December on The World

What a month this has been – and it’s not over yet. Visiting favorite places, reconnecting with friends, celebrating Christmas: I feel a bit like that whirling dervish we saw in the Middle East.
Ahh Bermuda…but this time with the counsel and hospitality of residents who have homes there. This is one of those ports in which we dock squarely in the middle of town, and walk right into the best Bermuda has to offer (photo below, the view from our balcony). A long walk through the Christmas-lit streets, a catamaran cruise around the bay, a delectable Italian dinner, and cocktails in the quintessential Bermudian home overlooking the harbor were only a few of the highlights.

After Bermuda, we visited a snowy New York City, which consisted of several reunions with former workmates, some of whom I haven’t seen in 30 years (but who’s counting), then dinner at our favorite place for moules frites set off a frenzied week. Cats (which I hadn’t seen and is closing shortly), the Rockettes Christmas Show (which neither of us had ever seen), birthday lunch at DB Moderne, a crosstown trek for our favorite pea soup, dinner and the Merry Widow at Lincoln Center, and of course a visit to Rockefeller Center to see the tree and skaters. Then add in ship festivities, including tree-lighting, Juilliard student performances daily, and an incredible night of opera featuring Renee Fleming singing in our magnificently decorated Plaza (those elves getting all the decorations on the ship up in one night while we sleep is truly a Christmas miracle).

Then, during the sail out, the ever-thrilling sight of the Statue of Liberty, crown, and torch brightly lit: our goosebumps were not only from the icy New York air.

After New York, we traveled on to Charleston, South Carolina. We had just a short time in Charleston, but it was enough for us to remember how much we love it. Two special treats – dinner at Husk, where they list the local source of every ingredient used on the menu daily, and a “Gullah” tour, the history of Charleston through the eyes of the slaves, with a special focus on ironworks master Phillip Simmons and his glorious gates, which are proudly displayed throughout the Charleston neighborhoods.
On Christmas day, after one resident’s brilliant rendition of Santa giving out gifts to all the kids onboard, we had an unexpected treat – a visit to the Kennedy Space Center. It is vastly entertaining, informative, and moving. We were able to stand at the desk of the Launch Director, where dozens of Space Shuttles were set to flight, to walk under and around the huge Saturn rocket, and to stand within yards of the Shuttle Atlantis, just as it appeared after completing the last of the Shuttle flights. The magnitude of the accomplishments of the space program and its countless engineers is nearly incomprehensible, as is the bravery of the astronauts (one of whom we had dinner with last night).

Even in our own country, we continue to learn and grow every day we are on this glorious ship of ours. We lead a simply incomparable life. We hope each and every one of you had a joyous Christmas, and that 2018 will bring you everything you dream of.

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