Sept 7 The cruise from the UK to America was just OK - better than sitting like a sardine in a tin can. We walked a mile to the subway station for a long ride into Manhattan and then into Queens. The bus to LGA airport was across the street from the subway. We arrived without drama!
The flight was long (4 hrs) - too bad we can’t cruise to Denver. Karen and Craig met us at the airport. This was Gary’s first time to meet Karen’s fiance. Ron & Diana joined us for a Mexican dinner and then we drove off to our AirBnb. Long Day!
Sept 10 The Pre Wedding Bash and Going Away Party was held at the Irish Rover Pub. We had a nice turn-out - several people made the drive from Vail. Karen has such nice friends. I’m sure she will miss getting together with them. She’ll just have to make more friends in Arlington Texas.
Sept 11-15 Shopping
Gary & I each obtained a new wardrobe for the wedding. My dress which I purchased over the Internet fit, what a surprise, and I really liked it. My parents were glad to see us and I them. Mom was so frail!
Sept 16 Mini AOPi reunion.
It’s been 10 years since I have been able to attend the reunion of of the local sorority sisters. We chatted for 5 hours. It was great to hear what is going on in their lives. I wish them all the best.
Sept 20 Early morning 3 hour flight to Vancouver. Celebrity Cruise line had a cruise to Hawaii which I snapped up. Ain’t life grand, cruising to my daughter’s wedding!
This is the first time we have used the KeyCafe. It’s a lockbox system for individuals and the AirBnB we were staying at used this process for self-check-in. Minor snafu, the lockbox code would not work. Thanks goodness 7-11 had WiFi so we could contact our host. Lunch was at Sala Thai. My Green Thai Curry was delicious. Our waitress was delightful and we even met the owner of the restaurant who lives 6 months in Vancouver and then goes back to Thailand.
Sept 21 We walked from our apartment to Chinatown. The area seems to draw the homeless which is sad. We did have a very nice lunch at Jade Dynasty. I had the best Hot & Sour soup ever! We then walked back thru the GasTown area. Vancouver is a happenin’ place with all the cruise ships that dock and the stores were busy with passengers. Seabourn was at Canada Place (the port). We scoped out the check-in procedure so we will be prepared tomorrow. It was a nice walk-about.
Sept 22 - 27 Cruising to Hawaii. We watched the beautiful city of Vancouver melt into the horizon. I paid to have a balcony. Because this sailing is a repositioning, a balcony wasn’t that much more. As the weather warmed up, we did make better use of the balcony. What surprised us was the drink package was included. I would never pay for a drink package - we could never drink that much. I, chose to drink Prosecco or red wine at dinner. We enjoyed 5 peaceful sea days. No decisions other than what to select from the menu and what entertainment to shake my booty. We did dance to rock&roll a couple of nights. Great exercise and it was fun!
Sept 28 Kona Hawaii. We walked into town to find some Internet. Downloaded an email which stated Doris wasn’t eating or drinking. Karen wrote that she would be visiting Doris that evening. This photo was taken at 1 am of the molten lava from the volcano dropping into the sea.
Sept 29 Hilo Hawaii. We spoke to Karen and she confirmed - Doris wouldn’t be on this earth too much longer. I purchased a ticket from Hilo to Denver, requested our clothes to be returned immediately that I had sent to be cleaned, packed for me and partially packed for Gary and finally waited until I had to get off the ship at 5:30 PM Gary stayed on the ship to pick up Michael on Oct 1. The flight to Denver wasn’t until 9 PM I prayed that I would get to Mom in time.
Sept 30 I arrived at the nursing home around 1:30 PM. Mom still wasn’t eating for drinking. She wasn’t in pain, thank goodness. I slept at Marci’s house.
Sept 31 & Oct 1 No change in Mother’s condition. All we can do is make her comfortable and wait. I made arrangements to leave for Maui on Wednesday. I had to make a decision between the living and the dying.
Oct 2 Mother passed away. I was with her to the very end. She is in heaven now and will have a front row seat for the wedding.
Oct 3 Spent several hours with the funeral company. Lots of decisions to make. Once again, Marci had to be the “go-to” person. That afternoon I picked - up Karen and Craig at their temporary storage unit, turned in the rental car, and took the shuttle back to the hotel.
Oct 4 Up early to catch the 4:30 shuttle to the airport for our 6:30 flight. Gary & Mike were held up in traffic but we didn’t wait long before we were on our way to the Maui condo. Thank goodness all wedding decisions have been made.
Heidi and Steve arrived for a small afternoon get-together. I last saw them March 2016 so we had plenty to talk about.
Karen had scheduled a meet & greet at the Tiki Bar for 7 PM. It’s was good to see some of the wedding guests again but my body was telling me “I NEED SLEEP”.
Oct 5 I worked on the pictures of Doris for the funeral home and the church. I also completed Doris’ biography to be used at the church and the Waukon newspaper.
Happy Birthday Karen! Dinner was at Honu Seafood & Pizza restaurant in Lahaina. The food was delicious and Kathleen made sure we received the best service.
Oct 6 Mike had been assigned the duties of babysitter, chauffeur, snorkeling teacher and Uncle. I was still working on the funeral pictures and Bio. Gary was the chef for a get-together with Ron, Diana, Heidi and Steve. We had a wonderful evening together just shooting the breeze and watching the sunset.
Oct 7 Wedding Day - The make-up/hair stylist arrived at 10:30. That woman could talk - yikes! Karen looked gorgeous so it was worth the torture. The only issue with the wedding was a change in the Pastor. The woman that was the replacement was so soft spoken, only the people in the front row could barely hear what she said. She spoke only for Karen & Craig - well it was THEIR wedding - duh. A man blew a conch shell and played the ukulele. After the ceremony Karen & Craig disappeared for special beach photos but for the rest of us, the drinking began. We ran out of booze before the dinner was served so Gary popped for another hour. Once the bride and groom were back they cut the cake . The big surprise was the fire dancing show. It really was impressive and was the icing on the cake. I thought the Kaanapali Beach Hotel did a great wedding - no muss, no fuss.
Oct 8 Leftover Day It was a day of relaxing and trying to consume any leftovers. Gary went overboard at Costco.
Oct 9 & 12 We were up early for an 8 am snorkel trip to Molokini crater and Turtle Town. Gary & I actually saw an octopus but never did see a turtle. I was worried we would be rushed to get back and packed for the flight back to Dallas. No problemo! We agreed to accompany Taylor, Cole and Owen back to their mother while Karen & Craig started their honeymoon. The flight was long but without drama.
We gathered our luggage and headed to the United terminal to catch a flight back to Denver in order to attend the funeral service.
Gene seemed to be getting along quite well. It was a burden for him to have to sit with Mom day-in and day-out. I know he missed Doris.
The day of the funeral was beautiful. The sun was shining through the fall leaves that were still clinging to the trees as Mom’s urn was interned in the church’s columbarium. She was smiling down at us!