January 7, 2006

The Nutcracker Sweet

Hatched by Dafydd

Soap-opera city!

I've been sort of following off-and-on the story of the honeymooning couple on the Royal Caribbean cruise ship: she was found passed out "on a floor in a corridor far from the couple's cabin;" he wasn't found at all. A blood trail ran from the balcony of their cabin to the lifeboats, but she claims no memory of what happened after a vicious argument they had in the bar.

One witness claims that the argument escalated to the point where "she," Jennifer Hagel-Smith of Cromwell, CT, hauled off and kicked "him," George Allen Smith IV of Greenwich, CT, in the yodel-a-hee-hos:

[Witness Margarita] Chaves said she was in the bar with her friends when another group introduced them to Smith and his wife. She said the couple was heavily intoxicated and Hagel-Smith was leaning on a male passenger.

"We were afraid a fight was going to start," Chaves said. "She was flirting with him."

Dominick Mazza, a 24-year-old auditor from New Jersey, said Hagel-Smith was leaning on him because she was drunk, but he did not believe she was flirting.

Smith then began calling his wife names, the witnesses agreed.

"She kind of pushed him away lightly and suddenly stood up and kicked him in the private [sic] and stumbled out of the bar," Mazza said.

The next day, "he" was found missing.

I know this is just tacky tabloid talk, but I find it fascinating. I clearly remember our own honeymoon in Hawaii: we flew into Honolulu, then took an island hopper to Maui. We stayed a few days there, snorkeling and lounging on the beach (or around the pool; after six or seven Mai Tais, I don't remember).

We went to a luau. Then we flew to the Big Island, where we wandered up to take a look at Mt. Kilauea, where I interviewed one of the vulcanologists there.

We had rented a Jeep, and we drove around the island until we got to the site of a recent lava eruption; we wanted to hike out to get a real close look at the lava.

we started wandering vaguely in the direction indicated by a few other tourists. Just then, we noticed a passel of Germans beetling out in the same direction, following a guide who seemed to know what he was doing. Despite not having paid the guide a dime, Sachi and I followed after as "free riders."

Alas, the guide was tall and the German tourists were uniformly twenty-three, blond-haired, and six-foot five, or so it seemed (even the girls): we had to practically run after them. As we were sprinting over solidified lava flow laced with leftover lava tubes that collapsed the moment one stepped upon them, this was a treacherous undertaking. But we realized that if we ever let the guide get too far ahead, we would be stranded there in the middle of (ahem ) an active lava flow field, which didn't seem particularly romantic.

We busted a gut, but we kept up. It's a miracle neither of us broke an ankle. But eventually, we began to feel distinctly hot; we also started to hear a dull roar. Then finally, the guide stopped and pointed. "That's it," he said, pointing directly forward.

We stared eagerly, looking for some red running river... but the lava was actually silver, not red -- and we almost missed it. In fact, if the guide hadn't stopped, we might well have actually stepped into the molten stuff! It was virtually invisible, just another vein of rock -- until a closer look revealed that the rock was flowing.

Just to make sure, I picked up a hunk of obsidian and heaved it into the silver stream. Sure enough, where the volcanic glass penetrated was bright red, just a rouge hole in the silver lining.

The heat was terrific! We were downwind from the flow, and even standing fifteen or twenty feet away was scorching my eyebrows and burning my face. On the other side of the molten river, a different group of tourists went right up to the edge of the stream, leaning over for a real close look. If the wind had changed, I'm quite convinced some of them wouldn't have made it out alive.

We finally headed back... and I was surprised to discover, when we finally made it back to the lava information desk (yes, there was one), that Sachi and I were less tuckered out that the tall, thin German tourists. Since we were neither tall nor thin (nor German), I thought it a major accomplishment. And we got some great pictures, though the edges are a little crispy.

We moved on from there to Kauai, where we did some hiking, then took a boat ride around to the other side of the island and did some more skin diving. It was here that a sea turtle swam too close to me. I latched onto its shell and let it tow me a for a bit; but it eventually figured out why it was moving so slowly, and it dove very deep (about forty feet, which is a lot when one is simply holding one's breath). I let go and stroked to the surface.

Sachi had unwisely allowed herself to be talked into taking a noodle to float on; she had been fine until then, but bobbing up and down like a cork made her seasick.

We had a great time. The food isn't all that special in Hawaii, but we managed to find edible restaurants. On that trip, we steered clear of Honolulu, except for having to utilize the airport. The last time we were there was entirely spent in the Honolulu area... and I discovered why I'd wanted to skip that city the first time: it's just a medium sized city with nothing spectacular, nothing "Hawaiian" about it.

All in all, I'd say our honeymoon was an unqualified success. And you know what? In the entire two weeks we were there, not once did Sachi ever kick me in the yin-yangs, and neither of us turned up missing.

I don't know about you, but I'm starting to get a little suspicous in the Smith/Hagel-Smith case.

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, January 7, 2006, at the time of 5:36 AM

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The following hissed in response by: RBMN

I think the moral of the story is, if you go on a ocean cruise with your alcoholic spouse, make sure the cruise ship has plenty of lights and security cameras on all the decks.

The above hissed in response by: RBMN [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 7, 2006 11:59 AM

The following hissed in response by: karrde

You know what, I'd much rather have an ab Hugh-style honeymoon than the Smith/Allen-Smith style honeymoon.

(Hey, if that's what a hyphenated last name will do, any wife I take won't get hyphenated last name!)

The above hissed in response by: karrde [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 7, 2006 3:00 PM

The following hissed in response by: David

"...a _little suspicous_ in the Smith/Hagel-Smith case."


The above hissed in response by: David [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 7, 2006 7:06 PM

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