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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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Cruise Notes Episode 3

These cruise notes are taking me longer than expected. My life is insane and every time I go on vacation all chaos breaks loose when I return. This vacation was no different except my computer did not blow up. I say it’s because I now own a Mac and not a Window’s product. I really should just shut up before my Mac blows up! After all what are the chances of getting a virus on a Mac? Slim to none but I did in fact get one.

Ok back to the cruise. We visited Nassau on Monday and Kayla and I swam with the stingrays. That was pretty cool! I did ask about their stingers and they said different types are poisonous and the ones we were with were not. Plus they clip their stinger which I had issues with because that isn’t exactly nature. I purposely did not swim with dolphins because I read upsetting things about that but made sure I read nothing on stingrays. I probably should now that it is over. I also forgot I was wearing my Fitbit HR and fried that. It wasn’t kidding when it said it’s not waterproof. I let it dry out for five days and still nothing, so I bought a new one the day after I returned. What can I say, I’m an addict to the stats.

Two days later we were suppose to stop at half-moon cay. At six am the captain of the ship comes over the loudspeaker and announces that due to the waves we would not be able to stop. It was too dangerous to board the tender boats to go over to the island. Not five minutes later the perky cruise director (Professor Bing Bong) comes on and repeats it. Except for once, he wasn’t so cheerful that I wanted to slap him. Kayla and I were pretty disappointed as we were suppose to go snorkeling but its a risk one takes when they vacation with Shleprock. (To read about my nickname click on Shleprock). So later on in the day he is out on the pool deck and I announce to Kayla I’m going to go talk to him about how often this happens. Imagine my surprise when I find this picture on her phone after we got back.

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He informs me that this island gets cancelled about 20% of the time but it’s the first time it’s happened to him personally. I think he was rather new to his role but that’s just me trying to defend I’m not bad luck. So we spent four days on the cruise ship which was rather relaxing but also disappointing. I was refunded the money for our snorkeling which I promptly spent on pictures. I found out at dinner via Rose and Laney that two people were scheduled to get married on the island that day and they were unable to get married on the ship because it was in international waters and therefore would be invalid. That made me realize that missing snorkeling wasn’t so bad. I mean we can do another cruise at a later date and snorkel. But getting thirty people together on another cruise for a wedding probably is not feasible.

Mole moral~ Four days on a cruise ship wasn’t exactly what we planned, however we are blessed in being able to afford to go on a cruise and it was a good mother/daughter time.

 

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Cruise Notes Episode 2

Everyone knows a cruise is all about the food and what better thing to write about than the people we had dinner with. The first night it was just Kayla and I and two sisters who were from Oklahoma. I thought that was really interesting since that is where Emily is currently for PT clinical’s. One was a teacher and the other was finishing up school. They both had red hair so that made them cool. I can only remember Anna’s name. They were also a little shy so not too much talking went on that first night. It was the second night when the party started. First Laney and Jessica showed up and then a couple whose names I cannot remember or where they were from. He would be the only dude at the table. The life of the party arrived next Rose and her x-sister in law Florence. That is really how she introduced them. Apparently Florence was married to Rose’s brother for thirty years until he became stupid and they remained friends. Florence was from Detroit and Rose lives in Jacksonville. Now Laney said she was from Missouri too but probably no one ever heard of it, Moberly. I said yes I knew where that was as the friend I got my beagle from (way back a hundred years ago) had cousins from there. Actually Brian had even been hunting up there. Such a small world. Laney also said her entire life people would call her Lanny. Well that immediately made me think of Lanny Donoho who founded and ran Big Stuf camp for around twenty-five years. (Camp is six weeks away!) Laney reminded me and Kayla so much of Allyson except for she’s about two foot taller! But they have the same hair cut, similar glasses, and mannerisms. She really was a lot of fun and combined with Rose the two of them talked and entertained the table the entire time. It was a blast for Kayla and I who don’t always talk much but listen to everything. Cruise with Steve

One lucky dude at a table with 9 good-looking women.

Our waiter was wonderful. His name was Phillip but I cannot remember where he was from. He really enjoyed the nightly performances the waiters put on for us. He was all smiles and really got into the singing and dancing. Just watching him was pure joy.

Rose was probably the best of everyone. She reminded me so much of my mom, crazy and fun all in one. She quickly noticed there was a table of hot young guys two tables over. She decided she was going over there to talk to them and have their picture taken. She found out they had just graduated from high school and were a baseball team. This was their farewell trip before they all went off to different colleges. They loved having their picture taken and ended up hanging out with her quite a bit in the casino. We asked them to take our picture and the one guy let Kayla know the other thought she was beautiful. After that I did notice the guys looked our way quite a bit.

Rose with hotties

The food was pretty good especially when the last desert of the cruise was my favorite. Lime sherbet and baked Alaska! I have loved that since I was a little kid and the best story involves me in middle school. We had just come back from ice cream and my mom decided to drive through Dave Montgomery (I had a huge crush on him from 4-8 grade) subdivision. He just happened to be outside and I panicked and jumped in the floor board and dropped the ice-cream.  I cannot not remember if I had baked alaska  before. I had always wanted to make it but was too afraid. If you don’t do the meringue correctly the ice-cream melts and it’s a big disaster. It was really good. The sisters always thought it was fish! They tried it as well. That was the night everyone had either two or three deserts.

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My husband asked me every night if we had steak and lobster. The answer was no, although if we wanted to cough up another twenty bucks we could. I did throw high fat, low carb out the window for the week and jumped back on program when I got home. There was soft serve ice-cream available 24/7 and there was no way I was skipping that opportunity.

 

Mole moral~ Never pass up good food on a cruise! One week eating like a crazy person will not kill you. I’m still alive so I’m living proof.

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Cruise Notes Episode 1

CruiseKayla and I had a really good time on our cruise. I decided rather than trying to jam the entire week into a single blog, I would do short little ones. I decided I would start with the professional picture sitting. This was on Tuesday night after dinner. The cruise had all of these areas set up to have pictures done. As we were walking by the all white one, the guy asked us if we wanted pictures done. I said sure why not and then remembered we have not had family pictures done since Allyson was 18 months old. First thing he told me was to relax. OMG I quickly realized I was as tense as if he was personally touching me or hugging me. So I tried to relax a bit and he continued to work with me.

The best part was this picture.

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He asked me if I could sit on the floor. I wanted to say dude I ran a marathon less than two months ago but I said sure. So we sit and instantly become so stiff it isn’t even funny. He then tells me to stick my chin out more. Well he mimics what I was doing and I die laughing. I mean it was insane but I did finally relax. Then another gal walks by and bumps his butt on accident. He asked her why she was pinching his butt. We were all dying. It was so much fun.

The next day Kayla and I picked out the ones we liked and actually he was behind the cash register. He instantly remembered me and gave me the stiff neck look from the day before. I told him the photos were awesome and he agreed especially this oneCruise 2

and he talked me into ordering a 16×20 canvas which was ready the next day. It turned out really nice and now I just have to have it framed. I certainly spent more money on pictures than I did anything else but I am glad I did.

 

Mole Moral ~ It’s much cheaper to have ugly children! Ha