Saturday, December 11, 2010
Sorry it has been a while but I got some super experience observing this week. Yeah!
Today I am picking up with the pictures from our recent trip. Today - Grenada! Enjoy!
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Just a quick note to let you know that I haven't forgotten you! No - I just have the opportunity to get a BUNCH of observation hours (and good experience) this week for my next Practicum class. The opportunity was too good to pass up so . . . I signed up. For ALL WEEK. I will be busy every day until the weekend.
Being busy IS good, right?
Monday, December 6, 2010
I took a break from blogging this weekend but . . . I am back with more pictures from our trip. Today it is the lovely island of Dominica. It was VERY cloudy and rainy on the day that we were on the island so the pictures are a bit dark. Enjoy!
Friday, December 3, 2010
Well, Mental Mama did it - she guess three of the five places Hubby and I went during our cruise. A prize will be on the way to her soon!
For the record, Hubby and I visited the following places: St. Thomas, Dominica, Bonaire, Grenada, Aruba.
Today I am going to show you some sights from St. Thomas. I don't think I am going to say much (I am not in a talkative mood today) so enjoy the sights!
So - did you enjoy your visual tour around St. Thomas with us? I know the pictures are a bit dark - it was rainy and cloudy so it was tough to catch the sun out for a good picture!
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Well, Hubby and I had a fabulous time on our cruise. We went to five different islands (remember, guess three and you get a fabulous prize!) and saw many different things.
On day seven we were back in Puerto Rico where we started. Because of expensive airfare we decided to stay in Puerto Rico for one night and fly out the next day. We got off the ship quickly and got onto a tour bus for a rainforest tour of El Yunque. It was lovely but a bit "canned" since the tour was one which many other people took too. Nothing personal. Of course I took about a million pictures!
Once we finished the tour we got a ride to our hotel in Old Town with the bus driver who also gave us a tip about where to eat for lunch (I was STARVING by this time since it was about 2:00 and I ate breakfast at 7:00!). Then it was off to Old Town. Since our room wasn't ready at the hotel we stored our luggage and then went to wander around the town.
First order of business was to find the lunch spot called Mallorca. It took us a bit of doing thanks to a wrong turn but we finally found the spot and went in to try a dish called Mallorca. This is a sweet bread which is grilled and topped with powder sugar. It can be filled with cheese or cheese and ham. We got the cheese and ham variety and it was delicious!
Once we had eaten lunch we went out to walk the town and see what was what. We saw several nice shops but didn't really do any shopping - we were shopped out! Then we stopped in a Del Sol store and talked to the saleswoman about a good local place to eat dinner. She gave us a tip about a restaurant which is near the city wall.
Then we finally went to the hotel and got into our room. We cooled off and dried off (from sweat and a brief rain shower during our walk) and took a nap (we were still on vacation after all!). Next thing we knew it was time to find the restaurant for an early dinner.
We had fun looking at all of the little stalls of local art and local food which were set up along the streets. There were a lot of different people out and about due to two cruise ships being at the nearby docks.
We found our restaurant - Cafe Princess - and went into a virtual wonderland. The restaurant is outside and had two permanent pavilions for shelter. The poles of the pavilions and the nearby trees are all wound with lights and there are lovely little chandeliers hanging from the pavilion ceilings for additional light. It wasn't too brightly lit and Hubby had some problems reading the menu in the dim light!
All around the area, on the trees and the pavilion poles plants and vines were growing among the lights and there were hidden frogs "singing" in the night air. Surrounding the entire restaurant was a wrought iron fence and on the other side of the fence there was a gathering of local people who were hanging out, eating, and playing music. It made for a rather festive atmosphere.
After ordering (Hubby got a shrimp stuffed chicken dish and I got Pastelon which is like lasagna with sweet plantain instead of pasta) Hubby and I got to soak in the atmosphere and discuss what we would be doing the next day. When our food came (it was delicious even though mine was a bit unfamiliar with the sweet plantain taste) we asked the waitress about the gathering outside the fence. She told us that the people were local senior citizens who gather there every Sunday starting around noon. The just hang out talking and eating and making music until about one in the morning. Every Sunday. It was nice to hear their music and to watch them dance and socialize.
After dinner Hubby and I walked around a bit more and I bought some Chiccerones (sp??) to try. If you don't know there are fried pig skin and they are yummy! Of course, the smallest bag I could by was 1/4 of a pound and that is a LOT of chiccerones for one person to eat. So - as we were walking back to the hotel I gave some to people we passed and then gave the rest of the bag to the staff at the hotel.
It was a really nice day!
The next morning we got up and had a lovely buffet breakfast at the hotel restaurant and then packed our bags and headed to the airport for our flight.
It was a good time but now we had to go home to the "real world."
After our five hour flight we picked up our car and headed home. We met our cat sitters at the house and treated them to pizza while getting our keys back. Then it was unpacking and sleep in our own bed! Wonderful!
Today I am loading pictures onto our computer so I can show you some of our islands (and hopefully get a winner!). After that it is laundry and some relaxing while I catch up on television on the DVR.
Yesterday I had to write two papers for class and then go to class for the last time. There is one more session this semester but we are meeting at a local restaurant to celebrate actually getting through the semester! Yeah!
That is about all my tired mind can do for today!
Voice Update: Well - as you know I haven't been too faithful to my exercises and massage during the trip. I will be getting back on track and am thinking I might even see if I can schedule a visit with Susan to get loosened up again. We will see. Right now I am dealing with my sun poisoning on my neck (yes, again!) while trying to do my massage. Not too fun!
Saturday, November 27, 2010
Well, so far Flea has guessed one of the places Hubby and I traveled to and Mental Mama has guessed one. So far some of the other places are still a mystery.
Let's see - a quick review. The first island we were at was named after a saint and is known for beautiful beaches. Next we went to an island named for a day of the week (hint: the name isn't in English!). Then it was on to an island on which American medical students were held captive. The fourth visit was to a little place which - I think - was named after its very good air (again - think in a different language!).
Now on with the next two days.
Today we docked in a beautiful spot and, since we are going to be here for a long day, Hubby and I decided to sleep in a bit. After waking up we did a bit of laundry in the ship's laundromat (we brought those neat little sheets with the detergent and the fabric softener all in one!). Then, when everything was dry, we went to the dining room for lunch. Again - one thing you can't say about a cruise is that they don't feed you!
Then it was finally time to hit the shore! On this day it didn't rain and didn't even look like rain - the first time all trip! On this island we wandered around the town looking for a bracelet for me. Despite having to look at many different shops and finding few that had anything I liked (I am unique that way, I guess!), we finally stumbled into a shop which had not ONE but TWO bracelets that I really, really wanted.
Over beer and cold water we went back and forth and back and forth and I tried (I really did try) to make up my mind. Finally, when it was obvious that Hubby wasn't going to take my hint and buy me BOTH bracelets, I chose one (I will post a picture later). It is BEAUTIFUL and I adore it.
Then it was more wandering - including a visit to a local grocery store to replenish our stock of Diet Coke and water (and to snag a big bag of potato chips for me!). This island was such fun to walk around on despite the sun.
Unfortunately, on this trip we were not able to visit any of the amazing beaches on the island. We didn't get to walk on the beach with the tide tickling our toes. We didn't get to build castles in the sand. We didn't get to find human jaw bones washing up on shore . . .
However, the trip was lovely and we topped it off by getting some shots of the entire town from the ship's top deck. The wind was blowing and it was nice and cool despite the sun!
After that it was time for a nice ice cream cone from the ship's ice cream shop and it was time to get ready for dinner.
Dinner was great! Well - at least they had all of the appetizers that I like! I had escargot - yes, I like snails and would eat them all the time if I could! Then I had gnocchi and then I had a lovely little goat cheese souffle. Yum!
We were both tired by the time we got back to the room but we did manage to stay awake long enough to watch a very peculiar movie. We didn't see the very beginning so we missed the name of the thing but . . . it was about a man who met an odd fellow named Barry. Barry recreated historic scenes using dead mice (which he mounts) dressed up as people in the scene.
The movie was just plain weird . . . and yet we watched it all and laughed!
Today is a sea day so we are taking advantage and . . . sleeping in! Yeah! However, the long sleep means a trip up to the buffet for breakfast. Not my favorite things as I normally get run over in the buffet.
Today wasn't too bad. I made it through the line without incident and we actually had a nice breakfast.
Then we went back to the room where Hubby managed to watch the Ohio State game on television. This was a nice surprise since we weren't supposed to be able to see it! Ohio State won! OH! IO!
We had a nice lunch of room service pizza and chocolate chip cookies and now we are here in the internet cafe checking up on the "real world."
Tomorrow will be the disembarkation - my least favorite part of a cruise - and then a tour of the Puerto Rican rain forest before heading to our hotel for the night.
We have had a nice time!
Too bad it has to end!
Voice Update: Well - I haven't been as "good" as I should be so my throat is a bit crunchy and my exercises have dropped off. I have been talking though so not all is lost! When we get home it will be back to the regular routine!
Thursday, November 25, 2010
Well - some of you are very, very close to figuring out just where Hubby and I traveled. Keep guessing! Remember, you need three correct guesses to win the big prize!
This morning was an early one for us (well, early for us on the cruise, anyway!). We got up and headed to the dining room for breakfast. This was the third breakfast "trial." We had already had breakfast in the room - Hubby wasn't happy with the "milk-in-a-box" (extended shelf life milk) he got to go with his cereal. We had also been up to the buffet for breakfast - the crowds of people who forgot their manners was too much for me to deal with. So - today we went with the more "formal" option of eating breakfast in the dining room.
Of course we were seated with other people and, luckily, they were pretty interesting. The food was good and the variety was better than in the stateroom and free of the obnoxious people the seem to follow me around the buffet.
After breakfast it was back to the room to pick up my purse and then we headed out. The day, like the rest so far on this trip, was looking rainy so we didn't really think I would need my hat. Bad prediction.
Today, instead of starting to rain as soon as we got off the ship, the sun started shining! Rats!
Well, there wasn't a whole lot to see on shore and we didn't get up enough nerve to ask to be taken to see the place where the American medical students were held captive (which was so nicely portrayed in the movie "Heartbreak Ridge") so we were back on the ship a bit early. We didn't even buy a pack of the spices that the island is so well known for. I contemplated buying some but I don't really know what I would do with them if I had them - I don't really use spices too much!
Anyway - the day wasn't all bad. I did finish the book I have been working on for the past several weeks - The Historian. I forget the author at this moment but . . .it was a good book while the subject was very, very scary. Dracula. I would recommend the book but don't read it late at night - it just gets spooky!
Another plus was our first "Elite" party with the ship's captain. Apparently, we are one of the top 40 most traveled people on board this time so we got to go to the fancy party with passed tapas (I liked the baked brie and the shrimp) and huge prawns. The third of my three prawns decided that it wanted to go back to the ocean and tried to jump out the window (with just a bit of help from me and my "Uncle Murphyesc" attempts to cut the prawn into smaller pieces!). After that (and a straw in my margarita that had a hole in it somewhere) Hubby and I settled down to have a nice time chatting with a couple from Canada.
Then it was on to dinner.
What a life!
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
Today we got to sleep in a bit because the ship didn't dock until around noon. We ate a lovely lunch in the Crown Grill which was transformed for the day into an English Pub (fish and chips, anyone?). Then we got our gear (I sprayed on the sunscreen and took my hat this time even though it looked rainy!) and hopped off the ship.
Can you guess what happened next?
Let me tell you - it started to rain!
Luckily, the rain didn't last too long and we were off to traipse around this island which I am guessing means "good air." The island was controlled by the Dutch (as evidenced by the Dutch/German people who still live there and the numerous windmill trinkets you can purchase) and even though there weren't a lot of things to see in the town, Hubby and I found a nice spot to stop and cool off with bottled water (for me) and a Polar beer (for hubby).
Parrot fish swam near the shore all along the dock area and it was fun to watch the children get their first glimpse of the bright blue fish.
Currently, Hubby and I are back on board and are finding ways to keep busy before getting dolled up for the formal night tonight! Formal night means lobster!!
So - have I been giving you enough clues as to our stops or do you need more?
Flea actually guessed one of the places we stopped. Now she only needs two more to win so you can still catch up if you try really hard!
Voice Update: I have been doing my exercises in the room while Hubby is in the shower. This morning he popped his head out of the bathroom to "Eeee" along. What a guy!
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
It is the second day of posts for you to guess from! This is the continuing saga of where Hubby and I have been. Again, if anyone can guess three of the places we traveled to you will win a prize!!
This morning I didn't wake up early to read out on our spacious balcony. No. It was raining so I just rolled back over and went back to sleep. However, Hubby and I did get up and moving earlier than we did yesterday.
This morning we headed up to the dreaded buffet for breakfast and faced a mammoth line of people who seemed to be a little self-centered. I mean, why else would they stand in the middle of the walkway when a waiter with a HUGE stack of plates was trying to get by? And why else would they not move - not even a inch - while said waiter did a miraculous contortion to squeeze himself and the HUGE stack of plates safely by? Come on people - a little courtesy if you would please!
Anyway - Hubby and I shared our breakfast table with a delightful woman and her son who were from St. Croix. We had fun chatting and watching the rain. And chatting. And watching the rain.
After breakfast Hubby and I headed back to our room to map out our day. The rain made us think that we would not be heading outside but . . . things change. Before finalizing our plans we exited our room for a while to allow Philip to tidy things up. It is so nice not to have to do this myself! Such bliss!
Back to the room. We gazed out the window (and Hubby stepped out onto the balcony). The rain was stopped. So - out we went. Me. I forgot my hat (DUH!!!!!) and so I was worried most of the time about a return of my dreaded sun poisoning rash (I will keep you posted). Luckily, the sun was taking turns with the rain today and every time it got too hot the rain came with ocean breezes to cool us off.
Due to the weather we didn't venture into the rain forest and we didn't see the many wonderful waterfalls that grace this land named after a day of the week. We did wander around and looked at the local stands which were set up and we also ventured a little deeper into the city for a look beyond the touristy stuff. I found a nice little shop selling some CDs. When I asked the salesperson if they were local artists, I got a yes and then was guided to purchase a CD. After getting the email of this lovely woman (in case I don't like the CD when I get home) Hubby and I headed out and I asked several people if they liked the music I had just purchased. To my relief, many thought it was a good buy. Score!
Not to be confused with Skor - which is my furry little kitty whom I am missing a bunch right now.
Back to the day.
Hubby and I wandered through the sun and rain and then went back to the room for our required daily nap. Lovely!
Now we are doing some computer time while we wait for lunch.
Doesn't that sound like fun?
It is! It is!!
Voice Update: Okay - still not doing really well with the whole exercise thing. I just can't seem to find a really good time. However, I am keeping up a minimal massage schedule. We will see how things go. So far. So good.
Monday, November 22, 2010
Well - it is that time to guess where Hubby and I have been! The first person to correctly guess three of the places we have visited(and I will be describing) over the next few days will get a wonderful prize from me in the mail!
Just a note: you must correctly identify the places we visit and NOT our method of transportation to said places!
Today Hubby and I woke up deliciously late (we can sleep in with no four legged alarm clocks waking us at four in the morning!) and headed to the dining room for a nice luncheon with two other couples.
Then we headed down the gangplank and onto a "safari style" taxi for the jaunt into town. When we alit from the taxi we headed to a kind of a bazaar/flea market kind of a situations and then off to the "real" stores.
Joining another couple, we shouted "Cariloha" out into the street to earn a free bamboo necklace each. Then we bought some nice bamboo sheets and a bamboo towel set (for me) to be shipped to our home in about two weeks.
Then we wandered the gauntlet of jewelry and souvenir stores being told over and over that the "best deals" were just inside the door of whichever establishment was being passed at the time.
We paused in our wanderings to look out over the harbor and to contemplate a taxi ride up to Meaghan's Bay. Deciding that we should just finish out walk and head to the local grocery store to stock up on water and Diet Coke, we caught a passing taxi and were whisked back to our mobile hotel.
Tonight we woke from a lovely nap (again sans felines) and went to dinner. Yum!
Tomorrow we will be in a totally different place for you to guess.
By the way, the aforementioned felines are being well taken care of by our friends D and C who say that they have seen two sets of eyes but no actual cats so far.
Voice Update: So far I have managed to get most of my massage in but I haven't done too well with the exercises. It is just tough to continue my routine of doing the exercises whenever I am in a vehicle when there are many other people in the same vehicle who would look at me oddly if I did my exercises! I will find a way!
Susan was pleased with how well I am doing with my voice. I had a bout with my back about four days before I saw her and that caused my neck to tighten up significantly. By the time I saw Susan I had managed to get most of the kinks worked out . . . not all but most!
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Friday, November 12, 2010
Well, as you can guess I have had some early morning departures for observation purposes. These early mornings can really leave me tired but there are some up sides to leaving early.
You get to see the sun rise!
You can see the seasons creeping into the neighborhood . . .
So the early mornings can be totally worth it!
Especially when you have 125 out of 200 of the required hours! YEAH ME!
In other "news." Did you know that Amazon.com has some awesome FREE mp3 downloads for Christmas? I think I spent about twenty minutes the other day just getting free Christmas songs. Some are good - some are just okay - but they are all FREE and that makes them worth it in my book!
In addition to free Christmas music, Amazon.com also has other kinds of music (classical, country, hip-hop, etc) available for free. I have fun looking through the lists of free music to see what they have. Yes, you do have to download the Amazon downloader but to get free musics . . . it is a small cost to pay!
Have I told you about our garbage disposal? The one that isn't working and hasn't been working for over a week? Yes, I found out that it wasn't working last week while on my cleaning binge around the house. Hubby and I bought a new one at Home Depot and then . . . the adventure began!
We went and picked out the new disposal and then talked to the guy in plumbing about getting it installed. The guy in plumbing didn't know anything about installation and told us to talk to the front desk or to call the 800 number.
Sooo . . . we went to the front desk. Only to find that they had no clue.
They called back to plumbing.
Who told them they had no clue.
We were told to call the 800 number so we took the new disposal and headed home.
At home we called the 800 number . . .. only to be told to call our local store! After actually getting a real person on the 800 number . . . Hubby then called the local store. He was transferred to the plumbing guy - who then transferred him to the front desk - who then disconnected him.
Another phone call. After some wrangling he finally got on the phone with someone who knew that there was a guy you had to call (another phone call!) to arrange for installation. However, we were calling on the weekend and the guy only worked during the week so we would have to call on Monday . . . terrific!
So - press forward to Monday. Hubby takes time at work and calls the guy. Who tells Hubby that he needs to call yet another number to arrange an appointment. The number Hubby is given doesn't answer any of the four or so times he calls it . . .
Back to the guy. This time the guy says he will call the number himself and have them call. That was on Tuesday . . . .
So Hubby didn't work yesterday (Veteran's Day). Instead he called the guy again. This time he said that if he didn't get a call from the other company by the afternoon we were going to return the disposal and try Lowe's!
We got a call within minutes! The people are supposed to be coming today. Keep your fingers crossed!
Voice Update: Still doing really well! I have a speech appointment next Wednesday so we will see how Susan thinks I have been doing!
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
It has been a while since I last posted . . . that means I have been busy, busy, busy. Which is a good thing, right?
I have had several observations and then, yesterday, class. And . . . some shopping!
There is a store near the college that I have passed for the past two years or so without going in. It is called $8 Fashion Outlet and has misses and plus size clothes at cheap prices. Well, between my morning observation and going to the lab I stopped in. Look what I found!
Two lightweight jackets - they have an interesting textured fabric that looks a bit tweedy. They are washable and everything! They obviously need a bit of ironing at the moment but I think they will be great! (The second jacket is orange and is peeking out from behind the blue jacket.)
Here is the rest of my "haul!" I bought two casual long sleeved shirts - both ned shortened but that is nothing new! Then I bought three lightweight sweater shells to wear under jackets. The white, brown, and grey will be perfect for any color jacket with brown or grey pants.
I guess I should also tell you that every piece of this haul only cost $8.88 ( the pink shirt was on sale for $6!). Score!
Last Friday I stopped at Big Lots and checked out the kitty toys. There was a big "piece of cheese" that I just had to take home with me. It is wood covered in fuzzy fabric and has holes in the tops and sides which allow the kitties to see (and reach) into the "cheese." Inside the "cheese" are two jingly balls (which Skor has discovered can be removed with some effort). Attached to the corners are three little rattle mice.
I was worried that the kitties wouldn't like it.
From this picture, do you think I should still be worried?
This is the reason I was at Big Lots browsing through the kitty toys!
It is a Domino's pizza three cheese mac and cheese bread bowl (well done) and it is a wonderful treat!
I have included two videos of Skor playing with "Mr. Sparkly," his favorite toy. He is just so darn cute!
Hope you have been having a fabulous week!
Voice Update: I have been a very good girl! I have been doing my exercises and massage EVERY DAY! My voice has been holding its own and I am so, so happy!