Cruising: Things I Have Learned So Far

I have learned that time flies when you’re having fun. At dinner tonight I was shocked to discover that tonight is Thursday rather than Wednesday. I usually write my blog on Wednesday. If I don’t get it done now, there won’t be a blog this week, so here goes.

I have learned that I am old–officially old. On the trip over, two different men jumped up and helped me put my bags in the overhead bin. Two other men—(gentlemen as in gentle men) helped me lug my luggage down the rolling stairs from aircraft to ground. (Americans are spoiled. We expect jet-ways as opposed to stairs. Roll-aboards work on jetways. Lugging luggage is challenging.) And when I got on buses to get from aircraft to terminals, two young women (gentle women) offered me their seats. I accepted the help. I was grateful, , and I said thank you.

But the whole episode reminded me of a letter to Dear Abby or Ask Amy or Carolyn Hax or Ann Landers. (One of those, because those are the ones I read.) The angry young woman who wrote in was pregnant. (That’s how I know she’s young.) How do I know she’s angry? Keep reading. She went to a social event—at one of her other children’s schools, I believe. There was no place to sit, so she sat on the floor. A man near by—a gentle man nearby—offered her his seat which she did not accept because “he was defining her by her pregnancy.” (See, that’s how I know she’s angry, to say nothing of RUDE! which, as it happens, means I am defining her by her behavior!) In addition, the very fact that the man offered her his seat was an example of his toxicity masculinity to say nothing of his privilege! Are you getting this? He offered her his chair and he is somehow in the wrong! What’s wrong with this picture? What’s wrong with her?

So on this trip, every time someone has done something kind for me, (like lifting my luggage), I have said thank you. I have NOT berated them for defining me as being old because, guess what, that’s exactly what I AM old—old as dirt!

I have learned that, not only am I old, I’m also old fashioned. In Monaco, we stayed at the Hermitage Hotel which happens to have a lovely, fine dining restaurant where Bill and I had wonderful food followed by the best desserts we have ever tasted. Unfortunately several of the other people in the room were Ugly Americans, wear-dated millennials, who were far too busy taking photos of their food to actually eat it. And they spent their time taking selfies both in the restaurant and out on the seaside patio.

They reminded me for all the world of a group of toddlers—the ones whose parental units have no common sense—and their kids are allowed to run rampant in restaurants—disturbing other guests, tripping the wait-staff, knocking over things, and just generally creating havoc. I wanted to stand up and say, “SIT DOWN AND EAT!” That’s what I wanted to say—I did not say it.

Each room on the Silver Whisper has it’s own assigned butler. When ours came by to see us for the first time this week, he introduced himself as Reynaldo. I almost fell into the hallway. People who have read Man Overboard will get this joke.

Yesterday in Antibes we took a four hour guided tour in a 1953 Citroën. It was wonderful. First gear grinds because, as Bill tells me, the gears aren’t synchronized. I guess that came later. What I can tell you for sure, however, is that the back seat of that 1953 antique had way more leg room than the new Cadillac we rented in the States a couple of months ago. Since we’re still on some other time zone, I spent a lot of my time in that back seat, snoozing. And loving every minute of it! Because, guess what, I AM OLD!

Today we drove from Porto Fino to Genoa where we had a wonderful pesto-based lunch at Zefferino’s. The restaurant was established in 1939. The chef, who is 78, is the son of the original owner. He’s also the guy who made the pesto. The man who served our lunch is the son of the chef and the grandson of the original owner. All of which leads me to say that age is a wonderful thing.

I would write more, but I’m falling asleep right now, and tomorrow is another day of cruising and wine tasting.

See you later.

23 thoughts on “Cruising: Things I Have Learned So Far

  1. Thank you so much for sharing your experiences, of traveling. Since you are such a wonderful, word master, you make it feel like we are there with you. You are amazing. You deserve “time off” from writing…but I am so happy you still take time to put a smile on the face of your followers. Continue to ENJOY!!

  2. I read the same letter about the pregnant woman. With that kind of attitude, she can look forward to a long, angry and confrontational life. I pity the child.

    Enjoy your relaxation. And the great food. And life as it should be.

  3. Love it! And I actually remember that letter from the angry pregnant woman (not a gentlewoman) ranting about the nerve of a man offering her a seat! I am glad you are having a wonderful time: love to you and Bill: your blogs are always great!

  4. Love hearing about your travels…also your thoughts about getting old…enjoy and accept age…gracefully!

  5. What a fantastic trip !!!! Keep enjoying…You are not old, just a little ripe and able to enjoy and give enjoyment to others…Love your books, they have given me pleasure for years. I will be looking forward to your upcoming books… Stay healthy!!! A dedicated fan.

  6. I was shocked one day when a young lady offered me her seat!! We must have just missed you in Monaco.

  7. I’m glad you have run into such well-mannered folks on this trip. It does hurt to be kind to anyone who is struggling with a suitcase.

    About phones which I think are dumb. A famous restaurant in NYC was noticing sales were dropping off. The owner did not know why as there had been no menu changes or anything. Then he did a study. He found that folks who came in were spending twice as long as usual because they were so busy taking photos of food. Instead of ordering a meal and eating normally they were wasting time taking photos and commenting. I’m not sure if he has banned phones, but probably not as these youngsters wouldn’t come if they couldn’t use their phones.

  8. Sadly, what an angry mother than young pregnant woman will probably be. I notice more and more that people hold doors and offer to help me with things, and I am grateful to them and always express my thanks. I can usually handle whatever I’m doing but I’m happy that see me and I am not invisible. I have been known to trip whether young or old and feel better knowing someone might actually see me!

  9. Glad to hear you and Bill are having a wonderful time. It is hilarious that your butler is named Reynaldo! I know it stunned you.?
    I understand about snoozing. When I went to Italy with my niece in March for her to receive medical treatment for CRPS, my body could not adjust to the time change. I also cannot sleep on plane flights. It took me weeks to re-adjust when we got home. Hope you adjust better than I did.
    Oh, and I am also old as dirt!

  10. We live in a senior community. There it’s every gentleman and gentlewoman to their own devices. WE ARE ALL OLD.
    Enjoy, sleep and rejuvenate. Sort of Eat, Pray, Love condensed.

  11. Don’t blame your age on the reason you fall asleep in the back seat, anyone who has the schedules you’ve kept would fall asleep too no matter their age! You and Bill are such an inspiration to those of us over 50 but under 70 to know there is no age limit to having fun travels.

  12. It seems to have slipped by most younger generations, the word is courtesy. I think people often do not hold doors or help for fear of upsetting that angry young person. That angry young person may eventually be an angry old person who wishes someone would be courteous and hold the door or offer a seat. Like you, I am of an age that remembers courtesy. I’ll hold doors open if I am there first. All these much younger people pile through behind the person I was holding the door for. Very curious indeed and no one says a thing. Saying “thank you” for a courtesy is a given. I think it surprises some people and maybe even makes their day. Just for drill, I have said “you’re welcome” a couple times when a courtesy has not been acknowledged. Mostly under my breath, but I got it in!

  13. I am 85–, yes old. And I love the townspeople who open doors for me and my walker. Have a good trip!
    /bb

  14. I have been single most of my adult life. I just turned 80 and finally accept help. I noticed offers increased the whiter my hair became. Always independent, I have had to remind myself it is ojay. You fall asleep because you are on the go so much. Hopefully, as your gears mesh with a vacation mode, you will catch up on your rest. Funny about the Anericans and photoshots. When I traveled a lot, it was young Japanese! National Parks, big cities, Disneyland.

  15. We flew from Arizona to Minnesota (me, husband and 2 cats) yesterday and were offered, accepted and appreciated many offers of help!
    As one ‘old’ person to another…you are doing a fabulous job! Enjoy your cruise ?
    Vie

  16. Being short as well as almost “vintage,” I accept any help that is offered and I do not feel as if I’m giving up my independence. After all, I am still able to walk under my own power, chew with my own teeth, and turn the pages in my dead-tree-book. Have a great cruise and take some photos of those excellent meals when the plates are set before you, Then, dig in and enjoy all the exotic flavors and textures.

  17. The year I retired, I rode public transportation to jury duty. I was pleasantly surprised that several young people offered me their seats. I was not offended. I was happy to see that good manners are still being instilled in youth. I still hold doors for those who are close to entering or exiting a building; greet people as I am walking; and use the words, please, thank you, and excuse me when appropriate. It has nothing to do with age, but displays good manners and kindness.

  18. I am so glad your having a wonderful trip you deserve it and not because your OLD. Really your not. To me being old is having closed mind and old perfume smells.. lol… I am not old disabled yes but thats different also.
    Everytime I fly I check my bags because most all the people who are flying with me are older and I end up helping them.
    Have a wonderful finish to your trip .. Stay safe and Travel well

  19. So glad you are having a wonderful well earned vacation. You mentioned “Man Overboard” which I just finished reading. I have read all of your books except “Proof of Life” and “Duel To the Death” and “Man Overboard” is close to if not my favorite. I don’t see how you can call yourself old, when you can write a book so close to the cutting edge of technology (I can say that as I am 72 years young).

  20. Hey Girl – You are not “old as dirt” – you have at least another 10 years before that comes into play – remember everything is a decade later that it used to be! Enjoy your trip – sounds wonderful! All the best from CT!

  21. Oh my, it has been years since I was in Italy, but I can still smell and taste the food, the sauces, the hot bread, and oh, the wine. Enjoy being “old”. I love it. It “ain’t” for sissies.I do hope you never get too “old” for writing. Sitting down with one of your books is heaven. I have them all and can’t wait for the next one. My sister-in-law and I take turns re-reading them.

  22. I too am old and my 14 year old daughter is only too happy to let me know. She is my youngest as she has 4 older brothers, one who will (the oldest) be 32 next week. She is graduating from 8th grade tommorow. But I feel like she keeps me young ok maybe just younger feeling. lol Also I have started reading your Joanna Brady books and since I live in Montana now it reminds me of when I lived in Tucson. Whenever you mention a place I remember I smile. So thanks for literally taking me home.

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