When we envisioned our cruising life Way Back When we never planned to make regular trips “back home.” We’ve learned since from others that yearly visits make sense, for lining up medical checkups and renewing prescriptions, for stocking up on hard-to-find parts and supplies, for clothing shopping and of course to spend time with family. It’s easier if all of that is in one place but for us, it isn’t. Not even close.
Complicating matters and making a stateside visit more or less imperative is a non-negotiable visit to Jack’s surgeon at the Cleveland Clinic in Weston, FL. Longtime readers will remember that Jack went for a last-minute six-year post-cancer checkup just before our planned departure from the US in early 2013 only to have the new doctor find a suspicious growth that needed surgical removal. Ok, no problem, it was benign, but we had to promise to come back six months later for another checkup. In September 2013 we left EV in Grenada in the care of Kris and Dean on What If and made a zip-in, zip-back trip to the Cleveland Clinic where the surgeon found another suspicious alien and once again, Jack went to outpatient surgery. Yeah, this is getting old. But again, benign. And again, we promised to come back in a year so the surgeon could take a look.
In the meantime, Jack is approaching his 65th birthday and Americans know what that means — Medicare! We pushed scheduling the checkup an additional two months so Jack will be on Medicare, and that coincides with the holiday season and we haven’t seen most of our family and friends for nearly three years and our niece is getting married and we thought oh, what the hell, let’s do it right and spend a little more time in the Land of Plenty. After so long in places that challenge our ability to source parts and supplies we sure could use some serious shopping time.
And so our extended holiday is on. We spent a few days preparing EV for life without us and left the keys and our trust with Bill, the caretaker. Jean picked us up in their panga and drove us ashore with borrowed luggage and we took a last wistful look at the peace and quiet of Bahia del Sol.
The resident macaws squawked a noisy send off and just like that we were hurtling down the dusty roads to the airport in San Salvador where a coffee shop eased us into First World life.
Within a few hours we traveled from quiet, uncomplicated El Salvador and life on EV to the bustling crossroads that is Miami, and one more cab ride later we are again in peace and quiet, this time at our surrogate home in Surfside with our dear friends and culture shock facilitators, Nancy and Jeff Sternberger. This is going to be fun.