THE BIG FLOAT
Today is Cruise Day! That’s right, by the time most of you read this short entry our immediate “Maul” family of 12 should be floating our way out into the ocean on a festive Disney boat.
Boat.. ship… floating-buffet… theme-park-on-the-water… hotel-with-an-engine… whatever. Regardless of what you call it, we’ll be on it.
We’re heading south, docking at Key West, then steaming over to Nassau via some Disney Island. But to tell the truth, we could sail around in circles and I’d be OK. I simply intend to relax, cruise the buffet, read, and play with my awesome grandson, David.
BITTERSWEET: This was the big family vacation we’d been planning for some time, designed to celebrate my parents’ 60th wedding anniversary. Grace Kemp and David Maul were married May 24, 1952, and this seemed like the best time to get everyone together.
But we were all hoping my brother, Geoff, would still be around to enjoy the event. Geoff was our travel aficionado, and cruising was just about his favorite venue for a family get together. So it’s going to be a bittersweet celebration as we remember Geoff with fondness and at the same time shed some more tears because he won’t be with us.
HISTORY: We celebrated my parents’25th in a church hall in Folkestone, England. The next big milestone was a huge 40th celebration at a more central English location with every conceivable relative in attendance. In 2002 number 50 was a reception at their Sarasota home and then our first ever family cruise. We snuck in another for their 55th, this time to Alaska, and that was the fateful voyage where Naomi met her Craig.
So here we are, with three great-grandchildren on board and a lot of fun in store.
Not just fun but blessings, huge ones, because this family is defined by them. And we’re going to count our blessings – with my brother Geoff well represented among them – one by one by one by one…. - DEREK