Sailing Away

We’re off!  Tomorrow we’ll be sailing away from our familiar waters, our mountain, Beppo and Zazou, and most of our daily routine. The one part of our regular life that’s going with us is the magical Chinese herb tea, which I’d love to show you right now.  Two huge stock pots of it are boiling away on the stove, boiling over actually, so that we can take 26 ziplock bags of tea with us for Shel’s daily dose. We’ll be trusting to the good will of our cabin steward to keep them frozen for us, so that Shel may continue his Great Leap Forward toward health.  And although at the moment I feel like one of Macbeth’s witches, haggard and frazzled, stirring my unruly brew as it spits and scatters twigs and thick brown droplets all over the stove, I expect that it’s nothing that a good day at sea and a couple of martinis can’t eventually fix.  And by eventually I mean tomorrow.

When I booked this cruise several months ago we never thought Shel would live to travel through the Panama Canal with me.  The booking was a leap of faith, an “if I book it he will live to sail” moment of sheer folly that is about to pay off in spades.  He’s so much better now than he was just a few months ago that when a guy called yesterday from Blue Shield to talk about Shel being approved for the Hospice program Shel sputtered “I’m not going into hospice, I’m going cruising through the Panama Canal.”  Well all right then!

Although normally our ferry feels like quite a big ship, tomorrow we’ll board one that holds 1800 passengers, a virtual small town that will float us away from life as we know it, heading south into waters neither of us has seen before. We’re happy as can be, and we hope you’ll come along for the ride.  Next stop, San Diego, California.  See you there.

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26 Comments on “Sailing Away”

  1. Jessica Says:

    I am excited for you guys! 1800 passengers is a good number of passengers. I’m sure you guys will make plenty of friends while on the ship.

  2. Have a wonderful time.Bon voyage, Vaya bien.

  3. jessica Says:

    Well, what a trip! You both deserve to have fabulous times.

  4. heidih Says:

    I am SO excited that the Chinese herbal brew has been good for Shel – I was wondering. The harbor looks magnificent and I sense this will be a magical trip for you both. Looking forward to your trip reports. As to insurance companies – oh yah – patient welfare?- nope all about policy that makes no sense that must be stuck to even in a fragile situation – grrrr.

  5. Barry Says:

    Way to Go Abra …… Hope it is everything you want it to be ……..Shel is so positive and you seem to have turned a corner…again ! Brew up a la Anglaise .

  6. Price naryka Says:

    Abra and Shel: I will sure be anxious to hear of your exciting adventures at sea and also at every port-of-call. Bon Voyage and drink up—both martinis and tea!!!!


  7. Tamiam Says:

    May you find the trip relaxing. Enjoy your adventure and your time together. Dont complain about the food or they might put you to work in the kitchen.

  8. Lori Says:

    My first thought while reading this post is “Life is Good”. Have a wonderful time!

  9. paula Says:

    Just read through the last year of your blog in one sitting, starting with Alsace, which holds an important spot in my life and family history. I do hope you publish this blog as a book someday, especially for your kids and grandkids. Every stunningly beautiful page should be preserved in a medium more permanent than the blogosphere. Wishing you both a memorable trip.

  10. Debra Lane Says:

    have a wonderful time!

  11. Rebecca Says:

    I agree with Lori’s sentiment-“Life is GOOD!”. I’m so heartened to know that you are doing fine and enjoying life. Have a wonderful voyage.

  12. Conni Says:

    Shel’s quote made m giggle. Have a great time and I would love to see you when you get back.

  13. Shel Hall Says:

    Actually, it was, more or less …

    Blue Shield guy: “Yes, you’ve been approved for hospice care.”

    Me: “I’m not going into hospice, I’m going cruising through the Panama Canal!”

    BSG: “I don’t think that’s covered by your plan.”


  14. Jeanne Says:

    I am so glad to hear the tea is working; I can picture the Chinese doctor nodding her approval with a quiet smile on her face! Have a wonderful time.

  15. Gigi Petery Says:

    Shel, let’s hope the next cruise will be covered by the health care reform. It’s medicine, right?

    Happy sailing to you both!

  16. Sue-On Hillman Says:

    Chinese herbal tea and “leap of faith”. What better medicine could there be? Bon voyage, faith, good health, fantastic martinis to you both:-)

  17. Nina L Says:

    So thrilled to hear the news.
    This time last year we came to Paris for a “last hurrah” . Today we are here again, Adrian is much stronger and we hope for more rich time together. When you have time I would love to hear more details of the ” brew” and how it was prescribed, but in the meantime have a wonderful trip.

  18. maryse Says:

    Un grand merci au thé chinois! Profitez à plein poumon de ce merveilleux voyage et de la chance de pouvoir réaliser ce rêve.

  19. geri Says:

    Congrats on the new ‘lease on life’ brew…wonderful news! Please send contact info or whereabouts of the chinese doc as I have cancer-battling friends in Seattle.
    Bon Voyage and looking forward to reading about your trip!

  20. shaya Says:

    I’ll be thinking of you as you take this new adventure together. I am so happy you are going to share this cruise.

  21. Kathy Says:

    Bon Voyage, Abra and Shel. Don’t be a slave to the blog but we are hoping to hear every detail. Smooth Sailing, K & J

  22. Della Says:

    Hope you have a most wonderful time together. So happy you are on your trip!

  23. Nancy Says:

    Bon voyage and bon chance! Here’s to living life to its fullest! Your attitudes and choices have brought you some wonderful opportunities. I look forward to reading about the adventures that arise from your latest leaps of faith.

  24. Jan Says:

    Don’t know how I missed this one…hope you are having a fabulous cruise!

  25. Abra Bennett Says:

    Thanks for all the good wishes, everybody. We’re currently sailing off the coast of Baja, and having a really good time.

    Nina-look for a doctor that specializes in “traditional Chinese medicine” and may you two have many more years together!

  26. Wendy Says:

    HA!! I literally just laughed out loud at Shel’s remark!!

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