Remembering a Favorite Trip From My Past
There are many types of personalities. Several years ago, we were invited to a friend’s casa in Mexico. The trip still holds as one of my favorite trips. At lunch, our host handed each of the five couples a pencil and a set of questions. He did not tell us why. It turned out to be a personality test given by insurance companies. I am amazed at its accuracy.
Your personality was one color or the most two colors. My ultimate concierge and most of the other men were reds: type A personalities. The shyest girl was a white, which stood for introversion. I was a blue-yellow personality, which represents individuals who like calmness but are firm in their values.
Our Mediterranean Vacation
My ultimate concierge and I boarded the Seabourn Encore cruise ship after we spent four days touring, shopping, eating and loving every minute of our time spent with friends. We spent a day in Saint Tropez, walked the winding streets, shopped and lunched at Le Club 55. Driving under both old and new tunnels, we learned these structures make Monaco’s existence possible, given the city-state’s size.
We saw the palace where the Grimaldi family lives, the location where Grace Kelly is buried, the homes of their children and the business center. Then we drove up into the mountains and visited old medieval villages and had lunch at a charming restaurant. We shopped in Monaco and discovered by accident that Louis Vuitton is nearly half the price of what it is in the states! We dined at fabulous restaurants and stayed at the Hotel de Paris. Our four days can best be described as razzle-dazzle–I loved this part of our trip.
The Next Part of Our Itinerary
The next part of our trip includes cruising aboard the Seabourn and can best be described as a calm chapter in my life. It has been quite the opposite experience of Monaco and Saint Tropez. We are now on board the ship for the next few days. We will stop at Portoferraio, the Amalfi Coast, Capri, Sicily, Sardinia, Malta for two days, Saint-Raphaël, Sète, and Barcelona.
Cruising is a new experience for us and we purposely planned this trip to see if we would enjoy this type of travel. After a few days aboard the Seabourn, one cannot help but feel calm. And this calming feeling sends delicious signals to our minds and bodies even when we’re faced with complications.
Sitting on the sun deck of our anchored ship, I take in the view of the Amalfi Coast. My ultimate concierge sits across from me, reading a novel, and the only movement in sight are several boats scattered in the distance. I cannot help but feel a sense of calm as I sit writing this story, intermittently looking out to gaze at the coastline of Positano and the variety of boats. The Amalfi Coast brings back memories of my time in Positano and the boats remind me of my days in Honolulu.
I have not felt this relaxed in months, even though I am dealing with a sprained foot. Last night, I was rushing to dress for dinner and walked from the bathroom into the closet to look for my outfit. I forgot there was a step separating the two rooms. I twisted my foot as I stepped down and immediately knew I injured myself.
This morning, instead of visiting Positano and Capri, I am sitting on our deck with an ice pack on my elevated foot. I visited the ship doctor for X-rays and he advised me to avoid walking for two days. I am calm. Thankfully I did not break a bone. On all past travels, the airlines have never lost our luggage and we’ve never visited a doctor! I am calm in the hope that complications are behind us.
Reflecting as I Sit on the Deck
As I look out at the Mediterranean Sea and the multitude of boats, my mind naturally drifts back to the Hawaiian chapter of my life. I ask myself, What really important lessons did I learn over the 10 years of living on the islands? I answer in quick thoughts, How to move across an ocean with a family. How to survive widowhood. The steps to make a new life after a big move. How to be a chairwoman of a charity. The process of making friends. Turning an island house into a home. Helping my children feel at home. Moving to Chicago with my children as a young widow.
Fortunately, all the past chapters in my life are connected in a very positive way to the present. I know, you must be thinking, She is kidding herself. No one lives a fairy tale life. Everyone has their hills and valleys. Well, darlings, you are right.
I see all my valleys as lessons learned. I learned to overcome hardship, disappointments, fears, illness and much much more. So have you. I am the woman I am today because of the chapters of my life. You are the women you are today for the same reasons. All you have to do is think about the positives you were able to take away from your disappointments and you will see the strengths you have in your arsenal today.
Oh my, I am getting off track. I want to talk about a calm that has wrapped its arms around me on this ship. I am unable to be a whirling dervish on the Seabourn. Instead, I am in the moment. The day is windless and the sea is as smooth as glass. While the boats are moving, the motors seem still.
The Chapters of Our Lives
I look across at my darling husband, deep into his novel, and ask him how many chapters it contains. After flipping to the end of the book, he tells me there are 40 chapters.
I think about my life in chapters. Do you?
I am still in the process of writing down my thoughts for my grandchildren in the book I authored, Stories for my Grandchild. It is a book on the chapters of a grandmother’s life. It is a little gem of a book. You and I are co-authors. I wrote the prompts for each chapter of your life. You fill in your thoughts under each prompt and by the end, your grands will know you in-depth: your values, what you wish for them and the lessons you want to leave with them. It is a keepsake to hand down from generation to generation.
I am writing my book with great care. I must be in a calm state to write my thoughts accurately. This book is very important to me because I want to leave my grands with my thoughts on life–my guide for happiness.
The Best Gift For Grands
I believe the greatest gift a grandmother can leave her grandchildren is what she leaves them in their heads, not in their bank account.
My time on the Seabourn has brought the word calm back into my life. I’ve always believed if you want to lead a charmed life, don’t get ahead of it or fantasize about what could have been. Nothing should exist except what is happening in the now–today. Just remember the present is a gift you give yourself because today will never come again. Time is a precious commodity to savor in the world of calm. I am calm and I have not felt this way since I left my beloved Hawaii. I am in a very happy state. Put calm back into your life, darlings.