Vacation Scheduled

With my health slowly declining, Tina and I decided that it was time for one last big vacation, so we started looking. We originally planned to go to back to the Hard Rock Hotel in Cancun, because we absolutely loved everything about it. The beach and ocean was incredible, the food and drinks were amazing, and the room and the customer service was more than we had expected.

However, Tina started looking around at other resorts in Cancun and when I asked her why, she said she was looking for something new and different. Then she asked me where I wanted to go; I explained that, in the end, this trip was going to be her memory, so I wanted her to make the choice. For me, I am just glad that we are able to go someplace beautiful again, and to be alone with each other, before my health is to the point where we can’t do so anymore.

In the end, Tina chose Hawaii, as we have always talked about going but never did. So, we started looking at the different islands, hotels, packages, flights, etc. and finally decided on the Hilton Hawaiian Village on Waikiki Beach in Oahu, Hawaii. We are in the Rainbow Tower, right on the beach, and facing Diamond Head, which is only about two miles away. We leave at the end of February and will be there nine glorious days!

Besides getting away with each other, and enjoying the beach and ocean as we always do, we are also very excited about the humpback whale migration, which is occurring now. We have already booked a whale watch excursion that guarantees that we see a whale, or we get to do the cruise again for free! We are also planning on visiting the Waikiki Aquarium, and are looking at taking a day to go to Pearl Harbor, and possibly Diamond Head, as well.

We are so ready to go! Twenty two days and counting…

What an Amazing Two Weeks!

On Tuesday, September 19th, my incredible wife Tina and I embarked on the first of two trips that would encompass over 3,700 miles and almost an entire two weeks. We planned these two trips to celebrate something that is very important and dear to both of us, our 25th anniversary. I really didn’t want to spend the kind of money that we did on either of the trips, because of my latest scans and my concern of things not going well for me with the newest line of treatment; I really don’t want to leave Tina with a ton of debt from my medical bills. But, after talking to her and a few people who are or have been in our position, I decided that this was something that we should do and agreed to both trips. What happened along the way made me realize how much we needed this.

We started out on Tuesday, September 19th, by flying from Detroit, MI to the Hard Rock Hotel in Cancun, Mexico. It was a beautiful hotel and we had all the perks: a huge room on the tenth floor with a balcony overlooking the Caribbean Ocean, a king size bed, a two-person whirlpool and all the other normal bells and whistles. We also paid to have the all-inclusive experience that included all the food and drinks that both of us could indulge in, which was good at all seven restaurants and six bars on the property (and also included 24-hour room service). We also received $3,600 in resort credits, which we used for two couple massages, a very intimate and wonderful romantic dinner, a few days in a Bali bed on the beach, and more.

We spent nine glorious days and eight magical nights enjoying each other’s company at the beach, at the pool, in the restaurants and bars, and in our room. We spent hours combing the beach for sea shells, playing in the ocean, hanging out with our new friends Jerry and Jessie from Monterey, Mexico and Pericles and Mouriely from Recife, Brazil, swimming in the pools, finding new and enjoying some of our old favorite foods, basking in the sun, and snuggling in bed watching television. It was literally a dream come true; with the only sad time for us coming when we had to pack to leave for home on Wednesday, September 27th.

After a brief day and a half stay at home, during which I worked two half-days, we left in the afternoon of Friday, September 29th, and headed for Louisville, KY for Louder Than Life, a two day music festival with some of our favorite bands. Again, we spent all of our time together, enjoying some great music and live performances, good food and more time for just the two of us. Right now Tina is sleeping in the bed at the hotel while I type this out. Tomorrow we leave to head back home and after Tina fell asleep tonight, I started to reflect on the past two weeks.

Of course we love each other, that should be obvious, since we just celebrated twenty five years of marriage. But the level of our love has certainly grown over the years, not dissipated, like what is common in so many marriages nowadays. We both truly love and look forward to spending all of our free time together, whether it’s going to the store, watching one of our favorite television shows, sharing a meal or just hanging out in each other’s presence. We are both each other’s best friends and the first person we want to call when something good or bad happens in our lives. We are really one, sharing all the good and bad as it happens, together.

Don’t get me wrong, I knew that we had all of this, but sometimes I forget. Sometimes I take it for granted. And with everything going on in our life right now, it was an incredible two weeks that I got to spend with my wife, best friend, and better half. I am so grateful that we did these trips, that I was reminded of the real important things in life, and that I got to do it all with the woman of my dreams.

Ready for a Vacation

I have been enjoying the two week break I got from chemo, but I have been working a lot and busy at home, too. With all that has been going on, I am in desperate need of a break. Some time alone with my beautiful wife Tina; some time to just decompress. Time where work isn’t part of my every day and it’s just me and my sweetheart. Fortunately, I don’t have too long to wait.

Thursday after I get off work I am running home to pick Tina up and we’re heading down to Columbus, Ohio and checking into a hotel. Then, after a good night’s sleep without distractions and a nice late start, we are heading to Mapfre Stadium for day one of Rock on the Range. It’s going to be a great night of good old grunge music with Bush, Live and Soundgarden. We saw all three of them a few years ago together and they all put on a great show.

On Saturday we are going to sleep in until we feel like getting up, because day two of Rock on the Range for us starts about 5:00 when we will watch Seether, Papa Roach, The Offspring and Korn. We’ve both seen Seether and Papa Roach in the past couple of years and enjoy their shows. We saw The Offspring together back in 1996 at Cobo Hall in Detroit, Michigan, and they had a great show, too. I’ve never seen Korn perform live and Tina saw them a few years ago at Rock on the Range, but the soundboard mixing was really bad and she only stayed for a few songs before leaving. We are both really excited and hope they sound good this time.

Sunday is another lazy, sleep in kind of day for us, because the first band that we want to see on day three of Rock on the Range hits the stage at 4:25. The Pretty Reckless is first, followed by Primus and Volbeat. Then, for me, the best act of the weekend happens when my favorite band (since the late 80’s) hits the stage at 8:45: Metallica. I’ve seen them three other times through the years, first in 1988, then with Tina in 2009, then again with my oldest son Mark in 2012. Each show was better than the last and I am so excited about seeing them again.

The best part of seeing Metallica this time is that they have consistently played my favorite song on this tour at every concert, Fade to Black, and I’m so hopeful they play it on Sunday. To be honest, the other reason that I’m excited to see them this year is because, with my current health, who knows if I’ll be around if they come back again in a few years. I’m definitely trying to stay positive, but it’s also important to be a realist.

So, for this weekend, it’s Rock On!