Wednesday, March 07, 2007

We're back!

I actually tried to post in Mexico, in Mazatlan, but I couldn't get the "new post" page to load. :)

Yes, we're back, and Mexico was wonderful. And warm. Did I mention warm? We had a wonderfully relaxing week and really enjoyed our time there. Quick summary:

--Saturday: left San Diego onboard the MS Oosterdam with Holland America
--Sunday: at sea; myriad of activities and making lots of new friends
--Monday: Cabo San Lucas; we wandered all over Cabo looking for a place to exchange money. This was a great experience and we saw a lot of the city. We finally went to a bank to exchange money and then to a grocery store. After that, we wandered the beach for awhile.
--Tuesday: Mazatlan; in Mazatlan we opted not to pay for one of the cruise ship excursions and instead created our own. So we took a taxi to a different pier and took a water taxi to Isla de la Piedra (Stone Island) with some of the locals. We walked a long way around the island and popped out on another beach. We wandered the beach for awhile, helped two guys put their boat into the water (thus using two of the few Spanish words I remember) and then went horseback riding on the beach and through part of the island. It was so beautiful.
--Wednesday: Puerto Vallarta; here we opted to do an excursion to go hiking in the Sierra Madre mountains. Interesting, but not nearly as beautiful as hiking in Alaska. The highlight of that excursion was the "tourist tree" or "gringo tree". This is a tree that has white bark which turns red in the sun--and then peels off!! :) :) :) That's my new official tree, even though I managed not to get sunburned this trip.
--Thursday and Friday were at sea and Saturday we arrived back in San Diego

The sea days were great and we participated in several activities on deck. Mark displayed his amazing skills at hole-in-one putting (he actually made 9 in a row!) and I displayed my lack of ping pong skills. :) The things I miss the most about being back home are the people, especially the crew. I miss seeing Agus every morning at breakfast, Vlajko taking lots of pictures of us, Jaya at our table at night, and the many other crew members we saw so often. They were so friendly and helpful--they really made the cruise a wonderful experience!

Update on adoption stuff:

Tonya, no we haven't heard anything about our dossier because it's still in the US. :) We're waiting on updates (still) and Kostya can't submit our dossier until he has them. On the note of updates, all we still need are our marriage license and our HS addendum (to reflect my job change). I picked up my employment letters today. I sent off to Texas for our marriage license before we left for Mexico. They needed to go to Ft Worth for the license, then to Austin for the apostille, then back to us. They skipped Austin. *sigh* So today I sent them to Austin to be apostilled, and hopefully we will have those back by the beginning of next week. Our HS addendum is coming along but she needed my employment letters before she could do what can I say? It's a process. :)

Ideally, we would have all of our documents by the middle of next week, take them to be apostilled (here in town--very convenient!), and send them to Kostya at the end of next week. Then MAYBE (that is a huge maybe--I should probably put it in 40 font) our dossier will be submitted by the end of this month. *sigh* I don't really know if that's a possibility--it's just wishful thinking on my end. I'll keep you posted.

And, on that note, congratulations to Beth and Steve whose dossier was submitted!! They're waiting to hear back from the SDA as to whether or not it's accepted, and I'm quite sure they're on pins and needles. Prayers for their dossier and their peace of mind are much appreciated! :)


Tonya said...

Okay! I'll just keep praying and checking on you! Your time is coming, sister:):):). I jsut know it!

Glad you guys had a great vacation!

Julie said...

Two things...

You mentioned something about a job change for you. Did you get a new job?

Are Beth and Steve adopting from Ukraine also?

Soooo happy for you and Mark that your trip was wonderful :)

Katie said...

Sounds like a fantastic vacation! I'm so glad you guys are able to take trips like that!!

I may do a spa night this weekend - for sure at least a pedicure at a local salon (I know the owner). It's a great idea! Chocolates for sure, too! :)

Praying for you both - I can't wait to see you posting news about an upcoming trip to Ukraine! :D

Mark and Courtney said...

I only sort of got a new job. :) I worked for my company as a contract chemist from Sept 05 to Dec 06, and was hired on as a permanent employee in Jan 07. Technically it is a job change, even though I'm working in the same job for the same company. I also got a raise, so my salary on my employment letter is different than the HS, which is why we need the addendum. :)

Beth and Steve are also adopting from Ukraine, but they are hoping to adopt older children (they are experienced parents ;) ). Beth, can I link to your blog?

mark olmsted said...

What Courtney failed to mention is that although her so called "lack of skill" was demonstrated in ping pong, she played longer into the tournament than I did. Thankfully we didn't play each other or she may have beaten me as well. The trip was absolutely wonderful and it was great to just get away and relax together.

Mark and Courtney said...

I didn't want to rub it in. ;) I just got lucky with who I played.