|Ruby Princess at the port of Kuşadası, Turkey.|
When our older two boys began to take interest in the world at large, my wife and I devised a plan for special travel experience with each of our sons individually. Stacey takes the boy on a special mother and son trip when he reaches age ten, and I follow with an adventure of our own when he is fourteen. The personalized itinerary is tailored to each son's specific interests at the time. We've been blessed so far to have the financial means to travel internationally, but the most important takeaway isn't the destination. It is a week or so for my wife or I to spend quality time with a son and build a lifetime of memories. Hopefully the boys learn something without suspecting we're trying to educate them.
My oldest boy Thomas spent a week on Kangaroo Island, South Australia with his mother several years ago. He has long been interested in Ancient Rome and Greece, at least as much as a fourteen-year-old can be, and for his father-son trip last August (2013) we settled on a Princess cruise of the eastern Mediterranean with bookend visits to Venice and Rome. My father became aware of our plans that spring, and Thomas was OK with a stowaway. Dad has always wanted to travel in retirement, and he was happy to oblige my prerequisite to center the trip around Thomas' interests in antiquity and need to do our own thing, so we made a natural team. Dad's only request was to dip his toes in the Adriatic.
Then we three settled back while Stacey made all the arrangements for us, knowing that if it was left to me we wouldn't get beyond my driveway. An organized wife is another blessing that I don't take for granted. We'd be travelling between points of interest in style and comfort. But it was apparent we'd see a lot of ruins, we'd do a lot of walking, and it would be very hot.
Over the next several weeks I'll sketch my perceptions of three generations of American men sweating across the Adriatic, Ionian and Aegean seas by boat between Italy, Croatia, Turkey and the Greek Islands.
|One of my favorite pictures from the trip. Thomas (l), me and Joseph Orobona (r). We're on the east (back) side of the Parthenon, at the Acropolis in Athens.|