Wednesday, February 8, 2012

# 197 - Cozumel - Could I Live in a Hut?

A few years ago we decided to take a vacation. Deputy Dave, myself and Stefie REALLY needed a vacation because we were physically and emotionally drained from Hurricane Ike destroying our home. We three had been crammed in a small RV parked in our drive-way for seven months during the reconstruction.

So...we decided to chill out on an 8-day cruise. Where do people go who have just endured a hurricane? Where do you go when construction workers have been in your house for two months? If you're nutty like our family, you want to head out for a tropical vacation!

I decided to do a few blogs about this vacation because it was a blast. It was also a convenient get-away since it left from a port in Galveston which is only minutes from our house.

Our youngest daughter, Stefanie, had been in her senior year of high school when Hurricane Ike winds and a tornado hit our home, ripping our roof apart so that our house became a rainforest environment. Through it all, in spite of the horrendous stress this caused in our lives, she kept up her grades and did a great job. Of the few kids in her high school whose house had been rendered unlivable by the hurricane, she still held her position as Officer on the dance team and remained a Texas Scholar.

To make matters worse, this kiddo didn't have a room of her own; even after we moved out of the RV and back into our house that had plastic draping for walls. We slept on air mattresses for months. For a long while, since she no longer had a room of her own, when she was frustrated, she still retained her sense of humor...she'd pull the comforter over her head and give a muffled yell, "Leave me alone, I want to be in my room by MYSELF!" We'd literally cry and laugh simultaneously.

Stefie has the fortitude of a bull and the wit of a fox.

Since our oldest daughter was doing her own thing away at Texas A&M and enjoying a bit of traveling around with Henry, we decided to let Stefie bring a friend on the cruise. After all, Stefie had just graduated from highschool, she made it through the hell hurricane year with graciousness. She choose one of her little buddies who we adored, but who had never even been out of the state of Texas. We told her that we'd pay her way during the cruise and we even got the girls their own cabin directly next to ours. It was a dream vacation to enjoy after we'd all endured a nightmare at home for too long.

Her little friend came over so excited about being able to go on a cruise. As Deputy Dave and I were lying in bed watching television, she walks in the room with Stefie and tells us, "I have a few serious questions to ask before we go on this cruise because I'm kinda scared."

Deputy Dave and I are understanding because we know she's never been given an opportunity to travel and we have taken our kids all over the place. We were listening.

Then, sweet Kirsten said, "I watched the movie Titanic and that's my main concern...that we will hit an iceberg and wreck or something bad like that Titanic cruise."

Needless to say, Deputy Dave had to drag out a map and explain the difference between a vacation in the Gulf of Mexico warm waters compared to traveling through iceberg waters. She felt assured, until we reminded her that we have sharks. "Just don't thrash around in the water and you might be okay."

We're kind-hearted like that.

Here's your ticket!

And, these photos are of our day in Cozumel. Paradise, pure paradise.

Disembarking at Cozumel, Mexico.

Deputy Dave and Stefie decided to start on their scuba
diving certifications as Kirsten and I snorkeled.

After the required lessons...there they go, slowly toward deeper waters
where I won't be able to see them any longer. Daddy is
holding his baby girl's hand and reassuring her that all will be okay.

Stefie is hooked on scuba diving.

Only bad part is...Stefie barely weighs 90lbs dripping wet.
Her equipment nearly weighs as much as she does.

As a mom, this moment brought me tremendous joy.
Enduring a hurricane was not so bad after knowing
it helped lead to this moment.

Here I am snorkeling in Cozumel, Mexico and loving every moment.
I'd just been discharged from the hospital four months previous
with a 10x16 tissue transplant...being able to do this brought me freedom.
Kirsten and Stefie sitting on the cow.

Deputy Dave has his hands full with girls, girls, girls, everywhere
he goes...there are girls. We are missing Heather during this trip, but
she's been in Las Vegas with Henry. She'd been off at college during the
hurricane and did not experience our desperate living conditions, so
she might have thought we were a bit loony on this trip.

Stefie getting to shop in Cozumel, one of her favorite things to do.
She's getting shot glasses for all of her friends.

Okay, who is carrying the six-shooter now Big Boy?

The three of us are having too much fun.
I have more moments to remember and to cherish for this particular vacation. Since my daughters have wonderful Sea Legs, due to living by the Bay all their life, I know that any of us are up for another cruise, at any moment. I was thankful that Kirsten was not the type to get sea sick either, but I have a few tricks up my sleeves to combat sea sickness that I learned from my father who traveled back and forth to his Oil Rig in the North Sea by barge. He had talked a lot about dealing with sea sickness and how to nip it in the bud. The advice must work because none of us have ever been sea sick.

In fact, Deputy Dave and I might have to take a cruise after we sell this house so that we can have a nice vacation from all of the work we've been doing to ready the house for sale. Taking a cruise is such a delight because everything is at your fingertips, especially the food, delicious food.

Now that I look at our pictures and am reminded of how exotic we all felt when traveling to these parts of the planet, I am actually tempted to live in a hut. Maybe we can just move somewhere tropical. Maybe we can buy a place with a few palm trees, a bit of sand and fish all day.

Nawww....I'd miss my chickens too much, and my dogs, and the woods, and the creek, and our little lake and the cabin of my dreams is calling for me to make it a reality. Exotic places, you are nice, but you are not home, and, as for the sand, we all know that it can be irritating after a while. Truly so.


Dreaming said...

What a wonderful way to celebrate making it through tough times. I love that you took Stefie's friend... and the comment about the shark made me laugh!!

Charade said...

Okay - I get the sun and beaches and shopping and all, but I don't get how you could even think of going from a cramped RV trailer into a state room of any kind, no matter how luxurious. Isn't that like trading one confinement for another?

And, PLEEZ post your seasickness remedies. Five times across the big oceans by ship, and I still can't hack it.

WhisperingWriter said...

Oo I want to go there! said...

Dreaming --- the great part is, as we were leaving the port, we were standing by the railing on the deck and watching dolphins swim alonside us! Magical!

Charade --- we were so accustomed to tight accommodations that it didn't phase us, hey, at least we each had a "ROOM" of our own! And the deal with handling a stateroom is to never be inside it, unless you are ready to drop. I'M ON A BOAT!!!!! Okay, the main way to help deal with traveling by sea is...forget the over-the-counter motion sickness drugs. You HAVE to be prescribed Antivert, then start getting it into your system, at least 8 hours before leaving on the ship. Then, you MUST keep it in your bloodstream. We start out doing this, but can stop taking it because we're not as prone to sea sickness, but Deputy Dave's brother went on a cruise for his honeymoon and was in misery the entire trip. I've had a couple of friends who have been desperately ill on cruises, then tried this presription...making sure to take it WELL BEFORE boarding and they actually made it without getting horribly ill. There are other tricks with dealing with sea sickness, but I can't tell or my dad would KILL me. I might do a post on some of it because it's actually a funny way to also approach the psychological difficulties of swaying at sea.

Whispering Writer --- I loved it. It would have been great to simply be there and stand on the beach with my jaw hanging open. Really.

Paula said...

WOW~ all I can say is that must have been like heaven on earth, Lana! What a wonderful trip!