Thursday, January 10, 2013

A bus ride, and a short cruise review

Hello New Year!

I really need to learn how to keep a journal.  I keep forgetting to post.  This year my resolution will be to keep writing.

So, it is 2013. January 10th to be exact.

A milestone day; I rode the bus to work this morning. 
Big deal you say?
Well yes!
It marks the fact that after months of pain and stiffness, I could actually ride the bouncy jouncy bus into town without becoming so stiff that I couldn't walk by the time I reached my destination.

Herniated discs are unpleasant. (Just a tad bit of understatement BTW) Add to that an inflamed nerve bundle and you get real pain that runs from your spine to your toes. Thank goodness for modern medicine and good drugs.

So now I have had 3 procedures done. I get a few errant "tingles" but the PAIN has ceased.
(Hope it stays gone for a good l-o-n-g while.)
Thank you Dr. Ricki at Highline Hospital in Burien, WA!!

We went on vacation with D.W.'s (you know him? GREAT guy!) parents in December.

We have had few occasions where we could spend an extended time with them. Mostly due to weird work schedules.  We had never been on a cruise, but knew that they had enjoyed several.

This Fall they said that if we'd fly down to meet them that we would all go together. Wow!

I had no vacation time left but told my boss that I couldn't pass up the chance. He agreed, so I got the time off although unpaid.

D.W. took vacation leave; not too difficult as the scheduling called for us to return just prior to the holiday.

We did run into a snag at the beginning of November. His job decided to loan him out to FEMA in NYC post- Sandy. They said "you won't be gone more than 45 days". Problem was that the cruise was in 39 days. OH NO! The folks went into shock when told. We all crossed our fingers and hoped that it would work out. Alternate plans for meeting up were made.

Then on Thanksgiving eve I received a text message saying that he would be home the next morning. HURRAH.  And he even got a decent seat on the plane even though they had overbooked it.

So now we are seasoned sea travelers. It was only 7 days, there were only 2 ports of call. Aruba and Curacao. Not a bad beginning.

Warm weather in the low 80's, so comfortable. We had a balcony. The food was good, our service people were admirable. I over packed. We took the 1st portrait pictures we've gotten since our wedding.  It was FUN.

We snorkeled in Aruba. There might have been a storm shortly before as the water was not as clear as we had expected from our experiences in Hawaii. I picked up a cold.

We did a short bus tour at Curacao. That is quite the colorful place! Seems that a former governor had decided that with everything painted white and reflecting the sun that it was just too dazzling. He told everyone to paint their buildings anything BUT white. Turned out later that he owned a paint factory. Hmmm. 

One of the stops, the major stop, on the tour was the Curacao distillery.  I knew that Curacao was made from oranges; or what was an orange before exotic locale soil changed the fruit composition. Unedible fruit but essential oil that was exquisite. A new industry is born. And the stuff is not blue.
The distilled liquor is clear and then they add whatever color they want to it. But it is not just orange in flavor either. We tasted chocolate, kaffe, and rum raisin as well. Seems that not all flavors are for export. We brought home some of  the kaffe and rum raisin.

The 4 of us participated in a set of music trivia contests in one of the piano bars on the ship; Caribbean Princess by the way. It began as a sort of "we're here, why not" thing. The idea was to name one or more of the song title, the composer, and show title if it was from a TV show or movie. Turns out we were quite good at it. The 1st round was 15 tunes, we got them all. The 2nd round was 16 tunes, we missed 1 so came in 2nd. He just had to throw in a character's theme song from a soap opera.

It was lovely to spend time with Mom and Dad. A very good holiday.

D.W. went back to work on Christmas so that someone else could have time with family.
Carole went back to work a couple days later; in time to participate in all the year end detail stuff for the office.

Now there is an idea in the works about a cruise up the Inland Passage to Alaska this next summer. Fingers crossed again.