It doesn’t seem like that much time has gone by, but this July 14 was our first wedding aniversary!  However, up until a few weeks before we still hadn’t decided what, if anything, we should do. Certainly we had ideas, but they were all over the board, literally.  My work schedule was so tight and unpredictable that it’s near impossible to get any time off, especially any length of time.

We could take a few days and just go north of us, into the Texas Hill Country.  There are a few bed and breakfasts on our “list” that we thought might be neat.

Then there was the other end of the spectrum.  One unusually quiet night in the ER I found a show on You-Tube hosted by Savannah Jane Buffett (Jimmy’s daughter) called “Ex-Pats”.  This particular episode was about “Ahau Tulum”, an ecological friendly luxury hotel in Mexico–but it was a little more than I wanted to spend.  Also, I still haven’t put in the paperwork for my passport.

Now down the middle of the road we looked at San Diego or San Francisco, which I loved.

Sansibel Island or Fort Myers, Florida were Starshine’s personal choices.

Finally, I thought, maybe we could do Key West, Mallory Square, and down the Seven Mile Bridge to Marathon where there is a newly open Dockside Tropical Cafe owned by a musician, Eric Stone, that I enjoy.  Unfortunately air flights anywhere in Florida from San Antonio were almost cost prohibitive.

Now what???  What’s that old saying, “When God closes a door, he opens a window”?

My work in the busy ER, which I love, was just eating me up with beureaucratic mis-management and the feeling that I really wasn’t helping anyone.  We were grossly understaffed and working crappy hours and schedules and there was no light at the end.

In the midst of all this I got a phone call.  I interviewed for and was offered  a position with a new ER in town.  Same money.  Better schedule.  No brainer, right?  So I closed my eyes and we held hands and jumped!! However…there was a two week period before I could start…

Now what?  We ran through ideas and Starshine searched online and came up with a thought. “Have you ever gone on a cruise?” she asked.

“Once, a long time ago. But how are we gonna swing that?”

“Remember those 300 plus hours of vacation time that you were never able to take?  When you leave, they get cashed in.”

“Okay!  Let’s do it!”

Right there and then she booked us on a seven-day cruise through the Gulf of Mexico with Carnival Cruise Lines.  There would be three stops in Montego Bay Jamaica, the Grand Caymans, and Cozumel Mexico before coming back to port in Galveston, Texas.  Along the way, all our meals would be provided (Bears are supposed to be big and cuddly), and they had everything on the ship from an exercise gym with a full spa to a waterpark on the top deck!

If you wanna come along for another ride, it looks like Starshine and Bear are sliding sideways into another adventure!!


***I promised Starshine I’d write this story, so keep following the next day or two for more pictures and stories!!