My World and Welcome to It!

These are my thoughts and opinions about life in general. I also get daily prompts from DSP which inspire me to write. If I throw in some scrapbook pages I've done, photos I've taken, and stories about me, you will have an idea about my loony life!

Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year Aspirations

NewYear Blog Prompt: What are your aspirations for the New Year?

Here is a list of things I hope to do:

1. Lose some weight.

2. Get better at knitting.

3. Spruce up my flower beds this spring and summer.

4. Clean out all of my teaching stuff from my dining room.

5. Declutter my office.

6. Exercise more.

7. Scrapbook more of my travels.

8. Continue with my 3 blogs (The Life of Loonyhiker, Successful Teaching, and Photo of the Day)

9. Continue with my Photo a Day project.

10. Enjoying life with my husband wherever we may be!

Original image: 'Fountain of Color'

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A Promise to Myself

Blog Prompt: Has anyone ever made a mistake that you promised yourself to never make? Did you keep your promise to yourself?

exercise I have seen my mother not take very good care of herself. She let herself gain a lot of weight and really didn’t care about her appearance. I promised myself that as I got older, I would exercise and take care about how I looked. I have really tried to exercise on a regular basis and eat the right foods. Sometimes I think I’m keeping my promise but at other times when I look in the mirror after gaining weight from cruising, I wonder if I have let myself go. Well, it is time to go and exercise!

Original image: 'Stretch' by: Glen Scott

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Childhood Songs and My Greatest Challenge

Mon 12/28 Blog Prompt: What songs did you sing as a child? Where did you sing them?

singing I remember going to music as a related arts class when I was in elementary school and we learned lots of folk songs. I talk to teens today and they have never heard of them. I think this is such a shame because a lot of our history is from these songs. I learned about John Henry building the railroad, and the Erie Canal being built. I learned the basic songs like She’ll Be Coming ‘Round the Mountain, Shenandoah, Oh Susannah, Oh My Darling Clementine, and songs like this. I learned about the Happy Wanderer that a bunch of us sing while we are hiking along the trail. I have such great memories of learning these songs and I think we are really doing a disservice to our young people by not teaching them these traditional folk songs.

Tue 12/29 Blog Prompt: What was the greatest challenge you faced?

My greatest challenge was getting into the university that I wanted. My parents couldn’t afford to send me to college and wanted me to go to a local college that I might be able to pay for. They also were old fashioned and felt that I needed to live at home. Instead I applied to Furman University and could only afford one application fee so this was the only place I applied to attend. I figured that if I got accepted, then I could worry about financing. Through loans, scholarships, and work study, I was able to attend all four years and paid for it myself. My parents were very unhappy that I was going to be 800 miles away from home but I was determined. As the baby of the family, I was pretty sheltered and had never been away from my parents before. I was also younger than most people who went to college because I was only 17. Yet, this was a major dream in my life and I would do anything to get this. I knew if I could accomplish this goal, I could do anything in my life.

Original image: 'Chorus line' by: Anna M

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Carnival Miracle Day 7 and 8

After breakfast we went to arts and crafts again where we m014ade beaded bracelets. There were a lot of people there! We had a really nice lunch with people who live in the same town as my parents. After lunch we packed and bought pictures that were taken of us along with 2 liters of vodka. I also went to a country line dancing class.  Dinner was nice too and we had another early night. We decided to watch the movie Knowing with Nicholas Cage on the movie channel. 023

We got up early for breakfast and waited for our zone to be called to get off the ship. They must have hit some snags because we didn’t get off the ship until 10:30. It was a lot of fun watching them bring on supplies though because two of the chefs were going through the boxes of food  carefully. They started to send back some of the boxes so some of the fresh food must not have been right. It was fascinating to watch because it confirms my belief that Carnival believes in top quality food.

Update on my dad:

We finally got to see him in the hospital and met with the doctor. The doctor took him off all of the tubes and insisted that he begin walking. He walked three times in the afternoon and then was able to actually have dinner. His dinner consisted of chicken broth, cranberry juice, jello, and an Italian ice. I’m so glad he is feeling better!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Carnival Miracle Day 6 Belize

To see all of my pictures from this cruise, go to my Flickr page at

We met in the Mad Hatter Lounge at 7am for our tour. We booked the Barrier reef snorkeling and beach break tour for $69.95 per 010person. Our boat left the ship at 8am and we were snorkeling by 8:30. The water was choppy and the current was pretty strong. I was very impressed with the safety rules they followed including the buoyancy control devices they make you wear. There were also two men in bright yellow kayaks among the snorkelers in case anyone 057needed help. I think the cold water affected Don and caused him to have an asthma attack and wouldn’t you know it, we left his inhaler on the ship. When he finally relaxed in the water, he was able to get his breathing under control and we were able to snorkel. They allowed us an hour to snorkel and they brought us to the beach on Bannister Island which is like a little private island. We walked around a little while and got back on the boat but most people swam, or ate, or kayaked during the hour we were allotted there even though it was overcast and started to rain. We were back on our ship by noon and were just in time for lunch! Some of the snorkeling tours were cancelled due to the weather. After lunch we sat on our balcony and enjoyed watching the tenders come and go until it was time to leave the port. Dinner was nice and we had planned to go to the show but the entertainer could not make it out of New York due to bad weather there. That is okay though, because I think all that snorkeling made me more tired than I expected.

We have one more day at sea and then will return to Ft. Lauderdale. I think I’m getting homesick.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Carnival Miracle Day 5 At Sea

To see all of my pictures from this cruise, go to my Flickr page at
   We spent a relaxing day at sea. After breakfast we walked for 011an hour around the track. Then we went to arts and crafts where we made bookmarks out of homemade paper. We sent our laundry out to be washed but I didn’t fill out the green slip so they will be washed the next day. Different cabin stewards do it differently and I should have checked with ours first. Lately, as Platinum members, we just stick out laundry in the white paper bag and they take it but this steward would not take it until we filled out the green paper. He also didn’t know we were platinum members which might account for us not 012getting our ship’s pins or gift so I will have to check with guest relations about that. We strolled through the ship’s shops and relaxed in our cabin until lunch. After lunch we just relaxed some more until dinner time. I finished knitting my socks and read my book while Don took a nap. It was formal night at dinner a013nd I really enjoy getting dressed up. Here are the two couples that we had dinner with each night (Evonne and Conrad; Dennis and Pat). After dinner we decided to just have an early night since we will be getting up early in the morning for a snorkeling trip in Belize.
Update on my dad:
He is healing and on a liquid diet. He must be getting better because he said he was lonely and bored. I will see him in 2 more days!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Carnival Miracle Day 4 Costa Rica

028We arrived in Costa Rica at 7am but they are an hour behind us (and we always stay on ship’s time). Even early in the morning it was hot and humid but we walked around town. I felt much safer in this port than I did in Panama yesterday. The people seemed very friendly here. We stopped at the grocery store for me to buy a pepsi and a nice man let me go in front of him. The pepsi cost $555 (of their dollars) but she took my US $1 for it. I noticed that the nice man was even going to pay the difference if I needed it. Along the way we passed075 a hotel and I went in to exchange a US $1 for local change so Don could have some. Posted on the wall was $1 USD = 550 (Costa Rica money). We did come back to the ship once so I could write and send my postcards. I think it is neat that the guest relations desk sells local postage stamps and has a mailbox near their desk. 080Before we leave the port, the box is emptied and taken to a local post office. After that we went back and walked around the town some more. In the local park, we could look up in the trees and see the sloths. We returned back to the ship around noon and had a wonderful lunch. Even though the temperature doesn’t seem so high, the humidity is miserable. At 4pm was the past guest reception and then dinner again.
You can see more cruise pictures at:
Update on my father:
My father is doing better and sitting up in a chair. They moved him out of CCU and into a regular room. He is in pain but that is normal due to the surgery. He said they removed a tumor and are waiting for the biopsy results. Hopefully he will be home for Christmas.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Carnival Miracle Day 3 Panama

013 We arrived in Panama at 7am and we got off the boat as soon as we could. We could see the canal as our ship began to dock. We could also see town where there was a Radisson and even a McDonalds. We walked out of the port terminal and headed towards the town. I was surprised that no one else was walking into town. When 016 we got a few blocks away from our ship, two policemen (they may have been military too) followed us up the street. As we prepared to cross the street to a supermarket, they stopped the traffic so we could cross. I was surprised to see that they waited outside for us and followed us up the street again. Then we reached a major intersection where the police were on bicycles. The first two policemen stayed back and the bicycle cops followed us down this main avenue. It looked like a park to me with monuments and big trees. After a few blocks, they came up beside us and told us that we needed to turn around and go the other way. I guess we were getting to a dangerous section of town so we listened to them. As we walked many blocks the other way, they followed behind us and I felt quite safe. Eventually we turned back to get to the road we started on and they turned around with us and stayed with us until we reached the first two policemen. Again, these nice policemen followed us down the road until we got back near the port terminal. It was a pretty exciting morning. We returned to the ship so I could write postcards. The ship sold postcard stamps and they would be mailed at Panama before we left the port. I couldn’t believe how hot and humid it was here. From the top of the ship, we watched ships go through the canal. The show was Christopher Graves, who we have heard before so it was an early night. We will arrive in Costa Rica at 7am so it will be another busy day.
Update on my dad:
My sister talked to the nurse’s station to find out what was going on. After my father was sent to radiology, they found the source of the bleeding and did surgery to stop the bleeding. Yesterday he was alert and his vitals were good so he may be moved out of CCU soon. Thanks to all for your prayers!
Fri 12/18 Blog Prompt: I had to stop and consider this but today is Wear a Plunger on Your Head day. Would you, could you?
Absolutely not. Just thinking of where a plunger goes and what it could touch grosses me out! No, I don’t think I could ever wear one on my head. Hmm, now wait a minute. I take that back. For enough money, I could probably easily put one on my head without a problem. Ummmm, wait a second, let me change that. Probably for any amount of money, I could be easily pop that sucker on my head!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Carnival Miracle Day 2 At Sea

It was a relaxing day at sea. After breakfast we tried to walk on the 006jogging track but the track was closed due to high winds. Instead we tried to walk around the Lido deck since it wasn’t full of people. But when we got to the front of the ship, the winds were so strong that I could almost lean forward with all my weight and the wind would keep me from falling down on my face. We made about 6 laps but it really hurt my legs from pushing forward. Then I was afraid it would push me sideways or make me break a leg so we stopped. Later we went to arts and crafts and glitter painted some visors. It is fun to 008do and I get to meet new people. I bet Wally from St. Augustine, who is another knitter and we exchanged patterns. I tried Bingo again and almost won because I only needed one number on two cards. For lunch we ate in the dining room and met William and Dora from Clarkesville, Tennessee. After lunch we walked around the deck and then relaxed until tea time. After tea time we just relaxed until dinner. One couple was not at dinner because the rough seas had made them sick. The show was an impressionist called Karen Grainger and I really enjoyed her. She sang a lot of great songs and if I closed my eyes, I could imagine the actual singer in the room with us. It was a fun day.
Update on my dad:
He had to have emergency surgery yesterday to stop the bleeding and is in ICU. That is all that I know at this point. Please keep us in your prayers.
Blog Prompt: Underdog Day. Are you the underdog?
I am always the underdog. I am never the “most popular” in any group and I’m never the “most strongest, smartest, best of anything” so I am always the underdog. I am the one least likely to do whatever. That is why, sometimes I even surprise myself.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Carnival Miracle Day 1 At Sea and DSP Blog Prompts

We had a wonderful day at sea. I was on my computer early but the largest internet plan I could buy was 250 minutes for $100 plus 20 free minutes which gives me about 38 minutes each day. After I blogged and emailed, I worked out in the gym until it was time to wake Don up for breakfast. They didn’t start serving breakfast until 7:30 so I wasn’t in a rush to wake him up. After breakfast, we walked about an hour on the outside track. Then we went to arts and crafts where we made sail and sign card holders with needlepoint. At 11, we heard our cruise director, Malcolm Burns talk about shore excursions and he was pretty funny. We ate lunch in the dining room and then played in the slot tournament but we didn’t win. As Platinum members, we each get a free entry into the tournament. I sat out on the deck for awhile and knitted while Don walked on the track some more. Then we had to find a launderette with an iron so we could freshen up our clothes for formal night. At 5, we met the Captain and senior staff. Captain Rocco Lubrano was very nice and even took a picture with us. We also met the hotel manager, Pierre Camilleri, the guest relations manager, Phil Holmes, and the staff captain (but I can’t remember his name). We had dinner with four nice people from Florida (Dennis, Pat, Evonne, and Conrad). After dinner we went to the show Next Generations which we had seen before but we really enjoy the music. It was a great day!
Mon 12/14 Blog Prompt: What would you do to make your parents happy as you were growing up?
I had to keep good grades (I mean GOOD grades, not okay grades), don’t get dirty, do what I’m told and be a good girl. I’m not sure that when I got married and started hiking (which means getting dirty), and arguing when I needed to – made them very happy but by then I was already grown up.
Tue 12/15 Blog Prompt: Do you feel as if you are as good or a better parent than your own?
No. My parents were wonderful. At the time I was a teenager I didn’t think so but they were really good parents and I’m happy with the way I turned out. I wish I had the patience with my own children that they had with me.
Wed 12/16 Blog Prompt: National covered chocolate day. What would you have chocolate covered today?
I would cover vitamins and aspirins with chocolate. I hate taking either one of these and I think that would make them easier to take. I wonder if anyone has invented this yet?
Update about my dad:
They did an endoscopy yesterday but he was bleeding so much the doctor couldn't really tell where it was coming from. They had to move him to ICU and they may try to do another endoscopy. If they still can't tell, they may put dye in him to find the source. I guess he will be in the hospital for even longer.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Carnival Miracle Day 1 Embarkation

We got to the port around 10:30, dropped our bags off, and then parked the car. We were checked in right away after security but then had to wait about an hour before we were allowed to board the ship. Since we have been on this ship so many times, we didn’t feel the need to explore so we went right to the Lido deck for lunch. After lunch, I met with the maître’d Manuel in order to make sure we were seated at a big table with other people. He saw that we were sitting alone so he moved us to a table of six in the middle of the dining room which we like. After this we walked around the ship until it was time for the lifeboat drill. I really like not having to carry our life jackets to the drill. After the drill we went to the Orpheus bar (in the aft of the ship) to meet with other cruise critic people and it was a lot of fun! I met Urban Hawk, Kim and Lavell and Taylor. Taylor is a sophomore in high school and a lot of fun to talk to so I hope we see her around some more. After that we went to the Raven Library so I could sign up for the internet (250 minutes for $100). Boy I am spoiled after getting 480 minutes on the Dream! Then it was time to get ready for dinner and right before we left for dinner, I got a call from Phil Holmes, the guest relations manager, asking us if we would like an upgrade to a balcony room. I was so excited! So, it was arranged that we would move after dinner. We had a lovely dinner and our servers were Luis and Suki. The funny part was that none of our dinner mates showed up so it was just Don and me anyway. After dinner, we moved to our new cabin which was very nice and unpacked our stuff. Then we went to the Game show mania in the Phantom Lounge. We had hoped to stay for the 10:30 Welcome Aboard show but I was exhausted by then. Now we will have 2 days at sea to rest and relax.
Now here is an update about my father. We had hoped he would be released from the hospital so Marge went to the hospital as we left for the port. On the way, my sister called me and said that he would be staying longer because he is still bleeding so on Tuesday, he will have another endoscopy. They think it is bleeding ulcers but I guess they need to find them and stop the bleeding. Hopefully he will come home Wednesday. At least I know he is getting cared for while he is in the hospital. I called my father and Marge when we arrived and he said he is feeling great and still has no pain whatsoever, which is good. He was really disappointed that he wasn’t going home. My sister plans to email me every day so I know how he is doing.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Carnival Dream Days 8 and 9

Carnival Dream Day 8 At Sea

We had a relaxing day at sea. At 9am, I went to the arts and crafts 018class where we made beaded bracelets. At 10:30, we went to bingo to try to win a free cruise but we didn’t win. At 11 we attended the debarkation talk. Then we ate lunch in the dining room for the first time.After lunch we went to find pictures that were taken so we could choose which ones we wanted. Then it was time to pack our 032suitcases for the next day. I guess since we have been cruising so much, it didn’t take long to pack and then we enjoyed the music in the atrium area. After dinner we went to the comedy show and went to bed early.

Carnival Dream Day 9 Port Canaveral

We arrived in the port around 5am and they began to serve breakfast at 5:30. By 6:30, they were already calling self assist to get off the ship. Our zone 8 was called by about 7, and we were at our car in the Hilton parking lot by 7:30. It is really hot and humid here.

It only took us about 2 hours to get to my parents’ house and we dropped everything off before heading to the hospital. My father was disappointed that he wasn’t being released today as expected. Apparently his hemoglobin was still really low and they had to give him more blood. When the doctor came by, he said if his blood work was fine, he would probably be released tomorrow. What a relief! I’m not sure they know what was wrong, but the endoscopy showed some small ulcers that hopefully they took care of and now won’t bleed anymore. Thank you to everyone for your prayers!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Carnival Day 8 Grand Turk

We arrived in Grand Turk and docked without any trouble by 7am. 010Don and I were one of the first off the ship and went to the beach right beside the ship. We got the pick of the beach chairs when we got there. The beach chairs were free so we found a couple under a tree for some shade and on level sand. Some of the rows of chairs were on the downhill slope towards the water. We put on our snorkeling gear and saw some great looking fish. All morning we went in and out of the water snorkeling. Around 10:30 we decided to find me some soda to drink and after walking all around the shopping area, I only found one lady with a cooler who sold me a Sprite for $2. I h067eard there was a guy around the beach area selling beer and soda but we never saw him. I wish I had brought my own bottled water with me and would do that if I come back to this island. Then we walked along the beach to the left of the pier (facing the ship) and saw tons of conch shells. The water was rougher on this side but the shells were prettier. When we saw the Costa ship heading in to the pier, we decided to go back to the ship for lunch and try to beat the ship coming in but we didn’t make it and stood in line for about an hour while they docked. After lunch we returned to the beach for more swimming and snorkeling. At the edge of the swimming area, 051with the ship looming over us, we found an artificial reef that they were making and saw lots of colorful fish. Don was able to feed them dog biscuits so it was a lot of fun. Eventually we got tired from all the swimming and decided to return to the ship since it was getting close to dinner. Before we returned, we stopped to watch the people on the flowrider and it was fun to watch. After dinner we went to the comedy show and the Kim Harrison, from Columbia, SC, was hilarious! She was really funny and had a beautiful voice when she sang.

Someone asked in one of my messages (either here or on cruise critic), what movies were shown on the big screen so here is the list. They showed The Soloist, Nothing Like the Holidays, Quantum of Solace, Valkyrie, and Star Trek (2009). There is one more but I can’t remember what it is and if I do, I’ll edit this post.

Friday is our last sea day and we return back to Port Canaveral on  Saturday.

You can see more pictures on my Flickr album at

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Carnival Dream Day 7 San Juan (Not)

We arrived in San Juan around 7am and prepared to dock. Then we stopped. The next thing we know they announced that we were encountering a little problem. Apparently the Costa ship was parked where we should have parked and we would have to park in a different place. The next think I know there is a coast guard shipping blocking the smaller dock where it looked like we were heading. Then we sat in the harbor for awhile until the captain announced that we would not be stopping in San Juan because the metal sculpture at the dock could possibly damage the life boats hanging from our ship. It was a pretty exciting morning. On the morning show by the cruise director, Todd and John were talking about how the simulator that the captain uses to practice docking the ship did not have this sculpture in the program and they apologized for the problem and that they would be working on it for future dockings. They also had to cancel the comedians for the next two nights because they were supposed to arrive in San Juan at noon but we had already sailed away by then. I had hoped to meet up with my friend Yolanda and her husband who live in San Juan but we will have to meet another time when we visit there.

Then we ate breakfast in the dining room which was really good (even though I had already eaten breakfast around 6:30 on the Lido deck). After breakfast I was feeling guilty so we walked about 4 miles around the track on deck 12. After exercising we walked around the ship until it was time for lunch. We watched a game of charades and also some dance class.

At breakfast I heard a horrible story from a woman who had left her car while she was at the Radisson. In fact she paid extra for this and they made her put a tag on her mirror saying “cruise parking.” Then yesterday she gets a call from her kids saying that the car was stolen and found at an abandoned house with stolen tags. The kids were worried because they didn’t know if their parents were abducted or dead. Now they have to go back to deal with a damaged car, theft of items, and pay the impound fees. What a hassle! I just hope our car is okay but I’m not going to worry about until the time comes.

Unfortunately I made the huge mistake about getting in line for the Mongolian wok on the Lido deck for lunch. I was in line for almost 40 minutes and it was not worth the wait. There were some people getting 2 or 3 bowls cooked and I think they should only be allowed one serving at a time to be fair to the rest of us waiting in line. Or they could handle it like they do the pasta bar where you can choose your ingredients on paper and turn it in while they give you a number. When it is done, they bring it to your table.

After lunch, we went to arts and crafts where we made magnetic bookmarks. They will not have arts and crafts for the future cruises because Carnival only offers arts and crafts on 8 day or more cruises. Then we went to see some karaoke.

Dinner was our last formal night and they served escargot which made Don happy. Then we went to the show which featured country music. I think the shows on this ship were awesome and I really enjoyed them. It is amazing though to notice that even when we get there about an hour early, it is jam packed and you can barely find a seat.

To make up for cancelling a port, we will be in Grand Turk at 7am instead of 11am. I hope the weather is nice.






Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Carnival Dream Day 6 St. Thomas

We got off the ship at 7am and went to Coki Beach with Ron and Tracy. The cab ride was $9 per person each way. Since we brought dog biscuits, Don had a ball feeding the fish and they had a ball getting free food. We really enjoy this beach to go snorkeling or swimming. We saw different color fish, sea urchins, sponges and coral like brain coral. The beer was $3 each or 6 for $15. It was easy to get a taxi to go back to the ship at any time. Right next to us was Coral World. Also on the beach they had places for scuba, snuba, and rental umbrellas, chairs, snorkeling gear. There was also a bath house with a small shower head outside to rinse the salt water off. Behind us was a booth where the man sold fruit smoothies for $7 (virgin smoothies) or with rum for $8. There was also a place to rent boats and jet skis around the point. The beach was really crowded and by 2:30, we were ready to leave. The weather was perfect and the water was warm.

We came back and took a little nap before dinner. Since we were a little tired and sun burned, we called it an early evening.




See more cruise pictures at:

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Carnival Dream Day 5 Tortola

We arrived in Tortola at 7am and it was already hot. Soon after we got off the ship, they closed the dock to allow the Norwegian Dawn to tie up. We walked around town and when Pusser’s store opened up, Don got to buy the 2 hats he wanted to buy. He had one but it was getting old and worn and he loves that hat. At all the ports we stay on ship’s time and not the island time which was an hour later than ship’s time. After walking around the town, we thought about going to the Cane Garden Bay Beach but as we walked to the taxi, we saw our friend Bob who was taking a group around the island and he invited us to go with him. It was a lot of fun and we went around the island and even stopped at the beach. We also stopped to watch people swim with the dolphins and we went to a Callwood rum distillery. When we got back to the ship about 3 hours later, we went back on the ship to have lunch. After lunch, we went back out to the town and walked around the vendors tents near the ship. It was extremely hot and humid though so we came back to the ship a few hours later.

At 5pm we had the Past Guests Reception which took place at all the 5th floor bars on the back of the ship. Since they had about 3000 Past Guests, it was very full but they kept the free drinks and foods going the entire time. I think this was better than the other receptions we had gone to because it allowed people to mix and mingle with each other rather than just sitting in the main show room. We met a lot of nice people and really enjoyed ourselves.

After dinner we went to the show called Dancing in the Street which I thought was exceptional. They included break dancing and some other feats of strength and daring. I really enjoy the Carnival shows more than shows on any other ship that I’ve been on.

It was another full day and we arrive in St. Thomas at 7am so we had an early night again.

024 Swimming with the dolphins

029 Along the coast

040  Beautiful View

077 View from the mountain090 Arts and Crafts

Monday, December 07, 2009

Carnival Dream Day 4 Antigua

When we arrived in Antigua there were a few rain showers but they were over by the time we were allowed to get off the ship at 9am. We walked right out of the port gates and into town where there were lots of taxi drivers ready to take you anywhere you wanted to go. We found our friend Ninja, who took 8 of us around the island and to the beach. We stayed at Turner Beach for a few hours and then returned to the ship. Then we found a bar close to the ship where we enjoyed some beers (the local beer Wadadli was 2 for $5.45) until it was time to get back to the ship.

Luckily we had early seating for dinner because the busy day, the beach, and the beer made us exhausted. Our tablemates went on a catamaran excursion with the ship and they really enjoyed it. But they were exhausted too. After dinner, we didn’t go to the show and had an early night.



062 047

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Carnival Dream Day 3 At Sea

Another wonderful day at sea! I got up early and played on 035the computer before going to the gym and working out on the elliptical machine. Again we went to arts and crafters where we painted visors with gold glitter paint. After that we had a galley tour that was only open for Platinum guests. At 11:15 we went to the cooking demonstration in the Chef’s Art Steakhouse. This was a wonderful show! We watched five chefs prepare f039our different dishes and then we were able to sample each dish. These samples were very large and filling. We even got the recipes for all of the dishes so maybe I’ll try to make them when I get home.

Then we walked around the track to burn some calories before I sat in the sun for a little while and relaxed. Finally we decided to go eat some lunch and really didn’t do much for the rest of the afternoon other than play miniature golf out on the deck. At 4:15, we went to  see a musical matinee featuring Simon 037who had competed on the Australian version of American Idol. After that we  had to get ready for dinner where I ate filet mignon and Don had veal parmigiana.

After dinner we went to two of the comedy shows which were wonderful. We really enjoyed these and liked the way you 045didn’t have to have tickets for it like people did on the Glory. Seating was first come, first served which was easier. It was a wonderful day.

Original images by me:


Miniature golf



Saturday, December 05, 2009

Carnival Dream Day 2 At Sea


I went to the Lido Deck (10) and played on my computer while Don still slept. Around 7am, I got an omelet made to order and finally by 7:30, I woke Don up. At 9am, we went to arts and crafts where we made a luggage tag with needlepoint. It was a lot of fun and I really enjoy the arts and crafts. At 10am, we went to the talk by the Shopping guide. Then at 11, we shared a pastrami sandwich from the deli because the other food stations weren’t open until noon. Then it was time to walk around the track and burn some calories. At noon we went to a Spanish language class which I also thought was an excellent idea. We had never seen this on the other ships but since we would be going into Spanish speaking ports, it was a great way to help us with basic phrases.

After that, we went to eat lunch at the Mongolian Wok. These lines are always long because you choose your ingredients and put them in a bowl before you get up to the cook. He then cooks it right in front of you. I wish they would handle this in the same way they do the pasta bar where you choose the ingredients on paper and then they cook it for you and deliver it to your table. This would get rid of the long lines.

Since we are platinum members, we got a free entry into the slot tournament but we didn’t even get a high enough score to place on the board. I always enjoy them anyway. After the tournament it was time to get ready for dinner because first we had the Captain’s celebration to meet the Captain (Carlo Queirolo) and his staff. I also met the hotel director, Donato Becce, who was very gracious. It was also our first formal night and I love getting dressed up.

Dinner was wonderful! I ended up getting the lobster and the prime rib. For dessert we had cherries jubilee which I also love. After dinner we went to the main show which was called Get Ready. The shows are always awesome but this was a new one and I really enjoyed it. The costumes, the singers, the songs, and the sets were absolutely beautiful! I don’t think any other cruise line can be as good as Carnival when it comes to the shows. These are top notch shows and exceptionally done!

After the main show , we went to the comedy show. We saw the same comedian that we saw on the Glory, Michael Macy but he was still good. I like how this show was managed where first come first serve on the seating rather than tickets. The room was packed and it was standing room only.

It was a wonderful day on the Dream!

original image: Tandoor Food Station by me

Friday, December 04, 2009

Carnival Dream Day 1 Embarkation Day

Dream We got on the Travelynx shuttle at 10:45am which took us to the Carnival Dream ($20 roundtrip). I love this port because it was so easy to board the ship. We went straight through the security station and up to the check in desks. After we did the required paperwork (health statement and credit card stuff), we got right on the ship. Since they had an empty ship when they arrived in the port, our cabin was ready for us. Then we went up to the Lido deck for lunch. There were lots of different food stations so today we trip the Pasta Bar, which is where the Fish and Chips were on other ships. I loved the pasta but Don was disappointed that there wasn’t a Fish and Chips place. After lunch we walked around the ship and the layout was really nice. Even the muster drill went smoothly because we didn’t need to wear our life jackets and we met at different places instead of along the side of the ship. Our muster station was in the Scarlet Dining Room. After the drill, we went to the Caliente Disco where our cruise critic meet and greet gathered. I thought it was nice that so many Dream crew showed up including the cruise director Todd. Around 5pm we went back up to the Lido deck to watch the ship leave the port (which was supposed to happen at 4pm) but there were still palettes of supplies that had to be loaded on the ship. We actually didn’t start moving until we had gone to dinner at 6pm. We are sitting with a really nice couple, Tracy and Bob from Maine, so we enjoyed our first night at dinner. After dinner we went to the Welcome Aboard show. Since we finally reached international waters, I bought a soda fountain card for $6 a day and I didn’t have to pay taxes on the purchase. After the show we went up to the Lido deck to watch the Laser Experience which was really nice and I enjoyed that. What a long day we had but it was wonderful!

High School Jobs

cashier Blog Prompt: Did you hold down a job in high school? How would you describe the job and how you felt about it?

I worked at a summer camp during the summer and during the school year I worked as a cashier in this fancy Chinese restaurant where my father was the maître d. I would work with him on Tuesdays after school because we would drive there together and then get off work at 10pm. On Fridays and Saturdays we would drive in two separate cars because I would get off work at 11pm and he would have to work until about 2am. I hated working there because I didn’t speak Chinese and there was really no one to talk to. My cash register station was a separate room so people could come in for take out orders and the waiters from the dining room came to a little window to bring me money from the tables. When one really cute guy came in to order take out, he asked me when I got off work. Behind me pops up my father who informed this really cute guy that when I got off work, I was going home with my dad so it didn’t matter what time I got off work. The really cute guy took his food and left without ever looking back!

Original image: 'cash register keys' by: zen Sutherland