Gary and I
are home briefly from our honeymoon vacation. We returned on Thursday evening,
February 10, after a wonderful cruise to the western Caribbean for 7
days. The ship, Royal
Caribbean’s Grandeur of the
Seas, carried 1,800 passengers (of which 40+ were members of our
church in Collierville, TN) and had port calls at the island of Cozumel,
Mexico; Grand Cayman, British Virgin Islands; and Costa Maya, Mexico. It sailed from New Orleans, where
daughter Leianne lives with husband Mark, and children Amy (11) and Zack
(9.9). We went down to
Louisiana a couple of days early, then sailed away on January 29,
returning the following weekend, just in time for the final few days of
Mardi Gras in New Orleans.
The children are out of school during that week, so we stayed over
to enjoy the festivities with them.
was wonderful, needless to say.
Gary had never been out of the USA, therefore, never on a cruise,
so I really enjoyed introducing him to the pleasures of being pampered on
a truly splendid ship. Grandeur of the Seas is probably
the most beautiful vessel of the 8 or more I have been aboard. Spending late January and early
February in the Caribbean was also a wonderful treat. The weather was warm and sunny
every day we were away. We
had the special honor of being the “honeymooners of note" on the ship,
having participated in a game show where we won over three other couples
who had been married between 10 and 55 years. The object of the game was to see
which couple knew each other the best. Wouldn’t you know that we, who
have been together now only 7 months, would win over those with many more
years together!! The show was
video taped and shown over the ship’s closed circuit TV, so nearly
everyone on board eventually recognized us. We also danced every evening to
the ballroom dance music in the open atrium, as spectators watched from
the railings on all five levels above the small dance floor, which brought
us more notice.
dancing and walking, the exercise of lifting fork to mouth at every
delicious opportunity won out, and we both gained a few pounds that we now
need to shed. Not a fun
prospect, as we plan to continue traveling again after this week at
home. There are the usual
bills to pay, cars to have serviced, business (yes, even retirees still
have business) matters to attend to; and, a few more dancing classes to
take to build our skills.
Next week, we
will be heading out to visit my long time friend, Kay Evans who was
diagnosed with advanced colon and liver cancer in January. Kay lives in the Atlanta area and
needs our prayers for her recovery.
Then we want to go back to the Gulf coast to see friends and
relatives along the panhandle of Florida, and down into the central part
of the state. Since neither
of us has been to the Keys, we hope to have time enough for a drive down
that far as well.
for the year is filling with other trips in the planning stages. Once I am free of duties on the
Woodrun Property Owners Association board of directors next Sunday, we
should be able to come and go at will, when the opportunities arise. Our only other obligation is to
assist with the Hardeman County Association for Preservation of Tennessee
Antiquities (APTA), when they have the Spring tour of homes on April 30
and May 1, in Bolivar.
In May, we
will be driving to the west coast to attend the Navy Nurse Corps
Association’s board of directors meeting in San Diego, CA. I have been on that board as vice
president for three years now, and this will be the end of my term. We will be visiting with any
friends or relatives willing to see us along the way. We’ve also been looking into an
Alaska cruise, if the price is right, while we are out that way.
are some reunions to attend for both sides of the family and high
school/college gatherings this summer. Those we will tie in with
additional trips, mostly to the north and east, to see our children and
grandchildren. And, we will
try to see a Broadway play in New York City, since the McClure children
gave us a pair of tickets as a wedding present.
We are so
happy that my mom, Becky Harding, is having a great time with my brother
Stuart in St. Louis, MO, where she is staying at the Sunrise Assisted
Living facility in Chesterfield.
We would not be able to go away if she was here in her home
alone. My dog, Woody, has
gone to live with my grandchildren in Portsmouth, VA, so that also frees
us for traveling. Thanks to
all the family who have contributed to this opportunity for us, and who
have supported our desire to travel for awhile.
We feel truly
blessed to have found each other, and embrace the chance to realize dreams
that we both thought would never come true. Our newly combined family is very
dear to us, and hopefully will become close to one another as we spend
more times together.
Love to each
of you from both of us.
Bonnie & Gary