Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Goodbye Miami

Onward to Waves ~ Fish ~ ocean After the Drill we went to Deck 12 for a most amazing open lunch buffet of foods. There was a large pool and smaller pool and several hot tubs and live musical entertainment. Goofy Tropical drinks [today was Piña Colada]with the little umbrellas stuck into a slice or orange or pineapple with a maraschino cherry. The earliest known reference to a Pina Colada is from TRAVEL magazine, December 1922. Piña Colada is known as the official beverage of Puerto Rico. By the time we had our fill of foods the luggage had been delivered to the staterooms. There is nothing like having a balcony on a cruise. The view on a cruise is always changing. It's not just water, ocean, water, ocean. Private balconies are also a great way to escape the crowds. You can enjoy the same view from your own deck chair while having a cup of coffee - but without the crowds. Cruise Lingo.
The day’s forecast was Sunny and 85 degrees. We also had to set our clocks ahead one hour. I slept as if I was the sand in a Zen Garden. My feet, elbows were the rocks around which the gentle rocking of the waves arranged my dreams. Brahm’s Lullaby revisited my subconscious. The constant undulation of the water was intoxicating and ever so relaxing. The motion was almost as good as a massage the swaying of the boat gently rocked my body to a serene level of cognition.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Land Lubber gains sea legs

Life Jacket Drill~~ When we first entered our cabin, our orange "designer" life jackets, complete with buckles, flashlight and whistle were laid out on the beds. The jackets are HUGE and they have these nifty collars that will cure forever the bad posture your mom used to always yell at you for. Within a very short time we heard the first of a zillion announcements about THE LIFE BOAT DRILL While this was a drill for the passengers later in the week the crew also had a safety drill. I found out that once each week a Fire and Boat Drill is conducted on board ship. The purpose of this weekly drill is to make sure that each crewmember knows exactly what to do in case of a fire or other disaster that would require a person to leave the ship.
So how does it all start? Ships Log [January 20, 2007] Suffice it to say I did not ROCK the boat it rocked me. Home then Atlanta to Miami then to the ship, while the flight was uneventful the Temperature change was. Leaving with temperatures hovering in the high 20’s and arriving in Miami with temperature in the high 80’s. Layering of clothing is always a wise concept as I see it. The saying goes, “Pack everything you think you will need, and get rid of half of it." Miami International Airport or MIA was a bustling hub of activity for sure but easy to get through and advance to the ship. While waiting for the shuttle for the luggage and the passengers I had time to stow my jacket and shed my socks. Not too interesting to many but sure pleased me that my pre planned efforts were working.

Monday, January 29, 2007


Only 474 photos taken! Leaving with temperatures of 78 degrees and sand Returning to temperatures of 11 degrees with snow and ice No one to wait on me, drape the napkin upon my lap. No one to clean the room or bathroom, no ready pitcher of ice ready nor multiple choices of menus, clear the table and clean the plates. BUT Time for me to do the laundry, make a decent pot of coffee, spread my goodies to share and sit in the Nook ~~~ DEARNED HAPPY to be HOME! BUT a Clean kitchen beautiful fresh flowers and a bottle of Champagne from the only man in the world for me, AND George wiggling all over in totally relief! Life is good.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Winding down to Wind Up

A quiet evening in front of a roaring fire as we watched De-Lovely. A 2004 film that chronicles the life of songwriter Cole Porter. Directed by Irwin Winkler, the film stars Kevin Kline and Ashley Judd. Porter was a member of Scroll and Key, Delta Kappa Epsilon, and sang as a member of the original line-up of the Whiffenpoofs. While at Yale, he wrote a number of student songs, including the football fight songs "Yale Bulldog" and "Bingo Eli Yale" (aka "Bingo, That's The Lingo!") that are still played at Yale to this day. Cole Porter wrote 300 songs while at Yale.[2] Murphy’s Romance. quite different but as delightful. Hard to remember Sally Field as the Flying Nun, HA! With today ahead of me, the more mundane needs to be accomplished. The last load of laundry, squeezing fresh OJ and chilling it before I make my Sweeties final breakfast before leaving, still not really realizing what is ahead of me. Soft Winds and Fair Breezes; I soon embark on a new journey. See you all TOP side tomorrow!

Friday, January 19, 2007

I must be getting excited because:

In the middle of the night horns sounded! In the deep sleep I float to some level of awareness. Why horns? [ It was really George, our dog, snoring] I did not have any food last night with garlic in it. Could it be? Naw, well maybe so… the Horn sounds for the mandatory lifeboat drill. Well that makes sense. I hope I look as good in my orange "designer" life jacket as our daughter and husband did in theirs. I read that when you first enter your cabin, your orange "designer" life jackets, complete with buckles, flashlight and whistle will most likely be laid out on the beds. The jackets are HUGE and they have these nifty collars that will cure forever the bad posture your mom used to always yell at you for. That’s how the dream started; I was reading what goes on while cruising so I would be prepared. Ummmmmmmmmm. Your First Cruise: What to expect! Part 1! Thinking back to when youngest son was in the Coast Guard and TERMS I need to remember as well! Bow: the front or "pointy end" of the ship Stern: the back of the ship Port: the left side of the ship as you face forward Starboard: the right side as you face forward Galley: VERY important!! It's the ship's kitchen! Bridge: Where the ships officers control and navigate the ship from. Usually high up and forward. It is the command center or "cockpit" of the ship if you will. ~~~Wonder what I will dream about tonight? Seeing bioluminescent fish?

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Tips and information being gathered before we set sail!

Charlotte Amalie (named for a Danish Queen Charlotte Amelia of Hesse-Cassel (1650-1714), queen consort to King Christian V of Denmark. · Say 'Good _____ (Morning, Day, Afternoon)' to salespeople before starting a conversation. Locals are very greeting conscious and this small gesture goes a long way. And the weather is: The Coach Outlet? Ummmm me thinks I am getting strong hints here! :) Mojito: Sounds like Kentucky Derby this year might have a Caribbean ring! Mojitos were the second favorite drink (after Daiquiris) of the writer Ernest Hemingway. Literary then?

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Clean teeth ala my Dentist~~~

Now Time to Pack Have the bug repellant [thanks to my Avon man] for the El Yunque Rain Forest. Beautiful waterfalls, ferns in the mist, some of the ferns are up to 30 feet tall! There are tropical hardwood trees, and many varieties of birds filling the air with their calls. Of course there are Little Cogui frogs! Aren’t there ALWAYS frogs? Atlantis Submarine starting at Charlotte Amalie, with a boat ride to Bucks Island, complimentary Rum Punch is served. This boat ride is a welcome diversion from the heat . Then Proof, a DIVE Certificate! Then Nelson’s Dockyard MUSEUM in Antigua’s National Park! Of course there is always shopping.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

I guess I am getting excited~~~

“Cause last night I dreamt I saw THE GREEN FLASH! Ummmmmmmm does this mean I will see it? Time will tell! What is it when the sun sets over the ocean? The green flash, If you haven't seen or heard of the green flash, it's simply a fleeting spot of intense green light on the horizon an instant after sunset or immediately before sunrise. What causes it?

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Just received

We were so excited I forgot to capture the final moments. Check January post Picture says it all!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Phil got it down to the wire better!
Thanks Phil!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

From Within the Snowy Globe

As the Suns rays shower the landscape and the wind kicks the soft fluffy quarter sized flakes around my head and upon my eyelashes, I feel better.
The long necked Amaryllis crane as they seek the sunlight’s warmth from inside.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Thanks to my Statistician

Our eldest son was a godsend to me this year. It is always a good thing to check and re check. Then in doing that it is important that NEW eyes look at it. Precautions! Thanks Son, could not have done it without you! Also thanks to all that played this years College Bowls. The Players: J ~ 56% D ~ 56% Wi ~ 71% Sm ~ 71% B ~ 65% M ~ 62% Sa ~ 10% We ~ 59% P ~ 40% Da ~ 68% Now I am going to crawl into a HOLE or under a Rock Fever, itchy throat, aches, chills, dry cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, as well as headache, muscle aches, sweats and I am not talking about clothing here. Typically, the fever begins to decline on the second or third day of the illness. It was to have been a week filled with all sorts of fun stuff. Gosh Dinner out with Sweetie, Musical [already gave the tickets away], luncheon etc… Maybe by Friday Jeannie and I can still run away from home.[Big Maybe!!!] Now I am just plain miserable. See you all in a month! Going to take a Chill Pill!

Monday, January 08, 2007

Flagler Memorial Presbyterian Church

It is still a working church.
The church is a Venetian Renaissance Revival style. It is modeled after St. Marks in Venice it took a little less than one year to build and was completed in 1890.
The building, designed by nationally renowned architects Thomas Hastings and John M. Carrere, was built by hotel entrepreneur Henry Flagler in memory of his daughter, Jennie Louise, who died at sea en route to St. Augustine in 1889.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

College Bowl games almost finished~

With Breakfast ready to serve, and lucky me getting a nasty cold, we are almost over the College Bowl games and have begun the lead up to the Super Bowl. Breakfast was a hit I might add. Crunchy Cinnamon French Toast 3 large eggs 1/2 cup milk 1/3 cup half-and-half 2 tsp cinnamon 1/2 tsp nutmeg 1/8 tsp salt 2 1/2 cups cornflakes, lightly crushed 2/3 cup sliced almonds, lightly crushed 2 Tbsp unsalted butter 8 slices bread Directions: Make the toast: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk together the eggs, milk, half-and-half, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in a shallow baking dish and set aside. Combine the cornflakes and almonds in another shallow dish. Melt 1/3-tablespoon butter in a large skillet over low heat. Dip 2 slices of bread in the egg mixture and lightly coat each side. Transfer the slices to the cornflake mixture, turn to coat, and place in the prepared skillet. Cook for 3 minutes on each side, transfer to a baking sheet, and set aside. Repeat with the remaining butter and bread slices. Place in the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Serve immediately or keep warm in 200 degree oven. Makes 4 servings. Next Super Bowl XLI Scores so far: The Commercials are worth the watching! HA! Sunday, February 4Dolphin Stadium, South Florida6:00 p.m. on CBS -- AFC Champion vs. NFC Champion All times are US/Eastern Saturday, January 6 4:30 p.m. on NBC – Kansas City Chiefs 8 ~~ Indianapolis Colts 23 8:00 p.m. on NBC – Dallas Cowboys 20 ~~ Seattle Seahawks 21 Sunday, January 7 1:00 p.m. on CBS -- New York Jets (10-6) at New England Patriots (12-4)4:30 p.m. on FOX -- N.Y. Giants (8-8) at Philadelphia Eagles (10-6) Divisional Playoffs ~ Saturday, January 13 & 14 Conference Championships Sunday, January 21

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Low Key and Laid back

How Kewl is that? Overcast rainy skies here temperatures in the mid 50’s already. Seed catalogues coming in the mail daily and thought of spring hover. Fresh cranberry orange scones just out of the oven, freshly squeezed OJ from Florida with a side of also fresh Grapefruit topped with blue berries and strawberries. Yum Yum! I sit in my Nook listening to the plaintive songs of Òcoo-OOH, Ooo-Ooo-OooÓ. As also their wings whistle in flight. Sounds! The mourning doves presented themselves today in gay profusion as the flitted in and out of the Pin Oak. Cool fact: Mourning Doves feed their nestlings crop milk or "pigeon milk," which is secreted by the crop lining. This is an extremely nutritious food with more protein and fat than is found in either cow or human milk. Crop milk, which is regurgitated by both adults, is the exclusive food of hatchlings for three days, after which it is gradually replaced by a diet of seeds. All of this as the confused Canada Geese fly back to their Spring quarters. Odd weather for sure. Our Embden Geese are as well confused and they seem to be beginning their Spring rituals!

Friday, January 05, 2007

Douglas and Frazier

Doug is planted across the pond from Frazier. The lights remain on for one more day.
Without ornamentations!

Thursday, January 04, 2007

De Frocking~~~

It is always sad to take the ornaments off the tree, if only one more week to enjoy the efforts, sentiments and time that graced our Frazier. The weather was too perfect not to take advantage of the warmth at 61 degrees and the impending rain that we are due late this evening that is to last for 36 hours. My Sweetie will be pleasantly surprised that our sons and I orchestrated this project. Which means the weekend will be easier as then ONLY sorting and repacking all of the ornaments will need to be done. That is daunting enough! [As he was pleased] Still I am going to hold out just a bit longer for the lights around the Pond. I could look on it as Sort of my 12 Days of Christmas thing? (January 6th; the 12 days count from December 25th until January 5th). The first day of Christmas is, obviously, Christmas Day itself, i.e. December 25th. This makes January 5th the 12th day. But that's a problem, because January 6th (Epiphany) is usually considered the date of "Twelfth Night". Well that brings us to EPIPHANY - THREE KINGS ~ also called "The Adoration of the Magi" or "The Manifestation of God." Celebrated on January 6, it is known as the day of the Three Kings (or wise men/magi): Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar. The Twelfth night as it were, purely justification of keeping some light up just because they bring pleasure to me. Most of us recognize the song that starts, 'On the first day of Christmas...," but how many know the true origin of those famous twelve days? And, when do the twelve days start, anyway? More back ground for those that are interested, I sure found it interesting, but then you will have that! LOL!

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Home Sweet HOME

After a 14-hour drive, and meals of peanut butter crackers and chocolate milk I can safely say DANG WHAT A GAME and we are home. Now in the light of day the work begins. Laundry, vacuuming, grocery store, Georges return and just sitting in the NOOK and drinking REAL COFFEE! Life is Good! On our way out we crossed this most awesome bridge, while my camera was not quickly accessible, I used a miniature SPY Camera. I did a little research because the bridge was just too Kewl. It looked like the sails on a boat…it was wonderful. The Napoleon Bonaparte Broward Bridge. The Dames Point Bridge (also known as the Napoleon Bonaparte Broward Bridge or Dame Point Bridge) spans the St. Johns River northeast of downtown Jacksonville, Florida. Some spectacular shots! Napoleon Bonaparte Broward (April 19, 1857October 1, 1910) was the nineteenth governor of the U.S. state of Florida from January 3, 1905 to January 5, 1909. He also served as the sheriff of Duval County, Florida, and in the Florida State House of Representatives. Some Background. Also some more History… Type: Cable-stayed concrete Opened: March 10, 1989 Cost: $117 million Traffic count average daily: 30,000 Length: 10,646 feet (2 miles plus 86 feet) Now to check on what is in the oven. Sand from St. Augustine that I will share with the 4th graders I read to next week and some awesome books I got on some of the History of the area. The sand STINKS! Coquina Occasionally used as a building stone in Florida throughout its history, it formed the walls of the Castillo de San Marcos, Saint Augustine.

Monday, January 01, 2007

What fun

The rain held off, I took my camera, made a tailgate party, saw the band [WVU] and saw a phenomenal win! At the end of the game a brief respite before dinner! WOW what a dinner !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! If you are ever in Jacksonville, check this place out! Fried Gator Tail: marinated in honey horseradish sauce. YUM! Potato Crusted Mahi: Menu: for me…

A picture says it all!

WTG Mountaineers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yummm OOOO~ Koja Sushi

Restaurant critics, neighborhood regulars, and first time visitors always agree about Koja Sushi : the atmosphere is great, the food is superb, and the service is outstanding. The restaurant offers a casual atmosphere that is perfect for dining with friends, co-workers, and family members. The creative menu features a wide array of great selections, always made from the highest quality ingredients. Be sure to ask your server about daily specials and other notable menu selections. The staff at Koja Sushi are friendly and professional and will ensure that your dining experience is a pleasant one. Please stop in soon! Finally EEL that was SUPER!


Yup rain for the game. Boo Hoo. Now the perplexing quandary is do I take my camera? Risking not only the precipitation but enthused Mountaineers! LET’S GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO MOUNTAINEERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!