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Travel Diary: Oceania

Monday, Tuesday March 11-12

(in Australia—Sunday March 10 in U.S.A.

Another sea day on the way to Darwin, Australia. BGM attended an engagement party for a very nice woman whom we met on the ship who became engaged. Her fiancé is not on the cruise, but has pursued her by flying to the ship’s various ports in order to spend time with lady.

Other than the engagement party, it was a normal day at sea. We exercised, I had lunch, while BGM went to Yoga, I played in the poker tournament (did not win), and, then, BGM joined me to hear the very good piano player/singer who is drawing big crowds in the Martini Bar where he plays two sets beginning at 5:15 and then another set after the show lets out (about 10:15.

Following the music, BGM went back to the cabin, and I went with two couples to The Terrace for what was billed as “Australian Market Dinner”. I had a regular dinner of lamb chops and roasted potatoes (skipped the sushi) but featured, in addition to other famous Australian dishes was kangaroo and crocodile. I passed, but lots of people were devouring these dishes which came in various forms.

I was reminded of the story about the man who convicted of killing and eating a crocodile. Just before sentencing, the Judge asked the man if he had anything to say on his behalf. The man explained as followed:

The day all this happened, your Honor, was the worst day of my life. I was fired from my job at a time of my life when it was impossible for me to get a comparable job. On my way home, my brand new Mercedes was rear ended and totaled. When I finally got home, I found my Wife in bed with another man, and she told me she did not love me anymore.

I took my gun intending to end my life, but first went to a bar to drown my sorrows and gather up enough nerve to end my life. I sat in that bar for many hours, consuming many drinks. When I was as drunk as I could ever be, I walked down to the river, intending to but a bullet in my head and fall into the water.

I had not eat anything all; day, and just before killing myself, saw this crocodile half on shore. I then realized that none of what had happened was really my fault, that I did not deserve to die and that I could still make something of my life and contribute to society. I then realized that I was starved never having eaten anything all day, and, so without thinking, I shot that crocodile and ate some of the crocodile meat for which I am, Judge, truly sorry.

The Judge then told the man how moved he was by the explanation he just heard and told him that he would not be sentenced to prison, but rather be put on probation. However, the Judge, said “as a matter of personal privilege, I would like to ask you how the crocodile tasted. The man replied, “sort of like the cross between an egret and a bald eagle..

Tomorrow, in Australia, is our 58th wedding anniversary. I suspect we will heard from whomever we hear from on the following day which is 12th in the States.

Tuesday March 12.

Quite a day. Oceania had a really nice party at 11:15 for all the around the world guests. We have one more stop in Australia before getting into Indonesia, and there was so much great food and drink that most people did not have lunch. The General Manager, Damien, who leaves the ship soon but then returns in London, announced to everyone that it was our 58th anniversary.

Attended a lecture with BGM about Australia become a penal colony. The lecturer is a well- respected scholar and there was a very big crowd.

I exercised very early in the morning for the first time. Got to the gym before 7 a.m. and had to wait for a treadmill.

We will never forget the fabulous anniversary party we had beginning at 6:30 in our cabin. Oceania furnished a bartender and several butlers to serve almost 30 people, 22 of whom later came to dinner at Toscana. Another couple, who were celebrating their 14th anniversary, and having dinner at Polo Grill came for drinks and then to dessert with us.

Our butler made phenomenal arrangements decorating our cabin, setting up the cabin including the balcony and putting out wonderful canapes that what devoured. There was smoked salmon with caviar, fois gras,and shrimp. The food and the prosecco for the aperol spritz was a gift to us.

Mario, the head chef, put out a great typical Italian meal unlike anything ever served on the ship. It was just like being in Italy. When we walked in, there were huge platters of meats and cheeses. He made chicken liver and bruschetta for Barbara. After the cold appetizers he put out a bunch of hot, then a special pasta, and then tagliata. Some guests ordered other foods.

I was really amazed at how much wine was consumed. All 6 bottles of an Amerone I had purchased at a wine sale were gone and then two magnums of a very good Bordeaux that I had just bought, I thought for my family when they come on board also went. I do not yet have a count on how many bottles of champagne were consumed. I did not use the champagne I brought from home, but rather a good rose I bought from Oceania for $58. Had to tip a lot of people. It was a great party.

We really closed down the restaurant. Everyone seemed to get along. We had two table of 8 and a table of 6. BGM gave a nice and I gave a toast both of which were well received. We are very lucky people to love one each other for over 60 years. As I often say, “there are lots of people smarter, richer, faster and thinner, but I would not trade places with anyone”.

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