jayellebee's Blog

August 20, 2010

The Perfect Vacation

Filed under: Musings — Joanne @ 6:42 pm

     In ’07, Ken and I took the trip I’d been mentally planning for years.  Our sons and their ladies joined us on an Alaskan cruise!  We issued the invitation fully nine months in advance so everyone would have ample time to arrange his/her schedule.  As calendar pages turned, I counted down the weeks and days. 

     The experience was wonderful.  We got to see our “boys” everyday for an entire week.  That’s something  we parents don’t necessarily appreciate while we’re in the thick of parenting.  But, trust me, it’s a true delight after the clutch fledges. 

     Dinner-time interaction with our adult family on the ship wasn’t all that different from years past.  One guy who shall remain anonymous (Michael) showed up wearing slippers because they were dressier than his flip-flops.  Laughter and good-natured teasing, not food, flew around the table.  I was attentive to the girls’ chatter, hoping to get insights into my sons’ lives.  The waiter quickly learned (1) not to waste whole wheat rolls on us, and (2) to bring extra butter and desserts.

     Some days found us sharing shore excursions that had broad appeal, like kayaking.  Other days we went our separate ways.  For example, the kids tried a Zip Line adventure while we old fogies went fly fishing.  I treasure the memories.

     So, last week when Ken asked me if  I’d like to plan a trip for next year, my mind immediately wondered what destination the crew might enjoy.  Two sons don’t care for the heat, one can’t stand the cold….  My mind thumbed the pages of an imaginary atlas, dog – earring possibilities, before Ken clarified his question.  He meant just the two of us.   As in, a special celebration for our upcoming 40th anniversary.


     Now, don’t get me wrong.  I love Ken and enjoy his company.  But I get to see him  e-v-e-r-y   b-l-e-s-s-e-d   d-a-y.  The gang only gathers for holidays and other special occasions.  So, I’m thinking our 40th could be one of those special occasions.  Am I right or am I right?  Hmm.  Maybe not.

     Anyhow, a week has passed so I raised the subject at dinner.  Ken volunteered he isn’t keen on going anywhere that would require a long flight.  Because, you know, flying is such a pain.  But the thought of a road trip didn’t tickle him, either.  I mentioned a cruise that sails round-trip out of L.A. visiting Hawaii and the South Pacific (even though this doesn’t really appeal to me because it lasts 28 days and that’s a loooong time to be on a ship). 

     “Twenty-eight days?”  Ken stared at me over the rim of his glass, dribbling wine down his handsome chin.  “Are you serious?”

     You’d think, after all these years, he’d know when I’m pulling his chain.

     “We haven’t done any snorkeling for ages,” I pointed out.  “What about the Caribbean?”

     A slight shrug was Ken’s only reaction.

     “I’ve always wanted to see Maine.”  This interest was born out of reading the picture book One Morning in Maine to the brood when they were kiddos.  “We could fly east, rent a car, and drive north to see the fall color.”

     I’m pretty sure Ken wouldn’t ignore me, so he must not have heard me.

     “There are boats that go into the Sea of Cortez in the winter when the whales are there,” I told him.  “They pack zodiacs and kayaks.”

     Ken reminded me that our previous so-called whale watching tours have all been a bust.  Every one of them.  We received do-over vouchers in the San Juan Islands of Washington when not one sea mammal was spotted on a bitter cold, all day outing.  Mild sun stroke was our only reward for straining to catch sight of humpback flukes on the horizon in Hawaii.  Gall stones kept me from joining Ken the day he saw no whales in Juneau.  In fact, the closest either of us has ever been to a whale was when my love and his buddies were on the San Francisco Bay watching high-speed boat races years ago.  The laps were interrupted by a passing pod. 

     And so the quest goes on.  Lucky we have another eleven months to plan our perfect vacation.  Forty years.  Geesh.  There was a day when I thought people that old should stay home and polish their walkers!


1 Comment »

  1. How sweet! After spending last weekend in Pinecrest with our two, I understand how important family vacations were to them. Hope you find a winning combo for your gang. I know where to find whales in February….

    Comment by Donna — August 26, 2010 @ 10:45 pm | Reply

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