Sunday, March 31, 2013

Biker Peeps

Biker peeps
I whipped up this cute little Easter wallhanging for my niece, Ryder. Easter is her favorite holiday. Happy Easter, Ryder!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

So, I haven't told you yet but my nephew, Nat, and Sarah and the kids were here for spring break as well. I don't have many pictures because we were so busy. Lots of paddleboarding, kayaking, canoeing, swimming and more swimming, snorkeling, you get the picture. After all, this IS the Fabulous Florida Keys.  Here are the three kids vegging after a busy day.
 And, here is little Ben enjoying a slice. Love this!
Sophie was of course on hand to supervise at mealtime.

And, this next shot has quite a story. I'll try to be brief. So the night before, we had quite a windstorm and when I got up in the morning, two of my chairs were missing. Nat spent two hours on the paddleboard, searching up and down the canal, looking under docks and mangroves, you get the picture. I, in the meantime, took my parents to the airport (bye bye Mom and Dad, it was fun!) and when I got home, we all got on our bikes to go out for lunch. We were thinking about Pilot House but at the last minute went to the Fisheries. So, we were waiting for our food and admiring an old Albin (that's a boat-duh) when the guy in the Albin says to some guy on the dock, hey do you want this? And, he points to a chair in the back of the boat. Sarah jumps up. Hey! That's our chair! So we go over and he says he found it out in the ocean and we explain and he hands it over. No sooner does he do that and we are saying what are the odds?? when a little motorboat comes in to the harbor and in the back of it? My other chair!!!! Now really, what ARE the odds of THAT?  Pretty amazing.

So then Nat decides, being a guy and all, that I do not need to ride home and get the car. Oh no. He will attach the chairs to his bike and, with both kids on board, ride home with the full load. Check him out. So funny and so smart, our Natonio!

* * * * *

Ok, in other news, Will went out for a day of fishing with Cap'n Skippy and caught this ginormous wahoo AND a bunch of tuna. Oh was it good (the tuna-you don't want to eat wahoo). There was enough for eleven of us and I still have more in the freezer for moi.
I took Will to the airport on Tuesday and was sad to see him go - the visit went waaaaay too fast! Bye bye, Will. It was super fun.
So, I haven't shown you pictures of my sister, Becky, and niece Ryder but they were here as well for a few days and we mos def had a full house and even a tent set up outside. Busy full days of sun and fun and I can't believe I didn't find two seconds to take their pictures. But, here is one from the archives. Their visit was short but sweet.

* * * * * 

So, now I am home alone and it is very quiet. It makes me realize how accustomed I am to being alone and living alone and that not only am I used to it but I'm good at it. And, when my family is here, well it just fills me up until the next time. My former husband is an idiot to miss out on all of this. But let's not talk about him, right? He is SO not worth it. And, I AM.  insert big smiley face!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Will and I had a magical afternoon at Dolphins Plus, right down the canal from my house. After a briefing, we entered the water and had the experience of a lifetime.

Checking us out
Will suits up
Trainer, Kristin with Sarah and Big Momma

Will and I give Big Momma (515 lbs!) a belly rub
A ride to the dock
Shaking hands
It is the most amazing feeling to have two dolphins put noses to the bottoms of your feet and propel you across the lagoon. A truly awesome experience.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Ok, here's why I was so excited. My nephew, Will, is here for a week!!  Woohoo! I left the cruise to drive up to Ft. Lauderdale where he flew in from Boston yesterday. His first solo flight and he handled it like a pro.
 Spent the day doing laundry, unpacking, grocery shopping and of course, getting out on the water.
 Here is the downside. The kid eats like an automaton! Holy crapoli, the kid can put away some groceries! -- He's so worth it.  :)
 More excitement in store for tomorrow. Stay tuned . . .

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

We had a busy last day at sea. Below is our classroom and that is my friend, Kitty, concentrating on her cutting, and seeing that I realize why my neck and shoulders are hurting today. 
Here is what my project looks like thus far. Cute turtles, right?
Here we all are at dinner one last time - there were actually about 40 of us but we were divided up so I don't really know many of the women. We recognize each other by our sparkly lanyards and wave and smile. I'm so happy my three friends from Bali are here with me.
And, guess whose square won the Hoffman prize?  You got it! Yours truly. Remember my little lionfish?
Here is Arnel's last towel art presentation: A penguin! Not really apropos on a Caribbean cruise but sweet nonetheless.
And, we pulled in the port of Miami at dawn this morning. I'm packing up and getting ready to embark on my next exciting adventure. Here's a hint: It involves one of the loves of my life!

Monday, March 18, 2013

St. Lucia and St. Maarten

I'm combining these two islands in my account because I got sick the night we left Barbados and have not been my usual busy self; sleeping 12 hours at a time. Bad cold. And, hello? Every time you walk into a dining room, every time you go on or off the ship, there is a little person with a spray bottle saying "washy-washy" in an annoying sing-song voice and well, a lot of good it did me, is all I can say. 
sweet kitties on an island where life is cheap
This picture is actually left over from Barbados but when is the last time you saw a Woolworths??
So, this man is the reason I am now infamous on our cruise. His name is Winston and he was our taxi driver on St. Lucia. His idea of going on an island tour was to take us up to his neighborhood so he could point out all the crazies and drug addicts and stop to holler at all his peeps and stop at his friend's restaurant and bar to try to spread the wealth. 
I took exception to Winston when he proceeded to tell us about his wife, his kids and his girlfriends and how his mission in life is to "please the ladies." No matter my snide remarks (and not so snide, i.e., you are pig, etc.), nothing could dent Winston's arrogance.
Juanelle and Jan with a nice bar lady, and  Winston, the little creep
So finally, Juanelle put her foot down and said take us back. He took us to the beach (where he was originally supposed to take us) and we stopped to use the rest room. At which point I was lagging behind the other two and Winston decided to put the moves on me. Are you KIDDING me?? Well, obviously Winston needed some education into the consequences of his actions and I was only too happy to oblige.
Anyhoo, long story shorter, this morning when I came to class, Nancy Lesko, our teacher today, said YOU'RE LIZZIE? uh oh  The word about Winston and his emasculation had gotten around (smug smile from yours truly.)  Seriously. Men. are. pigs.
So, this was the beautiful sunset leaving St. Lucia

And, here is where I spent yesterday on St. Maarten. At the beach. My favorite place to be. I baked my cold and swam and baked and swam and baked and swam. Perfect. 
I went up to the top foredeck to watch St. Maarten recede. The last stop on my cruise. So glad I spent the last day on land in beautiful St. Maarten at the beach. Went to bed at 7:30 and woke up this morning at 8:00, feeling somewhat better. 
 One more picture: Our class today was titled, Under the Sea, and here is my work thus far:


Four of us were on the trip to Bali last Spring and it has been fun to get together again. Juanelle is from California, Kitty is from Arizona and Jan is from Atlanta.

So, what is the first thing that comes to mind when you think, "Barbados?"  White sand beaches, turquoise waters, craft markets?  Wrong!  (Well actually, right, but read on) Juanelle and Jan and I went looking for a taxi driver to give us an island tour. We met Patrick and in discussion with him, for some reason, we decided on Harrison's Cave. That's right. We visited the beautiful island of Barbados and went to a cave. 
Harrison's Cave
Original entrance with dummies (because, in my opinion, you'd have to be a dummy to want to go in there).
It was actually pretty cool in a creepy kind of way. We took a tram almost 200 feet into the bowels of the earth, through giant cathedrals and narrow passages, lots of water dripping everywhere, creating the formations. I thought, well at least we'll have some cool air for a change but it was so humid, we were sweating even that far under ground.
Apparently, Barbados is different from the other islands, they being formed volcanically, while Barbados was formed by the shifting caribbean and atlantic plates. Hence, caves.
Emergency exit. I am not making this up. There is a little boat so you can make your escape into that cave over the water. Really?

Friday, March 15, 2013

Here is what beautiful Dominca (pronounced dominEEka) looked like on approach yesterday. I've never been here before and so glad I had the opportunity to see it. When we were on St. Lucia in the 80's, Dominca's volcano was spewing ash and nobody was visiting. It has been quiet since then (and 500 years before that). 
I walked in to the port and, along with two little French guys from the ship, hired a cab to take us around for $20. Mara was a fabulous guide, very knowledgeable and we had a two-and-a-half hour tour of the rain forest (75% of the island is rainforest), the hot springs, the botanical gardens, the fruit market, and on and on.
Our ship below in the port of Roseau
When a hurricane threatened the island, the Botanical Gardens parked a school bus under their Baobab (sp?) tree to hold up the trunk and to prevent the tree from being destroyed. Instead, the tree destroyed the bus!
bamboo (for context, see the men next to it on the left) 
fruit market
There are numerous warm mineral spas to soak in (my favorite was called "Screw Spa" huh?) as well as these random holes here and there, hot steam rising from the depths, relieving pressure on the volcano. This guy was selling something - mineral cream or some such made from the waters. hmmmm Couldn't believe he was barefoot.
Arnel's latest towel creation awaited me when I got back and here is a picture of my stateroom. Tiny but it is home for now and quite comfortable.

 Another day done as we cruise away from Dominca toward Barbados.