In early June, 1957, we were driven to the Port of Los Angeles by my Uncle Tim and Aunt Avis. We were sailing on the S.S. Leilani to Hawaii. Cruise ships were the popular way to travel to Hawaii at that time, and although the Leilani wasn't quite as elegant as the Matson Liners, it was a popular mode of transportation and often utilized by celebrities.
Once we boarded the ship there were parties everywhere and many adults drinking, often drinking too much. My Aunt and Uncle boarded the ship to look around, but my Aunt Avis, who was deathly afraid of the ocean, began to feel seasick and so she and my Uncle decided to leave. We hugged goodbye. We would not see them again for another year.
The time finally came to set sail. The partying guests who had come to see someone off were told to disembark from the ship. Some of them were slow to disembark, but eventually the ship was ready and we set sail. As the ship was pulled out to sea by the tugboat, once again, the bands played on shore and we threw streamers from the ship.
My Mother repeated her recipe for fending off seasickness by starting us on seasick pills the day before we sailed. It worked for me, I never did get seasick. But other passengers did become quite sick and the smell of vomit was especially bad below deck. I tried to stay up on deck as much as possible to avoid seeing or smelling the putrid stuff. I loved the smell of the fresh sea air and watching the sights as we drew farther and farther from land.
Finally, the tugboat set us free and we were off. I was sad to be leaving my friends and family members but very excited about seeing new sights and meeting new people. I began my new adventure by exploring the ship and meeting new people.