Never thought I’d get to say something this obnoxious – but among a lifetime’s worth of travel gifts from Mum and Dad are not one but two Mediterranean cruises! I knew these excursions couldn’t help but be full of priceless moments. What I didn’t figure on was how many would simply come from drinking in the wide world from our “stateroom” veranda – along with a wee nip o’ Duty Free single malt!
I adore going places on ships! And I count myself lucky to have been on a fair number of them – even though some were on the spartan side. I’ve slept on the cold, open deck of a ferry (well, the deck description is accurate if the sleeping part is not…). I bunked in a cabin so deep in the windowless bowels of another ferry that I couldn’t be heard over the roar of its engines (which some might not consider a “minus”). And once, only a big glass ashtray strategically jammed between the ceiling and a locker saved me from a voyage punctuated by raucous and relentless rattling…(thankfully, the rest of the ship proved, you know, shipshape).
Although not necessarily brimming with amenities, these vessels are all dear to my heart because they carried me off on various grand adventures – which is much more important to me than any frills.
If life (or an indulgent parent) offers me frills, why then, yes – I shall accept them.
Like these two cruises. I mean, I expected to be dazzled on gliding into ports once commanded by ancient Greeks, Romans and Phoenicians, and by watching them disappear at day’s end beyond an electric blue sea. But it also tickled me at night how the ships’ staff had this gift for divining when we were out and stealthily converting our room’s fold-out couch into my bed (complete with mint on pillow) before we returned. And by seemingly magic means, our ice bucket was always – always – filled to its shiny silver top with fresh ice. Yeah, I’d rate gazing up at the Pyramids a bit more highly in the grand scheme – but I have to say that ice bucket trick was pretty cool and very handy for our habit of enjoying cocktails and conversation on the veranda.
And here are some examples of the splendor we got to savor as we sipped:
It was incredibly sweet and special to hang with the folks and contemplate the scope of humanity, history, the sea and the stars. To be treated right from the comfort of our room to the sight of vast vistas, mighty empires, and even to a storm that granted a fleeting bridge twixt Earth and Heaven.
I haven’t drafted a bucket list. It could be due to my customary laziness. But I suspect it’s that I’ve been fortunate enough not really to feel the need. Instead, family, friends and fate have simply handed me many a bucket list worthy experience on a silver platter.
Well, on two occasions, it happened to be in a silver ice bucket – and an ever-replenishing one at that.
And whenever I feel empty or low, I can let my thoughts fill up just like that bucket with memories of those heady days when life presented all the cause and all the ingredients needed to raise a glass in very grateful toast!