Aboard!

12:30 pm and all have the first of our “free” drinks. Mike and Lois got theirs downstairs so they are in “proper” (as Marie would say) glasses. I waited to get mine on deck so mine is in plastique.

And Lois in to intrigued by her pickle/olive garnish. Others of us think it has a slightly inappropriate connotation!

We left the hotel at 11:13 and were aboard by noon (no waiting at all at checkin!).

Future blog on our last gloriously sunny day in Copenhagen but for now off to lunch.

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Headed Back

So after a month in the USA it’s time to head back to Europe. Posting this from The Raleigh airport waiting for our flight to Miami where we will overnight tonight before flying to Lisbon and on to Copenhagen tomorrow where we will board Norwegian Breakaway next Friday. That’s Mike’s Mom on the phone beside Mike in the picture above and below.

After much effort, she got everything she “needed” into a rollaboard and a backpack. While it took awhile, she was determined not to pack in the medium sized suitcase that we kept suggesting. She said she wanted to travel the way we were. The sad thing is she has no room for any souvenirs. Not sure how that is going to go for a shopoholic!

We had great visits with friends and family (and the doctor and dentist) over the month at home.

It started with Claudigras, our friend’s Claudia birthday celebration at Seabrook Island,SC. We had a great long weekend with too much food and drink. Claudia even got a tiara to wear though it got cattywhompus after a few of the drinks!

During Claudigras we got to see my brother and his family who live in Charleston. Hard to believe the kids are so old…..especially since I’m not!

We had a short visit with Sam and Yost in Williamsburg mostly to discuss plans for their visit to Porto to see us in October.

We visited with our cruise buddies, Peggy & Lowell in Lynchburg overnight to finalize our plans for our week in Italy before we all board Norwegian Star in Rome in November for the transatlantic trip home.

The next weekend our friends from Durham, Scott and Robert came up to Mike’s mom’s lake house at Smith Mountain Lake. It was very relaxing to sit and have coffee in the morning and cocktails in the evening with the mountain as our view….or floating in the lake.

Labor Day weekend, our friends from Raleigh, George & Doug joined us at the lake for another nice weekend.

We drove to Salisbury to visit Cousin Martha for lunch earlier this week. Had some good western NC BBQ. Yum!

While we have had a wonderful time at home, I think we are both excited about our first visit to the Baltic region (well except that overnight in the airport for Mike’s birthday ūüėā) and showing Lois around Lisbon after our cruise.

Happy New Year!

LJS

 

Hope everyone had a great Christmas, Kwanza, Chanukah, Festivus or whatever winter solstice celebration you celebrate!¬† We had a great time with Mike’s family here in Houston including their traditional Christmas Eve dinner (we actually did it on Christmas Eve’s Eve) at Long John Silver’s…long story but suffice it to say its what we do every year!

Once Mike’s Mom left on the day after Christmas, we felt like our countdown to retir…ahem…ceasing work clock really started ticking louder!¬† We spent most of the week between Christmas and New Years taking pictures of furniture and getting it listed on local sales apps (NextDoor and LetGo).¬† So far we have gotten rid of the huge armoire, the recumbent bike/clothes hanger, the big orange chair, the coffee table and have folks interested in a number of other pieces.¬† We believe we have decided we will be able to use a UHaul container to have the few things we want to keep moved without us having to drive a truck¬†and are hopeful we will be able to sell or give way the rest. So the whole “what do we do with our crap” conundrum seems to be moving towards resolution – it better, less than a month to make it happen!.

The healthcare question is still very much up in the air.¬† The company I work for was purchased in late October and¬†therefore at this juncture¬†I can’t get a good answer on how much COBRA is going to cost…hopefully that will be known in the next¬†week or two.¬† Once we know that, we can determine whether we will go with it or if we will purchase a private plan.¬† More to come on that.

Now for the big news!

Mike’s Mom Lois is going to fly back with us to Copenhagen in September and after a few days in Copenhagen, we are all are going to set sail on Norwegian Breakaway for a nine night Baltic Cruise including¬†Talin, Estonia, St. Petersburg, Russia, Helsinki, Finland and Stockholm, Sweden.¬† (No Jane, I too was upset that Riga isn’t on the itinerary – I had so wanted to see the places you and Visi talked about so lovingly).¬† After we return to Copenhagen, we will fly immediately to Lisbon and spend four days there before Lois flys home and we head to wherever we have decided deserves more research as our potential new home.

So another chuck of our travel year is planned (and mostly booked!).  Now we just have to figure out when we are going to go to Ecuador and Mexico between June 28th and September 9th.

Oh yeah and healthcare too Рugh.