Thanksgiving is over. I’m back from my cruise. My laundry is done and my beer bloat is receding. I’ve loaded all my trip photos on to my computer. As I sit here a few days later and look at all the pictures for the 100th time, I am still getting the biggest shit-eating grin on my face remembering what we did and said. And how much we laughed. I don’t know how to describe the trip in a few paragraphs but I’ll give it a try.

Most days of my life I have a good time. Very few complaints, and I know I’m fortunate in that respect. Some days of my life I have a great time. And then there are those less frequent times that life seems momentarily perfect. When you are just happy and content to be where you are, doing what you’re doing and being with who you are with. I had those days on the ship and on our side trips. And the pictures bring that back to me.

The cruise came together pretty effortlessly. It was just one of those times that all the cosmic forces in the universe lined up. The four other couples were available on the same weekend. The cruise prices were ridiculously cheap. I was supposed to get my period but I didn’t. (No, I’m not pregnant. My husband got snipped a month after my IUD fell out. Over two years ago.)

And two days before the trip, my brother, who lives out in Northern California, shared with me some life-altering information: Milk Thistle prevents hangovers. So, on the way to the ship, I went to Whole Foods and got a bottle of Milk Thistle capsules (and some organic personal lubricant, fittingly called Aqua Lube, because I had left mine at home). It even said right there on the label “Protects Liver Health”. And doesn’t everybody’s liver need a little protection? Especially when you are planning to drink Extra Strength Kalik Gold?

The first afternoon on the ship, I told my traveling companions about it. And for the most part, everybody eagerly took their two capsule dose. (Disclaimer: not everyone took it. But I’m not naming any names.) One or two people may have questioned the wisdom in taking something we really knew nothing about. But only for a few minutes. Nobody wanted to be hungover. And we all wanted to drink. And for some reason, the fact that my brother had so strongly recommended it seemed to be all we needed to know. Even though he is a 45 year old man who goes to Burning Man in the Nevada desert every summer and, while there, wears a fur vest, a crown and a multi-colored skirt with fringe while riding a bicycle.

I took a dose of the Milk Thistle each day we were gone and I can honestly say that I never had a hangover. No headache, no nausea, nothing. Just a little tired because we stayed up late and woke up on the early side. And I had a fair amount to drink. Cruising just kind of lends itself to drinking. No making meals, no driving, no kids to be responsible for.

Some highlights of the trip:

The nightly cocktail hour in our small windowless cabin affectionately nicknamed “The Salon”. All five women sitting on the bed and the men milling around in the little remaining space.

Lying on the beach on an island with nothing to do but talk and read and nap.

Taking a bus in Nassau to Goldie’s The King of Conch, but asking the driver to stop at a liquor store first so we could have Kalik Gold for the 10 minute ride.

Spending the afternoon at Goldie’s with Big Dog and eating the best conch salad ever, while drinking more Kalik.

The surprise of hearing Bahamian Techno music on our bus ride back to the ship while stopped at yet another liquor store to get 10 more beers for the 10 minute ride to the pier.

Laughing, all day and all night, so hard that my abdominal muscles and my lower back hurt.

Being able to take a break from everyday life while hanging out with some of my favorite people in the whole world.

Sounds pretty good, right? And even though the cruise was only three nights long, it felt like it was much longer. No Tempus Fuget for me. I savored each and every moment of it. And I’ll be smiling about my memories of the trip for months, especially on the occasions that I take my Milk Thistle. Thanks Bro!