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Old 10-28-2018, 12:06 AM   #1561
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Saturday, October 13, 2018

Hi, this morning our ship arrived in Mainz, Germany. We had a nice breakfast before our tour of the day. Our tour started at 8:30 AM with a bus ride to Rudensheim. There we walked the town while waiting for our boat. On the MS Godesburg we cruised the Middle Rhine River. There it seemed like there was a castle every fifty feet. Not really, but there was one in almost every town. At the end of the boat ride we took another bus ride to the Marksburg Castle. This castle is 900 years old and located on a hill top. Due to the 93 steps up to the castle and many more strange shaped steps and or walk ways around this castle, it was not a recommended tour for the weak and handicapped people. It wasn't as bad as described; One of our blind men made the entire tour with out any problems. We were served lunch in the castle. They want to serve you beer or wine, but I don't drink. I asked for iced tea. They don't have iced tea so I asked for apple juice again. I don't know what I got . It wasn't beer. It might have been some kind of apple cider. Lee tasted it and couldn't tell what it was either. Lee asked for apple juice for me and this time we actually got apple juice. We had an empty space at our table where we put all of the un-known or rejected food items and blamed a fictitious character named John for leaving all of that stuff on the table and rapidly leaving without a word to anyone.

After the castle tour it was a long bus ride back to our ship. Our ship took off right after everyone was on board. Tonight's dinner was a surprise German meal and the crew dressed up in traditional costumes. We had an accordion player who also sang. Later a German woman came in the dining room with an Organ Grinder. [sorry, no monkey]

Once again due to low water levels in the rivers we have to change ships again. This will be our third river ship from Viking and our last until we reach our final destination in Amsterdam, Holland. Our original ship was supposed to be the Viking Gefjon, but we started out on the Viking Ve. Then we were transferred to our proper ship, the Viking Gefjon. Tomorrow we will be on the Viking Mimir. It's somewhat of an inconvenience, but we were forewarned that this could happen.

Well I have to help Lee with packing our bags again.
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Old 10-28-2018, 10:45 PM   #1562
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Sunday, October 14, 2018

Hi, well I was wrong yesterday when I said that our ship was sailing again; Actually we just swapped places with another Viking ship. They park or dock these ships side by side and sometimes you have to walk through one or two ships to get to your ship. Last night we had to walk through one ship to get to ours. They moved our ship next to the dock and the other one next to us. The other ship left in the morning and our ship stayed in Mainz. Once again due to low river levels we took a bus from Mainz to Cologne, Germany to board the Viking Mimir. Now tonight we are actually moving. We are headed for Holland. [This almost seems like a bus cruise rather than a boat cruise]

So today in Cologne we did another walking tour of the city including The Great Saint Martin's Church. It's huge and the attractions to me are the stained glass windows and the massive pipe organs. Once again I did not get to hear the pipe organs playing.

I bought a hat today; It was a nice simple one that says Germany on it. I'm happy.

We have met some really nice people on this ship/cruise and a few that we would rather not associate with. Oh well, we are not here to make friends, but rather to just have a good time. If we do make friends that is a bonus. After all it was our small fortune that we spent to take this cruise.

Ship wise, our first ship the "VE" was great. Our designated ship the "GEFJON" was not as clean, the crew wasn't in tune, and the captain/pilot parked by crash. And now on our third ship the "MIMIR" is up to par again. At this rate many people have expressed their opinion that they weren't happy with the ship that was supposed to do our entire cruise.
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Old 10-28-2018, 11:27 PM   #1563
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Monday, October 15, 2018

Hi, this morning our ship made it to Holland. On the way I spotted about three windmills. Our tour of the day was to Kinderdijk Windmills. These windmills are still working as water pumps. This is part of a water control system. Now they have three water pump control systems. The windmills basically work for free. If there is no wind they have a building with electric motors running water pumps. But if there is no wind and a power outage, they still need to get the water pumped. There is another building which has three huge diesel engines turning three huge water screws to pump the water. The idea is to pump the water in the least expensive way first, thus the windmills. We were able to actually go inside of a working windmill today. Huge wooden cog wheels run the whole thing. The turret as I call it rides on steel roller bearings. In this area there are nineteen windmills of which eight of them were built in 1738. The main body of these windmills are made with bricks.

This is the last night for us on the river cruise ship. Actually this is the last night of this cruise. We will be in Amsterdam in the morning where we [Bob and Lee] will stay for two nights. Most of the people will be taken to the airport and will be flying to their homes. We had our last dinner on the ship with our friends for Seattle, Washington Dave, Anne, and Allison so we had to say good bye.

[Note: on the last night on our ship I started to get a sore throat. It was getting worse on this ship because so many people were getting sick and there was no place for me to hide from them]
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Old 10-29-2018, 09:47 PM   #1564
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Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Hi, this morning our ship was docked in Amsterdam, Holland. We had our bags packed again, had breakfast with friends, and took a bus to our hotel. So many people on the bus were sick and coughing their brains out. I almost asked the bus driver to skip the hotel and drive us straight to the nearest hospital. I now have a sore throat and nose problems. This could cause a delay in my surgery and I'm not happy about that. Our hotel rooms weren't going to be ready for several hours so we took a walking tour of the town. Our tour ended in the museum area. Lee bought tickets for the Van Gogh museum so that was our first stop. Quite interesting especially for Lee. I told her to take her time to see and do whatever she wants because this will be our only chance.

After our museum tour we walked to find our canal boat. We walked the wrong way [a few miles] so we stopped for lunch. We should have only ordered one meal and shared it because it was way too much food for us. After our lunch we took a train ride to get to where our canal boat was waiting for us. We made it with only three minutes to spare. Like anything else, the canal boat tour was educational. And as usual, five minutes later I remember almost nothing. Next was a walk through Canal Street, AKA the Red Light District. Prostitutes sit on chairs in windows while waiting for a customer. They usually dress very sexy. Tonight it must have been too early because virtually all of the window chairs were empty. We did see one female in a window; We waved to her as we walked right past.

Now it was time to get back to our hotel and check into our room. We had to find our train number 12 and try to figure out where to get off. The room was ready and already paid for, but the desk clerk still needed more information about us. I know this room was very expensive [I don't remember how much] but this is a very nice room. Well we are in for the night and have a full day tomorrow to explore Amsterdam.
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Old 10-29-2018, 10:46 PM   #1565
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Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Hi, well we had a nice sleep in our Hotel Okura, in Amsterdam, Holland. Free breakfast in the morning was pretty good. Today we took the local train to the Rijksmuseum. This is a huge museum with art separated by centuries. We had a small lunch in their caf. Bread, tomato soup, and apple juice. This museum has several floors and can be confusing as to whether we missed something or not. Lee used the electronic devise to learn about the art and where it is located. There was one piece of art that Lee couldn't find. Well it was on loan to a museum in Tokyo, Japan. While thinking that we were going up to the next floor, we accidentally went out the exit. We missed the entire third floor. We were able to prove that we paid for entry and missed the third floor so they let us back in. The third floor part of the museum was only a half a wing so we actually missed very little, but who knows? The only thing of interest to me was an antique airplane

Back on the train to see Rembrandt's house. It had a wooden spiral staircase for all four levels. Speaking of floor levels, like in our hotel, the ground floor is "O" and the first floor up is "1" and so on. The first floor below zero is "-1" and so on.

Today we both got in trouble. Lee used her cell phone to take a picture in the art museum and it flashed. We both have taken pictures with our cell phones before, but never when it was dark enough to need a flash. Lee was shocked when her phone flashed and when the lady came running to tell her "No flash". We went into a hallway and figured out how to turn our cell phone flashes off. Now we were nervous about the flashes on our cameras. We didn't want to get in trouble again. My camera has to have the flash turned off in the menu. Lee's camera won't flash unless you flip up the flash unit. In Rembrandt's house there was a wooden press and I was curious if the screw was made out of wood since it looked like wood, but metal would work so much better. I touched the screw and it was wood and I was in trouble now.

Our 24 hour train pass was ticking away and it got us on the first train for our hotel, but it ran out before we were able to get on the second train so we had to buy new one hour passes. We went out on the town for dinner and found an Italian restaurant where we had pizza and spaghetti. Once again my drink was apple juice and Lee got water. They only serve water in little bottles. Both drinks came in little, about six ounce, bottles. Now with such little drinks, all of the smokers, and getting around by walking or riding bicycles, no wonder they are all skinny.

I'm feeling a little bit better today and we leave here early in the morning to get our flight from Amsterdam to Portland. We should be home by tomorrow.
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Old 10-30-2018, 10:34 PM   #1566
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Thursday, October 18, 2018

Hi, we had to get up early this morning to leave our hotel; It was too early to get another free breakfast from the dining room. We had our bags packed and ready to go. I went to the front desk to check out and we were all given a boxed breakfast. Most of it was good, but the little sandwiches were dry. Because I was now sick, Lee gave me her orange juice. Our bags were loaded on the bus and then we board for our last bus ride. We were taken to the Amsterdam airport. Now I may not have mentioned this before, but I carry seat cushion so I can take those long bus and airplane rides. A couple of hours on a bus and up to ten hours in an airplane gives me a pain in the @$$, really bad. I have one of those seat cushions that they sell at Costco. Even with my seat cushion, many hours of sitting kills me. I have a bad habit of forgetting my seat cushion on busses, airplanes, and airport waiting rooms. Then I have to go back and get it. The last time that I forgot it was after Lee and I were just about to enter the airplane. I told Lee that I forgot my seat cushion again and I was going to run back to my seat and get it. Now I was in trouble because they don't like you to go back into the waiting room to get something that you forgot. Then they want to ask you 18 security questions as to why you have get something else before boarding the airplane. The bad part was that I was dealing with three different airport employees and they all had a different idea on how I was to get my seat cushion and get past security again. One guy said go get it and come back through here. The lady said it was OK, but I had to leave my boarding pass with her. The third guy said that I couldn't go get it, but the other two said that I could. And he said that I had to into his line to get back in, but the other two said that I could go back in the way that I came out. And I couldn't go through the third guy because the lady had my boarding pass. What a mess. I told Lee that from now on when we travel I will tie a string to my seat cushion and the other end to one of my fingers so I never forget it again.

We had fun on the airplane as the stewardesses always seem to be attracted to me. [my fun personality] They kept coming down the isle and asking if you want this or that. I was wearing my headphones so I had a hard time hearing what they were saying. Each time that they asked me something I answered with "yes, I will have ice cream" We had some meals and most of it was good, but you guessed it, All of my drinks were apple juice. Well near the end of our flight, I finally did get some ice cream. I'm so easy to please.

Just as we were about to land in Portland babies started crying and my ears hurt like never before. Did we not pressurize the cabin properly? Or was this a symptom of my sickness? While waiting for our hotel shuttle to pick us up at the airport, and take us to my Lincoln, I felt the need to blow my nose and it sounded like a car backfired right next to me or a stick of dynamite just went off. Well since no-one else jumped, I determined that my sickness has gone all the way into my ears.

Unlike last time when we traveled from here, my Lincoln started right up. Last time it was so cold the my Lincoln was entirely covered with about a 1/4" of ice and my battery was so weak that it just barely started.

Finally we made it home and my surgery was to be in four days with me having three days to do a special home prep. I called the doctor's office to explain that I was too sick for surgery. It will now be done on November 14th, if all goes well. I also made an appointment to get medicated and over whatever I have.
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Old 11-02-2018, 10:33 PM   #1567
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Surgery November 5th.

Hi, my doctor prescribed ten days worth of doses of antibiotics; This would come to an end on the morning of November 2, 2018. I was concerned because I needed to get well for my surgery on November 14, 2018. I was called and asked if I was feeling well and would like to have my surgery on November 5, 2018. I said yes, and will be prepping for this in the next few days.
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Old 11-02-2018, 11:57 PM   #1568
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Good luck on your surgery Bob and hope you have a speedy recovery.
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Old 11-03-2018, 04:33 AM   #1569
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Yes, good luck with the surgery. Hope to be hearing from you shortly.
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Old 11-03-2018, 11:18 AM   #1570
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Bob,

Glad you made it home with your Costco cushion. We have also become cushion experts and find the Costco ones to be the best (although after about two years, they start showing signs of wear). Also glad that despite your frequent brushes with the authorities, you did not spend any time in the local jails. And seems you got into the US without problems. I wonder why they don't put wheels on those river boats?

Glad to have taken a trip with you and Lee. I hope you are well by now. I had to have a very minor procedure postponed because of getting shingles and taking an antiviral drug. I can't imagine why that is a problem, but doc's offices here are so bureaucratic they find it very easy to say no all the time. It appears my pain is a lot less than most people experience from shingles, but it still is not fun.

Gene
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Old 11-03-2018, 09:57 PM   #1571
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gene View Post
Bob,

Glad you made it home with your Costco cushion. We have also become cushion experts and find the Costco ones to be the best (although after about two years, they start showing signs of wear). Also glad that despite your frequent brushes with the authorities, you did not spend any time in the local jails. And seems you got into the US without problems. I wonder why they don't put wheels on those river boats?

Glad to have taken a trip with you and Lee. I hope you are well by now. I had to have a very minor procedure postponed because of getting shingles and taking an antiviral drug. I can't imagine why that is a problem, but doc's offices here are so bureaucratic they find it very easy to say no all the time. It appears my pain is a lot less than most people experience from shingles, but it still is not fun.

Gene
Hi, Gene; I have tried a few different seat cushions and so far the Costco one has been the best. More than four hours in my Lincoln and I need the cushion. With the cloth seats in my F-150, I haven't needed to use it, but I carry it with me just in case.

My shingles had a rash with tiny scabs, but no pain what-so-ever. And no infectious blisters either. Sounds like we both got off easy. For my surgery, they don't even want me to take my vitamins. I guess they are concerned about reactions when they turn my lights out.
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Old 11-07-2018, 11:45 PM   #1572
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Report on my surgery.

Quote:
Originally Posted by xrvr View Post
Yes, good luck with the surgery. Hope to be hearing from you shortly.
Hi, my surgery was on November 5th and predicted to take 2 1/2 to 4 1/2 hours according to my Doctor/Surgeon. Well my Surgeon told my wife that it only took forty five minutes. Two days later, I am back home again. I have four holes in my stomach instead of the predicted three. Now I'm on restriction for six weeks so that will take care of the rest of this year. I have a good wife taking care of me and a neighbor doing my yard work for me. I still have to wait for the test results of the removed tumor.
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Old 11-08-2018, 12:28 AM   #1573
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Great news Bob. Tell Lee not to pamper you too much, we wouldn't want you getting spoiled now.
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Old 11-08-2018, 04:31 AM   #1574
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Great news.! Slow and easy on the recovery.
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Old 11-09-2018, 06:58 PM   #1575
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I think he is already spoiled. Having met Lee, Bob is blessed.
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Old 11-09-2018, 08:31 PM   #1576
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gene View Post
I think he is already spoiled. Having met Lee, Bob is blessed.


Nope, he only smells spoiled once in a while...
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Old 11-17-2018, 01:26 AM   #1577
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Follow up visit.

Hi, today I had my follow up visit with my surgeon. The tumor that was removed had no cancer. Oncologist determined that no medications or further treatment was needed. But I will be having another CT scan in six months.

For the first three nights after coming home, I took one Advil PM per night and that's it. I was given something very strong, but decided that I didn't want to take them.

As for my stitches, my Doctor said that they will go away on their own. I thought that they might be removed today, but I was wrong.

Lee said that we will definitely travel with our trailer next year.
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Old 11-17-2018, 01:44 AM   #1578
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Glad to hear all went well Bob.
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Old 11-17-2018, 06:21 AM   #1579
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As someone going through the remaining sessions of Chemo for Stage 3 stomach cancer, you should feel very blessed dodging that bullet.

Very glad to hear all is well Bob.

Cheers
Sidekick Tony
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Old 11-17-2018, 06:38 AM   #1580
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Very good new for all!
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