Amber and I have so much to catch you up on, we decided to hunker down in this CABIN MANSION we happen to suddenly be staying in and write half a post before more unexpected events occur.
First off, let me try and express our surroundings to you in mere words. I’m sitting in a cozy plaid armchair in the living room of a 100% pine (not exaggerating here, floor, walls, ceiling, cabinets, the inside of my eyelids) three story cabin with a hot tub on one of the decks which overlooks practically the entire state of Tennessee. And considering the number of miraculous and absurd events that have taken place since we began this journey five days ago, when I look up and see a rainbow glowing in the afternoon light of the Smoky Mountains, it seems almost…normal.
I’m certainly not trying to imply that everything has been easy. Far from it. The Taco Yacht hails from 1971, so of course we were expecting a few mechanical problems along the way, but two weeks before setting sail, the engine blew a head gasket. For a brief and terrifying time we thought the trip was a bust, but some magnificent captaining got her back in action just in time.
After that, we thought everything was going to be relatively smooth sailing, but then something happened that made us stop using nautical puns. Amber’s little brother Nik had been suffering from what seemed to be depression for a long time, and then less than a week before departure, she got a call that he had been misdiagnosed. Nik had a brain tumor and was going into emergency surgery. Amber and Rian drove to Sacramento in the middle of the night, arriving at Mercy San Juan Hospital just in time to get miraculous news from the surgeon: Everything went better than they thought possible. By the next day, he was awake and responsive, and just two days later, Nik was sitting up, making jokes, and eating full meals! Thanks to a skilled surgeon and a vigilant, courageous orderly named Chinwe, Nik is currently recuperating at home, only a little over a week after his life saving surgery.
The trip has been officially dedicated to Nik. Hopefully he’ll be well enough upon our return to join us in LA for the most triumphant 4th of July since 1776.
Truly, life is short. We know this, but we still get caught up in our little dramas, in our routines. We forget. We deprive ourselves. We waste hours on Facebook. In that vein, the Taco Yacht Pleasure Cruise has a very specific assignment: LIVE. We have all agreed that for the duration of this trip, we will eat the best food, drink the best beer and make the best (the worst) puns ever.
And if “truly living” means getting stranded just outside of Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee for a week, so be it. A full update is coming your way tonight. Until then, hopefully this will keep you satiated: