Was It All A Dream?

Grand Asia Cruise + 31 days

Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018 – at home

Today is one month since I left the MS Amsterdam and flew home to the Dallas suburbs from San Diego. It seems more like a year. I don’t wake up expecting someone to serve my breakfast or make my bed. Instead, my cats wake me up singing “the song of their people,” as we call their meowing for food, which starts way too early.

Just to catch everyone up with the 81st day of the trip – disembarkation day: Holland America has made great strides in lessening the pain of leaving, even while I know someone else will be sleeping in MY bed that night. I had breakfast as usual in the Lido and had time to say goodbye to more people.

I didn’t have to wait long for them to call my number to leave, so I scanned my card for the last time and went to the terminal, found a porter to help with my bags and took a taxi to the nearby airport.

As we took off, I had my last view of the Amsterdam, berthed next to the Oosterdam. The flight home was uneventful until I landed, when I received a text from American Airlines notifying me that one of my bags came on an earlier flight and would be at baggage claim. Unfortunately, it was at baggage claim in another terminal, and by the time my sister and I got there, it was sent back to the original terminal. Not a smooth way to end the cruise, but not horrible. My two shipped bags arrived two days later – an amazing feat give the holidays.

My disappointment of the end of the cruise was overshadowed by the imminent arrival of Christmas. We quickly had six family members in my sister’s house. A flurry of wrapping, unwrapping and cooking didn’t leave me much time to be homesick for the ship. I even got about 100 Christmas cards mailed the first day I was home (I designed them during the cruise and ordered them online in Honolulu).

img_2590Unfortunately, while I was gone the U.S. Postal Service decided to stop delivering mail sent to my PO box (even as my nephew was regularly getting it), stamping it “no such number” and returning it. So not only did I miss getting a lot of Christmas cards, but also I am still trying to convince financial institutions and others that yes, it is a real box number, and they can resend the mail. I hope this doesn’t mess up my tax forms. No apology from anyone at the post office.

After Christmas, life quickly got back to normal. I am living with my sister, and while I was gone she had finished remodeling her kitchen. I’ve learned to find my way around the new arrangement. My cats have forgiven me from leaving them, but they would be happier if I fed them more often. They are on a diet.

Speaking of which, I surprised myself by losing 3 pounds on the cruise. I rarely gain weight on a cruise, but because I started out on this one with a knee injury, I never got much into my planned exercise routine. I lost another 2 pounds in the week or so after the cruise and have kept it off so far. Grazing/snacking is much more of a temptation at home than on the ship, I’ve learned.

After about three weeks at home, I was antsy to travel and drove to Atlanta to help a friend pack for an impending move to Florida. I managed to dodge the icy southern storms and got back home earlier this week.

Late this month I start a weekly watercolor class in the adult education program of the community college. I’ve missed my daily watercolor fix.

I haven’t been in touch with most of the people I met on the cruise, but that’s on my list for the next week or so. I’ll report back on how it goes. My Atlanta friend, who also is a writer, urged me to keep this blog going, even if not from the seas or the road. So I’ve browsed all the comments and will write a few entries in the coming days to answer questions and report back on packing (what I didn’t need and what I wished I had taken).

You’ll notice that I cleverly worked in comments about my cats, Cooper and Callie, so I will post a photo of them.