BUCKETLISTOURS

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Not feelin it.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

State of Confusion

Back again after an 18 day, 15 state , 6800  mile, cross country trek. Pet sitter is gone, luggage is all in -thanks pet sitter, lunch bought and eaten, driving drone/husband asleep in "his" chair. I'm going through mail, checking on bills and dealing with the real world, whatever that is. Still pretty beat up from what I now refer to as my rodeo incident so I can't attack the laundry yet. I need a few days to rest and recover  (and possibly some Xrays). Hoping to spend tomorrow in a chair on my deck for hours. I'm sure after a day or so I will have something deeper and more fulfilling to post, but for now, this is it.

Friday, July 15, 2011

On our way

The dark cloud that follows me. Here it is on 80 in Wyoming.
We are on our way back east. And not too happily for me. It is a long, long car ride after my Rodeo trick. We are booking though. At a 1000 miles a day this could be a shorter trip than a flight with serious weather delays, My husband ( you know the one who is supposed to be sick, but is doing better than me right now) is in super driver mode so we are going to keep moving. For anyone who has never driven with a super driver, I will explain. This is a person who is goal oriented and the goal is to get somewhere quickly. Side trips are out. Extra rest stops and god forbid the sit down restaurant, out. You can not pry this persons hands off the steering wheel. Right now I am in no condition to argue so I am sitting back trying to enjoy the view and letting super driver do his thing. I did get him to stop and look at some buffalo this morning so that was an achievement. So far a smooth trip. Loads of construction, but no big delays. The weather has been mostly decent. My weather friends from across the country and the pond tell me we have great weather driving across, yet I already managed to make it rain in Wyoming.

My biggest complaint besides not being able to get out of the car with out help and the fact that we are heading towards New Jersey, is the food.The Rt 80 food has been crap. It is to be expected. Don't plan on a good eating time as a vegetarian traveling through beef country. I usuallly prepare better but because I was barely moving I didn't get food in California to take with us. I wish there was something other than a Subway at every single exit.

So I'm sitting here starving at a rest stop (with WiFi) while the super driver tries to sleep. Figured I would share my complaints.Some interesting things to note at this rest stop. Large man in bright pink shirt is here. I swear this guy is following us . I have seen him since Elko, Nevada and again at almost every other gas station and rest stop since.You can blame the 70 or so Advil I have taken on this trip for my paranoia, but how many 350 pound men in bright pink shirts can there be? If he is trying to be discrete, he needs to change his shirt. Also there is a guy sleeping on the ground in the road next to his motorcycle, which is next to our car. In all my rest stop experiences, and there have been way too many, this is a first. Things to discuss with this gentleman:


A.There are a million bugs crawling around. Take your sleeping bag and go sleep on a picnic table that is at least 3 feet off the ground. Its like 5 feet from your current bed.

B, Use the money you saved on gas riding a bike and get a hotel. Its Nebraska , how much can they be? Maybe you could split the costs and share a room with the guy in the pink shirt. He looks lonely.


and finally

C. Dude you are on the ground! Should I call suicide hotline? You see how bad these people drive during the day when they are awake. What about when they are tired ? Don't you realize that someone who is sleep driving , will not see the bike , pull in and park right on top of  you?

I'm going to try and get some sleep now. Maybe super driver will let me drive a few hours tomorrow.And yes,even though he is asleep, his hands are still on the steering wheel.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Long Walk Back




When last we left them, moose and squirrel were trapped in….oh wait that’s another story. This is the one about my long walk back after getting thrown from a horse. Warning and spoiler alert. For those who are easily bored you may want to skip this one and yes there will probably be some self-pity in the lines below.
As I said in yesterday’s blog, my options were get back on the horse or walk the, I don’t know, ½, 1 or 2 miles back to the stables. Mileage, more simple questions no one could answer. Climbing back on a horse was not do-able in my current condition, not that I would anyway, so I opted for walking. All my riding partners had deserted me so I wasn’t getting any assistance there. Apparently my now rider free horse had suddenly decided to keep up with the group and ran through scaring all the other horses. The” idiot guide” ( yes she is still an idiot and you will see why shortly) said she would go get a golf cart and come back and pick me up. She took off on her horse like Dale Evans. So there I was alone in the middle of who knows where following a trail like Hansel and Gretel except that my only guide was horse poop. And believe me there was plenty to follow. Now a long walk, mostly uphill, when you can barely move leaves lots of time for thinking. Too much one might say. All those negative or perhaps realistic thoughts come breaking through. I reviewed my recent flight (the 10 foot one, not on a plane) and the realities of how this could have been much more serious and how even the injuries I just suffered could be permanent making me even more of a cripple than I already am. You see several years back in a stupid, freak-no just stupid accident I managed to dislocate my foot, crush my ankle and break my leg in 3 places. The result is a shattered/crushed, plated, rodded,( not sure there are words for rods and pins through your leg) pinned, i.e. permanently damaged leg. This leg causes lots of pain, both physical and emotional, and limits much of what I can do. This new injury could further complicate that. I can barely move as it is, I don’t need a bad back on top of everything else. When I started this blog, I left all this leg stuff out not wanting to give it any power, but here it is, sneaking up behind me. What is the point of travel if you can’t even move?  Am I trying for the impossible here? Is it too ambitious, risky, dangerous or just foolhardy to try and travel with 2 people with physical limitations? Am I risking my husband’s heath pushing us around the country or globe? Or am I doing it by almost killing myself? Should I just go home and plop my now iced ass down on my couch and get fatter waiting for life to be over? I expect setbacks, but not from my end and not like this. Anyway in the middle of my depressing internal rant the “idiot guide” comes walking back. She got the golf cart stuck. I only needed to see the trail for 2 seconds to know a golf cart would not work on it so yes, she retains the name “idiot guide”. She then gives me complicated and convoluted directions on how my friends can come and pick me up from a bike path so of course I gave up and walked the rest of the way back. I arrived to pitying looks from my group. Not ever the kind of looks you want to get. I cracked a joke but no one heard it because they were all too busy with their pitying looks. My sage wisdom for today is that if you are going to get thrown off a horse, do it by yourself so you don’t have to deal with the pitying looks.
The Poop Trail

We are probably leaving today if I can stand being in the car. Wineries are out, North Dakota out. I guess it’s time to go home, regroup and decide if it’s time to give all this up. If I’m going to be miserable, I might as well be in Jersey.

Monday, July 11, 2011

What could possibly go wrong?



My view sitting on Sneakers, The Evil Horse, for the 30 seconds he was tied to a pole.

The Bucketlistour's blog says crazy travel adventures, so as promised here is one. Since so many of my husband’s bucketlist items have been completed, I thought it was time for some of my bucketlist plans to be checked off. What a bad idea that was. So far on this trip I have brought rain and traffic everywhere I go and the one hotel I really wanted to stay in was a major disappointment (see the blog Am I difficult?)  This past weekend however, I believe I hit the pinnacle of disastrous vacation adventure choices. We went horseback riding. Sounds tame or even lame right? Oh but read on.  Now I have only wanted to go horseback riding with my husband for our entire married life and we are not going to say how long that is. He has been promising for years, so finally we are going. I’m thrilled and ready. We arrive at the “stables” with our niece and her 5 year old daughter who are also going. They bring everyone to their horse and get us saddled up. Now I haven’t been on a horse since I was a kid so the 30 seconds explaining everything to me really wasn’t enough. But there we were, on our way. Right from the start my horse, Sneakers, or as I have renamed him “The Evil Horse” (TEH) was being difficult. He wouldn’t keep up with other horses, preferring to go backwards sideways or anyway but straight. He had an attitude and was not a team player. Now I am all for individual rights but not when I am on the back of one of those activists. We were in northeastern California, where the Sierra Nevada and Cascade mountain ranges meet. Beautiful scenery or so I am told. I never got a chance to see it. I was too busy trying to get TEH to stop snacking and move in the right direction. Oh and did I mention mountains? This was supposed to be a nice one hour trail suitable for a five year old. Well if that five year old was born to a rodeo family maybe, but this was not a suitable trail for any age beginner. With rocks, hills, steep inclines and declines and oh and even stairs, this was definitely for more advanced riders. The rest of the group was moving along with a little difficulty, but mostly smooth sailing. Not me. I had the second guide behind me smacking my horse in the butt, startling us both and lecturing me about how I have to control the horse. Not for nothing but all I wanted was a one hour PEACEFUL ride through the forest. If I wanted to play mind games and be the “horse- whisperer” I would have stayed in New Jersey aiming my skills at my three “unwispered” dogs. And another thing "annoying unhelpful guide lady”, Why is the five year old who is barely holding the reigns and knows nothing about animal control ( who again is FIVE for goodness sake) having no trouble?” Obviously “annoying unhelpful guide lady” assumed I was afraid of the horse. I had no fear of the horse but based on my law of fall averages I knew how likely it was that I would land on the ground. I have an impressive track record with my air to ground landings. I guess she thought she would ease my fears by telling me no one ever falls with these horses, with this trail. Well that was as good as Bill Evans (our local weather forecaster) telling me to plan for a sunny weekend. After Bill promises the sun (literally) we all run to roll up car windows and plan indoor activities. Now I knew for sure this would end badly. After 20 minutes (seemed like hours) of this fun I was exhausted from trying to bend the horse’s will to mine. I am quite sure I would have had a better shot bending a spoon up on stage somewhere. Anyway I guess TEH finally had enough of me too. He turned sideways on a hill and started to do that Lone Ranger thing. Those of us from more easterly parts would call it a wheelie. I screamed for the guide who was of course suddenly nowhere to be found. TEH started neighing and began to make his move. Now I can proudly say I got my 8 (seconds) rodeo style which gave me enough time to plan my gracious dismount into the mud and the dirt. Once I knew it was inevitable, I made sure to get my previously shattered right foot (and leg but that’s another adventure story for another time) out of the stirrup and plan my decent aiming to hit ground on my best padded parts. Ten feet up in the air later there I was on the ground thinking I did a Christopher Reeve. I couldn’t breathe and saw an entire replay of Million Dollar Baby where the paralyzed Hillary Swank tries to end it all by biting her tongue. The “idiot guide” (yes she has moved up to idiot status now) is screaming “DON’T MOVE! DON’T MOVE!” Well how am I going to know if I’m paralyzed if I don’t try to move?And if I am paralyzed I probably don't need to be screamed at to stay still. So fortunately I moved and started to breathe. My landing knocked the wind out of me and it was slowly coming back. After laying in the mud for what seemed like hours I slooooooowly stood up and did an assessment. I was covered in mud and dirt but no bones sticking out so yippee for me, a bonus I didn’t have after my last major fall. I didn’t see any blood and I knew I didn’t land on my head or neck so I figured I was beat up but not 911 call worthy.  For those that are genuinely concerned, or just looking for some helicopter evacuation drama, sorry, I do not even have a bruise or a scratch on me. Go figure. Of course I can barely walk and Advil stock prices are on the rise, but I don’t look like I took a flying leap. The topper of all this was now I could either get back on the horse that just threw me or walk all the way back. I will save the “Long Walk Back” entertainment for tomorrow. Right now I need to go wash all the mud out of my clothes. Before I go I thought I would end with a little gem of knowledge that I have picked up on this trip. Get ready for it . You know it's coming.....Without a doubt, horseback riding is a pain in the ass.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Am I really that difficult?

Am I really that difficult? No wait, don't answer that. Especially if you are my husband. I say no I am not difficult, I just want things to go right every once in a while. Now we are not top of the line travelers and I am a backpacker wannabe so I don't need a 4-5 star hotel or restaurant. Goodness knows I can camp out at Sloan's ICU waiting room for weeks at a time so I don't need princess treatment. That being said, when I pay what I consider  $$$ , I want it to be worth the price. After  spending last night at the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas I feel a "difficult" moment coming on.  The whole purpose of the Cosmopolitan was to mix a little luxury into our cross country trip.We have driven from the east coast with a few stops in your average hotels and sometimes just driving through the night, crashing at rest stops for a few hours.. We are visiting friends, seeing national parks and spending some time with family at their lake house. Most of the trip plan, while not camping, is outdoorsy and  not luxury.   I planned on one night of a nice suite, a decent dinner, some gambling ( mostly for the one who thinks I'm difficult)  and most of all, time at the pool. We stayed at the Cosmopolitan the week they opened and even though it was winter the pool was open and wonderful. It was my current winner of  best pool in Vegas. The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas promised me a good time. They told me so in the email they sent me. See-" Suffice it to say, we've gone to great lengths to make certain your stay is the single-most meaningful, memorable, and thoughtful visit you've ever had to our city." Well memorable can mean many things. Did they mean good memories or bad? Right now the memory is fresh and bad. It started with booking, continued with check-in and I would like to say ended with check out but they are still holding money on my credit card and the wonderful manager who was supposed to contact me 5 hours ago still has not. Now I'm not saying the place was bad, but it wasn't wonderful and I wanted wonderful. Am I difficult because I want wonderful? I understand it was a holiday weekend but I really lose my patience waiting in a long , non-moving line just to hand my money over to check in. I don't appreciate waiting an hour for my luggage to be sent up and sub-par AC and a cracked mirror in a suite in a new hotel. I realize (at least on my higher levels) that I can't blame the hotel for the weather but I want to. Most of all I want to find the idiots who threw bottles off their terrace causing the pool to be closed for almost the entire sunny part of our stay. All this plus crowds and long waits for restaurants added up to a night with more stress than rest. Not wonderful. So am I wrong to want wonderful or am I just being difficult?

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy 4th!

We are here
We are doing that American road trip thing for the holiday. Can you figure out where we are?

Arches



Not much time to write and struggling with technology trying to upload pictures. Just wanted to get get some pictures from the Arches up here. More later.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

The Pilgrimage

Yes it was a pilgrimage. No it wasn't Mecca , but Kansas and an early morning trip to see the largest ball of twine. Now I know you have questions. Was it worth it? Was it everything I expected? Was it a religious experience? and the most pressing question.... Why?
The "Twine"
Cawker City, Kansas
Cawker City, early morning
If I had to pick a question to answer it would be the second one. Yes it was exactly what I expected. It was a super large ball of twine. Not large enough that we didn't miss it the first time through town and had to humiliate ourselves by asking someone for directions, but large none the less. Being that this "interesting " stop seems to be overlooked by most guidebooks,  I will give you the lowdown , the 411 the "everything you want to know but were afraid to ask" about it.  First this outdoor , open air, attraction or "The Twine " as it will now be referred to, is not located on the right side of the street, nor is it next to the water tower. Don't make this mistake or you will probably be asking the same guy we did for directions when it is practically right in front of you. Once you see the water tower, look to your left. The twine appears to be open to the public, free of charge, 24 hours a day. We arrived shortly after dawn and no one seemed to care that we were there. Yes, you can touch the twine . I actually restrung a piece that was lose. There are even numbers and email so you can contact someone to get twine to add to the ball. I didn't feel it was necessary to call someone at 6AM on a Saturday to get twine. I hope they appreciate that. There is also a gift shop. Can't say that we saw it or if it is ever open, but rumor has it there is one.                                                                                                                                                   Finally, only those that are familiar with the Griswold travel spirit  can answer if it was worth it or not.

_

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Deep River

After a ton of obstacles we are finally on our way. Just crossed the Mississippi. To quote Clark Griswold" the Mighty Mississippi. Ole Miss, deep river.... ". We didn't do the Griswold thing getting lost or losing car parts, but we did cross the river. Still trying to get into travel mode though. The last few days were really wearing. Too much pre-adventure for me. I am hoping the "Gateway to The West" will be a gateway to travel mode. Hoping I can shake some not so great news and the way way too much "stuff" to handle, do, take care of before we left. We are seeing friends out here so hopefully that will help. 

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Forget about tomorrow Scarlet. I'll think about that in three weeks.

Well, we had our denial damaged a bit today, but we are still leaving tomorrow for our cross country trek. It is not great having the wind taken out from your sails right before a big trip but we will try to shake it off and get on with "bucketlistours".We will deal with these complications when we get back in three weeks. First stop St Louis.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

A Lame Post



                                                              Just saw a blog  about the top 5 things to do in London http://www.dangerous-business.com/2011/06/top-5-things-to-see-and-do-in-london/. So glad we hit the number one suggestion, the London Eye. Thought I would use this as a lame excuse to revisit some of our London pics.One of the great things about the Eye was our secret find right next to it.The secret (or secret in our minds because no one we knew had heard of it) was an indoor carnival and bar called Namco Station. Walk, no run, past the McDonald's that's right alongside the Eye. Go into the County Hall building and downstairs. There are different levels with all kinds of amusement type entertainment- Bumper cars, Skee- ball and arcade type games. Just like a Jersey shore boardwalk, except indoors. They even have a bowling alley!. Go down another 1/2 flight and there is a bar complete with casino type machines, more games and pool tables. Now this place is not glamorous, nor is it going to win any culinary or service awards, but they have cold beer, drinks and some type of bar food. My husband loves the gambling machines (of course) and I am a Skee-ball fanatic so this place was perfect. Also great - free internet. I didn't see it advertised anywhere but it worked great  in the seating area. The staff is not all that concerned with serving you, but also not concerned if you hang out with your laptop for a while. Don't plan your big London meal here, but this is a great place for a break, to post your pictures or an afternoon drink when the rain starts. I will definitely be blogging from here on our next trip to London.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Adventure travels before we even arrived.

Double vision
Secret waterfall near Playa Hermosa

Costa Crocs
Sunset at Playa Hermosa
The ditch loving truck.
Marley's view
Last year, about this time, we were on our way to Costa Rica. Yes we flew Spirit who should have beat Ryan's for worst airline ever and of course we got stuck. And yes, my cancer battling husband and I spent the night in the  airport. Not an auspicious start. The next morning it was (finally) off to Costa Rica. Our friends who run Surf the Earth Costa Rica ( here I will insert a shameless plug for them   http://www.surftheearthcostarica.com ) had spent the night in San Jose waiting for us. We piled into their truck for a seriously bumpy hour and 1/2 ride. The  amusement park style ride ended about 20 minutes short of our destination in a ditch with a flat tire. Do we know how to have fun or what? We had been warned about how bad the roads were in Costa Rica, but being from Jersey we didn't give it too much thought. Well alright all you guide book writers, we get it! The tire was not fixable where we had landed, so we were stuck.  Somehow, and I really have no idea how, in the middle of nowhere we finally managed to get a cab who just happened to be in the area. We finally ended up in a wonderful (small but delightful) hotel on the beach in Playa Hermosa. Only about 40 hours for what should have been a 5 or 6 hour trip. Not bad for us. And all this before we even started our (modified) adventure trip. Fortunately things picked up after that. Just thought I would put up some pictures here as I am remembering our adventure.

No news is good news.

The CT scan is done.  Check

No post- CT scan phone calls from the doctor's office, so I'm thinking no news is good news and feeling like it's time to start packing. For me this usually means over- packing. I'm really trying to curb my over-packing for this trip, but doubt I will be successful. The luxury of having an entire trunk, plus a back seat, instead of one check/one carry- on will only encourage my evil tendencies. Really trying to simplify though. I will either be bragging or lamenting here by Tuesday, depending on how it goes.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Good Luck

Planning our trip.Changing dates, changing directions, changing our minds? All this and we don't even have CT results yet. Talk about adventure travel.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Enjoy the ride


As the Phineas and Ferb song says “There's 104 days of summer vacation”.  Just listening to this reminded me of summer vacations when I was a kid. With the start of summer came longer days, warmer weather and no more school, all the things that helped make it my favorite season. The best thing I remember about summer as a kid was freedom, the total lack of structure or responsibilities. I recall my life being pretty structured during the school year, but summers were not. Other than 2 weeks at camp and a still way too early bedtime, I don't remember any structure at all. It was such a luxury getting up when I wanted, eating when I wanted to, and doing what I wanted to do when I wanted to do it. My only job was to go outside and play. Summer was an adventure with the outdoors opened for business. Just a minute outside in the warmth of the June sun brings me right back there. I think this is why I am addicted to travel. I guess I keep hoping to o find that freedom again. Like Kerouac, I want to ramble aimlessly back and forth across the country. Free to come and go and experience the world on my own terms, not someone else’s.

My life is much more complicated than it was then, but I am hoping that this summer is filled with some of that childhood freedom and adventure. We have our challenges, whether traveling or not, but I am hoping for a stress-free trip. We are setting up only a very basic timeline with stops here and there for our cross country trek. I am hoping we can travel each day without pressure to “get there” and instead, experience new finds, have a little adventure, and most of all enjoy the ride.

There's 104 days of summer vacation

Sunday, June 19, 2011

REALLY!?! or He'll have the Haggis please.

A few days ago I read a blog/article about proper blogging/tweeting/posting/commenting etiquette in social media. It basically said use the golden rule. In other words, don't post mean rants or make mean comments. Now I am all for that and agree mostly...or at least I did until this morning. That's when I read a blog by someone I follow on twitter. I'm trying to follow the etiquette rules so I won't make a mean comment on their blog, but I need to let this out somewhere. This is a couple (who will remain nameless) who just started what I guess is a RTW trip about a month or so ago. So far all the misadventures they promised to regale us with turn out to be nonsense stuff that they brought on themselves, with some extra whining on the side. Travel misadventures to me mean you “plan it out” or move along "freeform" and you end up in a " misadventerous" situation. This may include, but is not limited to, things like airline delays causing you to miss the next flight and spend the night in a strange airport. Been there done that. Or it could be driving 90 miles an hour, eastbound on Route 80 through Wyoming, trying to beat a not predicted snowstorm that was 30 miles behind us closing down the interstate. Yes again. Or there’s getting caught in snow or torrential rain in the Mohave Desert. Yes I can make it rain in the desert and yes this happened to us on 3 separate occasions. Driving on the left with a shift on the left in a downpour (yes more precipitation, seems like a theme) and having all the exit ramps where you are supposed to exit closed… I could go on and on. Maybe I need to look up the definition of misadventure because I am not getting it. This couple is whining about missing food from home and the language barrier. Waah  Waaah WAAAAAH!! Stay home if you want food from home. Did you ever even think of picking up some of the area’s language in what looks like a very over planned trip? We are talking about Spanish here, not some language spoken by 300 people in a tiny obscure country. Half the US speaks Spanish for goodness sake! They teach it in every high school. I’m sure these bloggers are lovely people but these types of travelers are everything the US is disliked for and this  part of what gives us a bad rep when we travel out of the US.

What made all this even more annoying is after all this whining, they get supportive, helpful comments on their blog. And TONS of them! GRRRRRRRR Maybe I'm just a jealous, beginner, blogger, wannabe, but this really ticked me off.  Here I am trying to travel with numerous challenges before we even walk out the door and the idea of whining about food in a foreign country wouldn't even occur to me. And believe me I am a serious complainer. My husband has a stent, a small metal tube that keeps his intestine (duodenum) open so he can eat. His diet is beyond difficult, with a gigantic list of what he can't eat. So when we were in Scotland did he eat the Haggis? Of course he did! Mostly because of a dare, but hey he ate it. And the Black Pudding too and we still don't know what is in either! By the way, please don’t comment with an ingredient list. Some things are better left unsaid.
You can call it cultural awareness or respect (or mostly our pride) but when you are visiting someone else's country shouldn't you try to assimilate if only for a day, week or month? I haven’t quite figured out the moral of this story yet but I have it narrowed down to a few:

If you are going to whine, stay home.
When in Rome go to McDonald's?
If it involves “wine-ing” make it Napa or Sonoma
Or finally
He’ll have the Haggis, but hold the whining.

PS. Sorry to my entire  2 or 3 followers for the rant.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

RIP Clarence Clemons

 

 So sad to hear about Clarence Clemons. Also feeling sad about never seeing the E Street Band again. If anyone was irreplaceable in a band, it was him. I am so glad we went on some crazy travel adventures to see Bruce and the E Street Band over the years. I am thinking back to 2007, before my husband was ill and instead it was me on the DL ( the disabled list not the down low). I had shattered and dislocated my leg and ankle ( broken in 3 places) in mid October of that year and had emergency surgery with plates, rods and pins put in. I was in a wheelchair because I had sprained the other ankle at the same time so crutches were not working and I was strictly forbidden to put weight on the broken, casted and braced leg. I guess the sensible thing to do would have been to take to my bed. But no, less than 2 weeks after the accident, there I was all Vicodined up with my leg propped on the dashboard with my husband driving to Cleveland  to see Bruce and E Street. What a trip that was, at least what I remember of it. It was 8 or 9 (possibly 10) hours of being either completely drugged and unconscious or constantly trying to find a comfortable position with my on leg pushed up against the front window.We had changed our hotel room to a handicapped one ( the Olga Korbut suite as we referred to it) and my husband schlepped me around. We met his niece who had flown in from California for the concert. I remember we found someplace to eat which involved rolling over a cobblestone road. I don't recommend it in a wheelchair when every movement sends shooting pain through your leg. Then we were on to the concert where I took one for the team and we finagled our way into the best wheelchair seats-better than the original seats we had. 

This was the first of quite a few handicap seating options we procured throughout that tour, traveling to see Bruce on the east and west coast.

Some of our friends thought we were crazy just like they do now when we travel but I have no regrets. I'm glad I had the chance to see the entire band at their best before some of them were taken from us. RIP Clarence. We will miss you.

Friday, June 17, 2011

The Moors near Haworth Village
The same moors the Bronte sisters walked
                                                                                                                                                                                     It's raining so it must be time for some England pictures. These were taken about 3 weeks ago on our trip to London, Stonehenge and Haworth.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Where do I fit in?

So much great information on all the travel blogs out there. Taking it all in as I am trying to set up my own ground rules for this blog. What to share, how much to share, how much is TMI!?!  Our situation is a bit different than other travelers but we don't like to dwell on those differences. I don't want this to become a place I rant about the medical field and all its failings or whine about our fate.  My husband's health does affect our travel though so I can't ignore it.

Where do I (we) fit in? Almost all the travel blogs I read (as well as the tweets) are so positive. Everything is great, no one seems to have a full time job , they aren't making any money in the travel world,  yet they travel to exotic places and have a great time. All the cancer blogs are way too depressing. Memorials, caregiver-saints, little kids suffering. People fighting valiant battles. I guess its supposed to be a comfort, but mostly it just keeps me up at night.  I am hoping this blog will fall somewhere in between. Don't expect too much of that valiant battle stuff here. I'm a realist and although I live and travel in denial, I won't be sugar coating things. If anyone is looking for inspiration on how cancer makes you a better person, blah blah blah ... you won't find it here. Cancer SUCKS! There is no way around it. If there are people out there saying cancer is a blessing and if that is their denial path , I wish them well but it won't happen here. Cancer, at best, is a tremendous pain, physically,emotionally and financially. At it's worst, it is a thief and a killer. It robs you of your health, your dignity, your money, your relationships and finally your life. Believe me it doesn't make your life better. What it does do is help you set your priorities. When my husband first became ill, I decided 2 things:Number 1) I would find him the best care possible, with the greatest chance of prolonging his life, hoping that new options would be out there and 2) We would do what ever he wanted to do whenever he wanted to, without robbing a bank of course. So far those 2 priorities have guided us through. He has one of the top Pancreatic Cancer docs on the east coast and in the last 2 1/2 years he has been to the Kentucky Derby twice, hit golf balls at St Andrews in Scotland and been on the Vegas Strip probably more than some Vegas natives. We are not looking to inspire ,we are just looking to live. If there is any goal here, it is that I don't want anyone to say my husband is dying from cancer and I don't want anyone to say he is surviving with cancer. I just want  people to know he is living and living a pretty good life.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Ch Ch Ch Changes

Well forget the northern road right now. That has been moved to the trip back. Right now it looks like we are taking the middle road, or as the rest of the country calls it, 70. All this is still very tentative with a CT scan scheduled for the end of next week but we are starting to plan the map. Looks like a visit to our friend in Missouri (or misery as we like to call it) is first up. Hoping to include a night out to hear  The Morleys  http://themorleysmusic.com a great St Louis area band. We will have to see how the scheduling goes. After that it is westward to The Arches National Park. This is one on my bucket list. My husband has outlived the average life span of someone with this disease by at least  4 times. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining but  we have been to many of his stops 2 or 3 times. That doesn't count Vegas ,which I think has been 10. I decided this spring that its time for us to travel to some of my bucket list items. This park is one of them. Then of course its off to Vegas hopefully for the 4th of July. That should be crazy but fun. We will eventually end up at Lake Almanor in California and then see what happens from there. Hoping for Napa and Sonoma but we will see how long the bed and breakfast (AKA my husband's niece and fam) can handle us. The ride out should be part of the adventure because we have never taken 70 across the country. Some of it will be retracing Clark (not Lewis and) Griswald's path which will be entertaining. Can't wait to be on the road! As we are telling family and friends " if the CT scan is good, we will be leaving end of June and if the CT scan is bad, we will be leaving the end of June.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Figuring things out

I'm still trying to figure out with this blog and twitter. Trying to get my tech world organized so it will be frustration free ( or as frustration free as tech can be) on the road. Still working on trip plans too. Looks like it's the northern road to California via North Dakota.will definitely post pics if we get to the largest ball of twine.The destination goal is Lake Almanor in CA. Then down south a little bit with a stop at Napa and Sonoma. Hopefully after that Vegas. Hoping to go back thru the middle road so I can visit one of my original (as in from high school) BFFs just outside of  St Louis. And yes there will be plenty more Nat Lampoon Vacation references for that stop.