The Chicks are so happy to welcome the delightful Cheryl Hollon, author of the bestselling Webb’s Glass Shop mystery series. Let’s join Cheryl and her husband on their Queen Mary 2 cruise. And yes, you read that right!
This year my husband and I marked off one of our major bucket list items. We sailed transatlantic on the Queen Mary 2 from New York City to Southampton, UK.
We had been planning for this trip for more than eighteen months and it involved a few days in New York City, the Queen Mary 2 crossing, about a week in London and a few days in our old stomping grounds in Clifton Village, Bristol.
The last part would be like visiting home. Husband and I lived in this charming village for a few years while I was an engineer working for British Aerospace. It was lovely connecting with friends and visiting our favorite restaurants, shops, cafes, and pubs.
Most of the trip was just as enjoyable as we dreamed it would be. However, a few things caused more tension than expected.
Travel is a learning experience for my husband and I, but normally, we learn about history, culture, or architecture on our vacations. These topics have been points of agreement and enjoyment for decades. This vacation, however, we discovered more about how we are unalike rather than alike.
Our first like/dislike incident was the 911 Memorial. I thought it was respectful, sensitive, and reverent. My husband’s reaction was to race through the exhibit and wait for me at the end.
New York as the “City That Never Sleeps” was amazing, and in fact, we didn’t get much sleep due to the street noise. However, on one of those little backstreets, we found a tiny family-run Indian restaurant in lower Manhattan that was so good we ate there twice!
The next discordance was aboard the Queen Mary 2, the beautiful, sleek, stunning ocean liner. When we boarded the Queen Mary 2, we were treated like royalty. Wonderful cabins and astonishing main dining room. We knew that there would be three formal evenings and we knew that for men, a jacket was required in the main dining every evening. In fact, the Royal Wedding occurred whilst we were aboard, and we were treated to the same kind of cake that was served for their wedding.
The ‘Shattered at Sea’ tipping point for my husband was the rule that you needed to wear a dinner/sports jacket in all public areas after 6 pm. This was way over the line for his comfort zone. He only has one suit and barely wears it once a year. To be strapped into it every evening was over the line. We concluded that the informality and flexibility of the typical cruise line was more his style. I absolutely adored wearing formals and cocktail dresses each evening.
Going forward, we’re glad we checked off the transatlantic crossing from our bucket list, but there is no chance that we’ll do it again. I’m good with that. I had a wonderful time. He’s still my love and he excels at everyday life as my loyal, supportive, handsome trophy husband.
Readers, what’s next on your bucket list?
Cheryl Hollon writes full-time after an engineering career designing and installing military flight simulators in England, Wales, Australia, Singapore, Taiwan, and India. Living the dream, she combines a love of writing with a passion for creating glass art in the small studio behind her house in St. Petersburg, Florida. Cheryl is President of the Florida Gulf Coast Sisters in Crime, a member of Mystery Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, and Novelists, Inc.