It was going to be an exceptional cruise.

There were to be a lot of firsts on this one.

Most importantly my sister and brother in law were going to be with us for the first extended vacation we have ever had together.

We are close and do see them a lot, but it really was a dream trip for us to be together to experience the Meditteranean and the sights we would have seen.

It would have been our first trip aboard a SilverSea vessel. This is an exceptional cruise line and since last years Regent cruise I really have appreciated the smaller cruise ship concept.

It would have been our first time to Venice.

We have been to Tuscany, Florence, Rome, Sicily, and the Malfi Coast. This journey would really have rounded out the Italy experience.

But nature promises no bargains, and as each change in itinery was scheduled after over an hour of wait and conversation each time, we began to see the writing on the ash.

There were no more waitlists to be pursued, no more dreams to be hoped for, no more wishing for huge wind storms to dissipate the ash thrown up by the bubbling earth.

By mid afternoon Sunday, we are, or will be back at home.

My sister is already back.

Yes it would have been a memory creating 12 days, but we do look on a brighter side.

Airlines put safety before profit.

The death toll, as referenced in a previous blog, was very low in comparison to China now and Haiti a few short weeks ago.

We did not miss a wedding or a funeral as others may have: and it will not be our last opportunity to travel together

And we got to experience something other clients have had to go through in the past when delayed by severe weather and other events. It gives us an understanding of what they really go through.

There will be much greater personal and economic costs born by others. And we have yet to comprehend what health damage may be rendered to those living close to the eruptions, or even the rest of the world as the ash begins to circle the globe.

Let us hope that as the news followers move to the next big event, that the people left behind are able to resume normal lives in a productive and safe manner.