Vacations are special times as we get to break away from our usual routine and take time to relax, enjoy family, friends, and if we are lucky, visit some unique places.  That is what I did over the past two weeks on my Summer Break.  In my last post, I asked readers to send me their favorite summer songs. I received some amazing suggestions so I want to thank everyone who contributed. I am in the process of figuring out how to make a playlist and will send it out as soon as it is ready, so stay tuned!

As I mentioned in my last post, I took a few weeks off to visit family, friends, and go on an Alaskan Cruise. I had a great time.  Our trip started on September 16th when my husband and I drove from Fort Lauderdale to Maryland to celebrate my sister in law, Tricia, 60th Birthday.  Most of my husband’s family was able to attend, so it was a fun time. We don’t mind driving, as we can go at our own pace, listen to music, and have some quality time together.

On Monday, we drove to Philadelphia to my sister’s home. From there, we got into one car and drove to Bradley Beach NJ to see my new Great Niece Ella Madeline.  She is beautiful and a perfect baby. I missed seeing her big sister Jordyn, but she and her dad had to leave the beach early Monday morning for work and day-care but we had a nice time with my niece Sarah and baby Ella. It was a beautiful day, so we walked to the beach to see one of my favorite places, the Jersey shore!

The next day, I met about 20 friends in Philadelphia for a reunion of the best group of nurses I ever worked with. Hahnemann University School of Nursing and hospital is where I did my training and gained most of my clinical experience was closing after serving the people of Philadelphia since 1881!  When one of my friends heard of the closing she started a group chat which grew over time.  Someone suggested a reunion to mourn the closing and celebrate our time there – so on August 20th, we held a Hahnemann Respiratory Intensive Care Reunion! I had not seen most of these ladies since 1988 when I left Philadelphia after getting married and moving to Ft. Lauderdale FL, but we caught up quickly and were transported back to 1978 when we all started working together. So many memories and laughs as we talked about things we did in our youth and what we learned together in a very challenging environment. It was great to see everyone and I wish each of them the best of luck as they start new careers. Many had worked at HUH for most of their careers so venturing out to new jobs was painful for many of them. They will do fine as they are all excellent nurses and wonderful people.

The last stop was to visit my brother Joe and his wife, Donna. I also got to see my great-niece Kaitlin and her brother Connor for breakfast before we left to travel back to Marland. They are growing up fast, so I was glad to spend some time with them.

From there, we went back to Maryland to meet my sister-in-law, Marie. The next day bright and early we let  Baltimore for a 7 day Alaskan Cruise!  My husband Corky drove us to the airport, and then headed up to 1000 Islands for some fishing!

Marie and I left at 7:00 am and arrived in Seattle at 9:30 am. We were met by Katy, my niece (and Marie’s daughter).  Katy recently moved out to Seattle with her husband Andy as they are in the Navy. We had a few fun days exploring Seattle with them before we took off on the cruise. Some of the places we visited were Pikes Place Market which is a fun place to take in the sights. We also went to the Seattle Zoo! The highlights for me was seeing the Chihuly Garden and Glass Exhibit and the Space Needle.

On Saturday we were off to Alaska on the Norwegian Joy for a 7 day Inside Passage Cruise. The ship was beautiful, the crew was excellent and we had perfect weather.  We met people from all over the world and visited four ports of call which allowed us to see the beauty of Alaska. I only saw one whale but we did see bears, bald eagles, and other wildlife that make up the beauty of the place. What struck me the most was the simplicity of nature, the clean air, and the remoteness and beauty of the area. Alaska is truly the last frontier.

I flew back to Florida on August 31st in time to meet Hurricane Dorian. Lucky Corky had gotten home from a 1000 Islands a few days before and was able to get our hurricane supplies and get our home prepared for the storm. From Seattle, the news was not looking good, and I was afraid I was going to get delayed in Seattle, but I made it out and got home safe and sound!

As I write this post, it looks like we will be spared from the wrath of Dorian but am keeping those who live in the Bahamas and further north in my prayers. The Bahamas got hit hard, and my heart goes out to them, living through a devastating hurricane is not easy. Mother Nature can be beautiful and mighty, that is for sure.

I hope you all had a Happy Labor Day weekend and I wish you a good week as we all head back to work!




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