Our Memories Of A Great Trip
The year 2006 marked the 30th year since Dotti and I got married in a little wedding chapel in downtown Vancouver, Washington. It is absolutely incredible how fast those years have flown by, proving the adage that, "Time flies when you are having fun." It seemed like a good time to take a cruise.
Another more or less time related aspect to our decision was the fact that the five-gallon water bottle that Dotti had been saving loose change in for many years (it was too heavy to carry by hand in 2001 when we moved into our current house, and it wasn't then even a third full) was finally reaching the top. I had to open the bottle up with a hacksaw in order to get the money out, because it was way too heavy to pick up and turn over by hand, so we could pour the money out. When the bank counted it up, we found that Dotti had saved over $2,500 in that jar, and it really put a dent in the price of the cruise tickets!
And then we had the perfect addition to our plans when our dearest friends Jim and Tammy agreed to join us on the trip! We met in 1978 and our friendship has now covered more than 28 years. Not only that but they were married on New Years Day in 1977. The cruise was in September which put it right in between our 30th anniversary and Jim and Tammy's 30th anniversary. It just seemed right, and it turned out to be more than right; it was absolutely awesome!
The event really started on September 15 (Friday night) when Jim and Tammy drove the 6 hours down from Spokane, Washington to our house in Vancouver, right across the Columbia River from Portland, Oregon. After visiting for the evening, we spent the next day shopping and having fun in preparation for the cruise. Sunday we loaded up and headed for the ship in Seattle. In the afternoon we were onboard and the ship pulled away from the pier.
It was the next Sunday before the ship pulled back into the pier in Seattle and we left the magical world of the cruise ship behind us. We had seen glaciers, walked the streets of the Alaskan cities of Juneau, Sitka, and Ketchikan (rain and all), and we even had visited Victoria on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. We had experienced, and to a degree began to acclimate to, a change in climate, as well as to an entirely new living environment.
We had been bombarded with change for a week; how we slept, ate, and moved about our world all were very different from what we were accustomed to. We saw so many new things that it was hard to absorb them all.
Even on the last day, I was still having some trouble with orientation in certain areas of the ship. The large number of decks, the three major sets of stairs and elevators, and all of the many areas on the ship to see, all added up to a compartmentalized mess at first. I would turn a corner and suddenly be in familiar territory for a while and then be lost again for a time. More and more areas became "familiar ground" and fewer were unrecognizable. But even as we left there were too many of the latter, and I could have used a few more days to get it all straight. (I guess we'll have to go back another time. ☺)
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