On National Jenny Day, aka the 4th of July, we kicked off our campaign to fulfill Jenny’s wish (“let’s just try to have some fun”) with a star-spangled cruise on San Francisco Bay. Family and friends gathered at the Berkeley Doubletree Hotel, where Jenny held court before boarding the Admiral Hornblower just after 7 p.m.
The first stretch of choppy water tested the skills of our seaworthy steward, who toted trays of hors d’oeuvres up and down the stairs linking the two decks without missing a step and poured red wine into teetering glasses without spilling a drop on the immaculate tablecloths. But, our competent captain soon brought the 60-foot-yacht into calm seas just off Treasure Island to reveal the evening’s well-kept surprise: a water-cannon salute to Jenny from a San Francisco fire boat, arranged by the Make-a-Wish Foundation. (No photo can fully capture the awestruck delight on Jenny’s face as she watched this extravaganza from the comfort of her Bay-view wheelchair seat on the yacht’s main deck, but we’ve posted one to give you a feel for what you missed.) Later that night, Jenny asked whether the Mayor of San Francisco gets similar salutes. We think she’s one up on Mayor Newsom!
The fun was by no means at an end. Jenny’s guests enjoyed delicious treats (including the world’s yummiest chocolate-covered strawberries) and spectacular views of the San Francisco skyline through sunset-tinged fog, followed by teasing glimpses of Oakland’s pyrotechnic display as our captain repositioned the Admiral Hornblower near the end of the Berkeley pier. Then, Jenny marveled as a succession of fireworks burst into brilliant color overhead, seemingly so close that one could reach through a window and catch a falling spark.
In typical Jenny fashion, however, she seemed to take just as much pleasure in being surrounded by the many loved ones who had traveled from near and far to take part in this special voyage. And that made this trip the memory of a lifetime – not only for Jenny, but for each and every one of us who had the privilege of sharing her joy.
Heartfelt thanks to all who contributed to the magic of National Jenny Day, including the Make-a-Wish Foundation, everyone involved at Hornblower Cruises and the staff of the Doubletree Hotel. You’ve set a high standard for the ongoing campaign to “have some fun.”