30 December 2009

Love

Love may be a word that some say is overused, but I am not sure I believe in that thinking when applied to me. There are many different types of love (or at least I believe). There is that love that you have a time and then get over (like a teenage crush) and then there is that love that consumes you at first and grows into something deep and keeps changing over time (like the love you have for your spouse). Love makes me happy and being happy is well GRAND right? Tonight when I had trouble sleeping I thought, "you are very happy what are the things you love?" Really I was measuring if it was things or THINGS, you know? Here is what I came up with and again it is in ABC order because I find that is the best way to rest when you are not sleeping and sometimes if you are lucky, you can fall asleep.

A-art...I can find art in almost anything...I love paintings the most...The Swing by Fragonard, The Scream by Edward Munch, Stary Night by Van Gogh, and the persistence of memory by dali

B-Books---books are fascinating! A book can take you anywhere, can make you be anything, can be terrible, or even intriguing. I am lucky that I can speed read (not like JFK, but I have a good track record)...I ready between 100 (my worst year) and 300 (my best year) books a year, not counting kids books! I will read just about anything and if I really love it I will read it over and over and over. Since 1993, I have read Gone with the Wind 37 times, my favorite book of all time. Since I started my reading log in 1996, I have read Song of the Siren 12 times (my second favorite book). This year alone I have read all the Twilight books 5 times each!

C-Cruise ships- even if I am not on them, I love to study them. It started with a love of the titanic when I was a child and has grown to my new obsession the Norwegian Epic. I like to look at the deck plans, study them, and maybe dream, even about ships I have never and will never sail. I believe I could draw the titanic from memory.

D-Dali..one of my favorite artists

E-eye sight...I love the gift of sight! I would rather lose all other senses and keep that one if I had to...you can't read with it, can't look at paintings, or enjoy a majestic mountain or even a Caribbean sea. I love my eyes!

F-Faith...it's the part that makes you who you are. Your believe in God and His awesome powers. The path He has steered in on is the most different than anything I had ever envisioned for my life. John was in the plans, but other than that, child care was never in the mix. I planned on doing something in art for my living, or maybe training for Cracker Barrel. However, He knew what best

G-gemstones...I don't have to own them (even though I like too), I just want to look at them. I love to look at the blue topaz, the tanzanite, tourmaline, opal, citrine, amethyst, ruby, emerald...I love them all!!!

H-Hannah...my first born...taller than I am daughter. Creative, goofy, with legs a mile and a half long. I love her so much!

I-Inside Passage...a place I never dreamed I would go to and when I did I sat in a chair for over 12 hours no bathroom and had my food delivered to me, because I was mesmerized by the beauty of it all. I have seen many lovely things in my time and questioned "how can people see _____and not believe in God?" but oh my, words cannot describe the time that I spent in the inside passage, especially Glacier Bay. I have never in my life been more inspired, more awed, and of course cold. I am grateful for every moment spent in that National Park.

J-John...my wonderful husband, whom I love dearly. Even when I am angry with him, I love him. My love for him grows as we age...we develop our own interests and get deeper with the ones that we have in common. He makes life's journey more fun I am sure. He is goofy, serious, sport fanatic, and a good dad. As he ages (and maybe the kids too), I see him doing more with the kids...like fixing Trevor's tv dinners when I am too tired to move. Or coaching Trevor on the football field in our yard, or bowling with Hannah on the wii...Those moments are etched in my brain. I only wish the kids would remember them as well as I do. He loves to travel and that is wonderful because I get to tag along on his adventures. Lucky for me, he likes the cruise ships too! He is my everything.

K-Kodak...my favorite most friendly user face camera. Honestly, on Kodak.com they are very affordable too. I have owned about 10 kodaks, and 1 nikon...and guess what my next camera will be? Yep, Kodak. They have a wonderful product.

L-Laughter...do I have to explain why I love laughter? REALLY? REALLY?

M-Mountains....since I was a small child traveling to Colorado or the Smokeys with my parents I have loved mountains. I will admit the rocky type makes me happier than the tree covered part, at least until I went to the Caribbean and saw those tree topped mountains...still the rocky type is the best. I love the tropical ones, and the ones in Alaska that start at sea level and jut immediately to 6,000 feet, and those fun mountains in New Mexico, Colorado, and what not, and I do have some favorites. At 14,110 feet Pikes Peak is a majesty. I love every inch of her. Every time I get to Colorado, I have to get up her in some way, by train or car....I MUST go to the Summit. I love the Summit...you can see the Continental divide, Cripple Creek, Denver...you can see why and where America the Beautiful was written, you can see wagon tracks that were made during the gold rush! Vegetation grows so slowly they are STILL there today! I have to eat a mile high donut, and drink lots of water, and if I am lucky I will get attitude sickness! (really that part is not fun) I love the Peak, but my all time favorite mountain is Mount St Helens. It is one of those strange quirks that I have. I LOVE love love volcanoes. I remember the first time that I ever heard of or saw MSH....May 18, 1980 from then I wanted to know about her, wanted to watch the movie, see the pictures, I remember asking my dad about the ash reaching our house in KY. I have studied volcanoes a lot and am fascinated about craters and how they grow and how fast the glacial ice builds, and lava domes! I will continue to study MSH, maybe you should ask me about Harry Truman and see what I know.

N-nighttime...cause I love to sleep.

O- I remember the first time I went to the ocean, November 23, 1991! I guess I went to Daytona as a child, but I don't remember it at all. What I remember is driving to Jacksonville Beach by myself just to see the ocean. I was in Jacksonville for Cracker Barrel, and thrilled that I was actually going to see the ocean. It was a dirty grayish color, not so pretty, but the waves were wonderful and started a love affair. In 1993, we went on a mini honeymoon to Daytona and stayed right on the beach...this was a little different colored water, it had a tad more green in it ...and then when I went on my first cruise in 1998 and saw the aqua color of the Caribbean...oh my! I have seen ultramarine, a topaz, aqua, and an ocean with a hint of purple too. I love to look at the water! The prettiest was off the coast of Barbados! It was the bluest topaz I have ever seen other than a stone (I have a ring the exact color). It was full of waves, actually there is nothing between you and Africa other than the water you are looking at right there on the Bathsheba beach. The waters are so dangerous it is illegal to swim in them. They are rocky, rough, and so lovely to look at.

P-Paper...I am Michelle and I am a paper junky. I collect solids, plaids, patterns, textured...whatever...the most I have paid for sheet is $4.00, can you believe that? But it was a wonderful piece with metal embedded.

Q-Quick and Brite...the world's most perfect cleaner. I have gotten mustard out of a white tshirt with this stuff. Cleans tennis shoes to a brand new white color, add to laundry for oil stains, clean your floor for a shine, clean floor mats for a like brand new look and gets rid of soap scum. The best stuff...worth every penny

R-rainbows...how could you not love a rainbow? Hello...the colors are wonderful, beautiful and purely inspiring.

S-Scissors...do you know the things I can create with a paper of scissors? I could do without a pencil way easier than without scissors...I have to have them pointy for the detail and prefer 2 or 3 different kinds with different abilities, that is just a little piece of wonderful

T-Trevor my sweet little boy, who stinks, but it very athletic...hates to read (we need to work on that)...what a wonderful child.

U-USA...God Bless the USA...I wish I could have a bigger part in the political system. I would love to run for a local office...just to prove that all are not corrupt and stand up for the average American! We need a Champion too!

V-Volcanoes...As I stated before, I am a tad obsessed with them. Love everything about them.

W-Whales...I know a lot about them...love them and in 2007 I saw my first one in the wild. That was one of the most amazing sights! A real live humpback whale 10 feet from the boat on which I was traveling. His skin was a wet, slick leather look. I wanted to grab onto him. I wish I could have seen his baleen plate, or his fin, that would have made it the most perfect thing. Definetly the best shore excursion that I have ever done. And the most expensive too, but worth every single penny!

X-Xyron...only the best adhesive out there. I have 2 machines a 5" and a 1.5" one for letters and one for small details. They are a little expensive, but when you have a 50% coupon (which is what you wait for) they are 6.00 and 3.00 respectively.

Y-Yellowstone...just a place that I have never been, want to go with, read about and love

Z-Zipper..they amuse me by the way that they work. I have always liked the mechanics of a zipper

19 December 2009

My Christmas Newsletter

This year, I did not have time to mail a letter to you all, so you get the new HIGH TECH version. If you do not like it simply hit delete!

This year brought lots of fun stuff, hang onto your hat and buckle your belt because there is some traveling involved.

The first of the year brought a wonderful sea of ice! We had more ice than I ever want to see again. ICE ICE BABY!!! No power for over 2 weeks (some of our area was out for over a month). We stayed in hotels and with a very generous friend. I even traveled south for a bit with the kids because it was HORRIBLE!

Trevor turned 7 in April...he took one of his best buddies, Nathan to a St Louis ballgame. It was SOOOOO cold! Nathan's mom and dad, and sisters went to St Louis with us and we made a family trip of it all. Red Robin (on Good Friday), Archivers, the zoo, and a game! We had a lot of fun even though it was cold.

John bought us tickets for the next days game too and it was soooo much warmer. We walked from our hotel down to Union Station, and just around downtown in general. Albert hit a Grand Slam and Trevor's name and birthday was on the birthday tron.

Hannah turned 12 at the end of April and let me just say that was not fun! Nope, she is now about 5'6" skinny thing, but very pretty!

Michelle was a great 37 in May and I will not tell you how old John is because he may not want you to know, but it rhymes with mighty fine!

When Trevor's ball season began, I took over his guitar lessons. I had always wanted to play the guitar and Herb Chapman (Stephen Curtis's dad) was the teacher, so how could you not turn that down? I am still taking them, but Taylor is my teacher now. I have learned so much and can play quite a few songs, maybe not play them beautifully but I can play them.

In June, we did Disney like we had never done before...stayed at a Resort, used (gasp) PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION, and spent just a TON of money. You can go on a cruise WAY cheaper than going to Disney World...WAY CHEAPER! I loved the resort, loved the parks (me especially), and the food was WONDERFUL!!! I ate at Sunshine Seasons 3 times! I love the salads! And John and Trevor skipped a day in the parks and headed to Miami to see the Cards play the Marlins. They both had a wonderful day.

The rest of the summer was full of sports! Trevor is very involved in baseball...very very involved. He had a rough season starting out because he was having issues with his therapy! The therapy was NOT good for a boy that is a power hitter. When we changed the therapy, he started hitting like the hitter we know he is! He did have an injury this year...he was smacked in the head with a baseball that a kid had HIT, not thrown. The ball hit is eye and we had to go to the doctor. Of course, he had to be his "good" eye, but the doctor said luckily the ball hit his eyebrow not the eye socket. It was black less than a week, we put Granny's arnica on it and it healed quickly.

Hannah began 7th grade in August and Trevor 2nd. Hannah was still involved in band, 2nd chair on the flute and Trevor began FOOTBALL! I was not ready for that, but he loved it. He was a quarterback! The funny thing is there was a girl on the other team and the two of them were always trying to tackle each other. She is a cutie, and she could out run him too.

This was Hannah's time to get interested in fashion...very much so...so loves to put together an outfit and get all dolled up and much to my dismay she LOVES to shop. I hate it and hate to spend money so she does not get to do it very often. She began painting on canvases a little bit too.

I went to my first scrapbooking convention with Jennifer in Sept. We stayed 3 days in a hotel and scrapbooked like crazy! I want to do this again!!!

For fall break we took the kids to the Smokies...We stayed at 3 very nice places...the first one was Comfort Suites...brand new!!! The second was an indoor water park, Wilderness at the Smokies, and the third was a quaint place in Gatlinburg. Our intentions were to go over the mountains, into the National Park and take the kids to Cherokee North Carolina. Well, we began the trek and the road was closed due to ice and snow! FUN TIMES! We spent a while at Sugar-lands visitor center hoping for a thaw, but gave up and went shopping.

In the beginning of December, John and I took a cruise to Mexico. It was so wonderful! I love Mexico! Of course I love the vanilla. Progresso was very nice, warm, and pretty. We took an excursion out on our own and went to the Mayan ruins and to Medira, the capital of the Yucatan peninsula. I enjoyed Progresso very much. In Cozumel, we went into San Miguel did a bunch of shopping, hung out on the public beach (even got LARGE shells), and bought me a new engagement ring (I had lost my diamond out of my other one at work...and this time I wanted a white gold one). We even spent a large amount of time in Mega Market...got some blue plax (we love this stuff and cannot find it ANYWHERE), some herbal mint toothpaste (again, we cannot find it anywhere), some candy, and popcorn. We then headed back to the pier to look for some more goodies and purchase that all important VANILLA! I did get tons of vanilla! We met some great folks on the boat and we liked every single one of them. I have to write them some emails and maybe meet them again on another cruise. Another cruise? Yep, I am all ready looking for next years trip!


It has been a wonderful year....Trevor's therapy seems to be going well. We have gotten to stop Atropine drops and patches for the time being. We have gone him 2 pairs of RX specs and one pair of glasses (soon to be another pair) because we are currently going back and forth on the scripts. Hannah is still super skinny, tall, and beautiful. Her room is still messy and she doesn't read as much as she used to. I blame that on the school setting her a high goal, too high of levels of books, and pushing her too hard. So therefore, she does not enjoy it anymore :(

John was very sad Mayfield did not win the championship game this year, but he did see lots of good games. He saw the Cards 5 or 6 times, every Mayfield football game but one (the championship game...he was on a cruise but listened to the whole game), he even started watching some Lone Oak games because Trevor really likes them. He and Trevor have set up a football field and a baseball area in the backyard because they are out there alot just playing ball.

I am smiling because I have such a wonderful family. I am very blessed and grateful to have each and every one of them (except maybe the cat...I might get rid of her).

16 December 2009

last day...day 5

Day 5

Day at sea and the last full day aboard the Fantasy. My last breakfast would be an omelet with hashbrowns. After breakfast, we headed up to the Lido deck, so that John could catch some sun. There had been no days with rain and today proved to be just so rain free. He stayed up on deck most of the day while I shopped a little (a lot) and took tons of photos of the ship...this was the last tine that we would sail the Fantasy...she has been sold and will be replaced in May with the Elation.

Late in the afternoon, I attended a scrapbooking class. I have attended others on both Carnival and Norwegian, and Louis tried hard to do a good job. He was not equipped with a cutter, straight edge scissors, or enough papers. He was given glitter, glue, and pop dots. He also was given scrapbook kits to sale us...lots of girls did. Louis was prepared for 3 girls, but 20 girls showed up. We sort of schooled Louis...but it was fun. I had met Brooke the night before and she was there helping a new scrapbooker with her craft. This was a very fun hour...wasn't a ton of work done. I completed two pages and that was it. One lady got 4 done, and I thought I was fast!


I also met a girl worked in the 10 dollar store, Sumie. She was reading New Moon for the first time. It was so cool to talk to someone about the saga. Thing was she had not seen the movies and not read eclipse or breaking dawn. I loved talking to Sumie...we exchanged email addys...I hope to find out what she thought of it.

For dinner I had mahi mahi again, and a coffee pie. John had chicken again and baked Alaska for dessert. It was very sad saying goodbye to our table mates. We have had only one other couple that we met on a ship that we liked this much. At that time, it was just June and Jay...this time we had, Kathy and Tim, Amy and Jim, Jane, Rueben and their son John and we met Dora and Wayne as well. Everybody was so nice, and we all just gelled. I am telling you in the past we have had some crazies, some real crazies...carnival you did a good job matching everyone.

After dinner, Amy, Jim and I headed to see 'ticket to ride'. It was a show with the Carnival entertainment staff paying tribute to the Beatles. The arrangements were at times different than the Beatles had done, but that is a wonderful thing. They did 'in my life' with belly dancing, yeah you can see that, Because as a ballet, Rain with Spanish dancers, Got to get you into my life with a girl singing about her love for the Beatles, Get Back as an instrumental, and Sgt. Pepper reprise and The End as the last two songs. Most of the Abbey Road songs were done, and that is just a little bit of wonderful. The performers gave us glow sticks...to use in place of lighters...and threw confetti at us. The costumes were very much on tap with what the fab four wore as well and they had the songs matched up with the right outfits. All in all, I think it was one of the best shows that I have seen at sea.

It was then time to pack up the stateroom, set out your suitcases (I only do self assist if I have an early flight...I like to be one of the last off the ship), and hit the bed. Those announcements will start very early in the morning.

We got up before 6 because of the commotion outside the room, finished packing and exited the stateroom. We hung out on promenade deck while folks were exiting the ship. It was nice and relaxing until I got ran out of the lounge I was sitting in by cigar smoke...cough cough.

Finally that last call was made and we made our way to deck 7. Here began a nightmare. As bad as embarkation was...debarkation was worse! It took almost 2 hours from here to get inside the parking garage. The luggage was easy to find, but customs was terrible. This was by far the worst embark and debark that I have ever done. I have done self assist, early flights, and last off the ships. Terrible! Never had it take us more than an hour to board and 2 hours to exit! There are many things different that this port did that others do not and vice versa. I would sail from here again because they have to get better, but I will arrive later and still be the last off but I will know that it will take a very long time. I cannot judge the length time it took to enter the garage the first day because this was our second time parking, we usually fly.

All in all, I rate the entire cruise 9 out of 10. I have to take off for sewage smell on E deck, lack of classes, and embarkation\debarkation.

Maybe the classes were not there because it was a 5 day, I am used to 7 or 8 day cruises...but I looked through carnival capers from my shorter cruises and there were classes on them...so I blame the cruise director.

Things to note:
1. First carnival cruise where I did not try to win a trivia trophy or metal...have 4...2 trophies 2 metals

2. No sing alongs

3. Booked our own excursion in Mexico...not gone through ship. We gave done that in other ports but never Mexico

4. We did not go to the Christmas show...first time ever.

5. We only called home once and video called once. The phone call was 1 minute long to tell them to video call.

6. I did not have a salad with every meal...first time ever

7. It did not rain one day or night...first time ever

8. I did not freeze while on the ship.

9. I never saw the room steward...again first time ever that we did not chat or something. Never saw him after the first day.

10. That I had all the BEFORE I got home. I had them done before the TN border.

15 December 2009

day 4

fantasy day 4

Woke up at 6:30am...fun

Pulled into port at 8:30 am...the water here is ultramarine blue where yesterday the water was a aqua color. I love the port of Cozumel...vanilla being the number 1 reason. Our first mission was to go to Los Cinco Soles, get all that vanilla and buy me a ring. I lost the diamond to my engagement ring somewhere at Olivet and have been looking to replace it. I wanted silver, knew my price range and was very flexible on the stone. I just did not want a diamond. Finally found what I was looking for in a mystic topaz. I all ready have earrings and a necklace so this was perfect.

We spent a little time on the beach at the pier, got tons of vanilla, shopped for t shirts...things are cheaper in Progresso, but I got my vanilla in a place where I know its couramin free and tastes good too!

The ship left early, we got ready for dinner...our friends told us that they had missed us the night before.

I had mahi mahi for dinner, John had chicken. For dessert I had amaretto pie...yummy. After watching the weather from Denver I went to sleep.

13 December 2009

Fantasy the ship


One of the smallest ships I have sailed on, but still a big deal. 70,367 tons, 855 feet long, with a 21 knots cruising speed, and total guests 2,344 (crew 920), this ship is just a tad smaller than the Disney Wonder and Magic (holds the same amount of guests).

We first sailed on the Fantasy in December of 1998. I am afraid that I do not have too many photos from this first cruise. I had a film camera, and an infant and it was hard to take photos with a baby on the hip, and expensive too because I had an Advantix camera. Boy that film was high!! I have about 5 scrapbook pages from the whole trip...well, it was a 3 day cruise so maybe that is about right. We sailed from Port Canaveral on In 98' when we sailed the rooms had a orangy/pinkish decor. Very nasty, I thought even then. Today, the cabins have a very modern decor, white duvet, with reds/browns. I enjoyed the color scheme very much. It made me want to rest, and relax, and I hope that was the plan in choosing the palate and layout. There is still a white sign type thing in the corner just like before, put they have modernized the bath and the storage. Now the storage is nowhere near as nice as one of those big liners, but it is livable.

The exterior of the ship is very "old school". New liners have most of the outside cabins with a balcony, and it looks like there might be balconies on only the veranda deck on the Fantasy.

The ship looks tip top from the outside though. I am telling you, this ship was built in 1990, so it was 8 years old the first time I sailed her. Now she is nearing the 20 year mark, but she shines, Carnival has cared for her in the utmost way. I believe that she was one of the first ones that Carnival had designed and built for just them. I will have to check on that fact, but I believe that is right.

Public areas:
From the photos that I have the bars/lounges have not changed at all. The cat's lounge is still full of giant cans and forks and spoons. Cleopatra's is still full of Egyptian things, and the Majestic bar is still leathery and full of cigar smoke!! Cough cough!

The marble staircase is still there in the Grand Atruim but gone are the ropes of neon! Trust me, that is a very good thing. The ship was not decorated for Christmas like it was on December 1, 1998, and that was sad, but she did have a few Christmas decorations.

The photo gallery has been moved from a "wing" off the side of the ship to just off the Grand Atruim. The shops are very crowded as compared to the newer ships. The newer ships realize that folks will spend money and have laid them out like a real mall, but the older ships just crowded stores in where they could.

The restaurants were EXACTLY the same decor...just new furniture. CRAZY huh?

Now the sewage smell was very reminiscent of the Tropicale...that was so terrible. The smell started on E deck (Empress) and went all through the Grand Atrium NASTY! Sometimes you could even smell it outside on the LIdo deck nearest the Atrium. Sewage issues on a ship was not something that I wanted to relive EVER!!!

Other than that bit of nasty junk...the ship looked great, responded great to the water, was in good condition, and not worn out looking. Even the monorail at Disney World had frayed carpet in the cockpit and that ruined the look for me and made me wonder about upkeep. I had no qualms here about the upkeep. The captain even pushed her as fast as her cruising speed could go and there were no issues whatsoever.

My favorite part of the ship was the promenade deck, right outside the Majestic bar and the Casino. The decor was Greek influenced, with chaises lounges and tile topped tables. The sound of the slot machines was cool too, oh and so was the whirl of the coffee machine in the coffee bar. You could sit and look out at the ocean, smell the coffee, and then go into the $10 store to buy something or make a friend. This area is also a hop skip and a jump from the Universal Lounge (where they do the broadway type shows), the photo gallery and the galleria shops. So it was the perfect location for everything that you needed.

What surprised me the most? The fact that you could walk from one end of the ship to the other in no time flat. I am totally not used to that.

What angered me the most? The smoking...I loved the Paradise when she was a non smoking ship. That was a wonderful cruise. Oh course, it would all be fine if the smokers would stick to the port side rule, but they do not.

Biggest question: They moved the omelet station to the pizza station and so you had to wait forever to get an omelet. Why did you do that?

All in all, I had more fun on this time around than I did the first time that I sailed her. She was in great shape, the activities were great (not that I did many), and the itinerary was PERFECT! I really really liked the stops! Even Progresso that I heard was no good was! We saw the ruins, shopped a little and found out that Progresso is where you buy a hammock! Actually, everything was cheaper here, so if you go on this buy your stuff here, just make sure that you watch your vanilla. I saw many vanillas here with coumarin so be wary...this stuff causes cancer. Los Cinco Soles has a better flavor than any that I have ever had. Trust me on this one, I have tried lots! I am a HUGE fan of vanilla. And that is one reason that we go to the Western Caribbean so much, so I can get more vanilla. If vanilla was available like this in the Eastern Caribbean I would not go to the west again. I much prefer the St Thomas, San Juan, St Maarten and Barbados parts of the world.




Just a tidbit: When we docked in port in Cozumel we were "parked" next to the Inspiration. This is a sister ship to the Fantasy...they were so cute docked side by side on the pier. Looking like a couple of twins, very cute twins.





Just some facts:

Our smallest ship---Carnival Tropicale
Port Tampa
Tonnage 36,674
Speed 20 knots
Guests 1,022
Crew 550

Our largest ship---Carnival Victory
port Miami
Tonnage 11,509
Speed 21 knots
Guests 3,467
Crew 1,100

The world's largest ship docks in Port Everglades and holds 6,200 guests! WOW!!!

This one and the Legend were the two that we sailed when they were new. We sailed the Legend when she was less than 6 months old, the Victory less than a year old.

We were the 3rd to the last cruise Carnival did on the Tropicale. It was reduced to scrap metal after that.

12 December 2009

fantasy day 3


antasy day 3
Here we are, you wake up and you are in Mexico. The water was a pale aqua...pelicans flying everywhere overhead, the sound of a container ship nearby and the best part...we are the only ship in port. We eat a bite of eggs, ham, homestyle potatoes and head out. Our mission to book a tour of the ruins. We had bought one on the ship but it was cancelled, so we decided to try on our own. Other mission...vanilla!!! And maybe some stuff for the kids. First off, we found wind chimes...going to buy one for grandpa, got a great gift for my niece, got 3 vanillas, and booked a tour for 1/2 the price I had it for on the ship and it was going to Medira...the ship your was not. The tour took us first to the flea market. They had some lapis jewelry that I liked, but I have a nice piece so I opted not to look too hard. The market was flooded with folks wanting to sell us stuff. Hammocks were the biggest...ten dollars. I saw a guy making one..should be way more than ten dollars. He was working so hard.

Our tour bus was very nice... Very clean. A dude came on the bus singing to us and playing guitar. I could have played just as well as he did. He sang okay, but the playing...aye ya yi.

Our bus began the journey through Progresso. Not much to see except hurricane stoppers made out of concrete blocks. They were so high that in most spots you could not even see the ocean. Once we headed towards the ruins, the countryside was vast, flat, full of rubbish (trash), a waterpark ( that was very large), loads of signs and billboards, and a 90 kilometer an hour speed limit. The vegetation was palms and grasses for the most part. There were not areas of just sand or conditions of dryness, nope it was green all around. It did not take long to get to the ruins, Ivan was our tour guide and was of Mayan decent so he seemed to know alot of the culture, the language, and what everything was without looking. He was also very funny!! He spoke to us of his people in a very honest, informative way. He explained what each ruin was and what its purpose was. Explained what happened to the Myans, why they looked as they did, and about ruins that were destroyed by Catholic priests in the 1600s. Then he took us to a Mayan well, called the Cenote. Here folks were swimming, three of our group swam and John put his feet in. He said the fish nibbled his toes. The water was an blue topaz dark blue with lily pads that had the flowers...it was very peaceful and calm. We then started on the track to the observatory. It has connections with the solstices on our calendar...the sun will shine through the door or one of the two windows during this time of year. Dec 21 is the next one so we missed it. Ivan showed us a Mayan house and explained that they could withstand a hurricane and why. Then we boarded our bus and took off to Medira.

Ivan first took us through the "new Yucatan " where there are shopping malls, burger king, Macdonald's, Wal-Mart (but it looked Mayan), Sam's club, pizza hut, a very modern world. Medira is the capital of the Yucatan and is land locked, very different than I expected.

Entering old Yucatan, you can see the difference. Older homes, ornate carvings, Mayan influenced designs, 1800 ish type of influences. Cab took us to the Governors palace first. It had a two story, aqua green facade. It was built as a courtyard and a guard out front. We entered with no problem. Ivan took us upstairs to see murals depicting the Mayan culture and history of the Yucatan people. The murals were wonderful...very nicely done and huge. We left here and he took us to the Mayors plaza. We saw an actual city meeting and walked into the room where they were conducting the meeting. I never thought that would be possible. It was now time to go back to the ship...we ate lunch...cheeseburgers and fries, homestyle potatoes, Mac and cheese, tirarmisu cheesecake, banana cream pie, and a salad. By this time it was time for John to take a nap and I edited every single photo that I had so far taken. When he woke up, we headed to the hot tub..we had it all to ourselves...how cool is that? When folk started to pour onto the Lido deck,we headed to eat. I had dressing, noodle soup, pumpkin hash, real tiramisu, uh...two of them...and John had pizza.

After that we did what old folks do...came to the room watched Law and order and I fell asleep.

10 December 2009

day 2 at sea

day 2
Was a day at sea....started off very clouded. We were told it was in the 70s, but I do not buy it. We started out waiting in line for my favorite omelet station..yummy. It was very good!! Loaded with peppers, onions, tomatoes, mushrooms and cheese. With wonderfully greasy hashbrowned potatoes. Wish I had a paper napkin to get all that grease.


After breakfast, we headed to the shop/excursion talk. It was our first one in a long time...see I am looking for an engagement type ring and vanilla...have to find the best deals you know. Martin, our British shop talker told us about these very cool necklaces that one side is gold, the other sterling silver...they are called omegas and I gasped when he told us about them. Walking out of this lounge you have to shop because the malls shops are right there. We looked around for a bit and I bought a black purse and a black scarf for elegant night. I was going to look great because we are buying photos. We hung out on deck chairs, watched ice carvings, took a nap, surfed the internet, walked around...then it was time to dress for dinner. It took a while to lace up the back of my dress, but we got it...yeah. We went to dinner, and I gotta say we were the most elegant at our table...John was the only one in a suit. We got new table mates this evening, Jane, John andhis dad from Mississippi. They were just as great. We are all very evenly matched personality wise. I really like Amy, we spent alot of time talking..we have alot in common. Dinner was perfect...I had 2 bowls of pumpkin soup, one starter of this turkey dish and medium prime rib. Pumpkin soup was divine...I could have eaten four or five bowls of just that. After dinner we had butter pecan ice cream...no fancy stuff, I had no room.

After dinner, we started the show, nightclub express, but it was not exciting so we left...us old folks had to go to bed.

fantasy day 1

Upon arriving at the port, I realized that we had only driven to one cruise in all these years so I cannot give a good report on this because I thought it stunk. I can tell you that in 11 years of cruising, I am a tad spoiled...only non smoking ship, carnivals largest ship, world’s largest ship, worlds crappist ship...I had forgotten that while the newer ships have tons of balcony cabins, the older ships do not. It’s been 11 years since I last saw the Fantasy. She hasn’t all those balconies, she is massive, but not ginormous. She is still a beauty.

The embarking line was not so great. I have only waited in a line like this ONCE! It was not a smooth process...and took 2 hours. We made it though. As I entered the hull, everything came back to me of how elated I was to step on this ship, 11 years before. Her grand atrium is small by today’s standards, but just as lovely...only smaller. The marble staircase is exactly the same. Gone are the ropes of neon...enter a more demure theme. The hand carved murals are still there, and just as wonderful. We didn’t need a map to find our room; Carnival makes it easy that they label the decks the same. We knew we were aft, I say stern...so we headed back. The hallways were new and fresh...I really liked the line drawings of ships and the color choices were perfect. Our room was wonderful as well...we expected an upper and lower berth, but got a king and an upper...we could have brought someone. Carnival has the best room sizes in the business...so size was great. I went to grab lunch while John listened to Mayfield. The loch lines were huge!!! I went to windows on the sea to grab a bite...this room used to be a workout room...I asked to make sure and it was confirmed it was! Up on the lido deck...the have installed palm trees...very nice. The deck here is smaller than those great ships but very cozy. I went to the spot where 11 years ago I saw my first shuttle launching...only thing different was the tables...the deck was unchanged...except now its adults only. This used to be on the sun deck up on top...wonder what is there now? I shall find out today.

Luggage...got our luggage faster than we have ever gotten luggage...good job!

Dinner...we were eaten in the Jubilee...Celebration was our dining room last time. It was not very pretty with short ceilings...I have grown accustomed to large dining rooms. We had a table for 10...a round table. I am expecting not to hear anyone and say what a lot. It is loud!!! Amy and Jim from Columbus Ohio are all ready there. She’s a stay at home mom who knows tons about car seats. I missed what he does. In came Kathy and something that starts with a J. He’s a firefighter from New York; yes he was there at 9-11-01. And I missed what she does. Then came Dora and Wayne from Alabama...they do this cruise all the time...this is like their 5th time. They live 9 miles from the port. He races motorcycles she deer hunts and does face book all the time. Last walked in newlyweds Frank and Yvonne. She had a son in Iraq, and I missed something about him. I had trouble choosing my dinner, I wanted 4 things...tilapia, mahi mahi, pork chop, or grilled chicken...they are doing the menu different...last year it was a starter, a salad, an entree and dessert. Now they have added the salad to the starters...hmmmm. I chose broccoli soup, fruit plate, pork chop, imported Swiss, and cheesecake minus the strawberries. It was all very yummy. The mac and cheese was divine!!! I liked everyone at the table too...we were all near the same age and that gave us things to talk about. We walked around for about an hour...went to the shops...and were still on our "early to bed"schedule...so we both fell asleep fast. As I type this the sun is coming up and through the window in our room. Yep, I am not out of my regular schedule yet. Today is a day at sea...tonight is formal night...I hope to win me another trophy for my trivia skills...and spend some $$$$ in the shops today. 12/6/09

Favorite things on day 1:
1. Room was great
2. Ship seems to be in wonderful shape
3. Food did not disappoint
4. Ammolite in the gift shop
5. Had my picture made with a pirate
6. Great view from our room
7. You were not required to wear life vest for the muster drills...my neck is happy about that.
8. John got to listen to the whole football game.
9. They have the ten dollar store on board
10. There was a scrapbook kit with my name on it.
11. Band on promenade deck...wow
12. Palm trees on lido deck
13. Adult only hot tubs...I hate kids splashing in there
14. Being on a ship again
15. The waves rocking me to sleep last night.
16. Our room is perfect
17. New decor throughout ship...I can almost pretend I have never sailed her.
18. Rico our crazy waiter
19. A king sized bed that sleeps well
20. Towel animals
21. Chocolate on my pillow
22. Food...food...food
23. Getting a deal on my internet plan
24. Phone service if I need it
25. A wonderful husband

Did not like:
1. Sewage smell on empress "e" deck...made me think of the tropicale
2. Long embarkation lines...you can make this so much easier.
3. Having trouble choosing entree
4. Cold!!! I was cold...most others are in shorts.
5. No breaking dawn in library...really wanted to finish it...left mine at home and almost finished it for the 5th time.
6. Single ply rough toilet paper...glad I brought Charmin with me
7. Lacks of outlets...yeah for me bringing extension cord
8. Cold room...but I brought my blanket and they gave me a robe.
9. Sore calves from running up stairs to walk off dinner...that will be better today though
10. No Hannah and Trevor

15 October 2009

CKC









Well, I decided to post about our trip to CKC. Jennifer and I had looked forward to and dreamed of going to a convention for quite a while. It seemed like it was all talk though. I did tell her that I thought I was going to head to Nashville when CKC came through, but no body was sure. Then all the sudden things started happening. We got to go together, which is better, you can buddy shop!!!

We arrived at the convention and first off.....NOTHING was labeled to tell you where the convention was...so we had to ask. But there it was in the Presidental area of the Gaylord Opryland Convention Center...I thought the President part was perfect. We entered our tickets, got our class passes and headed to the showroom floor. We entered the room and literally both of our jaws hit the floor. We went to the first booth and just glanced, then the second one and almost at the same time said "I am a little overwhelmed". So much vendors, so many ideas, so many things to buy. But we decided to take our time. We had about 2 hours before our first class...so here we go. Over the course of the 3 days, we encountered many many booths that we liked, some were just ok, and some that we visited so much the owners recognized us and chatted up with us. I even got into political converstations with the owner of Creek Bank.

Now I am going to break this down in terms of things we did....first off CLASSES!!!

1. Our first class was on Friday at 4:30 pm. It was an acrylic album class. I had done one, but never been skilled in how to do it the right way...so this was new. The class came with stuff all ready pre cut....which is very lovely. My complaint here was the not everyone had the same pattern papers and this confused people and slowed done the process. This was an all level class though, and I had to remember that Jennifer and I are what I consider advanced, and some of these folks were newbies. One lady said this was her first time ever. So that part was strange having all those skill levels together. The teacher taught us how to layer and buid the book, but all allowed us to use our own creativity on the project. I do believe that Jennifer and I used every single thing she gave us. I know I did. And we were very pleased with the project.

2. Class number 2 was the best class EVER!!! Ali Edwards every day life. I myself am a huge fan of Ali (even won a prize for knowing private info on her at the class), and I told Jennifer when we were looking at the classes that she would love her too. I know that neither of us were disappointed!!!! We got TONS of stuff at this class...a stamping block, a set of very cool stamps which I have all ready used alot (they were designed by Ali and feature her handwriting). Enough stuff to do a one page layout, but Jennifer and I soon made it into a 2 page, and a wealth of knowledge. Jennifer and I have both stamped for years, but this lady taught us so many tricks and gave me a new spin on how to use acrylic stamps and what to buy. Eileen you are the bomb!!! jennifer and I WILL do an Ali Edwards class again, and maybe 2 or 3 of them.

3. Jacob's Ladder. The papers did not blow me away, but the technique was wonderful. I came home and made another one I liked it so much. This class took the jacob's ladder thing you used to make a dollar bill move from one side to the the other and put it in scrapbook form. You can get SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO many pictures on a page with this!

The vendors were wonderful as well. Our favorite was for sure Creek Bank Creations!!! We visited here what Jennifer like 4 or 5 times? Tom Creek, was the guy that owned the store. He was the one that reconiged us and got to talking about politics too. I loved this store. I probably spent most of money here. Jennifer, I sure wish I had bought the little sis or the big brother...wanna make an order from them? I am telling you guys, they have the greatest chipboard that I have EVER seen...and I have been doing this since 1990!!! One side was like you usually get it and one was distressed and it was sOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO thick and good quality. I sanded, painted, and distressed and it did not tear up. I am so impressed with the products. Why did I not get more? www.creekbankcreations.com

The second favorite was Eileen's booth or technique tuesday. They have Ali Edwards products. They make wonderful stamps, and killer layouts. Their kits are outstanding. I have seen them for years in magazines and been inspired by them...even copied one from Creating Keepsakes magazine exactly, went to this convention and it was one of Eileens (she had the original at the booth). they have amazing cloth tags/sticker like things, and WHITE chipboard. Now that I was impressed with!! www.TechniqueTuesday.com

The next vendor we really liked was Keller's Creations. They did these tags and chipboard connectors that were just wonderful. I have noticed since I brought my purchases home that you can be very creative with their products. Their slogan is scrap outside the box and they mean it. The accordian tags are my favorite and I have used all of mine, except one I am saving it and a package of circles. www.acidfree.com

There were many many vendors that were selling pre cut, ready to go kits. I did not buy one, but I think Jennifer bought 2. They were wonderful, but I like to be creative on my own. I do wish that I had gotten the owl one though. I can almost see it in my brain, but not quite. It is not availible for purchase on their website, but check it out www.licketyspilitscrapbooks.com



There were vendors that had great sale items...got cardstock by the pound, but man it is the thickest best cardstock I have ever seen! Sure wish I had gotten $5 more.

It was a great convention...YES, I am going next year...more Ali/Technique Tuesday classes are on the agenda. Thanks CKC!!!

I have included photos of the stuff we made/bought (that I have not used). Creek Bank chipboard can be found on my "death" layout on facebook.

11 October 2009

Loyal,...yeah you can say that!!!

I am a person that finds a brand that she likes and sticks to it. My biggest problem with this is sometimes people STOP making the things I like and other times Wal-mart decides "I am not going to carry that item anymore". Yep, here comes info that no one wants but you are about to receive.

Brands I like:

Soup: Campbell's healthy request unless I am making a roast and then the generic works better.

Tomato sauce: HUNTS

makeup: Almay...for green eyes

shampoo: I only ever use pantene...only ever

Tooth brushes: (yes this is a must for someone that brushes no less than 9 times per day)....colgate total...the only one I will use!!!!

Tooth paste: I switch each time I brush.....Colgate total, crest green tea (very hard to find), Colgate fresh max with mouth wash beads, close up red gel, mentadent (any flavor) and any of the crest whitening ones.

pre rinse: A MUST!!!! I prefer the blue plax, but it is VERY hard to find so I use the green plax.

Dental floss: only ever johnson and johnson mint waxed....keep one in the purse, one in the desk, one in the bathroom, one in the bedroom, and one in the briefcase!!!

chapstick: Granny's but when I don't have that its Burts

Muffins: Duncan Hines streusel top muffins...blueberry. This is the only kind I will fix

Bacon: any with maple flavorings but prefer hormel

Sausage biscuits: Old south, and that is it

hot dogs: field proleagers

cheese: SWISS

yogurt: La Creme with choc chucks, but it is soooo hard to find so I get breyers with chocolate shavings.

pot pies: Banquet chicken pot pie

tv dinner: patio enchilada meals

taco shells: El Paso I will use no others

taco sauce: El Paso mild taco sauce, and no others

Re fried beans: El Paso and that is it

mini muffins: Hostess brownies

cereal: apple jacks NOT generic

candy: M&m's dark chocolate and NO other! except maybe m&m's

Salad ingredients: romaine lettuce, pecans, frozen baby sweet peas, Mandarin oranges, croutons, Hidden valley Ranch dressing or one of Granny's dressing...especially sweet mustard or country garden, carrots, cheddar cheese, starnes ham, red peppers, tomatoes (prefer homegrown or heirloom), garlic chives, endive lettuce, onions, and cranberries. Now I am hungry!!!

Drink: Coke and NOTHING else. You say you only serve Pepsi, I will have NOTHING then!!! Yep, that is how loyal I am!

TV news: MSNBC...especially if Lester is on

Scrapbook adhesive: 3m glue sticks, and mono

scissors: Yep, I have a preferred choice cutter bee. And if you borrow them and don't return them, I will hurt you. And you had better not cut anything but paper with them!

brushes: any good quality, again, you had better not touch them. I do tend to spend money on a good brush.

hair brush: A stanley hairbrush....I grew up with one and loved it so much, I searched the internet for years to find one...found one!!!

Thread: I will only use DMC

Color pencils: Prismacolor

albums: Hobby Lobby $29 albums, but I get it when it is 1/2 price




Things I am looking for, if you find them let me know:

1. Blue plax
2. King Leo Clove candy sticks
3. The other King Leo candy stick that was in the package with the clove ones, it was yellow and so good.
4. Crest Green tea toothpaste
5. another Stanley hairbrush so my daughter can have the old one.
6. a waterproof cover for my good camera
7. a dooney and burke bag (cheap) for my daughter for Christmas
8. blackwork patterns

18 August 2009

I am realizing more and more and more the older that I get that some folks just don't have a clue. I have been doing my research because a big portion of my heart believes that the universal healthcare is the ONLY thing that can provide care for EVERYONE.

I am sick and tired of insurance companies making all of the money. Sick and tired of not being able to do things because of high deductibles, sick and tired of premiums that are as much as a house payment. I am sick and tired of hearing about people that I know having doctors turn them away. The doctors wont see their sick child because all they have is a medical card. That is NOT right!! I am sick and tired of hearing folks having to put emergency care on a credit card because they can't afford it. I am sick and tired of prices being jacked up because you do have health insurance and they want to make up money lost from your company. Then bam up goes your premiums again. I am sick and tired of drug companies, insurance companies, and doctors making all this money and you end up paying the bill. I am sick of doctors that prescribe the "name brand" drug, and wont give your company a call and say "I want them to have this drug" so that the insurance will pay for it. Then you have to decide, can I afford this? And if not you have to tell the pharmacist "I cannot afford that put it back". I myself have had to do that TWICE in the last few months. TWICE and I have insurance, but it won't pay for "name brand". What do I do? Go without that is what I do!!! I am not alone. This is NOT right.

I am sick and tired of it all! I am a Republican but I think this is messed up. People that I know work so hard and they have NOTHING for their children. NOTHING!!! If you work full time why should you NOT have access to healthcare?

How is that right? People with full time jobs have NO insurance at all. That is WRONG! They suffer, their children suffer...they miss more work because they can't get well. And that does cost the workplace more..... But wait there is another side...those that have the insurance can't get the meds, or have the operations or get the treatment because, "it is NOT covered". What is wrong with this? Tons! It is messed up on so many levels.

People use the emergency room as "insurance" alot because the hospital cannot turn down treatment, but then the folks can't pay the bills. So the cost are passed on to those that have insurance. Again another situation where it is NOT right.

I am not saying that I have the answers because I don't.... I am saying it MUST be fixed. It has to be fixed NOW!


Do the research...get involved....give your opinions...Help come up with the answers...Don't let the government let US down.

Healthcare for EVERYONE!!!!

30 July 2009

This needs no title other than DEF LEPPARD

Just listening to an album that changed some of my musical tastes for the rest of my life. I remember where I was the first time I saw the video for "foolin". Yes I do, I was in the living room in Mayfield in front of a coffee table that we used to hold our tv. I was sitting on the floor with my hand on the cable box (no remotes back then), and was changing the channels. I stopped on Friday Night Videos (this show was very popular in my youth), and saw Joe Elliott on a triangle sort of tied up. Ok, I knew who Def Leppard was because of my uncle. He had played the High N' Dry "tape" for me in his car. I loved the music but this was different. While it had the same guitar style, it was in a class of it's own. I watched the whole video and begged my mom for the tape. I do believe it was my uncle who ended up giving me his tape, but I can't remember. All I know is I got it and I was hooked for life (I still have this tape...doesn't work anymore just have it for the memories).

Pyromania was the 2nd best selling album of 1983...an album that you probably have not heard of but thrilled me just as much was the #1 album of that year. It was called Thriller by a fellow that goes by Michael Jackson. While Pyromania was HUGE and by most years sales, it would have been number 1 by a long shot....that other album just sort of took over. Believe it or not it sort of happened again in 1987 when Def Lep released Hysteria, Jackson did Bad and again Bad outsold it by a few million. Strange how that happened both times in both careers. Of course, the Jackson fellow sold way more than the Def Lep, and I must admit in both cases I helped that Jackson fellow by buying his products.

Over the course of time, I have had 2 pyromania LPs, 3 cassette tapes, and 2 cds. Only one of which I did not purchase myself, but all of which I have worn out, with the exception of that last cd. Compare to Hysteria and it is stranger, 1 LP, 6 cassettes, and 2 cds.

Pryomania still ranks as one of the top albums of all time for me and you know I forgot to buy the deluxe set last month because of that Jackson fellow again (this time he died). I have just now ordered it and look forward to hearing the band sing "traveling band" with Brian May. You see the set comes with the remastered cd, but also a live unreleased show from 1983, which is what I am most looking forward to hearing.

And in 10 days I go see them again. I am sure it will be just as fun and thrilling as all of the other times that I have been to see them and I look forward to it very much.

Oh, I guess that again this year, Michael Jackson will out sell the Leppards...mmmmm

24 July 2009

A fried egg with the middle loose

I have many many things running through my mind today. However, the brain is a tad fried, a bit like an egg with the middle loose. Crusty on the outside, but it you touch it all the middle will ooze into a large puddle at your feet. I am literally DEAD tired; but I am hanging on cause my daughter is at the movies and I have to wait up until she gets home.

So what am I doing to stay awake? First of all, I have uploaded every photo that I have yet to print. Cool...the rest of Disney and July 4 and my LATE birthday celebration at Red Robin. If I print all of them it will be over $40 so I am going to print most of them.

Tomorrow I am going to Mandy's wedding. It is a strange rite of passage...Mandy was just in high school when I met her, a small little child playing in the high school band. Strange that tomorrow she will be a married woman.

Then I am thinking (my mind is very ADD right now), about song lyrics...some of them are downright stupid, but I just keep on singing them. I will list some of the stupid songs on my playlist now.
1. Super Trooper-ABBA
2. Who is it-MJ
3. Rockstar-nickelback (this is not a clean song)
4. Let's get rocked-Def Lep
5. You know my name, look up the number-The Beatles
6. 1984--Wings
7. CAn you feel it?-the Jacksons
8. Who'll stop the rain?-CCR
9. Bop til you drop-yes, it's a kids song I do not care, I like it
10. Soarin-WDW
11. Splash mountain medley-WDW
12. Dirty Diana-MJ
13. Tug of War-Paul
14. Action-The Sweet
15. Jeepster-T Rex
16. Give Ireland back to the Irish-Paul
17. 15 step-Radiohead
18. Foolin-Def Lep
19. smooth criminal-MJ
20. Flightless Bird, American Mouth

These are subject to change at a moment's notice. I expect any day I will go to a mainly Def Lep list as I am just a few days out from seeing them live.

Thinking about my son too, he has decided to give football a try....football. I hate football. It is too stinking cold! I am NOT going to do well at this. I think I might schedule staff meetings around the games...Mom's don't need to see their boys do football do they? I am so not looking forward to this.

You know at this point...I think I am much to tired to talk about anything. I was trying to take a Def Leppard quiz and I was even missing questions. I am totally gonna kick myself in the morning for that...see ya

22 July 2009

New Love

Today I am going to talk about some new loves...are you ready for this?

Over the last 19 years or so, I have seen every episode of Law and Order in all it's various forms. I have had many teams that I have loved: Benson/STabbler, Bricoe/Green, Briscoe/Curtis, Goren/Eames, and Bernard/Lupo...and there were some that I did not like. Fontana? Blah Wheeler? Blah WAIT!!! Wheeler, no I have never really been a fan of yours, I would watch you with Logan fretting over your lines, and you two had no chemistry. I hated it, but I did like Logan so I watched through it. Then Zach Nichols walked through the door! Of course, I love Jeff Goldblum. I have liked his work for years and even told my husband when Curtis was leaving, "he would be good on that show." No one ever listens to me, especially not Dick Wolf. Anyway, life went on, and then years later Jeff got the RAines tv show. I was a huge fan from the get go. I watched all ____ (it went by so fast it's a blur) episodes. I was sad to see it go...but then rumors started flying. Noth wanted out, he wanted to be a movie star; hopefully wheeler was going to, maybe bring back Whitt. Then the news came out "Jeff Goldblum to join the cast of CI". I was so thrilled. What would he character be like? You knew just from the folks that he portrays that he was going to have to play it sort of like a Goren, and that excites me. I like Goren, but I know that the actor is just as unstable as the character and that you never know what he is going to do onscreen or offscreen.

On his first appearance you could see that there was going to be an air of mystery. What did 9-11-01 do to him? Where has he been for 7 years? Where is his wife? How is he hooked up with the captain? But also, you could see a connection...a connection with WHEELER. Will it be a romance? A big brother thing? Will he help with the baby? He has even made her interesting to me, she is not just a wallflower basking in Logan's dust. She is shinning... he is treating her like an equal, even if she doesn't have all the answers like he does. DAre I say that it is sort of like a Goren/EAmes in that respect? Yes it is! I love it! Mr. Goldblum you have energized one of my favorites shows and hopefully got it the attention it needs to get back on network so my mom can see it. Wonderful acting, wonderful stories, wonderful job. Thank you for entertaining me every other sunday at 8pm on the USA network where characters are welcome.

20 July 2009

health care, smealthcare

I have waited for 16 years for someone to come up with a plan for healthcare like I have been promised by soooo many people. Most Republicans don't seem to be for it, but done in the right way, I am totally for it. I am tired of high deductibles for my family, and being told that I can't have medicine called in for my kids the ONE time I ask for it because I only take my kids to the doctor once a year on their wellness check. Well, honestly, it is too expensive to run to you for every single thing. You want to do massive amounts of tests and charge me an arm and a leg, and my insurance won't pay. But I can ask a friend who is a medical professional and I am told, it is only ____....easily helped. I refuse to be a pawn in your charge the insurance, but I am the one who gets the short end of the stick game. I am tired of people that I know who should have medication not being able to afford it or choosing what they can buy this month because there is no money for medicines. I am tired of folks whose bodies want them to retire, their spirit wants them to retire, but they can't because then they would have no healthcare. I am tired of folks not being able to go to the doctor for over 20 years because they have no health insurance. And the other end, I am tired of folks have elective surgeries and milking the system so they can have a new nose, or to make their legs look better...then folks who need their knees replaced can't get it, because the insurance company turns them down. Folks we have a serious problem here. If it were not for my husband we would have nothing...as it is the deductible is so high just so we can afford the insurance. I can buy a used car for what the deductible costs...that is not right. I am NOT alone, I am a majority in this! It is not FAIR and not RIGHT! Barack Obama, you promised a change, this is the change I want to see. I want to see you take care of the people. The people who put in 40 hours a week at a job, and work their tails off, but when they are sick they cannot go to the doctor. They cannot even go have a wellness check because all of their money goes to bills! That is not right! This is your legacy, dude, you can make it happen. Don't think about your millionaire friends, think of the little widow, with nothing. Her husband left her with no life insurance and she had to pay for his funeral, and now that she is getting older she has nothing. There were no kids, so she cannot even fall back on that. She has diabetes, and is very feeble. She is still working just to pay for her insulin. Her body can't take more, and she has admitted she will probably die at work. Think about her tonight when you are curled up in your healthcare paid for life bed. She has nothing! Once she had to choose, antibiotic for an illness or insulin...she chose the antibiotic. Next will she have to choose heart medication or the insulin? Will that be the last choice she ever makes? Fight for it, Barack!

What can you do? Most will do nothing but complain about the outcome, but you could contact your Senators/Representatives...make your voice heard. Tell them what you believe in and that why it is important. If they do not deliver do NOT vote for them next time. They need to put you first because they work for YOU! I believe the President would listen too, send him an email, tell him your story....ask him to fight for you, your mom, your dad, your sister, your brother, your friend, your grandparents...don't tell me someone you know is not affected by skyrocketing health costs, because I will call you a liar. Deny unnecessary procedures and tests just to shoot up the bill, this flames the problem. Be involved in your healthcare, ask questions, follow up, make your doctor follow up. But above all SPEAK UP! That is what make America great....you can fight for what you believe in.

If you do nothing, do not complain to me, because I don't respect you...this is your chance, don't let it pass you by.

04 July 2009

Grounded


You have all read (hopefully) about Trevor being grounded. I am telling you this child just must play...it doesn't matter when, how, or with what; he has to play. So he was grounded from certain toys and his friend, so he just had to be creative and think, "what can I play with that mom won't get mad?"

I keep my morning "get ready" stuff in the living room, make-up, curling irons; and also in there is my sewing basket that holds whatever I am sewing at that time. They are in 2 baskets that sit on the side of the recliner. My son got into a 1 foot space between the wall and the recliner and began to play with the curling iron and the flat iron. The 2 irons were fighting with each other and making these great gun sounds. And of course he threw in the typical "sword fighting" techniques that one usually uses when one plays swords.

When I asked him,"why do you want to play with curling irons?" He said, "I am grounded from all the fun things". Enough said!

See ya

28 June 2009

Stories of Walt Disney World

Well, I have given my reviews...now it is time to give you some stories of our trip. Day one...the flight was ok, only one spot did I have issues with the flying. I did land, text my friends (a very incoherent message) and we were on our way to the Magic Kingdom. I slept all the way because that pill make me bonkers. When I awoke we were at the hotel unpacking. The unpacking process was quick and then we whisked ourselves to the Magic Kind om because we wanted too! We did the Carousel of Progress (one of my all time faves)...STitch, and Buzz lightyear (we only missed one tomorrowland ride and that was because I will never again....Space Mt and TTA were in refurb). Then we board a ferry to Fort Wilderness for dinner. See nothing much going on here. Dinner was great...we shopped a little at the campground, then took a ferry back to the kingdom. Still nothing! We rode many more rides all in Fantasy Land. Still nothing going on right? We then went to Adventure land...I wanted so much to do the Jungle Cruise at night (it is way more fun at night). I was so lucky (thanks to Trevor's GAC) to land a seat next to the guide. He and I bantered the whole trip. My "Disney" training kicked right back in, and I became the "class clown". I LOVED IT. For those of you that don't know...I have CAS or Center of Attention Syndrome. LOVE THE SPOTLIGHT!!!

At 1 am the park closed and we made our way to the exit. My body gives me serious issues when it is too hot or too cold, that is a fact that you must know. And I hate the ferry from MK to the TTC (Ticket and Transportation center). EVERY SINGLE TIME that I have ridden it I have "ISSUES"...every time!!! I told john that I did not think it was a good idea, but the monorail line was HUGE! We got into line for the ferry...it was a long line. Disney likes to cram people in the smallest space it can...the cm kept saying, "move up and to the left"...we had so many people in there, no air, B.O....it was a nightmare. I could feel it, down I went! We did get to the front of the line, but I felt like crap. I did not have a seizure just got too hot. This was issue #1

I was very careful to go inside every time that I felt "weak" for the rest of the trip...good thing it was sooo hot. Even bought a $17 fan to keep cool with, and it was worth every penny.

Day #2, Hannah and I were alone since the boys took a road trip to Miami to see the Cardinals. When we first entered Epcot...Dave the purse inspector was singing...sorry, can't sing but can't help myself...I started singing with him. "oh, what a beautiful morning". I was having so much fun being in "Disney" mode. I enjoyed engaging the CM's in conversations at every chance that I had.

Hannah and I took a Gardening tour, and Hannah was bored to death! I was very proud that some of what my mom had taught me rubbed off. I got 4 out of 6 right on the guess what plant quiz. They were all herbs, thanks Granny!

We had dinner reservations at the Garden Grill in Epcot. I knew I was going to embarrass my tween daughter as soon as I made the reservation. It would only be worse because dad was not going to be there to control me. When Pluto came around the first time...I was fine, I said nothing that would drive my child crazy....but when Chip and Dale came by...I got a little whack. Dale and I go way back (I know it's a different Dale now but we do). I told Dale he was my new favorite because he "kissed" me upon sight because I had my "dale" page ready to go. Dale and I "flirted" for a bit and then Mickey came over. Mickey and Dale each pulled on my arm fighting over me, YES!!!!! I then told Mickey that he was my new favorite leaving my beautiful daughter mortified that I love Disney stuff so much. Mickey sat with me for a bit, then left promising to return. Both he and Dale did return and we went through the same circle again. My poor child wanted to throw me over the railing of the revolving restaurant!!! However, her heart was about to be won over...Dale "broke" up with me and started in on my child...she was in love. He flirted, kissed, hugged, and made great photos with my baby. This $91 meal was worth EVERY penny.

Day #3...Animal Kingdom...We did the touring plans and did all the big rides by noon. Then we slowed down and looked about. We saw Turk standing on a trail and the CM encouraged us to go up the path...WHO was up the path? OMG....Baloo and King Louie...my all time favorite Disney movie characters. I was hoping to see them months ago and determined to make it happen...I bought "Jungle Book" stickers (expensive ones) in hopes for this glorious event. Mission Accomplished!!!

Day #4...The Studios, the reason we planned this trip in the summer. STAR WARS weekends!!! I knew we would have 2 days here so I planned my days to the letter. First up was a storm trooper. I was very lucky to have encountered one as he was exiting "backstage" so I was he first guest. He was to go to his queue but I nabbed him first and made him pose. Next up Sand People...I was a bit frightened of him...he was so in character. I asked to have my picture and he grunted, then he held his weapon up at me in a threatening way. He held it over his head and my husband got the shot of the two of us (with Trevor too). It was crazy, but hey mark it off your list. Next the Big Dogs!!! Vader, check; Anakin, check; Amedalia, check; ewok, check; Jango, check. Good job! I only missed Chewy! I got bonuses too, the Cantina band, a speeder bike (I have had my picture taken on this bike many times...they just moved it for the event...it usually is right outside of Tatooine Traders. Got R2D2, Asoka Tano, and SHAKK Ti (my all time fave SW character). Day #5, back to the Studios...we watched the opening ceremony with the troopers guarding the park. Saw Jedi Mickey, Leia Minnie, Vader Goofy, and Trooper Donald. More guests were dressed up today giving the park bonuses. Rode Toy Story Mania 3 times...it was our favorite ride in this park (everyone but mine the whole trip). Did the animation tour and got to the front of the line for Sorcerer Mickey. Hannah went first...Mickey admired her new SW tshirt and pointed to R2D2 and gave a thumbs up. R2D2 was his favorite he let us know. He kissed on my sweet child and then it was my turn. Hey, I took my own turn, I did not go up with my kids. I went up to Mickey and he pointed to my Happy Anniversary button. He "asked" how many years and I told him "16! But Mickey I love you most!" He pointed to the mickey and Minnie on my button and did the "break up" sign. He was saying he and Minnie broke up. I said "for me?". He shook his head "yes". I asked, "will you come home with me?" "Yes" he shook. He grabbed my arm and put it around his arm and began to walk me backstage. The photgo was snapping photos of this wonderful moment. I asked Mickey if he "loved me best", and again he shook his head "yes", but there was trouble....right outside the backstage area was a man. A man wearing a "happy anniversary" button like mine. A man whose job it was to take pictures of my encounter with Mickey. He put his fists up to my new boyfriend, and my new boyfriend shrieked back like a .....like a MOUSE! Mickey kissed me goodbye, and I had to leave with the man. Good thing, cause the man paid for my trip. Mickey I love you.

Day #6 Back to the Epcot...our friends were there. And more character encounters...Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy, Mary Poppins, gosh, I have lost track of the others will have to look at the pictures. I spent $50 for Disney cds, and then more for scrapbook stickers. Got flashed by a CM that was wearing a tshirt that I bought. He pulled off his costume and I saw it all. He was embarrassed, but I said it is ok. When I went back later that evening to the same store to buy water, he had remembered me, "guess I really made a lasting impression and you came back for more." "you know it" I said. He was sweet and funny! Saw my 4th British Invasion show today. And for the 4th time had my picture made with the band. "Paul" loved my Beatles shirt. And actually I tried to buy a new one, the store had FOUR on display. I asked about them..."we don't have those in stock". Not in stock but on display...yeah that works!

Day #7 A little bit of everything. We did the Studios, Epcot, and Magic Kingdom. I met up with the British Invasion show, and they remembered me too. "John" called me their "groupie". "Paul" was saying "please tell guest relations how much you love us" (I did!!)

Day #8...the plane...this was messed up from the get go. Times were changed and my husband had no clue of how far away from the airport we were. I was doing ok, until I looked at the clock and realized that the plane was supposed to take off in 40 minutes and we were not at the airport. I began the freak out. John had told me that I could get something to eat at the airport, so I had nothing, and could not take my "happy" pill. I could feel it, feel the pulsing in my heart and the nervousness building up. We arrived at the airport with 15 minutes to spare (before take off). The bags went through the TSA fine, that's the checked bags. We got to security and BOTH of the kids DVD players had to be inspected, this has NEVER happened before even in Orlando international or Sea-Tac! We made that part only one piece to go....the ids. My id was fine and he waved me on...John's was a problem his did not have a security strip in it. He was a week from needing a new one anyway. The guy kept him there and John sent Hannah and I on. Hannah and I boarded the plane...by now I am hyperventilating. I told Hannah, "hang onto you bag, if he does not make it, I WILL get us off this plane" Finally at the last second he makes it. By then I have had no food (blood sugar), no pill (anxiety), and no sleep. I am doomed to fail. I tried so hard to hold it together cause I was sitting with Hannah. John and Trevor were sitting elsewhere. But that flight attendant said to the folks in front of you, "are you sure that you could help people off this plane in the event of a crash?" That was it! I looked back and John and said "I have to get off NOW!" He said to hang on...I could not! I was breathing so fast, and then the tears came. I said, "I am not supposed to be here, I have to get off". He asked if he could switch seats and asked for water and food. I downed a whole bottle of water in one drink SERIOUSLY! The next parts make me look freaky but I had a full blown anxiety attack. I finally had enough food that I could take my pill, and I cried until I fell asleep. I hate flying! Hate it more than anything! Why could I not take my pill before and then I would remember none of it. Lesson learned! Take the pill the night before. Even if you are a zombie the day of, at least YOU won't know it! I did make it, but I am telling you flashbacks of Final Destination came to me...did any of you know that when I saw that movie the first time, my water broke and my son was born 3.5 weeks early because I was so freaked out about it? Airplanes...blah!!!

26 June 2009

Throw back to the 70's and 80's

I remember as a child going through Woolco here in Paducah KY. I remember looking at the dolls (a barbie type/size doll). She was so pretty. She had big hair (which even then I loved). A red jumpsuit (polyester), and wonderful white high heels. I wanted her so much. Begged for her...but was told no. Every time we went to Kmart I would see her. She wanted so much to come to my house (trailer) and play. However, I am guessing she was expensive. After all I had the Superstar Barbie, the Donnie and Marie, the Bionic Woman, even the Wonder Woman (which I also had wanted so badly), but not HER! I wanted HER!!!! She even had "fluffy" eyelashes! She was perfect!

Well, come Christmas time we were at my grandparents opening gifts. In most years we opened gifts in an old converted garage. This was way before that. So how old was I? 5? I bet so! Well, we are opening the gifts and there is one for me! I open it up.....THERE SHE IS! SHE IS MINE! My very own FARRAH! She was way better than I had imagined. She had a red jumpsuit on, but also came with a blue evening gown (polyester), and a red dress. She was the most perfect toy (and wonder woman was the bomb)...that I could have. Farrah and I spent a long time together. But eventually she got a cracked neck and just fell apart. I had to throw her away. However, to this day, I have all 3 of her great outfits. I loved you Farrah.


Then in 82' when I was much older, I got a poster for my birthday. A poster of a dude in a pink sweater, and I believe blue jeans. He had on a button down shirt under the sweater but the color escapes me. I must tell you, this poster started a craze of hanging posters all over my wall. This one had prominence directly over the bed (at least until 86' when Def Leppard hung in that spot). I would dream that I would marry him. He could dance wonderfully. I was amazed even then by his talent. Of course at that time he was not labeled as "weird" so it was great. Near the end of 85' at Christmas time again, I got a gift from Santa that I was so excited to have. I got the Michael Jackson doll. He wore the Blue sequined jacket from the awards show. For my birthday I got another one...This was the thriller one. I love both of them. I played with them so much that the awards outfit tore up (it was poorly constructed). Then the dolls started falling apart...one spilt up his torso and just literally fell to pieces. The other cracked in the chest, but I do still have it. The thriller outfit fared well all these years. It was a pleather type thing, and held up so great. I still have it and my one MJ doll. There was a time that I could say that I had every MJ album available, you know I may still have all but the last one (only most are LPs). I was a huge fan of his a well, even when he got creepy I was amazed by his talent and writing ability. I was however ticked at him when he got the Beatles song rights. I have hoped for years that Paul would have those. I think that is what is right. Paul and John were swindled out of those rights and I am hoping that maybe the estate would sell them. I am sure Yoko and Paul would pay alot for them. They should have them since THEY wrote them. It is their art, but that is an argument for another day.

Anyway, today I mourn the lost of a piece of my childhood. I pray for their families. MJ had very small children, I pray that they are cared for and not taken advantage of. Farrah's son sits in prison, I pray he gets his life on track and becomes drug free. It is very shocking about both, sort of a surreal feeling that I am feeling today.

Thank you both for entertaining me. Thank you Farrah...for having great hair, and perfect teeth, for creating movies that I will never forget. Thanks for being one of my favorite little dolls and making me so happy as a child.

Michael, thank you for Thriller...what an amazing record that I still listen to today. It was just in my cd player less than 2 weeks ago. Thank you for a cheap little doll that I had lots of fun playing with (you know I killed you off the top of the Barbie house balcony when the torso split....that was such a poorly made doll), thank you for your dancing....words can't describe how wonderful it was, thank you for drawing a picture of Paul McCartney that I think it so cool...but not thank you for getting the Beatles songs. I pray that all those allegations aganist you were never true today, but shall not talk about that because it makes me very sad.

24 June 2009

Dinner time

Here comes another great part of vacationing...the food. I have very detailed things of all of the food that we ate, but I won't bore you with tons of details. I will let you know how I felt about the "big" meals but only the ones at Walt Disney World. Not about the Sizzler or the others on 192.

When we first arrived at the park, we had dinner reservations over at Fort Wilderness Lodge. We got on the resort ferry and headed over to the fort. Pioneer Hall is not very far off the dock (it's also where you can see Hoop dee do, which I also reccomend).

Once we approached the hostess we were seated at that moment no waiting. That was wonderful because the restaurant was busy and so was the waiting area. The server gave us our sodas and directed us to the buffet line. WOW!!! What a salad bar! They had iceburg (blah), and then a combination of red, green, romaine, a few other lettuces, but also included ENDIVE! My favorite lettuce...yummy. The blue cheese dressing was nice and lumpy with clumps of blue cheese too. Double yummy.

I then made my way over to the food part. There was fried chicken, ribs (which I did not try), macaroni and cheese, carrots, and many other veggies. For a surprise they brought John and I a strawberry shortcake (which if I eat, I will DIE)...but the thought was very wonderful just the same.

The second day...Hannah and I were on our own...we ate lunch at the sunshine seasons. I have always eaten here every time that I have ever been to EPCOT. It has evolved many times over the years. The last time they had a potato bar place that was great, but this time was way better. It started with the set up. It was set up like a cafetria style place. You grabbed this, then that, then you paid. I had the tuna salad, a garden salad, and chocolate cake. Hannah had chicken and mashed potatoes. The potatoes were again the red skined and very tasty. My tuna was smashing. But the salad was best of all, and what I was looking forward to. It was grown here in the greenhouses of the Land. The tomatoes had a sweet flavor, and the lettuce was so so so good. As a matter of a fact, I also had this meal the very last day of our trip because it was so good.

That evening Hannah and I headed upstairs to the Garden Grill. I had looked forward to this meal more than any that I was going to do. Character dinner, with a fresh Land grown salad, and a revolving restaurant. We were again seated with no waiting. We went right over to the table for 2 sit down and Luis was there in a blink of an eye. He brought out the rolls and got our drink order. I did order Hannah the kids meal buffet because I knew she would not eat the adult one. This buffet was family style...meaning they bring dishes of food to your table to get your food from. The dishes are for the whole family. You serve yourself without getting up and getting in a buffet line. I love it!!! The salad was served first. A big salad with the greenhouse grown lettuces, arugala, endive, romaine, red, green, and musclan (I probably did not spell that right). The dressing was a house type; sort of a vinagarette...very tastly slightly peppery. I ate the whole big bowl. Then Luis brought the food. I had a large dish of turkey and dressing with the best cranberry stuff I have ever tasted (I had second on the cranberry stuff), a flank steak (okay), and spicy catfish (fair). I ate at this food and asked for more salad (actally 2 more big ones). Dessert was a blueberry crumble cake with homemade ice cream. This was good as well, it had FRESH blueberries in it. I really enjoyed it, but it was too much after 3 big salads and I could not eat it all.

Most other times we ate at snack carts, McDonalds, and once an the sizzler. I will tell you the Electric Umbrella (in Epcot) is still good all these years later. NO PIZZA though. Pecos Bill's always has a good meal. They have burgers with are average, but then they have a fixins bar that is outstanding. Freshly grilled onions, sauted mushrooms, cheese, tomatoes, lettuce, mayo, catsup, and many other "surprise" toppings. I love the toppings bar.

The surprise pick of our trip was Liberty Tavern. I had to do something over here since I was heartbroken about the hall of Presidents so off to Libety Tree Tavern we go. I was NOT disappointed. It was beautifully decorated. I had a great big salad, John and Hannah had some BBQ thingy...very good.

I was very please that the quality was good overall. Some needed work but for the most part good. High? Maybe, but you got what you paid for. Portions were TOO large so share if you have a problem with the price.

Drinks were overpriced, but it was so hot, you had to pay it

22 June 2009

TRIED over and over and over

Well, here it comes....my review of Disney PART 1.

Now we spent so much time here that there is NO way on Earth that I can do it all in one blog.

First off is the resort...Coronado Springs

I had read mixed reviews of the hotel and was a tad worried...but I had done my homework. I knew that they had just finished remodeling the Casitas buildings and I requested a room in these buildings. The new rooms featured QUEEN beds instead of Full....a totally redone decor (which is great because the former featured alot of yellow and I hate yellow just a tad more than white). And the decor was VERY dated. The new decor was a MODERN twist on the Spanish influence. There were Aztec type symbols and hidden mickeys in the room as well. The colors featured were a very soothing turquoise blue, with dark mahogoney wood. It was very classy...and way better than the off white with yellow that was previously featured. The story seemed to be you are in the west, near the gulf resting (siestas). Surrounded by palm trees, white sands, and hammocks. The pool was heavily Mayan influenced and featured the standard pyramid. This main pool was called the Dig Site. And it does feature the longest water slide on any WDW property. This whole area was very well done. Not enough shade for us vampires, but the sunbathers I am sure where thrilled as there were plenty of seats/chairs.

The main building contained a lovely market type restaurant where a family could choose from many different types of foods. We did not get to eat here because there was NO time. I did however, peruse the gift store. WONDERFUL selection. As great as a Disney Store, and I know Disney Stores, so trust me on this one. I did see a monorail shirt that I failed to buy..stupid. Please stand clear of the doors, por favor (I can say the rest but can't spell it). Dummy, why did you not get it?


I was entirely please with the hotel, the staff, and the design. I give this resort an A...outstanding!!!!


Part 2 is coming...it's about the staff...
The lobby was a tad plain after such a great show, of course you really are only here twice so maybe that was the plan.

My first encounters were just fine, not complaints or anything. The first real one that we conversed with was Drew. He worked at Guest Relations where I was trying to obtain my (Guest Assistance Card). I was explaining what I needed and he said, that I did not need to do that just tell me what the doctor wanted my guest card to do. He did it! Wonderful guy…kudos to you.

The second member that caught my eye was the second day. It was blazing hot and I know that usually there are running the EPCOT monorail platform. Today there was one guy. I mentioned to him, where is your co worker. He explained that while “you people” are still coming here in has decided to lay off a bunch of “folks and make me do the job of 3 people even though you people are still coming”. Michelle say “what”? Shocked I was, but he did not stop there. His Disney bashing continued inside the cockpit of the train where Hannah and I were waiting for the pilot to start this tour. I could not believe the things that these 2 guys were saying about the company in front of 2 guests. He had no clue that I was a former CM…I was just a regular guest who was bitten by the Disney Magic. He must have missed his brain washing training sessions.

Next on the list came later that day…Joe! I made the same comment to Joe about the heat and he being alone. He must have passed his training…”I may be a little hot, but I am getting all kinds of exercise and get to talk to nice folks like you.” Joe, you are great!! And the sweat was pouring down from his face and neck. He was wiping it with a towel.

Weston was the next pilot of the day! Can we say “amazing”? He welcomed us to the cockpit. Told us monorail history, about the workings of the trains, a little about the resorts, about the history of the trains, and how they brought new trains to the tracks. He was amazing. He also let us ride on the monorail through 2 loops on the resort line without making us leave the cockpit. We did allow 2 other girls to join us for a while, but we stayed on. In all my years of riding in the front, he is without a doubt the best one ever. I thought he was a tiny kid that was new to this because he looked so young, was very short too, and was so forthcoming with knowledge. He told me he had been here for 10 years!!! WOW!!! WESTON!!!

The next great cast members---can I call them that? Was the group British Invasion!

I am not sure if I had seen them before or not. I sure thought I had UNTIL they took the stage. I was totally blown away. They did not look like the Beatles, but the sound, and the were all John, Paul, and George (I could never see Ringo as he was far behind and it was a tiny stage). I saw them every day that we went to Epcot, 5 times! Every time I asked to have my picture made with them...no problem. And I told them how much I enjoyed the show. Finally at the last show, I asked again for a photo opp..."john" played by Sean, said, you have been here every day, you are our groupie. And Paul asked me to tell Guest Relations how much I love them. NO PROB there! Please if you go to Epcot and are a fan of the Beatles....check them out. Don't expect to buy a girls Beatles shirt though. Even though they have 4 on display. They have NONE of those shirts in stock. Only a Beatles jacket and a yellow submarine shirt. They did have a cute yellow submarine ice cube tray, and cookie cutter, but they were very high. As with any Disney trip, there were both folks that were above and beyond and the hum hum ones. I must say only ONE person did not understand me, and of course this was at Peco's Bill. He had a thick accent, I have a country one, and it was hopeless. I did not get what I ordered, and he did not understand my complaints either. That was a tough one! The food was good...oh that is my next blog. FOOD!!!