Final expenses, Baltic cruise...Final sailing day...Stockholm, Sweden photos...


Please see our final cruise expenses at the end of today's text. With the poor WiFi connection, I wasn't able to move the expenses box to be contained within the text or load captions due to the poor signal.  Please excuse the inconvenience.

The cruise is winding down.  Tomorrow morning we disembark in Amsterdam to take a taxi to the airport and fly to Exeter, England where we'll pick up a car and drive for approximately two hours until we arrive at our next holiday rental in Falmouth, England.



It's wonderful knowing this cruise is ending only to result in our starting our next adventure for two months in England, staying in what appears to be four unique and exciting country cottages.



Once we began our travels I had a vision of living in a stone cottage in the English countryside and now this dream will be fulfilled.  For us, it's always the "simple life" that brings the greatest pleasure and purpose of our world travels.



Today is our last full day at sea and the ship is a flurry of activity with passengers booking new cruises, meeting up with others they've met along the way and reminiscing about the experiences of the past almost 12 days and nights.



Last night, once again we had dinner with our favorite little group including American partners Fred and Larry and British mother Deborah and adult son James. The conversation and laughter are neverending with this six-person group and thus we booked a special table with our favorite waiter for tonight's final dinner at 7:45.



Last night we stayed up late once again watching passengers dancing to a variety of "oldies" in the Centrum.  It was the first time in my life, I couldn't participate in the lively dancing.  Tom and I love dancing together, especially to "oldies" of the right beat (to us anyway).




Trying not to feel sorry for myself I couldn't help but wonder if I'll ever be able to dance again.  Right now, it doesn't feel as if I could.  But, hopeful that I am, I'm now dreaming of the day when I'll have my strength back and be on steady legs.  Right now, my legs feel as if they're made of jello and it takes everything I have to keep from falling flat on my face.



I believe this is a result of the medications and the weaning process, tentative walking being listed as a major side effect while on the drugs and also while attempting to wean off of them, possibly lasting for many months.  



If I knew for sure that an end to the discomfort was in sight, it would be a lot easier.  But, like life itself, nothing is certain.  All we know is the moment we're living and how important it is to treasure it as it occurs.  It's challenging not to project into the future.



This morning I reduced the dose of the Bisoprolol in one more increment.  I'm now down about 70%.  I'll wait another four or five days until I attempt to reduce it again.



The most common side effects of the withdrawal of this beta blocker are increased heart rate and blood pressure, breathing issues, at times to dangerous levels and also coughing and painful walking.  I am monitoring these closely.  Once the body adjusts, for most people, the rates return to more "normal" levels and the pain eventually dissipates.



Before I started weaning off this drug, my pulse was in the 40s and 50s causing me to feel exhausted and short-winded.  Now, as I've reduced the dose, it's running between the 60s and 90s. My blood pressure is low.  We'll see how it goes.



Oh, I am sorry to go on and on about my health but, let's face it, it has a huge impact on our travels.  If we were living in a condo somewhere in a warm climate, I could easily have fallen into the trap of being the "perpetual patient" going back and forth to doctors to answer every question that comes to mind.



Now, I lean on reputable scientific research to guide me through this process.  I've read in many cases how many cardiologists have suggested their patients stop these drugs "cold turkey" while others warn patients to be hospitalized during the weaning process.  Go figure.

Medical information is misleading and doctors can have varying "opinions" on how to treat their patients, especially cardiologists.  I've chosen to go to the "middle ground" and try to work this out on my own.  




Of course, if anything untoward were to occur, we'd immediately seek medical attention.  Also, if my pulse or blood pressure rise too much, I always have the option to increase the dose short-term to get me through a bad spell and then try again a few days later.  Right now, I'm holding my own.

As the day quickly sails by (no pun intended), we find it hard to believe this cruise in over. We've already packed our bags, leaving out clothes to wear tonight and tomorrow.  Since our bags will be whisked away at 10:00 pm tonight, most likely, we'll wear the same outfits tomorrow that we've worn tonight.

Today's photos are those we took while in Stockholm, Sweden riding on the Hop-On, Hop-Off bus that we decided to try one more time.  With no rain this time, the photos were better.  

We were able to ride on the top deck without windows providing us with a clear view. It's not easy taking photos from a fast-moving bus, but we did our best and are delighted to share these with you today.

Most likely, we won't be able to prepare a full post tomorrow but we'll let you know we've arrived at our new holiday rental in the late afternoon. We'll be busy unpacking and washing clothes.  Hopefully, we'll have a few new photos to share!

Be well.  Be healthy.  Be happy.


ExpenseUS DollarEuro
Cruise Fare $          4,313.84                     3,894.36
Airfare -  $             385.00                   347.56
Hotel & Meals Amsterdam-$              440.00                    397.21      
Taxi  $             102.00                     92.08
Cabin Credit $              (150.00)                 (135.41)
Wi-Fi on ship $                227.40                    205.29
Gratuities $                520.00                    469.44  
Miscellaneous $                   82.00                      74.03
Tours $                 930.00                    839.57   
Total $             6850.24                  6184.12
Avg Daily Cost - 12 nights $              570.85                    515.24


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Photo from one year ago today, August 22, 2018:
While on safari in Chobe National Park in Botswana, we were excited to get a view of the leopard's face after waiting for a considerable period while Samson, our guide kept moving the vehicle for better shots.  Upon careful inspection of this photo, you can see the pads of the feet of her kill in the tree near her head.   For more photos, please click here.

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