Thursday, December 31, 2009

My New Years Hope

I'm not making a resolution, because I don't want to fail. I do hope to do better in 2010... be a better person, and a better friend to those I care about. I also hope to be better to me - to stop making excuses and get going on the things I need to do. I won't list my shortcomings - if you know me, you know them, and if you don't I don't want to disillusion you. I hope you have a wonderful, successful and blessed New Year filled with love, friendship, good health and happiness.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Penguins make Christmas perfect

What I said about Penguins! Kim can't believe her eyes - she opened her gift and it was a penguin! A singing, flapping penguin! How good can it get? It was sooo funny! and we have several penguin lovers in our ranks - so it was sought after, as well.

Lots of happy faces, and cool gifts. I got, you're not going to believe this - a Vampire chocolate Santa Clause and vampire Christmas carols book. Too funny!

Alpaca Hats - hand made by Luppinos

As a special birthday gift, Tom and Kim gave Amy a hand made hat. The fun part was that she got to make it herself. All three of them spent the day at an Alpaca farm. They met the animals, had a great home made lunch and then they each made an Alpaca hat in the color of their choice. I love all of them and think it's so interesting that they are all so different.

They had so much fun, it made me want to do it, too. I wish I looked good in hats!

Amy's Birthday - Nov. 7

We had a birthday party for Amy on the appropriate date, but I just got the pictures off Bob's camera. It was a nice party and I wanted to post them anyway. Things are going to out of sequence, so - you'll just have to adjust!

Can you tell that Amy likes penguins?

One of us (who shall remain nameless) bought some of those trick candles, that keep coming back 'on' after you think you outed them.

Firefighter Tom to the rescue! He put them in water.

Amy - Gander Mountain MVP

My beautiful baby girl and the award she won. She works so hard and gives her best at everything she does. I'm so proud of her!

This and some of the following pictures are from Nov. but I just got them off of Bob's camera

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Cruising in the winter

This is the dock in Ft. Lauderdale, from the ship. We boarded around 3: in the afternoon, having spent the previous night with our friends Barbara and Charles Sullivan, in The Villages.

The cold weather followed us to Florida and caused the sea to be very rough. Fortunately we were on deck 4 as the motion was much more evident on the upper decks. Most of the passengers experienced sea sickness and I saw lots of patches and wrist bands. Walking was a challenge. Even standing up was tricky. We had a large private balcony with our state room and wanted to watch the ship depart. There was a delay (medical-we think someone was taken off the ship) and it was very dark. I tried several times to take Bob's picture leaning against the railing, but every time I pushed the button the ship lurched.

Bob's view from the beach. Can you find Bob?
Grand Turk Island was our first stop. After all the rocking, it was great to be on land. The island is beautiful, clean, and has a great beach that you don't have to pay to use. That might be because Holland American owns it - maybe. The definitely own all the shops. Bob enjoyed relaxing in the shade while I walked around town.

Two pictures of the pier in Puerto Rico. We were there for a full day. I would really like to know what the trough shaped thing is that is suspended above the main pier. Anyone??

These are the tenders that bring passengers to small islands when the sea is too shallow for the ship, and usually there is no pier. Called Half Moon cay, it is a private beach that belongs to the Cruise Lines. Some people headed for the beach really early - others, like us, waited for the crowd to thin. Also, from past experience we knew that the sea could change. This rough seas make it difficult for the tenders to dock with the ship. People on the last tenders back spent a lot of time circling the ship while the sailors tried to dock. Not fun. We didn't do that.

We had a short visit to St. Thomas, VI and enjoyed chatting with the local merchants and other passengers ashore. I walked past these lizards several times and didn't see them. They blend in with their surroundings. How many do you see?

Bob got up early and saw this double rainbow in the mist. He couldn't get the whole thing in one picture. I hope you can see both in this picture. Isn't it incredible?

We returned to Ft. Lauderdale a week later, with the seas getting rougher as we approached. Sitting in the dining room felt more like being in the dining car of a train. This was our second 'Nation Cruise,' the first being to Alaska. The speakers were very well informed and enjoyable to listen to. Howard Dean was the biggest 'celeb' on board, but there were were probably 8 - 10 other lesser stars, who were all nice and 'available' for conversations. We met lots of interesting and friendly people and will probably do it again, if we have the opportunity.