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        Port Hope by Clover Autrey



          Port Hope

          by Clover Autrey


            Giveaway ends January 09, 2020.
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A Book and a Cause

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A cruise, a cruise, we went on a cruise

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Going on a cruise has been something I've wanted to do for a while and it finally happened. My husband, two youngest sons and myself drove down to Galveston (only a 5 hour drive away) to get on Carnival's Valor. The entire process of checking in, moving down the gangplank, was new to us, and exciting.

We had a wonderful time, even though my men were not the funnest travel companions as they didn't quite stick with me. We pretty much met up for meals. But being the kind of person who enjoys my own explorations, I walked all over that ship, went to whatever show I wanted to see, wrote a little, and gained four pounds.

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Pat and I on deck
I'm an early riser so I went to breakfast by myself before the rush. It was awesome having time to myself while gazing out to sea, well, the Gulf of Mexico. Our ship went straight through the gulf down to Cozumel. We never made it to the open sea, but the gulf is so huge it looked like it. Felt like it too. Whoever told me that you don't feel the ship move was incorrect. We felt the sways, but I kind of dug it. Gave the experience a kind of not-your-everyday feel to it.

The ship was smaller than I expected, but I've since learned that the Valor is one of the smallest. It reminded me of being in a Las Vegas hotel, just on water. It had the same type of atmosphere...the gambling, the buffets, the entertainment, the extravagant decor. But better as there wasn't anybody waiting on the curb to hand out stripper flyers.
Carnival Valor cabin window
Sam in our cabin's window, looking out at Galveston
By far the highlight was scuba diving with Sam and Tate. They had never been before and Pat and I hadn't been for long time. We went through the short--extremely short--orientation. They basically went over the hand signs, how to clear your ears, and your mask...and off we went. But we were diving off shore at only 20 feet so all the depressurization stuff was a non-issue. We had a blast. As a mom, I was really enjoying watching my boys experience this new thing. They were great at it. And all too soon it was over. 30 minutes in the water was not long enough.
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First view of Cozumel
 Image may contain: 3 people, people smiling, people standing and sunglassesImage may contain: 2 people, people eating, people sitting, drink, food and outdoorScuba diving

Then we sailed back to Galveston and drove home, tired and refreshed and ready to do it again. Next time, I think I'll go with my sisters or girlfriends. I love my guys, but not the best traveling companions. November 2020 my writers group is going, which will be nothing short of awesome. Ha! A group of romance writers on a cruise together...grinning at the thought. In between I'm going to try and get my sisters on board. Sisters trip, yay!