I booked this trip barely a month before departure, for 2 reasons 1) my mother bought a new suitcase and informed me she was ready to go on another trip whenever I was and 2) I am always looking for a reason to go. My mother and I began traveling after the death of my father. It became something we do together. The most notable moments of our adventures include climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge; seeing a German opera in the Sydney Opera House; riding the Royal Scotsman; a great white shark observation trip in Gansbaai; my bungy jumping 216 meters in S. Africa and more.
All of our trips start with what I call a mating dance. For this trip, it went this way:
Mom: I went to TJ Maxx today.
Me: OK, that’s nothing new, don’t you go like every week?
Mom: Well……, I got a new suitcase.
Me: Oh, OK, good for you. What are you trying to say.
Mom: Well, I’m just sayin’ I’m ready to go on a trip whenever you are.
Me: I thought you said you went on too many trips last year and weren’t going on trips for a while.
Mom: Well, that was last year, this is now. I have a new suitcase and I’m ready.
Me: OK, where do you want to go?
Mom: I’ll go anywhere. You just tell me when you’re ready and I’ll go.
Me: But Mom, if you want to go on a trip, I want you to go where you want to go, so what do you think.
Mom: Just anywhere is fine with me.
Me: OK, fine, we can talk about this later.
The following week, after we repeated the “mating dance” above at least 4 times.
Me: I am going to send you some different trip ideas on e-mail, so check your e-mail and let me know what you like.
Mom: Ok, you know I don’t do good with the e-mail. I will check it at the church on Monday.
–“Viking Cruise” – 12 nights, from Southampton through Greenland/ Iceland to Nova Scotia, ending in NY
— China – hotel and land package with day tours
— New Zealand – N & S island hotel and land package
— ~”Holy Land Cruise” – 14 nights, Malta – Jerusalem – Egypt
— Northern Europe Cruise – 25 nights, Amsterdam, Norwegian fjords, Edinburgh, Dublin, Guernsey, Rouen, Southampton
Me: So did you get the e-mails? I sent you 5 choices.
Mom: Well, I don’t want to go to China.
Me: OK, what about the other ones.
Mom: Are these cruises?
Me: China and New Zealand are not, the rest are.
Mom: Well, I don’t know.
Me: What do you think about the Holy Land cruise.
Mom: No, too hot there.
Me: OK, well I do not want to go to New Zealand, because we’ve been there already.
We settle on the 23-night cruise, which is what they call in the cruise industry, a back-to-back, because it is 2 cruises and we stay on the ship in the same cabin for both. We chose this because it was, in our view a good deal based on the cruise ship amenities and the inclusive air fare and transfers.
I am writing this from Amsterdam. Mom is asleep. We board the ship tomorrow. Are you ready to join us on our journey?