Surfing, stand-up paddle boarding, outrigger canoeing, hula dancing. Watching your grandchildren try new activities is one of life’s greatest joys. Our son and his family go to Oahu for nine days, and they invite us along. The youngsters (ages 15, 13, 12) discover that pineapples don’t grow on trees, take their first ride on a public bus, and learn that aloha means more than hello and goodbye. Continue reading
An elegant, classy dinner party with gold paper doilies under the plates? Not our style! Here’s another idea for celebrating a Golden Anniversary: a one-week canoe-camping trip! Our children and their families joined us to float a 107-mile stretch of the Upper Missouri River in an area virtually untouched since Lewis and Clark’s expedition two hundred years ago. We slept in tents, used bucket toilets, and dealt with insects, injuries, thunderstorms, and extreme heat. Like Lewis and Clark’s Corps of Discovery, we met these challenges through teamwork and determination. Just the kind of party to remind us of the roads we have traveled in our half-century together! Continue reading
Chug, chug, toot, toot, off we go by train to Los Angeles to celebrate some significant birthdays. Doug is 75 this month – three-quarters of a century – and our youngest grandchild moves up to double-digits, age ten. Mansions and slums, chauffeured limousine and not-so-rapid public transit, Fruit Loops and frijoles: what contrasts we experienced along the USA’s Left Coast!
28,322 nautical miles on Oceania’s Insignia – more than the Earth’s circumference. Fifty-three ports-of-call and three overland tours. Twenty-five countries visited in 112 days away from home. Weight gained: Cathy zero, Doug one kg (remarkable, given the number of desserts consumed). During our final week the Panama Canal was transited, and we toured the old colonial city of Cartagena by Segway. Our captain altered course twice, once to skirt a tropical wave and then for a dramatic night-time rescue at sea. The sea settled in time for a flurry of packing and sad farewells as we approached our disembarkation port, Miami.
Aloha! Welcome to a string of Pacific islands with tropical climate, tropical scenery – and Walmart. Hawaii may be the apex of the Polynesian triangle, but it’s also the gateway to the USA. In four days we visited four islands, viewing tropical flowers and plants, a bunch of waterfalls, and famous movie locations. We surfed in an outrigger canoe, snorkeled with sea turtles, ate Hawaiian shave ice, attended a cocktail party aboard the USS Missouri, and, yes, we shopped at Walmart. Hawaii was followed by five days at sea, and then an all-too-brief, long-awaited visit with our son and his family near Los Angeles.