I am in Lisbon today with my 17-year-old daughter Britton. We stepped off Silver Whisper yesterday, a sad farewell because of the many friends we had made. With that in mind, I need to take a moment to brag about my daughter, so please pardon this commercial break.
I first met Britton on June 1, 1995, when the doctor delivering her proclaimed, “Good morning Sunshine!” I was lucky to be there. Only 48 hours early, the same doctor had told me that it would be fine for me to fly to Seattle and Los Angeles, across the country from North Carolina, for a business trip. I was meeting with cruise line executives to launch a publication called Cruise Week, and Britton, according to the doctor, was at least two to three weeks from popping.
I arrived in Seattle, and while meeting with Jack Anderson (then with Holland America Line, now with Crystal Cruises), got a call from my wife, and with news that the birth of my baby daughter was possibly imminent, hopped back on the plane to North Carolina.
Of course, the plane circled for an hour in Atlanta, was late landing in Greensboro, traffic lights took longer than usual, and I couldn’t find a parking place fast enough. I sprinted into the hospital, like something out of a movie, glancing as I ran past the nursery thinking that she could be one of the newborns inside, and as I came nearer the delivery room, sighed relief when I saw the big hump in my wife’s stomach, Britton still basking in embryonic warmth.
A few hours later, she was born in an emotionally rich moment. A happy day indeed.
Britton has grown into a mature young woman who loves meeting people. She is somewhat of an anachronism, enjoying older people more than she enjoys her peers.
I can’t tell you how many times Silver Whisper guests came up to me and told me what a fine young woman Britton was. She matched the crew on knowing the names of the guests, which is remarkable. And the guests also knew her name, demanding that she sing a few songs in the Panorama Lounge on the last night of our cruise. A father could not have been prouder at her performance, the applause and praise.
She easily cries at departures on cruises like this one — on an intimately sized ship where people come to know one another — and yesterday was not without a few tears. There were lots of hugs, and Britton now has invitations to every country in the world it seems. One couple plans to visit her in Asheville.
My daughter has said it before and she said it again on this trip: “You know dad, instead of going to college right away, I think I’d like to take a year to spend traveling with you.” These ears have never heard sweeter words, and I hope that as she completes her senior year of high school this year that she holds on to that dream. I know I will.
Silver Whisper provided a memorable trip for us, which I am presenting here mostly in pictures. I’ll have more to say about our adventures on this week. Today, however, we have Lisbon to explore. Here are a few of the memories in photographs from our cruise on Silver Whisper.
All posts from our trip so far: