Brewmax started this wonderful thread and I have been trying to get a chance to add to it for days. (Sorry Barbara, sometimes I'm a little slow LOL).
I cannot say enough about how Olivia and the forums have changed my life.
We live in a rural part of central California. The closest gay bars are hours away. We were pretty much the only lesbians we knew!
Our first Olivia experience was on the Mexican Riviera ’05. Janice and I had not been away together for more than 24 hours in 11 years. Our first contact was at the host hotel the night before sailing. As I walked into the lobby, I was astounded (the first of many) by the fact that Olivia had a table set up right in the lobby to greet us as we arrived. Jeri’s smiling face was my first contact. A moment I will never forget. And the hits just kept on coming! We attended the party that night and I was totally unprepared for the level of care that Olivia was about.
The next morning, we went to the port to board and there were lesbians everywhere! I had NEVER seen so many in one place. The experience was truly life changing. We bought all the pictures; we went on excursions at every port. One of my life’s heroes is Martina N. (I’m not EVEN going to try to spell that!) We not only attended (as spectators) her tennis clinic, but we saw her almost every day for either breakfast or lunch in the Lido Lounge. A real thrill for me. I could write pages about how overwhelming the experience was. On the last night, we won a 2 for 1 to the Western Caribbean at Judy’s talk. Boy, we would have spent quite differently if we had known we were going again in 3 months!
This is where the original forum became part of my life. It started very simply. I logged on to ask a question about one of the excursions and was promptly answered by both Jeri and Brewmax. Next thing I knew, I was on every day bouncing from thread to thread, drinking in all the wonderful women and stories. I had finally found a way to connect with all my sisters!
The Western Caribbean ’06 was legendary. The first purple party. Getting to meet all the women I had been talking to on the forum. Brewmax, JoCindy, PokerAlice, JeanneCAJ, JAF, CBEL, Derby, Jelene… Just too many to mention. What an awesome experience! This second cruise was a real stretch for us financially but I would not have missed it for the world.
I have made lifelong friends here. I am eternally grateful for Judy, Jeri and all the folks at Olivia for doing what they do so well. I wonder if they realize how much they mean to people like us and how they TRULY change people’s lives.
We are now saving up for our next trip. The hope is that a Mexican Riviera trip is announced for ’09 (anybody at Olivia listening???) We will be on that trip and I will be here on the forum until then, making friends, sharing pictures and stories. I won’t say I couldn’t live without Olivia, but having known this experience, I am so grateful that it exists and I will continue to be a part of something so important.