Suck Another Way!

Dear readers of BelieveitOhrNot,

I’m determined to teach people to suck another way. More about this very strong desire later in this blog post.

Yes, I’m back!  It’s been a while and for this  I am very sorry.  This week we were invited to lunch at a new friends’ home, and right when I met her, she mentioned she read my blog and missed me posting. So, thank you Kim for providing me with a strong impetus to post again.  I’ve been way busier than usual for a very exciting reason which I will soon share. But before I talk about what’s been keeping me so busy, here is a re-cap of what’s been happening.

  • Two days before we were supposed to return to Mexico, Andy got diagnosed with colon cancer.  We had to postpone our return to Mexico so he could get treatment.  Maker:S,Date:2017-8-28,Ver:6,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar02,E-Y
  •  After a two-day hospital stay,  Andy began his recovery in San Francisco, while we waited to see if he would need chemo. If chemo was going to be needed, we would have been in the Bay Area for at least six months.
  • Thankfully, no chemo was needed!  The surgery removed all the cancer. We spent a month in the Bay Area so Andy could regain his strength and then we embarked on a five-week driving trip to Utah and Colorado where we visited several national parks, including Bryce, Zion and Arches and spent 10 days in Denver. It was a ton of fun!

We then flew to Morelia, Mexico (where we are now) and spent a week in a lovely bed and breakfast while we house hunted for a four-month rental.

Right now I’m writing to you from our amazing two-bedroom house located three blocks from the main cathedral in the old historic section of the city.  We love, love, love Morelia (as I have told you over and over) and we are thrilled to be back. For the next 10 weeks, we’re staying in a really beautiful colonial house that has a great rooftop and a kick-ass courtyard with a beautiful water fountain.  Unfortunately, we can’t stay here until December 1 as we had planned, because the owner is coming back. So we’re going to have to be a bit flexible in our Morelia plans. But for now, we’re enjoying this lovely colonial city, the weather and the friends we’ve made here. It feels wonderful to finally be off the road!  As much as we both love traveling,  it’s very, very hard living out of a suitcase for months on end and not having access to a kitchen. We’re happy to be sitting still for a while.

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We are only a five minute walk from the main cathedral.

So now I’m ready for a BIG reveal.  I co-founded a new business! The business is called BAM. It’s a Mexican bamboo company that provides high-quality Mexican bamboo products to individuals, and to restaurants and cafes. The first product will be reusable bamboo drinking straws, but eventually we will branch out to other products such as water bottles and bamboo silverware you can travel with.

I’m starting the business with a friend. A friend who lives in Morelia. Her name is Lisa Cortes and I met her through this blog!  We’ve been having so much fun working together. She’s a entrepreneur and has vast business experience.  Me, not so much!  But I hate, hate, hate plastic straws! That’s what fueled me to envision BAM.  Even before the no straw movement gathered steam in the U.S,  I was anti-straw.  I actually purchased a bamboo straw in Zihuatanejo last year, and it made me very happy to use it. One day I  showed it to Lisa and BAM was born.  I’m doing the marketing and writing and eventually we’ll produce an educational curriculum for kids.   Lisa is doing a lot of the graphic design (she’s an amazing designer) and handling a lot of the day-to-day business activities since she has more experience and she’s fluent in Spanish, having been raised in Morelia until age 12.  She’s also able to work in Mexico (but BAM is U.S based) and I can’t legally work here. This is a great partnership for this reason and for so many more! We have a ton in common and make a terrific team!

And get this… on Monday, Andy and I and Lisa and her husband, Robert, are all traveling to the World Bamboo Congress conference, held once every three years, this time in Mexico.  It’s a crash course in bamboo 101!  The meeting is in the state of Veracruz, but in the past its been held in India, Japan and China. The four of us will bus to Guadalajara and then fly to Veracruz and then take a bus to the conference site in Xalapa. At the conference we’ll meet people from all over the world who manufacture bamboo and  farm it. There’s even an expo of bamboo!  I’m super excited for us to introduce you to our line of high-quality Mexican bamboo products!

Will you join me and become an environmental warrior?   Maybe you want to suck a different way too?

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Lisa and I want everyone to suck a different way!

In the next week or two our website will launch.  You can check it out soon at letsbam.com.

In the meantime, please like us on Facebook and be prepared to suck another way!  I’m going to post photos and updates from the conference on Facebook.

Another blog post is coming soon with more details about life in Mexico.

Stacey

 

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My personal vagina monologue

This blog post is about my vagina.

I’ve wanted to blog about my vagina for a really long time, but I haven’t had the courage. Even now, as I write this, I’m second-guessing myself. However, when you get the urge to write about something and it doesn’t go away for weeks and week, I think it’s time to share it with the world. Moreover, my husband, the professional journalist, told me that sometimes writers have to write about hard subjects. It’s just what they do.

I’m highly uncomfortable writing about my vagina. I don’t want to do it at all.  I’m scared people will think I’m being crude.  I’m also concerned that many readers won’t understand why I’ve decided to share something so intimate, when I could just be writing about traveling, Mexico, packing, or how to “retire” early and live out your dreams.  I never thought in a million years I’d be sharing something so intimate.

Here’s why I am writing about my vagina:

  1. Many women (me being one of them) are not comfortable discussing physical symptoms and problems that are happening to them during pre-menopause or menopause. As a blogger, I have an opportunity to create a space for all women to better understand what is happening with their bodies, souls and minds.
  2. After experiencing problems for many months, I am feeling compelled to share my story.  Believe me, I would rather discuss this in a less public manner, perhaps with just a few close friends,  but I simply can’t. I feel compelled to share my experience with every single female reader of BelieveItOhrNot … so they can avoid what I’ve been through. Just because I’ve been in vagina hell doesn’t mean others have to be there, too.

So here goes …

Things have gone south with my vagina in recent months. It all started after my ovarian cancer surgery three years ago in May of 2015, a procedure that included a total hysterectomy. Afterward, my doctors told me that I would enter menopause immediately (even though I was only 49 at the time) and that I would start having symptoms such as hot flashes. They were not lying.

My menopause symptoms are freaky bad and scary as shit. In addition to hot flashes, I have memory problems and anxiety issues. Some days I actually feel like I am losing my mind due to brain fog and general forgetfulness. I actually thought I might have a brain tumor at one time! Luckily I found out that these are all symptoms of menopause, but it took me a long time to get there. And I had to figure it out by myself, which is scary and not cool.

For me, the worst symptoms are the hot flashes. Some nights I wake up drenched in sweat. Two seconds later I’m freezing cold. Then I’m sweating again. It’s freaking maddening. Due to my lack of estrogen, my  body temperature just can’t regulate itself.  I have hot flashes during the day, too, but they aren’t so bad.

Then there’s my vagina. About six months ago, I began spotting — which, of course, freaked me out. I thought ovarian cancer had returned. In addition, I had really horrible itching and burning. And sex was just impossible. I’d be doubled over in pain.

These symptoms led me to believe: 1) I had a horrible yeast infection; 2) I had some type of bladder issue; and 3) I had a recurrence of cancer. I tried a bunch of stuff to treat the alleged yeast infection and the alleged bladder infection, including a big dose of antibiotics. The symptoms would retreat for a few days or a few weeks, only to return.

Then, a few months ago, in the spring of 2018, I visited the Bay Area and went to an appointment with my oncologist. I talked to her about my symptoms, including the chronic itching, burning, dryness, pain during sex, etc.

Here’s the very important takeaway for women who are entering menopause, and for women who have similar symptoms but don’t have the courage to talk about them.

I was at that point diagnosed with vaginal atrophy, which sounds a lot worse than it actually is. It’s the thinning of my vaginal walls due to menopause symptoms.  It’s common … and it’s treatable!

My doctor prescribed a topical estrogen cream, which I apply twice weekly. It has really helped relieved my symptoms! The spotting/bleeding has completely stopped, and the other symptoms are greatly reduced. They haven’t disappeared, but now they are super manageable whereas before they were atrocious. My doctor also told me that I have to have more sex — with or without a partner — because the act will help rebuild my vaginal tissue. This “prescription” made Andy very happy.

I’ve said what I wanted to say on this topic. If you are feeling uncomfortable about anything to do with your vagina, find some courage to speak up. Maybe talk to your  friends about it, or at least find the courage to share it with your doctor. I wish I had understood my symptoms were related to menopause sooner rather than later. Getting properly treated, rather than guessing at things, could have saved me a lot of money, time, anxiety and energy.

If you want to email me with questions, I promise to respond.

A short, but sweet update

This blog post is dedicated to my friend Sheryl, affectionately know as “Toot”.  I met Toot in 2015 during chemotherapy for ovarian cancer. Toot and I shared our cancer journey together, but sadly her journey recently ended.  She was spirited, passionate and wise beyond her years.  Our friendship was short-lived, but meaningful to us both. 

 

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Hello from San Francisco,

We’re sitting in our lovely studio in the Richmond district watching the World Cup. It’s a sunny, but relatively cold day–burr. Summers in San Francisco are chilly willy.   I do not like this cold weather one bit. I long for warmer environs!

Update time…

Andy’s recovery from colon cancer is going great. He’s walking a lot more and says he is now 95% recovered.  I beleive him. Laproscopic surgery is da bomb!  In the next few days he has a call with an oncologist to review his pathology report and he has a call with a nutritionist to talk about healthy eating after cancer.

Andy’s 95% means we can hit the road for new adventures!!!  We’re both very excited about our upcoming plans.

Here’s a sneak peak at our upcoming itinerary. We’ll be gone about four weeks in total.

Visalia, CA- Minor league baseball game

Vegas baby!

Zion Nationa Park

Bryce National Park

Provo Utah

Denver- We’ll be there for 9 days.  We’re stoked about going the Colorado Rockies’ July 4th fireworks game … against the Giants!   We might even see a show at Red Rocks.

In Colorado we may also do a one-day river rafting excursion. I love white water river rafting!

Telluride- We’re going to the Telluride Music Festival!  Sheryl Crow is headlining!

Moab

Park City

Elko

Reno

Bay Area (to drop off our clothes and to pick up new ones)

Morelia

Side note: When we started planning what our next adventure would look like, we made a list of what we wanted, and one of the first things on this list was “to not move around too much”.  Oops!  We’re cracking ourselves up about this.  Our longest stay in this trip will only be 9 days until we get to Morelia!

I will blog from the road to give you an update about our trip.  We anticipate we’ll be doing a bunch of hiking (easy ones for me, harder ones for Andy)  and just general sight seeing. I’ve never been to any of these places before (Utah and Colorado) and I’m pretty excited.

We are both very, very excited to return to Morelia.  We’ll probably be there at least three months, maybe even four months depending on how we are feeling.

That’s about it for now folks!

Stacey

Scoring update: Ohrs 2, Cancer 0

Dear readers of believeitohrnot,

Wow. Wow. Wow. We are so humbled by our awesome community!  Thank you so much for your offers of housing, your continual check-in notes, prayers, and your kindness and compassion during these past 6 crazy weeks. What a blessing you have been to us during this time. We are appreciative beyond words.

Now for the good stuff.  Mr. Tuffy is now colon cancer-free! After laparoscopic surgery and a two-night hospital stay,  he’s on the mend and no chemo is needed for him. We’ve kicked cancer to the curb again!  We’re both cancer survivors!

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Semicolon Andy recovers from colon cancer surgery

  • Hubby has a new nickname, Semicolon, Andy.  Although, I will always call him Mr. Tuffy.  He’s now named Semicolon because 1) He only has part of his colon 2) Because he’s a writer/journalist. Pretty clever, right?  He deserves the credit for this kick-ass nickname. It was his idea.
  • Even two weeks after surgery, Semicolon Andy is still not allowed to lift more than 10 pounds at at time, but he is feeling fine. He has been taking regular walks, his longest was just yesterday @ 45 minutes!  Although this pales in comparison to his 3 hours hikes, he is firmly on the road to recovery.
  • We are moving to San Francisco for two weeks starting June 9, 2018. We’ll be staying in the Richmond district near 3rd and Balboa.

 

What’s the plan, Stan?

Semicolon Andy gets to pick our next destination because well, he had cancer!

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Semicolon Andy is celebrating because he just found out that he doesn’t need chemo. we were on a day-trip enjoying the Napa Valley when we got the good news.

Semicolon Andy has not come to a decision yet, but we realize we have only two more weeks to figure out our future.  We have no obligations until December 1, 2018 when our rental in Zihuatanejo starts. This means the world is our oyster!

The activity of trying to figure out where to go next is 60% exhilarating and 40% terrifying.  There are so many factors to consider such as 1) lack of availability due to summer vacationers, 2) Lack of affordability 3) Lack of interest by us.

What’s obvious is this:

We cannot afford to stay in the Bay Area.  We’ve been in sticker shock for the past 5 weeks!  The cost of living is just too expensive for our budget.  We gotta hit the road soon.

  1.  We thought about going somewhere cheaper in the U. S for a month-maybe Colorado or Idaho, or even Montana, but because it’s summer a lot of reasonably priced Airbnb’s are already rented out. If we want to spend $2,500 a month we could get something nice, but our budget can’t handle paying this much rent.  We even looked at places I thought would be cheap–like Boise, Colorado Springs or Butte. Alas, no dice. It’s surprisingly expensive in all these places.
  2. We know we don’t want to go anywhere where we have to move around a lot. We want to be in one place for at least a month. We’ve moved around a lot in the last few months and we’d prefer to find a place to hang our hats.

Overall, we have confirmed that Mexico is our cheapest option with the highest quality of living. We most likely will return to Morelia sometime this summer–when is the question. Will it be immediately?  Will it be a month?  There are other places in Mexico calling our names like Chiapas. Do we want to go there first?  We’ve got a few more weeks to decide!

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We will return to Mexico soon! 

Lessons learned

  • Cancer version 2.0 was way easier than cancer version 1.0 (when I got diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2015).  In version 2.0, we already understood the Kaiser system, we already knew how things like CT scans work, we already had knowledge about how Kaiser handles hospitalizations and chemo, and we felt like Kaiser would work hard to meet Andy’s medical needs.
  • Our travel lifestyle prepared us to be “shit warriors”.  I’m not saying his diagnosis wasn’t stressful. It was!!! I’m not saying it wasn’t hard. It was!!!  But,  I do think our past life experiences, first being Peace Corps volunteers, then living abroad, set a good foundation for us to “kick shit’s butt”.
  • Even when we were waiting around to hear his surgery date, or to hear if he would need chemo, we tried to do something fun every day. It was tempting to just sit around and let our foul moods overtake us but we felt we had to power on. Again, some days it wasn’t easy, but it was necessary.  We went for hikes, we went for day trips, and we enjoyed Bay Area coffee.
  • When Andy got diagnosed (and before we knew he’d be OK) we both found comfort in knowing we’d been living out our dreams of retiring abroad.  This gave us both a sense of comfort, even though we were still terrified.
  • When your community offers support, take it!  And be prepared to offer it back.  We both hope we will at sometime be in a position to give you what you have given to us.

More adventures will come our way soon.  For this we are blessed.  I look forward to sharing them with you many, many times over.

I sign off in great appreciation, and with so much love in my heart for the support you have provided us.

Stacey and Andy

P.S.  Andy’s cancer was diagnosed by his first ever colonoscopy.  Get tested!!!!

 

Fuckin’ cancer? – C’mon, really?

Dear faithful blog readers,

There’s no easy way to say this. There’s no mincing words or beating around the bush. I’ll tell you straight out. The motherfucker is back!  Cancer has once again invaded cells, minds and hearts. Yes, I’m mad. Yes, I’m sad. I’m so, so many things.

But I’m not the one who is sick this time … the man who I love more than anything in this world is.

Andy has cancer.

That’s part of the reason for  blog silence. We’re in Oakland, dealing with medical tests and dealing with stress — although because we’ve “been there, done that,” the journey is easier this time. But it’s just as sad.

To recap: After our winter season in Zihuatanejo, we went on a one-week, whirlwind, driving tour of the East Coast and Midwest, seeing family and friends in four cities. Then we flew to the Bay Area, picked up our fancy cruise clothes, drove to L.A. and boarded a cruise ship for a 28-day cruise to Hawaii and to French Polynesia. The cruise was great, although we agreed we don’t want to do such a long one again. There just wasn’t enough to do on the ship; I think 21 days would be quite enough. The highlight of the cruise was Bora Bora, the most beautiful place I’ve ever been. The people who reside in French Polynesia are lovely, and the color of the water in Bora Bora was indescribable. The photos you see of Bora Bora in no way do  justice to what you see in person.

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The over -the-water bungalows in Bora Bora were amazing. Our new cruise friends rented one and invited us for a visit. While hiking, Andy got bit by a pit bull; thus the bandage.

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Right after the cruise, we drove from L.A. to Oakland. We ran errands. We went to see our doctors. I saw my oncologist, and Andy saw his general practitioner to talk about some stomach issues he’d been having before we left Mexico: slight abdominal pains and bathroom visits of the numero dos variety that weren’t up to snuff. Initially we assumed it was a parasite, but its lingering nature had Andy thinking something might be up. Based on his symptoms and age (54), his doctor recommended a colonoscopy.

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Andy takes a trial run before a test. 

Hello colon cancer.

Half of us are cancer free, and half ain’t.  Bad odds. We’ve both been diagnosed with cancer way too young. Both under 55.

My husband of 21 years needs surgery to remove a tumor in his sigmoid colon, and he may need chemo, too. We won’t know until after the surgery, maybe as much as a week after. Luckily, because the tumor is in a “good” location and the cancer hasn’t spread to any nearby organs, he will have laparoscopic surgery and won’t have to be cut open. But all we really know right now is that the cancer is not stage 4. If it’s stage 1 or 2, then no chemo is necessary.

If he does need chemo, we’ll stay in California for at least six months. Right now, we’re in wait-and-see mode. In the meantime, Andy’s actually feeling pretty good. He’s occasionally a bit more tired than usual, but he’s been seeing some Bay Area sporting events, hiking, walking, drinking some good coffee and working a bit on his “job” as a freelance copy editor for J. He’s in good spirits.

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Andy drinking some orange juice at Hella Vegan Eats in Uptown Oakland.

If he doesn’t need chemo, we’ll be on our merry way,  probably back to Morelia, Mexico, where we plan on staying until the end of November (although another city or even another country could be in the offing now that we’ve been dealt a curveball). He’ll probably need a full month of recovery time after surgery, so we’ll lay low until he’s feeling up and at ’em. Fortunately, we had no obligations in Mexico this summer. No leases, no down payments, no nothing. We do have a four-month lease starting Dec. 1 in Zihuatanejo, so that’s our only known next step.

If you have seen us in the Bay Area, we thank you for your kindness and good wishes.  For those of you who have housed us while we wait for surgery, we are SUPER-DUPER appreciative. And we can’t give enough thanks to our friends Iris and Bob (who we know from Zihuatanejo but who live near Oakland); they have offered us their lovely home for three weeks while they go on a cruise! Another friend has offered us her in-law studio for a few weeks in June. Yes, there are many blessings in our lives, even with cancer once again rearing its ugly head.

Andy’s surgery is scheduled for May 25. I’ll post another blog when I know more about the success of his surgery and his future course of treatment.

You can leave well wishes for him here, or just shoot him an email if you want to.

 

Losing my gun violence virginity

Dear readers of BelieveItOhrNot,

Chapter 1

This blog is not about travel, ovarian cancer or Mexico.  It’s about guns. It’s about my friend, Christine Loeber, the former Executive Director of the Pathway Home in Yountville, CA. Christine died on Friday when a mentally ill veteran stormed the non-profit. He took three hostages (including my friend) and everyone died.

Chapter 2                         

Christine

Now it’s Sunday night.  I’m sitting at my computer barely able to hold it together. My 48-year-old friend isn’t my friend any longer.

Not only did I lose a friend. The world has lost a passionate, talented social worker.  I first met Christine at a veterans fair. She was sitting at a resource table and I approached it to find out about the services they were offering. After five minutes of us talking, I knew we’d become friends. Her energy sparkled. When I found out that she was a social worker like me, I liked her even more. After that first day, she gave me her business card. I decided to email her and I asked her if she liked beer and pool. She liked both, and music and yoga.  A friendship was built. Once I got to know her better, I could see how devoted she was to her clients. She always spoke about the vets she worked with nothing but the utmost respect. I dug that about her.

I’m so pissed off.  I can no longer say that I don’t know anyone who has been a victim of random gun violence. I’m not in that club any longer. A mentally ill veteran took my gun virginity.  He violated me. And there’s nothing I can do to get it back or bring her back.

Now I’m in the same suckers club … Newtown, Parkland, Columbine, and I have no place to put my grief.  I never in my wildest dreams thought I’d lose a friend to something so tragic. Car accident, sure. Heart attack, maybe. Cancer, unfortunately. But to a gun at the hands of a mentally ill veteran … absolutely not. Silly, innocent me.

Chapter 3

And if her death isn’t enough, you know what hurts even more? The fact that I feel powerless to do anything about it. The fact that my grief is so raw, and so intense, I can’t fathom how to yell “enough is enough” loudly enough or strongly enough.  If somehow I do manage to get through my fog of grief, and if I did yell, I doubt anyone would hear me. So for now, I’m just stuck here in griefland.

If you want to yell for me, I’d appreciate it. I hope to find my voice once my pain stops.  If you want to share my post that’s cool too.

I hope you never have to experience losing someone so senselessly to gun violence. I want to go back to a place of innocence, but I can’t.

You can read more about my amazing friend here and here.

I miss you Christine. Our friendship was too fucking short-lived.

 

Lazy days in Zihuatanejo

Hey peeps,

I am very sorry for my lack of recent posts. I have a very good excuse. I have had absolutely nothing to say of interest. Seriously.  I tried to write witty posts several times, but each time I came up empty-handed. But finally I have a few things of interest to share.

First, I am feeling fine and my last three month check-up for cancer went great. I’m still rocking the remission thing.

Secondly,  despite the new State Department warnings against traveling to the state of Guerrero, Mexico, we remain safe.  Many of you may have read about the recent killing of an American in Ixtapa, (15 minutes away from Zihuatanejo).  The man who was killed was out at 4:00 AM and they suspect he got into a fight after visiting a sex worker.  This IN NO WAY  excuses what happened,  but extenuating circumstances led to his death. It was not a random killing.  But still, we are taking extra precautions to stay safe. In the late evenings we take a cab home from downtown now, and we are more vigilant and aware of our general surroundings.  If you are planning on visiting in the next few months, rest assured Zihuatanejo is a safe place for foreigners to visit. Most of the violence in our state is politically motivated and/or cartel related.

Overall, we are loving being back in Zihuatanejo. Our apartment is great, the weather is great and our lives are slow and tranquil. We spend our days reading or going to the beach.  I often hang out with my mom for lunch or a trip to a local beach or pool.  My dad came for my birthday and we had a nice visit, too.

That’s pretty much all I can say.  See why I haven’t blogged!   Life in Zihuatenjo is one big chill fest!

Where to next?

Andy and I have figured out our next adventure after we leave Zihuataenjo.  We’re actually going to be scooting out of her a little bit earlier than anticipated. Our lease in Zihuatanejo ends March 30, but we’re going to hightail it out a bit early because…

We’re going on a month-long cruise!!!  Hawaii, American Samoa, Bora Bora and Tahiti here we come!!!

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I’ve always wanted to take a long cruise. This is a dream of mine. The longest cruise we’ve been on has been two weeks. but I really, really wanted to experience sea life for a more extended period of time. And I wanted to go on a cruise that has tons and tons of days at sea, with only a few ports of call.   Most people enjoy port intensive cruises, but not us!  Andy and I both adore days at sea. If the temperature allows, we spend our sea days roaming the ship, out by the pool, playing ping pong, reading, watching videos and just relaxing. We’ve done several cruises with long stretches of sea days, but often the weather has been too cold to enjoy the pools–not this time!  We already have some fun stuff planned including plans to attend a first night Passover Seder with other Jewish passengers.  Last year we celebrated Passover in Kyoto, Japan. This year we’ll be at sea. Cool!

Here’s our itinerary on the Emerald Princess departing from Los Angeles.  See all the crazy sea days 🙂

Port Arrive Depart
Day 1 Los Angeles, California 4:00 PM
Day 2 At Sea
Day 3 At Sea
Day 4 At Sea
Day 5 At Sea
Day 6 Honolulu, Hawaii 7:00 AM 11:00 PM
Day 7 Kauai (Nawiliwili), Hawaii 8:00 AM 5:00 PM
Day 8 Maui (Lahaina), Hawaii 7:00 AM 6:00 PM
Day 9 Hilo, Hawaii 8:00 AM 5:00 PM
Day 10 At Sea
Day 11 At Sea
Day 12 At Sea
Day 13 At Sea
Day 14 Cross International Date line 8:00 PM 9:00 PM
Day 14 Pago Pago, American Samoa 10:00 AM 7:00 PM
Day 16 At Sea
Day 16 Apia, Western Samoa 7:00 AM 4:00 PM
Day 16 Cross International Date line 5:00 PM 6:00 PM
Day 17 At Sea
Day 18 Bora Bora, French Polynesia 8:00 AM 10:00 PM
Day 19 Tahiti (Papeete), French Polynesia 8:00 PM
Day 20 Tahiti (Papeete), French Polynesia 5:00 PM
Day 21 Moorea, French Polynesia 8:00 AM 4:00 PM
Day 22 At Sea
Day 23 At Sea
Day 24 At Sea
Day 25 At Sea
Day 26 At Sea
Day 27 At Sea
Day 28 At Sea
Day 29 Los Angeles, California 7:00 AM

Perhaps you are wondering how we’re able to afford such a luxurious and long voyage? First, it’s not that expensive because we booked an interior cabin with no window or balcony. We have bunked in an interior cabin for two weeks several other times and it worked out fine. Hopefully being in such a small space for 28 days won’t test our marriage too much!

Also because most food expenses are included (except for the specialty restaurants) we won’t have to pay for food or rent for the month of April because we’ll be living on the cruise ship. It’s a splurge for sure, but an affordable one.

Sometime in mid to late March, will be back in the Bay Area to pick up cruise clothes (Andy looks hot in his tux) and say hi to our friends and family. We’ll try to have a gathering someplace to see everyone.  I will also see my U.S. based oncologist for my three month check-up.  Then our plan is to drive to LA with our snorkeling gear, bathing suits and fancy cruise frocks in tow!

More details to follow soon!

Stacey