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 theĀ 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!