Arkie Mama: Dispatches from my parents

Since retiring, my parents have taken to extensive traveling. Right now, they’re sailing the Atlantic, on their way to Puerto Rico, having just wrapped up a lengthy Mediterranean cruise.

When they’re not cruising, Mom and Dad hook up the fifth-wheel and roam across the country. They’ve had lots of adventures, some rather amusing.

A few years ago, the folks decided to celebrate their anniversary on the road. While in Florida, they stopped to visit my cousin Andy and his partner (now husband) Greg. The guys are fabulous cooks, so in honor of my parents’ anniversary, they served a multiple-course meal complete with complementary accompanying drinks.

Now my mom — she doesn’t drink a lot. So by the time she finished swigging wine, champagne and port, she wasn’t feeling too grand.

The next day, I got a call from my dad. He was snickering.

“Guess who threw up in the flowerbed at an Exxon station last night?” he cackled.

“NO WAY!” I shrieked into the phone. “You got Mom drunk?”

“I didn’t,” Dad replied. “Your cousin did.”

“Isn’t Mom a little old to be yakking in a flowerbed?” I asked before collapsing into hysterical laughter. “I mean, that’s the kind of thing I did at frat-house keggers back in my college years.”

Tales from later trips have proved to be just as entertaining.

A few weeks ago, I received this email from Dad:

Hi girls, sons-in-law, & Grandkids

Well, we are in Kusadasi, Turkey and are getting ready to sail for Italy in just a few minutes. Yesterday we went to Ephesus and saw the ancient ruins of the old city built back before BC. It was very interesting. We saw the place where the Virgin Mary lived, and where St. John is suppost to be buried. Today we walked around Kusadasi and your mother did a little shopping.

Well, I can’t win. My sons-in-law will understand. Last night we went to the ship’s show and they had brought in local Turkey entertainers. The first act was a group of dancers doing typical Turkish dances. Being tired, I kind of dozed off and your mother complained that I wasn’t paying attention and being respectful. Then about 15 minutes later, she slapped me up the side of the head and complained that I was too attentive when the local belly dancer was doing her performance. I just can’t win.

Anyway we are having a good time but spending way too much money. Your mother will E-Mail you later. She is still up at the Spa.

Dear Ole Dad

So you can imagine when I thought when I received a rather odd emailed photo from my dad. To put said photo into better perspective, here are a few of the more typical pictures I’m used to seeing when my parents travel:

Happy, smiling parents in Croatia

Happy, smiling parents in Croatia

Happy, smiling parents in Venice

Happy, smiling parents in Venice

And then I get this one:

Dad with stitches and two black eyes.

Dad with stitches and two black eyes.

At first I blamed the Turkish belly dancing incident.

But then I read Dad’s explanation:

Hi All,

Well, we are having a great time. However, we have had a bump or two along the way (See Attached Pic)

I am sending you this E-Mail so that you can get the correct scoop (Don’t listen to your mother). There are 2 different versions of how I got two black eyes and a cut on the nose. There is your mother’s version and then there is the truth.

In your mother’s version, we were late going to dinner on Wed night (due to her stopping and delaying us at the Excursions desk) and I tripped on the staircase and fell headfirst into a stair step. This is what she is telling everyone. I seem to be a bit of a conversation piece and attract a lot of stares. Then there is my version (the truth) where we were late getting ready to go to dinner and she was talking. I courteously told her ” Please hurry up”. Well, she misunderstood me and thought that I said “Please shut up”. That’s when the fight started. Being a gentleman, I would never hit a lady, but your mother had no such reservations. Anyway, I spend dinnertime in the ship’s medical facility while the doctor put around 5 stitches in my head.

The good news is that there was very little pain and I have not had any real discomfort. Also, your mother has stopped asking me to pose for any more formal portraits. I have had to keep an ice pack on it for a couple of days and it will take some time to heal. The lady singer in the Piano Bar refers to me as “handsome’. More later.

Dear Ole Dad

And now you, dear readers, understand why I so eagerly anticipate my parent’s vacation emails.


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