Curve contributor Jenny Block shares her adventures from Olivia’s 20th Anniversary Western Caribbean cruise.

I can hardly believe it, but I am back in my very own living room with my canine writing companion Walter curled up at my side and the rain pouring down outside my window. Yesterday was long. But the week was unforgettable.

Everyone has to disembark by 9:30 a.m. and our flight wasn’t until 4:45 p.m., which was a bummer. But it was a beautiful day in Tampa. So, we headed for the airport in one of the shuttles and went to the Marriott, which is located terribly conveniently inside the airport. They have a decent restaurant and a very nice pool, where no one seemed to care whether we were hotel guests or not. So we spent the day snoozing in the sun.

Our flight was delayed, of course. But we finally made it home. We dumped our bags and went to bed early, falling asleep to the sounds of Friends reruns instead of the sea. We passed out in a snap nonetheless.

Feeling a little weird this morning, like things are still moving. I sure hope that subsides soon. And now I must get back to life as usual. No one preparing my meals. No one cleaning my room. No one planning fun activities for me all day—and night—long. I’m going to miss all of that, for sure.

But more than anything, I’m going to miss the sense of community Olivia creates. For one week, I was part of a floating society where race and color and class and age were of no matter. I was part of a group who cared more about who I am than who I loved. I was part of a history making movement that continues to make its mark every year.

Happy Anniversary, Olivia! Thank you for all you have done for our community. Here’s hoping that one day “real life” will imitate Olivia, instead of Olivia having to model how “real life” should be.

Hope you have a sunny day, whatever the weather,
Jenny Block