Saturday, September 06, 2008

Alaska, Take Two

OK, well, apparently the cost of the cruise itself is rivaled only by the cost of the internet minutes I am required to purchase for my lap-top. I guess the concept of “FREE” Wi-fi hasn’t reached the cruise ship industry just yet ….. So forgive me if my updates are not as um ….. Verbose ….. As usual. And hey, I don’t want to hear any of you say that expensive internet service might be a good thing in disguise, either.

To answer your question, no, Blaine is not here with me. But I’m not alone. My mom came with me. Actually, to be more precise, *I* tagged along with my mom. And 31 other retired people that she went to high school with.

What really happened was that a group of girl friends she has lunch with on a regular basis, most of whom she went to school with, started talking about having a Girl’s Day Trip. Which evolved into an Girl’s Overnight Trip. Which evolved into a Weekend Getaway, which evolved into a week-long cruise. To Alaska. At which point most of the ladies agreed that if they were planning something that grand, they would need to (like to) include their husbands. So suddenly, it was fifteen-something couples, most of whom live in the same town, and attend the same church, and are alumni of the same high school, all planning to cruise to Alaska together. And personally? I think it totally rocks.

My mom really wanted to attend, but with my father deceased, she wasn’t about to take her chances sharing a cabin with a total stranger. They started planning this trip early last summer, and at the time, I was preparing to get pregnant in my surrogacy journey. Counting on the calendar, I knew I would deliver the baby in April-May-ish, so I told her I would LOVE to go with her. Then, we had what is called a “blighted ovum”, meaning I got pregnant, but a baby never developed in the sac. Fast forward through a miscarriage, d&c, a move to Oklahoma, and a holiday wait before we could undergo another IVF attempt. Looking ahead on the calendar, again …… I knew I would most likely be pregnant in September, when the trip was planned, and couldn’t possibly leave the country to cruise to Alaska, while percolating someone else‘s bambino. So we decided Blaine would go with my mom. A little awkward, perhaps, sharing a cabin together, but he and I agreed that my mom should absolutely NOT miss out on this once-in-a-lifetime-opportunity to take a trip this fabulous, with friends, some of whom she has known almost sixty years. So pregnant-me was out, and Blaine was in. And although I confess I was a wee bit envious, I was mainly just glad she was still getting to go.

After the second miscarriage, in March, I assumed we would undergo IVF a third time, and that I would most likely still become pregnant before September. Blaine was still agreeable, and my mom was still agreeable, so we stuck to the plan of the two of them traveling together, and me being jealous. (OK, so the me-being-jealous wasn’t part of the plan, but you know what I mean.)

Then, only a few short weeks ago, yadda yadda, personal stuff, testing, testing, testing, blah blah female stuff ….. We decided NOT to undergo another IVF attempt. And while I was sad and disappointed to realize that I wouldn’t be attempting another surrogacy at this time, the consolation prize was the knowledge that I was now free to travel on the cruise as my mother’s companion.

So that’s what I’m doing.

And I was right ---- it totally rocks.

We spent yesterday in Vancouver, doing all kinds of amazing touristy stuff, some of which might or might not have included me walking across a suspension bridge while my scaredy-cat mother stood and hyperventilated on the side and wouldn’t even attempt to cross. Wouldn’t even put one little pinky-toe on the bridge. Wouldn’t even think about it.

And more sightseeing, and lumberjacks, and ferries, and blowing fuses in hotel rooms, and trolleys, and customs, etc.

And now our group has successfully boarded the ship and is preparing for our first night aboard. And mainly, I’ve eaten my way from port to starboard, from aft to stern, and just finished dinner and am watching the clock waiting for the midnight buffet. And thinking perhaps I should have packed more elastic-waist pants.

Because even though I’m NOT pregnant, and this trip is in reality the silver lining of not being pregnant, I have a feeling by the end of the cruise, I will be as big, if not bigger, than I am when I actually AM pregnant.


mom25in5 said...

Hey Kristie;

I hope you're not paying to read this comment! I have a personal philosophy and you are the living example of that right now! My philosophy is, having lost my mother 10 years ago to death and 20 years ago to Alzheimers', that every daughter, no matter her relationship with her mother, should take a vacation with her and celebrate the time they have together.

Enjoy this amazing blessing. Give your mom a hug and tell her she did a great job raising a beautifully-spirited daughter.


Tammy said...

I second that Kim! Enjoy your Mamma, some of us had our time cut short. My Mom's been gone for 16 yrs. sure do miss her. I'm envious of ya'll, but also very happy for you, and your birthday makes it even that more special. Now where the pictures. JK. Hugs from Fort Worth!

Anonymous said...

wow you are sure lucky to be going away with your mom, my mom passed away 2 weeks ago and I sure wish I had the opportunity. Have a wonderful trip and enjoy every moment with your mom.

nancy irving
toronto, ontario, canada

Stacia said...

Such an exciting time for you and your mom.I hope you make lots of wonderful memories together.

lizinsumner said...

Okay, I forgive you for not coming through Seattle first; and, as yet another mom-less orphan (my Mom's been gone for almost 5 years now), I echo all of the sentiments above. I never got to take a trip alone with my Mom - she started getting sick (diabetes, kidney failure, minor stroke) just before my Dad passed away suddenly, and after that she just wasn't well enough because she was on dialysis. So, I'm really happy for both of you. And if you stop in Seattle on the way home, call me - my work number is 425-965-0171, at Boeing, and I'll take you both out for lattes!

Anonymous said...

I really envy you...My mom passed away 7 years ago and I would LOVE to be able to have one more trip with her. But what I envy most about you is your husband!! You have got to have the sweetest, kindest, most unselfish husband and father in the world!! I am in AWE of EVERYTHING I read about him. There are not many men in this world like him! By the way, does he have a brother?? If so, I can get a divorce :}

jules said...

Our church is starting a new sermon/book series called "One Month to Live" - if you were told you had 30 days left to live, how would you spend it? I think an Alaskan cruise with my mom would be at the top of that list! Not sure about the Capilano Suspension Bridge though - I did it in July and don't think I would do it again, although the other side was quite beautiful... Hope you and you mom have a fabulous trip!!

Anonymous said...

I have also lost my sweet Mom, 9 years ago last month. I have many wonderful memories with her, and I'm hoping you are making quite a few precious ones this week. You 2 girls enjoy yourselves, and have the time of your lives.

Anonymous said...

You should type your entry in Word and then you only have to waste your minutes copying and pasting (and reading these comments)

Enjoy your cruise with your mom. That sounds like a fantastic vacation! An Alaskan cruise is on my list of things to do, you're lucky!

And you were only in Canada for one day and you managed to break it? Can we hear more about the broken fuse?


Jacqueline said...

Have so much fun and please take a picture of a moose if you so happen to see one and then go give it a hug for me...they are my favorite.

Cindi said...

What a wonderful opportunity! Your mom is lucky to have you as a daughter...someone who looks out for her best interest.

I'm extremely fortunate that my mom is alive and well, and we definitely need to plan something like this. Although I think she would balk at first because she would be away from my dad, she'd end up enjoying it!

Have a great time!

Amy said...

Will you be bringing back "Moosehunters for Palin" t-shirts?

Anonymous said...

This has nothing to do with Alaska, but let me know what you think Kendrie would like for her birthday. (I may have already missed the actual day, I just know it is somewhere around yours)


Jeanette said...

Hope you and Grandma Betty rock the house! I miss her as much as I miss you.