Friday, October 15, 2010

I Think I Need A Vacation

All this rest and recuperation stuff has worn me out.  I need to get away.  Oh, did I mention where I'll be in ten days???  Well, not anywhere near the beach in that picture above.  That's actually like fifteen days away.  Heh.

To say that I'm ready to go is an understatement.

Actually I spent a a few hours of my Thursday in preparation for the cruise.  Since it has been six years since the last cruise I took, I figured things may have changed a bit.  So I spent a good portion of my morning browsing around all the nitty-gritty details and FAQs on the Carnival website.  Still gotta sneak booze aboard, except for 1 bottle of wine per person.  My sister Sherry is a booze-smuggler extraordinaire, and she's got the science of it down to an art.  But it's just too much damn work for me.  Besides, I'm not going to be drinking nearly as much on this trip as I've done on cruises past--my system just can't handle it, and I'm sure all those nice people at Vanderbilt who spent a week taking me apart and putting me back together would absolutely lose their shit if they found out that I went on a week-long bender.  No more $700 bar bills for this guy.  (Yep, on my first cruise ten years ago, my individual bar bill at the end of the week was over $700, almost twice what I'd paid for the cruise!)

This time around, I'll indulge in an umbrella drink by the pool during the day, a glass of wine with dinner, and maybe a late evening cocktail to go with my cigar out on the balcony before I go to bed.  No more buying a bucket of beers and wandering around making new friends, and no more free drinks in the casino at night.

Oh, I may bring an airline bottle or two of The Captain with me, cleverly disguised in my toiletry bag, but that'll be the extent of my subterfuge.  Sherry and Steve have that big-ass suite and balcony off the end of the boat, and well, it just wouldn't do to show up empty-handed at the Bon Voyage party.

So once I finished off my morning coffee and filled my head with all sorts of cruising information, it was time to get my day started.  I had to wash, fold, and pack a bunch of clothes first thing, because I'm staying up at Mamasan's place for a couple of nights.  I did that and tried to straighten up the house a bit, but man, everything still takes me about four times as long as normal.  Nothing is easy.

Mamasan showed up while I was in the shower, and she helped me finish packing my clothes and also gathering up everything else I needed (phone charger, laptop and cords, my 'good' cards, a few books, all my meds, etc.)  We finally got on the road about an hour later, heading back down to the clinic at Vanderbilt.  They poked another hole in me, and once that was done, I had them get me a new prescription for pain medication.  I'm all out of Percocet, so now I'm on Lortabs.  I'm feeling a little better nowadays, and the residual pain from the water bottle incident is pretty much gone and all I have to deal with is that whole chest-getting-cut-open thing.

But we made our escape from Vanderbilt and headed off to run errands.  The first order of business was for Mamasan to stop and get a haircut.  It wouldn't have been so bad, except that it took forty minutes.  And I'm still taking this Lasix stuff that makes me pee every thirty minutes.  Plus it's a long drive back up north.

I managed to make it all the way to her friend Mary's house, our next stop in our journey, but man, it was like the Teton Dam breaking once I finally got there.  I was pretty tired by then (everything makes me tired), so I made myself comfy on the sofa while they went out shopping for an hour or so.  After a bit, I started getting restless, so I decided to grab my camera and walking stick and take a hike.  Mary lives waaaay out in the woods, and the trees in her neighborhood are turning this week, and there are some great pictures waiting to be taken.  Unfortunately, by the time I got to the end of her long driveway, and out to the end of the property, I decided that it was a fruitless endeavor.  I couldn't keep my pants up.

Seriously, I've lost a bit of weight, and all of my shorts and pants are way too big for me now.  Not only that, but my belt has about two-and-a-half inches of play in it, so it really doesn't help at all.  So walking with one hand trying to keep my pants up, and the other one on the walking stick to help me keep my balance, well, it was just too much for me.  I turned around and went back in the house, where I promptly dozed on the couch until they got back home.  Once they did, we found a pointed rasp and a hammer in the toolbox, and I took my belt out to the back deck and punched a few more holes in it.

Progress, baby.  I'm makin' it!

Next on the agenda was to head over to WalMart and get my prescription.  I also wanted to pick up a bunch of travel-sized toiletries too.  Unfortunately, the pharmacy was closed when we got there, forcing us to wander around for a half an hour.  So no, I didn't get my hiking done in the great outdoors, recording the wonders of nature on my camera.  Instead, I got my exercise in Wally World, pushing around a damn shopping cart for a good chunk of the afternoon.  But at least my pants stayed up, and I got a bunch of travel goodies to fill up my new toiletry bag--and a few more items have been crossed off of the vacation to-do list.

One of the things I got were a couple of single-load packets of Tide gel.  Normally, I find a local laundry service on one of the islands to wash all my dirty underwear, socks, and t-shirts about five days into the trip (I hate traveling home with a suitcase full of dirty clothes--I'm always afraid it'll bust open in the middle of the airport, embarrassing me to no end), but no amount of internet searching has revealed such a service.  Too bad we're not going to Cozumel--there's a little shack at the end of the dock where you drop off your bag of dirty clothes and pay 'em like fifteen bucks, and three hours later it's all cleaned, pressed, folded, and bundled, wrapped in brown paper and tied with a string.  I love that.

Nothing like that exists on any of the islands we'll be visiting, as far as I can tell, and at least Carnival has onboard laundry rooms, so I can do it myself early in the morning on one of our last sea days.  Hell, Royal Caribbean doesn't offer self-service laundry rooms, so getting a duffel bag full of undies and socks washed ran me about about sixty bucks last time I was on one of their ships.  Ouch!

Anyhow, once I got my cruise goodies and prescriptions paid for, we finally got to come home.  A day of running around like that leaves me pretty tired.  We made some turkey sandwiches for lunch and chilled out for the rest of the afternoon.  I can't quite remember what I did, but the smart money is on 'dozed on the couch'.

It started to feel a little chilly in the evening, so we made a pot of coffee to warm up.  Our original plan was to make a nice dinner with salad and such, but that idea went out the window because nobody felt like chopping a bunch of vegetables.  So we had breakfast for dinner, instead.  Mamasan made some ham steak and eggs, and we had toast, coffee, and juice, too.  It was damn good!  And it was the first egg I'd eaten since I got cut open.  The nutritionist said I can have three eggs a week, but so far, I've just skipped 'em altogether, opting for cereal or fruit most mornings. So it was a nice treat.

After dinner we played cards for awhile, then refilled our coffee cups before moving back over to the living room, this time adding a contraband splash of Bailey's.  It was pretty damn good, but that was enough for me.  We stayed up for a couple of hours planning our Friday, talking about the upcoming cruise, and also playing the 'remember when' game from 30+ years ago, talking about people and events from waaaay back in the day.

That kept us occupied for awhile, and the caffeine worked it's magic, but eventually we called it a night.  Well, Mamasan did--she ambled off to her room to watch TV before going to sleep, and well, here I am at the keyboard.  But I think I'm ready to go to bed now, so I'll leave you Friday morning re-clickers with a little bit of pre-vacation eye candy.

There.  That should do it.



Beach Bum said...

Got 83 days before my wife, daughter, and myself head out on a Disney Cruise. This well be our second seven day western Caribbean stopping at Key West, Grand Cayman, and Cozumel but its the first one we have taken our daughter on.

Time is passing fairly quickly but that last week before we leave is going to take forever. 

Dave said...

9 days till I revisit your former hometown Las Vegas Baby!!! I still get a kick out of the place, and always  will,probably because I have never lived there, have fun on your cruise!!!!! Dave

Mike from Cleveland said...

Ah, the Caribbean, I'm so jealous, it's been too long since I've been.  Can't wait to hear how the trip goes though.

veryjosie said...

Know what you should take with you?  A private nurse to make sure you overdo it just a bit and I'm volunteering!

Kellee said...

I'm gonna live through your vacation until mine. You seriously deserve this trip, I know you will have a great time. I've wondered before but I don't think I ever saw, where is this cruise taking you, which islands are you visiting?

FredGarvinMP said...

You know FAR more about cruising than I (my experience is limited to a couple 6 month cruises to the Med and the Indian Ocean aboard the "Uncle Sam Line").  Have you ever heard of an Aleutian Islands cruise? I've seen coastal Alaskan cruises, but haven't found any island cruises.

Not nearly as warm, sunny, and tropical as yours, but I am a HUGE fan of "Deadliest Catch" and "Ice Road Truckers", so trips to Dutch Harbor and Prudhoe are high on my bucket list.

I suppose another possible would be a fishing boat. I've heard some working boats take on passengers.

Be well, heal well, and enjoy your vacation!

Mandy said...

On Carnival, usually around day 5, they will offer a laundry special.  They bring a bag to your cabin and it is $15 to wash/fold as much as you can stuff in there.  Beats wasting time waiting for a machine and doing it yourself !!

hurricanemikey said...

Shoulda told me this back in May...  I had that big cabin all to myself!  Now my buddy Gaines is going with me.  He's cool and all, but ain't much of a nurse.

hurricanemikey said...

That's some very dangerous water even in the calmest of conditions.  And the weather up there is so unpredictable, too.  I doubt there is an insurance company anywhere on planet earth that would underwrite coverage for a passenger ship up in those waters--it's a losing bet every time.  If you did that, it would have to be a private charter of some sort.

hurricanemikey said...

I had no idea that they did that!  Well, they never did before (I've been on Carnival twice before, the last time was in 2004). 

Hell yeah, I'm gonna jump on that deal!

hurricanemikey said...

We're on the Carnival Miracle, leaving a week from Tuesday.  It's an 8-day cruise with a perfect itinerary--Departure, two sea days, three island days, two island days, then arrival.  We're going to St. Martin, St Lucia, and St Kitts.  I forget what order and on what days.  I'd have to go looking through my paperwork to see the exact itinerary.  But I'll have all that info in complete detail for your reading enjoyment in just a few weeks!

Jamie in PA said...

Hey!!!  I should be your private RN...being critical care and all!  And when you said eye candy pics I thought you would pop your picture up there...LOL!

bdog said...

Nice to see your progress, thanks for the updates. Patience on the fatigue bro, for me it's been the hardest part. I never thought a shopping cart could be my buddy... sad but true.

The cruise will be a perfect journey at the perfect time with the people who lves ya...
Best medicine in the world. 

I'm thinking about a major poker tournament to offset the Vandy bills,
maybe a nice project for when you return?

Bighead said...

Can you tell me how you sneak booze on a cruise. Have never done a cruise before. I assume you are talking big bottles of booze and wine and not beer.

historian said...

Take your time healing Mikey.  The progress sounds encouraging, but it's not every day you get your chest cracked.

Any chance for a little hold-em on the cruise.  I don't blame you for escaping Las Vegas.  I love the place to visit, but it would be one of the last places I'd care to live.  However, I am jonesing for one of your great poker 'table fables'.

Kikky said...

Royal Caribbean offers the bag of laundry mid-week now too. The bag's notreal big, and you only get to put in certain things for the price....socks, drawers, t shirts, pajamas. But at least it's something.

Have you decided what you're doing in St. Lucia yet? We went to Jalousie Beach in February and it is even prettier than the picture you put up!