Well, our daughter-in-law got a clean report after her tests and scan in October. We are so thankful for this report and greatly appreciate everyone who supported our family during this tough year with your thoughts and prayers. Jennifer now has checkups every 3 months for the rest of her life as they keep a check on her possibilities for a return of the melanoma. In the meantime, Adam and Jen have quickly moved back into their family routine of raising 3 kids, work, church, gym, bike riding, dogs (the most recent addition an 8-week-old great dane), and getting recertified for foster care.
Here's a pic of Adam (our older son) and Jen participating in a recent Livestrong 100-mile bike ride in Austin for aiding cancer patients. From left to right are the grandkids Alexis, Connor, and Bryce (we had them along the bike route to encourage the riders, all 4300 of them!), then Adam, Jen, Mark (Jen's brother), and a friend, Toby. Adam and Toby finished all 100 miles, Jen finished 90, and Mark 80. I'd say that's a pretty good recovery for Jen after all the treatments, meds, and chemo she just finished 2 months prior.
With all this good news and a return to a sense of normalcy for their family again, Rhonda and I are anxious to get moving again. Our general plan is to head "east" along the GIWW and decide plans as we go. We have 2 general possibilities. One is to hang a left at Mobile on the TENN-Tom and return to our land home on the TN River. We've traveled that before, 2 boats ago in our 32' Grand Banks (pic below), so it's not our 1st preference.
2nd is to go to JAX, FL and spend some time with Rhonda's family during the winter. We've boated all of south FL in years past when we lived in Ft. Myers on the gulf side for 3 years and on the Atlantic side in Boca Raton another 3 years (which included extensive cruising time in the Keys). But everything north of those 2 areas would be new territory for us. Also at that point in JAX, we would be about 1/2 way through the Great Loop route counting all of our previous runs. So, we would probably go ahead and head up the Atlantic Coast, through the Great Lakes, and down the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers back to the TN River which would be the "crossing our wake" spot for us.
If you've followed our blog, you know we purchased our Gulfstar about a year ago in Corpus Christie after selling the Roughwater to a couple in San Antonio and we've spent the past year making lots of changes (mostly cosmetic but some mechanical) and we believe she is ready. Here are a few pics to reflect some of the changes: at the dock, totally redone flybridge, and bamboo floors inside.
Rhonda's a little upset with me for posting a pic with one of the pillows missing above. Oh well. BTW, that's Leia on the bed. If you go back and read the blog on the trip from AL to OK in 2008, you'll note 3 cats traveling with us. Skippy bit the dust in OK and Jag died here about a year ago, so traveling has taken its toll on the cats. As cats go, Leia is a pretty good one. She's 16 now so it can't be too much longer for her either. She loves the boat and spends the day in the flybridge with us when we're moving.
Speaking of leaving Galveston, we actually tried to depart this past Friday but a barge just a few minutes ahead of us got stuck under the Galveston causeway bridge only 5 miles from Harborwalk which turned into about a 3-hour delay. The first leg of our trip eastbound is 72 miles to the 1st anchorage (there are no marinas) and at 8 mph there was no way to make it before dark. So, we came back to Harborwalk and are waiting for the next weather window which looks like Tuesday, election day, November 6th. I normally watch all the details of the elections and I'm counting on a Romney win 'cause this country is in a mess with Obama at the helm. (Did I just lose some blog followers?) Anyhow, I doubt we'll have any TV coverage at the anchorage, so at least if Obama is reelected I won't have to watch it!!!!
Also, our friends from Muskogee who made the trip with us to Galveston in 2010 have decided to travel with us again in their 46' Silverton. We'll post again when we get moving and have wifi.
PS. It's Obama I have no use for, but even if you do, I hope you will continue to follow the blog. No hard feelings. Love, Wayne.