Tuesday, November 24, 2009

"Nonplussed" - The Best Laid Plans...

I had this great blog planned for today. Pictures and everything. But so much for lining ducks up!

"Enjoy lunch and dinner dance cruises that offer the best waterfront views of coastal Florida, and a tantalizing selection of entrees from a full menu."

So here's the story: Rebekah (my amazing wife) and Tim Black (the other pastor at our church) were given these really cool gift-cards by their staff recently. "Two-hour luncheon sightseeing cruise for two: everything included - dining, dessert, unlimited coffee and tea, tax and service charge..."

So we all agreed on a date, Tim and Kelly lined up five-hours of babysitting, and I called to make the reservation. There were three cruises listed, from three points of origin. We wanted a Monday, so the reservations folk recommended the "Sea Life Safari" cruise out of Clearwater Beach.

We picked up the Blacks and drove out to the marina. That's a one-hour and ten minute drive. When we arrived, they had our names but seemed confused when I said, "We're here for the luncheon cruise."

"It's a great cruise," they said. "But we don't serve lunch."

I was - to employ a great word that doesn't tend to get out much anymore - nonplussed.

"But the gift certificate says, 'luncheon cruise' and it details the dining experience," I pointed out.

"Then I don't know why you'd choose the Sea Life Safari?" she replied.

"Sea Life Safari is listed on the gift certificate," I responded, "right next to the word 'luncheon'. The reservations agent knew we had a gift card for a lunch cruise and she recommended this one."

"There's a snack machine on the boat," was the best the lady at the marina could come up with and the conversation was over.

By then it was close to one-thirty so we walked across the street and had lunch at a pub before driving home.

So, no great pictures of happy people eating lunch on a boat while cruising the bay; no action shots of dolphins playing in the wake; no iridescent gulf waters sparkling against the backdrop of Clearwater Beach.

But it was a beautiful drive out - and back, across the causeway. And lunch was excellent. Not exactly a destination restaurant, but a good time all the same.
  • This is Florida, in late November.
  • 78 degrees
  • Good friends
  • Two miles of beautiful views (then another hour of city traffic)
  • It's all good!
I am not sharing this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength. - Philippians 4

- Life really is very, very good - DEREK

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