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All Things EARTH... part 2


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Laurie, great choices on clothes. Hope you both have a fabulous time
 

when they do your husband’s tests insist on a colonoscopy (even if it’s not really time for one). That’s how we found Les’s colon cancer at the very early stages, his only symptom was loss of weight & feeling kind of lethargic. 
 

Margaret, have a fantastic cruise! 

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11 hours ago, laurspag said:

So now the high in Tampa is 70 for spillway.  I may wear my cropped ivory jeans if it feels cool.

 

Melody, he had an endoscopy and colonoscopy.  They are scheduling a CT scan.

We’ll pray for a good outcome. Ask for a Pet scan if the CT doesn’t show anything.   Relax & have a great Thanksgiving & a fabulous cruise

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My last post was supposed to say sailaway, not spillway.  Lol.  The funny thing is, I wasn't going to bring both pairs of cropped jeans, since they are similar.  I'm now thinking it is a good idea.  I can always change if I need to.  

 

Melody, we will do that.  It is pretty nerve wracking right now, but we are trying to think positive and go through all the necessary testing.  The hard part is that things are so far behind.  They did a CT scan without dye, because he gets hives and now that they want to do one with dye, they want to be able to hold him afterward for a bit to make sure he doesn't have a more serious reaction.  So that change in location for the test means December 27th.  I'm going to push to get that moved up, if I can.

 

Oh, and my long lost order with the shorts finally came in yesterday.  Everything fits nice, but I did not change my cruise wardrobe at all.  I feel good about what I am bringing so I don't want to mess it all up and take everything back out of the suitcase.  Of the three pairs that I purchased, only one of them made me think about changing a daytime outfit.  And I didn't readily have a shirt in the group that would work with them so no worries.  

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Sorry for the late response!  I hope everyone  had a wonderful Thanksgiving.

 

Our flights, transfer and hotel have been without a hitch.  Pre-cruise testing Thanksgiving day was also easy.  We are heading  down to get breakfast, and then our shuttle is at 11:30. 

 

I just put on my cropped jeans. It will only be  in the high 60s when we head to the port.  Sunny but cool.

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We did our online covid tests very early and had an easy but crowded flight to FLL yesterday. Our hotel is just across the street from the Princess terminal and the Sky was there when we woke this morning. She left and by dinner time the Caribbean had arrived.

 

We had such a nice day. We walked to Walgreens after breakfast for some last minute items, and picked up some wine. In the pool by 10am for some swimming and then relaxed with our books until lunch. Carrabas was a ten minute walk and there were only ten or so people in there so we were happy eating indoors. Mark napped and I sat on the balcony for a long time, reading and birdwatching. And boat watching. 🙂 We have a birds eye view of the intracoastal waterway from the 6th floor. Had a burger and a peach daiquiri by the pool for dinner, then we organized ourselves for embarkation in the morning. I'm so excited, I hope I can sleep!!

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I'm baaaaack!

 

Happy anniversary, Melody.  I hope you both celebrated!!!  People often ask me why I have a thing about pictures, and your post is a perfect example.  It is a wonderful way to preserve and share memories.

 

I do want to give you all a play by play, but I admit it will be fairly short since this was a 5 day cruise where we did not plan a lot.

 

I think the main thing to keep in mind is my husband's health.  He was determined to go and have a good time, but he struggled a lot.  Hands down, his favorite thing was the cabana at Cococay.  I'm so glad I did that.

 

Currently, he has appointments set up for the next 3-4 weeks with the gastroenterologist, sleep specialist, arthritis specialist, and oncologist.  I personally don't think the sleep specialist is needed...while he has always had sleep issues that are worse now, the reason for that is his health so the other appointments are what are really needed.  However, that is the odd appointment that doesn't occur until January.  

 


While I unpack, do laundry, go for groceries, etc., I will leave you with a few pictures.  These photo shoots were a lot of fun.  It took forever for the first picture, because we laughed so hard at the thought I was supposed to bite his ear. But we loved the picture when all was said and done.

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Laurie, I'm glad you had a nice cruise together. I love your photos! I'm sorry your husband is having difficulties, and I hope you get some answers soon.

 

We just got home and are unpacking and settling in. Pizza night!

 

I just have to say that sailing at 45% capacity is a treat. We had an amazing time. Expert service, fabulous food, and we loved our cabin. We are thinking about booking another before the crowds come back.

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13 hours ago, MJC said:

Laurie, I'm glad you had a nice cruise together. I love your photos! I'm sorry your husband is having difficulties, and I hope you get some answers soon.

 

We just got home and are unpacking and settling in. Pizza night!

 

I just have to say that sailing at 45% capacity is a treat. We had an amazing time. Expert service, fabulous food, and we loved our cabin. We are thinking about booking another before the crowds come back.

We loved the lower capacity as well. Nice being able to get a pool lounger or seat at the martini bar

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Yesterday was a crazy & busy day. I had my TSA appt, easy stuff. Then we went to our daughter’s to supervise movers…I thought I had a lot of stuff!!  Staying home today & Saturday is moving their storage to new house (not sure where they’re going to put it !!!

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Welcome back, Margaret!  I can't wait to hear all about your cruise.  I have to agree - not sailing at capacity is great.  I think the captain said we were at 70%, but I'd be shocked if it was really that high.

 

Both my husband and I took pictures, and I'm trying to get them altogether to make it easier to share.  It may be a bit before I get them and have a moment to post, so please share your pictures and thoughts!! 

 

I want to mention that my husband met with the oncologist and had the CT scan they wanted to do.  They also took 8 more vials of blood...two days after the arthritis specialist took two, which is less than two weeks from when his primary took four...lol.    But anyway, they were worried about an allergic reaction to the dye, so they gave him a megadose of Prednisone prior.  This is a really good anti-inflammatory medicine, so they side effect of that was really good, because it knocked down all the joint paint to a manageable level.  For now, they are continuing a low dose of it in order to give him some relief while they await the test results.  He gets those by teleconference on the 23rd.  He is working that day, and the call is at 2:30.  He plans to take the call from work, as he works until 4:00 and this is the last day until after the holidays for him.  We have been discussing this a bit, because I would like to be there.

 

Prayers are welcome!  

 

WE have had some very strong winds here.  We have been fortunate, in that we have some branches down, but nothing big.  I need to check the news though because that wind was really scary last night, and I have a feeling others have fared much worse.

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Merry, Christmas, everyone!  I love those pictures Melody.  

 

I've been meaning to ask...did you sail RCI on your recent cruise?  How about you, Margaret?

 

I am considering a cruise in 2022 on Liberty out of Galveston.  I've never sailed from Galveston before and I thought it might be a fun option.  There was a cruise on Navigator out of LA that had an interesting itinerary, but flying to LA will be a hassle as well as expensive.

 

I guess for either one, I should be thinking about the time change too.  It always throws me off.

 

I think I finally got enough pictures to start putting together a mini review of my cruise.  Sadly, I did not get the pictures I wanted to.  I felt a little lost, you know?  My mind was so preoccupied with my husband's health, and he struggled a lot.  He had to take quite a few naps.

 

So flying down to Florida was great.  Very easy, no delays at all.  We used American Airlines.  I don't love them, but they are inexpensive.  I had no issues with them though.

 

There was a transfer ready when we arrived in Tampa at the airport to take us to our hotel.  That too was very simple and easy.  I always like buying the transfers in advance so I can just enjoy my vacation.

 

We stayed at the Westshore Grand.  It's an interesting hotel.  It is well kept and in a good location.  We were literally across the street from a small mall that had a handful of restaurants.  After my husband took a nap, we headed out for dinner.

 

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I think the name of the restaurant is...Maggiano's?   This was pretty good overall.  I am trying to remember, but I seem to think my husband had lasagna.  That is his favorite.

 

After dinner, we watched part of the Syracuse game at the bar.  It was fun to just relax.

 

Boarding the next day was beyond easy.  When we arrived, they asked if any of us were suite guests, and we mentioned we were in a grand suite.  They swept us by all lines, and took us right up to check in.  We showed our vaccination records, test results, set sail pass.  Just like that, we were ready to board!

 

One area I was disappointed in were the photos.  Very, very few photographers.  I still have to scan the regular pictures I purchased, but we had to really go looking for the photographers.  They did take sail away pictures.  It was probably one of the first ones I didn't like a lot.  We were still thrilled to be on board.

 

We walked around a bit, then went to the Wind Jammer for lunch.  It is funny, we never go to the Windjammer.  Serenade is a smaller ship, and there is no promenade.  Park Cafe wasn't open most of the time so this was our only lunch option.  That being said, it was a nice lunch.  You cannot self serve at the buffet, but I kind of liked that.   When we were done, they indicated rooms wouldn't be ready until 2:00, which is a little later than usual.  We decided to get a drink out near the pool, and we were warmer in the sun.  As you can see, I went with red on my nails!

 

My hair was so weird that day.  Really.  I think that might be why I didn't like my sailaway picture?

 

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As I've mentioned, we won the Royal Up bid and for a very small price, we went from a JS to GS.  I have to tell you, we loved the space and all the little perks.  Our room attendant was the best we have had in 15 cruises.   To be honest, my favorite part is that there are loungers on the balcony.

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I will post more, hopefully over the next few days.  I actually have Christmas Eve Day off!!!!!  whoo hoo!  I usually have to work until 3:00 but they gave us all the day off.  That is a really good thing, because my husband's appointment was changed to that morning.  also, the Prednisone and double iron dosage has perked him up, and he asked for a lot of different foods.  So I will be cooking away.

 

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Laurie, glad you get to go to the dr spot!  Hoping for good news

 

we were on Royal’s Liberty out of Galveston. She’s a lovely ship (Freedom class) great size. She is leaving in October 2022 & Allure is taking her place.

 

Now getting to Galveston from Houston Hobby airport is a total pain. 45 minutes to an hour minimum drive in horrible traffic & constant construction. We took Galveston Limo this time (round trip). It was a bit expensive ($250 rt for 4) but worth every penny. They even asked us what time our return flight was so they could make sure there was sufficient time to get to the airport after disembarking. Can’t say enough nice things about them. An Uber runs about $90 one way & taxi is about $100 one way. Galveston Express (shuttle) is $60 per person each way & only one return at 8:30 am
 

we stayed at the Harbour House (it’s a bit pricey) in Galveston (right beside the ship terminal). It was fun watching the ships come down the channel in the wee hours of the morning. We didn’t use a car or any taxis the 2 days we were in Galveston. We were comfortable walking distance from the Strand (historical shopping & restaurants). Our favorite restaurants were Katie’s & Willie Gs. Both literally next door to our hotel. We also took the HOHO trolley out to the Seawall & went to the Railroad Museum. 
 

we like Galveston (once we get there), fabulous sea food. Melody

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Laurie, your suite is very similar in layout to the one we just had. We were on the Caribbean Princess, which is the ship we were on when the Houston oil spill happened. We were one deck up from our suite on that cruise, same side, literally right over it. We had such a relaxing time that we decided to book another week on her. We sail on Jan. 30th in the same cabin but a different itinerary. It is another extremely lightly-booked week so we got a super duper deal on the fare. Does anyone have recommendations for Grand Cayman or Ocho Rios?

 

I've been delayed in posting pictures by a family emergency (we call it a slow-motion emergency) with my husband's aunt and uncle who are in their mid-90s. So we are currently in West Palm Beach for a few days while we sort out bills and take them to doctor appointments. I think this will be their last winter in Florida because the move from NYC to FL this year has been very destabilizing, and also they just need more care and intervention going forward than is possible so far from family and their regular doctors. There are definite health and memory issues that will not be going away.

 

So, we are not home for Christmas, but we decided we would just wait and have our Christmas when we get back.

 

I finally have all the pictures in one place, so I'll try to post some soon.

 

This is my new luggage arrangement, and it worked out very well. I have a new nylon Steve Madden laptop backpack that had all my valuables and tech, and went under the seat. It has a padded pocket for the computer and another large zipper compartment that held things like my camera, snorkel mask, jewelry, prescription sunglasses -- all those things that are hard to replace. It has a small pocket for my passport and documents. I used a carabiner to clip my sunhat to it. I am very pleased with the backpack and brought it on this trip too.

 

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I also got a small rolling underseat bag with a gift card bonus we got from our health insurance company for getting our flu shots early. Free money!  🙂  We packed this with things we would need at the hotel if our room wasn't ready: bathing suits, flip flops, hats, sunscreen. It also held stuff like my book, tablet, pouch of cords and batteries, vitamins. It was good to roll the heavy stuff. My back was much happier.

 

I am going to need a new suitcase soon. The zipper pulls keep getting ripped off, bad design issue.

 

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Margaret, sorry about your family issues. As much as we want to be warmer in winter, those issues plague me as all of our family are here in CO. 
 

I loved my Briggs & Reilly suitcase when I traveled for work, but it’s too heavy for leisure trips. I have TravelPro now & really like the quality & sturdiness (while still being light). It’s what many air crews use. Melody 

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Merry Christmas, everyone!  I just got the best ever news - my husband DOES NOT have cancer!!!  We are relieved, and thankful.  There is figuring out to do, but the oncologist said that my husband does not need anything from him.  🙂  He said his other doctors will likely be figuring out what is next, but it appears that his arthritis got out of control, and his immune system started to attack his joints as a result.  

 

Prednisone and double iron have him feeling much, much better.  Not back to his old self, but better.

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