Sunday, June 5, 2011

Back on the water.........

We've been out of touch.  We know.  And we're sorry.  We've been extra busy with expected and unexpected land travel.  Our daughter, Colleen and her husband, Brian, were expecting their first baby (our 4th grandmiracle) on May 15.  We were docked in St Pete at the time.  After 36 hours of labor, she delivered a beautiful baby girl, Ella Grace.  Baby Ella was OK and Colleen's recovery from the C-Section was going well.  We flew back to St Pete and immediately got underway for our slow trek around Florida's panhandle to Mobile Bay.  (See previous blog entry.)

While off shore and crossing the Gulf we received word that the recovery was not going well due to complications from the C-Section. Colleen was in bad shape and getting worse.  Norm was a mess.  We had to get to a safe harbor near an airport.  It took us two painful, chaotic days to dock in Pensacola.  In the meantime, Colleen had emergency surgery to repair a perforated bowl that was not caught for 6 days. It was VERY BAD!!  Norm arrived back in Columbus just after the surgery and remained there for 8 days until Colleen was discharged from the hospital.  Along with Brian's parents and his sisters, Norm helped to care for baby Ella and be with his daughter during the early, hard recovery days.  Colleen's mother is now picking up where Norm left off.  Brian and his family were awesome, providing Norm a place to stay and meals when he was not at the hospital. He'll be eternally grateful to them.

Vicki with Ella Grace

Norm with Ella Grace

With Colleen on the mend, and reprovisioning completed, we resumed our cruise today.  We are currently docked at Homeport Marina in Gulf Shores, AL.  This is also the home of Lulu's Restaurant.  Lulu is actually Lucy Buffett, Jimmy Buffett's "crazy sister" as he calls her.  Yes, we both had to have a Cheeseburger in Paradise.  But, not before a couple margaritas and a dish of fried green tomatoes--a real southern treat.  (Even though Norm's grandmother in Pittsburgh used to make them when he was a kid.)

If you are interested in viewing our cruise routes from Sarasota, FL to Gulf Shores, AL, click on the following links:

Tomorrow we're off to Mobile Bay, then up the Mobile River to the Tennessee-Tombigby Waterway.  Our friends cruising ahead of us have told us that the river currents and pool levels at the dams are in good shape.  More on that later. 

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