Last week I met with Kate's teacher and went over the basic schedule and what kind of curriculum we're going to have for the kids. Since it's an educational cruise there will be lectures, reading, writing in journals. The field trips and outings are meant to be educational. In one stop our school will be hosted by the local 8th grade class who are intimately involved in the salmon hatchery and wildlife center, echoing some of the environmental curriculum (like hatching salmon eggs) that the ORCA students have done over the years. There's a lot we can cover in lessons and I feel really good about that aspect of the trip.
Of course, we can't spend all seven days doing nothing but school work and field trips. There will be chances for the kids to go shopping and buy souvenirs when we're off the ship but there's a lot for the kids to do on the ship, too. Apparently teens on cruise ships are well taken care of. There will be a couple of receptions/parties for the group on the ship plus the teachers plan to have a fitness "club", a walking "club", swimming groups. The ship itself has a Teen Center with a teen's only arcade and a dance club. There's also a basketball court that I know some of our boys will be eager to visit. There will be two formal dinners where the kids will get to dress up and try foods they have probably never seen before. Can't wait to see that, heh.
Anyway, the cruise isn't for another few weeks so in the meantime I've been puttering away at my to do list, knocking off minor things here and there as I have the opportunity. I put some spring flowers in the planters on the front porch, ordered some garden supplies and seedlings, replaced the cheap plastic handle on the powder room toilet with something in brushed nickel (which matches the toilet seat I replaced last year), put a medicine chest in the guest bathroom, bought a proper display shelf for some figurines I received as birthday gifts when I was a girl. Nothing important (except maybe the gardening order) but small things that let me feel like I'm accomplishing something. I have a few wish list items that I'm hoping to find, like a fire pit or a chiminea to add to the patio, and a new fixture for the kitchen that has a pull out faucet.
My parents are coming out for a visit at the end of May, when my brother graduates from medical school at OHSU. Kate and I will be back from the cruise for about two weeks before they come but I'm trying to get some cleaning, organizing, and rearranging done before the cruise so I don't feel too much pressure about the state of our affairs before they arrive.