Dateline June 25, 2016 End of Oceania Cruise

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harbor in Taormina Sicily

Taormina Sicily

narrowest road

After a day at sea, it was time to head ashore, Sicily was a place we had always wanted to visit. We headed off with Gordon and Karen to walk around the streets. We passed many beautiful shops and passed the narrowest street in the world (or at least Italy) called Vicolo Stretto. Pretty cool. We stopped and looked in many of the stores, did not purchase anything, and then it was lunchtime.

We stopped at a corner pizza restaurant and enjoyed some pizza and wine. There were local musicians and kids dancing to entertain the visiting tourists. It was a wonderful time on a beautiful day. As we were sitting there a local businessman drove up in a very small red car, about the size you need to drive on the narrow roads, well not Vicolo Stretto! We had a magnificent day walking around the streets and having an excellent lunch. With the day finished, we headed back to the ship. Our cruise was heading to Rome for our final port of call and end of the cruise.

We met Karen and Gorden for the final dinner on the ship and enjoyed the small piano bar in the ship’s lounge.

Karen Perry Cover

In the morning, we ran into people we had met during the cruise and said our goodbyes. Gordon and Karen set up a carr service to take all of us to the Rome airport. It was fast, and we arrived at the airport in plenty of time to catch our flight to Istanbul.  The cruise was a great experience topped off by our three days in Israel. We hope to return in the future!

More importantly, we should talk more about Gordon and Karen. They are engaged and will hopefully marry soon. You may remember the tragic plane crash on Superstition Mountain outside of Phoenix the day before Thanksgiving in 2011.  Karen’s three children were traveling with her ex-husband to his home for Thanksgiving vacation on the plane. Unfortunately, there were no survivors. An author, Landon Napolean, worked with Karen to write her life story, “Angels Three – The Karen Perry Story.”  We downloaded the book, and both read it.  A remarkable story of life which is much more a book about strength, courage, and perseverance, but of course, also about the loss of her three children.

Gordon met Karen in a hotel at the Tokyo airport after the accident when she first returned to work.  He lived very close to her in Arizona and befriended her.  Both being pilots, they had a lot to talk about, giving her a chance to slowly get back into dealing with the flow of life.  Karen loved horses, and Gordon helped her get one, which she used to help autistic children.  They are two of the finest people we have had the pleasure to know.  We look forward to accepting their invitation to visit Arizona and having them visit us in Florida.  Our thanks to them for making the Oceania cruise a wonderful time.