Written October 23, 2023, at Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Today was our departure day. We were bound for Fort Lauderdale and the start of our 19 day journey through the Panama Canal and parts beyond. In deference to our 7 AM flight from Kansas City the alarm was set for 3:15 AM. I beat it by 15 minutes. Christine grumbled, rolled over, and then reluctantly joined me on this side of dreamland. Nothing unusual.

Except that yesterday morning not one, but TWO of our toilets decided to malfunction. A trip to Home Depot for some parts and armed with knowledge I have accumulated over the years, I had both stools doing their duty again by noon. No big deal.

Over the last week we had given deep thought to what we should take and not take. Our bags were packed and we were confident that nothing important was overlooked. I had even pre-ordered a 4:15 AM UBER to take us to the airport. He was in our driveway 15 minutes early. We were off… no traffic and no drama.

Our Delta Kansas City flight and connection out of Atlanta were on-time and went off without a hitch. We even enjoyed light snacks and relaxing conversation in Delta’s Atlanta Skylounge. We were among the first off the plane at Fort Lauderdale, our bags were quickly in hand and there was no wait for the taxi that delivered us to the Embassy Suites Hotel where we were booked overnight, anticipating being shipboard Tuesday. All was just as we planned.

2 rounds of complementary evening cocktails at the hotel were the delightful accompaniment to dinner at an elegant nearby restaurant. Still, it was nothing more than what we expected.

I remarked to Christine that the day was extraordinary only for how well it played out. Her response brought me up short.

Christine reminded me that barely 4 months ago I was struggling to speak, unable to put more than a few words into a sentence. I used a hiking pole in one hand and her hand in my other to navigate a one block walk, the limit of my ability. Irrational anxiety paralyzed me to the point that I lost 12 pounds in a month. Nothing special? EVERYTHING we were doing was special given that near history.

How quickly I forget. Peace Everyone. Pete

36 thoughts on “Nothing Special… except

      • Everyday is special. We’ve been thinking about you and Christine and wondering when you were headed south. We took that trip just before the pandemic and everyday was an adventure (e.g. hurricanes, volcanoes, crocs and whales and of course the incredible engineering). We arrived home days before everything shut down. We’d do it again in a heartbeat….except for that pandemic stuff ;). Enjoy the ride and the view.

  1. Such a miracle recovery and a perfect beginning to your trip (aside from the potty-problems, which were sorta quickly fixed!😜). Enjoy your goid health and relaxing trip!

  2. Happy that you can return traveling. Enjoy.
    Ron and I are close to finish the Camino Portuguese Central by this Thursday.
    Buen Camino

  3. Wow – Peter – you had me going along – smiling, nodding then the potty issue – oh poop! Back to the good bits – la de dah ailing, nodding along! Christine’s comment – blammo – tears. She is so right – when things are good, how quickly we forget. God bless – I still pray for my two Peters every day (you and another friend). May the rest of your journey continue to be blessed (with a wink to Pauline who might have something to do with it)(if she could – you KNOW she would ). Peace to you both. 🤗🤗

  4. Hey Pete, so while we were sending you the picture from Ken’s you were playing plumber, who’d a thought. It would have gone better if you were with us as it took numerous try’s and two different phones to take the pic. We needed your skills and companionship. I’m anxious to start this adventure, thanks for taking me on another excursion. Bon voyage.

  5. Christine’s hand and a walking stick. No two more important gifts at the time when you needed them most. And now, with Christine’s hand and your tenacity and obstinacy with good fortune that seems to come your way, you are again exploring. Be well and hold on tight. Peace to you both.

  6. You have a wonderful positivity about you, Pete. I know you and your beautiful wife will have a memorable trip. You certainly deserve it!

  7. Stuart Wieland says:

    I’m extraordiarily happy for you and Christine about the state of your health, Pete! But still grieving for that tree in England. You bring us all the feels with your great prose, thanks for sharing your fantastic adventures!

What Do You Think?