Anyone who has boarded a boat of any size has had to sit through various safety briefings,
“…in the unlikely situation…the life jackets are located somewhere on this boat…”
…because, as seen here, on what is left of a previous river adventure, sometimes “shit happens.”
This goes with an admonition to be aware that the boat is actually a moving platform—as if somehow, someone might think we would be teleporting motionless to our destination—so we are reminded to take particular precaution as we move about the boat.
Thus, it was of no surprise that the voice of the captain on our New Year’s day Empress Hornblower brunch boat began with the typical spiel.
But, never, have I been cautioned, as we were by this particular captain, to
“Keep one hand for the boat…and one hand for your cocktail.”
This was of immediate importance as I was cradling my first—of many—mimosas, and having patiently waited my turn for our lovely server, Krystal, to pour.
(I am not exactly sure why I included a link as to how to make a mimosa; it is really quite simple—even for the most mixicologistly challenged: pour champagne…add orange juice…drink…repeat, as necessary.)
My wife and I have been researching European river cruises on various boat styles from converted barges to small cruise ships, so this was somewhat of a “dry run,” except it was far from dry—in more than one sense.
Of course, we were floating on the aquatic environment of the Sacramento River, and we were drinking the aforementioned very liquid and marvelously tasting mimosas; plus, by the end of the cruise we were treated to a gentle romantic rain as we stood on the foredeck as we approached the soon-to-be raised Tower Bridge and the Old Sacramento dock.
The meal that accompanied the All-You-Can-Drink-Mimosa brunch was not spectacular, but more than adequate, but the crew was exceptionally friendly and accommodating, the changing riverside views were enjoyable, but not more than our musical entertainment.
We had a jolly gentleman dressed in a sequin-adorned coat—with shoes to match—energetically playing a saxophone, and occasionally a flute, with what appeared to be an MP3 player hooked to his sound system, which served as his accompanying band members.
I cannot remember his name, but the last thing the captain mentioned as he completed his pre-cruise greeting was an encouragement to begin the musical merriment with a charge,
“Hit it, Sparkles!”
Hit it, he did. And, this was after no sleep since playing late into the night for the New Year’s eve festivities.
To sum up our delightful day on the river, I will quote an old television bandleader, probably of your parents—or maybe even, grandparents—era.
Anyone out there old enough to remember whose trademark term was,