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  Life As A Floridian 05:21 PM -- Tue March 14, 2023  

Soooo... big news in Hamumu town. Three years ago, I went on the Joco Cruise. It was March 2020, and it was literally the last cruise they let out of Florida. We agonized a lot over whether to do it seeing what was coming down the pipe at the time, but eventually figured we put in all this money and weren't gonna get it back. The cruise was awesome, and we did not get sick. We returned to a completely changed world, though. Empty grocery shelves everywhere (we discovered on our drive home from the airport actually!), and major restrictions that were days away from actually keeping us trapped in Florida. But, while we were on the cruise, we signed up for the next cruise, because obviously this whole pandemic thing was just gonna be a flash in the pan. How long could it last?!

Well, when those rosy predictions failed, it was okay - the 2021 cruise was replaced with a virtual online cruise (2 days of youtube events which were actually pretty fun and where I discovered Gangstagrass!), for free, and everybody who had booked it was forwarded to the 2022 cruise automatically. Because obviously, what was a pandemic gonna do, last over 2 years? Don't be silly!

So in 2022, we had an option: take the cruise we had paid for, get a (partial? I don't remember) refund, or forward ourselves to the 2023 cruise. We definitely weren't ready for a cruise, but wisely said "in 2023, everything will be fine, obviously!" and chose that. In choosing that, we were agreeing to no more potential refunds or moving forward, the money is lost if we don't go.

So it's 2023 now, and we went on the Joco Cruise again, knowing it was a bid idea, but not wanting to just throw away thousands of dollars! It was fun again! However, they weren't hardcore enough about the restrictions and rules (in many ways, the 2020 cruise was actually better about that!), which we found off-putting many times. After a lovely cruise, on the very last day, we decided to test for covid since we were coming home to houseguests and should be safe for them. I thought it was a formality, but it was not. I think our downfall was dining in the main dining room which obviously requires being unmasked, with literally hundreds of other people all around. In retrospect, just blatantly stupid. But good food!

I am now trapped in a Florida hotel, waiting out my quarantine period to return home to my kitties. I am indeed feeling sickly, but not too bad, especially after the first day (I am as vaxxed as legally possible). So hopefully this will end soon, and I do have the machinery here to both work on my game (awkwardly) and edit our podcast.

I think, depending on whether I can upload files properly, I will be releasing the podcast tomorrow as intended, but I may not actually do ANY work on the game. It's really not super fun to program on this dumb little laptop. I am using an ironing board for a table, propped up by a pillow to reduce its wobbling. And you can see the beautiful Florida skyline outside.

The lesson here is as simple as it is obvious: don't go on cruises. We're in a pandemic, people!
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