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Tuesday, December 30, 2014

I Got it Right This Time

Chuck and I have been married for a few years now and I am still astonished at this man's feelings for me. Even in spite of the hum drum routine our life together takes on sometimes, he doesn't seem bored yet. Of course our life isn't boring. We travel together, go out to eat at new restaurants, and this past year we moved so that was anything but boring. But he actually still likes me. And he even loves me. At times when he stops and looks at me and tells me he loves me, or when he says he actually loves me more now than he did on the day we got married, it really stuns me. I am so stunned by this because this is not how things went in my first marriage. I won't go into that, but I am so happy that this time, I got it right. In thinking back over the past year, we went through a lot of changes but weathered them together. I look forward to 2015 being a wonderful year of togetherness and love. And I will always be grateful to him for loving me through all the ups and downs. May all of your relationships grow in love and joy and laughter in 2015. Here are a few pictures of our year together in 2014:

Friday, December 19, 2014

Our First Christmas Tree in Our New Home!

Today is my 3 year anniversary writing this blog. So I found it fitting that I make sure to write a post on my blog today. We are settling into life here in Big Canoe, GA and having a ball here. It's been 4 months of firsts for us. The most exciting "first" for me was putting up the Christmas tree together. Chuck has always had a real Christmas tree, and I did too, until about 3 years after my divorce. Then dragging in the tree and trying to set it up with the help of my 3 kids got to be a pain. I waited till after Christmas one year and bought an artificial tree. Each year I suggested the same to Chuck, but he repeated that we needed to have a real tree. This year I was finally successful in convincing him to get an artificial tree. This was the easiest artificial tree to set up that I have ever seen. We didn't have to insert any branches into any holes on the stem of the tree. They are already attached. We just had to pull them up and out and spread the branches out. When you get married again, you as a couple have to figure out and compromise on holiday traditions. This could mean anything from what to serve for Christmas dinner to what color lights to put on the Christmas tree. Chuck likes colored lights but from my college days on, I have always had clear lights on my tree. So when it came time to decorate our first Christmas tree, I didn't want colored lights, but just went along with it. In the long run, it wasn't worth a fight. But each year I was secretly disappointed that we didn't have clear lights. Our tree this year came with pre-lit branches. And guess what: it has clear lights! After the tree was up and decorated, I asked Chuck if he minded that the lights are clear. He said that he did not and in fact thought the tree looked nice! I was shocked but very happy. So, until the lights burn out on our new Christmas tree, we will be having clear lights at Christmas. I am including a picture of our tree this year, the first Christmas tree for us in the mountains. It sits in front of the big glass doors that lead to our deck.
Merry Christmas to you and your family!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Finally We Have "Our" Home

One of the problems couples often encounter with a second marriage is that someone will probably have to move into a house that was previously occupied by the new spouse and their ex. That can make for a lot of tension in a new marriage, especially if the person who originally lived in the home is reluctant to change anything. The new spouse may feel as though he or she is living in a shadow of an old marriage. They may wonder about the history of certain pieces of furniture, or decorating styles, etc.

If possible, I highly recommend a new home for the newly married couple so they can start their lives together fresh with no bad memories, or aggravation about not being able to change anything to their decorating style.

Chuck and I recently moved out of a home that he shared with his previous wife. I hadn't realized how much better I would feel once we got here and made this house OUR home. Although we brought most of the furniture with us, this home is 994 miles away and is much more my style. Plus it's in the mountains which is where I have always wanted to live. Even though we brought most of the furniture with us, it feels different because this is a home we chose together and decided together where all the furniture will go. There is a lot to be said for a fresh start in a second marriage. If that's not possible, I highly recommend that the spouse who previously lived in the house allow some changes to be made that both can live with. Fresh paint and a few new pieces of furniture may not be a whole fresh start, but it can make a difference and allow the new spouse to have a say about the home they now live in too.

Here are some pictures of our before and after home, in Connecticut and Georgia. The home on the top is the original house in Connecticut and on the bottom is the new house in Georgia.

I don't actually have any pictures of the furniture in the new house but when I do I will add them.

Monday, September 22, 2014

It's Been A Month Since We Left Connecticut

It has been a month and a few days since we left Connecticut. We have actually been in our new home for three weeks now. And except for missing my kids and parents, and a few friends, I have never been happier to leave someplace. I have a lot of bad memories associated with that state and am glad to put them behind me. Chuck is having a harder time because he had more friends that he saw on a regular basis. But as time goes by, we are adjusting and having fun exploring our new community, town and state. We found a vet for the dog, and are getting used to the grocery stores. But we are in the process of finding a new church, doctor and dentist. The one thing about moving far away is that a couple relies on each other more. That can be good or bad. For us, for the most part it's been very good. We have gone through this experience together and feel good about our new home and how we have it arranged. It took a lot of work and compromise on both parts, but when we get up in the mornings and see the mountain view from our bedroom window, it has all been worth it.

Of course there has been some stress too. But for the most part, things have gone well. Now if we can only sell our house in Connecticut...If you know of anyone who wants to buy a beautiful house in a nice neighborhood in Connecticut, send them our way please!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Day 6 of Our Move To Big Canoe: We Saw The House!

Today we got up early and headed right over to Big Canoe to meet our real estate agent who had the keys to our new home. We went to the house and I was beside myself with excitement. Here's a better picture of the house and the garage than I was able to get before:

Apparently Reeses was excited too because she poked her nose in the door first and was the very first one in. We had so much fun looking around and discovering things that we hadn't noticed before, some good, some bad, but mostly good. These pictures are of the main living room of the house, and is the first room you see when you walk in the front door.

We spent a couple of hours here at the house. I used the broom on the beautiful hardwood floors and Chuck found a hose and watered the drooping Black Eyed Susan's which were growing in the front and back of the house. Although it was hot today, about 84 degrees, it felt cool on the back deck because it is all shaded. I was also excited because we have two rain barrels that collect water from the roof when it rains and have spiggots for us to get the water out and water the plants. It's very environmentally friendly and I like that.

We picked up our mail today and it was exciting to see that the post office is already forwarding our mail from Connecticut. We got a wonderful new home card from my niece (thanks Halley!), and Chuck got one from his wife...yes that does mean me! His HAPPY wife I might add! After going to the post office, we became members of the workout center that includes the indoor pool and we will start using it tomorrow.

I had forgotten what a beautiful view we have. In the far distance off of the deck, you can see about 4 or 5 high mountains. I can't wait to sit out there with Chuck and have a glass of wine to celebrate our new home.I think we will have a very peaceful life here in the mountains. Tomorrow we will be at the house because the Cable guy and the telephone guy are coming to set things up between 10 and 5. The following day the furniture will be arriving and we will spend who knows how many days setting everything up and unpacking.But we made it here safely and are embarking on a new chapter in our lives with excitement and enthusiasm!

Days 4 and 5 of Our Move to Georgia

Sorry I haven't updated this blog in a couple days. My Dad asked me why I hadn't been updating it, so at least I know someone's been reading it! On Monday morning we left Virginia for Tennessee. The mountains here were more beautiful than in Virginia. I saw a lot of horse farms on the way. We stopped for gas at one point and I was amazed to see it was only $3.11. When we left Connecticut it was anywhere from $3.77 to $3.85! What a difference a few hundred miles makes!

Each time we stop at a rest area or for gas we walk the dog. I did my best at this rest area to get the Tennessee mountains on the picture behind the dog! She has been wonderful on this trip, but she has been with either one of us or both of us for the past 5 days. She is clearly enjoying that and I hope she can adjust to staying alone in the new house sometimes once we get settled so we can go out for a romantic dinner without her now and then. Here's also a picture of my two traveling buddies. She looks so cute when she has her head out Chuck's car window as we drive down the road. Now I know why everyone on the highway smiles at her as they go by.

We stayed in Knoxville, Tennessee on Monday night at a very nice Red Roof in that had a suite. Tuesday we headed down into our new state of Georgia. We stopped at a Burger King for lunch and during our meal, Chuck got a call from the moving van driver that due to circumstances beyond his control (whatever that means) he can't get to Big Canoe till Friday now. That means one more night in the hotel in Jasper. We drove over the Georgia line and I soon saw the gorgeous mountains we were heading to. I let out a yell and got all excited and said to Reeses, "Look there are our mountains. We are going there. " Poor baby had no idea what was going on and was looking all around the car to see what I was talking about! The mountains are even more beautiful than I had remembered. We got into Jasper at the Microtel Inn around 3:00 p.m. We are staying right near the Jasper Walmart so it will be convenient to go there for house supplies. There is a Subway inside Walmart so we had that for dinner last night.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Day 3 of Our Move: Virginia/West Virginia

We left Newark, Delaware at 10:00 a.m. We drove for a bit and then once again hit traffic. Fortunately it wasn't as bad as yesterday. We finally hit the mountains of Virginia and they sure are beautiful. It's so nice to see something beautiful instead of just traffic on Interstate 95.

We stopped at a rest area just over the West Virginia line in a town called Charles Town. It was right after we crossed the Potomac River,and Harper's Ferry, West Virginia. That was exciting because we had heard about Harper's Ferry in history class, but neither of us had ever been there before. The place that we stopped for lunch was called, "Sheetz" and it was a rest stop. They seem to be all over the South. You can use the rest room and buy ready made sandwiches, drinks, chips, etc. or order a made to order sandwich, salad or pizza. You can of course also buy coffee here. We sat outside under and umbrella and it was the perfect place to sit with the dog.

An hour after that stop, we arrived at our destination for the night: a Red Roof Inn that was in Staunton, Virginia. This one had an indoor pool but I was too tired to use it. Chuck is SO disciplined that he did use the workout center and I took a nap. For dinner, we found a KFC with outdoor seating so we could sit with the dog. We discovered that KFC has buffets down here. You pay $7.99 for all you can eat and it includes a drink. Of course Chuck noticed that for seniors, the cost is $6.99! Tomorrow we are headed to Tennessee which is great because that's a state I have never been to before. I LOVE adventure.

Day Number 2 of Our Move To Georgia

On Saturday we had coffee and orange juice in the room and headed out on the road. The dog started in the car with me, and as we drove down the highway, stuck in a traffic jam, people were smiling at her as she stuck her head out the window and enjoyed the sights and the cool gentle breeze as we were only driving 5 to 15 miles and hour for a 60 minute period. It was quite frustrating, but it was better for me since she was with me making people laugh and smile. We stopped for lunch at a rest area and found a picnic table outside that we could keep the dog at as well.

Once we got back on the road, the traffic jam had cleared and we were able to make better time on the way to Philadelphia to visit Michaela. Before we actually met her after she got out of work, we had some extra time so went to the cemetery where Chuck's parents and other relatives are buried. It was bitter sweet to be there. We cleaned up a lot of the grass around the graves before heading into the part of Philadelphia that Chuck grew up in.

We had talked about going to Philly for years and Chuck was going to show me where he grew up. This trip seemed like the perfect time to do this. When we had talked about it, we were going to be in the same car, but me following him in my car with our cell phones on but on our legs, not in our hands, worked pretty well. It was really an eye opener for me to see where Chuck lived as a child. The streets were so narrow, and not in a very good section of Philadelphia. I am so proud of him for getting out of there and doing so much with his life. We made it there and it was raining so we were fortunate to find a wonderful Italian restaurant that had an awning out front with tables under it so we could sit there again with the dog. The restaurant was right around the corner from where Michaela works, so I walked there to meet her, and we had a wonderful meal together. I was so happy that we were able to see her on the way to Georgia because honestly I am not sure when I will be able to see her again since at this point we don't have any plans to be in Connecticut at the same time.

After dinner, Michaela treated us to chocolates from the oldest candy store in America, "Shane" and also ice cream from The Franklin Fountain, the ice cream parlor where she works. According to USA today, they have the absolute best milk shakes in the U.S. so we split a coffee milkshake. It was yummy but I am not convinced that it was the very best milkshake in the U.S. Here is Michaela's ice cream store!

After dropping Michaela off at her apartment, we headed south and drove about 90 minutes to Newark, Delaware. We stayed in a fantastic Red Roof Inn Plus there and although I had never stayed in a Red Roof Inn before, it was wonderfully surprising. There was even a goody box in our fridge that had a bottle of water, a bottle of orange juice, trail mix, and a granola bar in it. That was a nice surprise.

We have decided to shoot for 250 miles per day as that is about four hours of driving, with a break in between for lunch and switching the dog between cars which is a good change for all of us. The dog is doing amazingly well during this whole trip and that makes things easier for us.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Moving From Connecticut To Georgia, Day 1

I haven't mentioned in this blog that we have our greatest adventure yet going on right now, and that is that we have bought a house in Big Canoe, GA and are currently in the process of moving down there from Connecticut. We are driving 2 cars, and bringing the dog. We each take shifts with the dog and things so far are going very well.

But I am jumping ahead. First let me say that it was a tough week last week because the packers from the moving company were at the house on Wednesday and Thursday, and Friday the movers actually came and loaded the truck. It was quite odd to see the house bare of all furnishings. Harder for Chuck than for me because I have lived here with him for only the past 2 years and he has been in the house since 1998. See the pictures below of the living/dining room area and you will see what I mean about the house looking bare! Unfortunately I didn't get the shot of this area from the same direction, but I stood in the living room looking toward the dining room/kitchen.

One crazy thing that happened to us this week was that a reporter for Real Money With Ali Velshi read an article I wrote about moving south and called us to see if she could film us for the show. Apparently people are leaving the Northeast and heading south so they wanted to interview us on the actual moving day. So we spent some time on Friday being filmed and interviewed. Pretty wild huh? If it comes out okay, I will post the link to the video of it on another post. All of this was happening while the movers were going in and out of the house with our things!

The movers thought they would be done by 3:00 p.m. on Friday, but they didn't actually leave till 6:00 p.m. After we checked out the house to make sure they didn't leave anything behind (such as the towels we found in the top of the master bedroom bathroom closet), and cleaned up a few things, we were on the road by 7:00 p.m. I am following Chuck in his car. My daughter told Chuck that he will have a tough time with me because I drive too slow. She will think it's funny that we were not on the road even 20 minutes and he called me to tell me I needed to drive faster! Since then things have been fine and I have been doing my best to keep up with him.

The first night we just drove about 2 hours and stayed in New York in a little town called, "Nanuet". We stayed at a hotel that is new to us, "Candlewood Suites" that night. It was wonderful and we were quite pleased with it. Even the dog made herself right at home in her own bed, on the floor snuggled down right next to my side of the bed, just like at home.

And so we are off on the greatest adventure in our marriage yet...the move from Connecticut to Georgia. I will keep the blog updated along the way.Stay tuned for more...!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Day 8, Our First Port Stop on The Transatlantic Cruise

Sunday, May 4th, 2013 Day 8

Our first cruise port on the cruise:

We needed to get up at 6:30 a.m. in order to get up to breakfast and then meet with the rest of the passengers going on our excursion on the island of San Miguel in the Azores today. I woke up at 6:10 a.m., very unusual for me, and decided not to go back to sleep for only 20 minutes. Instead I got up and looked out the window and just saw land as we were coming in to the port of Ponta Delgada. The morning started off as fairly foggy with a bit of rain which was disappointing because the last time we were here at this same port for a cruise, it was so foggy we couldn’t even see the lakes on either side of us which are one of the highlights of this island.

As soon as we finished breakfast we arrived at the Princess Theater just in time to be escorted off the ship and onto our waiting tour bus. The tour was scheduled to be from 8:30 a.m. till 1:30 p.m. We set out driving to the middle of the island and on the way saw many of the small villages with very narrow streets that were originally designed for horse and buggies which makes it challenging for a tour bus to drive through. The homes are all close together with many of them joined together with doorways and tiled roofs. Many have a ceramic picture of Jesus Christ either above the doorway or to the right of the door. The Azores consists of 9 islands and is 97% Catholic. Outside of the villages, there were many green fields filled with cows. Milk production is one of the most prevalent businesses on the island along with pineapple and tea production.

Our first stop was to the village of Ribeira Grande, a colonial town with many old buildings that still stand. From the steps of the church you can see the town and the sea behind it. It was an amazing sight to behold. It did start to drizzle on us as we followed our guide around town, but I had brought a rain jacket and was fine. Here's a picture of part of the town from the church steps, and the church itself.

Our next stop was to the summit of Pico de Ferro from which we could see the beautiful green tinged Furnas Lake, and a bevy of Azalea bushes that were mostly pink but there were also some purples and a few red bushes mixed in. Apparently the ginger plant grows wild on San Miguel and is taking over the countryside, making earth slides more prevalent. They have tried to get rid of the plant but it continually grows back. It had stopped raining at this point so we had a better view of everything from the summit.I am including a picture of me and the lake from the view from the top.

On the way to our next stop, we hit a traffic jam consisting of about 50 dairy cows and 2 cattle herders walking down the middle of the road to switch pastures. The guide says this happens often on the island. Our third stop was to the Terra Nostra gardens which included a mud bath with water heated to approximately 100 degrees Fahrenheit. There are changing rooms there for people who need to change into swim suits before stepping into the muddy waters. Apparently this bathing area helps people with arthritis. We walked along the gardens and were treated to more Azaleas, Camelias, ferns natural to the area, palm trees and cork trees. It was a beautiful area.

The last stop of the day was to the Furnas Hot Springs. The town of Furnas was originally well known for producing charcoal. The hot springs there though are amazing. There’s a sign that warns people to be careful as the steam that comes from the hot springs is boiling hot. In some area, you can see pools of bubbling hot water with steam rising. In other areas, there is just a round hole where steam comes out. The whole area smells like sulfur. This area used to be known as a spa area, but not anymore. I'm including a picture of Chuck sitting in front of the hot springs.There are homes in a small village around the area.

It was about a 1 hour ride back to the ship after we saw the hot springs, and both Chuck and I took a brief nap before we reached the ship.Once back on board we had lunch and then took a real nap. As always, he went to work out in the gym and I went to the walking track on the 17th floor. I had already logged in 8,000 steps by lunch time because of all the walking we had done on the tour. But my goal is a minimum of 10,000 steps each day, and 30 minutes worth need to be aerobic steps so I wanted to walk again. Today while I was walking I did 6 times around the track (7 laps is equal to one mile) and was about to stop because I was tired from walking earlier, but a woman from Brooklyn, NY started talking to me and asked if we could walk together for a bit. I was glad I said yes because I got 3 more laps in and found her very interesting. She and her husband are from Brooklyn but now live in Florida. She had recently had knee replacement surgery so had to walk slow but I was fine with that. We compared notes on other cruises she and her husband have been on and before long he joined us as well.It's always fun to compare notes with other frequent cruisers.

After showering and getting changed for dinner, we had a very delicious dinner (Chuck said it was his best on board so far) in the Concerto dining room. One of the entrees was Lobster tail with a side of 2 crab cakes. Chuck had the whole meal and I just asked for the crab cakes which the waiter said he found interesting because most people do the opposite and ask for 2 lobster tails and skip the crab cakes. I guess I just like to do things differently! For dessert, Chuck had Jamaican coffee ice cream and I had the most delicious dessert I have ever had on a cruise ship. It was called chocolate pudding pie. It was basically the most delicious chocolate mousse I have ever tasted, baked in a small dish atop a chocolate graham cracker crust and topped with dollops of fresh whipped cream with chocolate shavings sprinkled on top.

After that delicious dinner, we went to the atrium whose 3 floors were crammed with onlookers to watch the International show. This was various members of crew musicians who entertained us with singing and dancing of music from various countries. The highlights for us were when 2 of the entertainers sang a song from our wedding called, “The Prayer” and did a wonderful job on it, and a trio of Greek dancers who came out in full costume and got a few audience members out of their seats to dance with them. One of them was a 3 year old little boy who was absolutely adorable when he tried to do the dance moves and clapped his hands and walked in a circle with the rest of the dancers. It was so sweet it brought tears to my eyes. I guess I am just a sucker for a cute kid! At the end of the program when all of the entertainers came out and took their bows, he ran out to join them. It was very sweet.

We came back to the room and watched the movie,”Playing For Keeps” starring Gerard Butler, Catherine Zeta Jones, Dennis Quaid, Uma Thurman and Jessica Biel before going to bed. It had been a wonderful day, and getting off the ship after 7 days was a nice change of pace.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Day 7 of the Northern Atlantic Transatlantic Cruise

Saturday, May 3, 2014 Day 7

Today after breakfast Chuck went to a seminar about opera in the Mediterranean while I went to an on board sale which was still very expensive. I forgot my black dress purse at home, and thought about spending $10 on this one at the sale, but you know me, I like to save money not spend it so I decided for the next 2 formal nights I will give my camera to Chuck to keep in his suit jacket pocket so I won’t need a purse.

When the opera seminar was done, we went to a talk about our stop in Lehavre/Paris. We learned a lot of thing about visiting Paris and the port city of Lehavre. We will only actually be in Paris for 3 hours which while disappointing, is still better than never making it there at all. Chuck said tonight that if we ever do another cruise to France, he really wants to visit Normandie. I agreed, and although I would much rather go to Paris again, this is my turn, next trip will be his.

We had lunch then came back and took a nap, worked out. I went to my usual place to work out which is the walking track on deck 17. On the way up there, I happened to look over the side railing and saw something dark in the water. I ran up to the walking deck and looked over the edge of the railing and there I saw a sight that made me laugh out loud…I saw a lone dolphin gliding through the water. I love watching dolphins in their natural habitat. They seem to enjoy the water so much it’s a thrill to watch them. I must say I was much more interested in watching for dolphins than I was walking but I needed to walk to combat all the extra calories I have been eating so I made a deal with myself: For each lap I walked around that deck, I would get to stop and look for more dolphins. I did do that and found dolphins on 2 more rounds of looking. They weren’t doing a lot of jumping but did surface a lot. It was quite exciting and I remembered that one of my favorite things about cruising is watching for wildlife. I met a woman who had seen dolphins at noon, and told me where she had seen them from which was from an outside deck at the back of the ship. On the way back to the room, I stopped at this place and was amazed at the beauty that could be seen from there. I couldn’t wait to take Chuck there. And after we got ready for dinner in our finest ( it’s the second formal night) I took Chuck there as a surprise. This deck is rather hidden, past the Horizon Court Buffet. There are outside tables and then nearest the railings there’s a series of couches and chairs with a bar at the back. We each had a glass of wine and watched the water as it glided away from the back of the ship. The sun was still in the sky and wasn’t going to set for a few hours. It felt warm on my skin as we sat there and marveled at how beautiful everything was from this perfect perch.

Scenes from the back deck

We went back to the Concerto dining room for our meal. I had a small dish of Fettucine Alfredo and Chuck had a beef dish. This dining room has been our favorite of the trip. There’s always good service and very competent waiters. After dinner we tried to go to the Al Katz show but there were no seats left at all.

We came back to the room and watched a movie instead. We have to get up early tomorrow to go on our tour in Ponta Del Gada.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Days 5 and 6 of the Transatlantic Cruise

Thursday, May 4th, Day 5

Today was another day we had to set the clocks forward. But today was also the first day I have felt normal and I didn’t I needed 2 naps a day. We went for breakfast and then after breakfast Chuck decided to go to a seminar titled, ‘Why We Love Opera.” I had no interest in hearing that lecture because I do NOT love opera ( hope I didn't offend anyone buy saying that!), so found a comfortable chair near the theater and read for an hour. He thoroughly enjoyed this talk, by a guy named George Weston who does a lot of seminars on cruise ships. After the seminar we went to the library and Chuck looked through a book about the bombing of the Lusitania while I read some more. We both got online and checked our email for a short time as the minutes, even the free 250 we each get, go by quickly when it takes 5 to 10 minutes to even get onto the internet itself, or to download emails. We then went to lunch and met a nice couple from right outside of Toronto. Their names were Steve and Brenda and we talked to them for awhile. For the last 5 years they have been going on 2 cruises a year and travel a lot on land. Steve does what Chuck does in terms of working when needed, and so his schedule is flexible enough to allow them to have time to travel. Chuck was happy because Steve knows about NDT. We left them to go to another art auction. I was hoping to win a free print but I did not and during the auction they said you had to pay to send it home if you won so I wasn’t interested in that.

After a nap for both of us, we worked out and I am up to walking 1 mile on the walking track, and then am doing more of the strength training machines. Here are some of the machines to the left of the track. It's fun to use them outside under a beautiful blue sky with a view of the ocean on all sides.

After showers, we went to the atrium and got a couch/chair right near the window so we could look out the window and watch the waves go by. They were about 10 to 12 feet high. After a glass of wine there, with music being played in the atrium by a band, we headed into the Concerto room for dinner. We have decided this is out favorite dinner restaurant as the service was better there. We had a delicious meal of roast chicken and veggies for me, and an Austrian weiner dish for Chuck, plus Cherries Jubilee for him for dessert and Chocolate brownie ice cream for me. We then went back to the room and watched some TV before heading to the Princess Theater for a comedy show starring comedian Al Katz.

Friday May 2, 2014 Day 6

Today the weather is cooler but the seas are a bit calmer. After breakfast Chuck went to a lecture about Jerusalem while I finished reading my first book that I brought along with me. Afterward we went to the Live taping of the ,’Wake Show” which is a round up of the days happenings and includes guests. The tapings happen one day in advance so today’s taping will be on tomorrow. The Captain of the ship was the guest, as well as comedian Al Katz who is quite funny. He travels 300 days a year entertaining on cruise ships.I think that sounds like a fantastic way to earn a living!Here's what the television on board the ship looks like.

After lunch we took a nap and worked out. I really enjoy working out on the walking track. It’s so beautiful to see the water from where we are all around me as I walk in a circle on that top deck. At night we ate at the Horizon Court Buffet and it was actually pretty nice. We sat side by side at a table that looked out over the water. At 8:30 p.m. we tried to go to the Illusionist show but it was booked solid and there were no seats left in the whole Princess Theater. We decided to go back to the room and do laundry until the third show. We did 2 loads of laundry, and that's one of the things I like best about cruising with Princess...they have washers, dryers and ironing boards so passengers can do their own laundry. We always bring our own trial sized packs of laundry detergent so we don't have to buy them from the machines, and a baggie with dryer sheets packs well in a suitcase. After doing laundry, we then went back to the last Illusionist show. Chuck really enjoyed it but I feel illusionists are just phony and I don’t like being tricked so I didn’t like it at all.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Day 4 Of Our Transatlantic Cruise

April 30th, 2014 Day 4

Today we had breakfast first thing but after too much rich food yesterday, I went easy and had yogurt with fruit (there is a choice of a peach or strawberry yogurt parfait with fruit on the top and in the middle) and I sprinkled granola on top, a small piece of banana bread, ½ bagel with whipped cream cheese (yummy) and a pear. Much better than some choices I could have had such as French toast, pancakes, omelets, etc.

After lunch we read for awhile on one of the couches placed all around the Promenade deck inside, and then went to a presentation about our second stop, Southampton, England. During the talk, an interesting thing happened. The Captain came over the loudspeaker asking for assistance for a person who was critically ill in the medical center. They needed blood donations from anyone who had an American Red Cross Blood Card with them, was a regular blood donor, and had O + blood, and O – blood as a last resort. Of the 300 people that were in the seminar, about 6 or 8 got up to go donate, to the applause of everyone else in the theater. And that was just from where we were sitting. I am sure other passengers from all over the ship also went to see if they could donate, as there are over 3,000 passengers on the ship. It was quite a touching moment to see these strangers willing to help out, and I would have gone because I am O positive, but haven’t given blood since my kids were born.Anyway, here's a picture of Southampton.

After the talk we came back to the room and I had a quick catnap as I am having a hard time adjusting to the time change. Then we went and had a light lunch…hard to do on a cruise ship with so many choices. I went to a seminar on advanced digital photography which probably was not a good idea because I am not an advanced photographer, but I did learn a little bit. After going back to the room, both Chuck and I had a nap and then he went to workout in the fitness center onboard while I went up to the 17th floor to the walking track. It was extremely windy out there and I felt like I was going to get blown away. Even so, it was warm out because this track was outside and the sun was strong. The track goes around the basketball/ping pong table area and alongside the track are strength training machines. I walked a bit, then worked out on some of the machines and it was fun to do it outside. Chuck went up to save us 2 seats on the lounge chairs for the Movie Under the stars. I joined him shortly afterward and we enjoyed pizza and french fries while we watched the movie, “Saving Mr. Banks.” During the movie, Princess staff came around and offered free ice cream and popcorn, ice water and lemonade. We enjoyed the movie but left it a bit confused and I am looking forward to getting back to the internet to research more about the book, ‘Mary Poppins” and its author, P.L. Travers.

After the movie, we went to the Horizon court buffet for a quick cookie snack, and headed down to bed. I watched the movie, “Blue Jasmine” by Woody Allen starring Cate Blanchett. It was billed as a comedy and was one of the worst movies I have ever seen. I did not think it was comedic in the least and was sorry I wasted my time with it. I don't know if you have seen it but if you haven't I don't recommend it.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Day 3 Of Our Transatlantic Cruise

April 29th, Day 3

Last night we were supposed to set the clocks forward by one hour, but didn’t realize it so all morning we were an hour behind schedule. We didn’t realize it till noon when the captain came over the loudspeaker to give his daily report. The captain on this ship is great about that and gives a lot more information than other captains on other cruises we have been on.

We started the day off with breakfast and I ate too much rich food, including eggs and biscuits with mushroom gravy which gave me indigestion for the rest of the day. After breakfast we went to the special $10 sale Princess has on every cruise. We were disappointed that the amount of items for sale were only about half of what is normally offered and we only stayed about 5 minutes without buying anything. The sale today offered scarves, dress purses, sunglasses and manicure set.

After this sale Chuck wanted to go to hear a lecture on Russian opera so we agreed to meet at the Princess Theater an hour later as that’s when the port talk about the Azores was being given. Although I had no interest in Russian Opera, I did have an interest in our port talk. I went and found a comfy couch with pillows to sit on up near the pool, and read for an hour. When I went to join Chuck, I found I was one hour late because we hadn’t set our clocks ahead. And he totally missed the Russian Opera talk, but had heard the whole port lecture. I was able to catch the last 30 minutes of it.The Princess Theater on this ship is huge, but it looks like the inside of a spaceship to me.

We went back to the room and I watched a movie, “The Big Wedding” which I thoroughly enjoyed but Chuck was not interested in so he watched TV and took a nap. After the movie, we went to lunch but just had a light one and went back to the room for a nap. After the nap, Chuck went back to the workout center, and feeling like I had been too lazy lately, went to find the jogging track up on the 17th deck. I was pleased to find a walking track adjacent to the jogging track. And on the side of the walking track, at various intervals were various pieces of equipment to do strength training. That was really handy and during my walk, I stopped periodically to try out some of the equipment. I also was walking and noticed that there was a Zumba class going on from 5 to 5:30 p.m. on the basketball court. I may attempt that at some point. I did a Zumba class a few times on a previous cruise, but it was in the morning and since I am NOT a morning person that got old pretty fast. The cruise has a class in the morning as well as one in the afternoon on days at sea so that’s really convenient for passengers.

Tonight was the first of three formal nights. We did the obligatory dress up thing and went to the atrium to join in the festivities for the champagne fountain and free champagne and mimosas. The Captain and crew were introduced, and as soon as it was over we hurried to the Concerto dining room, immediately got a table for two and had a very wonderful meal which included a crab meat quiche, salads, and I had chicken with roasted vegetables while Chuck had salmon which he thought was delicious. The best thing about the meal in this dining room was that the service by our waiter Mario was quick and personable. We had a great meal because of him and we even told him so. I am including a great picture of Chuck all dressed up for formal night as well as the champagne fountain in the atrium...a Princess cruises staple! They do this on the first formal night of each cruise, and offer people a chance to pour the champagne and get their picture taken, and waiters pass out free champagne and Mimosas during this event!

We went back to the room to change and then went to the show at 10:30 which was called, “Colours of the World.” It was fantastic and we were really impressed with the talent, both singing and dancing. Compared to the last ship we were on, the NCL, this group of entertainers were so much better.

Chuck turned in but since I wasn’t tired, I decided to watch a show on TV that I have never seen before but have heard of it so was curious. The show is called,”Veep” starring Julia Louis-Dreyfuss and it was not as good as I had expected which was a big disappointment.If you haven't watched it yet, don't waste your time, unless you are a big Julia Louis-Dreyfuss fan.