It WILL be a pleasure eating more nutritiously again! Now that I've pretty well whipped hypothyroidism through methylation and micronutrients, I may have a little more latitude than I did last summer but I STILL have to mind the plant toxins to which I have particular sensitivity.
Despite making a total pig of myself, I arrived home about three pounds heavier but with significant puffiness in my hands, feet and ankles, indicating I was pretty well weight-stable but retaining water very uncomfortably. This happens whenever I fly, but it was better the time I flew at the end of a "whole 30"! Of course we know that raised insulin causes water retention -- just ONE of the reasons to eat for lower insulin!
My bad right knee was a bit uncomfortable (not significantly miserable) throughout the entire trip, but my left knee twinged on a couple of occasions, indicating specific toxic foods had been hidden in my intake! I went very lightly on that kind of burden MOST of the time, but there were a couple of blowouts! :-D I really got overheated on Sint Maarten and the only place with a/c in view was the Hard Rock -- mea culpa! (The children loved it.)
I walked my ass off! I thought I was completely adapted to stairs because of my big old house, but doing them in heels or flipflops is a whole 'nother experience! :-) At home i'm usually barefooted, but walking gracefully (straight back, tummy sucked in) up the elegant staircases in three-inch heels and long gown, with a drink in one's hand, puts a slightly different stress on one's anatomy! Perhaps I should practice? ...Naw, the dress and drink are okay, but i'd rather skip the shoes for awhile.
I wore my vibrams on St. Thomas and my tennies on St. Maarten -- vibrams win again! They are just SO unstressful on the feet! They make good water-shoes, too ... but actually swimming in them puts stress on the knees -- more weight when I kicked! But damn do I hate walking on seaweed! You just don't know what's lurking in its depths....
The cruise organizers (mostly, two hard-workers named Becky and Debbie) found Royal Caribbean significantly better than Carnival from their point of view (and many others concurred). From ours, it's close to a wash. On both, the food was good but not consistent. Our balcony this time was bigger and better, and the bathtub superior (our accommodations were essentially the same "level" on both). The room service was late EVERY SINGLE TIME, and our daughter's family consistently got shorted on their orders. Carnival definitely has a better water-park for the kids.
The specialty-Italian restaurant on RC was OUTSTANDING -- our best meal on the boat! The service there was hugely attentive, while the theoretically-higher-level steakhouse fell short not only in that respect, but also in the variety and imaginativeness of the menu and food preparation. The main dining room has issues with coordination! Some members of our party (granted, the kids) were finished on a few occasions with their three courses before the rest got their entrees. Kinda looks like the sommelier's staff needs beefing up, too. In fact, in some places drink service was so incredibly slow I suspect their beverage department could use an overhaul.
All in all, every one of our party had a wonderful time. My daughter, who is in life-insurance underwriting, learned some useful things from a professional point of view as well as a personal one (she's writing a report to her VP on the need to make LDL screening more targeted in difficult cases). Her husband (one of those people who "don't need to" watch their diet) is inspired to go more paleo. One of the door prizes we (collectively) won was Fred Hahn's slow-burn DVDs -- we're all excited to try out his philosophy!
As usual, I got a LOT of good information, interesting ideas and valuable tips! I was excited to meet and listen to Dr Eric Westman, and some other physicians among the other speakers (some I've never heard before) were an additional treat! We are ALL annoyed by the mediocre, cookie-cutter doctors our friends and families have been mistreated by, but it's heartening to know that there ARE exceptionally-good ones out there too! It's a privilege to be able to get their inspired responses to one's own questions!
But the icing on our low-carb cake was the way the kids went around with the big grins on their faces! They LOVED going to the supervised events offered (we won't call it baby-sitting) during the day and evening so we could do grown-up stuff (their mother enjoys blackjack). They were impressed with the ice show and magician as well. And as for meeting the "characters" ... well ... just check out the faces.