Sunday, October 30, 2011

Lost Bag - Day 5

We flew Southwest Airlines from Seattle with a stop in Denver then on to Greenville, N.C.  Mike and I choose this airline because they are the only airline that allows you to check up to two 50lb. bags of oversized luggage each!  This was great since we are moving onto a boat and the more we bring with us, the less we'll have to buy on the East coast.  So, we packed our bags full and tight.  They weighed 50, 50.5, 48 and 44 pounds, exactly!!  We weighed them several times on a scale to make sure and we fought over a few of the items that we'd get to bring with us!  It's tuff moving out of a two bedroom 1000 square-foot house to 4 bags of luggage.  Then we added around a 40 lb. carry on suitcase our cat Nelly and 2 personal items, which were at least 10 lbs. adding up to almost 300 lbs. of luggage and this was 300 lbs. of our most expensive electronics, clothes, shoes, kitchen supplies and anything else you can imagine bringing along with you for a year living on a  32 ft. sailboat with one other this starting to sound like living on a deserted island and what one item would you bring along?!?

Once we arrived in Greenville, we met Mike's aunt and uncle who kindly picked us up at the airport and drove us out to their place in Asheville, N.C.  While we were waiting at baggage claim to gather all our 300 lbs. of luggage, we discovered that our 4th bag was missing.  I've never lost a bag on the airline before, ugh, I thought, "what are we going to do now?" and "is the cost of our bag going to be covered?" and "we don't have an address anymore for our bag to be sent to in case it is found!".

Luckily, the lady working at Southwest was very helpful and started a lost baggage report for us.  She asked us what identifying items we had in the bag to identify it if it turned up.  I said "clothes", duh, what kind of response is that??  But actually this was the bag that had ALL our clothes in it.....that is ALL MY CLOTHES!  Crap.  Luckily i have a couple items in another bag, but we are moving for a year onto a boat and I have practically NO CLOTHES besides my Helly Hansen foul weather gear from the Chehalis outlet!!

Today is day 5, this is an important day for people who have had their luggage lost on an airline.  This is the day you can fill out a Lost Baggage Report!  Well, I received a call today that an unidentified bag has been found in Denver with some of the items I had described and that they would be shipping it to Charleston tonight.  Looks like I'm going to be waiting one more day before that lost baggage report.  Hopefully my bag will be returned before we leave the Charleston marina, which is now scheduled for tuesday.  On a good note, we did do some research and discovered that Southwest covers up to $3,300 in lost baggage replacement costs!  I'm thinking to myself now, "I wouldn't mind sacrificing all my clothes for $3,300!".

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Traveling with a Feline

Nelly - that's our cat, cuddly, soft, friendly, and cute.  Well, that's what we thought until we took her into the vet to get her rabies shots before our trip to the Bahamas.  Yes, we are taking our cat on the boat - which may or may not be a good idea.  We'll find out!  So back to the vets office, she completely morphed from her sweet docile self into a wild animal looking for blood, which she did get by the way.

Our first mistake was trying to cram her into a friends travel case, which was obviously used and smelled of cat.  She hissed, scratched and bit as we unsympathetically tried to cram her into this cage with no avail.  Second mistake was bringing this same cage into the vet with us where she began her transition into an evil blankety blank.  We received a 20 minute lecture from the vet on how cats are just animals and not always adaptable to change and that it was not a good idea to bring her on the boat with us, let alone travel on the plane with her. He told us that even tranquilizers were not recommend.  Alcohol was the analogy used for the affect of tranquilizers on a cat, you never know what your gonna get.  Sometimes you get a fun drunk, other times you get a crazy mean drunk.  No buddy wants a crazy mean cat. They're sharp!!! - not a good vision after seeing her held down today in two fish nets with the vet wearing falconry gloves. We opted out of the tranquilizers.

So, what did we do?  We informed him that we were flying out at 6am the next morning and had no choice but to take her along.  This is how we survived the trip, if you ever run into this problem yourself:

Step1: Buy a brand new cage
Step 2: Spend $50 on herbal cat anxiety remedies
Step 3: Feed your cat tuna in the cage

Amazingly, this worked and she turned back into her happy self and slept the whole trip to Asheville, North Carolina.

Lesson of the day: Never try to stick a cat in a used travel carrier!!!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


We returned from our Panama honeymoon homeless and I never knew homelessness could be so good.  If you have to do it, I recommend the following steps:
  1. Meet John and Dorothy Parkin my Boss and his wife and a couple of the kindest people around. 
  2. Move into John and Dorothy's downstairs bedroom, complete with full kitchen, bathroom, and living room.  (We were not the first and surely will not be the last.)
  3. Enjoy!!
Sara and I moved in with the Parkin's shortly after we returned from Panama for our last two weeks of work before we set sail on the Tanqueray.  Life couldn't be any better!  It was like being in high school again at the age of thirty with great wine.  What a family we stumbled into! Our typical evening would consist of returning home from work to a kitchen filled with the wonderful smells of Dorothy's dinner, as dinner approached John would depart down to the cellar and bring out a prized bottle or two of Shiraz.   We would then sit down and attempt to devour the feast set out before us.  A difficult task and one that led to many food comas. 

Thank you John and Dorothy for making homelessness so pleasurable, we look forward to moving back in when we return!! 

By, Michael Daubenberger

Thursday, October 20, 2011


Panama City skyline from Casco Viejo viewpoint
Pre-honeymoon:  We spent 2 + weeks in Panama for our pre-honeymoon adventure.  Flying into Panama City, which has a skyline like Miami and spent the day touring Casco Viejo, the old section of town.  It was nice to get away after going through a week of wedding mayhem prior to our wedding.  This not only included last minute wedding plans (who would have known that would happen with a year and a half to plan the wedding), but we both had wrapped up our jobs for the year and moved out of our house and rented it.  So we were officially Homeless one week before we tied the knot!
Our bungalow on Isla Bastamientos

The next day, we flew out of Panama City and into Bocas Del Toro where we spent the remainder of our time.  Bocas is a Caribbean island paradise, where all the houses and restaurants overhang the water on stilts.  We spent the first 4 days on this island and then took a 40 minute boat ride out to Isla Bastamientos to our private overwater eco-bungalow.  This was a picturesque location, but there was not much to do besides relax, swim, read, walk, kayak and get eaten alive by bugs.  After 3 full days on the island we began to go a little stir crazy and had to re-evaluate how we spent our time and slow things down a bit.  After this mental awareness of having no way out and 4 more days to go, we made the best of our time here.  It's hard to explain how you can get stir crazy in such a beautiful place, but it happened!  We even found out the Survivor had been filmed on this very island.  Hmmm, stir crazy in 3 days, what' boat life for a year going to be like??!

Ceviche - a popular Panamanian dish

Monday, October 10, 2011

Our Wedding

September 17, 2011 - Sundborg-Daubenberger Wedding
Fort Worden Park, Port Townsend, WA

"WHEW", was our first thought after the ceremony!  It was not just the wedding nerves, but the whole wedding week leading up to this BIG DAY!!  A bit stressful, but lots of fun and definitely worth it!  Plus a great party with practically our WHOLE EXTENDED FAMILIES and ALL our FRIENDS in attendance!!  The ceremony was a spectacular event, officiated by Barbara Bleakley, who did an amazing job and spent so much time with us to prepare.  Thank you Barb!  Everyone chipped in with this wedding celebration.  The flowers were grown all year long by Mike's mother, Mary.

The stacked vases were made by Hillary Metzger and the table bouquets were put together by Joan Reijnen.  The Alaskan salmon was caught by my sister, Stacy, and all individually filleted (150 lbs.)!  Many of the appetizers were home-made by friends and family (Jana Fili, Anna Abatzaglou, Kelli Sundborg).  The music was d.j.ed by Chris Marin, who also helped with all the sound systems in the ceremony, which was powered by solar panels!  All the china plates were hand collected by my mom and mike's mom and ourselves!!  My sister, Susy, performed a beautiful song that she wrote for us in the ceremony and my cousin Mackenzie Sundborg and our friend Arendt Speser gave the readings in the ceremony.  Also, thank you to Janette Force, for at the reception and keeping everything on a schedule!  And a final thanks to Mike's neighbor and close friend Dean Lebens for building the arbor used at the ceremony and BBQing all the salmon for the reception!  Of course there's lots more thanks to be made, but I don't want to bore the readers much longer.  So, the ceremony was flawless, the reception priceless, the company great, the drinks unlimited, the dancing never-ending, the food to die for and the ending perfect!  The celebration was closed down by the Port Townsend sheriff himself along with the fire trucks and ambulance!!!  Apparently, a fog machine on the dance floor was not such a good idea after all :)  No one was arrested and everyone went there merry ways, with more booze than could be drank.  Thanks to everyone for your support and involvement in this special day of ours!