Hello All! Debbie here!
As some of you may have noticed, I have been conspicuously absent from the boat since April 23rd! I have to admit, I jumped ship in St. Martin. Even though I have crossed the Pacific from New Zealand to San Fransisco, and from Hawaii to San Fransisco 3 times, I have NO desire to cross the Atantic. Even "skirting" it from the New York to the Caribbean via Bermuda has been enough to have me serriosly considering life back in Danville. So, since nothing goes windward like a 747, Ita and I jumpped on a plane to spend some time in the states visiting family while Jim, Kim, Mike and Bob crossed the Atlantic in Morpheus. I was planning on rejoining the ship in the Azores. God laughs at us when we make plans...
I came down with what turned out to be a wicked case of the flu 4 days before the boat was scheduled to leave and 3 days before I was to fly. I thought it was Dengue fever. I haven't felt that bad in 20 years! Ugh. But I did get on the plane, and made it to San Fransisco, hopefully without getting everyone else on the flight sick... The airlines really should change their policy and reschedule passengers at no cost if they are sick. Brother Dan picked me up at the airport and was sweet enough to let his sick sister pass out on his sofa for two days. I then quarantined myself into a hotel for 3 days to finish convalescing. The result of all this sick time was that I totally would have missed out on seeing Jim's family, Chris and all our friends! So I canceled the 4 days I was to spend in San Diego visiting my Dad and spent it instead in No. Ca seeing all the people i was supposed to have seen the week before. Chris and I got an entire day together going to a horse show, eating Mexican food and going shopping. Lot's of talking and solving the world's issues. All worked out well, except I never got to see Sister Sally, or Kathleen. I'm sorry guys! You are at the top of the list next trip! Thank You Denise and Kam for letting me invade your house!
From CA I flew to Florida to See my sister Tori and to fulfill my civic duty of Jury Duty. Some how the sate of FL had no sympathy for me living on a boat in the Caribbean and required me to fly "home" to FL to do my duty. I sat in the Assembly room for 2/3-rds of a day, watched a great Disney movie, "A Dolphins Tail", and was then dismissed because the case settled! Whoot! By this time Jim had made it to the Azores, and after comparing schedules, I decided to not join up with the boat in the Azores, but to hook up in Cascais, Portugal about 10 days later than planned. This gave me time to have a longer visit with Tori in FL, and then visit my brother Kevin in TX AND spend 3 days in Atlanta visiting my sister Nina AND my Dad and Lani who were all getting together for Niece Margaret's High School graduation. Talk about killing a flock of birds with only one delay! My only question was where had Cascais, Portugal come into play. I thought the boat was headed for Seville, Spain after the Azores. Once I got the LP Travel Guide and started checking it out, all became clear.... Cascais has some of the best Kite Boarding in the world. Duuhhh....
I had a great time in FL with Tori and her family, and Patrick flew down from New York to spend a 3 day weekend with us. I spent many hours talking at the kitchen table, watching Tori ride her absolutely stunning little filly Seraphina, choosing clothes with Brynn and her girlfriends, and watching Austin and Barry work out with Bart. We also spent a bunch of time walking the dogs... well, I mostly carried Ita since there was a Big Gator living in the front pond. I had so much fun! My family is so wonderful. I invade their house, with not only me, my stuff and my dog, but one of my kids, too! And aside from some missing makeup brushes, for which I am under suspicion, all went off without a hitch! I promise Tori, I don't have them!!!
From FL on to TX, where my brother picks me up 48 hours after being released by the Red Cross from the Red Cross response to the West, TX disaster. He was a tired puppy. I think he was down there for 3 weeks coordinating all the computers and communication for the disaster response. So for the first few days, Sandy and I get to toodle around and find the last few things I need before I get back to the boat. Things like a Lonely Planet guide for Portugal, Travel Papers for Ita to enter the EU, warm socks for Jim, and more Tootsie Pops for the boat. Lots of walking the dogs here, too. Last Sunday was mother's Day, so Sandy had a big BBQ at her house. Niece Mandy, Carson and the twins Mason and Bell came over, and Niece Linden and her fiance Nathan, too! We talked all about new houses, new babies, and wedding plans. It was a great Day!! And I got calls from both Chris and Pat! Score!
Today Jim leaves Horta, so we have synchronized our chronometers and plan to hook back up in Cascais, Portugal on May 20th. Wow! That's almost a month to the day! In between then and now, Kevin, Sandy and I are going Zip lining today in an ancient Cedar forest (similar to CA's Red Woods), then babysitting the twins for a few days while Carson and 7 month pregnant Mandy move into their beautiful new house. After that, I'm off to Atlanta for 3 days on Friday, then homeward bound to Portugal!
This will be a whole new type of cruising for us. I'm thinking more leaving the boat at the docks and more day tripping and overnighting inland to see the sites. And more Horseback Riding! This will also be a great opportunity for friends to come visit! We are not hard to find. Just check the blog!
A HUGE thanks to my Brothers and Sisters, family and friends who let me descend upon them, with my dog, my kids and all the rest of my baggage, as well as changing their schedules around to come see me You let me borrow cars, picked me up at airports at inconvenient times, and mostly don't cringe when my dog barks. (Thanks, Suzanne, for getting her started!) ):-(
I love you all and I'll see you in Europe!