Monday, June 13, 2016

The Trip of a Lifetime Jitters and Stress

Our First "Rodeo"
June 13, 2016

Chris and I leave for our 10 year anniversary Alaskan cruise in 3 days and I am a little stressed over the whole trip and situation. Chris and I have cruised 7 other times but all to the Caribbean and out of either Houston/ Galveston or New Orleans. You see, usually before a cruise I am out shopping and choosing new flip flops and trying on my swimsuits and choosing cute beach hats and accessories to pack in my suitcase, which has no size or weight limit because it literally goes from my trunk to the cruise cabin and that is it. If I over pack... not a real big deal! I am not worried as to what I am taking as the cruise is all about rest and relaxation. If I forget something, it is not a big deal as whatever I was wearing to get on the ship will work in the Caribbean. Chris has always said "All I need is a few pairs of underwear and my passport and I am good". I laugh and roll my eyes but he is correct... in the Caribbean that is ALL he needs. Alaska has proven to be different... At least thus far!

We are flying into Seattle 5 days before our cruise leaves to visit Seattle and Vancouver BC. This has created a whole new ball game. I have to limit the size of my suitcase? Wait, it can only weigh 50 pounds? And God forbid I pack a full size shampoo. I mean I am going to be gone for 13 days, what if I run out of contact solution before then? The act of flying to our embarkation destination has created all kinds of stress and worry, especially for me. 

Plus these 5 days will be JAM-PACKED full of touristy activities like visiting the Space Needle and biking along the Cascade mountains as well as a short trip into Canada. I had forgotten how much WORK it takes to plan a "vacation". Where do you stay? Which part of town? Can we use public transportation the whole time (Didn't work for us as we are going to Vancouver)? Where do you park? How much will food cost? The list of questions go on and on and ON! Plus I have become "Danny Tanner" from Full House with all of my planning and the itinerary of the days spent in Seattle and Vancouver. I have a spreadsheet highlighting when and where we will be for crying out loud! Where is the "vacation" part of this trip? I might even wear a fanny pack... ARE YOU KIDDING ME? What has gotten in to me? Oh yeah, that's right... I am traveling the world and visiting a new city! SO MUCH STRESS!

Then there is the whole climate change issue. Now don't get me wrong, I am THRILLED to be going to a place where 60* is the HIGH but this Texas native is used to hot and humid weather and honestly does not have cold weather clothes. Do you have any idea how hard it is to find long-sleeve athletic shirts or a stupid beanie hat in Houston in JUNE? We have had this trip planned for 14 months, literally, yet I just assumed I had everything I needed. Back in 2011 when we moved from Oklahoma City to Houston I pretty much got rid of all of those things because who needs earmuffs in Houston... EVER? And you know what, in the past 5 years I have barely even pulled out my "heavy coat" that my native Kansas parents highly encouraged me to keep no matter what. I still have it but it is collecting dust in my guest bedroom closet. The scarves, mittens, gloves, hand-warmers and earmuffs... those were given to Goodwill back in 2011. So... here I am with very little cold(er) weather accessories... but darn it, I have the flip flops!

I am currently doing laundry and looking at my closet debating on taking my summer sundresses for dinner each night. This cruise is so different than ALL of our others. Chris will look somewhat funny, I'm sure, wearing his Hawaiian shirts, khaki shorts and flip flops to dinner each night. So what do we pack? We now consider ourselves expert cruisers and thanks to this blog we have thousands of people reading our reviews and learning from our experiences! Well let me just say... this will be our first "rodeo" (Can you see the Texan shining through?) and I am sure we will make a few mistakes! We are going to overpack... TRUST ME! Chris is notorious for it! We are going to forget somethings... But I think Chris's original statement will still prove to be true. As long as we have our passports and underwear, I think we will be good. We might freeze our "royal rastafarian nay-nays off" but we will be on the ship! And in Alaska... oh how I cannot wait! 

This trip has been on the forefront of our minds for quite some time and we have literally been saving for this trip for the past 3 years and it is already racking up costs like crazy! It will be the most expensive and longest trip we have EVER taken! Even more than the honeymoon... TO LONDON! Not to mention it is the longest we will have been away from our kids which will be 14 full days. We are so lucky and fortunate to have loving and wonderful parents that are going to take care of our kids and take them on a trip of a lifetime in our absence. Natalie and Luke are going to go with Gigi Shirley and Poppy to Atlanta, GA on another annual baseball trip.

The next 2 weeks are going to be full of stress and anxiety but more importantly packed full of memories and experiences that will last a lifetime. I cannot wait to see how it all turns out! I covet your prayers as my family embarks on this journey both in the Northwest and the Southeast!

I will have a separate blog for all THREE of these trips; Seattle./ Vancouver, Alaska Cruise and the kids trip to Atlanta with my parents! Stay tuned for tips, tricks and gorgeous pictures! Thanks again for following along! I cannot wait to share our first "rodeo" to ALASKA with all of y'all!