Going on a Cruise out of New Orleans
Trip Start Jan 13, 2008
10Trip End Jan 20, 2008
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Anita and I haven't been on a cruise since 2003, and that one experience allowed us to see all the places along the Mexican Riviera we've always wanted to see. So now the challenge is how to plan this trip and keep from telling Anita until the very last minute. This is to be the biggest and most well kept surprise yet. Another challenge equally difficult is how am I going to get Anita to New Orleans, from where the cruise ship departs, without her knowing that we are going on a cruise. The plot thickens.
Recently, three of my sisters-Germaine, Jane and Cynthia-decided to take their families on a Christmas cruise ... this after returning from an 11-day trip to China in November. My folks love to travel. My mom missed out on the cruise because she decided too late that she wanted to go. By then, all of the arrangements had been made. Too bad, Ma-ma. When I called home to see how things were going after they had all left for the cruise, Mom told me how disappointed she was to have been left behind. I felt terrible for her.
As I was secretly planning our cruise, I decided to ask my brother David if he and his wife Arlette would be interesting in coming along. It would be a perfect time for us to share a vacation again. The last time we traveled together was nearly two years ago, a surprise to celebrate David and Arlette's 25th wedding anniversary. We took them to Barbados and had a wonderful time. David agreed to come along on the cruise this time. However, I wanted it to be a surprise for Arlette, so I told him not to tell her. I found out later that David can't keep a secret and he had to tell Arlette.
I suggested to David that, since Mom and Dad didn't go on the cruise with the rest of the family, we should consider taking them with us. He didn't think Dad would come on the cruise, but I explained that the trip would be a surprise for my parents as well as for Anita. To make sure that my Dad would come, however, I told him that he and my mom would be joining Anita and me on a short trip, but that he couldn't tell Mom about it. I didn't tell him where we were going or how we would get there. He agreed to go along with the plan. Now, I need figure out a way to get Anita down to New Orleans, which is where the ship departs.
Anita and I had talked about visiting Biltmore Estate in North Carolina for her birthday, and she assumes that is where we were going. Little does she know, her birthday surprise is all set. I suggested to her that prior to our trip to Biltmore, we could drive down to New Orleans and spend some time with my family since we did not get a chance to be with them for Thanksgiving, Christmas or New Years. She agreed.
So here we are in New Orleans the night before we leave on our cruise. I just hope she won't be mad that we're not going to Biltmore Estate.
Tonight, I have to tell my mom that we're going on a trip and that she and dad are coming with us. I haven't told her where we're going or how we're getting there, or that David and Arlette are coming. But I did tell her that it's a complete surprise to Anita. She plays along and immediately starts packing clothes for herself and my dad. Hopefully, everyone will be able to keep quiet and not say a word to Anita before we get to the cruise ship terminal tomorrow. I hope this all works out.