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The Journey Home

Yesterday was an extremely long day. I woke up at 5:30 am Denmark time which was 9:30 pm Missouri time. For the last time i had bacon and fresh-cut pineapples for breakfast. The pineapple was the best. Mom and I were off the boat by 7:45. We were herded onto busses to take us back to the airport. There were four buses total to take us to a tent where our luggage was located. Of course we ended up being the very last people in line to go in the tent. This made it easy to find our suitcases and the fact that they are orange helped a lot too. We then walked twenty miles into the airport. During the time we were waiting to get our luggage people were sneaking into the tent through a different entrance. We were scheduled to fly home Air Canada and guess what their desk did not even open until 9:15 to check luggage. So all those jerks that were in such a hurry had to wait anyway. We could not check in via the little machines because US passports do not have a bar code. So we stood in line forever to check our bags. I had done online check in but couldn’t print boarding passes because no telling what the cruise would charge to print. (haha) We then came across 7-11 and stopped for drinks and snacks. I found it so funny there is a 7-11 in Copenhagen airport. We then walked forever to our terminal. The flight was seven hours long. We left at 12:15 and arrived in Toronto at 7:15 (Copenhagen time) but it was now 2:15 in the afternoon. I watched three movies. My favorite all time cheerleading movie Bring it On, Despicable me 2, and Wild. Now I had read the book Wild, it’s about a girl who went hiking on the Pacific Trail Coast with zero experience and used it as therapy to get over her divorce and the death of her mother. The book was so much better but I enjoyed watching it. I didn’t sleep at all. After we landed in Toronto the adventure really began.

We got off the airplane and walked a really long way before we reached the area for going to the united states. We walked up to computers where you had to scan your passport and answer if you were bringing wildlife into the country. That took forever to get it to read our passports. We then entered the line for security which  was huge and the folks were crabby and made everyone take off their shoes. Of course I had to pull my computer out and everyone had to take off jackets. We finally managed to get through that to another line to go through customs. By this time it’s 3:30 and our flight was due out at 4:15. We got moved to an even longer line because we had an X on the paper that printed after the passport scanning. Finally mom went and complained we were going to miss our flight so we got moved to a priority line. I am not sure what was wrong with our passports but it was fixed within five minutes. So we go to find our gate and it now says our flight is cancelled. I’m thinking if I’m stuck in Canada until tomorrow I’m going to kill someone. I just wanted to get home and see Brian and Allyson. So we go to the desk and find we’ve been put on another flight that will be a half an hour later and had new boarding passes printed.

The flight to St. Louis was uneventful. I think I may have slept 45 minutes but it was that time where I was dreaming I was awake. Mom was convinced our suitcases would be lost but they showed right up on the carousal. Brian waited until right before we landed to leave so we only had to wait about five minutes till he picked us up. This worked out nicely since mom hadn’t smoked a cigarette since the suitcase line in Denmark. He forgets he is taking her home and takes 55 instead of 270 so we had the scenic tour. We dropped her off and headed home. I was so glad to be home and fell asleep around 8:30 after being up for about 22 hours. I haven’t done that in at least 16 years when I use to do an occasional overnight shift in the burn unit.

 

Mole Moral~ It’s always an adventure to go on vacation with me. Any crazy thing that can happen probably will. This trip was no exception and left us with many fun memories.

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Deck Chair Guy

I arrived on the ship on a Wednesday and the very next day was a sea day. Since I am still training for the 50k, I decided to waste no time and do my ten-mile run. I was happy to discover the ship track was a quarter-mile so four laps was a mile. That was the day I used GPS and the crazy thing said I did 38 miles with a 3:45 pace. No worries as I adjusted that. It was that first run that I noticed a guy stacking up the deck chairs for the night. He was easy on the eyes as well so it made the time pass nicely.
I didn’t do all the runs I was supposed to because there were days when it was so windy the track was closed. But every time I ran I would see deck chair guy. The day I did the marathon after the second mile it was raining and so windy the deck was closed so I ran on deck twelve under cover around the tables. I actually walked because the deck was wet and I wasn’t falling. Deck chair guy did not disappoint as he was in the towel exchange booth for an hour or so. Every time I rounded the corner there he was. I swear every time I looked over he was looking at me. He was probably thinking what is wrong with this woman running around in circles and in all orange.
So today I decided to be brave and go up and talk to him. His English wasn’t the best and I don’t think many crazy ladies talk to him. I asked if his only job was the chairs and he said no he can serve drinks, and he was a deck server. This cruise was not warm at all so there was not a lot of people out by the pool. So I am sure he didn’t have a lot to do. Plus I swear I’m one of the youngest people on the cruise. I asked to take his picture and I got his name tag because I want to mention him in the email survey about the cruise. His job is one that is not front and center but important and he probably never gets recognition. (It’s kind of like being the nurse that takes care of patients right after surgery, they are too drugged up to remember that nurse.) I did thank him for helping me pass the time while running and told him I was training for a 50k.
I will post his picture but keep in mind two things. One he had a hat on which hid his awesome hair and two he is probably 6/6 and weighed 150 pounds. His pants were always high waters.

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And those of you that know me, know how I like tall and super thin. Hee hee.

Mole moral ~ Take the time to recognize and appreciate the people behind the scenes who are often overlooked.

 

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Mercy House Dublin Ireland

Today was the day I have been looking forward to for months. When I was talking about taking a cruise and visiting Dublin, the best pharmacist ever (Kathy M.) told me she had seen Mercy Dublin in passing when she was in Ireland. She told me that they did tours during the week. When I checked the cruise schedule we would be there on a Sunday. I then contacted the guy in charge of missions (not sure of his title). He was spending a month volunteering there and would see if he could arrange a tour. Sadly, he couldn’t but I had plan B in my pocket. My mom and I would take a taxi over (it was about four miles from the peir) and take photos. I have been really nervous about the taxi because I had only been in one once and it was this past leap day. However, if I wanted to see where Catherine McCauley lived I would have to shove the nervousness to the side.

So we got in a taxi with a really nice guy. It wasn’t too long before he dropped the F bomb, so I knew God sent him and we were safe. I gave him the address and when I said the statue of the nun, he said “oh the Catherine McCauley house.”
They drive on the opposite side of the road here so I had to remind myself that we weren’t going to have a head on collision.
The taxi guy waited while we took some pictures. It was totally cool to stand on Baggot Street. That is the name of the cafeteria in the doctors building at Mercy St. Louis. Baggot Street is also the name of Mercy’s intranet. This is me walking on Baggot street. I’m not the best with selfies.

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Here are some pictures of the house and me of course. I kind of got the chills thinking about Catherine building the house and helping people. It was founded September 24, 1827 and we were there on September 25, 2016.

After this little adventure the taxi guy drove us to a souvenir shop and waited for us because we both knew what we wanted.

After this we returned to the ship and of course what happened next only happens to CR. Everyone told us all the taxis take credit cards. Well this guy didn’t and all he took was Euros which we had none. So I left my mom in the backseat while I ran into the ship to get some cash exchanged to pay the guy. When I came out I told him I thought about leaving my mom with him for payment and he cracked up. He was telling us he took his wife and two kids out for pizza. The kids had a soda and his wife had a glass of wine and he a beer and his total was 140 euros. (157 bucks). Surely it’s much cheaper to cook at home.
Mole moral ~ Always ask the taxi guy if he takes credit so you don’t have to make a mad dash on and off the ship to pay him.

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Scandinavian Cruise Chapter One

Once upon a time in a land far far away a girl named Shleprock found a cruise for her and her mother to take. The mother did not realize that when Shleprock
goes on vacation disaster is sure to follow. So they flew half way across the world. Before they even landed in Denmark the mother accidentally knocked Shleprock’s glasses out of the holder and her glasses broke. Luckily Shleprock isn’t too blind without them but no more sunglasses feature. So it will be a squinty sort of vacation.
The flight was nine hours from Washington DC to Copenhagen Denmark. Although Shleprock was worried about the flight, the eight years she has rode a bus to church camp made the flight seem short. Since the flight came in so early the cruise line gave them a complimentary two hour cruise around Copenhagen where they saw the queens house. Of course those pictures were on the camera and the cord to transfer pictures is back at home.
They finally arrived at the ship and got directions confused and attempted to board the ship before anyone was allowed. It was close to noon when they finally found their room. It would be one of the few times they would find their room without the help of the room attendant.
They went to bed early and slept in the next morning which was a sea day.

Mole moral ~ The flight might have seemed short but still no desire to fly to Australia.

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Saying good-bye to My Favorite Doctor

A couple of weeks ago one of the residents told me that Dr. Chobanian had about five weeks left at Mercy. It was if God was standing behind me and said straight in my ear “It’s time to say good-bye.” I really just wanted to punch him but I am not sure exactly what would happen if someone actually attempted to punch God. I waited until the last possible minute to listen and actually say good-bye and took his gift and card up to his office today. He wasn’t in which is just as well because I could barely hold it together as it was.

One of the things I learned in counseling all those years ago was to figure out what the real issue is. Yes I will miss him but the real issue, he was my back up plan in case that crazy cancer I had returned. He assured me almost five years ago (hard to believe its been that long already since the Veronikis surgery) that the odds were less than 5% that it would ever turn into anything but with my nurse curse nothing would surprise me. So if it were to come back, I am totally screwed unless I go stalk him in Michigan. My husband might think I have totally lost my mind.

I am also sad for all of his patients he is leaving behind as well as the residents who will never train under him. I am not sure if his new job is at a teaching hospital or not but all of the residents loved him and operating with him.

I will also miss him as friend. I talked with him a lot when he was dating and if anything I learned no matter how annoying my husband might seem in the moment it is nothing like trying to date at our age. His birthday is the same day as my sisters as well. I just have a lot of great memories and will miss him terribly.

 

Mole Moral~ Making close friends is wonderful until they move away and then it sucks a big fat one. Best wishes to my favorite doctor on his next adventure in his career!