At lunch I was going through my documents and found this "essay" I had written about my trip last summer on the Isaac. H. Evans. The Captain had asked me to write something up to share with a reporter about "Gal-Pal" Trips. In this case, I was taking a Gal-Pal trip with my mom. Anyways - I realized that I hadn't shared my experience about the trip online, so I thought that I would post this. I'll post pictures from the trip tonight.
My mom and I discovered that we were ideal traveling partners back in 2003. At the time, my mom had recently located to NC after divorcing my dad and I had lost my job as well as a boyfriend. We had also lost our dog and my grandma (my mom’s mom) to cancer. Obviously it hadn’t been a stellar year up to that point. My mom’s a teacher so she had spring break so she suggested that we do a road trip to Charleston, SC and then to Savannah, GA. While my mom and I had a really strong relationship – I remember realizing on this trip how awesome my mom was as a person – not just as my mom.
Fast forward 6 years later.
A lot had happened since that first trip. My old company hired me back (literally a week after I got home from the Charleston trip), but a few years after that I fired them and took a new job. My mom had firmly established a life in NC – where she is beloved teacher at a high school and active in her church. But one of the biggest things that had affected us was that I had found and lost real love. My boyfriend, Chris, died of a stroke just before Christmas of 2007. It was tough on all of us. Of course I was grieving because I had lost the person I had envisioned a future with; but my mom, she had to deal with not only losing someone she had come to think of as a son, but she was also watching me slip away into a grief fueled depression. By May of 2009, we were both exhausted and needing some kind of refreshment.
My mom and I were just having a normal conversation when suddenly she mentioned our trip to Charleston. It was like a light bulb went off in both of our heads and we realized that a trip was what we needed to rejuvenate ourselves. We began to throw out ideas – repeat our trip to Charleston, drive up to Minnesota to see her sisters, make a pilgrimage out to Wisconsin to see our old watercolor instructor. It was my mom who had the idea for Maine. She said it had been a lifelong dream of hers to go. All I knew about Maine was that the blueberries and pointed firs grew there. So my mom, being a teacher, gave us homework – find out more about Maine. We both searched the Maine’s Tourisms Office website – and from the looks of it – it seemed like Maine was a totally chill state that would give us the peace that we needed. I called a Boston friend of mine who loves Maine (almost more than her husband); she squealed at the prospect of me visiting her favorite place in the world and told me in no uncertain terms that I needed to go there - stat. It was my mom who found the link for a “Fireworks Cruise” on the Isaac H. Evans.
We both instantly fell in love with the idea of a windjammer cruise. It would be something new and different for both of us, and it is also very affordable. A four day/3 night trip (including all food and board) ends up being less than $200 per day/person – that’s less than one day in a hotel + restaurants in most cities. I still remember us conference calling the Evans reservation line and being giddy as school girls making our reservations. For the first time in a long time we both had something to really look forward to.
Onto our trip
Since getting back – my mom and I talk about the next trip we are going to take on the Evans. It’s not a question of “if”; it’s of “when”. This trip was so refreshing, rejuvenating, and best of all - healing. Since our trip, I have felt more balanced and relaxed with life in general. My mom is talking about doing a “Galpal” trip on the Evans with her oldest friend in the world possibly next summer, while I’m trying to convince multiple friends that we should get a group trip together in two years. But I know that my mom and I will both look for the chance to do this trip together again – it would be a shame not to. Until then– we’ll just have to keep up with Captain Brenda and the Evans online.