Saturday (5/2/15) in Augusta was about shopping, lunch out, dinner with friends at the campground and picking up Dasher’s ashes. We went into Banfield, said one of those sad toned “Hi. I’m here to pick up Dasher’s ashes.” “Ashes” is definitely the keyword. If I hadn’t said that she would have paged something like “Dasher is ready to go home.” or started searching the computer for him. Either one would be a very uncomfortable situation. Anyway, I was totally fine until I placed his remains in the trunk and then it started. I balled, and Jim stood strong for me. I know he was hurting and he kept it together.
Sunday we attended Erik’s service at Riverwalk Park which is where Robert and Erik were married in November. It was a nice service with one of Erik’s close friends delivering his eulogy.
It was a sad weekend… We’ll skip to the next week.
On Friday (5/8/15), we took off a half a day so that we could go to the county office in Augusta to get a permit for a roof over. Of course, they wanted engineered plans which they neglected to tell Jim about the 1400 times he spoke with one of the inspectors. So we wasted some PTO time and accomplished nothing. This delays our install dates.
Saturday, the campground celebrated Cinco De Mayo with a potluck. We brought ground turkey, onion and cheese sauce. All of the food was delicious. We had a great time!
Sunday was dinner with Jamie and Ruby.
So, that brings me to this current week. I’m writing this on Saturday, May 16th. Toward the end of last week, Jim started looking into vacations to use up so air miles with. These are miles we got from opening credit cards. We started researching Hawaii. Cruises and hotel vacations. We researched. We talked to our AAA travel agent and friend Ruby (see above) about pros and cons of different types of Hawaiian vacations. Since we love cruising and it’s the most economical, we settled on an 11 night cruise. 11 nights? Yep, but a good portion of it is at sea days.
So let me explain about all the “at sea” days. First off, probably 99.9% of the large cruise lines are internationally registered to avoid US labor laws and probably tax/fee advantages. So the big cruise line leaders register elsewhere in countries such as Bahamas, Panama, and Liberia. Norwegian cruise lines has 1 ship, Pride of America, that is registered in the US. US law is that an internationally registered ship must have at least 1 international port of call. The Pride of America cruises can start in Hawaii and end in Hawaii with no international stops make them a 7 night.
Meanwhile, the other ships sail to Vancouver, BC or Ensenada, Mexico. We really prefer to stick with Royal Caribbean and Celebrity (they’re related) where possible so that we maintain and also grow our points. Points give lots of perks. We’re also willing to try a cruise that keeps us on the go for several days in a row and then just turns into 5 days of nothing but poolside, nap-tastic, hot tubbing, eating everything in sight, relaxation. The 11 night cruise and the 7 night are virtually the same price too.
OK, so the point? We booked a cruise for April 2016. Yay!
BUT, then we realized Jim only gets 18 PTO days next year. Using 10 for a cruise, leaving only 8 for the remainder of the year wouldn’t be a good idea so we’re going to book for another year out. Hawaii 2017. In 2017, Jim will get 23 PTO days.
We’ve set up a partial payroll transfer into an extra account just to save for the trip! We have plenty of time.