Monday, July 24, 2017

Checking Things Off An Invisible List

Today I actually got a few things accomplished. I did get the den and kitchen picked up and looking like non-slobs live here. I did get our room booked for next February during Princess Race Weekend. I did get some flights re-booked so we won't be getting in close to midnight (or have to leave at the butt-crack of dawn). I did make a Costco run with Molly and picked up a few things in an effort to eat sensibly this week. I did text a few friends to check in with them. I even relaxed in the bed and watched the live-action "Beauty and the Beast" that I hadn't seen. Watched it all the way through without interruption. Now that's a task completed!

Of course that only leaves the sixty-eleven-million things that still need to get done. And no, I didn't make a list. I need something left to accomplish tomorrow ...
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Today's blessings include; Molly making breakfasts for the week; Costco-ing with Molly; checking in with Nancy and Pam; finding a cleaning wipe for MH's shirt; chatting with Dani at DVC and her great help; getting the car seats back in MB's van without melting in the heat; photos and texts from the Westward vacationers and baby E's fever going down; chatting with the Dominos Dude who delivered my pasta


Saturday, July 22, 2017

Past, Present, and Future

Molly and I headed to the Y this morning for some working out. We started on the treadmill, since it's too hot outside for wimpy woggers to get out. Molly stopped halfway to get on the torture machine known as the elliptical (which requires more coordination than I can contemplate right now). Once we were both done, we hopped on the bikes (not to be confused with "cycling") for a bit. And of course, once we were completely done, we headed to Noshville for breakfast. We needed to replace all those calories we burned!!

Molly agreed to make healthy breakfasts for us to eat this week, so we then went to Kroger to get ingredients. She makes individual quiches and hashbrown casseroles so that we just have to heat them up. Hey - at least we are trying to eat smart. By the time we were finished there, it was about 925 degrees outside, so I dropped her off at her house and then headed to mine. We both agreed that it was time for a shower and a nap.

Maribeth's minivan is at my house since I took them to the airport, so I decided to take it for a cleaning (with two little girls, it has a tendency to get a bit gross). Once I did that and returned home, I decided to sit around and stare at all the other stuff that needs doing.

My friend Cheryl then called and said that she and her nephew Todd would be coming by soon to pick up the trampoline that I took apart last week. Here's the story behind that ...

A long time ago, I taught a student named Camille. She was the ideal student, one of God's blessings. She was well behaved, well mannered, and very kind and sweet. Her mom is Cheryl. Camille easily passed from my class and I didn't hear from her until I found her attending the same high school as Sam (he was a few grades ahead). After she graduated, I really didn't hear from her until Facebook started up, I joined it, and we reconnected. Through her, Cheryl also reconnected, and we all bonded over our mutual love of all things Disney.

Now, back to the past. A few years after Camille was in my class, her cousin Todd was in my class. He was a little guy and pretty much the same kind of student as Camille. I really didn't stay in touch with him, except through Camille and Cheryl via their facebook pages. I was surprised to see that what a man little Todd had grown up to be. I facebook stalked him and saw photos of his wedding, and then photos of the birth of his son.

A few weeks ago, Cheryl had stopped by the house and I asked her if maybe Todd and his wife would want want the trampoline for their son. She asked them, and Todd's wife said yes, and so today they had a chance to come by and get it. Todd got out of the car, and it was such a blessing to see him all grown up. We reminisced a bit about some teachers and we got the trampoline loaded. Once it was all bungie-corded in, Todd and Cheryl got in the truck and left, hopefully to reassemble the trampoline for more enjoyment by a little guy.

There are many moments in my teaching career than I regret. There are many things that I wished I had done better. But the thing I am most blessed by, even knowing that I really had very little to do with, is when I see former students who have grown up to be such wonderful adults (although the fact that they are grown adults has me wondering about how old I am). Today was one of those blessings. In fact, it is a double blessings, knowing Todd back then and now. It's an indication that there is indeed hope for the future - we just have to invest and believe in what we have in the present.

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Today's blessings include: Y and Noshville with Molly; photos from the gang on vacay out West; visiting with Todd and Cheryl and loading up the trampoline; finally getting a shower and a nap; getting MB's van cleaned and throwing away the nasty gross bottle from who knows when

Friday, July 21, 2017

Needles And Docs

Today was my usual blood-letting day at the Red Cross. I made an early appointment, and was thinking of changing it as I was running late this morning. Instead, I decided to forego the shower and head on down. And once I got there, I was glad I decided to do it early.

Last time one of the techs was one of my former students. Today the tech that checked me in, once she looked at my birth date, said that we were birthday twins. I would have asked for a twins photo, but since I hadn't showered, I decided that perhaps a bit of distance might be better.

The tech that actually administered the blood-letting was amazing. She slipped that needle right in without a problem. It was quite the difference from the dude across from me. He appeared to be his tech's first ever human patient. She had her supervisor with her, helping her. He was good about it, even when she had to maneuver the needle a bit. I was in his place once - my first-timer was not very good, and I was about to offer to put the needle in myself before her supervisor came to the rescue. But dude's new tech was good, and once her first was done, I'm sure all the ones to follow will be fine.

Anyhoo, once I was all done, I stopped by Starbucks for some "good for you" drinks. Molly, KB, and I had already started the morning at the Y (for kinda working out), so it had already been a busy morning. In other words, time for a nap.

I would like to say that the rest of the day was spent doing many things. I would always like to say that. But no. However, happy times ensued when I got the mail and saw these - our cruise documents for Alaska!! Less than a month to go before our big Alaska par-tay!  Guess I'd better start thinking about what I'm going to take. Since it's been about a billion degrees here lately, it's hard to think about packing anything more than shorts and t-shirts.

Anyhow, that was my Friday. Was I supposed to make a list for today?
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Today's blessings include: Y time with Molly and KB; meeting my birthday twin; super tech taking my blood; watching the new tech, her supervisor, and her patient; Starbucks treat; cruise docs


Thursday, July 20, 2017

Is It Thursday Already?

Waiting for Lindley
This morning started early since we left for the airport at 6:30. Sam and Lindley are flying to Kalispell to meet up with Maribeth, Everley, Emmatha, and PawPaw. Once I got back to the house, I decided that it was time for a nap - whatevs!

I had a massage at noon, which I have decided is a terrible time to go for a massage when the massage place in smack dab in the middle of a bunch of restaurants and everybody needs a parking place. I did manage to find a spot nearby, so I didn't have to add additional stress that needed to be worked out. An hour later I was back outside, headed to my car, feeling a little looser.

The rest of today was spent catching up a bit on this blog, cleaning off my desk, and deciding on what I needed to do next (yet doing none of it). Molly dropped off Taco Bell for dinner (always a bad choice) and then basically I called it a night. Tomorrow I'll make that list. And maybe even do a couple of things on it!
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Blessings today include: airport run for Sam and Lindley and their safe travel to Montana; Molly's new haircut and her bringing dinner by; massage by Brandie; catching up on blogs from the past week

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Camp LaLa - Day 3

With Everley already out West, my enrollment decreased by 50%. However, we still managed to have some fun. We decided to go swimming as soon as the pool opened at 10. However, once I got there, I realized that I had forgotten the sunscreen, so we only stayed about an hour. This time I didn't have to stand guard at the chain link fence - I actually got into the pool. I watched the water aerobics class, and swam around a bit and played with Lindley. Oh, and we went in the back entrance and scanned right through - winner!!

After the Y, we went back to the house, cleaned up, and then headed to Moo's office, which is apparently the fun place to be. She had already eaten lunch, so I left Lindley with Moo and headed to Sonic. I brought back drinks and a milkshake (I ate my corn dog on the way) and we hung around Moo's office for a bit. I'm not sure that I understand the draw of her office, but then again, I don't care for (a) trying on her shoes, or (b) drawing with markers on her dry-erase board, or (c) typing gibberish on her computer. So sue me!

Once we had exhausted all those activities, we headed back to the house. Lynnette came over for a bit and left, and then Sam picked Lindley up to go home and pack for their trip. They're spending the night at my house so I can get them to the airport early tomorrow morning.

Meanwhile, speaking of the trip, this is a photo of what's going on out there. As you can see, Danger Baby is in her element and has found her spot. Here's hoping she doesn't find the detonator caps ...
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Today's blessings include: swimming with Lindley and spending time at Moo's office; watching half of "Beauty and the Beast"; Sam bringing Baha Burrito for dinner

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Camp LaLa - Day 2

Today I went to Everley and Emmatha's house to pick them up because their parents had to get to work early. I was on duty to take Emmatha to school. The plan was that when I got to school, Lynnette and Lindley would meet us there, wait while I checked Emmatha in, and then Lindley would go to my house with Everley and me (my roller skate of a car will only hold 2 car seats in the back).

We got Emmatha handed off, and then spent the rest of the day as follows ...

Breakfast. Because sugar and chocolate are the building blocks of fun?

Park time. To run off all that sugar

LaLa's idea was to run to the top of the hill. Lindley, not LaLa.

Spending time at Moo's office.

And trying on Moo's office shoes.

Lunch with Moo and PawPaw and LaLa. Before a stop at Toys R Us.
There was also a handprint art project and some other random art projects. This evening, Maribeth, Emmatha, Everley, and PawPaw are headed west to Montana to begin the Westward Ho trip. Sam and Lindley will follow on Thursday. We loaded up the van and took the flyers to the airport, and then I took Lindley to her house. Just another fun day at Camp LaLa!!
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Today's blessings include: daycare dropoff for Emmatha; donuts, park, Puffy Muffin, Moo's office, and Toys R Us with Lindley and Everley; meeting porch dude with Lynnette; airport dropoff and Lindley's nap on the way home; safe travel to Montana for Maribeth, Everley, Emmatha, and Steve

Monday, July 17, 2017

Camp LaLa - Day 1

Lindley and Everley aren't going to camps this week, because they will be going out west with some of their parents and PawPaw (I opted out of this trip). So they will be staying with me until their departure days. Since Emmatha pays for daycare by the month, she will attend school as usual - Camp LaLa has an age restriction.

Lindley had a dentist appointment this morning, so she didn't come until later. Maribeth dropped Everley off on her way to take Emmatha (who was not pleased when she saw Everley get out of the car while she stayed in). Once we all were here, we decided to go swim at the Y. Of course, halfway there, I realized that I had left the towels on the couch at the house. No matter, since the Y we were headed to has decent towels at the front desk.

Once we arrived at the Y, I got Lindley's Y card number to add to my mobile Y app. Now I know this information may seem mundane to you, but it is very important when she (or Everley before I added her Y number) is with me for swimming, and I have to yell at the old dude at the back entrance for him to look up Lindley's name (imagine me yelling, "LINDLEY. L-I-N-D-L-E-Y. NO. N-D-L-E-Y. LINDLEY - and then repeat the same thing with Everley). With their numbers on my app, there is only scanning involved, and no actual saying/looking up/screaming spelling of names.

Anyhow, we get that business complete, grab some towels, and head to the pool. There we drag some lounge chairs into the shade (Lala does not like sun) and then head to the pool. There are two pools - the kiddie pool and the big pool. Lindley has passed her swim test and is fine with the big pool. While Everley can swim, she has not passed her swim test and is a bit unsure about the big pool unless she has on a swim vest. Of course each girl wants to stay in a separate pool. So LaLa stood by the chain link fence between the pools to keep an eye on each one. Yes, there are lifeguards, but I must know where they are in case of emergency. Any emergency. Well, any kind of LaLa emergency.


After a couple of breaks, we decided to return home for some mac and cheese and playing before their parents collected them and took them home. There was a moment of drama when I couldn't find my keys, but I had a feeling I had left them at the desk when I was getting the Y numbers. And sure enough, my keys were right where I left them! Not bad for a Monday!

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Today's blessings include: fun times at the pool; Lindley's good dentist visit; pizza and ice cream sandwiches at the pool

Sunday, July 16, 2017

The Day After ...

So what's the best thing to do after a great party? Take a day off!!  And that's pretty much what today was about. Many of last nights party-goers were meeting for brunch at the Opryland Hotel (that's where the soon-to-be in-laws were staying). I had tweaked my back in some way, so I opted out - and opted for sitting in a recliner.

KB had cleaned up most of her party things last night and loaded them into her car, so there wasn't really much left to do. As if I would have done anything anyhow. There were still chairs to be moved back and tables to be taken down, but they weren't bothering anyone, so I just left them.

The fun activity was when MaeMae and Lucy returned from the brunch. Tilly was still asleep at brunch time, so she stayed with me. Lynnette and Lindley came over (Everley spent the night). So, while the little girls played, the big girls started their "project."

Lucy had brought her minivan, so that gave me a lot of room to send things back with her (whether she wanted them or not). The first was the Barbie Power Wheels Car. Lindley and Everley had outgrown it, and I wasn't going to wait for Danger Baby to learn to drive it lest she end up on I65. So, that was the first thing we loaded in the van. Yes, it had been kept outside so it wasn't in pristine condition, but Lucy allowed us to put it in her van. Perhaps the Goodwill in Virginia will take it ...

Then it was time for the "big" project. The last time Marilyn was here, she saw a desk upstairs that she asked if I wanted. I told her she could have it. Now, it's not a large desk - but it's not exactly tiny, either. Anyhow, she wanted it and I was certain we could put it in the van beside the Barbie car.

Did I mention the desk was upstairs? And did I mention that Lucy was pregnant? Anyhow, we went upstairs, and the first thing we did was take off the legs. Which made it smaller. And then Marilyn and I proceeded to get it down the stairs. Did I mention I still had a tweak in my back (although at the end of this project it was gone). Anyhow, we decided that if we put the desk on a towel, we could kinda "roll" it down the steps, with us holding on to it. And so we started on the plan. Which would have been a bit easier if Lynnette and Lucy hadn't been laughing at us so hard.

The desk in question is the one pictured to the left. I wanted to make sure you understand the gravity of the situation. No, the desk is not valuable except that it was in the house when Molly got her house, and we liked it. Of course that was 10 years ago, and now it's a red color. And probably had marker markings all over it from small children using it. No matter - Marilyn said she wanted it, and I was happy to pass it along. She seems to think she will refinish it. It really is a good desk. And yes, it would have been smart had we asked some of the men in attendance at the party last night to tote it down the stairs. But I guess that's what happens when you have a good party. Whatevs ...

So, imagine this: two "healthy" old ladies, one in front and one in back, holding on to the top of a desk (which was on a towel) and hanging on to the railing of a very steep stairway, attempting to get down said stairway without breaking a hip. Since I was in back, and have a tendency to fall down stairs in a normal situation, I could only take one step at a time. Marilyn was in front, basically holding the desk from crashing down in front of her. Meanwhile, Lucy and Lynnette were behind us, dying laughing and holding on to the desk legs.

Nevertheless, we got it down without harm to grandmas or desk, and then loaded it out to the minivan along with the legs and the chair. And then we even had enough space to go to Maribeth's house and load up the baby things she had for Lucy. Sure am glad I'm not doing the unloading ...

Anyhow, that was our fun for today. Now to go find the bottle of Tylenol ...
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Blessings today include: fun with the little girls; getting the desk down the stairs and it and the car loaded into the van; Steve's safe trip home

Saturday, July 15, 2017

It's A Travel Shower!!

In short, it was a great success! And here are the photos to prove it!

Some of KB's decorating ideas!!

The eatin' spot - the sun room - which thankfully was not a sweat room ...

Just a little photo of the vittles ...

Have a Coke and a smile!

There was a quiz involved ...

The little suitcases!!

Which contained a bag of these!!
Dessert table - cupcakes and suitcases filled with personalized M&Ms

Travel table - guests wrote postcards with travel tips and destinations

The three hostesses - or flight attendants for this trip!!

The happy couple - with their personalized cokes and paper map flowers!
 
MaeMae and Lindley, Everley, Tilly, Morgan, and Madison

The in-laws to be - John, Anne, Mary Lee, David, Beth, and Jeff

Photo booth fun!
Everyone had a great time. There was plenty of food and fun. New friendships were made and there were lots of good wishes for the future. All too soon it was time to head back to the hotels. What a great way to spend a Saturday night!!
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Blessings today include: KB coming over to set things up, do all the flowers, and pick up the food; Cindy bringing over more flowers at the last minute; great travel gift ideas for Mary Lee and David; meeting Mary Lee's family; Adam and Allison and Morgan and Madison coming from Colombia (via Atlanta); sweet hostess bags from ML and D


Friday, July 14, 2017

Let's Get This Party Started!!

Okay, so technically the party isn't until tomorrow. But today MaeMae and Lucy and Tilly (my sister, my niece, and my great-niece) drove in from North Carolina and John and Anne (the future groom's parents and my brother/sister-in-law) drove in from Mississippi (via a side trip to Chattanooga). Lynnette and Lindley came over and Maribeth and Mathieu and Everley and Emmatha came over, and Molly came over, so we kinda had a pre-party dinner. Molly ordered the dinner and John and Anne picked it up (with there being only one thing forgotten) and everyone had a good time.

MaeMae and Tilly decided to stay here to sleep so Lucy could have a big bed and a night to herself. She is staying at the same hotel as John and Anne, so once the pre-party ended, they left. Everyone else left, and once again the house was quiet. Molly picked up the cupcakes today, and tomorrow the barbecue will be picked up, so I think we're ready.

Well, as long as all that stuff that I stuffed into the closets doesn't bust out ...
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Blessings today include: safe travel for family to come to Nashville; Molly picking up the cupcakes; wrapping gifts and last minute touches for tomorrow

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Thursday!

The party date is approaching, and I HAVE GOT TO GET SOMETHING DONE!!  You know, like order the food(s), clean the house, wrap the gifts, figure out the decorations. In other words, I gotta get busy. So far, the "deep clean a room a day" plan has not worked out. However, the "sit around and do nothing" plan is moving along splendidly ...

So, today I shall order the cupcakes and the barbeque, start stuffing things in closets, finish the travel plates, and figure what else I need to make/purchase/plan. KB is really the brains behind this party, so I shall also check with her to see what else I might need to do. I shall also clean out the sunroom. With the trampoline no longer in residence, there's so much more to clean.

In other news, Everley seems to be doing great at camp, and having a good time. Still - sleep away camp at five? One of us is getting too old too fast!!



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Blessings today include: photos from Everley's camp; cleaning the sunroom; getting all the suitcases unpacked; Steve's safe travel to Columbus; cupcakes ordered; barbeque ordered

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Grandgirls

Everley has been going to Y camp this week. And tonight and tomorrow night, she will actually spend the night at camp (they spend the first two days at day camp before staying overnight). This morning when Maribeth let her off for the bus, she took this photo. Of course, all I can think is "She's only five!" When Steve told her that he didn't want her to go, she told him that "he's letting her grow."

And in other grandgirl news, Lindley spent last week in "Smart Girls" camp at her school. She looks like a teenager in this photo from camp - and she's only seven! Guess we're letting her grow, too! Clearly she's going to be able to do whatever she wants to.

I'm not sure what I did in the summers when I was five and seven. I certainly did not go to camp, and for sure didn't go to sleep away camp.  These two surprise me constantly with what they're able to do at their ages!

And then there's danger baby ...
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Blessings today include: chatting with Sam about the house inspection; getting the laundry done and the suitcase unpacked; Molly getting cruises adjusted and finding good deals

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Tuesday

Rooms cleaned - 0          Suitcases unpacked - 0

Oh well, at least I don't show favoritism. Today I had a task to complete anyhow. In reference to Saturday's wedding shower, there is the possibility that we might have it in the sunroom. That is, if it's not boiling hot outside. The sunroom is the largest room that would be convenient for everyone to eat and party in.

However, there's one slight issue - the kids trampoline. Luckily, my friend Cheryl has agreed to take the trampoline for her little nephew. The issue is that it will need to be taken apart to get it out of the sunroom. And since you asked, the reason it is in the sunroom is because when we got it when Lindley was around two, we put it in the sunroom to (a) make it last longer than if it were outside, and (b) so when it was raining, she would have it inside.

So, after putting it off as long as possible, I started un-assembling the trampoline. To do this, I got out the assembly manual and started from the back (which is actually suggested, once I read the last page). It ended up not being too hard - just hot, since it is pretty much sweltering outside. It didn't take too long until all the posts and such were off and carefully put away. Since I could actually get the mat with the springs out the door, I opted to keep all the springs on. Also, I did not have the spring tool thingy, and figured it would be much easier for the new owner if he/she didn't have to reattach all those springs.


Once it was done, I was too hot and sweaty to do anything else, so I called it a day. The sunroom is super filthy, so I will conquer it another day. How many days do I have left??
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Blessings today include: trampoline success; walking two miles in the hood with KB; Everley spending the night

Monday, July 10, 2017

Monday

Okay, so will I unpack the suitcase today? Probably not. There's still a lot of other stuff that I will do, thereby ignoring the whole suitcase thing. For one thing, I need to return the library books that I checked out for the cruise. That I didn't exactly read.

I did read this book: A Lucky Child: A Memoir of Surviving Auschwitz as a Young Boy.  It's the story of a boy who, with his mother and father, were deported to Auschwitz after surviving in a ghetto and a labor camp. He was only 10 years old.

The book tells about how his parents met and were married and about his first years. There are some photos that were miraculously saved (and found after the war) that show what a happy family they were.

The title of the book comes from the fact that a fortune-teller told Tommy's mother that he was a lucky child. And he was, as he manages to escape several times from being killed by the Nazis.

The author waited until he was an adult to write this book. He admits that some of his memories might not be as accurate had he decided to write the book earlier in life. But he also admits that he probably couldn't have dealt with the memories had he done so. The memories he shares are sad yet miraculous, and worth the read.

As far as other things I need to accomplish, the list is lengthy. The plan is to deep-clean a couple of rooms each day so that by Friday, the house will be a sparkling example of housewifery delight. And maybe even the suitcase will be unpacked!
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Blessings today include: catching up on bills and paperwork; returning books on time (and finding out my ten cent overdue fine has been forgiven, since the library is no longer bothering with overdue fines)

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Back Home

Since we ended up getting home last night around 11pm, I have not unpacked. Basically, everything is tossed on the floor, awaiting unpacking. I did have to unzip the suitcase to get a few things out, so that makes everything look even worse. Luckily I am spry enough to walk over the stuff on the floor and pretend it doesn't exist.

Anyhoo, today is the day to start all that stuff, as well as start the cleaning process (like it has ever started). Marilyn and I are giving a wedding shower for our nephew David this coming Saturday, and I'm thinking the guests might prefer being in a house that doesn't have the potential for being condemned. Or on an episode of "Hoarders."

But the actual cleaning will probably have to wait until tomorrow. Tonight we are planning to have Maribeth's family birthday party (her birthday was yesterday) and I have to figure out what we will have to eat. Steve suggested steaks, so I guess I will head to Kroger to purchase those. And a few things to add to the meal.

Luckily, Mathieu made a cake and cupcakes yesterday, so that's off my list. KB is coming to the party, because she, Lynnette, Molly, Maribeth, and I are also having an Alaska cruise meeting at some point tonight. And KB and I also have to do some last minute party planning (she's helping keep the shower to a certain level - which is more than the "Krystal and gifts" theme I was considering.

So in other words, the unpacking is going to have to wait a bit. Like probably days ...  Like, when do I need an empty suitcase again?
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Blessings today include: fun at Kroger seeing Cindy and my favorite Kroger dude; dinner of steak and shrimp and stuff; fun with the girls; good Alaska cruise planning session

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Road Trip!

Today we had to get off the ship. The plan was to pick up a car and drive home. Why? Because the rental for the car was $10. Generally, while the drive is long (10ish hours), it's really not a bad drive, so why not?

We never do breakfast in our dining room on debarkation day, because it's generally bus and everybody has their carry-off luggage. Instead we went to Cabanas, where we saw our pal and Palo server Amanda. After eating and saying our goodbyes, we headed to the atrium to await deboarding.

When we got there, there was quite a crowd. Usually it's not filled with people, but today it was. It seemed to be a large number of people doing "early walkoff" where you tote all your luggage off yourself. We waited awhile, then determined that anyone that wanted to was getting off, so we joined the crowd. Including the dude who was getting off with his box fan that he was carrying on his back.

There was a lot of waiting, because the crowd was so large, but eventually we made it to the customs room/luggage room, found our luggage, and headed for the rental car van. Later Molly found out that the reason there was such a crowd was because the Customs people delayed debarkation because apparently the Border Police had to escort someone off in handcuffs. Guess we missed that. At least it wasn't us for supposedly not going to the safety drill!!

Anyhow, we got to the rental car van just in time. The two families in the van with us had about a billion pieces of large luggage, so we couldn't carry any more, so our driver took off with us to the rental car center.

This time, we were renting with Alamo, and the service center is way different than the usual rental car place we use. It's like the difference between going to your local one-a-year carnival that sets up in the mall parking lot and Disney World. Alamo's service center was huge and nice and lovely - quite different from the gas station that we usually rent from.

Anyhow, Steve, our rental agent, enjoyed renting us our car, which ended up having only 5 miles on it - new car!!  I loaded it up while Molly visited the bathroom facilities, and soon we were off! Since we had to go through Orlando anyway, we decided to stop at the outlet mall, and may have purchased a few things. As well as we did at Ikea - hey, we had the space, so why not?

The trip home was not as wonderful as I had hoped. For one thing, we kept running into rain, sometimes quite powerful rain. And then there was the traffic, sometimes quite slow traffic. We did discover the quick toll road through Atlanta that uses our Florida toll pass, so we made up some time there. Also, I am quite spoiled with satellite radio, and was bored when I couldn't find any kind of talk radio on the car radio. Molly came to the rescue and found some podcasts of Mike Rowe which entertained me (and put Molly to sleep).

Anyhow, we stopped once for lunch and once for gas and once to get snacks (at possibly the worst and filthiest Chick Fil A ever). We breezed into Nashville, trying to figure out the rental car return. After attempting to make plans with various family members, we finally decided that I would take Molly home, unload my stuff at home, and then head to the airport to turn the car in and wait for Steve, who was returning from Moldova.

Once at the airport, I waited for an Alamo person, who never materialized. Finally a lady walked over and said to just put the keys on the dash, because the car got time-stamped when we drove over the spikey things. We'll see on the final bill if that was true ... By the time I got the car checked in (supposedly), Steve had arrived and was waiting at the Uber stop for our ride home.

It's nice to be home again - now time to get stuff done until the next trip!!
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Blessings today include: great rental car experience in Port Canaveral; safe trip home; Molly finding something to listen to; Steve's safe trip back


Friday, July 7, 2017

Castaway Cay!

Today is our last day, period, and it will be spent at Castaway Cay. Molly is doing the 5K, but since the temperature is between “very hot” and “super duper hot,” I decided that I would pass. Instead, I will get off the boat ASAP and head for Serenity Bay (the adult beach) to secure us a primo location.

After breakfast, Molly headed for the 5K meetup and I got off the ship. I walked over to the Serenity Bay shuttle and grabbed the first hammock – right by the entrance. I went in the water a bit and it wasn’t freezing so it felt really great. Soon Molly joined me. She finished the 5K, said it was unbelievably hot, they ran out of water, and she had already downed two tankers of water.

I decided to go out in the water again, and saw Sylvia and Dude (Debbie and George were in their respective chairs on the beach). We chatted a bit and then it was time for lunch! Today, we actually all sat at the same table and talked about kids and grandkids and childbirth and such. After lunch I decided to return to the ship (for the air conditioning) and Molly and the rest went back to the beach to do their own thing.

Once back on the ship, I took a cold shower (heavenly) and a nap (even more heavenly) before Molly returned and we went to see “Spiderman.” I’ll review that later. Once that was over, it was time to return to our room and start packing – we’re going to have to leave the ship tomorrow!!

And with that sad news, here are some photos of today ...

See Dumbo? Our room is the floor just above to the right of his ear - the three long windows.

The view from our verandah - apparently Dumbo needed some sprucing up.

Panorama of Castaway Cay

When I found our seats, I also met a native of the island ...

Since I hustled off the ship, I got a great location - with hammock!!

Panorama of Serenity Bay - the adult beach

The view from my hammock ...

More Castaway Cay natives ...
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Blessings today include: beautiful day at Castaway; lunch with our tablemates; BLT from room service for our pre-dinner meal; saying good bye to our servers and our new friends

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Sea Day!!

Today was our last sea day. We started with brunch at Palo, and of course our server was Amanda. We started with the seafood, cheese, and bread area, where there are truly too many good things to eat. After munching on that a bit, Amanda took our true brunch order. Molly and I both ordered chicken parmesan and then also ordered a apple cinnamon giant Mickey waffle and beef lasagna to share. To say it was all delicious is an understatement. Oh, and did I mention then it was time to visit the dessert table? Somehow we managed to rouse ourselves from our table, waddle to the elevator, and return to our room. I was time for a nap, and then Molly decided to go watch “Guardians of the Galaxy 2” (once was enough for me, thank you).

Eventually we went to dinner. Tonight we were eating in Animators, and it was show night. That means you color on some paper and then it gets animated on the big screens. It’s truly amazing – you should cruise the Fantasy to see it for reals!

Anyhow, we had fun with our wait staff. Zoltan pretty much already thinks we’re nuts, mainly because we keep asking him questions. So far we have found out the following facts about him:

· His grandfather died of alcoholism.

· He has four half-sisters because his father slept around in the village

· Zoltan is a city boy so he won’t marry one of his sisters

· His parents divorced when Zoltan was 2, and he hasn’t seen him since

· He has a stepfather but he doesn’t like him – he’s never liked him. His stepfather likes old cars and sour things and Zoltan likes new things.

· Zoltan doesn’t like anything with lemons or sour things

· He has one half-brother who is 18 so Zoltan still has some influence on him

· He watched “LaLa Land” and he almost cried at the end – he wanted them to end up together

· He doesn’t like cold weather and identifies with Florida snowbirds

· He collects magnets of places he goes and puts them on his refrigerators in his cabin. He is very particular about which magnet he chooses.

· He likes new things and doesn’t want to be on the older Disney ships

· He likes to fold clothes

I know, a lot of information, but since we are the only two at our table, we like to talk to him. Also, tonight I decided to order from the children’s menu which really kinda threw him (and August our assistant server). Oh well, he can return to normal people next week!

And now some beautiful photos from our verandah!!




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Blessings today include: lazy day on the sea; blog catchups (keep in mind that most of these will be photos of amazing grandchildren) 2016: August 10, 12-15; September 19, 28, 29; October 3, 10, 21; November 22; 2017: January 1, 5-9, 13, 20-23, 25

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Hello Tortola!!

Today we stopped in Tortola. It would be a short day, since all aboard was at 2:45pm. It really didn't matter because we had no excursions planned. Almost all of the excursions ended at a beach, and we're really not beach people, so we opted to just walk around the port just before lunch. We were actually searching for some free wifi. Upon finding none, I got back on the ship, had lunch, and spent the rest of the day on the ship.

As we were leaving the ship, we ran into Debbie and Dude, our other table mates from dinner. They were super nice and apologetic and thankful for our choosing to move. They thanked us several times, and said they really missed us at dinner. So, all those snarky things I said before - just erase those from your memory!

Anyhow, tomorrow is a sea day and then Castaway Cay and then this cruise is over! Wow - 10 nights sure does go fast!!

We have a great view of docking the ship - one of my favorite things!


Waiting to untie us so we can leave

A panoramic view of the harbor - from our baby balcony!
Best view we've had this whole cruise

This cruise ship was docked beside us - it had a million veranda cabins.
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Blessings today include: seeing Voltan at breakfast; seeing Debbie and Dude upon leaving the ship and getting their kind responses; walking around the port and getting Everley and Lindley shirts from Del Sol; blog catch ups from April 26; May 24, 26-31; June 1-5, 18-21, 24, 26