A Vow Fulfilled……

Last April, Patty and I enjoyed our 50th anniversary cruise through the Mediterranean. Though it rained often, we had a delightful time. We stayed in a large, upgraded stateroom, and saw many new places. In my first blog after that trip I chose not to talk about the trip. Rather, I wrote about the time we’d spent together.

This post reveals a little about the trip itself and my reliving a vow. There’s a few personal pictures, but they relate to the telling of the tale. Below, our new digs for eight days.

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This needs a little background story. When I first met Patty, I was a junior officer in the Navy. We met at a club dance about two and one-half months before my ship was to deploy to the Mediterranean for four months. Needless to say, I dated her as much as time, and her father, a senior Navy officer, would allow. Soon our departure date arrived and I was naturally anxious because we both knew she would continue dating while I was gone.

One port of call during our deployment was Barcelona. As with any port, my buddy and I always went ashore together. Barcelona was no exception. Again this time, as young single men are wont to do, we did up the night life as if there was no tomorrow. One problem though: it already was tomorrow. In our reverie, we lost track of the time. We missed the last liberty boat back to the ship at 2:00 am, as the ship was anchored out in the bay.

We didn’t get a hotel room for fear of sleeping late and missing the first boat running in the morning at 7:30 AM. If we missed that, we would miss muster at 8:00 AM and be considered absent without leave, the dreaded AWOL. We spent the night on park benches near the pier, sobering up and lamenting our plight. We realized that at this rate we probably wouldn’t live past 30. So we both vowed that when we returned stateside we would plan to get married and give up this life of drinking and merry-making. My buddy was married 4 months later to his girlfriend and I, relieved that no one had swept Patty off her feet in my absence, was married 6 months later.

The picture below was taken during our time in Barcelona, on the exact bench on which I had spent that worrisome night over 50 years ago.

After 50 years, I still haven’t lost the touch.

Anyway, we had a wonderful cruise, stopping in ports in Italy, Monaco, France and finally Barcelona, where we stayed a few extra days. In spite of the fact it was our anniversary cruise, Patty still found time to flirt with the hunky cruise director and a bicycle carriage driver who also works part-time as a rocket scientist.

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As for me, being the friendly guy that I am, I was content just to chat up a shore guide and a ship-board entertainer, during her performance no less.

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Oh, did I mention that it rained often?

So there you have it. All good memories with the exception of my owing the casino at Monte Carlo several grand. But I have a friend that goes by the name of Bond………… James Bond. He said he’d take care of it.

Here’s looking at you.

Do you have any cruise stories/memories? Feel free to relate them here!


24 thoughts on “A Vow Fulfilled……

  1. Hi Al and Patty,

    Congratulations on another wedding anniversary! It sounded from your blog that you both fell in love quickly and knew that you were meant for each other! And since your marriage is still going strong it was meant to be! As you know Ken and I met and only had a few month together before he graduated and went into the Air force and moved away. Our relationship developed through phone calls and letters. It also was meant to be and has lasted over 54 years and we are still in love! We wish you both many more happy, healthy years together!

    • Yours is a real love story, too. I remember Ken as a pretty cool dude so it’s no surprise he found such a lovely lady as you. You are such a nice couple and we hope to see you again soon!

    • Hi Faye. I’m assuming you are doing better from you bout with West Nile. And you didn’t even get to go to Egypt!

      Thanks for the nice comment. It was kind of a neat recollection for me. Patty went along with it to humor my nostalgic moment.

  2. Thanks for sharing, and CONGRATULATIONS on your 50th, Al! Don and I have been on some wonderful ocean cruises and last year–for our 55th wedding anniversary we finally took the Paris to Normandy river cruise. Such a special time, BUT I fell once in Paris, then got sick (French flu?!) for three days on the boat, missing some of the tours and but managing to get myself down for a birthday dinner one night and two days later for our anniversary. What timing! We have fond memories, but like you, had rain almost every day! In the future, looking forward to planning American Cruise Line’s Columbia and Snake River cruise in the Northwest. Right now, our days traveling overseas are less compelling for us, having completed our “bucket list” to travel to all five of our ancestral homes in western Europe. And, no matter how many European and Caribbean cruises we’ve taken or will take, America is still the very BEST!!

    • Hi Gail and thanks for the comment. So sorry you had to suffer sickness during your Seine cruise. Patty and I did that cruise as well. Great time. I have looked at that Northwest cruise….looks like fun. And yes, America is the best!

  3. What a great way to celebrate such a wonderful milestone!
    We did a river cruise on the Danube. A German cruise, all announcements in German. One evening during dinner the loudspeaker voice announced ‘something something at sechs uhr something something oberdeck.” One of our friends, who spoke no German at all, jokingly translated to our table that there was going to be “sex on the upper deck – everyone bring their stripey towels.” We all laughed and some of the Germans near us laughed too – their English was much better than they had let on!

    • That’s funny, Margy. We’ve done a couple of river cruises with Viking. The Seine and the Rhine. Both were immensely enjoyable. We are seriously contemplating a river cruise from St. Petersburg to Moscow with them, but it will definitely be in English!

  4. What a wonderful way to celebrate 50 years of marriage together. It sounds like even the rain, couldn’t dampen your spirits or the love you share for one another. The only cruise I have ever done is an Alaskan cruise a few years ago with my husband. Although I have no complaints about the cruise itself, I must admit I don’ think it is my favourite way to travel. I must prefer to immerse myself in the culture of the area I am visiting, just a personal preference I suppose. Having said that, a river cruise is one that appeals to me!

    • Thanks for the kind comment, Lynn. You would love a river cruise. We have done the Seine from Paris to Normandy and the Rhine from Switzerland to Amsterdam. It’s also our favorite over ocean cruises. There are stops at almost every town along the way and plenty of time to get involved with the local culture. Hope you get do do it.

  5. Al and Patty,
    What a wonderful adventure and a perfect way to celebrate your 50th Anniversary! No more park benches for you, Al. Patty has a comfortable home and you are more than welcome. Enjoy your memories!

    Cathy and Rich

    • Thanks, Cathy. I miss seeing all you folks at pickleball. I’m afraid my main sport from now on will be dog walking, but I love that also. Patty sure is appreciating more together time.

  6. Hi, Al, well, when Ed and I do our River Cruise on the Rhine, next year for our 30th … hopefully that is … I will be able to blog our story as well. It is, however, not nearly as exciting as your story. None the less, marriage is a very good thing.

Your turn to write, but please don't be wittier than me. My ego is quite fragile.

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