Throwback Thursday

Ken in one of his favorite shirts....

Ken in one of his favorite shirts….

Fourteen years ago around this time we were getting ready to go on our Panama Canal cruise.

There were so many good shows on TV way back when about places all over the world.  We really enjoyed watching those and would sometimes even get videos from the library to get more info if we thought it was somewhere we’d like to go.  The Panama Canal was one of those places.  We put it on our bucket list…..near the top.

We went with 3 other couples and had a fantastic time.  The weather was terrific and the seas were like glass the entire time, even coming up the Pacific coast.

The cruise was 14 days and we packed a ton of clothes.  Two huge 30 inch suitcases jam packed.  I think there were 3 formal nights and 3 semi-formal nights.  Ken wore his tux twice.  I packed a couple of pairs of shoes that I wore once!  What were we thinking!  That said, we did wear just about everything we took.

I think cruising was pretty different then.  Part of the fun was getting all dressed up.  How things changed on our next cruise that was only a couple of years later.  No tux and pretty casual the entire trip.

The cruise left from San Juan and us and two of the other couples cruised as far as Acapulco.  The 4th couple cruised up to Vancouver….another 10 or 11 days.  I don’t think I could have handled that.

Ken liked cruising to a point, but he wasn’t the best sailor.  He got seasick.  Even in the calmest water he’d have to take something.  I used to find this incredible because he could manage out in the ocean on a 15 or 20ft boat on their fishing trips in some of the worst weather and choppiest seas ever, but don’t put him on a big cruise ship in calm water!!  He hated having to take gravol because it just wiped him out.  The pharmacist told me about bonamine, which you take only once a day before bedtime.  It worked like a charm for cruising.

At the end of the cruise we spent 3 days in Acapulco.  Had lots of fun there….Senor Frogs, the cliff divers (daytime and nighttime show…diving with torches).  We loved Costa Rica and our hikes through the tropical rainforest….who knew that kapok (winter coat, pillow stuffing) was real, raw material and actually grew on trees.   We went snorkeling over ship wrecks on some of the stops. Climbed up old forts, got accosted by souvenir vendors.  Laid by the pool and enjoyed the sun and the company we were with….just a great trip.

One day all of us bought the same t-shirts from the ship, then wore them to dinner that night.  That started our “team shirt” nights for other trips after that.

Every place we stopped, the animals found Ken.  He loved just about any one that came along.  He’d bark at, or with the dogs, meow to a cat, chirp with the birds.  He’s holding 2 three-toed sloths in this picture.  He was much braver than me when it came to touching or holding things….although I did get to hold a huge iguana once…that was enough.

But I think the real highlight of the cruise for him was the desserts in the dining room.  Ken loved desserts, especially chocolate ones.  By the 3rd night our waiter knew and sometimes just automatically brought one of each dessert thing on the menu for him.

Cruising wasn’t high on our bucket list unless it was to someplace really exciting or someplace that cruising was the only way, or best way, to get there.  My trip in November, to China, will include another of OUR bucket list items, the Yangtze River cruise.  It wasn’t high on the list, but it was deal I couldn’t pass up.  I’m not going alone on this one, so I don’t have to add in that single supplement, which saves a lot.

I just wish so badly that I was doing the rest of these bucket list trips with him!



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