Our around the world adventure has come to an end. We arrived home two days ago to temps in the teens and falling snow (gasp!), but that’s actually an improvement over last year when we drove home from the airport in near blizzard conditions. Still, as always, it was second only to the day we left home in October as my favorite day of our season. It’s funny how it always works out that way.
We took advantage of T-Mobile’s special Tuesday offer of $10 off a Lyft ride and used them both in Honolulu and to get home from our airport. We had slept less than two hours on our overnight flight (the fifth and final one of our season), arrived home to a warm house with no issues (hallelujah!), collected the mail from our wonderful neighbors and had a large grocery order delivered before dark.
I’ve yet to unpack a single item of clothing or do a load of laundry. Instead, I’ve been kept busy every waking moment with some business things and getting through my mail (God bless him, G did the initial mail sort, weeding out the junk mail and- can you believe we’ve been gone this long?- election flyers from the several feet of mail). Oh, and I’ve spent the past two evenings attending one basketball team dinner and three and a quarter high school b-ball games (freshmen through varsity). I am voiceless tonight (because silent spectatorship has never been my forte!).
And we’re off!
We had stayed on the beach for one final sunset before we went to the airport our last night in Hawaii, and while we enjoyed some refreshments at the Barefoot Bar, we talked about our favorite memories of the year. Mine were very unexpected ones.
– G and those men in Little India in Penang, Malaysia, watching that long truck back down the street and discussing what the driver should do next using hand gestures.
– Hanging on for dear life on that ferry on the Chao Prayha River in Bangkok. G had looked at me and asked, “Can you believe we’re doing this?” No, frankly, I guess I had never imagined I’d find myself in a crush of people on an overloaded ferry boat in Bangkok, Thailand.
-And my very favorite memory: the ten cent elevator to the dentist’s office in Naples, Italy.
Ironically, the last two situations were actually the result of things gone slightly awry, which I guess further proves my theory that if I won’t remember it in ten years, or if it will make a good story, it’s not worth stressing over today.
Sitting there on the beach, G was quite impressed that I could remember everything we had done in all our ports, and in fairly accurate chronological order, too. After all, there were 58 ports (we didn’t miss a single port this year, which I think might be a first for us), but that’s what writing a blog post every night does for you! These trips are not easily forgotten, and, when memories do start to fade a bit, I’ll have the blog to freshen them up. Thank you for your part in making that happen! If you weren’t following along and keeping me motivated, I really don’t think I could do it.
And, of course, my biggest thanks goes to my husband. I don’t know how he does all he does to winter vacation-proof our house… and yard… and cars before we leave so that we arrive home to no issues. Frankly, I‘m not even sure what he actually does, but I’m so lucky he does it. These extended vacations wouldn’t happen without him…and that’s not even considering all the years of effort it took to get us to this place in retirement. Grateful. And blessed. I’m both.
Will there be 10th season of extended cruising? Life and health permitting, probably yes. We have a plan in place for next year, so if you’re a betting person you might wager that it’s exactly what we won’t be doing. Somehow plans always end up changing between February and Fall.
But, we are steadfast on one point…it will be an easier year than this year!
Life is good. 🙂