We are at Vancouver airport checking in for our flight home. Normally this would not be worthy of a mention, but in this case Gordon insists that I write about it as he feels it will put him in a much better light than is usually cast by moi. We are checking in at one of those infernal machines that has replaced the counter staff. Normally, working with an agent is preferable, but as this is United the machine is actually more personable
Gordon has taken charge of the entire proceedings and is busy checking in when a message flashes up on the screen
“Would you like to upgrade to first class for just $125?”
I somehow manage to avoid screaming “YES” and merely carry on as if nothing has happened.
Gordon turns to look at me. It is a look I know well. It is a questioning look, that says “I know you have seen this, so I am asking if you would like to upgrade, but the answer is NO!”
I give him a look in return that is pleading, pitiful and adoring all in one.
It never works.
But today something unexpected happens. Gordon is actually thinking about it. I know that he is anxious about his suitcase which he believes is way over the allowed 50 pounds, but that is a limit that does not apply to first class passengers.
I am not sure whether I should say something or not. Finally I venture
“Well it isn’t expensive, and it does solve the problem with your bag”
“OK then” he says begrudgingly. “But it’s ridiculous for a two and a half hour flight”
I smile sweetly. I know when to say nothing.
And if I have to write about it to show how free spending Gordon is, then I will.
Plus, first class is the perfect way to end this trip, which, thanks to Seabourn and their wonderful staff, has been first class all the way
It has been two weeks of wonderful sights, sounds and experiences.
We have rented a car in many places where the ship docked, and explored on our own. Leaving the crowds behind us, we had sights like this
You don’t see a grizzly from a tour bus.
And very few people get to see a “cinnamon” bear, however far away it might be
Or a Black Bear wandering down the road, even if it refused to stay for a selfie
Other encounters were much closer. Nature called one morning, as it so often does when you get to our age. We pulled off the road to discreetly answer the call, and having taken the matter in hand we casually glanced up at the tree we were marking and momentarily lost our aim
We loved watching the bald eagles, and sometimes they loved watching us
At the end of the day, we always returned to Seabourn where our first class experience was waiting. The crew were fabulous and we were pampered with champagne, caviar and so much more:
Now, if I am going to have caviar (and you know that I am), that is the size of pot I like. Unfortunately I had to share it with rather a large number of others. One picky guest sniffed dismissively when he saw that the caviar was from Uruguay, but I am far too polite to sniff, and my taste buds far too undiscerning to complain. Besides, if you drink enough champagne (and you know that I do), it tastes bloody marvelous! But I did check online to make sure that Seabourn weren’t being cheap, and discovered that this caviar was sustainable and sells for $100 an ounce. There must be pounds of it in that container. Seabourn was definitely not being cheap!
Aside from the occasional sniffing guest, our fellow travelers were a fun and friendly group, which was great, but the downside is there was no passenger of the week to make fun of.
And when we get off the ship in Vancouver the friendliness continues. We are standing on the platform waiting for the sky train (subway) surrounded by our luggage (Gordon strikes again) when a pleasantly plump lady teetering on the edge of middle age, approaches us and says
“You two are such an adorable couple”
Do people really say things like that to perfect strangers?
And let’s just ignore the fact that she could immediately tell we were a couple – how gay are we?
We will also ignore the fact that this is the sort of thing you might say to a straight couple in their nineties. How old are we?
“How long have you been together?”, she continues, totally unaware of any boundaries she might be overstepping.
“47 years” Gordon replies.
“Oh My God” she screeches.
“That is so wonderful. Amazing. Oh my God. Adorable! Oh my God!”
Far be it from me to be cynical, but that is rather overdoing it. Or so I think. But she doesn’t. She is just warming up.
Next thing we know she is hugging us. Not just a little hug. A pleasantly plump perfect stranger, takes us in her arms, embraces us, clamps us to her ample bosom and purrs. She might never have let us go if the train hadn’t arrived .
I know she was completely genuine and I know she meant well. But it was rather unexpected, to say the least, and hugging a perfect stranger on a railway station has never been high on my list of pleasurable experiences. I know she wanted us to feel good, but all she did was make us feel so old.
I mean we are only talking 47 gay years.
How long is that in heterosexual years?