious. Sitting there, in her Christmassy red rose dress, across from the handsome Mister Miller, she beheld the true magic of a cruise boat.
            The waiter came to take their orders and she querried, “Which do you think is better today, the cheesecake or the ice cream?”
            After thinking and trying, the waiter could not answer such a difficult question. But he said with a dimpled grin, “I bring you both.”
            What a beautiful existence this was!
            After dinner, if it was warm out, she and Mister wandered the decks down to one of the lounges for music and dancing. Their favorite cover duet was very good and played every style. Kate and Mister swung on to the empty floor as soon as they walked in. Spinning and twirling and dipping, sometimes they even got special applause from the audience in the middle of a song. The singers loved it. Kate and Mister danced with enthusiasm, and the musicians picked more and more dance songs, enticing the happy couple to the floor at every possible occasion.
            But every dance must come to an end, and more often than not, it led Kate back to the cafeteria, ready for her next installment of food. The pineapple was divine. Ripe, sweet, and only slightly tangy, it melted in her mouth. Salty chips, sweet pineapple. Mmmm. Mister just shook his head when he saw her plate and raised his eyebrows silently at her cup, which was (more) ice cream topped with hot (decaf) coffee…another favorite. They sat and looked at the sea foam and white breakers and talked about baby names.
            “How about ‘Hortense’?” Kate started off. She had more fun thinking of terrible names than good ones. “Of course,” she mended, “’Hortense’ is French, and pairing that with a German ‘Miller’ would hardly do. She’d probably have an identity crisis. What about ‘Archibald’?”
            Mister laughed and shook his head, “We could go with ‘Pericles’,” he teased.
            “Pericles? Ugh,” Kate said with relish.
            “You know, I actually met a guy named Pericles once.”
            “Poor fellow.”
            They bantered back and forth as Kate finished her snack, then made their way back down to their cabin. On the bed was an elephant made out of a towel. Kate laughed delightedly and crouched down to get her picture with it.
            “Hey!” she said, struck with brilliant inspiration, “What do you think of ‘Babar’?”
            “Like ‘the babar of Seville’? Mozart would love that…but he’s dead.”
            Kate laughed and attacked with the elephant. “That’s the barber of Seville, you goof! Barber. Hey!” she paused, “What about ‘Barbara?”
            “The Barbara of Seville?” Even as he said it, he laughed and put up his hands in defense.
             By now, the elephant was officially gone, but Kate wielded the towel just as efficiently.
waiting for dinner at the Czar's Palace (by the gingerbread town)
the elephant


  1. I'm confused about the fictional or nonfictional nature of these entries. Are you actually with child? If so, a hearty congratulations! If not, congrats to Mrs. Kate Miller. :)

    Also, I've heard that cruises are lovely vacations. Yours looks like one. And I really envy your dancing opportunity!

    1. Their nature is almost entirely nonfictional--I am indeed with child. :-) So thanks. :-)