Friday, February 22, 2008

Where are the pictures from your vacation?

Hi friends and family!

Well, here I sit, finding myself trying to think up a good excuse as to why our blog has been, yet again, delinquent. Well, this time I have a story for you. This will be the abridged version, as I have to drive to the Driver's License Bureau and they close at most government offices do.... By the end of the story, you'll understand why.....

So, back to our trip to Grand Cayman. Mom, Annie, and I spent six days down there...the first half of the vacation was spent on the beach, snorkeling every day, eating peanut butter sandwiches (food is not cheap in Cayman), and relaxing. What a wonderful break! Things began to change when our little trio went snorkeling on Wednesday. We decided to go snorkeling in Georgetown where all the tourists are because there is supposedly a nice coral reef to explore. Unbeknownst to us, there was also a rather hormone-acious Caymanian lifeguard, Roger, on duty that day, who took a liking to my cute little bikini-laden blonde sister. Although the snorkeling was fantastic, the aftermath proved to be "not as." Roger The Native managed to sweet talk my unsuspecting, trusting, and somewhat gullible mom into allowing him to take Annie out on a "date" the following night. He was a scuba diving instructor and he "just wanted to take her down for a dive."

So, somehow we found ourselves back in the tourist trap of Georgetown the next evening, mom and I shopping around while Annie went on her "date." When they were done, we invited them to dinner with us, mom planning to thank Roger for the free scuba diving lesson by buying him a plate of something. Well, Roger had different plans, you see. "I am honored that you have invited me to dinner this evening, but I would like to take your beautiful daughter out for a bite to eat down the street." "I can assure you that I won't harm your beautiful daughter....You can trust me....blah blah blah blah...." So, Annie and Roger left, out to dinner, leaving mom and I at The Seaside Restaurant overlooking the place where Annie and Roger had been scuba diving. We ate and went home.

That evening, I became stricken with RSV and a gastroenterovirus simultaneously....and mom and I watched a movie and turned in. I didn't lock our door as I had been doing all week....we went to be at midnight and Annie still wasn't back from her "date." As much as I probably should have, I chose not to lock her out.

At 2:00AM, mom heard the front door of our condo open. She got up and ran downstairs. "Annie???" she called. Annie was not there, but the front door was left hanging open. I got up because it was time to revisit the bathroom....sickness....and went downstairs. Annie still wasn't home. So, we started calling the cell phones. Roger, answer. Finally at 2:30 AM, my sister showed up with Roger, who had to get a ride from a local because he had no car. She wanted to go down by "the pool" to take a swim and wash off. Turns out that Roger was still there, waiting by the pool for her. I went out and found them, ushered my sister back into the condo, and gave her as much grief as I could muster up in my nauseous, sneezy state. By 3AM, I had gone back to bed, slamming my door and mad as heck, because my sister had gotten permission to spend the evening waiting outside with Roger, by the pool, until his ride could show up and bring him back to Georgetown. I wanted her to be inside and in bed. As you, the reader can tell, I was not impressed with him at this point and I wanted to throw him into the deep end of the pool and hold him under water for a few minutes......

I did not lock the door. Annie was still outside with hormone-man.

I woke up at 7:30. Annie was looking for my purse. She wanted to cancel our reservations to go and swim with the Sting Rays because everybody was exhausted. I got up and looked around. No purse. I went out to the car. No purse. Mom had cleaned it out very nicely last night and there was NOTHING in there except sand. I went back inside. I had always placed my purse on the kitchen table when I got home...and it just wasn't there. I began to worry. Did somebody steal my purse last night? My digital camera was in there! I went to check and see if I'd tossed it into my backpack. Where was my backpack? It had been sitting on the couch......I mentioned it to Mom. Mom hollered from upstairs, "Don't worry, if somebody came in and stole your purse and backpack, they would steal the laptop computer, too." Annie and I immediately looked to the kitchen countertop where her laptop had been. Had been. No laptop. Uh-oh. We had a problem. Mom came downstairs. If my purse was gone, the laptop...the backpack......where was MOM"s purse. With her passport inside? .....nowhere to be found.

Well, you can guess what we spent the rest of our day doing. We had no credit cards except Annie's who had tossed her purse under some dirty clothes on a chair. Mom and I had no cash, no credit cards, and mom had NO PASSPORT. (Mine had been on the countertop and was left by the thieves.) We had no laptop. My camera, with all of our pictures from the trip on it, was also gone. I called the police and we spent three hours giving depositions to a "jamica-mon" police guy. "no worries...." ha ha ha. Just as a side note: the Caymanian police force would be a great crowd in a Karoke bar. Not so much at the scene of a crime.

After our depositions, I drove our little rental car (Toyota Yaris...kinda equivalent to a Kia Rio) all over town, trying to get mom an emergency passport...only to find out that there is NO US EMBASSY in Cayman...the nearest one is in Jamaica. And Monday is President's Day and they will be closed....government Holiday....... The lady at the Embassy told mom that she'd better find a hotel room for the next week to stay until they could get her that emergency passport. The courier left the island at 1:00, and we had to get pictures, stop by the bank, get some shipping thing from DHL.....and we had an hour to do it. Can you imagine the scene? Annie sitting there, with her sole credit card, maxing it out paying all these extranneous government fees, Mom almost in tears with stress as she tries to figure out how to leave the country and not be stuck in a nasty hotel room by herself eating peanut butter for another week...and me....sick as a dog, driving on the left side of the road with the steering wheel on the right side of the car....navigating the "round-abouts" like I knew what the He** was going on. It was beyond a scene from National Lampoon. And we managed to do it. We got the stuff to the courier and mom would get an emergency passport.

Then, it was stop by the airport and speak with some "Mr. Anthony" with regards to cajoling them to letting mom back into the country tomorrow without a passport. "Come back tomorrow." the said.

That evening, we went home and ate peanut butter. Roger called. He wanted to "come and apologize for all the difficulties we went through." He came. He spent ten minutes with us, and then, before I knew it, Annie was leaving with him AGAIN....I guess he had a friend with the engine running in the parking lot the entire time he was here to apologize. Away they went. This time, when I got up at 6AM the next day (the day we were supposed to board a plane and LEAVE) Annie still wasn't home. I called her and picked her up. Turns out that there were no buses last night and Annie was in the process of calling a cab home. I was not pleased.

LOng story really really short: we spent the morning packing up and going to the airport. Our flight didn't leave until 5:50, but we had to find Mr Anthony and managed to successfully cajole him into allowing Mom to fly out of Cayman without a passport. Mom had gotten a police report the night before (she refused to leave the police station until they gave her the took some tears and a LOT of mom's feminine wiles to get that piece of most-valuable paper.....) The police report was as good as a passport. When we flew into Texas, they whisked her away into a little room with some illegal immigrants. She flashed her police report and they let her go. The guy behind the counter noticed she was reading a book entitled "All About Aussies." (Austrailian Shepherd Dogs). Turns out he was a breeder of the pups....and they had something to talk about. I think this contributed to her innocence.

We arrived in Minneapolis at 2AM after getting off a tiny tiny plane (I tried to distract mom with a Sudoku as she panicked....she is claustrophobic and this plane had ONE row of seats on each side....) We kissed the frozen ground.

So, here I sit, home at last, with no camera and no pictures of the Cayman Islands to show you. Just picture a perfect island paradise. Don't picture a horny lifeguard, don't think of nasty viruses, and don't leave your door unlocked when you are on vacation.

And I need to go now, because you have to show up in person to get a new driver's license.

Monday, February 11, 2008

From On call to On vacation!!!

There is a God!!!

Not that I Didn't believe before, but being "down here" has reaffirmed my belief that God must love us a lot....he created this neat little place called Grand Cayman Island.

Last week, I delivered nineteen babies. In two days. Those call nights were the worst I've ever had. I love delivering babies, but doing anything besides sleeping for twenty four or thirty hours straight does get a little trying. I was deliriously delivering......push.....push....push....deliver head.....avoid shoulder distocia.....catch....don't drop, they're slippery......suction out the nose and mouth.....cut cord.....give baby to parent(s). I was so tired by Friday afternoon that I couldn't figure out where the car was and I forgot to EAT. (Those of you who know me well know that that is a very pathologic sign.)

My week of babies was followed by....the first half of a fifty hour trivia marathon. Yes, instead of sleeping and recovering, I decided to partake in Trivia Weekend, a hallowed tradition of Mike and mine since High School. Again, sleep was at a premium. Although this time I could nod off now and then and nobody would sue..... ;)

THEN, on Saturday night, at 4AM, Mom, Annie, and I got up and drove to the airport, boarded a plane or two, and ended up in paradise aka the Cayman Islands. I am not kidding....we went from fifteen below to eighty five above. That's exactly a hundred degrees. Since then, I have been sleeping, laying around enjoying the ocean breeze, eating popsicles, and Snorkeling. I saw a baracuda who was considering taking a bite out of Annie. He was about seven feet long. Annie was screaming. More about that tomorrow. We are going snorkeling again, this time with Mom. Perhaps I will have some good stories for you. On the other hand, I may be a tasty treat for that baracuda. I am an easy target, being like a pregnant barge wallowing around the coral reef. I would probably taste pretty good, too.

I am still in shock that I have somehow gone from working my little behind off and living in a hospital, longing to be an island paradise. Right now, my chief concern is which flavor of ice cream I should eat before I go to bed....

There is a God.

PS: In case you were wondering, Mike and Julia are still at home in Frigid Duluth. (Mike couldnt' get a week off from rotations....) I think I will have to bottle up some of this sunshine and bring it home. or at least put them on vitamin D supplements for awhile......

Monday, February 4, 2008

Slave Labor

Today I was home and I tried to give Julia a taste of what it's like to be in the real world. She did a few chores around the home while I exercised my rights as a parent.

First, it was up at 5AM with some laps around the house. This was to get her warmed up for what was to come. We started the day out with her reading ME a story. I selected Curious George Goes to the Zoo.

Perhaps I should have invested in rubber gloves to fit Julia's hands before I made her strip the wax off of the kitchen floor..... nah...she can just wear Mike's...
In this next photo, Julia eats her ration of the day, a slice of raw white onion. She was pretty hungry after her morning's work.
Here, Julia is slaving away in the kitchen. I was having a martini in the background while cracking the whip. Ahhh...almost time for my nap.
All it's time for me to go to bed. It was a lot of work watching Julia slave away today. I need to get ready for tomorrow when she changes the transmission fluid in the van and gives the cat a bath.....

...good night.