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Our 35th Wedding Anniversary Cruise
Posted by Tina on Monday, July 06, 2009 - 07:43 PM
(398 Reads)
Cruise Travel Tina writes " Our anniversary cruise on the Royal Caribbean Adventure of the Seas sailed June 21st . Paul took us to the Miami Airport and we fly to San Juan, Puerto Rico where our cruise ship was docked. Upon arriving at the ship I thought about Paul proposing to Gloria just 5 years ago on June 15th,2003 on this very same ship and now here we were embarking on our 35th anniversary celebration. Once on the ship we immediately went to our stateroom- the oceanview was very nice with a very large closet for all those clothes I packed. And yes I did end up wearing almost everything.... After a light lunch in the Windjammer Cafe it was ship exploration time! This was our first ship with a promenade and it apparently was helpful in providing orientation because I became the designated leader!
Our cabin was close to the dining room so we only ate in the Windjammer if we got back late from an excursion. Every evening we enjoyed dinner with two delightful couples. Our conversations covered everything from travel stories, world events, children and grandchildren, and everything in between. Looking forward to keeping in touch with Betsy and Hugh and John and Barbara.
We booked five excursions and our first day at sea we relaxed in the solarium
and I did exercise a wee bit. Our first port was Barbados and as our snorkel boat headed out the rain began . Fortunately, the boat was covered and the rain stopped when we arrived at the turtle feeding site. The hawksbill turtles arrived right on cue along with huge pufferfish when they began releasing squid in the water. It was amazing being so close to the sea turtles but I wonder what they think of all those humans trying to get a look of them as well as touch them! The next port St. Lucia was spectacular with the mountainous terrain, windy roads and the over 2,000ft. Pitons. Our guided walk through the rainforest was challenging with the steep and sometimes slippery terrain but the waterfall and the volcanic ash backrub made it all worthwhile to my dear hubby!
Like last time in Antigua we did a catamaran snorkel trip. The reef is still rather bleak from all the hurricane damage 10 or more years ago but Deepwater Bay where we spent some time relaxing has the most tranquil ,turquoise water. The time we spent there was a part of our cruise we will never forget.
Our day in St. Martin,Maarten was a nice mix of shopping, sightseeing with a visit to Orient Beach and barbeque lunch. Our dinner mates John and Barbara decided to sign up for this excursion so it was nice spending the day with them.
Our last and most expensive excursion was the snorkel trip at Buck Island, St. Croix.The water temperature was around 80 degrees and visibility was excellent. The elkhorn coral was massive but in 1989 Hurricane Hugo devastated the elkhorn coral and it is slowly growing back. Very slowly.The brain coral for the most part was in great shape.And we saw the largest school of blue tangs- more than 200!
We did manage to get some dancing in on this cruise and though we were on the go found time to just relax and have a great time together..... and that's what it is all about. "

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Summer has Arrived!
Posted by Tina on Monday, July 06, 2009 - 06:31 PM
(392 Reads)
Events Stuff Tina writes " July 4th weekend is now over- enjoyed a delicious dinner with our dear friends Mary and Charlie and watched the movie Independence Day on TV. Lots of fireworks went off in the neighborhood so no problem staying home!
The first 3 weeks of summer break has quickly sped by. We celebrated our 35th wedding anniversary with Mary and Charlie- they took us to Mantanzas Inn Restaurant at Ft. Myers Beach. The temps. that evening were pleasant and the seafood was scrumptious! We even got to see dolphins from our dockside table!We also traveled with them two days later to Largo, Florida to attend the memorial service for Mary's brother Ben. He was a wonderful guy with a great sense of humor, kind heart, and will be greatly missed .
On June 20th we headed over to Miami and enjoyed spending time with Gloria, Paul and the grandchildren. Gloria had just finished taking Alexa and Paul Andrew to swimming lessons for 2 full weeks. I could definitely see the progress they had made! Gloria gently released Alexa at the center of their pool and Alexa swam to the wall. Paul Andrew also swam underwater and is doing very well for his age. Alexa still has some apprehension and she touched my heart when she said to Gloria " Take a break, Mommy". Gloria let her take a break but then had her practice again. With time my grandchildren will be like fish...
"

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A Birthday Poem to Alexa
Posted by Tina on Saturday, May 16, 2009 - 09:21 PM
(328 Reads)
Family News Tina writes "
Alexa, Alexa how can it be!
My beautiful granddaughter you now are 3!

No longer a baby, so tiny, so small,
You now stand a whopping 37 inches tall!!

With each passing year our love for you grows,
You have such a beautiful smile and look so cute in those bows!

Your interests are varied but there is no doubt,
You love your Disney Friends and computers you easily figure out!

For sure your 3rd birthday party was a blast
I hope you made a big, gigantic wish,
Cause there's so much all of us want to do with you
And one of them is Grandpa teaching you how to fish!

P.S. Until you're ready Grandma will practice with you with plastic fish!
Love you,
Grandma


"

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Spring Break Cruise
Posted by Tina on Friday, April 24, 2009 - 02:12 AM
(368 Reads)
Cruise Travel Tina writes " Our Bahama Cruise on the NCL Sky was over my April Spring Break so the strong winds and rough seas of a March sailing was not expected. Actually, the seas were not all that rough but the high winds kept us out of our first port of call- Freeport. The skies were overcast and kept the high for the day at 68 degrees and I guess going in and out on our balcony cooled the cabin down enough we actually ran our heat in the cabin instead of A.C. We headed to the casino to hopefully not lose too much money but when Gene was on a winning streak we had to cash out. Now the ship was heading in to Nassau a day early for a medical emergency! We start to think that maybe the Sail and Beach Excursion might not be that great with the weather being a bit on the cool side so we changed our excursion to an underwater submarine experience! Well the next morning we head out on Nassau's pier and discover the " Explorer Sub" excursion is cancelled. But like they say in Jamaica " no problem!" Maybe, years ago I would have felt like the cruise was a disaster but it was nice just taking it easy, eating great food, and seeing Rich Purpura again( a comedian we saw on the NCL Sun last year). Plus the
last stop at NCL's island Great Stirrup Cay was picture perfect! The sun was out, the air temperature was around 80 degrees and the ocean water was perfect! Gene had the underwater video camera and I had the underwater digital camera which would take up to 280 pics. I stopped at about 180 and to my surprise and delight about 80% of them were quite nice and in focus. Last year at these same coral heads at Great Stirrup Cay I had many out of focus pics.
We did not get to see Paul and Gloria and the grandchildren after the cruise since they were still in Chicago but at least we saw them before the cruise. Paul Andrew was walking quite well holding your hand- it's just a matter of time before he takes off!!"

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Tallahassee and Titusville- What a Blast!!!
Posted by Tina on Thursday, April 16, 2009 - 02:54 AM
(330 Reads)
Events Stuff Tina writes "Gene and I have never visited Tallahassee in the springtime and have never seen a live shutlle launch. The visit to Tallahassee was a planned Mom trip -we thought this time of year the weather would be great and as events unfolded the shuttle launch was just plain luck!
We headed up to Orlando to visit Dan staying at our favorite hotel the Radison. The plan was for the three of us to then drive up together to visit Dave and Lori for the weekend. Dan was planning to see the Space Shuttle Discovery launch before we arrived but the launch was postponed with a weekend launch projected.
After a leisurely breakfast we headed north up the Florida Turnpike. On I-10 an unexpected treat- to my delight redbud trees were blooming. I have not seen these trees in bloom since 1990 in North Carolina.The bright reddish pink flowers on this small tree are very showy and eye catching!
We found Dave and Lori's apartment with no problem and to my delight beautiful tall trees were everywhere. Unlike our area trees are not all cut down when homes and apartments are built. As Dave warned the pollen was quite heavy - many of the vehicles left parked during spring break were becoming completely covered in the pollen. To our amazement none of us developed sneezing or watery eyes!
Jack was happy to meet us- though he is a bit timid he cannot resist playing tug of war especially when new toys are provided. As I learned his first mission is to destroy the sqeaker when it is time to rest from all the physical exertion. I was amazed how quickly he accomplishes that task! We headed to the State Capitol soon after arriving since we wanted to go to the top floor to take in the stunning view of Tallahassee and surrounding forests. Even though I do love beautiful palm trees I sometimes miss the tall forests of hardwood trees.After a late lunch at Panera's we headed back to Dave and Lori's place and enjoyed playing cards and sharing some laughs.
Breakfast the next morning was at The Broken Egg. The owners selected a charming old home on a lake for this delightful restaurant that served scrumptious breakfast foods. The azalea bushes were in full bloom during our visit and just like the capitol area there were plenty of azaleas at the restaurant to dazzle the eye!
Lori and I left Dave, Dan, and their Dad at the apartment to work on computer projects and we spent a few hours shopping and getting a pedicure and a manicure. This was only the second time for me and I have to say this is one treat I need to do for myself once in a while.To top it all off Dave and Lori picked a great place for dinner- the Japanese restaurant had wonderful chefs/ entertainers!
Before we knew it Sunday had arrived! I am so glad we got to see how nice Dave and Lori decorated their apartment - if it had been cooler I would have asked for them to light up the real fireplace! After breakfast we headed back to Orlando with Dan and to my delight the Space Shuttle Discovery launch was still on for Sunday, March 15 around 7:45 pm! Paul had just finished his weekend classes in Orlando so with perfect timing we join up at Dan's and then head to Titusville to see the shuttle launch. Even though the traffic got backed up several blocks away from Spaceview Park which is 15 miles from the launchpad we somehow found a parking spot and a viewing position in the park to get a superb view of the shuttle launch. I felt so many emotions as I saw the Discovery rockets ignite - no longer delayed she and her brave astronauts rapidly left Earth leaving behind a trail of color in the sky . I cheered with all the people at the Spaceview Park as she sped away thankful that we were able to witness this proud moment and truely spectacular human achievement!
"

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