11 years ago in a land far far away

Eleven years ago, I took the first of any trips with my beloved Aunt Jean, who was well into her 80’s. What a sense of adventure she had!! She loved to travel and especially loved a long cruise. So when she invited me to go with her it was no surprise the trip would be about 24 days long.

Together, we flew to Athens Greece, where we spent 2 days sightseeing before embarking on our cruise.  We’d both been there before, but it had been some time!  She regaled me with stories of a trip with fellow teachers she had taken while teaching in Europe in the late 1950’s and 60’s.  I told a few stories of my own, having visited while living in Turkey and taking military hops to Athens in the late 1970’s.    I was surprised at how much had changed in the ancient country in 30 years.  She was equally surprised.  The work being done on the Acropolis was one big surprise.

Acropolis 2003

We had a lot of fun together seeing sights that were familiar, yet forgotten through the years.

Jean was the best travel buddy I ever had and we did several more trips together as time would allow.  Miss being able to call the dear lady and telling her about the latest bargain I had found on a transatlantic cruise.  She loved being on a ship, and would have lived on one if she could have found a way.  She was my Pied Piper, always attracting interesting people to the table and the conversation.  She passed away a few years ago at age 93, following a “last cruise” to the New England Coastline.  The fun I had taking pictures of her with all the good looking gentleman always gave her a laugh.

Mary and Jean Athens (4)

Fred and Jean

We had a lot of adventure together! Her 2 favorite sayings were “life is uncertain-eat dessert first” and “Go; have fun, meet for drinks and lie about your day!”.

More to come in the future!

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6 thoughts on “11 years ago in a land far far away

    • Hi Lillian — She was incredible; ready to go at a moments notice. I think she had gone on over 25 cruises, some as long as 74 days. In her 80’s she went to China and the Antartic. She has walked on the polar ice and the Great Wall of China. I think she would have gone to the moon if there had been a way to go!

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    • She was very inspiring! I often think about what is ahead of me as I reach what some would say is “mid life” and others would call my “golden years”. My goal is 103, living like she did; travelling and having interesting conversations. I feel like I have 1/2 a lifetime ahead of me, not the waning years.

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