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Archive for October, 2017

Bahamas 2017

Since I had my laptop with me anyway, since I had taken it to do my homework, I figured I’d keep a daily journal on it and post it as a blog post.

Day 1 – travel day – October 7, 2017

I left Louisville at 6pm on a Saturday.  My destination for that day was Orlando, FL.  The flight was quick and painless.  I sat next to a young mother and her two year-old son.  At first, I was annoyed with this because I have heard nothing but horror stories about sitting next to little kids on planes.  However, I quickly learned that the little boy, named Caden, was sweet and at times, rambunctious.  I enjoyed the 2 hours sitting next to them.

I made it to my hotel around 9pm that night.  I settled in and finished up some homework that I had forgotten to do before leaving.  I realized it before leaving, so I grabbed my laptop and threw it in my bags to bring with me.

Fascination

Day 2 – October 8, 2017 – Day 1 of cruise

I woke up bright and early for the cruise day!  I was so excited to get on the ship.  I woke up at 530am!  My shuttle wasn’t going to arrive to the hotel until 1130 or so.  Ugh.  I went downstairs and ate breakfast and sat outside for a bit.

When the shuttle got there, I could hardly contain myself.  I kept thinking, I’m going on a cruise!!!!

We got to the port and filtered in to the terminal to check in.  The check in process was quick and painless since I purchased the Faster to the Fun package, which gave me a dedicated line for check in.  It also gives me a dedicated line at guest services on board and priority debarkation.

Once I got on board and found my cabin, I wandered the ship for a long time.  I found the buffet, the smoking sections, and the spa.  Once my bags were outside of my room, I unpacked and got comfortable with the cabin.  These inside cabins are perfect for one person.  I don’t know how I’ll ever go back to cruising with someone again because I like having all this room to myself (but you know I will cruise with others!)

Day 3 – October 9, 2017 – Day 2 of cruise

This was our sea day.  So we were cruising at sea all day long.  This was also my spa day.  I had pre-purchased a manicure, pedicure, and Swedish massage.  While I took a tour of the spa, I set up a consultation with the doctor who does acupuncture.  I have always been intrigued with it and I wanted to know what it could do for me.  I ended up buying 3 treatments.  These treatments were for my left big toe (arthritis) and my back and neck tension.  My stress levels got to a point that it was very painful for the massage to happen.  I had my first session with Dr. Cai that night at 7:30pm after dinner.  Besides a little pinching every now and then, it was painless and once the needles were in, it was like they weren’t even there.  My toe was pain free for the rest of that night and into Tuesday until I walked around Nassau that is.

Day 4 – October 10, 2017  –  Day 3 of cruise

sunrise in NassauWe arrived in Nassau in the Bahamas at around 8am.  I stood on deck near the front of the ship to watch us come into port.  It was magical.  I can’t even put it into words how it felt watching the ship maneuver into the port.  There were a few other cruise ships in port with us, Carnival Liberty, Royal Caribbean’s Enchantment of the Seas, and a Disney ship that made the rest of our ships look like row boats.  It was huge!!!

I ate breakfast and then headed out to check Nassau out.  The Bahamas are on my bucket list and now I get to cross them off that list!  It was a busy little town.   Cars speeding by and people bustling all over.  I walked around the shopping areas and kept close to other tourists, since I was solo.

I finally got tired of walking, so I paid $30 for a horse and carriage tour of the downtown area.  It was educational and I enjoyed learning about the Bahamas and Nassau.  We went by Princess Margaret Hospital and my driver told me that it’s $10 to see the doctor and $5 for the medications.  For everyone. There were a lot of lawyer offices on this tour.  He said that there is an over-abundance of lawyers on the islands due to the fact people come there to do their offshore banking and launder money (just like the Cayman Islands!)  I found that fascinating!

I went back onto the ship and wandered.  I napped and then did my 3pm appointment in the spa for more acupuncture.  Dinner was amazing as usual and I had their famous chocolate melting cake for dessert.  Holy crap!

Day 5 – October 11, 2017  – Day 4 of the cruise

We arrived in Freeport as the sun was coming up. There were a few boats and ships in dry dock there, including the Carnival Conquest.  It was a very industrial looking area, completely opposite from Nassau.  I didn’t really like the look of things, but there was a little fenced in shopping area for us to walk around in there.   So, I hung out on the pool deck for a bit and then went off the ship to wander the shopping area.  Once I was done with that, I went back onboard for a quick nap, lunch, and my 3rd and final acupuncture appointment in the spa.

Sunset the last night

It’s so hard to believe that the cruise is just about over.  I have to pack and put my bags outside my room while saving stuff I’ll need for the morning.  Or I need to keep my bags and wheel them off myself.  Pfft.  Heck no, I’m packing and putting them outside my room.  Any time I can make my life easier on this trip, I’m doing it.  I stuffed my large suitcase and my smaller one to the brim with the stuff I brought and the stuff I bought.

My backpack is stuffed full and I bought a small bag on board to help carry my little purse and other essentials for my travel day.  I skipped dinner in the dining room so I could go out on deck for the sunset.  I grabbed some food from the buffet and went out on the deck where they have some tables there.  I ate and watched the sun set.  It was beautiful.

 

 

 

 

 

Day 6 – October 12, 2017 – time to go home

I got up at 6am this morning, anxious to get the day started.  I figure the sooner I start the day, the sooner I’ll be at home with my munchkins.  I knew this day was going to be long and I will be spending a lot of time in some airports.  I’m currently sitting in the Orlando airport while I wait for my 2:15pm flight to Baltimore.    From there, I’ll go back to Louisville where my friend will pick me up and take me home to my babies.

I have been trying to find the words to describe how I feel about this vacation and I just can’t seem to find them right now.  I knew I needed this vacation in a big way and I haven’t been that relaxed in a very long time.  It was such a well-deserved vacation and I spoiled myself rotten while I was gone.  I need to give myself permission to go on vacation once a year like this because I can’t go another 10 years before visiting somewhere I’ve never been.

 

 

My mom…

Four months ago today, I lost my mom.  While it wasn’t “sudden,” it was very quick.  She hadn’t been feeling well since November and finally got an answer to what was going on in May.  On May 10, we found out she had stage 4 lung cancer that had metastasized to several places in her body, including her brain and spine.  On June 3, she was gone.  I feel shell shocked still and the loss has been crushing for me.  I push through each day, trying to pretend that I’m okay.  But I’m not.  Here’s my story:

When mom got out of the hospital, I rushed down there for an extended weekend in May.  I was there around May 12, just a few days after she got out of the hospital from coughing up blood.  This is when we found out she had lung cancer.  While I was there that weekend, we had a home health nurse come out and we found out a little more extensively what was going on and where the cancer had spread.  We found out she had lesions in her brain.  Home health nurse called hospice, who came out as well.  We found out even more of the extent of her cancer.  It was horrifying.

I came home to go back to work and to take care of my babies, planning to go back down in a few weeks.  I originally planned to go back down the weekend of June 9.  However, the Tuesday before she passed, my brother text me and said he felt I should come down sooner, he had a weird feeling about things.  I figured things out and I found someone to watch my dogs and I left on June 1, Thursday.  I made it down there around 2:30 in the afternoon.  Mom was bedridden by then and barely conscious.  She recognized me and we said, “I love you,” a few times.  I held her hand for a few moments before going out to the living room to chat with my brother and sister in law.

That evening, something happened that I never thought would occur.  As I was walking Beck in the driveway, the neighbor dog came over and attacked us.  She ripped Beck right out of my arms.  He was in my arms because I realized the dog was near us and I didn’t know how they would get along, so I picked him up.  She came over, circling us and then got faster than me and snagged him right out of my arms.  She started flipping him around like a little rag doll.  Did you know dogs scream?  I didn’t either until then.  The owner finally came over and was able to get her off of Beck.  In the process, I got bit, but I don’t know if she bit me or Beck bit me.  I had jumped in and was punching the dog’s head, trying to get her to let him go.  Somewhere in there, I got bit.  My brother and I rushed Beck to the emergency vet and they shaved him up and cleaned his wounds.  They wanted way too much money to keep him over night.  The next morning, we took him to the vet my mom used for Chloe.  Doc Win was amazing.  Beck had emergency surgery that day.  I spent more time in the vet office than I did with my mom those few days that followed.  It was traumatizing and I’m still having nightmares and dealing with the emotional and physical kick back of that.

Mom passed on June 3, Saturday.  In a way, I feel like I did not get there in time to spend more time with her before she left us.  I know I did, logically.  Emotionally, though, I feel like I didn’t.  I feel robbed of time with her, too.  The time I could have been spending with her, I ended up having to worry about my munchkin and getting him healed up and well again.  I don’t resent him at all.  I’m angry at the dog who attacked us.  I’m angry she stole time away from me that I could have been spending with my mom.  I know this may not sound logical to some people and it’s probably not that logical.  But it’s how I feel and if I’ve learned anything over the course of being in Gambler’s Anonymous for 16 years, is that I’m allowed to feel how I feel.

In the process of grieving for my mom, I started going to a Grief Share class that has helped me a lot deal with a lot of things.  It’s helped me start working through my grief for Todd, my dad, and my mom.  It’s also helped me start working through the emotions I feel over the dog attack too.

Until next time…