Barely over thirty-five years ago, I married my life-long love in Barberton, Ohio. The next day we flew to Ft. Lauderdale, where we began our honeymoon. It would be twenty-one years before we visited the Sunshine State again when I began my residency in Orlando. One of the pleasures of our honeymoon was a dinner cruise on the Jungle Queen out of Ft. Lauderdale. On Wednesday evening, we revisited our honeymoon by taking a repeat cruise on the Jungle Queen up the New River to their “jungle island” where an all-you-can-eat meal and entertainment awaits. The journey up the river was sure a lot less stressful than it was a few days ago. It was sort of cool that we passed Beatitude in her slip as we made our way inland. Life sure is different than when we made this trip in 1979.
The food, consisting of BBQ ribs and chicken, peel and eat shrimp, baked beans, cole slaw, and an apple crisp for dessert, was generally excellent. The entertainment was a little cheesy and amateurish, but still fun. Actually, the best entertainment was the hilarious guide who narrates the journey up the river, pointing out all the rich peoples homes and yachts. He was excellent! Cindy and I had a great trip down memory lane and have resolved to return in the year 2049 to ride the Jungle Queen after seventy years of marriage.
Last evening, we attended the South Florida Symphony at the Broward Center in Downtown Ft. Lauderdale. The program included Verdi’s Nabucco Overture, Prokofiev’s Sinfonia Concertante for Cello and Orchestra featuring Zuill Bailey on cello, and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4. It was a glorious evening of beautiful music. From the lyric and emotional Verdi piece to Tchaikovsky’s 4th, his “catharsis symphony” which evolves from darkness to light, inspired by Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5. The highlight, however, was Prokofiev’s Sinfonia featuring Zuill Baily. We were wowed by his playing, which ranged from virtuosic musical acrobatics to passionate lyrical passages. I’ve never seen a piece which demanded so much from a cellist. The cello is my favorite instrument (I’ve taken a few lessons) because of its ability to connect with and channel human passion and emotion. The range of the cello mirrors the range of the human voice so that it seems remarkably adept at expressing human passion. Zuill’s good looks only adds to his mystique and ability to connect with the audience through his playing .
Today, the work was finished up on Beatitude. We settled up with the marina and with Multitech Marine this afternoon. This time, it didn’t take twice as long as I thought, but did come close to being twice as expensive as I thought. Oh, well! We’re heading back down the river tomorrow morning (Pray for us!). Beatitude has been showered by dirt and metal grindings in her present location in the working boatyard basin. We’re moving to a marina near the Port Everglades exit for some relative peace and quiet, anticipating a hopeful departure eastward in a couple of days.