Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Head Scratcher

I'm not the only one who finds this a little off, right?

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

MSC Cruising, Take 2

Back in April, Ed and I had a fantastic time on the MSC Divina, enjoying all the musical performances of progressive rock groups on Cruise to the Edge. While we dubbed it the 'cruise to sleep deprivation', there was no question that we'd return to CTTE and the Divina the next time that CTTE left port.

There was a bit of surprise in August. The promoter (On The Blue) was hosting another full ship charter on the MSC Divina, this time for Celtic music, but he hadn't hit the numbers needed to break even on the event, and sent out an announcement to the alums of his other charters that contained a deal too good to pass up. Put it this way: We could either eat, or pay for a hotel for 4 days for the rate we were offered.

The boys were asked 'Would you like to go on a' and we didn't even finish asking before we got excited affirmative replies, so I booked and looked forward to showing Chef and GameTeen all the things that Ed and I had talked about for six months, while also getting to see more of what the Divina had to offer that we missed in our enjoyment of many musical performances.

Now back for over a week, I can say we definitely got in a lot of relaxation, did a bit of running around, and the boys are also fans of cruising (and unlimited buffets!). We added one more country to our list of places traveled (Bahamas), and I added a band to my 'must purchase' music list (Gaelic Storm).

Some pictures from our adventures:

Celtic Thunder banners, before they were hung around the Promenade

The first of many cocktails enjoyed over the four days

GameTeen enjoying the move into open waters from the Miami harbor

Morning in Nassau, Bahamas

Sunset in Nassau

Moonlight as we slowly travel to Coco Cay, Bahamas

Chef enjoying a nap beside the indoor pool

The view of Coco Cay from the Divina

One of the pictures from my short trip over to Coco Cay, with the Divina behind me

The last tender back to Coco Cay

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Of Life, Cruises, and a Whole Bunch of Other Stuff

Seems that once you break a years-long blogging streak, you tend to think 'screw it', and don't really write very much. Not for a lack of anything to say, rather, just the habit has been broken.

Last month, we went on a trip that was a lot of fun. I uploaded the pictures to the laptop and then it wouldn't add them to my posts. There are some things kerflooey with the laptop, so I figured that I'd just upload the pictures to the iMac and I'd be good to go. Um, for some strange reason, the iMac is not recognizing the SD card slot or some of the USB plugs. So, the post still sits in draft. Next up, loading the pictures onto the OTHER laptop (the one I purchased last year and then got the older laptop fixed) and getting those pictures on that draft post and putting them up.

So yeah, trip. The promoter of the cruise Ed and I went on in April sent out a steal of a deal offer and I was of the mind that we would do whatever we could to be ON that ship. I mean, how often can you cruise as a family of four, including the adult beverages and photographs, for less than a thousand bucks? On a good cruise line, and a ship you've already been on and like? You would go, too, right? Heck, we even found our favorite bartender from the previous cruise on the first night AND he remembered Ed (distinctive beard FTW).

This time, the boys went. GameTeen liked the unlimited food whenever he felt like it, Chef liked the things to do, the time hanging out, and meeting some of our friends from the previous cruise. He also did a bunch of shutterbugging. As a result, the plans are now to bring him on the next Prog cruise, where his fare alone will be more than we paid for four of us to cruise for four nights. It won't be nearly as relaxing, but it will be quite enjoyable!

The holidays rapidly approach and they'll be different for us this time around, just as Thanksgiving was different from years past. We had nine of us around the table, a mix of extended family and friends, and as I'd hoped-all the guests got on very well! Christmas currently involves visiting the niece and her family, with my sister flying in from New Jersey. Then I suggested a cookie baking marathon for next weekend, with niece, sister, Chef, and I filling the house with sweet smells.

When I was teaching, I'd picked up a Silhouette Cameo, a die-cutting machine that allows one to do some crafty stuff easily. It has been brought out every once in a while, but not used on a consistent basis. Mainly because I didn't have the time. However, I joined a few Facebook groups devoted to the machine and got many ideas of things I'd like to do, and started buying up supplies to do such things as I found a bit of time.

Then I asked the de facto social coordinator at work if we were having a baby shower for another coworker and that is how I got drafted into helping to plan the event, not that I minded. Decorating plans involved me making an elephant banner for the event and now that it is out and in use, the Silhouette is getting put into service for a few gifts. A friend suggested some things I could make and put on etsy, which is a possibility. I have to save money for that next cruise, after all!

Yes, there's a lot more going on and about a dozen Urban Spoon writeups that need to be posted, but this is enough for one time!