Cruising (and Writing)

Last week my husband, son, and I went on our first cruise to Key West and The Bahamas. Visions of the Titanic swirled in my head as I boarded the ship, but thankfully the massive thing stayed afloat. Not only that, it almost never seemed to be moving. Once I didn’t even realize we’d left a port. Talk about smooth sailing!

I loved a lot of things about the ship and the ports we visited, not to mention the international staff and crew. But a few things really stood out:

Accidentally ending up at Gilligan’s Island!
Fortunately, we weren’t shipwrecked. We went on a snorkeling and “snuba” tour in The Bahamas, and the boat driver took us to a site surrounded by five islands including Sandy Cay, which appeared in the opening of the first season of Gilligan’s Island. The other islands were featured in Pirates of the Caribbean, four James Bond films, The Island of the Blue Lagoon, and Flipper. And no, we did NOT try to rescue Gilligan, The Skipper, or the other castaways. They’d just end up back on the island, anyway.

Seeing the six-toed cats at Ernest Hemingway’s house.
A ship captain gave Hemingway a six-toed cat named Snow White, and the fifty cats living at his home today are her descendants. Most of them are polydactyl, but we met a few who didn’t have the extra toes. A veterinarian visits them every week, and each cat breeds once and then is spayed or neutered. They literally have the run of the place—including climbing on the dining table and sleeping on Hemingway’s bed.

Writing in the Habana Bar on the ship.
Campari Crimson, my fourth Franki Amato mystery, is underway, and I wanted to keep the flow going while I was cruising. The Habana Bar was a perfect place to write because it wasn’t open for drinks until evening. Also, Hemingway loved to write while he was in Cuba, so writing in a fake Cuban bar on a cruise ship was an inside joke with myself. I figured it was as close as I was going to get to Cuba—and to being like Hemingway. 😉

Speaking of writing, the insanely talented Madeline Mrozek narrated Amaretto Amber, the third Franki Amato mystery, and I’m giving away copies of the audiobook. Leave a comment about your favorite vacation spot for a chance to win a copy.


Cruising (and Writing) — 12 Comments

  1. My favorite place is upstate New York, the Finger Lakes. The towns around these lakes are charming. Did I mention all the wineries there are to visit in several of the towns…..

      • Traci, the Finger Lakes have hundreds of wineries in different towns. They have designated wine trails you can follow. There are the Canandaigua Wine Trails, Seneca Wine Trails, Cayuga Wine Trails, Keuka Wine Trails. It’s been 15 to 20 years since I was last there, but the country is absolutely beautiful! Don’t know why I see so many New York license plates down at the Outer Banks of North Carolina or Virginia Beach when they have the beautiful Finger Lakes🤔 Change of scenery I guess. It will take you days to visit all of these wineries.🍷🍷🍷🍷

        • Hundreds? I’m going to start researching the region. It sounds heavenly, and I’ve already done Sonoma.

  2. I do love being near the ocean for vacations, but nothing compares to the spas in Palm Springs, especially the mineral springs’ baths & whirlpools at the Miramonte Spa! Everything was melon or blood orange flavored! A gal could get spoiled there very easily. My sisters decided we needed to treat ourselves to celebrate my brother’s cancer going into remission. And celebrate we did!

    • I’m glad you took that trip with your sisters. And it’s funny you would mention Palm Springs, because I told my husband that it’s the next place I’d like to go.

  3. Hands down, I’d choose Italy. The difficult part is determining what part of Italy…. 😀 The people, the food, the art, the history, the landscapes, and the water- what’s not to love?! “Hanging out” with Franki is just another way to feed my obsession with all things Italian.

    • Lisa, I can help you plan an Italian trip. And I’m glad you said that because I’m planning two new series set in Italy.

  4. Cruising the Mediterranean was #1 on my dream vacation list and did not disappoint in reality. My favorite place on Earth is Santorini…discovered on that very cruise. The shades of blue on the seas were the most magnificent I’ve ever seen. In my mind, Heaven must look like Santorini.

    • Jeannie, I’ve been wanting to go there! I think I’m going to save up for a cruise that leaves from Venice and goes to Santorini, Mykonos, and a few other places.

  5. We love to vacation on the outskirts of Cocoa Beach,Florida.We have a townhouse across the street from thee ocean.We can watch the sun come up from our bed.Across the street,it is mostly houses,so you have the beach to yourself.Behind us(a block away) is the Banana River.We walk there with a drink to watch the sunset.We are there in winter and the tempature is in the 70s.Perfect!😎🏖

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