Saturday, June 23, 2012
Raise the Jolly Roger.
Now that life has settled back into normalcy, I guess it's about time that I blog about this year's vacation. June has been quite a challenging month for us. We already covered Lauren's accident. While that was going on, Mark was suffering from painful ulcers in the back of his mouth that made eating pretty difficult. Then our vacation to Wildwood, New Jersey turned out to be less than stellar.
To summarize, when we arrived on Sunday, the weather was gorgeous. We did get to swim on Monday, but on Tuesday it poured the majority of the day. On top of that, we got a parking ticket even though we were no more than 5 minutes late getting back to the meter! On Wednesday, we traveled back into PA so that we could spend some time in the Brandywine Valley area. We spent a nice day at Winterthur, which is a huge mansion and its surrounding grounds and gardens. As we were leaving, I felt a little off. We decided to just spend the evening in the hotel room. As the night wore on, I felt more and more nauseous. The next day, we hurried home as fast as we could (4.5 - 5 hour drive) with me struggling with my nausea the whole way. By Friday, what ever bug I picked up moved on to my intestines, but I will spare everyone the gory details of what symptoms resulted from that. So I ended up spending half of my time off sick and miserable. Shortly after that passed, I developed a cough and have been dealing with that all week. How a gastrointestinal illness can turn into an upper respiratory illness is beyond me, but that's the kind of luck we've been having lately.
In spite of all this, I'm going to try my best to focus on the good things we got to see and do. This will take a few separate posts because there is a lot to cover!
This post is going to be about the pirate cruise that we took as soon as we arrived. It's run by Dark Star Pirate Cruises out of Wildwood Crest, and while it's something that we wouldn't normally spend money on, we found it to be well worth it. The crew puts on an extremely fun show, and let's face it, how many people can say that they've sailed on a bonafide pirate ship?
Here's Lauren getting "tattooed" before boarding.
The finished product.
The pirates begin interacting with you as soon as you arrive. This is Wet Dog helping Lauren sign the ship's manifest. He's pretty much the star of the show, as most of the high seas high jinx revolve around him.
Here I am waiting for us to disembark.
Wait a second - are those swords? And a cat o'nine tails? What kinda outfit are they running here?
The cruise begins with introductions and some silly background on the Dark Star crew.
Then Captain Malloy addresses the new swabbies.
And of course there were pirate songs (Take a listen here!). If you look closely, you can see the ship's "canons" hanging off the port side. These actually squirt water. During the cruise, a rival group of pirates on a speedboat come by and squirt the ship with hoses. The crew of the Dark Star (including the guests) has to man the canons and defend their ship.
After the rival pirates are scared away, a real treasure chest was pulled out of the water, and all the kids got a "gem" for a souvenir. At the end, Captain Malloy rewarded everyone for their hard work by passing out the pirate grog which tasted awfully like root beer (I had to drink it, because Lauren didn't want it).
So if you're ever in the Wildwood area, don't be a landlubber and take a sail on the Dark Star. I highly recommend it!