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More Stories - The Way We Were

Aboard the Queen Elizabeth
By Hilda Graham   

<<<...Previous  As you know we did make it to New York. Eddie and Don finally found the way to the Dock where we were to board Ship, I believe we drove under either the Lincoln or Hudson Tunnel that was a new experience for us.

Eddie and Don came aboard with us more paper work, checking passports and ticket reservations which took time. We finally made it to our cabins with the luggage we would need for the trip, the rest went to the hold.

Then came the sad goodbyes as we were going for 3 months and I was still worried about Eddie and Don having to face bad weather on the way back to Texas.

Finally Sheila and I unpacked our cases there was a small closet in the Cabins. We somehow managed to get most everything in order. I might mention we went tourist class; no way could we afford Cabin or First Class (Still Can't) <G> but with 4 children it did get costly. We seemed to stay in dock for quite awhile as they waited for the tide to come in. Sheila asked me if I has seen Steven and it was then I realized Edward was amongst the missing. Panic struck, where in the world were they, just as we were about to have a nervous breakdown, Donny, the eldest of Sheila's boys came in grinning like a Cheshire Cat. It seemed that our two little darlings had already figured the layout of the cabins and as new passengers arrived and were checking their tickets, those two little stinkers were directing them to their prospective accommodations, even to the use of the elevators, also helping them carry some of their luggage.

Now here comes another story. The call for lunch was announced and of course our little guides had found the dining hall. So Sheila and I accompanied by our six little angels went to the dining room and showed our tickets to the steward, who seemed to be in charge. He then directed me to a table with two strangers sitting there; this was a table for eight. Sheila was taken to another table for four. We looked at each other and by now I was getting a little frustrated. The other couple at the table were eyeing us and looking at each other. I knew what they were probably thinking imagine sitting at a table with four children. I was not feeling too good about being seated with a young couple who looked as if they were on their honeymoon. When the steward started handing out the menus I suggested that a mistake had been made, and that my friend Sheila and I had made our reservations together and we had traveled all the way from Texas and we expected to be seated at the same table.

His answer was "Madam, this is the way the seating is arranged and there is nothing I can do about it."

Well that did it, "madam" indeed; I was 31 at the time and somehow this grated on my nerves. I told him I would like to see the person in charge. He seemed a little reluctant but finally brought his superior to the table.  By this time Sheila had made her way to the table where I was.  She was also angry and believe me it was not a good idea to get her upset. The young couple looked uncomfortable so I explained the situation to them and by golly they agreed that we were right.

When the head steward arrived and we told him our tale of woe he began to hum and haw, so I decided on a plan of action.

I suggested it would be to their advantage if we were seated together, stating in case that either Sheila or I were to get under the weather which was a possibility as the weather was still a little rough the other one could take charge of the children. I think he began to see the light. This did seem to be a reasonable suggestion, so after talking it over with our steward and the young couple, who I am sure were delighted Sheila and her children were moved to where I was, we had the table to ourselves which is the way it should have been in the first place. The young couple were then seated at another table with two adults, not sure if they were too happy as the other couple were much older than they.
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Copyright 2005 Hilda Graham

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