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Carol Perkins: the after sale of the store Travel 'Agency'
Adventures in the early days of 'J&C Travel. The tale of the first cruise on the Oasis of the Sea.
Next earlier Carol Perkins article: Carol Perkins: Being in the right place at the right time
By Carol Perkins
When I sold my store and officially retired, my friend Judy and I formed a little travel "agency" to take ladies like us on trips. We call ourselves J&C Travel. We took a group to NYC for a "Christmas in New York" event, and then planned a cruise for May. May, at the time, was a long way away, but then it wasn't.
In the meantime, Judy had some health issues, so her doctor vetoed the trip, but I continued with our plan. Ten ladies and I just got back from a Royal Caribbean Cruise on the Oasis of the Seas (over 8,000 people including the crew and staff). This group was so congenial and so much fun that I certainly hope this won't be our last trip together. With that said, I have a tale or two to tell. Never does a trip happen without funny "experiences." This one was no exception.
First of all, this ship is massive. I could go all week and never see the same faces. However, no one could miss these two.
Three of us ladies were standing at an elevator waiting to go to our rooms on the fourteenth floor late one night. As we were standing there, two men and two women walked up to wait with us. We had seen these men around the Promenade, and I thought at the time that there was no way Guy Perkins would ever step that far out of his box. Both were dressed like "wild" women; a cross between Daisy Duke and Daisy Mae with "meth" teeth (somebody somewhere was missing two sets of rotten partials). They were having a blast.
"I bet you all have sure attracted a lot of attention today," I said. That moved into a conversation that led to finding out they were from Evansville and would never be caught dead like this at home. Suddenly, one of our ladies had a bright idea.
"Wouldn't it be funny if you all went up to our floor and knocked on our friends' door?" (My niece-in-law Laurie Berry thought of this!) They were excited, and so were we; so the four of them and the three of us tipped-toed as quietly as we could down the hallway to the first room.
One of the guys knocked, and one of our friends came to the door, barely opening it. "I heard you all are looking for a party. We're ready to party," the guys shouted, acting totally looped.
She said, "I DON'T THINK SO!" and tried to close the door. (The three of us were hiding so she couldn't see us.) He was stronger than she and pulled back the door and barged right into her room with her roommate in the bathroom getting ready for bed. By this time, I feared she might call security, so I waved from around the corner. Just as I expected, she and her roommate laughed at our antics and posed with the guys for pictures. (We all did.)
We never crossed paths with them again until at the airport. The others had boarded, and I was waiting for the agent call my group when I heard a lady say, "Don't you want to tell your boys goodbye?" I turned to see to whom she was speaking and recognized one of the wives. Standing beside her were two handsome young men (in their forties) who were reserved and almost shy. "Oh, my goodness. I would NEVER have recognized you!" We strangers shared a hug and off I went.
They went home with tales of these "old ladies" on the ship and how they surprised their friends. We came home with pictures, a tale to tell, and plenty of memories. (Part 2 follows next week).
("A Girl Named Connie", my new book about Connie Wilson formerly of Edmonton, is available on Amazon.com)
Carol Perkins is a regular weekly ColumbiaMagazine.com columnist and a co-host with Susan Chambers on the very popular The "Susan & Carol, Unscripted" show, live. FM 99.1 radio each Tuesday Morning at 10amCT.
This story was posted on 2016-06-02 04:14:03
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