Sunday, August 19, 2012

Where Cruise Ships and Reality TV Collide

It's still mid-August, it's still mid-August, it's still mid-August...I just want to try to hold onto it for another minute before it's suddenly Christmas. Minnesota has decided that it's fall already and even though I LOVE long-sleeves-no-jacket weather, I'd like to savor these few remaining weeks of summer before school starts again and the holidays start and we enter the tunnel of darkness known as winter here.

So, anyway, did you hear about the Top Chef Cruise? I think I might have actually jumped up in the air a little when I first heard. Not only would this put me on a boat with Tom, Gail and several of the cheftestants I adore, but it would accomplish two of my 40 by 40 items: take a cruise and eat key lime pie in Key West. And I really need to start knocking those list items off, as I've been neglecting the list lately.

Tickets just went on sale a few days ago and I've been agonizing over whether or not to do it. My supportive  husband is willing to indulge in my Top Chef obsession if it comes with a beach and an ocean, so we're good there. The cost is somewhat ridiculous for a 4-day cruise, but I'm willing to put it in the column of "priceless experiences," so that's the not the major hangup, either. I think my hesitation comes from knowing that even though it could be amazing and, sure, Gail and I could wind up having cocktails together and becoming BFFs and she could offer me a job as a taster on Just could also be really, really bad.

I'm picturing being herded into an auditorium like cattle to watch a completely scripted "Quickfire Challenge" with mildly-seasick cheftestants and a bored Tom Colicchio, whom I can only partially see because our seats are so far away. And a standard cruise buffet with little placards calling out ingredients used in past episodes of Top Chef ("Wasabi white chocolate sauce inspired by Richard Blais, Season 4!") vs. anything resembling an actual Top Chef meal.

Basically, I'm scared of being totally disappointed. Plus, I don't want to spend three times what a 4-day cruise should cost, only to find out that I'm on a regular 4-day cruise with a few TV celebrities.

None of this is to say that I don't still want to go, I'm just not sure it's worth the risk. If money truly were no object, I'd for sure do it just to see, but this would end up being our big trip for the year and that adds a bit of fact, I think I'll start my own reality show, "Travel Booker," where traveltestants plan vacations on a limited budget and are forced to make split-second decisions. I will be the judge who takes all of their vacations and decides which one was best.

I think I'll bounce the idea off Tom while we're sipping mai tais at the pool.

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