• My Last Day on the Seas!

    At sea…my last day aboard the m/s Volendam as my 21 day journey comes to an end and I will return to life on land!

    In the early 20th Century, travel by ocean liner was a privilege of the wealthy. It was a luxurious experience in which the rich were catered to with elegant and elaborate parties hosted by a regal ship’s captain.

    Obviously, times have changed…today this type of travel is available to anyone who has the luxury of time! Most people today, though, want the quickest nonstop in getting to their destination; most travelers don’t have the spare time for a long and leisurely cross ocean voyage! But this voyage cost much less than a business class transpacific flight but so much richer in experiences!

    It’s hard not to feel a sense of nostalgia as my time on the m/s Volendam winds down and my experience in this decadent old school style of ocean going comes to an end…Slowly navigating the immense seas and getting to see these remote places has been truly special…

    I have cruised a lot as part of my many adventures, yet I think this voyage will be remain a highlight. This medium sized ship doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of some of the newest mega ships, but it has a “heart” and “soul” to it that is hard to put my finger on! It’s size neither feels too small and confining, nor does it feel overwhelming and overrun.

    After 3 weeks on board, this Holland America Line ship feels like home..certain things have become habit forming, creating my own special moments:

    1. Sail-away on the bow or very front of the ship. It’s like my own special “Titanic” moment!

    2. A mid-day nap on one of the 4 hammocks on the secluded Oasis area of the top deck!

    3. A decadent formal dinner served in my cabin as I lounge in my robe with a good film in the DVD player!

    4. Relaxing in a recliner in the traditional New York Times sponsored library studying a travel guide of our next port!

    5. A deep night’s sleep cradled to the gentle ocean roll of the ship!

    6. Floating in the salt water “seaview pool” at the ship’s aft! The high salt content in this pool allows you to easily float!

    7. A long session of cardio in the top deck fitness center over looking the open seas and witnessing dolphins playing alongside the ship!

    8. An early morning one mile walk on the grand outdoor promenade, watching the ship pull into the day’s port!

    9. A late evening film in the movie theatre indulging in delicious popcorn!

    10. People watching: seeing my fellow passengers dress up for formal night, witness small children so excited to play dress up with mom & dad, and observing the dance floor come alive with older couples who’ve obviously been ballroom dancing together for many years!

    20121020-094420.jpg

    20121020-094452.jpg

  • Thoughts on Legacy!

    At Sea…during this long voyage, Holland America has tried to up the ante on entertainment; Lorna Luft and The Drifters have been headliners. These entertainers are not of my era and I was not particularly drawn to either of them.

    Surprisingly, I was struck by Lorna Luft’s personal insight. She is the daughter of Judy Garland and the sister to Liza Minnelli. She has written a best selling book, produced an Emmy award winning mini-series, and starred on Broadway. Yet it wasn’t her accolades that struck me, rather it was her candid conversation about “Legacy” and her difficulties in coming to terms with her own Legacy that has sorta hit me smack dab between the eyes!

    Legacy is a funny yet larger than life word, one I don’t use much in my own vocabulary. Ms. Luft discussed how she ran from being defined as the daughter of an American Icon and for years ignored the huge legacy that bestowed on her. Once she faced that daunting task, she needed to stop running and stake her own personal legacy, independent of the one of her birth! She said it’s not until people are in their 40’s that they begin to understand their parents and it’s then they really face their own issue of personal Legacy! Wow, how true!

    This trip in a way has been my own journey towards understanding my own Legacy! First by traveling to Poland to see where my father came from and then having serious “me-time” to come to terms with the reality of how far I have come…

    Now I look forward to where I am going; my passions, my talents, my observations, and my desires coming together to form the next step of my life. Getting away and wandering the world is getting me ready to start the course towards cementing MY OWN LEGACY!

    20121010-103027.jpg