Thursday, January 23, 2014

Panama Canal Trip and then back to the routine!

We are back! And since I don't normally advertise over the internet when we are leaving, you wouldn't even have missed us, but we were gone for almost two weeks! We went on a Panama Canal cruise, which was something we've always wanted to see. It was A.M.A.Z.I.N.G.

This is the Panama Canal (Gatun Locks) as our big cruise ship is entering the locks. The little trains you see below, attach to the ship by lines, and keep the ship in the center of the canal where it belongs. There are four trains on each side of the ship.

And here are the Miraflores Locks, seen from the side. It's hard to believe those huge cruise ships can fit inside of that space, but they do!

Oh, and here's my travelling partner. I could look at this photo all the day long. In fact, think I will.

Leading up to the trip, Bob and I were at a point in our hectic lives where we were mostly just passing each other in the hallway (sometimes at a pretty good trot). We needed some time away together, and this trip was just the thing. We saw beautiful things, thawed out in the warm sun, lazed around on lounge chairs and went on hair-raising zip-lines in the jungles of Costa Rica...

Here we are before. Happy as clams.

And here is Bob, gliding along with the greatest of ease. He never really looked the slightest bit different than he would look when he's sitting in a lounge chair sipping a cool soda. His facial expressions never change. Of course, he is the consummate "calm and cool under any circumstances".

I, on the other hand, have varying levels of fear, puzzlement (as to how to get my body pointing straight instead of sideways, when coming in for a landing), and excitement.

And lest you are wondering why there should really be any fear involved, this photo may give it a little justice. Some of the zip lines are 150 feet above the jungle floor. Think of it. Doesn't it get your adrenaline going a little bit?

Near the end of the zip-lines, I did figure out how to come in straight and I may have even had a smile or two.

...We also went on walks, worked out together (remember, fatty, high-calorie cruise food -- we needed to keep some of that at bay), actually read books, and generally soaked each other up for 12 whole days. Heaven. We could have been anywhere on earth, and it wouldn't have mattered to either one of us, as long as we got to spend that uninterrupted time together. It will be just the thing to get us through the busy months ahead!

And now that we're back, I feel like I'm ready to conquer the world. Well, almost. I came back to this.

I had sworn to myself (and anyone else who would listen) that I refused to come home to any Christmas decorations that still needed to be put away. But, try as I might, I could not carve out the few hours it would take to put them all away where they go. So, it all sat on the floor of our basement just patiently waiting for me to get home. And the very morning after I got home, I rolled my sleeves up and got to work. It felt great to pack it all away, but I was reminded of my need to purge Christmas decorations, so I invited all of my kids to a Christmas garage sale next October. Done.

And with the basement all cleaned up and organized, I was in my "nesting" mode, so everywhere I've gone in my house in the past few days, I've lingered to organize. I still have oh, so much to do, but it feels so good to start seeing a little organization and order scattered here and there in our home.

In a couple of days, I'll be sharing my Trip Packing and Prep lists that help me remember to pack every last thing and also to do all that needs to be done around the house before we leave. It makes the preparation part of trips so much easier!

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