Now I’m 46

Another year has come and gone – this one seemed to go by very quickly for me. I had a lot going on, many changes began here and continued.

I left Alcoholics Anonymous

It was a while in the making. I finally saw the inner workings of the service side of AA, what I assumed would be the most spiritual was the most sick I guess. It seemed all anyone wanted was what they wanted, not what was best for AA as a whole. So to me I had lost a second part of the triangle, the one I believed in most – Service. Between that and the “fake it til you make it” dishonesty in an honesty program. I’m really an atheist and cannot swallow what others do in its entirety. Don’t miss it, gives me lots of free time and less to be resentful at. I did go to a meeting with Flo when I was in Albuquerque but that was for him, I was just along. No one from AA has really reached out to me asking me about it – some have said they want to leave too, so that’s interesting. Continue reading

Vacation

I need a vacation.

Many people will chime in here and say “You’re going to Washington DC Saturday for five days” or “you just spent the weekend in Casa Grande at a retreat”

Those people have a very different interpretation of vacation than I do.

In a recent post I talked about when my Ma found my diary and how sometimes I have to be careful what I write so I don’t offend people… but today, I don’t care.

I”m about to travel the span of the country and spend the weekend with my best friend catching up, shopping, whining and being best friends (she’s not one of the sensitive types that I’m referring to) and then going to Washington DC to help my ex roommate and see my ex boss and his wife and some AA folks (who I love like family) for the rest of the trip… but that is NOT a vacation. Nor is flying to a winter climate to celebrate a holiday you don’t care about. participating in a retreat when you’re the registration chair and the people around you can best be described as self-centered, self-seeking kindergartener … Yes, I’m one of them.

A vacation is about relaxation, about not worrying about how to act or behave or treat people based on their sensitive. A vacation renews and refreshes a person so they can keep doing the mundane tasks they do most days. For me a vacation is about lying by a pool for days, with a book and my own musics… and naked men are helpful too. Swimming and sunning and sleeping… I need a vacation.

in 2005 I decided not to travel to WI for a whole year – I’d been going 2 – 3 times a year to see family/friends and not many reciprocated. So Ma, Pa and Rhonda came to visit me. That was a nice change. Many folks have already been out here to visit me in Phoenix, that’s nice too.

I once had a job that let me take off whenever I wanted, we didn’t accumulate days or run out – if you need off you take off. I managed to take a laptop with me most times and do anything that came up that needed to be done… but I got to relax. Thanks Jim.

But in most jobs when you have to accumulate vacation days … those days when you feel obligated to spend with family or friends is more aggravating. There was a recent day when the only thing that kept me from walking out the door at work was the realization that at a new job I’d have to start vacation days from scratch again… and I just can’t have that happen. Days for Xmas, days for working, days for funerals and weddings… how dare people die or fall in love, don’t they know I need to relax?

I’m just out of energy, out of caring, out of give a shits.

I whined about this today to my sponsor and he laughed at me… no really, he did. He’s driving me to the airport early Saturday morning – he volunteered… he’s crazy. Truth is he’s a better person than me (that’s true of most people). Some day maybe i’ll look back on this post and laugh at myself – I hope when I do I’ll be lying naked at a pool next to some handsome men.

Christmas 2014

I wasn’t sure how travel would be on Christmas day, many years ago I traveled on Christmas eve and the lines and crowds were overwhelming. But Christmas day was nice – no lines, no crowds and quick check in – I think even my flight had open seats available. I started a book a friend gave me Tattoos on the Heart  – kept me occupied the whole flight.

I rented a car and drove to Galesville from Minneapolis airport – the GPS suggested going a route differently than I normally would and that seemed to be pretty quick, before I knew it I was at my Ma’s. As I was driving down there was no snow on the ground, but the further south I got closer to my Ma’s the more snow piles that were still visible… was backwards.

Was great to see my Ma, Kenny (and Sheila), Rhonda (and Greg) and we had a good day, dinner and watched  12 Years a Slave – good movie. I did some computer stuff down there fixed the wifi password, found a crossword puzzle app Ma wanted.

The day after Christmas was when we celebrated – the nephews and grand nephews were there, was a really good time. Sheila cooked more than anyone could possibly eat. I got noisemaking toys for the boys (that’s what uncles do) and a good time was had by all. It snowed that night – a little over an inch so that pleased people (not me).

Saturday we had breakfast at Garden of Eatin and then I headed off to Black River Falls to spend time with Dawn, Ryan and Amy. Amy’s new place is very pretty and easy enough to find. Was great to see all three of them and spend time. Got to catch up and see what everyone is doing and had a nice meal prepared by Amy (Dawn made the dessert).

Then I drove off to the airport – was dark on my way up and many stupid people were on the road – people driving under 55 on the interstate – wtf people. I arrived at my hotel around 7:00 after dropping off the rental car – there are two places to drop off the rental car and I picked the wrong one and had to go to the second location.

Spent the night at a Fairfield Inn near the airport, was in bed by 9 and woke up at 4 to catch my flight. Travel on Sunday was similar to traveling on Christmas Eve – long lines, stupid people and screaming children.

Glad to be home, glad I got to see the family – now if only they’d all retire and move to warmer places.

On Top of Grass Mountain

I was bitten by a horse fly or some kind of damn fly… ouch. There, now I’ve complained about everything bad that happened this weekend. I’m so glad I got that off my chest, I was trying to look tough and not complain.

IMG_3716

When I first met my current sponsor he let me know right away that he escapes from the Phoenix heat each summer and goes off to New Mexico – it’s a good thing to know if you’re looking to get spiritual direction from a guy that he’s not going to be local for half the year. He’s a good sponsor, a good example of AA in action and I’ve shared things with him that I’ve not shared with another living being – so he matters a little bit to me (ok, a lot). Even before he left in May he suggested I come out and visit, spend a few days at his cabin and take a break. I thought that might be a good idea, and at his suggestion asked one of his other sponsees (Scott) if he’d be interested in joining me, he said yes and we tried to get a few others to go as well, but only had one taker who had to back out at the last minute due to health issues.

When I first started planning this little excursion I wasn’t sure I could get time off from my new job (only been there since February). But I asked and they were very kind to me and gave me the time off in a very nice way. I really love my job, in case you haven’t heard me talking about it recently.IMG_3662

One of the objectives of the trip was to attend my sponsors Home Away From Home Group meeting on Thursday nights so tickets were purchased to get us into Albuquerque in time to make his meeting with him. Had the flight not been delayed a little bit we would have even made it to dinner before the meeting – but that was not to be. Instead, the Sponz picked us up and had beef brisket, extra moist beef brisket and turkey, corn …. a bunch of food that we ate on the way to the meeting in Pecos about an hour away from the airport.. He thought for sure we’d be late, but we made it just at 7:00. Good little meeting – a newcomer, cheesecake bites, and the topic was ego… I enjoyed it and it just felt good to be in a meeting with the Sponz again. A fellow sponsee was there (wearing a Breaking Bad t-shirt) a local there, so nice to meet him. The meeting space is pretty unique and I hope you all see it someday in the Grapevine. Continue reading

My Friend the Vegan

My best friend Suzanne is a vegan, she’s been a Vegan for a little over a year now. It’s a personal choice for her, I know she thought long and hard about it but ultimately decided that if she wanted to have a clear conscious about how people treat animals then she had to become a vegan. I’m sure there was more to it, I’m almost positive there is. She’s managed to become a vegan and still teach insane amounts of exercise classes that whenever I’m in town she drags me along to. So she gets enough protein, vitamins, sustenance or what have you to be totally awesome as a Body Step, Zumba and Body Pump instructor (for the record, I hate Body Pump and my body hurts so much after)… ok, really the vegan thing has little to do with the class instructing, but she can do that even without eating meat which I think is pretty amazing, because I live on meat. She even says that she loves the tastes of all the new vegetables and tofu she’s discovered on this journey.

She’s not pushy about being a vegan either, she doesn’t talk down to me because I eat meat, she just knows how she feels about it and lets me go on about being the person I am and she lives by example… that’s a novel idea isn’t it.  She’s a pretty amazing woman for that reason too (there is a long, long list for why she’s amazing, I’m just focusing on a little here).

This weekend I was going to try some of her fake milk, but I forgot – someone somewhere is probably saying “It’s not fake, it’s ALMOND milk.” or “soy milk”. Whatever… the point is I really was going to try, but this morning I had the bowl of oatmeal already in the bowl when she reminded me and I don’t take milk in my oatmeal, so I didn’t get to.

So because I didn’t get to try the fake milk (let it go people) I decided to post these really cute photos of her dog instead.

Farley loving the cool air from the vent

Wisconsin, Wedding, Withering Heat

I flew out to Wisconsin this time for the wedding of very dear friends, Eric and Rosy. Eric and Rosy dated back in high school and like most high school romances it came to an end and they went their separate ways. A few years back they rekindled the love they felt and I was fortunate enough to be the best man for the ceremony. They got hitched in Wisconsin Dells at a little hotel called the White Rose Inn. I had never been to Wisconsin Dells before and was amazed at the traffic, tourists and teething toddlers.

The Happy Couple

I stayed at the Great Wolf Lodge, Eric picked it I think, a family friendly resort with it’s own water park – let me say it was more expensive than a very nice hotel in DC would have been; Eric is no longer allowed to pick hotels. I was given an accessible room (there was a wheelchair symbol on the sign outside the door) that wasn’t fully compliant, I notice these things now that I’ve worked for Jim for six years – I’ve sent them an email about the issues I noticed. Eric and Rosy managed to pick one of the hottest days of the year to get married, and I’m amazed we all survived the sweltering heat. It was very sweet and I finally got to meet all of the kids and had a great time.

On Sunday morning I left the Dells for Galesville, I told my Ma I’d be there about noon so she wouldn’t skip church or her regular Sunday routine, I really don’t want her to go out of her way. Rhonda, Michael and Michelle were at the house when I arrived. Ma returned from lunch and Cory and Danielle came over with Charlie and Patrick and we had pizza. Mostly at Ma’s Ma and I read while Rhonda went to work and Michael worked on demos or what ever. At the suggestion of my best friend Suzanne’s dad, Chip, I started to read The Godfather and couldn’t put it down – after reading it I started to watch the movie but it really is watered down so I don’t know how much I’m going to enjoy it.

Tuesday night I had dinner with my sister Amy, her daughter Joplin and Amy’s long term boyfriend who’s name escapes me for whatever reason. Afterwards we played Cranium for a while which was fun.

Wednesday I headed up to the Chippewa Valley. Pat and I went off to see The Amazing Spider-Man which I really liked. Pat, Brenda and I went out to dinner at Texas Roadhouse and then headed back to my hotel where we all partook of the swimming pool. Did I mention this was the hottest week of the year? Thursday I had lunch with Nicholas at Taco John’s, swam for a while in the hotel pool, napped and finally headed out to the Eau Claire Pacific Group where I was the main speaker – I did ok, nothing to get excited about, just ok. After the meeting I joined the guys for food at Perkin’s before heading back home to bed. Friday I had breakfast with Pat and Brenda. Friday afternoon I met my brother Ryan for dinner at Texas Roadhouse and then we went to see the movie Savages, which was ok.

Saturday morning after dropping in to say goodbye to the Isenberger’s I drove down to Galesville and used my GPS, which was a huge mistake. The GPS on the way down to the Dells had me leave the interstate to go off on a county road for a few miles only to put me back on the interstate – it also had me drive through the Dells to my hotel which was two exits up and would have been easier to get to had I stayed there… had I remembered all that I might have not even thought of following the GPS. But I did and ended up on several back roads but finally did make it to my Ma’s. Ma and I went to Winona for dinner. Michael was brough back from canoeing and was passed out in his truck until about 1:30 a.m. Sunday morning Ma, Rhonda, Greg, Michael and I went out to breakfast and around noon I headed off to the LaCrosse airport.

I had a long lay over in Minneapolis, three hours, and then the head flight attendant was pretty grumpy on our plane. She had us turn off our electronic devices 5 – 10 minutes before the door was closed and came on the loudspeaker a few times to insist that we turn off our electronic devices so we could depart on time, meanwhile folks were still coming on board and we were subjected to listening to children crying an obnoxious laughter. Any time she made announcements you could here the frustration in her voice, obviously she’d had a long day and been subjected to annoying passengers, but at the end of the day you still have to treat your customers right. As we were landing there was some turbulence before the initial decent and she had us turn off our electronic devices much sooner than we normally would and then when the pilot announced we were beginning our initial decent she came on to say something about us not following crew member instructions – really if she had been even a bit nicer I’m sure it would have gone better for her.

Then I arrived home and the kitty was very happy to see me, and she’s interrupted my writing this several times for love… so I’d better go see to her.

Do You Know Where Your Towel Is?

Today my friend Rosy turns 42, it’s a special Towel Day (25 +5+12 = 42) and Men In Black 3 comes out – I wouldn’t be surprised at all if there were Vogon ships headed our way right now preparing to read poetry to us before we’re demolished to make way for a hyperspace bypass, it could happen… I’m sure of it.

DON’T PANIC!

… a towel has immense psychological value. For some reason, if a strag (strag: nonhitchhiker) discovers that a hitchhiker has his towel with him, he will automatically assume that he is also in possession of a toothbrush, washcloth, soap, tin of biscuits, flask, compass, map, ball of string, gnat spray, wet-weather gear, space suit etc., etc. Furthermore, the strag will then happily lend the hitchhiker any of these or a dozen other items that the hitchhiker might accidentally have “lost”. What the strag will think is that any man who can hitch the length and breadth of the galaxy, rough it, slum it, struggle against terrible odds, win through, and still knows where his towel is, is clearly a man to be reckoned with.  Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy is one of my favorite books, I re-read it probably once a year and laugh out loud several times.

Share and Enjoy

Mostly Harmless

So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish

This was basically just a meaningless post meant to fill the void of internetness and remind you about Towel Day. I hope you’re a hoopy frood and know where your towel is today!

#towelday #DONTPANIC #42

Journey to the Midwest 2012

When I make trips to visit folk in the Midwest for whatever reason, this reason was my niece Tabatha graduated from high school and asked me to come to her party, I try to see as many people as I can see while I’m in the area. It really seems like the longer I’m alive the more people that want to see me when I’m in the area – I think there might be something wrong with the water up there. This visit I saw folks that I haven’t seen in 20 years – which was nice. I may not have gotten a chance to see you, I may not get a chance to see you next time – but hey, if you want to see me you could visit here. You know I live in the Nation’s Capital right? Tourist Trap of the East Coast – and if you came out here you’d get to see more of me than just a 20 minute visit in the Midwest, and trust me it’d be more exciting. I can’t promise anything, but one group of friends that came out to visit were just inches away from Sean Penn when we went out to eat… didn’t do anything for me, but they were excited. So if you want to see me hey come visit – I’ll pretend to have as much interest in meeting you here as I pretend to there. 🙂

My flight to Minneapolis on Wednesday was fine, the old couple next to me kept interrupting my reading by asking me questions about the iPad and other technology – it’s like I have a sign around my neck “Ask Me About Your Computer Problems”. I do my best to look mean when I travel to avoid just this kind of thing – motorcycle boots, sleeveless shirt showing tattoos, leather wrist band, penis earring… but they still ask me. Maybe I need a big nose ring.

My good friend Tina picked me up at the airport and we headed off to my hotel in downtown Minneapolis, The Marriott City Center, the boss had hooked me up with a good room – top floor of the hotel, it was a two story room wow, had a nice view too. Tina and I had a nice chat before she had to head off to an appointment.

I then headed off to Boneshaker Books, where my friend Tim volunteers, little store but lots of interesting books. Check out their site and make a donation – it’s a non-profit. Tim and I took the light rail, Minneapolis’s commuter train, into the city for dinner – after all the years that Tim’s lived there this was his first time on the train, he would usually ride his bike everywhere. We ate dinner at a place called Hell’s Kitchen which had good food, not too loud and close to my hotel downtown. Tim and I had good conversations about politics, old friends, old times and just nonsense. It was great to see him.

Thursday morning I had breakfast with my friend Randy and then wandered around the skyways exploring here and there, I had some things explode in my suitcase that I needed to replace and it was nice to see how it all worked too. Then I had a lunch date with a guy I’d met in December while I was speaking, it was ok. Thursday night I went to the Central Pacific Group meeting where I frowned when I was called up to share, but would have obsessed for the next hour had they not – yep, I’m sick. Afterwards there was fellowship and then Tina dropped me at my hotel. A nice night.

Friday morning I took the light rail to the airport to rent a car for my foray into Wisconsin, its scary to think I finally don’t get lost getting out of the airport area and into WI. The drive was uneventful, got to Pat and Brenda’s and then went to get a quick bite at Taco John’s before checking into my hotel. That night we had steaks and corn at the Isenbergers and chatted here and there. Nice to see everyone.

Saturday morning Pat and I had breakfast at Perkins, then coffee at Starbucks, before I headed off to do other things before going to …

Tabatha’s Graduation party was held in a park in Fall Creek, by the lake. Lots of folks were there including Tabatha’s dad Jeff, who I haven’t seen in ages. Lots of folks I didn’t know too, but it was nice to be there for Tabatha and have one central place to see the siblings, even though most of the time they aren’t talking to one another they managed to behave. Good food, great weather and memories – it was nice.

Saturday night for dinner the Isenberger’s and I went to Dragganettis for dinner, where my friend Nicholas works, had a nice time and it was my only opportunity to see Nicholas too. Dropped them off and went back to the hotel for TV and bed.

Sunday morning I was up early and drove to Galesville to see Ma and Rhonda. I think I was here before 10 and then we headed over to Cory and Danielle’s to to spend time with them and the boys (Charlie and Patrick). It was really nice when we first got there, and we were all enjoying the day but all the sudden it got pretty cold out and before you know it we were all shivering. Ma, Rhonda and I left and headed to the Whitehall cemetery to lay flowers on Pa’s grave.  I still get a little emotional thinking about him there, and seeing Ma’s name on the stone when she’s standing right next to us. We then went to dinner at what used to be Geno’s Supper Club in Whitehall, can’t recall what it’s called now then I said farewell to them and headed up to Pigeon Falls to see Tony and Laurie, friends I haven’t seen in about 20 years. It’s been a long time.

Monday I drove up to the Twin Cities in the afternoon and got on my plane. Landed in BWI around 9:40 and it took them almost an hour to get us luggage, pretty sad.

I had a great trip, it was nice to see everyone and I look forward to the next time I see folks – probably wont be anywhere cool though, just the Midwest.

Postcards

When I first started traveling to places outside my usual locale my best friend Pat asked me several times to send him post cards from those destinations. So occasionally I would get as far as purchasing a post card at that destination but then forgetting to send it out until I returned to DC and sometimes I’d pack it in a bag and bring it to him when I’d go to WI. He said that was missing the whole point of post cards as they need to be sent from the origination point of the vacation.

Galesville WI - "Home"

"Home"

I’ve gotten a lot better at it over the years and added quite a few people to the recipient list for post cards. I think on average I sent out sixteen cards to folks all over the US (and sometimes Canada) per trip.

San Diego Card

San Diego Card

When I first began I’d usually make it home before the card reached my roommate, which I found disappointing. Its taught me to find post cards and mail them out on the same day and then they can arrive before I am done with my vacation.

Winnipeg

Sometimes if I will be at a fabulous destination, like Maui or Winnipeg? , and I know I’ll be sending out about 30 cards I’ll even print mailing labels to save my hands writing that many addresses.

My friends and family tell me they love receiving the cards and I do try to find cards that are a little unique for them to enjoy. It’s really hard to find post cards in some small towns – Galesville, WI for example where I think I got lucky the small pharmacy had a few. Every once in a while I’ll get a post card from one of them and discover they too have been to a far away place and that place might even appeal to me.

The post cards I’ve added to this post are from ones I’ve sent to my roommate in the last few years – I’ve destroyed the ones from trips to San Antonio for various reasons. This last one is one of my favorites from a recent trip back to Wisconsin.

Wisconsin Porn Industry Thriving

Aloha and Mahalo AAC Inc

So for the company trip this year we headed off to Maui for 8 days of relaxation, fun and sun. Ana had mentioned Hawaii so I worked on Jim for a few months before he agreed, then I had to work on him to get him to agree to bring Vera. He did thank me right before we left – he knows how much work Vera does for us.

I booked the whole trip Expedia and we did it on the phone with an agent who made several promises that were not kept in the end. Also the day after the trip was booked I received an email that said one leg of our flight was canceled – this happened several times between when we booked and when we left. Calls and emails to Expedia for assistance were all roads to no where.

Our connections in the lodging industry got us room upgrades (ocean views) and free breakfast. We stayed at the Fairmont Kea Lani which was so lovely and just about perfect. Our rooms were great and we all had an ocean view. I highly recommend this hotel to anyone that might be staying in Maui. I loved the pool and even had a spa treatment.

On Friday we left BWI for ATL at 9:55 a.m. on Delta (Delta was great the whole trip) and spent almost two hours in ATL, hooking up with Lisa and Rankine there for the next leg. The flight from ATL to LAX was relatively painless, I watched G.I. Joe on the little screen in front of me (horrible movie) for $6. And most of us participated in a trivia game that was also on the monitors.  In LAX we had a short layover before getting on the plan to OGG (Maui). On the leg to OGG we had great flight attendants, I shook my head no at the free peanuts and cookie but the attendant insisted, telling me they had exceeded their trash quota for the month and I had to be responsible. And there was an lady that came to a group of us and had us do art work which was great she was entertaining.

We landed in Maui at 8:40 p.m. local time which was about 1:40 home time and we were all pretty tired. The directions to the hotel were not really great and it’s REALLY dark on the road to the hotel so it was hard to see the map in the car and figure out street signs. Gary and I headed up the wrong road for a while before I remembered the GPS on my Blackberry and figured out we were heading in the wrong direction. Even though we got a little off track we were still the “First Team to Arrive”.

I didn’t sleep well the first night, I was awake several different times during the night for no reason and finally at 5 just woke up and started the day. It was nice to have free breakfast and the coffee in the room helped me. Each room had a balcony and I watched the light come into the day from it all but one of the mornings, it was rather spiritual for me. I read my daily meditations out there. [Meanwhile back in DC, Mouse had been scared to death when Mark A stopped by to feed her – it was then that she realized Daddy wasn’t coming home that night – *scratch, scratch, scratch on the pole*]

Saturday after spending some time at the pool and in the sun Gary and I headed off to Lahaina where he got to see the Sugar Cane Train (he likes trains) come into a station and turn around. We then headed back to the hotel. I got a facial at the Spa. We had dinner at Carl Jr.s… well we don’t have one of those in DC and an early night, I think I was asleep by 9:00 I think. [Meanwhile back in DC: Mouse had been almost all alone for two whole days except for that stranger Mark who she didn’t want to get to know *meow, meow, meow* {translation: woe is me}]

Sunday morning after breakfast Gary went to church at an open air place near out hotel. When he returned he and I decided to go out to the Road to Hana. I got sick on the Road to Hana, two hours each way of winding, twisty roads, really not my cup of tea my stomach didn’t agree. Jim wanted to invite me to dinner but that was the last thing on my mind. [Meanwhile back in DC: Mouse is hoping her Daddy gets sick and can’t enjoy himself]

Monday Gary and I had intended to go up to the top of the volcano but I was reluctant to go to any twisty, turny roads and declined the invitation. Gary did go up the mountain and did some exploring on hs own. It was Gary’s birthday so we had dinner at an Italian restaurant. It was nice. I told everyone that it was his birthday, much to his dismay, so at breakfast he got a cake, at the restaurant and even the ladies who came to do the turn down said happy birthday to him. He made like he wasn’t happy about it but I saw the smile. [Meanwhile back in DC – Mouse came out of hiding to let Mark pet her *purrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr*]

Tuesday afternoon 4 of us took off in the early afternoon to go Ziplining it was so fun and everyone had a great time. Piiholo Ranch Zipline, great team, very safe, very good. There were two other sets of people in our group and one couple got stuck out in the middle of one of the ziplines and was stuck out there for about 20 minutes. Glad it wasn’t us. I would love to do it again and again and again. I managed to get a video of me zipping on the last line and soon I’ll figure out how to upload that here.  Tuesday night Gary, Ana and I had dinner together at the Fish restaurant at the hotel and I went out on a limb and ate fish. Not something I would do willingly. [Meanwhile back in DC – Mouse took advantage of the solitude, finally realizing that her Uncle Gary couldn’t come give her attention and disturb her nap *zzzzzzzzzz*]

Wednesday I took Gary to the airport as he went off island but technically stayed on Maui, he went to the island of Molokai which is part of Maui. Jim and Ana drove me to Kihei for an AA meeting and then we had dinner at the Pupu Lounge, it was ok. The meeting started and the chair said: this is a speaker meeting. Well apparently Speaker meeting is code for topic/bad day meeting in Maui as that’s what it was. After the lead he picked me to share which I didn’t appreciate – not being familiar with the format of the meeting I felt off kilter but as the topic was “spiritual tools” I talked about how close I felt to my higher power in the morning watching the light join the day. It was mostly downhill from there. [Meanwhile back in DC – Mouse started to eat more and more to ease the sense of loss – *Mmmmmeeeeeeeoooooowwwww*]

Thursday was mostly a day of sitting by the pool and swimming in it until the afternoon when Jim and I went to pick up Gary at the airport. That evening was the only “required event” for the travelers, we all met at Outback for dinner. The company, toasts, laughter and fellowship was wonderful, the service not so much. Several orders were messed up. But we still had a great time. Afterward we went to Dairy Queen for dessert (I got to pick and I love me a Banana Split Blizzard. [Meanwhile back in DC – Mouse wished her Uncle Gary would come and wake her up from her nap]

Friday morning at 6:00 a.m. we left the hotel to go snorkeling. *Yawn* We followed a GPS device that didn’t recognize a new road so we were almost late. We left on the boat and headed to the first of two snorkeling areas. The water was cold but the wetsuit top helped to make it seem less so. It was rather choppy (to me) out there and this was my first time and wasn’t really enjoyable for me. I chose not to participate in the second spot and didn’t get to see the turtles but I understand they were very cool and they say the water was less choppy. [Meanwhile back in DC – Mouse wonders if they will ever come home]. The rest of the day I didn’t do much, I ordered room service and watched a movie on the TV (Transformers 2 – not worth it). [Meanwhile back in DC – Mouse considers trusting this Mark person more and maybe that Robert person who’s been here too]

Saturday, our last day in Maui, I decided to spend most of the day by the pool and did exactly that. I ordered a burger for lunch at the pool and just took it easy. We packed and headed home around 6:00. [Meanwhile back in DC – Mouse came out of hiding for Mark and Robert and was sociable.]

It was a long, long trip back and I don’t think anyone slept well. We left Maui at 9:00 p.m. and arrived at BWI at 4:15 or so. Mouse was very loud, talkative and happy to see both of us. She wouldn’t stop purring and that night while I attempted to sleep she was, as expected, very needy.

It was a great vacation. I’m very tan. I highly recommend that if you’ve never been to Hawaii you go at least once, it’s certainly worth it.