February 2010

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February 24, 2010

We're back on the boat after 2 1/2 months in California.  Thankfully, the boat is in good shape.  She was dirty but without damage.  As luck would have it, the weather was awful the first few days of our return, and we had to sequester ourselves below as gale force winds blew, rain poured down, and a violent surge had us bucking and jerking on the dock lines and bouncing off of our neighboring boats.  We were sleeping all day and up all night and just couldn't get our body clocks regulated.  I seriously wondered what the hell we're doing here.

California was sunny and warm and full of people that we love and enjoy.  We could take long hot showers,  watch our favorite TV programs, go see the latest movies, eat all of our favorite foods, flush toilet paper down the toilet, and shop at Costco for crying out loud!  Everything was so easy.  I could run errands with my daughter or just hang-out, laugh and have long conversations without worrying about a lousy Skype connection.

It was a rough few days for me.  But the sun finally came out, the wind mellowed, and we got a good night's sleep.  We're starting to get the boat back in order and stowing all the new stuff we brought in from the US.  We've taken Lucy out for a few long walks and are getting back into the groove of boat life.  Who is Lucy, you say?  Lucy is our new puppy.  We debated getting a dog for several years and finally decided that the time was right.  We weighed the pros and cons of cruising with a dog, then threw it all out the window.  Our decision was not based on any logical or rational thought process.  It was 100% emotion.  We love dogs and missed the love and laughs that they can bring.  It's a lot of work, like having a baby to take care of.  But like a baby, the return on the investment of your time and energy is worth it.

I've already made my first big sacrifice.  Mike and I used almost all of our frequent flyer miles to fly Business Class on this trip.  We enjoyed a nice comfortable flight from Rome to California.  But guess what? Dogs aren't allowed in Business Class, so I had to forfeit my seat and sit in coach with Lucy in her carrier under the seat for the return flight to Rome.  And I didn't get any credit on my Business Class ticket.  What a waste of 210,000 frequent flyer miles!  Mike visited me a couple of times in coach, in between his champagne and warm chocolate chip cookies.  Just kidding ... he said they didn't make cookies this time, and that it wasn't really any fun flying Business Class without me.  He's sweet to say that, but .... seriously?  Oh, Come On!!

I must say, Lucy is just an angel.  She didn't make a peep the entire flight and she held her pee for 18 hours (without drugs)!  She has adjusted to life on the boat like a salty sailor.  She even walks the plank to get on and off the boat.  She never barks, always pees on her paper (which we put in the shower stall), and she is learning many of the basic commands, e.g. sit, come, stay, let's go, kennel, and hurry-up (which means pee).  We are amazed to say the least.  She is only 4 months old and is so smart!  And she is funny.  She keeps us laughing all the time with her crazy antics.  We feel so lucky to have her.

I wrote a lot of comments in the Photo Album which gives a snapshot view of our vacation.  Suffice it to say, we had a truly fabulous time and are already missing everyone so much.  We are feeling the pull to begin heading homeward.  We will continue to cruise the Mediterranean this year and then cross the Atlantic back to the Caribbean Islands in December.  Being in the Caribbean seems more manageable and just closer to home.  And warmer!  We want warmer!

For the time being, we're here in Italy for a few more months and getting back to our Rosetta Stone Italian Language Course.  We're also looking forward to a visit in May from my sister Valarie and my aunt Nola (total non-sailors).  They say they are coming, but my brother-in-law says he won't believe it until they actually board the airplane.  This will be an amazing experience for them!

Until my next update, hugs to all.  Ciao.

Click HERE to see the photo album of our California vacation.
Click HERE to read our next letter home.