Monday, November 3, 2008

I'm baaaaack!!!!!

:::sigh::: Back to Work! Back to Reality!!!

Wow - A whole week with no internet! And I survived!!! No DT's or nuthin'!

Turns out the ship did have functional WiFi (this trip!) - but it cost $$, and I was too cheap to pay for it. Besides, I was too damned busy (or exhausted!) most of the time to sit in front of a computer.

Unfortunately, I also fell woefully behind in tracking my BG#'s on my spreadsheets. I've got 'em in the meter, but after a week's worth of testing - and all the other stuff that's fallen behind in the Real World - I figured "Screw it!"

I did manage to maintain my #'s. "Pretty well." "Most of the time." But boy did I manage to EAT as well!!! Bad, Bad Nancy! I don't know the final tally in # lbs gained (my scale says "OUCH" when I step on it!). But I figure if the last 10 lbs went on quickly, they should probably drop off fairly quickly as well (Gawd I hope so!!!). My weaknesses were bread/pastries - I'm normally not much into bread but the stuff they served on the ship was to die for!!! And those horrible fru-fru umbrella drinks. I did bring some Baja Bob's powdered Margarita Mix, and some Sugar-Free Hawaiian Punch Singles, but I got sick of 'em, and those Pina Colada/Daiquiri Things they served were soooooooo tasty! (and undoubtedly 90%+ High Fructose Corn Syrup!). So I did definitely have my share of "blips" into the 200's (but I got 'em back down in a hurry, as well).

Soooo... Now I'm back-on-track. 100% Low-Carb AND Low-Calorie 'til I get back "under control." Although today I managed to have a hypo @ 59 and had to pop a couple-three glucotabs - and, okay, maybe a couple of leftover Halloween Kit Kats! (But I only got as high as 108 - so not too bad!)...........

It helps that Roger's out of town again - and we were pretty much out of groceries. He won't be back 'til late Weds so, in the meantime, there is NOTHING here to tempt me (Except for the aforementioned Halloween Candy - which is going to the office TOMORROW).

As for the cruise - aside from eating like a freaking pig - we had a fantastic time. Sharon, as expected, was all "Go-Go-Go-Go-GO!!!" at the beginning of the trip. So much so, I couldn't keep up!!! So there were a couple of times when we were on-shore - she wanted to wander a bit more than I wanted to (/was capable of!), and I had to excuse myself. Sux that I get exhausted so quickly now (it was oppressively hot and humid - so that didn't help much!).

Cabo was one of those stops. She wanted to hike 400 miles over to the shopping center (after we'd just taken a Water-Taxi Tour that rivaled any bucking horse I'd ever been thrown from!). I won't say that she's into shopping, per se. But I'm definitely not a shopper - AT ALL (and I've been to Mexico so many times, I've pretty much bought all the Touristy Crap I'll ever need) (Oddly, I still don't own one of those big obnoxious sombreros, though!). So Sharon had a little bit of alone-time on-shore while I went back to the ship to take a nap!!!

Mazatlan was a pretty good stop. What was really good, was the fact that Rog and I had done the exact same cruise in April - so I had a chance to do some reconnaissance work and had determined that booking a tour in Mazatlan would not require a lot of walking for mom (Very important consideration - she really has difficulty walking any further than, say, half-a-city-block). They have Trams that pick you up at the ship and drive you to the port-exit. Then the Tour Operator met us right there. We did have to walk a short distance to get to the - not quite sure what you'd call it - kinda like an open-air pickup truck-taxi sorta vehicle! It drove us directly to a large motorized Catamaran for a tour of the waters just outside the harbor (saw some cool rock formations, some dolphins, sea lions, etc.).

Mom gets a little weird about boat-rides however (Strange to think - since she loves cruising so much!). She managed to convince herself she was seasick... Then hypoglycemic - and, of course, she doesn't carry her meter!

"Ma - The cruise ship rocked more than this boat is rocking! It's all in your head!"

"Well, I think my blood sugar's too low then..."

"Give me your finger" - as I whipped out my meter! She was 98.

"See! That's LOW!" she proclaimed.

"No it's not mom, it's perfectly normal!"

I ended up giving her two glucotabs just to calm her down. :::rolling eyes::: (Her BG typically runs in the 110-160 range - but she topped 300 one night after choosing a dessert that I *knew* to steer away from! I told her to go for the Sugar-Free option, but she refused!)

Anyway, the Catamaran dropped us off at "Stone Island" (which is more of a peninsula, than an island). The trip to the restaurant was in a tractor-drawn cart - that mom couldn't really climb into - so they arranged for us to be taken in a private car (which I thought was very nice). The car was scary in it's own way, however (floorboards had long-since rusted out and there was plywood for a floor!!!). Very short walk to the dining area which was an open-air restaurant overlooking the beach... Hot and humid, but with a nice sea-breeze so it was really quite pleasant. Food and beverages were included with the package (food was mediocre and drinks were weak - but the tour was cheap, so what can you expect?!). We had the option of selecting several different activities while we were there (Banana boat ride - but Sharon doesn't swim. Snorkeling was also "out." Horseback riding - but I would NEVER subject a horse to my weight!!! Or a City Tour in the Tractor Cart. We ended up paying an extra $25 apiece and Sharon and I went racing down the beach on ATV's for half an hour. Now THAT was FUN!!!!!!!! There were small dunes on the beach so we got to "jump" the ATVs a little. And the wind in the face was a definite plus! I'd never ridden an ATV before and it was waaaaay different from a motorcycle. Took me awhile to get the hang of steering the thing. And every time I stopped, I wanted to put my foot down on the ground!!! But once I got used to it - it really was a LOT of fun! Mom stayed at the restaurant and just enjoyed the breeze and watching the waves (and waving off pushy vendors!!)...

It was definitely a full day for mom - and I'm glad we managed to get her off the ship.

Puerto, as always, was my favorite stop. I LOVE Puerto Vallarta - but it makes me sad every time I go now, to see how much it's grown. It used to be like a sleepy little fishing village and now it's starting to look like freakin' Waikiki with all the tall buildings, hotels, condos, and overall "commercialism." I've been to Puerto - ohhhh, at least half a dozen times. First time was back in the 90's, I think. I went with Beverly, an internet buddy from my old AOL chat-room days (Bev's the one who ultimately got me the job I'm working at now - and yes, we still keep in touch fairly regularly). And we had a great time!

Rog and I went there the year we met - and had a fantastic time. In fact, we went deep-sea fishing on that trip and Rog was playing Eeyore all day long "We're not gonna catch anything. We're gonna get skunked..." And it seemed to be true because the fishing was pretty lame for most of the day. But the night before, I'd purchased a silver marlin pendant and I declared that it was "The Magic Marlin" and that we most certainly WOULD catch a fish that day! As the day wore on, I started rubbing the Magic Marlin and chanting "Heeeere Fishy-Fishy-Fishyyyy!" (Gotta have a magickal incantation, after all!). Soon Rog joined in and he, too was rubbing the pendant and chanting... Well, at the very end of the day, they were getting ready to haul in all the lines and turn the boat towards shore when the captain, up on the tuna tower, shouted "Feesh ON!!!" We turned and looked, and hell's-bells! We had hooked a sailfish! There was one other couple on the boat and we all took turns fighting the fish (who really didn't put up much of a fight, IMHO). Rog was the one who finally landed him, and the deckhand hauled him up on deck. Boy, THEN he started to fight! We've got this big ol' wet, slippery sailfish flopping madly on-deck (with a very long and deadly-looking spear on his nose!). The deckhand hands me this HUGE bat while he's trying to subdue the fish and prevent him from skewering the tourists! (it's bad for business, dont'cha know?!). I'm all "What the hell am I supposed to do with THIS?!!"" Turns out - he just wanted me to HOLD it until he got hold of the bill, then HE whacked him over the head til he was dead (Okay, that's not a very glamorous story, is it?!!).

Well, long story short, the other couple really didn't want the fish - but Rog had been complaining that he didn't have anything hanging on the walls of the den. Our den is very woodsy and cabin-like - one wall is pine paneling, and the ceiling is vaulted w/more pine and big wooden beams. Pretty much, our den was just screaming for a dead-fish to hang on the wall and, as luck would have it, we just happened to catch a very large (and now very dead) fish. So we had him stuffed and shipped home! We've named him Ramone, after our favorite bartender at the Pelicanos Resort!

Oops - I'm digressing again, aren't I?!

So THIS time, Sharon and I went on a Jungle Tour. Saw the jungle where "Predator" was filmed. They had zip-lines, and a natural waterfall/slide thingie (neither of which I participated in - too tired!). Gawd was it hot and humid there! And NO breeze to speak of! You could wring me out like a sponge after THAT trip! But it was fun. Our tour also took us to a Tequila Factory where we sampled their products. Got a bit of a Sales Pitch about how good their stuff was - how they don't export it - how you can only buy it here but it's THE BEST yada yada. They would have happily sold us a bottle of their mid-grade stuff for - ahem - USD$95.00. "Uh, no. I don't THINK so!"

Sorry, it wasn't THAT good!!!

("$95.00 - are you freakin' kidding me?!! Jeesh!")

That's the downside to cruising: The prices on-shore are tripled when the cruise ships are in town (which is one of the reasons why I like land-based vacations).

Oh, and we stopped for lunch at a restaurant that was owned by a Mexican-who-moved-to-Montana, who-learned-to-be-a-chef, then moved-back-to-Mexico. I had Shrimp Costa Azul. Large shrimps, stuffed with cheese, wrapped with bacon and grilled, and served with a light (not-too-sweet) pineapple sauce. Oh my GAWD - it was positively orgasmic!!! I think I'll have to do a little culinary experimentation and see if I can't duplicate that. Lunch wasn't too terribly expensive (by US standards, anyway). I think it was about $20 US. Definitely worth it!

Back to the Ship: While we were on-board, the ship hosted some Halloween Parties. Sharon and I came prepared w/costumes. I was a Witch (Black velvet cape, black velvet hat - PERFECT attire for a hot, humid, tropical vacation!!!). Sharon was a Devil. Funny story there: They have the equivalent of TSA (aka "Take Scissors Away") working at the pier. We had to go through Security. I had a plastic broom w/orange mylar broomy-stuff which, fortunately, I was able to squeeze into my big suitcase. Sharon had a red Triton with soft neoprene-like foam on the pitchfork end. It didn't fit in her suitcase, so she was carrying it on-board. Well, since mom was in a wheelchair, we pretty-much got to breeze through Security, but, as we went through, they took Sharon's pitchfork and offered no explanation. She had to chase-down the gal that took it to find out what was going on (she, naturally, assumed that they were just going to run it through the X-Ray machine separately or something). Well, come to find out, they freakin' CONFISCATED IT as a "weapon!!!" A soft, bendy, foam-rubber pitchfork COULDN'T go on the ship!!!! Too Freakin' Ridiculous!!!

It's not like it was the end of the world though. Sharon clearly looked like a devil - even without her triton. I still looked like a witch (yes, my broom did make it through security!)

Funnier still: While we were walking to the Halloween Party (before I managed to sweat-off all of my green make-up!), we passed a little Asian lady who called out "Noncy?!!" I turned and looked back - didn't recognize her and we kept going. She runs up behind us and grabs my elbow "Noncy?!! It IS you! Noncy!!! You don' lemember me?!! You were my superwiser long time ago!!!" Holy Cow! It took me a minute, but it was a Vietnamese lady named Kim - and yes I *was* her supervisor many, many, MANY years ago! (Probably at least 15 years - this was back at BofA - when I had a staff of about 30 Proof Machine Operators). "You come ower here! Phu Nam, she is here too! I want to see if she lecognize you!"

I'm all - Dang! - What are the odds of THAT happening?!! Actually, it was very cool! We chatted a bit and caught-up. She knew I was married now "Annie told me." (Although, how Annie knew, I have no clue!). I *know* word's gonna get back to all of my old employees. They were a very tightknit group - most of 'em were "Fresh Off the Boat" immigrants - and I was fortunate to have been 'integrated' into their little family (Kind of unusual for a whitey like me!)

...So yes, a Grand Time Was Had By All!

And, surprisingly, the room worked out pretty well for the three of us. Ship's staterooms are not known for being particularly spacious - and I was worried about 3 women and all the clothes and luggage fitting in - but it worked out extremely well. It helped that we are all pretty close friends and extremely considerate of each other. The room had two twin beds (that were close-enough together to count as one queen!), and a fold-out sofabed. Sharon chose the sofabed (which was actually the largest bed in the room). Mom and I were flailing about every night whacking each other in our sleep! (So Sharon made the best choice, I think!). We also had a balcony - which made it feel a lot bigger - and was a Godsend because I like my morning coffee (24-Hour Room Service!) and cigarette to start the day...

Although - by the end of the week - I think I'd had my fill of "Togetherness!"

We pulled in to San Pedro on Sunday morning and I drove us all the way back to the Bay Area (I think it's about 400 miles). We pulled up to my house by about 6:00pm-ish (or thereabouts), and I was a freakin' Zombie! Rog and the dogs were very happy to see me.

Rog flew out this morning - he's in Baltimore right now - and I'm really enjoying my "Alone Time" now. He'll be home on Wednesday night and, by then, I should be back into my normal routine again (Ugh! Work!!!).

Anyhoooo... Just wanted to report back that the vacation was AWESOME!!! I wanna be back on the ship!!! Especially since somebody stole summer while I was gone!!! Our pool is now officially CLOSED and there's WATER falling out of the sky now - Waaaahhhhhh!!!!

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