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A Birthday Cruise

A Birthday Cruise

Part 1

It all started when my wife announced we were going on a birthday cruise. But let's talk about birthdays. Oh I remember when I just couldn’t wait for my next birthday. It seemed like it would take forever till I would become sixteen and I could get my driving permit. But then as the years passed by they became a little scary. I remember becoming thirty and thinking gee it’s all over, I’m not young any more. And then at forty I remember my father telling me: “Son you have spent the last forty years trying to kill yourself and now you will probably spend the next forty years trying to stay alive”. He was probably right. Between sports cars, trekking in the sierras, skiing, the places I went, and the things I ate and drank it certainly was a scary lifestyle.

At forty five I decided I would stop celebrating birthdays and celebrate anniversaries of my forty fifth birthday. Now that that number is approaching 45 I am not sure that’s such a good idea either.

Well so much for past birthdays, my wife now insisted we should celebrate my upcoming birthday by going on a cruise. Now this certainly wasn’t out of the question. We both love to travel and also have been cruising for many years. The first three months of the year were considerably eventful and somewhat stressful so a vacation was certainly in order and a cruise might just be the escape we both needed.

The timing was right. I had just finished the second draft of my first novel and put it in the hands of my editor. An escape from the slings and arrows of my writing group was definitely in order.

The cruise she selected was through the Panama Canal. Now we both had done this cruise before. In fact it was the first cruise I had ever taken. It was with my first wife some 34 years earlier on the ‘The Love Boat’ and we were celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary. Oh Captain Stubing didn’t welcome us aboard but they had been using the ship to televise the series. That cruise we sailed from San Pedro to San Juan so this cruise we choose to go the other way, Fort Lauderdale back to San Pedro and my actual birthday would definitely occur during the voyage.

Now getting to Fort Lauderdale from Los Angeles should be a simple issue. You just book a nonstop flight scheduled to get you there a few hours before boarding time. Sue had accomplished this well in advance and put any thoughts about it out of her mind until depart her day.

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