Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Wednesday, leaving Molde, Norway

I don't know where my posts have gone for Tuesday and Wednesday.  Maybe they will show up later.

Anyway, we stayed onboard today, since it was raining.  Of course, the rain stopped just as we set sail.  Heading to beautiful Bergen tomorrow.

All is well on this side of the world!

Ciao, y'all!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Sea Day

Isn't this cute? No point in posting another photo of the calm sea, which we are happy to have, including the sunshine.

Good chilly afternoon from onboard the Ryndam, southbound here in the North Sea. That also means formal night, our third this cruise.

So what have we done today already, you surely ask. Well, we pretty much begin every day with breakfast in the dining room, rather than at the usually crowded Lido buffet. Being waited on is quite a luxury for me.

After breakfast, MM went to the Microsoft seminar while I attended a jewelry talk on Alexandrite stones, read awhile, and then we both listened to a talk on acupuncture.

The food onboard has been good and quite varied. The main dining room is closed for lunch whenever we are in port, so we have lunch on Lido then, mostly eating from the salad bar, which we did today. Every day there are at least 3 ready-made salad combinations to enjoy, in addition to the normal pick and choose trays of veggies and greens. Lots of great choices. I could live on salads and fruit.

There are chilled soups on the menu each night. Our server has learned that the fruit soups will be my choice for dessert, so he automatically inserts the cold soup into the dessert slot on his order pad. That sorta backfired last night, as I knew it would, but I decided to give it a try anyway. The orange/carrot soup with cumin was tasty indeed, but should have stayed in the pre-entree position. It was a tad spicy. MM saved me a bite of his tiramisu, thankfully.

There isn't much on the activity list we are interested in this afternoon, but that is OK. We are thoroughly enjoying a guitarist onboard, which we will go see later. Last night we had a comedian/magician as the show entertainer, Motown music in the office, followed by a nice show performed by the Indonesian crew and staff.

So we can be as busy...or we want to be. MM has headed to the library to find another book. We can always enjoy a book and listen to music.

Life is good here on our floating city. WYWH!

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Sunday, July 28, 2013

Hammerfest, Norway

Another sleepy fishing village above the tree line that was basically destroyed in WW2.

It is Sunday, so everything is pretty much closed and the church bells are ringing.

We caught the port shuttle to ride across to the city center and found a free signal. We will walk about and enjoy the view, then take the shuttle back to the ship.

There was no show last night, since we were in port till late, so MM and I enjoyed the guitarist and then saw The Life of Pi. It was interesting, but we were happy we had not paid extra for it. In case anyone wants to know.

Have yourselves a ginger peachy day, y'all! We sure will.

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Saturday, July 27, 2013

Honningsvag, Norway

Greetings from the northernmost tip of the European continent, where we are above the tree line! We are overlooking the Arctic Sea...and a lot of fishing boats.

MM was rushing to find us free wifi.

We found pelts...and native Laplanders...

And we passed a nice young lady enticing us to see a native play and enjoy FREE wifi. MM is drinking a $12 beer...his personal best...but the wifi is FREE...and still less expensive than on the ship.

We have hit the best weather of the whole season up here, as the previous cruise had nothing but high winds, fog, and rain.

Bottom's up. Cheers, y'all!

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Friday, July 26, 2013

Tromso, Norway

A lot of reported fog and swift seas here today up in the fjord, so the captain opted to take a longer, but safer, route to this port, delaying arrival by 3 hours...compensated by a likewise later departure. I wonder how many guests were at the guest services desk complaining because they are missing their privately booked tours?!

Tromso is the seventh largest city, boasting the most traditional wooden houses in Norway in their city center. These houses date from the late 18th century, built before the ban on constructing wooden houses within the city center. This city was often utilized as a starting point for Arctic expeditions, and a hub for local hunting.

This is the view from the cable car ride, although not a great photo...but a great view:

So the sun does not set tonight. At all. That is why this area is called the Land of the Midnight Sun. Can you imagine a sunless winter? No thank you!

Life is good, y'all!

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Sea day on the North Sea

Update: yesterday's post that didn't get posted...

Fog was all we saw till late morning, with the fog horn being blown every so often to warn anything small that something rather large was barreling through. We didn't bump anything.

We emerged from the mist into sunshine just in time to join our fellow Mariner Society folks at a special luncheon for loyal Holland America travelers. We had a very enjoyable time with an interesting couple our age from Pensacola.

We attended the digital workshop after lunch. We are learning quite a few tricks with Win8. It actually does have some neat features, plus we are using a large touch screen computer that is quite awesome. Our luncheon buddy, a retired police captain, says the police force is now using a smaller version of that to use in and out of police cars, plus using as a navigational system. Technology changes pretty rapidly, so it is good staying on top of new stuff.

Dick then went to the office while I enjoyed a pearl seminar as we crossed over into the arctic circle. The temps are dropping a bit with us this far north. Dick opted NOT to join the polar bear pool plunge.

Internet was down all morning, so hopefully it is functional now.

Our seas are absolutely flat today, and we have a few wispy clouds up in the sky. Perfect! We visit another village tomorrow before hitting our northern most port on Saturday.

Life is smooth, y'all!

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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Geiranger, Norway

Good afternoon from the office!

Since we had free time this morning, MM and I attended the Microsoft Windows 8 session before lunch on photo techniques using their photo program, which also works on Win7. Brilliant. I learned some new techniques for when I get around to playing with photos...maybe tomorrow on sea day.

MM had booked us a 1 1/2 hour bus tour for after lunch...8 folks were onboard the 45' bus. Rut roh; they lost bucks today. Our driver was great, so it was very enjoyable.

First we drove N out of town, up a windy road to midway up the mountain for this spectacular view looking down on our ship in the harbor:

Then we went back through town and up the windy road off in the above distance, the same one I am looking at right now where we could see the Seven Sisters below, that have maybe 4 sisters on vacation right now, this late in the summer:

Lovely weather. The food has been complaints. The comedian was good the other night, as was the pianist last tonight. Tonight we have a flutist.

A lot of the activities offered are pretty boring, so we manage to entertain ourselves reading, napping (not me), talking with other passengers, and just enjoying the scenery.

We are on vacation. It is all good. No worries, mon.

Satellites don't work up in this fjord for Internet nor TV, so this will be posted later after we set sail, which happens during our dinner time. Don't expect early postings.

Cheers, y'all!

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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Flam and fjords

We anchored early for the day at Flam, and were hoping to do the train trip through the area but there were no tickets available for the round trip. We opted instead to do a small ferry boat ride out this fjord, around and up into the next fjord, the smallest one in the country.

Many small, and I do mean small, villages dot the shoreline.

Along with many waterfalls.

And goats. My nose detected some of their cousins sitting near us.

We caught the bus after exiting the ferry...after waiting a bit for it...for the 20 minute ride through 2 tunnels back to Flam to board the ship. MM is at the market now buying a beer to enjoy while I catch a free signal (always check out where the crew is). The ship sails promptly at 6:30. We are 6 hours ahead of home time, by the way.

Weather is perfect. Having fun.

Life is good, y'all!

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Sunday, July 21, 2013

Goodbye, London!

Goodbye, hotel. We won't miss your heat nor the 4 flights of steps! We do appreciate that there has been no rain during our visit.

After a very nice dinner at a Brazilian restaurant in the neighborhood last night, we went back to the hotel to pack up all our stuff before going to bed. Now all we have to do is schlep down all those stairs and walk to the nearby train station for the 2 hour ride down to Dover.

We are ready to roll! Literally.

Let the adventure now begin.

Life is good across the pond, y'all!

Sunday on MS Rhyndam, sea day. Seas are calm, air is brisk, and the sun is shining. Love it!

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Friday, July 19, 2013

Beer thirty

Hawt, hawt!

We enjoyed the HO HO bus trip was good but hot. We got off at Hyde Park and had lunch at the lake there, got back on and rode and looked some more.

A short boat cruise on the Thames was also included, so that was a being water people and something we had never done.

At least this photo made by my tall guy didn't include his finger. He still hasn't learned how to use this phone. This is Tower Bridge. We saw the fabulous royal jewels on a previous trip there, so didn't feel the need to go back for another look this time.

We catch the 9:22a train to Dover in the morning, heading to the ship. My feet will be happy to rest a bit.

Cheers from St. George's Tavern, y'all.

Life is good!
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Thursday, July 18, 2013

Fish and chips!

Greetings from London!

Weather delayed our flight for over an hour last night, so after little to no sleep, we headed to the hotel, showered, set the wake-up alarm, and snoozed for a few hours.

We are almost human again, but still jet lagged.

We enjoyed a nice dinner, complimentary wifi, and will walk about a bit before heading back to the hotel.

Tomorrow we have a HO HO bus trip booked, so we will be out enjoying the London sights and decide what we want to do.

No rush, no worry.

Our hotel has no AC, but thankfully a fan. We will check out another choice for our return after the cruise. It is a bit hot here, but it is only for 2 nights anyway. We adjust.

Cheers, y'all!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

London bound!


packed bags

OK, so I cheated.  The computer backpack isn’t loaded up yet, nor is the black  tote, but they will be shortly. 

What black tote?  Everything looks BLACK!  Well, it is a great carry all tote.  The back pocket has a zipper at the bottom of it, that when unzipped, creates a spot for the handle of the computer backpack to go through so it can ride piggy back…and not fall off.  It has lots of useful pockets and makes for a good travel tote.  My messenger bag purse goes inside very nicely.

Our flight leaves late tonight, so we have plenty of time for last minute stuff on the to-do list, and time to get to the airport before traffic grinds down to a halt.

I didn’t set up any pre-blogs, so I will post as I am able and tell y’all about our adventure.  Come along, if you wanna.

The kitties know something is up, but they are being left in loving, capable hands here at home…just where they both want to be.  They wouldn’t enjoy a cruise at all.

Have yourselves a ginger peachy day.  We sure will.

Life is short…go travel!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Happy feet...not so happy feet!

In anticipation of needing sturdy, water resistant, and comfy shoes for future trips, I purchased these (butt ugly) Skechers...normally a comfortable brand...and wore them yesterday morning. No, Ms Fashion Police, I don't normally wear tennis socks with this type of shoe, why do you ask?

I digress. My left big toe was not happy after only two hours. These puppies are not going to Norway. Enter trusty sneakers:

So these are my walking shoes, with a dressier black pair thrown in for when i need them, along with some glitzy evening shoes. And my trusty Crocs. They don't weigh a thing and have already been all over Europe anyway. I can't travel without them. Ever.

My feet have to be happy. That's not asking for too much, right?!

Cruising requires more stuff than our normal jaunts...more outfits for evenings...and more shoes. MM and I know how to travel light, going to Europe with only two carry-ons apiece. Can't do that when cruising, but that's OK. We take one larger (notice I did not say LARGE) rolling suitcase that we check on the flight, in addition to taking our carry-ons. This is still manageable when we get to our destination because of those wonderful wheels, even on my computer backpack. Never buy suitcases without GOOD wheels.

I am mostly packed and will finish up today. MM is home, and that makes me happy, too. Dirty laundry came as a package deal. He is worth it! Now it is his turn to get packed. I left a little room for him in the larger bag. Really, I did.

Enjoy today. Life is not a dress rehearsal, y'all. Stay happy..........and that includes happy feet, too!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Monday, July 15, 2013

Good morning, sunshine!

You have been away too long. Please dry us out a bit...and stay awhile. We are growing mold, and that is not attractive. Nor wanted.

I am making progress on the travel prep front. Hair cut needed today while I am in town doing errands. And today is MM's final day on his mowing (paid) job! I am glad about that. That boy needs a rest. And a cruise! He's earned it. Oh yes, that cruise is SOON! And no toe inspection on this one, since it is in a chilly part of the world. No flip flops needed on this trip!

Today is a rest day for the Tour. I especially enjoyed yesterday's climb because MM, Brian and a friend of his were right there at Mont Ventoux for the '03 Tour. Beautiful country. Brutal mountain, not that MM and I tackled it on a bike. The kids did though. We enjoyed a beer while waiting on them.

So it is a brand new day, and a brand new week. Make it a good one. We only go around once, y'all!

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Sunday, July 14, 2013

Nature's demolition

Up until two nights ago, this was a tall poplar tree. MM was awakened by heavy rain and lightening, followed shortly by the explosion of this tree, about a quarter of a mile away from the Airstream. The tree top was blown quite a distance from the split trunk and all the chunks of debris. This is more mess for MM to clean up! The land sale is next Saturday, so the property has to look nice and neat, along with the mowing. We will lift a toast from onboard the ship that the sale goes well. It's the least we can do, right?

So the suitcases are out, packing list printed, purse changed, and the bedroom littered with stuff to sort through and decisions to make. Pretty much same old/same old goes on every cruise, so it won't take long to pack.

Happy birthday to our sweet Faith! We are blessed to have you in this crazy family.

Have yourselves a ginger peachy day, my friends.

Life is mighty good!

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Saturday, July 13, 2013

One week and counting!

One week from today, we will board Holland America's ms Ryndam in Dover, England, heading to the beautiful country of Norway.

This was on MM's bucket list to do, and so we shall. We visited Bergen and Oslo on a previous cruise, but this one continues up the beautiful coastline above the Arctic circle where temps are in the mid 50 range right now. Yikes! Which coat to take???

So the next few days will be mighty busy getting ready to leave. It is time to print out my packing list and checking it twice.

Kitty sitter can be checked off the list already, but don't mention this to the babies yet.

Have yourselves a ginger peachy day. My assistants are napping already. Typical.

Life is good in the GA Alps, y'all!

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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

14 for breakfast



All duckies were playing mostly nice…they don’t entirely like to share…until a big mean fish came along.  He stayed around the edge of the group, then he must have taken a nip of a webbed foot because the ducks got scared, squawked (giddy up, boys and girls!), and all of a sudden as in one big body fled across the cove to safety and out of reach. 

We have interesting critters here in paradise.  MM and I saw one of the foxes near the shop the other day.  Apparently there are at least two, because one has a white tip on his/her tail.  This one didn’t.

So where is our cruise going?  Well, we fly to London where we’ll spend a couple of nights before boarding a ship heading from Dover up to Norway and back.  Norway only; no other country.

Mowing Man wanted to go back and see more of Norway than we saw on our previous cruise, so we shall.  He has earned the right to pick…literally.

We won’t need any short-sleeves or flip flops, since we’ll be going up into the Arctic Circle.  I’ll be packing fleece and ear muffs!

This will be another fabulous adventure.  Come tag along!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

MM’s mighty, mean, mowing machine


Mowing machine

Not only is this machine a mower, it is a mulcher.  MM raises that large mower deck up into the bushes and vines, then does another pass or two to mulch up the mess.  One machine, very efficient.  One fine operator, too.

He has discovered that privet is a bushy kudzu, and it takes over everything, just like kudzu does here in the south.  At least the cab is air conditioned.  And he has his iPod for entertainment.  And is getting paid!

But his boss has him on a different job today, on the (relatively) small mower now, making some more cruise money!  Yeah, baby!!!

Hello, busy Tuesday.  More rain is headed our way, but at least we enjoyed sunshine yesterday for the first time in ages, and MM can mow in the rain.

Be careful, honey.

Thanks for all the anniversary wishes.  We had a celebration dinner with most all the kids last night, always a rowdy gathering.  Photo?  Nada.  And how many cameras were at that table???!

It’s just another day in Mayberry, where life is good, y’all!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Lucky 18!


Haley & Logan 7.8.95

Happy Anniversary to these two sweeties, Haley and Logan.

You will find that the years escalate and that #45, like ours, will be here before you know it.  Trust me on that.  Most days I feel that number is my AGE, but we all know that is far from the fact.  Hopefully only good genes have been passed down to those precious daughters, and everyone will enjoy a long and healthy life.

Blessings.  We’ve got them, but time sure flies.  Enjoy the ride!

Marriage is a relationship in which one person is always right, and the other is a husband.

Can I get a “Yes, dear?”

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Red and black


photo (1)

Yet again, Haley and I showed up in the same colors.  See what happens when we don’t call each other ahead of time?  MM and Logan, quit laughing!  It’s not good to do this at our age.

altar flowers

The gorgeous altar flowers were given by us in commemoration of our anniversary, and in celebration of the engagement of Brian to Faith.  No wedding date set…yet.  We’ll try to be patient and wait.  Can you tell we are happy about this wedding?!  Oh yes!!!

We are about to get more rain, so I am working at my desk while Maintenance Man is over playing tour director and working on getting us tickets for the HO/HO buses in various cities.  Stay tuned for more details.

It is the joke around our house that all MM has to do to get something to work is “lay hands on it.”  Well, the printer that quit working for ME (yes, I turned it off.  I turned it on.  The cartridge wouldn’t b.u.d.g.e…stuck.  Would NOT move.), started working when he opened the door thingy to check it out.

That’s fine by me.  It is working.  I need to print out stuff.

Hello, rain.  Have you seen the sun anywhere?  It’s been missing for several days.  Bugger.  Back to work.  Break time is over.

Have a ginger peachy (and dry) day, y’all!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Happy #45!


Don, Margaret, Dick, Sandy, Mae

The year was 1968, in south Georgia.  MM still had hair; I had a 22” waistline.  Both areas have changed over the years, but not our commitment to each other.  That is what matters.

We’ve had a lot of miles and smiles over the long haul since that exciting day, and produced three fantastic kids who have expanded our family very nicely.

Honey, I would definitely pick you all over again.  Our 99 year contract still has a lot of life left to go.  And that makes me happy.

We are heading across the pond for a cruise in a couple of weeks to celebrate.  We figure we’ll sit here on the porch when we get too old to travel any more.  In the meantime, we plan to gallivant and have fun!

Come grow old with me; the best is yet to be.”

Life is good, y’all! 

Friday, July 5, 2013

Soggy Friday in Mayberry



Check out my breakfast buddy…with a halo!  Empress Bee is in town this week, visiting family.  It was so good getting real hugs.  The week is flying by.

I did wind up having dinner next door with the kids, then going down the cove watching our other neighbor’s fireworks afterward.  It was a bit LOUD at the fireworks home, so Alex and I left there and came home to enjoy watching from our deck…much quieter here.  Then he promptly fell asleep, one tired boy.

My also tired tall boy is now back home…with a couple of loads of laundry for me to do.  Welcome home, honey!  I’ve missed you.

I hope everyone has a good weekend.  We have sad stuff to get through, but all is well.

Life is good, y’all.  Hug your loved ones!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy Independence Day!

am flag face

Our day of celebration is still WET, as in it is still raining. 

This was Amy and Jason’s backyard yesterday.  That creek occurred when the water overflowed from the driveway on the other side of the house.   The rain was heavy, and since our area gets ALL the run off from the hill behind us, the culvert under the driveway couldn’t keep up the new

Fortunately, the rush didn’t wash out the culvert.  We were a little worried for a bit. 

I went home next door, only to discover a puddle in our garage.  Urrggh.  Thanks, Jason, for cleaning out the gutter and getting the rainwater diverted for me.  MM is still off mowing…in the rain.  Bless his tired heart.

Local fireworks have been canceled for tonight, due to all this rain.  I am home alone, with the furbabies…and a book or two.  And that’s OK.

Have a safe holiday, y’all!  What are you doing to celebrate?  Cheers!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Sweet Nana Joyce


Joyce, kids at GA Aquarium

Nana Joyce got her heavenly wings late yesterday afternoon, and is now healed, and finallytypain free.  At 72, she was much too young to leave us, but her body was worn out.

I told her the other day while she was still alert that I appreciated how good she has been to Amy, and how much I love her son Jason and the two fine grandsons we have shared.  Those boys won’t forget their Nana, nor will this great granddaughter.

Amy and Haley took Joyce and the kids to the GA Aquarium a couple of months ago to give these kids one final, good, lasting, happy memory with their grandmother (known as Nana Joyce to my granddaughters).  It was her last major outing.  Cancer invaded with a rapid vengeance.

The battle is done, faithful servant.  May you rest in peace, and rise in glory…much deserved.  We will miss you, but you leave behind living legacies that are treasures…gone, but you won’t forgotten.

Life is sad…but still good…thanks to lots of family and friends everywhere.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

This is how we roll

Roll, float, flip and fly! Little guys having fun, and the big kids enjoying life, too.

Photos shamelessly stolen from Amy. Glad y'all are having a bit of much-deserved fun. This makes me smile.

Nana would want her boys to have some fun, even though the angels are getting closer.

Get out and make some good memories, peaches. Life keeps on rolling, and that is a good thing. We need to enjoy the ride!

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