dear oliver, i’m smashed on mashed

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Dear Oliver,

St. Croix was our final port of call. There is a nice beach within walking distance of the pier. Also lots of taxis lined up and people selling tours. But Mama and Da-Da were in quite a hurry to get to the beach! The closest one looked good to them. We disembarked together but they scampered off the pier without us.

No beach for me today. GiGi and Pops declared it a take-it-easy, stay-out-of-the-sun day. They almost didn’t get off the ship. Honestly! We strolled on the promenade in historic Frederisksted that fronts a good portion of the shoreline. The beach stretches almost as far as you can see. On the very end point, it is a dazzling white sand.

I was out like a light for my morning nap in my stroller within a few minutes. Pops pushed me in the shade while GiGi wandered around the shops. We weren’t out very long because it was so hot! GiGi and Pops said they were glad for a good reason to have a quiet day.

We spent most of the day playing and strolling and eating on board the ship. It is a big ship and good for people-watching. Then I took a long nap after lunch. This is where it gets exciting…

Pops went off to buy refreshing drinks. And GiGi set the room service tray outside the door … and locked herself out of the stateroom! So there I was, alone on one side, and she on the other. She enlisted a young man nearby to call for help. He got room service, twice, instead. But GiGi was in such a state they promised to send help anyway! GiGi sent him off to see if he could find help, just in case. (Too bad about his pool plans, right?)

Then Pops returned and unlocked the door. Then GiGi had to go find the young man to let him know all was well. Then the crew member who had been dispatched to rescue us showed up to see what all the ruckus was about. But by that time, no need. I missed all of this, of course, safe and sound in my playpen closet — oops, bedroom. I was so tuckered out I slept through all the commotion. I am not sure this counts as an adventure but it’s all I got.

GiGi said it was an hour before her heart rate returned to normal. It reminded her of the time when she accidentally locked the car with my Mama inside. What a fracas. She’d taken your Da-da and Uncle Pete into church and when she came back for my Mama… Ut-oh. Fortunately, my Mama was in her carseat and also safe until help arrived. Once again, it was Pops who saved the day with an extra set of keys!

By supper time, Mama and Da-Da had come back from the beach … but they needed naps. Turns out there is such a thing as too much fun in the sun! I wasn’t interested in the pouch-of-the-day Mama left for me. So Pops went to the dining room for a bowl of mashed potatoes. The hostess (Pops calls her “Tiny”) was only too happy to help “Mister Hendry.” I was Hungry Hendry as soon as I saw those potatoes. Yum-yum!

I think this is my fourth helping of mashed this week. I’m smashed on mashed! I can’t get enough! Does it get any better? You have teeth and eat lots of things I haven’t yet tried, so please tell me!

Tiny is just one of my new friends. So many ladies stopped to chat with me that Pops said I am a chick magnet. I don’t know about that — they looked like old hens to me. Sometimes the old men would make funny faces to make me smile. So I did! (Just a few weeks ago, you know they would have gotten the Cry Face instead.) Later when we’d see them out and about, they’d say, “There’s that baby!” The cabin stewards along the hall always made a point to talk to me. “Everyone knows Henry!” they said. But none of those new friends compare with you, Oliver.

I am happy to say we will be home tomorrow. It has been loads of fun to travel but I am ready to get back. GiGi and I agree that there comes a time to return to routine. It’s time.

Love,
Henry

P.S.
I almost forgot to tell you about another first: standing! It’s true, Oliver. Sitting on the blanket, playing with my toys and GiGi and Pops, I popped myself up on all fours and then, voilà! I stood up all by myself. Just for a second or two. Then ker-plop! I did this trick three times today but GiGi and Pops didn’t make much fuss. They didn’t know it was a new trick? Honestly! Get with the program, people! When Mama and Da-Da heard about it they got pretty excited. That’s more like it.

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