Holland America MS Westerdam on the Olivia Leadership and Equality Cruise.
By Jenny Block
Today was a glorious day at sea with the Ladies of Olivia. The weather couldn’t have been better if we had ordered it up ourselves and neither could have the diversions.
We began our day by attending the session LGBT Equality in the United States: What Have We Achieved This Year and what is Next? The session featured moderator Kate Kendall, Executive Director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights and paenlists Edie Windsor, Colonel Grethe Cammermeyer, Kris Perry, and Sandy Stier.
It was an incredibly powerful and inspirational panel about the work that’s been done and the work that’s left to do and the powerful women who make up our past, present, and future. Makes a girl want to get out there and vote or volunteer or write or, maybe even run for office…
The rest of the day was spent by the pool where bingo was played and music was listened to and the camaraderie of the week continued. There’s something strangely empowering about being around so many lesbian woman who all want the same thing – equal treatment. Period.
Before we knew it, it was time to get ready for the evening’s entertainment – Gina Yashere. We have seen her perform a few times before and have always been blown away. So we were excited to see her once again.
As usual, she brought the house down. She is bawdy and hilarious and doesn’t spare a soul when it comes to getting a laugh. She even included the adorable interpreter (who calls herself C.M. for Chick Magnet) in the act, which just made the whole performance all the funnier.
The only problem with the show was that it ended too soon.
After the show, it was time for dinner in the Vista Dining Room. When asked if we wanted to be seated with other women, we once again acquiesced and once again found ourselves in amazing company, including Lindsay and Dana from Utah who I feel sure we’ll see again.
One of the best parts of Olivia is making lifelong friends who you would likely never otherwise meet. It feels like such an incredible gift to spend time with so many like-minded women. It always makes me wish that life in general was more like an Olivia trip.
The day ended with the White Party on the Lido Deck where we danced and danced until we simply couldn’t dance anymore. Another amazing day. Sadly, tomorrow is the last one on this adventure. But it promises to be an outstanding one. Can’t wait!
I've been very lucky to have the chance to travel all around the world. I've ridden a camel in Israel; been swimming with rays and sharks in Bora Bora; gone ATVing in Curacao' and gotten my dive certification in St Kitts. I've watched the most beautiful sunrises and sunsets; talked to the most interesting people; stayed in the most outrageous places; and felt an overwhelming sense of gratitude for every minute of it. I look forward to sharing all of my adventures with you, future and past, in hopes of inspiring you to take a leap or two of your own. I plan to take you on a virtual world tour and I hope you'll share your travel stories with me all along the way.