Sunday, April 29, 2018

it had nearly failed

Glum… the perfect word to describe another dreary “spring” day. We did have a few days of warmer weather, and even some sun on one or two of the days, but the spring showers to welcome May flowers have descended.

Good news though: my cold is mostly over leaving a slight cough. Bearable, and I feel like I can join the human race again. I even got myself out of the house for a trip into the city yesterday. A bit of shopping (scored some great sandals that will be good for cruising and also around the house this summer, assuming we get summer).

After all that shopping I even had to energy to have Trudie & Leo over for a last minute visit after supper.

In the past the trees have been close to bursting forth with leaves and flowers threaten to overwhelm the senses with their beauty and fragrance.  But this year, the trees barely have buds (there have been some years that we’ve thought for sure it would be an early green day), and the tulips are barely up with no signs of bloom. There is no sign of apple blossoms. The garlic is about 6 inches tall. Everything is delayed.

I slid open the camper slides yesterday - too many asian beetles and dead flies to deal with at the moment. I’ll drag the vacuum out the first warm day and get the place ship shape for our upcoming trip. The grey skies are like a curtain between winter and summer and seem impossible to shift.

3:45 Cheeks red, eyes watering and a bit of an earache… yes, I was just outside around the field for 5 minutes. The dogs didn’t mind, but the spitting rain and cold wind was not my idea of spring, has it forsaken us? Or have I been asleep for half a year?

With so many trees in the city, you could see the spring coming each day until a night of warm wind would bring it suddenly in one morning. Sometimes the heavy cold rains would beat it back so that it would seem that it would never come and that you were losing a season out of your life. This was the only truly sad time in Paris because it was unnatural. You expected to be sad in the fall. Part of you died each year when the leaves fell from the trees and their branches were bare against the wind and the cold, wintry light. But you knew there would always be the spring, as you knew the river would flow again after it was frozen. When the cold rains kept on and killed the spring, it was as though a young person had died for no reason.

In those days, though, the spring always came finally but it was frightening that it had nearly failed.”
― Ernest Hemingway

Monday, April 23, 2018

the proof is in the pudding

I made a terrible discovery today… I can make passable rice pudding in under 30 minutes using the instant pot. It isn’t nearly as good as the glop from Country Kitchen (I think it needs more cream for that), but it is a reasonable facsimile.

When I finally dragged myself out of bed yesterday for some supper I had a hankering for rice pudding. The creamy concoction seemed like it would perk me up and somehow make me feel better. But alas, I didn’t have the heart to send Carm out to the store and it didn’t occur to me that I could make my own. Not that I would have had the energy to anyway. But this morning I was feeling more capable and made a go of it. Now I have heaps (Carm is not a fan), luckily Grace likes it so she’ll help me finish it up… burp.

Today is a BEAUTIFUL day!!!! It was hot enough for me to drag one of the lounge chairs out of the barn and soak up some rays. Surely a bit of vitamin D will help me through my misery. Looking out the window it is almost impossible to reconcile that just one week ago we were fresh from the Caribbean, without power, and everything covered with a thick layer of ice. How could it be that one week later I was in a camisole with flip flops enjoying the sun. Crazy!

I was reading back in my blog that some years we have our first camp on May the first. Well, that isn’t going to happen this year. We haven’t even put the slides out for the inaugural washing of every surface to clear away the flies and asian beetles. Usually by now we would have at least one supper in the villetta, usually with a bottle of bubbles. I’d normally be itching to get out there, but this year I can’t even be bothered to put the lantern back. Maybe tomorrow I won’t be so wiped out by coughing.

I think that because I’ve been sick, and the ice storm with its power outage, I’m having trouble repositioning myself back into reality. Cruising is weird as we are living in an alternate reality. There is nothing about it that is like home and I feel that I’m in a bubble or perhaps a happy twilight zone. Coming home to an emergency state was another twilight zone, that one not so happy. And here I am, back at home in a regular way, but still I feel buffered with cotton wool. One of these days I’ll be back to reality, maybe tomorrow.

Then I’ll get the slides out and start preparing for our next adventure!

Carm has gone to the driving range in prep for his first golf day of 2018 tomorrow.

She turned to the sunlight
   And shook her yellow head,
And whispered to her neighbor:
   "Winter is dead.” “
~A.A. Milne

Saturday, April 21, 2018

thar she blow

A cup of green tea laced with sweet honey steeps in front of me. I hold a faint hope that it will soothe my throat and calm the wicked cough that is threatening to overcome me. I am exhausted: partly from being awake much of the night and partly from the cold meds I have been taking. It is day 9 and I’m ready to be well again… or at least let me sleep without hacking my lungs out.

Wednesday we visited our accountant to sign off on our taxes and then did a giant run through Costco. The fridge was pretty empty but no so anymore. So now I have the ingredients to cook and am just lacking the will. Well stocked freezer to the rescue! We ate frozen soup last night and I’ll pick out another variety for tonight. Add a kale salad and supper is ready.

Yesterday was ‘record store day’ or something to that effect. I was reminded of the first albums that I bought with my own money. It was in the supper of 1975 at the KMart at Portage & somewhere, in Winnipeg. I bought two albums and they couldn’t have been more different. 10cc How Dare You album was alternative rock, while the Partridge Family’s album was kiddy pop - I was never truly conventional.

The weather has turned! It actually looks like spring out there, although I haven’t even ventured the tip of my nose out yet (still in pjs). The sun is shining and it looks like the temp is rising up to 11C. Wowzers.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

photos from our trip

The map of the second leg of our trip. From Fort Lauderdale to Princess Cay (a private beach resort), to Falmouth Jamacia, to Grand Cayman, and finally to Cozumel Mexico before heading back to Fort Lauderdale where we had a boat tour of the canals.

Grand Cayman tour to turtle farm and hell.

Cozumel Mexico: tour of Mayan ruins, drive along coast, tour chocolate factory

Around the ship on the sea day. We toured the stage area and performers dressing room. The guy was on of 4 main singers and had a terrific voice. It is obvious that there isn't much to do around the ship as he seems to spend lots of time in the gym - look at those 'guns'!

We met Mary and Chuck on the first day of this leg of the cruise. They are an interesting couple from Colorado that we hit it off with. Shared political views, and of course they were both IT people made for interesting conversations... We met up for a few dinners and lunches - we find the cruise is made more special when we meet nice people.

Fort Lauderdale - the overcast sky matched our gloom at heading home. Little did we know then what we'd be coming home to! The drive from hell and then 2 days without power quickly brought us back to reality.

So long Regal Princess.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

a recap

Power is due on at 4pm this afternoon, but honestly we are in good shape for many days. We have wood for the fireplace, (which keeps the house toasty warm, especially in these just below freezing temps). We have lots of water for flushing as we collected gallons from the melting roof yesterday. We have lots of bottled water for drinking. We have a bathtub of clean water for dogs and dishes. We have a big water jug with more water for washing up.

I washed my hair with just a bowl of water.

The one thing we are missing is a way of cooking and making coffee. That will be remedied asap with a little butane burner. For now Carm is driving to the Tim Horton’s for the brown elixar and sundry other foods.

Our days at sea seem like a long time ago… the shock of going from being waited on hand and foot to the deprivation of power has ensured that we had no gentle transition.

I can barely even remember our last few days but I’ll try to remember bits, just for my own benefit.

Thursday was formal night (but I think I’ve covered that already). That was on our last port day: Cozumel, Mexico. I was full-on into a cold though and really didn’t feel like dressing up with stockings, etc., but I choked it up and got dressed anyway. I can’t remember what I ate for supper except that I had an extra entre of lobster tail! The people sitting at our table are just a blur - we met so many people over the 14 days that very few of them stand out.

We ate one night with John who we christened ‘Hat’ as he wore a cap at supper every night - and we thought that someone in his 80s should know better, along with his much younger wife Claire. One night it was 2 Canadian nurses, other nights: 3 Southern women with beautiful accents; a couple from Bowling Green, Rick and Carol - he was an insurance agent, she was quiet; Frankie and Herb from Texas - she was in the Voice of the Sea; Richard and Mary originall from New York city; Earl from Newfoundland; and many other people who have faded from my memory. It was a scrambler of dinner companions.

We met up with Chuck and Mary for supper again on Saturday. They are a fun couple from Colorado that we met in the piazza one afternoon. Our political views aligned, and they are also both from the IT world so we had lots in common. They are also dog lovers so could understand how much we were missing our pooches (and Grace).

On the sea day we slept in, ate breakfast, shopped, went on a tour of the theatre, had a 3 course lunch, had a rest in our cabin, listened to some classical music in the piazza, and then ate another 3 course supper.

I had so many fantastic meals that I can’t even remember much of what we ate… the highlight may have been the creme brule, or maybe the scallops, or maybe all the shrimp, or perhaps the beef. The lamb curry was good, as was the angel hair pasta wrapped in roasted eggplant. The veal stuffed ravioli in a cream sauce topped with melted cheese was delish. So much good food that I had to let out a belt buckle on my jeans, and my legs felt like sausages in the tight denim. The news on the scale this morning was not good - I managed to gain 5lbs, which I suppose is not bad considering all the eating :-0

Our next cruise is in Jan 2019 and we are already looking at one in the Med for Nov 2019 - we just need to talk our lovely pet sitter into agreeing to another 2 weeks.

Photos to come in another post tomorrow.

Monday, April 16, 2018

home sweet home

Home. Ice storm and power outages have welcomed us back. So long hot Caribbean sun, hello grey skies with falling ice.

We left the ship on Sunday at 8am, joining a land tour of Fort Lauderdale to kill some of the time to our 7:45 pm flight home. A tour guide narrated as we took a bus tour of part of the city. He took us to a tour boat that then traversed some of the areas 3000+ miles of canals. We sailed past homes that cost tens of millions of dollars, and some yachts that cost more. Wow. That is how the other half lives! Imagine paying 5 million for the house next door just to tear it down to put in a tennis court.

At the end of all that we ended up at the airport around 1 pm, lots of time to make our late flight.

We sat around in the pre-departure lounge till it was time to check-in. Hurry up through that process, to wait in the line for security (actually not a long wait). Hurry up to find a seat with a power outlet. Wait. Hurry up to find a seat closer to our gate. Wait. Hurry up to find a seat even closer. Wait. Flight delayed 1 ½ hours. Wait some more. Hurry up and get in the line to board. Wait. Board plane and get seated. Wait. Take off. Sit in seat for 3 ½ hours. Land. Hurrah!!! We made it to Ottawa (we had serious doubts that we’d get here). Hurry up to get off the plane. A bit more waiting. Get taxi. Drive over ice covered streets to my parents.

Actually, it was all well and good and mostly everything went as planned. I can hardly complain over the 12 hours when it would take us 30 hours to drive.

When we got to Mom & Dad’s, there was Mom outside in the ice, clearing our car. The ice was over ¼ inch thick and she had cleared off almost half of it. We were so grateful as it was late and we still had a dangerous drive home. I tried to get Carm to stay at my parents place but he was adament that we get home.

The drive home was trecherous. I don’t think we’ve ever driven roads as bad as they were last night. Sheets of ice covered the road. Carm took it easy (most of the trip was done well below 60 kmh, and a lot closer to 30), and we arrived home without incident.

As we turned into the laneway we both breathed a sigh of relief. We were home. The dogs were at the door to greet us, soon followed by Pat.

We got the suitcases into the house, talked for a bit with Pat and then collapsed into bed. But not before Carm walked into the door frame and split his forehead. Note to self: we need more bandages.

Our heads had barely hit the pillow when a chorus of beeping sent Carm into the living room. The UPSes were signaling a loss of power. Yes, you guessed it: power failure. I’m usually pretty miltant about getting water buckets and stuff set out, but I was too stunned last night to think about it…

Carm and Pat went out about 11:30 am to get coffee and lunch - I dozed on the sofa. I still have a cold (which is perhaps now worse after Sunday’s long day). After lunch I bundled up and started collecting water from the roof downspouts into a garbage can for toilet flushing and general washing. Luckily Pat had put some water in the bathtub so we have some clean water for dogs and dishes. I set up candles and lanterns for tonight, and only at 5pm did I sit down to write this blog post.

I think it will be a long night… oh, and thanks winter for the welcome home.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

to Hell in a hand basket

It wasn't actually a handbasket, but a small tourbus that brought us to Hell, Grand Cayman. There wasn't much more than a post office, gas station, and little souvineer store but we can say we've been to Hell.

Speaking of hell... I'm in my own personal one as I've come down with a cold... that's 4 cruises out of 4 that I've suffered. My immune system must be crappy. Is crusing for me? I might have to give it one more go. At least this time I packed cold meds.

Where was I? Oh yes, the Grand Cayman on Thursday. We took a tour that included a sea turtle farm, and I can't remember what else. It was formal night so even though I was starting to feel crappy I got dressed up again. It wouldn't have been so bad, but the shoes I have need stockings so I felt like an overstuffed sausage. My blingy necklace continues to attract compliments.

Yesterday we were in Cozumel, Mexico. Our tour went to a chocolate factory, Mayan ruins, and a quick stop at the Atlantic coast where the waves pounded the shore. It was intersting, but I felt like crap so didn't get much out of it. All I could think of was getting back to bed.

Today is a sea day. Carm brought me breakfast in bed and then he headed out to play some trivia. I lollygagged around, taking my time getting ready to face the day.

I thought of going back to bed to rest up for tomorrow's marathon day of getting home, but the theatre was having a tour and a meet and greet with some of the dancers and singers.

We had lunch with Mary & Chuck then headed to our room to pack for our long voyage HOME! I've had a fantastic time on this cruise, but am ready to see my pets and have a simple bowl of soup for supper - no more three or four course suppers till the next time. Some kind of fat-free vegan soup will be on our menu for many, many days/weeks/months...

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

another sea day and then to Jamacia

This is our fourth sea day so far (one more to go at the end of the week) and I'm pretty sure my travel pants will no longer fit. We've been eating and eating. Today we had lunch in the dining room: Thai Hot and Spicy soup, pasta carbonara, rice pudding. And that's just lunch. I'd already eaten breakfast: 1 small pancake, 1 egg, 2 slices bacon. And supper is still to come.

I think I wrote yesterday about the lovely beach. After posting my blog we drifted around the ship stopping to watch some music in a few places. Up on the deck for hip hop / Caribbean music, downstairs in the piazza for some steel drums. If you are adverse to loud music a cruise is not the place to be! Unless you want to hole up in your cabin.

We met some nice people for supper in the dining room, including two women from Canada. After supper we went to the theatre for a hilarious performance by a comedian, another Canadian. After the show we found chairs in the piazza to watch the dancing. It is all good fun.

Today we staked out some chairs by the pool and took turns getting our breakfast. The two chairs next to ours were already laden with towels and books, but the people didn't turn out for 2 1/2 hours... they  gave us heck for stealing chairs, but we pointed out that there were no towels on it, and anyway, it is against the rules to chair hog. This chair thing is very frustrating.

Supper was wonderful. We sat with another group of people, including one old guy who 'held forth' for much of the meal. He was a character... but it would have been nice to hear from a few of the other people :-/ At least he wasn't talking racist sh($.

It was formal night - Carm looked dashing in his suit and I looked okay in my grey dress. There were many more people dressed up than on our last cruise which had more young families.

The show was fantastic. We'd seen it last week and honestly, could watch it every week. We sat with Mary & Chuck, a couple from Colorado that we'd met the day before. We continued our conversation in Crooners after the show.

Well... all that above was yesterday. We got caught up in activities and I never did post it.

Today we woke up in Jamacia with the weather hot and sunny. I feel slightly guilty to be having such great weather when back home it is still winter. I'm just hoping that the cold weather is keeping the dogs from giving Pat trouble when she lets them outside!

We didn't have an excursion planned but got off the boat to wander around the dock area. Lots of souveenir shops full of junk and not much else. I did find another 'shift' to wear as a bathing suit cover-up and for lounging around our room. One isn't enough as it gets wet from the pool and isn't usable for the rest of the day, especially in our icy room.

After our sojourn outside we re-boarded the boat and headed to the pool. Lots of deck chairs today. We sat next to a lady who had just heard that her sister had passed away unexpectedly. I shed a few tears for her.

We had lunch at Alfredo's again - a delish pasta dish with veal ravioli and of course tiramaso for dessert.

My jeans are getting tighter...

Monday, April 9, 2018

Princess Cay again

We are enjoying another day at the beach in the Bahamas. Princess Cay is a private resort with sun, sea, and sand. We snagged a seat in the sun again (just barely), and spent a few hours swimming and relaxing on our loungers. And slathering ourselves with sunscreen. So far (touch wood), we haven't burnt ourselves which is no mean feat in the blazing sun.

Yesterday we were back in Fort Lauderdale, the end of the last 7 day cruise and the beginning of our last 7 days. Carm got up early and did a load of laundry, we went through customs, and then hung around the ship, moving from one entertainment area to the next.

They have a great show for sail away with the Princess dancers but with showers on the horizon they moved it to the inside Piazza. We were there a few minutes early and got seats right on the edge of the dance floor - we could have reached out and touched the dancers.

I did 27 flights of stairs yesterday.

With a new cruise came new people at dinner. Some of the ladies at our table had a deep south accent which was fun to listen to.

Politics... we've been avoiding the topic and certainly don't bring it up ourselves but there have been a few people who have something to say.

A few nights ago we had another formal night - I wore my blingy necklace and got lots of compliments. I've been dressing up for supper every night and I'll have to say that it is fun. It is such a big change from my usual jeans and tshirts, but the setting is perfect for dress-up.

Time for a nap to rest up for the rest of today's activities!

Friday, April 6, 2018

at sea again

Today is a sea day which is a day without a port stop and just the endless ocean around us. What it really is, is a day of moving from one eating event to the next...

We started with breakfast in the buffet. We seemed to have hit a busy time though as it was a zoo. We managed to find what we wanted (I usually have smoked salmon and some melon), but somehow some extras found their way onto my plate... burp.

After such piggery we decided to walk around before heading to our room where we lay like beached whales on the (comfortable) bed. Carm turned on MSNBC for some all Trump tv. I went for another walk. When I got back I saw on the schedule that there was a clearout sale down in the dining room. Carm joined me and we shopped, then walked. We sat in the piazza to listen to the piano player for a while, then the smell from Alfredos caught our attention.

In all our cruises so far we had never tried out this little Italian restaurant - today we changed that. The lunch was lovely and even included some mixed baby greens so I could feel virtuous (at least for a moment). We walked around some more then have come back to our cabin to watch some golf and so we could digest in prepareation for tonight's formal night in the dining room.

Next time I'll pack more elastic pants! And I'm wondering how I'll fit into my 'skinny' jeans for the trip home. I just may end up travelling in my bathing suit coverup :-/

Last night we ate at the Crown Grill, the ship's steakhouse. Oh my. Giant pieces of beef perfectly cooked. But first, I started with a fantastic prawn starter, and a 'black & blue' onion soup. Oh my, oh my.

The captain said it best when he said they treat dinner as an event. There is no rushing at the dining room (well not by us, the servers run their butts off). The tables are set with linen tablecloths, and silver flatwear shimmers on the white surface. The glasses are kept filled with ice water, and in fact I can hardly set a 1/2 filled glass down before it is filled again. There are always at least 3 courses, and if you choose a salad as well, 4. Thankfully the serving sizes are reasonable so we don't leave feeling totally gross and full.

After supper we attended another fantastic show. Princess is known for their entertainment and I'm not surprised, we've been to the theatre everynight and have not been disappointed. The shows are the highlight of our day.

Today we've avoided the pool, or at least I have. Carm went for a quick swim after his run this morning. He was the only one in the water, but even still, every single deck chair was already reserved with a towel, which is totally against the rules. When we walked past the pool on our way to breakfast the chairs were still mostly empty :-/

Oh well, it probably doesn't hurt to say out of the sun for a day, and luckily our balcony is on the shady side of the ship so we've been able to spend some time there.

Before I send this into the ether, I have to thank everyone for their lovely comments on my photo yesterday.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

our day in St. Martin

Carm was up bright and early to run on the track. I rolled over and went back to sleep... my legs are already rubber from stairs.

We had a nice dinner last night with the same people we ate with a few nights ago. Since it was a port day the dining room was fairly empty so we could have gone later, but we do like to make the 8pm show without having to rush. Carm and I both had a Pad Thai dish which was a bit disappointing - should have gone for the surf and turf but was feeling a little 'beefed' out (could that actually happen?)

After supper and the show (a pretty funny comedian), we changed shoes and went up to the Lido deck (that's the pool and buffet deck) where the Beatle Maniacs were playing. It was fun, energetic music. By 9:45 I was ready to chill on our balcony to watch our ship leave St. Thomas.

Lights twinkled on the houses perching up and down the hills, stars twinkled in the velvety sky. The air was warm and soft.

Today we woke up to blue skies again. We were already berthed in St. Martin/Marteen beside a smaller Holland America ship and the giant Allure of the Seas. We had a quick breakfast and then, slathered in sunscreen, walked off the ship into the town of Phillipsburg. We browsed the shops, sat in a few places for icy drinks, and then hot and sweaty walked back to the ship for a swim and a bit of quiet time (that's what I'm doing now).

One of the funny things we've seen are all these teenage girls taking selfies of themselves and each other in their bathing suits. I'm quite certain that if I were the mom I wouldn't want to see photos of my daughter plastered on the internet wearing the skimpiest of bathing suits. But I'm not young anymore so maybe I'm just jealous :-o

We have dinner reserved at the specialty dining room - a steak house that serves some of the best beef we've had (yes, more beef!!!!)

Photos from St. Thomas

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

first day at sea

I haven’t felt hungry for a few days, and I’ll have to say that I never imagined that I would miss that sensation. We move from breakfast to lunch to supper to bedtime snack… Not to complain though! I can barely think about the instant pot.

Yesterday was a sea day so we drifted from activity to activity, starting (of course) with breakfast. From there we attended a Cruise Critic meet and greet. The captain and all his senior staff were there to introduce themselves and answer questions. It was an intimate gathering with 30 or so people.

Pool time was next on the agenda… oh oh. I think all 800 kids that are on board were in the pool and all their parents were taking all the deck chairs. We cruised around and finally found a spot in the shade (we lucked out as the pool attendent had just removed towels from chairs that might have been saved by someone. We weren’t shy and jumped on the lounges. It was a pretty quick swim though - kids jumping in practically over my head drove me to dry land. We enjoyed our chairs for some good people watching.

I guess we drifted around the ship for the rest of the afternoon with a break for a nap. Then we headed to Crooners for an adult drink, thinking we’d take it to the piazza - NOT. The 800 kids had left the pool and were now gathered on the main floor of the piazza for crafts. Mayhem, that was best watched from the safety of the 3rd floor.

We sat with another group of people for supper, 8 at the table this time. Too many people for real conversation. Sometimes we are glad for that though as we’ve run across a few racist people - not our style.

It was dress-up night so we put on our finery and strutted around, me teetering in my silver heels. Carm looked dashing in his suit, and me, well, I was okay in my grey cocktail dress. I didn’t spill on myself, but I do have to remember not to order soup. The tremor in my hand had soup splashed all over the white linen tablecloth :-(  

The show was a big Dance production show and was up to Princess standards. It was very entertaining. The night before was Beatles Mania, another fantastic show.

We are having a good time, but we haven’t met anyone yet that we’ve really clicked with. Perhaps meeting Lana and Peter on our last cruise was a fluke and not the norm. We haven’t lost hope though!

Monday, April 2, 2018

anchors away

Princess Cays

Oh yeah! One of the best parts of cruising is the food. No cooking, no dishes, no cleanup for us. Instead we pull ourselves up to the table and place our order. Or if you don’t want to sit for 1 ½ hours you can visit the buffet with its miriad of choices.

Last night we sat with two older couples. It was intersting conversation about all the places they’d been and how many times they’d been around South America. One lady was in a band and a bit of a comedian.

I had a divine goat cheese souffle for a starter, then scallops with some vegetables for the main course. I can’t forget the strawberry thyme granatta between courses… desert was a simple creme carmel.

There will likely be ‘more of us’ by the time we roll off the ship.

Or maybe not. We’ll certainly have huge legs from walking up countless flights of stairs.

We hung around for sail away before supper. There was a band playing - it was really rocking up at the top of the ship, and not from waves.

After supper we hung around until it was time for the show to start. It was a production number called Sweet Soul Music and was very entertaining. The dancers were great and some of the singers, fantastic.

This morning we slept in and had a leisurely breakfast at the buffet. Then we slathered ourselves with sunscreen and crammed into our bathing suits for a trip to the beach. We were a little late getting going and I lamented that we’d never get loungers in the shade. Well, we were lucky and found two lonely chairs under the shade of a giant leafed tree. It was a good, deep shade. It wasn’t long before a group of ladies were hauling chairs to join us in the precious shadow. They were a fun bunch so we had a good time.

Twice we wet ourselves in the Carribean, bobbing in the coolish water and dragging our feet in the sugary sand. The water is a beautiful turquoise. Again, like last year, I wished I had a waterproof camera.

I bought a sarong from a little shop - it seemed like a great thing to wrap around myself when getting out of the shower or just lounging around the room. I’ll be able to use it at home too.

It’s 2pm now. We’ll hang around in the room for a bit, go for a walk around the ship, then dress up for supper. The show tonight is BeatleMania.

I miss all the pets, but they seem so far away - they barely exist in this strange dimension. I’m less stressed this trip, partially because I have FB messenger available and Pat is letting us know what is going on at home.


test with no photo

Sunday, April 1, 2018

hurry up and wait

Travelling is like stepping into another dimension. From the moment we loaded our suitcases into the car on Saturday morning it was a blur of hurry up and wait. It was clear that we’d left our home dimension and were now in an alternate dimension of hard seats, rushing, waiting, and discomfort. First line was to check our bag, then through the first level of security, then through security gates where I was chosen as the random passenger to step through the booth. Shuffle here, shuffle there, shuffle shuffle everywhere.

The flight was good but a little bumpy. For once I was glad to be a short person as we were crammed into narrow seats. The guy sitting next to me was well over 6’ and couldn’t stretch his legs out. The misery!!!

Once in Fort Lauderdale, we waited for an hour before the hotel shuttle showed up, and to make up for it the driver dropped Carm and another woman off at the giant wine store, while her husband and I were taken to the hotel. Wrangling 3 bags made me yearn for Carm’s bag to be a 4 wheeled model and not the old fashioned two wheel dragester. I managed though, but imagine that not one of the 100s of boy scouts in the hotel came to my rescue ;-)

The hotel was nice, but even though I was dirt tired, my brain would not slow down enough for me to sleep. I was unfortunately awake at 7am when the alarm went.

Now, we are in our stateroom, having gotten onto the ship at 11:30. We’ve walked around, had lunch in the dining room (medallions of beef tenderloin for me, salmon for Carm), had a swim, and are now waiting for muster. So far so good!