So when I said I was taking the summer off from blogging I didn’t really give the other reason beyond work and playground construction. We’ve been out of town a lot and the paranoia in me doesn’t want to advertize being away from home on the net. But yeah, I’ve been on the move for quite a while; please forgive my lack of response to email.
We just returned from our yearly rfamily vacation. For those who don’t know, it’s a cruise organized by a company owned by Kellie O’Donnell (Rosie O'Donnell’s wife), and it’s meant to be a vacation where families headed by GLBT parents can relax without the likelihood of their family makeup being an issue.
This is our third time on one of these cruises. With them, we’ve walked a fishing village in Halifax, panned for gold in Skagway, toured historic Boston, watched glaciers calve just out of Juno, and much more. In all, we’ve spent almost a month of our lives on these vacations and have loved the experience.
I’ll get into what we did this year later on. I was going to blog on ship but didn’t want to take time from our busy relaxing to do so or even open the laptop I lugged around all week, so I’ll copy and share some journal entries later.
In general and simply though, it’s a wonderful experience each year. The ship has been the same design each year and it sells out at about 3,000 passengers. Between 600 and 800 of those are children, depending upon the year, and so you can imagine the atmosphere. Add to that about the same number of gay or lesbian parents and the rest are straight friends and family, most of them grandparents (we’ve taken my parents every year). On this cruise though, there were many more young gay couples, without children. I suppose most of them wanted to go on a gay cruise but not a Gay Cruise... I’ve been on regular cruises before and these rfamily affairs are more family oriented and tame by a good distance than even the straight counterparts I've seen. Heck, we’ve all got to be to bed by 9 ;-).
The kids simply love it and talk about the “big ship” all year. We weren’t going to go this year but they talked us into it and it’s easy to see why. We basically play all day. Off ship we go on some adventure and on ship they swim or play with the other children all over this vast floating city.
They’ve made some really good friends over the years too. Our boys haven’t yet figured out there’s any social issue surrounding our family and have yet to really say or ask anything significant about it, but I’m sure some questions and hurdles are coming, eventually. We have been careful to have friends for them around with all sorts of family structures here in Utah, and I’m glad they are forging the social connections they are on these cruises, just in case.
And, sure, we love it too. Aside from the travel, we’ve made some really good friends as well. The ship is full of family focused gays and lesbians and it’s hard not to find that common thread in our experiences and goals that leads to easy conversation and on to welcomed friendships. We have been very fortunate to get to know some of the folks we’ve met, and look forward to the opportunities to get together in between cruises despite the fact we live all over the world (the map below shows just the US guests but over 50 countries were represented). Once one becomes a parent, it becomes much more difficult to find people you’d want to bring into your, and therefore your children’s lives as family friends, but not on this cruise; the people are, in general, amazing.
I think I’ll spend the next couple posts going over our trip this year. I fear I’m becoming too accustomed to not blogging lately (I forgot my password there for a while!) and I best pump up my post count ;-).