travels into pregnancy

by teasugaradream
( January 13th, 2010 )

No, I’m not talking about me. But I am talking about one of my sisters! Due in March, with a baby girl, my sister Nancy, and her husband John, are about to embark on the biggest, most wonderful journey of their lives. As my sister commented on one of my previous blogs, a photographic journey of my shoes and feet, “If you saw my feet now you would notice the travels into pregnancy. They are huge!”

me and nancy (226 x 250)
me, and nancy approx 17 weeks pregnant

After she made this comment on my blog, I realized that Nancy has not really been the subject of any of my blogs thus far. Which is too bad, because after the first biggest fan of my blogging, my mother, Nancy is my second biggest fan. She tells me she reads each and every one of my stories, and has made comment after comment on many of them. Thanks, Sis, I appreciate that!

So now, this blog shall be about Nancy, in appreciation and love…

Nancy has done quite a bit of traveling in her life, and she and I have actually done a few excursions together. Our first ever travel experience was when we were both teenagers in high school. My mother sent us on a month-long trip to Europe, along with an organized group of several dozen other teenagers. For us, that was a great introduction to travel and to the world. Thanks, Mom!

matterhorn (156 x 250) brussels (205 x 250)
nancy and me at the matterhorn and in brussels (gotta love the 80’s hair)

Belize was a tropical destination that Nancy and I shared together when we were in our 20’s. Nothing like soaking up the sun together, getting some snorkeling in, exploring the history and ancient architecture of the country, and strangely even meeting a reggae band from Miami. “You better Belize it!”

And then there was the memorable trip to Italy that Nancy and I did with our mother.

I asked Nancy where else she has traveled. She responded, “I’ve also been to Columbia, Peru, Australia and France. And Canada and Mexico. And Thailand and Brazil. Oh, and Manhattan, Miami and Chicago; DC, West Virginia, Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, Washington, Boston. Ummmmm what else…”

nancy feet (250 x 188)
nancy’s foot in brazil, with a little lizard

My sister is also an open water rower. A skuller, since college, she has been rowing up a storm. Although not a professional, she has been in race after race, winning! It is very impressive to me – she is a small person, yet her strength is astounding! Locally while living in California, she has rowed across the Monterey Bay, all they way from Marina Del Rey to the Catalina Islands, and to every safe possible landmark in the San Francisco Bay. And whenever she travels anywhere, even abroad, she always tries to see if she can row there!

nancy row (300 x 143)
nancy rowing in sf bay

How she got the opportunity to row in Brazil is a humorous story that she loves to tell…

While in Rio, Nancy decided to scope out several local rowing clubs there to ask someone if she could row. One day, she took a walk around their lagoon to gather all the phone numbers of the clubs. Having no pen with her, she literally memorized three different phone numbers (probably not like the 10-digit numbers that we are used to either), quickly went back to her hotel so as to not lose the information, and tried to call a club or two. But, of course, no one spoke English, and Nancy did not speak Portuguese. She was afraid that she might miss the opportunity to row in Brazil.

nancy lagoon (300 x 193)
the lagoon in rio

Fortunately, she was traveling with a friend who happened to be from Brazil. She asked him to please take her down to one of the clubs so that he could ask them if she could row in their lagoon. While he was talking to a few people in Portuguese, Nancy noticed that they were all looking over at her very, very intently, whispering to each other. She ended up getting VIP treatment, was put in a boat right away, and was even asked to compete in a local regatta the following day.

Nancy began to wonder about all of this sudden and impressive attention that she was receiving. After all, all she wanted to do was go for a row. But the treatment she was getting was a bit out of the ordinary. She quickly found out why…

As she was getting in the boat to row around the lagoon, Nancy’s friend said to her, “You better not fall in. I just told them you were a professional rower from the United States!!”

“Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaat!” she exclaimed, as she pulled off from the dock in her hot pink Lululemon tank top and Bebe workout shorts. (Definitely not professional rower’s attire, to say the least.)

nancy beach (300 x 225)
a beach in thailand

When Nancy told me this story, she added, “This is just a funny story of the things you sometimes have to do to get things done in another country. But, in some ways it is actually part of the Brazilian culture to do things like that, too. Most likely they knew I wasn’t a professional rower, but they also got to tell a good story to their club-mates…We were visited by a professional rower from the US!”

As a parting thank you gift, Nancy donated a nice chunk of US dollars to the present coach. He was running a class at the time for disabled rowers. Hopefully it was enough to help them out…or at least so they could all have lunch and a beer!

So, my sister got to row in Brazil! I wonder how she backed out of the competition for the next day, though…?

nancy john (188 x 250)
nancy and john in brazil – a self portrait

Well, now my sister and her husband are off on their grand adventure! Through the nine months of her travels into pregnancy, Aunt Debby hopes that this journey, and the future with their baby girl, are filled with happiness, fun and love!

nancy baby (212 x 300)

Sweet Travels!

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