Ruth and John Shaw


If you were a Girl Scout, you will probably remember singing this song many, many times. It goes, “Make new friends, but keep the old….One is silver, but the other gold”.   How appropriate these words are for our years of traveling with friends!


When just the two of us have traveled somewhere, we have always enjoyed meeting new people, many times from other countries. Much can be learned about customs and lifestyles where they live, and of course, we like to brag on our Lake Lure!


But our greatest enjoyment of traveling has been when we’ve escorted groups over the past 16 years. Back when we lived in the Houston area, we took a group, along with a local chef, onboard a Norwegian cruise ship. The chef, John Henry Abercrombie, is known for his line of BBQ rubs and spices, and had even put on a spread for George H. Bush! This was probably the liveliest bunch of people ever! Other than his immediate family, we did not know any of the rest of the group prior to sailing. During that cruise, we got to know all of them very well, and others on the ship certainly knew who we were when we prepared an outdoor BBQ poolside!


Our first group adventure with our Lake Lure friends was to Alaska for a cruise tour.   Part of our land tour was on the train from Denali. Having that quality of time together made for some wonderful fun and memories.


Since then, we’ve traveled to Germany to follow the path of Martin Luther, ending in Oberammergau for the unforgettable Passion Play. We’ve also ventured to the Greek Isles & Italy, down the Danube and up the Rhine.


With each of these trips, new “silver” friends have been made. The silver and the gold mix have remained friends locally and on Facebook! The funny things that happened along the way have been repeated over and over in conversations. And thankfully, all have returned safely home with lots of memories and photos to share.


So, we’re off again in mid-May for the Canadian Rockies with two days on the Rocky Mountaineer Railroad. I will venture to say that this group of “gold” will also have some new “silver” friends at the end, and I will let you know next time!



Ruth and John Shaw are Master Cruise Counselors with Cruise Planners, Lake Lure, NC.