A Busy Month Away

There has hardly been a minute to sit still during the past month.

My birthday is in March.  Since my mom is now in a nursing home, she isn't able to send birthday cards.  I decided to go down to Cincinnati to visit her for the day before my birthday.  It was a good visit.  I came home very tired (down and back in one day) but I'm glad I went.

A week later we packed up the car and headed south.  We drove to Tampa to catch a cruise for Spring Break.  Blake and Kristin were able to go, but Trisha couldn't miss her classes.  We visited Roatan Honduras, Belize, Costa Maya Mexico and Cozumel Mexico.

Since we didn't purchase an excursion at Honduras, there wasn't much to do.  We walked into the little town and then wandered the streets a bit.  There wasn't much to see and not many shops to browse.

In Belize, we took a river boat tour up the Belize River.  While on the tour we saw bottlenose dolphins, manatees, crocodiles (little on on the log in the picture below), many birds and a pair of howler monkeys doing what comes naturally.  The guide was very knowledgeable and made the trip extremely enjoyable.

After the tour, we walked through all of the shops near the docks and then enjoyed the local brew.

Costa Maya, Mexico is a small port built by the cruise lines.  It has a shopping district right off the docks and is the place to catch tours to nearby Mayan ruins.  We took a tour of the Chacchoben ruins.  These ruins aren't the largest ruins in Mexico, but they still were impressive.  Unlike other sites, tourists were not allowed to climb more than the first few steps.

The last stop of the cruise was Cozumel, Mexico.  It has really changed since Ed and I were there while on our honeymoon.  We walked for hours, going in and out of shops, some that enticed you in with a shot of tequila.  We had lunch at a local place before heading back to the ship.

We returned home on Easter Sunday.  I then rested up a bit and then headed out again.  This time with one of my sisters, Karen, to take our brother Joe to visit another sister in New Jersey and ride the train into New York City.   Joe is developmentally disabled and lives with Karen now that Mom isn't able to care for him.  He loves trains and told Karen that he wanted to ride the train again.  

We drove to New Jersey on Friday and spent the night at Mary Anne's place.  Saturday morning we headed over to the train station and took it into the city.

While in the city we ventured over to the Metropolitan Public Library.

After that we walked over to Grand Central Station.

From there we ventured back to Penn Station and caught the train back to New Jersey.  Our timing was perfect because we found out that one of the later trains on the line we took got stuck for 90 minutes in the tunnel under the Hudson River.  Joe's love of trains might have changed if we had had that ordeal.

Last month I mentioned that I hoped to get Starshower finished in time to wear before the weather changes.  I met my goal and was able to wear it on the trip to NJ/NYC.  Karen and Mary Anne commented that they liked it.  I may have to make a few more as Christmas gifts.

In between the cruise and the trip to ride the trains, I had an interview and was offered a job.  I will be working as an independent consultant for the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities.  The paperwork is still in the works but I should begin working next week.  It will be nice to get back to the working world, but I will admit I'm not looking forward to getting up early again.  I've enjoyed my time off and doing whatever my heart desires at the time.  But it is time to start acting like a grown up again, at least for a few more years.