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We took our first cruise in 1981 with the Kelly’s from Tifton. We went with the Holland-America Line on the ship “New Amsterdam“. The cruise was to lower Alaska and the ice fields. The ship was old, even had round port holes, but elegant. Kelly had been a little apprehensive about the cruise. Then he was in the navy in World War Two he was know as Horizontal Kelly because of his seasickness.

Everybody loved the trip. We spent a small fortune on side trips. We took a seaplane ride into a national park where we touched down on a lake. Francine had just soloed a couple of months earlier, so she really enjoyed this. We took a couple of helicopter trips. On a side trip to Skagway we came back to the ship on the Lynn Canal. They announced that some whales had been spotted in the canal so we kelp an eye out for them. We didn’t see any but when the boat tied up Francine and I were the last ones off. Suddenly a whale surfaced and this great tail came up out of and then struck the surface of the water. It was the highlight of the trip and the Kelly’s missed it.

This was only the first of dozens of cruises we were to take over the next twenty three years. I think out next cruise was with Francine’s brother W.C., his wife and her sister and husband. This was to Nassau in the Bahamas. We went on Carnival Lines. We all took a taxi to Treasure Island. Ray didn’t know they drove on the wrong side of the road and when the taxi driver pulled out into traffic it scared him so bad he screamed.

We sailed on Carnival some as it was cheap and many that went with us could not afford to be exaggerate or were extremely frugal. One such trip was with three of my uncles, the four of us decided to do this for our annual trip. Without a doubt this was the worse ship, worse weather, on any cruise I ever took. But even it was great. Eighty percent of the passengers and crew was seasick, but we four did fine. A couple we meet from Alabama was on their honeymoon. He said they put their mattress on the floor when it got rough and went with “The motion of the ocean”.

We did a number of cruses with my brother John and his wife Donna. These included many memorable trips with great experiences. John, after several by-pass heart surgeries, believed in lighting his candle on both ends.

We took one trip together through the Panama Canal. We had flow together to Fort Lauderdale and caught a Holland-America ship. We went through the canal and stopped at several Central American countries. The trip ended at Acapulco



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