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Saturday, July 13, 2013

The LoBiondo Family Cruise of a Lifetime: complete with wailing infant in the next room

The entire LoBiondo Family, who make up "LoBiondoFork", just returned from the cruise of a lifetime, Nana and Pop pop, Anthony's parents, took all 11 of us on a cruise to Bermuda to celebrate their 50th Anniversary.  It was their treat, although Anthony and I decided to upgrade to a bigger room with a balcony as our own treat.  It was wonderful to have all the family and cousins together and the kids couldn't have been happier.  The Little Kids swam, snorkeled, played miniature golf, hit the arcade and generally enjoyed life to the fullest as only two little kids can.  The 3 teenagers, including Christian, enjoyed the sports, from the gym to the basketball, dodgeball, and table tennis.  Christian won a rock climbing contest, beating out college-aged kids and apparently setting a ship record.  Mrs. Lo was having a pretty good time too, until the first time I woke up in the middle of the night to the sound of a wailing baby.  I was really confused.  We were surrounded by our own family, the youngest of which is Little Michael, age 9.  And our neighbors next door were way too old to have babies.  Then John, our stateroom attendant, explained to me what was going on.  "That's not their baby, Miss, that's their grandbabies (did he use the plural?).  Your neighbors, they have their kids on board and their kids have babies.  The kids like to go to all the activities.  When I was coming in this morning at 4 am, I see the kids, they're at the Disco Dance Party."  The first thing I did was count my blessings, because the "grandparents" looked to be about my age.  Better them than me, is the first thing I thought.  So our room is next door to the Grandparent Dropoff, last stop before the young parents hit the party scene.  No wonder those poor babies are crying.  So I did what any good lawyer would do, I made myself look discheveld, which wasn't hard, and called for the manager.  I explained that I couldn't go down to see him, they would have to send him up to see me, because I hadn't slept in 3 nights due to the Grandparents Dropoff situation.  Gerard, the manager, couldn't have been nicer.  "No problem, Miss," he said, "I can get you something to help you sleep all night."  You mean, special pillows, I said.  "No, Miss, something from the ship doctor."  Did he just offer me drugs?  I managed to stay drug-free all these years, I don't want to end up in Betty Ford because of my cruise.  Actually, Gerard, I was hoping for another room, where there is no baby next door.  "Oh, sorry, Miss the ship is booked full up."  Well, maybe the Captain can sleep in the Library and I can have his room, I joked.  "Hmmm, a room just for sleeping, let me see what I can do."  Thankfully, Gerard came through, and we ended with a second room, where I could go just to sleep at night.  It was on the same deck where the crew sleeps.  It wasn't the Captain's room, but after 3 sleepless nights at sea, I didn't care, I was just happy to get a good night's rest.  And it was one more room for the Little Kids to play in and the teenagers to shower in, the ship was starting to look like LoBiondoFork.  I promised several readers that I would explain what "LoBiondoFork" is.  For those of you under 40, there used to be a show in the 80's called "Dallas."  The extended Ewing family of Texas all lived together in a sprawling mansion-ranch they called "Southfork."  The LoBiondo Family all lives within walking distance of each other in Newburgh, and we joke that our houses put together are "LoBiondoFork."  All in all, it truly was the cruise and vacation of a lifetime, with beautiful memories and of course, lots of pictures.  Remember to count your blessings, everyone, and have a great day! <3 Mrs. Lo