The Traveling Steve's

Springing Forward to March and Traveling Again!

Wow – it’s nearly Spring, and this past weekend was Daylight Savings time here in Florida and most of the US. It’s nice having an extra hour of daylight, and it seems to bring neighbors and others outdoors for evening walks, socializing, barbecues, sports and a feel winter is behind us. Not that the winter bothers us as much in Florida as the colder parts of the US, but it’s still a pleasant time of the year in Florida, before it gets too hot like in the Summer months. We even made it to Church on Sunday morning despite losing an hour’s time!

I haven’t posted in a while, but we’ve been quite busy with doctor’s appointments, labs, outpatient Physical Therapy (PT) for me, and now getting ready for our upcoming trip to Australia, New Zealand, and an outbound flight and 3 day layover to Doha, Qatar. More about that in a minute; quick update on my health.

I have been going to outpatient PT twice a week for a month now, and can really tell a difference in my mobility since I was released from the hospital and inpatient rehab at the beginning of February. What a difference a month makes! I supplement my PT therapy sessions with the recommended exercises at home, although last weekend I over-did it a bit with a more strenuous home exercise routine with heavier ankle weights, which caused my knees to swell and caused me to stiffen up and caused pain when I walked, or even when I was seated for that matter. My PT trainer told me to temporarily stop the ankle weights and to ice the knee, which really helped, and a couple days later I was mostly back to normal. I guess I was trying to up the ante in exercise in preparation for our big trip next week.

I also started home therapy for sleeping with a CPAP machine. While I was in the hospital, they did a sleep test, which determined I had severe sleep apnea, so I’m now tied to this machine at night. I’ve been using it for a week now, and I can really tell a difference in my sleep (I don’t wake up as much as I did in the middle of the night) and I feel more rested in the daytime. The mask doesn’t bother me, but I’m still getting used to the long hose, which gets in my way a bit if I move around in the bed or turn over. All in all, I’m pleased with my Reserve Unit. I plan on taking it to Australia next week as it comes with a laptop-like case I can carry on the plane, although at some point I will probably get a much smaller unit for travel.

Yes, ready or not, we are finally “a go” for Australia! While I’m walking ok, I’m still not good for walking long distances, so I wish we had another month or so before we leave, but maybe this will be therapeutic walking around so much. Steve (DOS) bought me a “transit wheelchair” for the trip, (seen to there right in this photo with all our other luggage!) so I can use that if necessary on long days where I might need it.

On this trip we will be flying Qatar Airways to Doha, and spending 3 nights there as a layover from the long trip, as well as to see the country, which we’ve never been to before. We’re taking Qatar Airways as it’s supposed to have the best Business Class of any airline, and even better than most First Class cabins, which are quickly becoming a thing of the past as Business Class cabins are so much better these days.

This evening, Steve (DOS) and I are staying at the Orlando Airport Hyatt Regency, as we have an “early” flight in the morning to Houston. While the flight doesn’t leave until 10:37am, (via Charlotte), it’s always nice to check-in to an airport hotel, in this case one of our favorite Hyatt Airport hotels, and relax a bit before the rush of the flight in the morning. It effectively puts us in immediate vacation mode as it forces us to be ready for the trip. Our driver picked us up at 2:30pm, so we didn’t have to leave our car at the airport for six weeks.

We’ve used this limo company several times, and we had the same driver from our Singapore trip from November/January. We were even served Fiji water; very classy!

We have a nice runway view at the Hyatt MCO Airport, and had dinner this evening at McCoy’s Restaurant in the hotel. Right now I’m having a nightcap in the adjacent lounge, writing this up before heading to bed.

We are flying to Houston in the morning, as we are looking forward to flying Qatar Airways, which doesn’t fly into Orlando; only Miami in Florida. The flight times (evening) to Doha is much better out of Houston, as is the aircraft type, an Airbus 350-1000 with QSuites in Business Class, which is better than most airlines that still have “First Class”.

In Houston we will overnight at the Houston Airport Marriott, and then fly out to Doha on Thursday evening, so we are gradually breaking our trip into mini segments.

From Doha, we’ll then be flying to Melbourne, again on Qatar, and staying a week there. We are meeting our friends Ian and Rosemary for 4 nights of our stay in Melbourne, which will be great to see them again. I first met them on the P & O Fairstar way back in 1993 on my first visit to Australia, and we’ve stayed in touch since. They’ve been over to Orlando a few years back with their now-grown girls, and DOS got to meet them.

From Melbourne, we are going to Adelaide for three nights before going a 5 night repositioning cruise on P @ O to Perth. We will be sailing with our friends from Adelaide, Manuela and Jenny, who we’ve also know for a few years, and will also see them in Adelaide for dinner. Adelaide is the gateway to the Barossa Valley and other nearby wine regions, so we’re planning on taking a wine tour there. We just have to remind ourselves we can’t be bringing bottles of wine back on the plane!

We’ll be staying in Perth for 3 nights and touring around a bit and meeting some of Manuela’s friends there. I’ve only been to Perth once, and DOS and I have never been there together (actually this is our first trip to Australia together, although he’s been before me met), and I really loved Perth and the Margaret River region south of Perth. One of our port stops on the ship is for Margaret River, and we’re looking to doing a wine tour there as well. Can you see a vino pattern here? LOL!

After Perth we will be flying to Sydney and staying four days, from where will be sailing on a 9 night Princess cruise to New Zealand visiting a few ports there, ending in Auckland. We will then stay in Aukland for 4 nights, and then fly back to the US on Air New Zealand, via Houston.

So that is the plan anyway! Hope we don’t have any health issues the Alaska tip of 2022, or this last year’s trip where we both caught the Dengue Fever cruising thru India.

So just doing a quick update and throwing our upcoming travel itinerary out there. So anyway that’s it for now. Good evening from the MCO Hyatt Regency Airport. Will post more along the way!

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