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It’s Someone Else’s Turn! – by Siga Bielkus

It is with great excitement that I write a blog post today! As my best friend in the whole world is getting married this weekend, and I am a deeply honored to be her maid-of-honor! The wedding will be taking place in San Diego at the Bahia Hotel, Mission Beach. How amazing is that? So besides being honored, I get to trade my chilly Atlantic sunrise for a warm Pacific sunset. Thank you, Katie.

Katie and I met freshman year at George Washington University. We instantly clicked over our obsession with General Hospital, pineapple on pizza and matinee movies. A few years into college we went on the study abroad program, Semester at Sea, which was the most amazing journey I ever experienced. Memories from my trip around the world often float into my consciousness as a lovely adventurous daydream.

Many, many (many!) years have passed since college but Katie being such a loyal and devoted friend stayed in touch. It takes dedication to remain friends when life can throw you curve balls along the way. Sometimes it is difficult to rekindle a relationship when too much time passes;  but, the best friendships are those that you can connect with right where you left off. We have this knack so each passing year strengthens as oppose to weakens our bond.

Having been sailor sisters before, Katie and I decided to go on a Carnival Cruise to celebrate our 10 year anniversary from traveling around the world.  I must admit I was a little apprehensive when we were in line to board, watching all the plump snow birds, honeymooners and anniversary couples holding hands and sorting tickets. Both of us were without male companions, so we stood there with slightly veiled expectations of meeting someone. Envisioning Cary Grant as my cabin’s neighbor, like in “An Affair to Remember”, was perhaps a little more than expectation could deliver, but you can’t stop a girl from dreaming. Katie too freshened her lip gloss and looked toward the horizon, but she happened to see Mr. Right!

On the very first night we got dressed to the nines for the formal dining, and specifically requested late seating.  Walking into the hall we both zeroed-in on our table number and Katie’s and my eyes quickly met and then – we smiled at each other. Three handsome, young men sat side by side… at our table.  Thank you, Carnival.  We introduced ourselves and joined the baseball players (Katie and I smiled at each other again) across the round table.

The boys were true gentleman. I could tell Katie was intrigued by the ginger haired, soft-spoken one. Night after night we sat across from them until toward the end of the journey, one night, Katie took her place next to Brett.

Expressing my love for the couple in my speech will be one of this weekend’s highlights. Each year will strengthen their bond too, and I hope that my friendship with Brett will also deepen, because Katie will always be in my life.  Wishing the couple a lifetime of joy, adventure, prosperity and the splendors of what the world offers.

Bon voyage!

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