I’m sitting in the Viking Crown Lounge onboard Royal Caribbean’s Liberty of the Seas with my 85-year-old dad, feeling good because I get a chance to experience quality time with the best man I know.
He told me when he turned 80 that the rest of life is gravy, and that’s how he lives his life to this day.
The live music is good – a young woman is paying tribute to Etta James by belting out “At Last” – while I sip white Zinfandel and my dad enjoys a martini.
These times will provide me memories that will sustain me long after he’s gone. And I get a chance to share this wonderful man with others who have joined us on this cruise experience.
It was my mom and dad who gave me the travel bug. As a youth they showed us America when African-Americans rarely traveled. That education is something I’ve passed on to my daughter and grandson.
And that is why I shake my head, thinking about a conversation I had earlier today with some of my cruise mates.
We wondered why some people take vacations … while others create experiences.
We wondered why some people play it safe, going to the same places, doing the same things year after year … while others are adventurous, taking a chance that new things will enrich their lives.
And we wondered why some people don’t understand that you get what you pay for … That cheap isn’t always your best option.
My parents had never been to Maine … Before they loaded us in the family car and made it happen.
They had never been to California, and it took more than 10 years to plan that cross-country trip, but again … they did it.
Now I get a chance to return the favor, taking my dad on a third cruise in four years.
My mom is in heaven … smiling.
Thanks, mom. Thanks, dad.