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[personal profile] dendren
Home again home again, giggity giggity.

Back home in sweltering California after a nice trip away. Overall, the trip went well with a few bumps. I’d have to say the experiment of taking my Mom and Aunt Marlene on a cruise was a bit of a failure though. My Aunt was fine but my Mom, well… it didn’t go great. My hope was that a cruise vacation would be much less active, and technically it is, but still too much for her. I think I nearly broke her a few times on this trip. The walking, even just across the ship, is tough for her. Walking in New York and on the excursions off the ship, I think I nearly broke her a couple of times. Her weight and back problems are really ummmm… weighing her down (no pun intended). Most of the trip I could tell she was really struggling with pain when we were walking. Also all the food was just too much for her. I know she had an upset stomach much of the trip too. Sadly, I know she spent a good deal of the trip hurting from walking, upset tummy and being cranky. Of course, it didn’t help that she stopped taking her anti-depressant the day we started the trip (which I found out from Mar on day 5 of the cruise). She fucking pisses me off with this sort of thing. Years ago on a trip to Hawaii she decided to quit smoking, without telling us, then was a raving bitch the whole trip and we had no idea what was going on. This time, she didn’t take her depression meds because they made here sleepy the next day, so she skipped them. And by the 4th day it was showing and I was just assuming the mood change was related to her not feeling good (which contributed I’m sure). Marlene got the brunt of it, usually after the door closed to their cabin and Bob and I headed away leaving them alone. Mar was very clear that my Mom was *much* nicer when she was in front of me than she is when the two of them were alone. By the end of the trip she and Mar were barely speaking, not good. The chances that we will get Mar to take another cruise with us are slim, unless we go with my cousin Jennifer and her family (which we have discussed). If we go with Jen and her family it may help to take some of the tension because Mar is much closer with them, which would leave Mom to Bob and I most the time. Ugh. hahaha

New York… such an interesting town. So much to love and so much not to. I kept thinking that… “I love this” and “ugh” hahaha We stayed at Night Hotel Times Square which was just a ½ block off the square on 47th street. Perfect location for getting to everything. We got to town, had dinner at an Irish pub across the street from the hotel then wandered Times Square, stopping at Junior’s for their famous (and so yummy) cheesecake before bed. Friday I got us a New York City Pass for museums and stuff which included Hop On Hop Off bus tour tickets. We hopped on the bus and it drove us around Mid-Town seeing the sites and yada yada. We got off at the stop closest to the 9/11 memorial and walked towards the memorial. It was just too long of a walk for my Mom though. We had to stop several times but finally made it to the memorial site. The museum was swamped, literally a multiple hour line to get in, so we ended up skipping it knowing my mom couldn’t stand in line that long. We headed over to the One World tower and went up to the top. I had bought front of line passes for that so we were able to skip the major line and go straight to the elevators. It’s a long way up, definitely the tallest building I’ve ever been in. Such beautiful views with all of New York below. After that we headed back towards the bus pick up point. My poor Mom was really struggling. We just walked a block and stopped, walked a block and stopped. Pretty much the entire trip went that way. We finally got back to the bus and took it back to Times Square. We never did use our New York passes, except for the bus, the walking was just too much for my Mom. I was bummed we spent the money but oh well. After resting at the hotel a bit we had dinner and then were off to the Schubert Theater to see Hello Dolly with Bette Midler, two days before she won the Tony!!! Thankfully I’m a planner, sometimes I start formulating ideas in my head long before actually making a full decision on them. I bought these tickets back in September I think, not totally sure how I was going to use them and then built this vacation sort of around them. I figured if it turned out we didn’t go to New York I could easily sell them on stubhub. But yay, we used them and it was such an awesome show. We were up in the Mezzanine but the seats were great. I could see Bette’s face so clear and well, and every little nuance she brought to the performance was in full view. Thank goodness for Broadway’s smaller theaters. I honestly wasn’t totally sure I’d like the show. I don’t enjoy a lot of the older “classic” musicals as much sometimes, and after buying the cast recording there certainly weren’t many toe tapping songs to stick in my head. But… I loved it. I probably wouldn’t have as much as I did if it had been another actress, but Bette made it her own. She was Dolly Levy to the tee and it was fun seeing it just two days before she won the Tony.

The cruise… this was my first cruise on Norwegian Cruise Line. We were on their ship, the Gem and I think NCL ties with MSC as my least favorite cruise line. At best I can only rate them a C. The ship, while only 10 years old, was not in tip top shape, lots of small things adding up, like elevator buttons not working or poorly designed set ups. The one highlight was dinners in the restaurants you have to pay an additional fee for. I had one of the best steaks I’ve ever had at their steakhouse, and I loved their Churrascaria (Brazillian BBQ where they walk around with meat on sticks). But the rest of the food in the non-fee restaurants… it was pretty unimpressive. We ate in the buffet (so so), the Chinese restaurant (bad), and the Irish Pub (terrible). Other than food, service was meh. The entertainment, pretty bad. All the bars and lounges had very mediocre to bad (and very loud) entertainment such as piano, karaoke, a newlywed style game (so bad) and a hypnotist (so so so so bad). On the main stage we sat through a painfully bad Second City comedy show one night and watched a county music review another before we gave up on the nightly main stage shows. The country music one at least had good singing, but the dancing and “theme” felt like a really bad version of one of these Kids of the Kingdom type shows you’d see at Great America or something. Mar and I were totally cracking up because half the audience got up and gave them a standing ovation after the show. She turned to me and was like “were we watching the same show, or have they changed the definition of standing ovation???”). She and I laughed about that a few times. But I think that is the crux of my whole experience with Norwegian… I’ve done much better, many times. I’m sure to people who had never cruised before, or only every left their little red state once in their life, thought this cruise was the bee’s knees and an incredible experience. I’m sure if I’d never been cruising before I would have been in awe of it all. But I have, and I think I will stick with better cruise lines in the future LOL

Itinerary… I love the Maine/Canada itinerary, though I liked the one we did on Holland America better a few years back. This time we went to Halifax in Nova Scotia, St John in New Brunswick, and Bar Harbor and Portland in Maine. I just love it up there. The weather could not have been more perfect the whole trip and we got to see sites like Peggy’s Cove and the Bay of Fundy changing its tidal direction. In Bar Harbor we took a bus tour through Acadia National Park and then met up for lunch with my Aunt Dotty, her boyfriend Chuck, son Bob and his wife Barbara. It was a great, but short, visit. In Portland we took a tour that stopped at a lighthouse and then spend some time in Kennebunkport.

People on the ship… it was a slightly older crowd and very straight (duh). I’d say most were East Coast people. Bob and I did go to the “Friends of Dorothy/LGBTQ meet and greet” the first night and met a handful of guys that we were able to chat with here and there the rest of the trip. That was a nice bit, to have a little gay interaction here and there at least. Actually, we met one handsome Italian man named Max and ended up having a fun little 3-way with him a few nights later. It was the first time Bob and I had sex together in years. It was fun, and Max was a good guy to sort of break the ice with us dipping into those waters again for the first time in ages.

Homecoming… disembarking the ship went well. I was a little nervous about our 1:00 flight out of JFK so we elected to do the self-disembarkation where you carry your own luggage off the ship and get off before everyone else. It was a breeze, even with me carrying my luggage and my mom’s and we made it to JFK in record time, plenty of time for us to make our 1:00 flight that ended up delayed until 2:30 LOL Sadly, once we were at JFK I started checking my mail and such and got a message that my cousin Randy had died on Thursday. I told my mom and she was pretty upset, but then I got another message and found out my cousin Becky was hospitalized in ICU, she had a grand mal seizure after she found out Randy died and was not doing well at all. She is doing better today from what I hear and may be out of the hospital tomorrow, but what a terrible thing to come back to. I didn’t want to tell my mom until we got home but Bob told her anyway. She was devastated, more so about Becky than Randy but still, she was very upset. It made for a very long trip home for her I’m sure, especially since she and Mar were barely talking to each other at this point. I think they didn’t say 5 words to each other the entire way home :P

We came home to a heat wave, it is sweltering hot out there this week. Over 100 degrees most the week I think. Once back in California Bob and I dropped my Mom and Mar off at their places. We got home about 8:00, rested a bit, then decided to be crazy and go to the monthly underwear party at Renegades LOL. OMG, I needed a gay night out after 10 days with my mom. It was a lot of fun, so warm and so full of fun men in their undies. I made out with a couple I’ve wanted to for quite some time and had a great time. Bob got a little too drunk though :P We took Lyft home and picked up my car the next day LOL

Sunday, recovery day, unpacking and getting caught up with things at home. We went grocery shopping late in the day. For some reason the entire frozen section was blocked off, sorry Bob, no ice cream. We got to the checkout, and had just 3 items left to go through price check and *poink* heat wave power outage. GRRRRR. Apparently it had been happening all day, which is why the frozen food was blocked off. Such a waste, they have to throw it all out. We waited about 20 minutes for the computers to reboot, the checker said it would take 10 minutes but just as it was coming back up the power blinked again and the 10 minute reboot started again. Thankfully they got us through the next time and we were finally able to get checked out and take our groceries back to a very empty fridge LOL I was glad they didn’t have to throw all our stuff out too, which they would have had to do if we had ended up leaving it.

So… long update, I’m sure I missed lots. I’m sad things didn’t work out so well for us to do cruises with my Mom on this trip. Overall it was just exhausting to me. I pretty much had to run the show every moment we were gone. She, Mar and Bob were just so completely lost the whole time it seemed. I swear we couldn’t walk out a doorway without them looking at me to know what way to turn. I know I’m a bit of a control queen at times but this was just too fucking much, they had no independence at all :P and having to do the whole balancing act of being patient with my Mom and brokering peace with her and Mar, and keeping Bob happy too, not the most relaxing trip. I think cruises are probably out for us as a group in the future, and we may just be limited to renting a condo by the sea in places like San Diego or maybe Hawaii. At least when we rent a condo we are all in the same “home” and it helps Ma and Mar not be locked in a room together alone so much of the time. I guess we will see what plan I can come up with in the future :)

Ok… back to work. I have a ton of emails and such backed up from being gone. I best get back to it. Cheers!


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July 2017

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