Randy and I have gone on many cruises over the years and they have all been different. We have sailed on different ships, visited different destinations and spent different lengths of time on each cruise. We have traveled with family, friends and members of our community.
All the cruises we have taken were wonderful. Each cruise offered opportunities to participate in a variety of activities attend a variety of shows and meet many wonderful people. But this time, we just wanted to kick back, relax and spend some time talking far away from the distractions of home about our future.
Today was that day. But, first I was up at 6am, dressed and prepared to walk around the ship to take pictures of some of the areas I heard that would be changed while the ship was in dry dock.
I spent about two hours walking through the Royal Promenade, the Boardwalk and the Solarium. I like walking around the ship early when there are very few people around except those hardy few who are already on the jogging tract, in the gym and, the few early risers enjoying their first cup of coffee of the day at the Café Promenade. I was rewarded for my efforts seeing the sun rise over the bow of the ship as I was photographing the Solarium.
I returned to the cabin to pick up Randy for breakfast. We decided to try the Continental breakfast at the Diamond Lounge today. We had a great breakfast of fresh fruit, pastries and café lattes. The lounge is located on the sixth deck above Boleros. The lounge was small but it had a wonderful balcony above with umbrella tables overlooking the Royal Promenade.
We returned to the cabin and sat on the balcony for a while enjoying the morning and watching the gently rolling sea. We spent the rest of the day at the Solarium pool reading and relaxing. At the stroke of noon, we strolled down to Central Park for lunch and then returned to the pool.
When we returned and were lucky to find two empty lounge chairs. Once we got settled we started the discussion about our future. We needed to have this discussion because Randy was still actively working on computers in the community and, I was writing a column for a local newspaper about the people/happenings in our community and we needed to decide if we were going to continue working or finally retire for good. I could not help but wonder: Do I really want to retire for good? I have been working since I was 9 years-old and not working was a scary idea.
I started the conversation asking Randy what his goals were for the rest of the year.
“There really isn’t much of the year left that is not committed. I am thinking about a cruise with Bob and Sandy around the first of December. I want to work on my T-Bird. I need to fix a number of things that I have been putting off for the last six months and, I need to clean out my office,” Randy answered.
“Are you finally going to close out the business?” I asked.
“I may keep it open for a while, but not encourage new business,” he replied.
We had worked on a bucket list during the year so I asked, “Are you going to turn your attention to the bucket list after the first of the year?”
Randy saying, “The short answer is yes”.
Randy was so clear with his answers that I hesitated when I asked, “How would you feel if I continued to work?”
“I would prefer that you did not. If you continue, I’m not sure we could accomplish all the things we have planned and put on our bucket list”.
I looked over at Randy, looked deep into his beautiful blue eyes and realized that he was right. We both need to stop working and filling each day with whatever makes us happy.
Dinner was wonderful as usual. We met Rachel, Paul, Leo and Tess enjoyed yet another evening of good conversation and delicious food. I ordered the Chilled Honeydew Soup and Arugula and Bosc pear salad. The fried Camembert cheese with raspberry sauce was wonderful.
After dinner we attended the show “Frozen in Time’ ice skating show. This show colorful and amazing ice show is based on Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tales “The Snow Queen”, “The Ugly Duckling” and, “The “Emperor’s New Clothes”. The show was wonderful, the costumes were colorful, and the skating was amazing. We had seen this show several other times o the Oasis and the Allure but it never gets old. I love it.
We returned to the cabin, got comfortable for the evening and sat on the balcony and talked about the day’s events. The sky was so dark with large cumulous clouds that sometimes covered the moon creating a beautiful glow.
It had been a wonderful day and we turned in for the night looking forward to the next day.