We are traveling slow and stately on a cruise to Europe. Today we passed the mid-way point in crossing the Atlantic Ocean on Royal Caribbean’s Legend of the Seas.

What a way to travel! Forget the cramped airline seat, the humid morning breath of the guy who will inevitably sleep on your shoulder, or 5 days of miserable jet lag…if you’ve got the time a cruise is the way to go.

Aside from the great food, superb entertainment, and attentive service, the highlight for us is the people we meet. At breakfast this morning we joined a couple of interesting old gentlemen who were busily trying to figure out which of them was the oldest. One retired from business and the other from a career with the church. (Seems the retired minister won that debate as he is now 87.) After listening awhile, we learned that the businessman was in real estate. “What type of real estate?”we asked. It seems he did a little work for Sears back in the day. After teasing that out a bit, we found out that his real estate projects included building the Sears Tower in Chicago. Yep, he built the friggin’ Sears Tower! But the other fellow was no less interesting. He retired from a career in ministry but he was quick to tell us this was his second career. In his twenties he owned a film production company and got a contract to film some really raunchy porn in San Francisco. The films were so filthy, he said, that he found himself praying before every day of shooting just to make it through the afternoon. After several days of prayer, he had a profound revelation and changed careers.

What an interesting morning. It ended on an even better note though. When we got up to leave the table Peter handed Phil, the real estate developer, his cane. In return, Phil handed us his card with an invitation to stop in for a stay if our travels should take us through either Chicago or Naples, Florida. Now wouldn’t that be an interesting stopover!

But alas, our time in the Azores is short. We have so much to tell but will have to let that wait for the next transmission. We’ll be back online in a few days at the next stop in Cork, Ireland.