Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Even more cruise pics - Jamaica

Isn't she lovely??

The shelf you may have read about -- at the beginning of our decorating

I absolutely love Jamaica

Trees have toes in Jamaica!!
Dunn's River Falls

sitting in the falls

Isn't she wonderful?

Isn't she precious?  :)

I love waterfalls!!!


We seriously did not plan to both make the same cheesy face.  I guess we really do look alike.

OK, you KNOW I love you when I share a pic with you where I'm looking so geeky!

The shelf is growing

IT'S BOB!!!!!!!!!

Cruise ship parking lot

More cruise pics- Haiti

Fall in!! 

Two Js

I don't know who these folks are.  They posed, so I took a pic

My first and last taste of caviar.  Yuck

Security around Haiti

Some nasty  bitter thing I picked up from the ground and  was told by a local is called something like "almond juice"???

Joss kicked sand in my face
Then she apologized and hugged me

Haitian earthquak relief

Hey!! They said they brought the Haitians "water"

More security around Haiti

What?? is she drinking again??

More coming soon.  Well, depending on your definition of "soon."  Mine seems a little loose.

Cabin fever!!!

I gotta get out of Gso.  I have been stagnant too long.  :(

Friday, February 19, 2010


To avoid the impending threat of losing my fan base to the boredom stemming from my lack of posts and lack of adventures (but mostly because of insomnia) I decided to write something. Anything.

First, next week I should have a date for surgery. I will finally get my long-awaited reversal and am fairly certain a portion of my liver will be removed. Will know for sure after meeting with the liver doctor next week. I have been off chemo for about a month now, and it’s a nice break! Cold drinks ROCK. My doctor is eager to get me back on, and as soon as I am healed enough from surgery, they will start it again. Yuck.

For several months now, I’ve been somewhat consumed with the desire to return to Europe. This time for longer. We are in the last phases of a huge project at work, and when that is completed, I am hoping to find a way to get back there. The majority of my chemo will be in pill form, so I am thinking maybe I could go then (when I am back on chemo) but am not real sure about traveling while nauseas, weak, tired, and not eating. Yet otherwise, if I’m not feeling sick, I am unsure about justifying the time out of work. Except for the fact that my Oncologist actually did order that I keep traveling and doing things (seriously… she did. Does that mean I can deduct travel expenses from my taxes as medical expenses?) and I still do need to pack like 30 or 40 years of experiences into the next 3-5 years… and if I wait until I am too sick to travel, I’ll be… well… too sick to travel. I dunno; I’m really hoping to work this out somehow.

I also have been wanting to get to South America. Peru maybe. Or Ecuador. Or maybe Honduras (is that South or Central?) but Peru is flooded, and I’ve not look at the other destinations enough to decide specifically where I’d want to go. I found this website where you can find host families in lots of other countries. I think I’d like that… staying with a host family, learning their culture, eating their food, and paying like $20 a day. That interests me a lot more than the normal touristy travel type of trip.

Jamie Jame is getting bigger and cuter and smarter. He has just started the phase where he is afraid of strangers. We’ve learned though, that he’s quite gullible and if you give him a toy, he assumes you are trustworthy. He’s getting a little bit more hair, but not much. I swear he’s more of a baldy than my little sister Al was. She didn’t get hair until like… last year-ish.

My alarm is buzzing so I guess I’ll start my day. Have a great one!

Oh... today is "Chocolate Mint day."

Friday, February 12, 2010

Cruise Shenanigans

Day 1

We boarded the ship, had dinner, and then explored the HUGE ship for hours. Didn't get into too much the first night, but did go out on the deck at night, where it was REALLY windy, since the ship was moving very fast. Joss and I had a ball playing in the strong winds, trying to walk, standing at angles, and practically falling all over the place. It was fun until I tried brushing my hair that night!

Day 2 - Day at sea

We attended an art auction, where they had several pieces by Picasso, and a sketch by Rembrandt!!!! Wish I could have bought one. The auctioneer dude said it would go for around 80k.

Dinner was awesome! It was formal night and Joss and I had fun sauntering around in our pretty dresses. After dinner we attended the Marquis show. They are very talented and we enjoyed it a lot.
We brought a bag of little green plastic army men with us, and have been leaving them around random places. We also used some to decorate our room. It's rather drab.

Day 3 - Haiti

Haiti is beautiful! And hot. We visited "Laberdee." We walked through the market area where we were bombarded by toothless Haitians trying to sell us stuff. There are tons of them and they keep telling you to look at this, look at that. The prices are highly negotiable. I wonder if anyone ever pays the first asking price. I bought a wooden mask for "the wall" at my house, which is a wrought-iron looking free-standing decorative divider/wall thingy that I got at an auction for $15. I hang interesting things on it. Will post a picture of it sometime. The mask was $4.00, but the asking price was like $12.00. Joss and I also got some woven bracelets with beads and stones (3 for $5), and Joss bought a hand-carved turtle for her Dad. Her Dad (Mark) loves turtles, and Joss tries to bring him one from every place she visits.
I rode a sort of roller-coaster that has individual sled-like carts for each person. You have a break handle, and have to make sure you don't bump into the person riding before you by using the break. The track goes really high and the views are stunning, but you can only see it for a second. I didn't use the break much and was laughing and screaming the entire way down.
Joss and I went off the beaten track and found some HUGE shells (will take pics of those too, sometime). Lots of them. The largest one is like maybe 8" long! I've never found such large shells, but always wanted to.
We spent about an hour at the beach. It was so beautiful with it's blue water. Haiti is very mountainous so the views are beautiful. We were so exhausted when we got back to the ship, we both took a nap. When we got up we went to The Crypt (a really cool gothic bar) and did some people-watching. We gave names to some of the people there, like "Jacket" "Wiggle" "Miss Quon" "Douche bag" and "Hookup man." It was fun spotting them again over the next few days.
On the way back to the ship we saw many pallets of relief supplies being loaded onto trucks to go to the earthquake victims. There was quite a lot of it, and a lot of workers loading it. We talked with an apparent American volunteer and learned a little about the relief efforts. It was interesting, and cool to see.

Day 4 - Ocho Rios, Jamaica

Jamaica was my favorite spot!!! It is gorgeous, and the people are so chill and happy. They, as the Haitians, also bombard you with requests to look at their market, ride their cab, let them braid your hair, or sell you drugs, but somehow they are much more likeable when they do it. One of the merchants was named Bob. He was so sweet and showed us how to get to this market we were looking for. I kept saying "Thanks, Bob. Is it this way, Bob? What's that, Bob?" and Joss told me "stop saying 'Bob!'" We liked Bob. Bob was friendly. Bob sold wooden carvings, and I really wanted to buy one because I liked Bob, but he didn't have anything I wanted. I should have got a picture of Bob, but I didn't think of it.
When we were done looking around the market, we decided to go to the Dunn River Falls. The entire time at the market and walking around we were constantly hounded by cabbies to take their cab. When we were finally ready for a cab to go to the falls, I said to Joss "Gee, I wish we could find a cab!" and we were immediately surrounded by like 5 cabbies. We went to the waterfalls and had a great time. First we went off the main path and found that the ground was covered with pretty shells. Not the beach, just the normal ground, where trees grow. It was weird. We collected a lot and then went over to the falls. It was so beautiful. We climbed around on the rocks and played in the water. I used my snorkel mask (yes, I looked very geeky) to look into these kinda caves in the rocks and saw crab houses and all kinds of little critters. Of everything we did and saw on the trip, I loved the falls the best.
We went into a little convenience store to get a drink and the sodas were priced in Jamaican money. We didn't know how much it would be, but we bought two 20 oz sodas and it came to $1.30!! I couldn't believe how cheap! So I gave them $2 U.S. and asked for the $.70 change in Jamaican. Joss got... get this... a Fifty Jamaican dollar bill, and about 3 or 4 coins, to total SEVENTY CENTS.
When we got back to our room on the ship and were washing off the shells we gathered, Joss discovered one was still inhabited by a snail. She named him Bob and ordered him a Caesar salad from room service. She set him up a habitat in the shower, with his salad, and some other shells, and a note to the maid to not move him. We thought he might be OK because he ate some salad and pooped, but he died the next day :( Poor Bob. I like Bob. Bob was a cool snail.
We added the things we bought in Jamaica to the shelf in our room. It's starting to look very nice. We contemplated hanging up a Led Zeppelin poster, but the gift shops didn't have any.
Lastly we had dinner at Johnny Rockets and then hung out in the cool air on the deck for a while.

Day 5 - Grand Cayman

We did a little shopping, got a free rum punch at Hard Rock CafĂ© (where I got a picture of Elton John’s glasses, Mick Jagger’s coat, and some other cool stuff).
I went snorkeling at this coral reef area. It’s not a beach, but like stairs down into 4’ water right where the coral reef is. Right there where you get in, there were these two huge fish like 3’ long! They swim right next to you. It was amazing! I spent hours snorkeling and looking at all the beautiful fish of all different colors. I dove for a few shells, but there weren’t many there. This was my second favorite part of the trip. I absolutely loved the snorkeling.
Back at the ship we added a few more things to our shelf, which is now getting quite pretty and brightens up the room. We had lobster for dinner! The evening show featured a huge star! I got to meet him, and even went on the stage and hugged him. I was so excited when I heard he was on the ship, I was constantly looking everywhere for him. Later I got his autograph, and several pictures with him. Are you dying to know who it was??? Ok, are you ready??? It was…BOWZER!!!! Yes, seriously! (For all of you who are under 40, Bowzer starred in the very popular 80’s TV show, “Sha Na Na.” It was a very exciting evening.

Day 6 – Cozumel, Mexico

Holy crap it’s hot in Mexico! Also, the police carry machine guns. We had Mexican food (there they just call it “food”) at a placed called Tiki Tok. I had a burrito and Joss had nachos.
Joss bought a beautiful chess set and a set of stone dominos. We each got some cigars for Dominick (my son-in-law). I got an Ed Hardy bag for $40, and a silver and coral bracelet for showing some Mexican my boob. The left one. I also got a Mayan plaque type thing for the Wall.
There was SO much shopping that we didn’t really get to do anything else. We walked for many hours and then returned to the ship sore and dirty.
The ship’s show was “Once Upon A Time” which was a musical song and dance thing themed after fairy tales. It was really good! We went to the casino for a few minutes after dinner, and I lost $20. Earlier in the week I had made $10 by putting $5 on red (roulette) (I also had a $5 play credit coupon) but gave $5 of it to Joss because I felt bad that she lost her roulette bet.
The shelf is now overflowing!

Day 7 – At sea

Joss and I rearranged the furniture in our room. It’s a lot roomier now!
Joss made a fort with blankets and when the room service guy came to bring us tea, she yelled “ATTACK” and threw a bunch of army men at him.
We also put luggage tags on a few favored items and put them out in the hallway to be checked with everyone else’s baggage. A chair, a roll of toilet paper, and a life vest. Sadly they were ignored and not taken away with the rest of the luggage. However our housekeeper did find it quite funny, and came into our room to tell us about it (after knocking for about 10 minutes and hearing us laughing but not answering the door.)

Day 8 – It’s all over now

We got off the ship at like 6 a.m. It was freezing in Florida. Like in the 20s, and windy. We had no coats, and were in flip flops. We rented a car and drove to Orlando. We got pedicures and manicures, and then went to the airport, where we missed the plane by like 10 minutes. That’s a story for another blog though. We got home at midnight.
I'll post more pictiures soon.

Some pictures from the cruise

Me and Joss at the airport.  We were trying to avoid airport security.Apparently our disguises were not sufficient, as airport security scoped us out for about 10 minutes before finally coming over and asking what was up.

Me and Joss on the bus from the airport to the port.  We were sitting right in front of a man that I dubbed "snot man" because of the disgusting snorting snot sounds he kept making.  I offered him a kleenix, but he didn't get the hint, and kept right on  a-snotting.   Later we saw him in the elevator and he was chewing with his mouth open too!  Yuck!

A  small portion of the HUGE ship.

 Actually, it's not really THAT big:

The Promenade!!  A happenin spot every night

Who does this chick think she is??

More of the royal promenade

Joss with the WCSR mascot.  Wow, some law firms are really free with vacation time.  Hey, does that child have a drink in her hand???  Where's her mother!

I'm wearing my Heart of the Ocean necklace.  Luckily, there were no icebergs in sight

At The Crypt:  A very cool gothic-themed bar.

My photo shoot.  I took what I learned from the model in Paris back with me.

More pictures to come!!!


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