From my journal: April 14, 2015 Thousand Oaks, California
“When did we become the oldest people in the room? Took a rock climbing class at Boulderdash…us.. and a group of kids!”
I was reminded again of our age on our most recent trip. Aboard the Windstar, we were headed for the Greek island of Santorini where we had booked a catamaran excursion through Vista Yachting. Catching the first tender of the day, once ashore we rode the cable car to the top of the hill and quickly walked three city blocks to the VY office. We were warned if we were not on time, the bus bringing us to Oia wouldn’t wait. Yet, when we arrived we learned the bus was late because some guests weren’t ready for their pick up.
Once the coach did appear, we were jammed into the only available seats and noticed we were two or even three times older than anyone seated. We were also the only ones wearing masks.
Thirty minutes later, we gathered on the stern of the Time Out to hear introductions and a safety talk. All under thirty, the four crew members, Ora, Natalia, Cleo, and George assured us an unforgettable five-hour sail around the caldera with three stops for swimming. Drinks were immediately served, everyone opted for wine or beer, except us. Although it was 5:00pm somewhere…it was only 10:00 am there. My assessment at this point was…”it’s going to be a very long day…”
Techno pop blared on the boat’s speakers, only lowering when one of the crew addressed us. Within the first half hour, Natalia told us that there was going to be a competition on board. The challenge was to take photos and post them onto Instagram in real time. Whoever posted the best photo would win…none other than…a bottle of Santorini wine! We chuckled, while others cheered and within minutes, the twenty somethings had their phones out snapping pics of themselves and the scenery. At this point I couldn’t help but notice, we were the only ones without tattoos. Birds, flowers, a lion, quotes and even an astronaut were inked onto the youthful tanned skin of the guests and crew.
At our first stop, Robert was one of the first to jump in and snorkel around and the last to get out of the water. The next area we visited was known for its hot springs and sulfur deposits and the last stop was our lunch spot. Nothing brings people together like sharing a meal, so when the food was served everyone began talking. A honeymoon couple and their friend from northern California were spending their last day on the island together and a group of five friends from Philly were summering on Santorini. When asked why we were in Greece, we mentioned it was our 30st anniversary trip postponed from the year before. I realized then that we’d been married longer than most of them had been alive! The “groom” congratulated us saying he hoped they’d be as happy after being married that many years. One of the Philadelphians asked where we were from and said Los Angeles was on her bucket list. I responded with, “I hope your list is very long then!”
Anchored for an hour before heading back, a different contest began taking place on one side of the boat. Goading each other, most everyone was now diving, belly flopping and cannon balling into the water below. Ratings were given while we all laughed and clapped. When Ora did a back flip, I snapped her mid-air. I also captured Robert doing a 10 point worthy dive.
When the Time Out was back in its slip, Ora said it was time to announce the winner of the contest. The kids all smiled and a few said they were sure they posted the best photo. We all did the pretend drum roll…then Ora looked at us and handed the bottle of wine to me. All eyes turned our way, then everyone applauded. Robert and I both laughed…never one to let a competition pass him by, little did anyone know, although he never used Instagram before, he had downloaded the app and quickly learned to use it. The winning photo turned out to be the one I took of Ora.
Before exiting the boat, the honeymoon couple said they were heading to Venice so we gave the bottle of wine to the Philly Five who thanked us a few times over. Quiet on the bus back to Fira, everyone seemed relaxed in a “day well spent” kind of way. At our drop off point, the kids all called out their good-byes and wished us well.
Reflecting on the day, I was pleasantly surprised how well it turned out. Meeting the people on the excursion definitely added to the enjoyment. Once I put aside my assumptions – my pre-conceived notions, I could be present. I could see our commonalities instead of our differences. Something needed, especially these days. And it also became clear, when it comes to having fun, fun is just fun, and there really is no age limit.