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Saturday, April 13, 2024

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Another Great Read

Under the Chinaberry Tree

This Week On
The Sound of Texas

Monday, April 8
Fran Houser Adrian Midway Cafe
Tuesday, April 9
Peter Avila San Benito Conjunto Museum
Wednesday, April 10
Suzanne Theis Houston Car Parade
Thursday, April 11
Dorinda Millan Pecos Museum
Friday, April 12
Troy Grusendorf Brownwood Harmonica
Complete Schedule for April

In Print: On News Stands Now


by Tumbleweed Smith

When our youngest son graduated from high school we took a trip to New England. Fabulous. The color was at peak, we had time to poke around and sample the fall season at a leisurely pace.

We've been back to New York since then, but didn't return to New England until this October. We traveled there on a floating resort called the Golden Princess.

We went aboard after a grueling cab ride that crept through traffic that was taking about ten thousand passengers to and from cruise ships at the dock in New York.

We had an easy time in the Big Apple prior to boarding. We saw the musical, Thoroughly Modern Millie and visited the World Trade Center site. New Yorkers don't refer to it as Ground Zero anymore. We noticed a street leading to the area of the devastation was named Liberty. We hadn't heard about that from any news media.

We lounged around our hotel Sunday before going to the dock in early afternoon. This is only our second cruise. The first, really, since that Bahama trip years ago was like a military exercise. We soon learned that lots of people cruise. Some of our fellow passengers had been on twenty or more. We also noted that most of them were retired. But they were active. Some of the folks who looked to be in the worse shape proved to be going on the most strenuous tours on land: riding rapids, bicycling up steep hills and taking long walking excursions. I also realized that active older people keep the nation's economy on track. They spend money freely.

As the ship glided out of the harbor at dusk, we found a spot aft and watched the city slowly disappear. The statue of liberty was lighted when he passed by it.

We had been scheduled to go to Halifax, but hurricane Juan had done so much damage the ship couldn't dock. So we went to St. John, New Brunswick a day early. It's a quiet place, like most of Canada. It's the first city established in Canada.

We toured Portland, Bar Harbor, Boston and Newport. We ate lobster, took pictures of lighthouses and visited historic places. Newport was new to us and our favorite place on the tour. It's about the size of Big Spring in late fall and winter, but the population swells in the summer. The city is home to some of America's most elaborate castles. We toured Rose cliff Mansion, the setting for the movie, The great Gatsby. Newport's favorite topic of conversation is the America's Cup. I guess I saw about a thousand sailboats in the water around the wharf.

The ship had plenty of food, diversions and entertainment. You don't go on a cruise to rest. There's something going on all the time: ice carving, wine tasting, bingo, swimming, hot tubs, art auctions, shuffleboard, ping pong, tennis, basketball and chess. The ship is longer than three football fields and is 21 stories high. Elegant marble stairways grace the three story lobby area called the Grand Plaza. Photographers do a big business and if you're so inclined, the ship has a casino, a library and a wedding chapel. It has more than most towns.

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