28 June 2010

Took the words right out of my mouth....

This could have spoilers so please don't read if you don't want to know what happens, I am NOT responsible for you being stupid and reading on..........





My daughter summed it up nicely for me today..."hey it's almost Eclipse day".  That is right folks, just a couple of days left.  I tell you I am so excited to see this movie.  I am trying to imagine just how great the Newborn scene is going to be.  I am excited to see 20 newborns trying to attack and over come the Cullens.  How is it going to play out on the big screen?  I have grand ideas in my head and I only hope that it is true.

And the story of the third wife....I want to see if this is portrayed like a vision with real actors playing the parts of the wolves and the third wife and then flash forwards to the future with Bella and Jacob.  I certainly hope that is the way it plays out.  They did a similar thing when they showed how Edward and Esme were turned in the first Twilight....so I hope that it comes true.

And have  you people have read the book the Short Second Life of Bree Tanner.  Stephanie Meyer wants all to read the book before going to the movies.  I am sure that it has tons to do with the fact that she tells Bree's story and how Jane and the Volturi are involved in the story.  I found the book very violent, but I did however want more.  I have visions of novellas on Riley and definitely on Diego. I found myself craving more info on Diego.  There was something Cullen like to him.  Oh and then there is Fred.  Fred who would fit in great in the coven.  Bring him back, and please tell us what happened to him.  Did Edward contact him because you know he read Bree's thoughts and she had to have been thinking of Diego and Fred in her last moments. Edward might have even told him that yes Jane killed her.

One more good back story, Victoria....how she became what she did, who created her, maybe how she and James found each other.  See Stephanie, you can make this go on and on....I would totally buy the books.  I know for sure that I am not the only one that would buy them.

  I would love to know what you think about it all please share. And in just 1 day we can share what we saw and compare to what you thought and how much we loved it and when we will go see it next.  Whoo HOO!!!

26 June 2010

Waiting for a Lunar Eclipse.....

When I was a child eclipses were some of the coolest thing around....now as an adult they put on a whole new meaning.  If you know me, you know that I have been bitten hard by these vampires that live in the Northwest.  While the books are not the best written books ever, and the movies may be a tad corny, I am hooked by some powerful fangs that will NOT let me go (and I am ok with that).  I guess I have always been interested in vampires, but this little Cullen family has brought it all to a totally new level.  The stories fascinate me so much that I read the book over and over and over and over...well, you get the picture.  When I was in Alaska in 2007, this clan meant nothing to me.  I saw signs and all types of stuff saying things about Twilight.  Fast forward two years later and I am seeking out the things that I had seen and did not care for before.  Like the forests up there, the Tongass National Forest is a bit like the areas depicted to be Forks and La Push (I have no idea if they were the real places because I have never been there). I can attest for Port Angles, I have been there twice now and the second time gave me chills because "Bella had been there".  Stupid? I don't think so.  Overboard?  No, its like some guys with their Star Wars, Star Trek, or Superman (or wait I like all those too).  It's an alter ego, the classic good vs evil, beautiful vs ugly (Laurant and James are pretty ugly), Romeo and Juliet, and then there's JANE!  I adore Jane!  She can with her mind send "waves" of pain into your mind and even though she is not hurting your body the pain in your mind is making you think she is and it is the worst thing you ever felt....all the while she smiles and looks so sweet and innocent.  I love to watch her, and I am very excited to see her in the Eclipse movie.

Oh yes, it is only a few days away, and I am all happy.  I am trying to imagine how the scenes will play out, what parts of the books will be left out, and I know there are new tidbits that are not in the original books....now that is going to be great.

So am I Team Edward or Team Jacob?  I am Team Vampire!  I love all the vampires (yes, even the evil ones).  And what do I think of Bella?  I think she is a girl that is obsessed with this vampire.  She probably even breathes in sync with his "breathing".  We have seen little Bells grow up quite a bit since even the first Twilight.  She started out as a backward girl, and has blossomed into a very nice looking girl.  Is that what love does to a girl?  Probably.  I also think she is crazy for loving Jacob too.  Everytime I read the book I think, "I just don't get you Bella Swan", but I believe that is part of the appeal for me trying to get inside her head to see why she is torn.  Vampires ROCK!!!  Jacob? I think he's a cute kid that is a bit conceited and a lot manipulative.  I think he knows exactly what buttons to push on Bella to keep her strung along, but again that may be the reason so many girls love him.

I am excited about how the movie is going to convey the story, what the sets will look like, what Bella will wear, and THRILLED to finally "see" the Newborns!!!  I am looking forward to the Newborn fight more than anything in the movie. I hope that Riley and Bree are as beautiful on the screen as they are in my head.  

So the big day is around the corner and the next hardest thing to decide is "what am I going to wear?"  Any suggestions?   

See you at the movies!!!!

19 June 2010

My Dad

Well, he will probably never read this because he claims that he cannot find my blog, so someone please help him or tell him what I have said.



I have many memories of my dad....probably my earliest was when he went out on a date with my mom and he gave me the "superstar 77 Barbie".  I adored this doll and to this day wish that I had not loved her to death.  A very brutal death mind you, I cracked her neck.

Another memory, and really one of my favorites was looking for the nothern lights (which we thought we saw once), Hailey's Comet and eclipses.  This particular night there was to be a full eclipse.  It was supposed to be late when it happened so he grabbed the guitar and took me outside on the back steps.  He played Beatles songs and redneck country songs while we waited and waited and waited for this eclipse.  Honestly, I don't remember if it ever happened I just remember the music.  That had to be like 1980.

Another day was the day that he told me that John Lennon had died.  We were in the living room in our North Circle Drive house in front of the tv.  I don't remember if the news was on tv or if he just told me.  I just remember being sad that a Beatle was dead.

Then little did he know that he would instill in me a love of volcanoes.  He made me (at the time I was not into the news) watch the stories on Tom Brokow (maybe this story began my love for Tom) and the nightly news.  The story was about a volcano in Washington that was getting active.  Then a few days later it was very active, it BLEW......Mount Saint Helens.  I saw never forget how the ash plume excited me.  How I had tons of questions about the ash field, and the death toll, about the wildlife, about whether I could go.  He could not answer them all, but he tried. He even bought a National Geographic about it (wish I still had that).  This magazine had photos of before and after.  Of a lava dome, ash field, and the devastation left in her wake.  We read it over and over and then I read it myself.  This was very cool stuff.  Isn't it funny that I married a guy born on May 18? 

Another cool event about the eruption was that an ash cloud was moving across the United States.  Dad was determined to let me see it.  It finally did come through western ky, all be it very small, but it was evident.  I was still wanting more.

A movie was soon made about Harry Truman the inn keeper of Spirit  Lake.  Harry had lived in or around the Lake all his life.  He loved the lake and trusted the mountain.  As the volcano was proved to not be dormant, the residents were warned to "get out".  Harry was like the President of the same name, head strong and stubborn, he was going to stay right where he was.  When the volcano erupted Spirit Lake was forever changed and Harry's body was never recovered.  It is believed it was buried in an avalanche of ash.  Harry was played by the lovable Art Carney...and dad got the movie for us to watch.  it was incredible!  INCREDIBLE!!!  I wish we still had this too or at least let me see it again.

There were the times we went to Colorado (even the time with the big fight), North Carolina,  Cumberland Falls, Cumberland Gap, Knoxville, Nashville (I loved to go there).

Oh Colorado.  There was a time that Dad drove up Pike's Peak (and tried to scare us around every hairpin turn...and that is why I will not let my husband drive up there we always take the train) and we went to Summit House to eat.  We spent 2 hours on the peak (14,110) eating doughnuts, chili, soup, chips....whatever we could put in our mouths.  Dad and I got VERY sick.  Attitude sickness and all that food DO NOT mix, but man was the view great.  I could see Cripple Creek (where we had just been the day before....I love the stories about this town), Denver, and the Continental Divide.  I have never since seen the sky as clear as I did on this day.  I have tried many times, but it always clouds up before I get there. 

I remember him taking us to Cherokee NC.  He kept saying "this is where are people are from" and I believed him, since we are part Cherokee.  We drove by this one dude and he says, "he is related to us" and gets out and asks about Berryhill's.  At the time, I thought this guy was really kin to us, now I know he was just trying to impress us and I am ok with that, because we have a great picture of all of us with the dude.  And I got a necklace that I still have to this day and this was 1988.

And the time that he performed my wedding ceremony....there are some to dismiss the ceremony, but it was perfect for me and that is all that matters.  Perfect groom, perfect dresses, perfect music, perfect decorations, perfect food, perfect guests, perfect walk down the aisle dude (love ya Dwayne), and perfect preacher (DAD).





There were times I'd rather not remember too....

the time that mom was somewhere and dad fixed me a glass of milk.  I told him that I was allergic, but he thought I was faking.  He made me sit at the table until I was finished with the milk.  I did not drink it for a while because I knew I was going to throw up.  It felt like hours but it was probably not, and crying I gave in and drank the stuff.  Guess what, I threw up just as I predicted...and dad was very sorry that he did not believe me.


Then there was the one and only time that he made me mow the yard, again another allergy issue.  I cried the whole time because I was sneezing and miserable, this was before allergy pills were given to me.  It was awful, and he realized it and did come finish it.

Then there was the time that he raised tobacco and made up work in it.  We had to set the tobacco on the setter (which was not horrible), weed the tobacco (in the heat....horrible), top the tobacco (in the heat heat....HORRIBLE) and strip the tobacco (done in my grand daddy's warm garage....man I loved to play in that garage).  Yeah, I will not do that again.

I remember him getting very sick and having to stay in Vanderbuilt for what seemed like forever while we lived with our grand parents.  I was afraid that he was going to die and I would not have a dad anymore.  It was so scary.  Then when his body changed from the meds I was still afraid that he would die. I was not happy about that.  Of course, it did not help that my grandmother kept saying that he was going to die.

What about the time he was mowing the yard and threw a wire through his foot?  Or the time he stepped on a toothpick and it broke off and got caught in his foot?  Or the time he was making something on a table saw and the wood flew out of the saw and a piece of his nose bone is stuck inside the wood (I bet you still have this don't you)? 


There are many other times and things to remember, but I will neither bore him nor you....all that matters is that today I am honoring him.  I love you Dad, you are the best dad ever....

thank you for your love and devotion.

Michelle

18 June 2010

Alaska

Alaska aboard the Sapphire Princess

You should know:
Service- 3
Cleanliness- 5
Options (things to do)- 4
Arts and crafts- 3
Itinerary- 4
Food(taste)- 3
Food (appearance)- 5
Photo prices- 2
Coke card- 5
Bands-????? where were the bands?
Comedy shows- 5
Naturalist- 5
Embarkation-4
Debarkation-5
Shopping mall-4 (could be much better and is, I have shopped in better malls on smaller ships)
More for a newbie than a seasoned cruiser.

Day 1 of the Princess experience:
WE were delayed in boarding the vessel due to an outbreak of the Norwalk virus, the week before. 98 people got sick. Here’s the deal people….Norwalk is a type of flu, you can get it anywhere. The deal comes in that cruise ships are required to notify the health dept, Walmart or you local town is NOT. This is not a reason to not go on a cruise. If that is your reason, you should stay in your house all the time. Just use logic, watch touching “public” items (elevator buttons, railings, door knobs…..) without washing your hands or using hand sanitizer afterwards. LOGIC!!! Most of the ships provide purell, in case you are too lazy to wash your hands or you choose to do both. Most of the ships will no longer allow you to eat without first using the sanitizer, just an FYI.

Once we got on board, we headed to the Lido deck to eat. This was different, the staff served you from the buffet. Now being a person that hates places like Ryan’s and CiCi’s because people use the potty don’t wash, or pick their nose and don’t wash and then use the pizza spatula or salad tongs, grosses me out. I sort of liked this, but it did make for a very slow moving line.

Oh the food…well, I am a food person so I was looking for excitement. There was a seasoned Tilapia, which I was very excited about and a salad bar (yummy) and varying other fun looking things. Ok, the staff filled my plate and I go sit down. NO SILVERWARE! They must bring it to you, you and 45 other people that just sit down. Too LONG!!! When I finally got the silverware, the fish was cold and nasty. I could not eat it. The salad was very good and the homemade dressing was amazing. All my hot stuff was cold and gross. Not a good way to start off Princess.

We got settled and began to explore the boat. It was a very attractive boat in a classic sense. I however, like a little more BLING! I enjoyed the Pearl and the Carnival ships much better because they have FLAIR. I was warned about the colors a very bland, boring, beige scheme. Not exciting, not fun and does not entice you to spend money. Someone should really talk to them about color choices.

The stateroom is very tiny. Once again Carnival has proved that they have the largest and best staterooms on the seas. This room had 2 lower beds and 2 upper beds. 7 drawers 4x8x9, 5 shelves 10x 8x 5 and a very large closet (but it was the same size as every closet I ever see on a ship. The storage space shelf and drawer wise is ridiculous for a room that sleeps 4. Actually, I don’t know about 2 people with that storage for 7 days. Very disappointed in that. The shower was also smaller than Carnival and I did not think that was possible. I was not happy at all with the room.

That evening you were entertained by Shelley Gill and a comedy dude. The dude was great, he was a comic that does observation comedy based on the folks in the audience. I love this because even if there is a repeat performance, there is still new material. He did do 3 shows and one or all of us watched each of his shows.

OH Shelley, I love her. She was the naturalist. She was on board to enhance our Alaskan experience. Her job is to narrate as the ship sails through fjords and up the Marine Highway and to give lectures on Alaska. Her first one was just a little bit of wonderful. A bonus here, she writes children’s books and sold them on board. The books are based on her environmentalist life. She is a whale detective and Iditarod competitor when she is not writing and lecturing. A whale detective is someone who follows the whales through their feeding season, recording the flukes and the sizes of the families/pods. I would LOVE this job!!! It was exciting talking to her, because until I met her, I was the only person that I know who knew a lot about whales. Her knowledge was thrilling and I learned so much more from her. I attended every lecture that she did and every book signing and tried to be around for every narration she gave.

Trivia began tonight and we won the very first one of the cruise. That was a little bit of awesome. I love finding usage for my useless knowledge. 

Day 1 At Sea:
Today was a day of fun and activities. The plan was to hit one of the many pools and hot tubs, eat a lot, take some photos, look for whales, do trivia, attend the card making class, eat some more, explore the Japanese made ship, catch Shelley’s lecture, and shop in the mall. I accomplished all of this. And to top it off, the weather was great!!! Today was the first formal night and we took the formal pictures. Check them out.

Day 2 Ketchikan:
I was so excited to return to this great little town. We had goals! Melanie and I would arise and be in town by 6 am (3 am our time) and begin the shopping and gathering of free items. There was something that I wanted last time but did not buy and was going for it first. I only spend about $15 dollars today. I got stuff at Tongass, which is one of my very favorite stores up here. And I used the coupon book like crazy. After a couple of hours, Hannah and John joined us and the girls kept shopping and John and I began our trek through town. We walked down to the IGA and went inside to snap some photos. Then we went into the marina to look around, we saw a seal, tons of jelly fish, a sea anemone, a crab and NO salmon. UUUHHHH! I wanted to see them, but we were still too early. We went shopping down Creek Street and the girl outside the brothel said “I love your power ranger hat”, that was very strange given the way she was dressed and she was supposed to be from the 1800’s. Crazy. We kept walking heading towards a Wal-mart. We walked and walked and walked. Found us some lunch at McDonalds ($18 for 2 value meals), saw a Godfather’s pizza, a mall (not great), tons of Eagles fighting over fish and took lots of photos of local fare. I LOVE this town!

Once we got back to the ship, it was time to go (we were only on board about 20 minutes before we were too leave). See I can’t even remember dinner tonight, so the food must have been just so so like I said. Dessert though was New York style cheesecake with Carmel sauce, now this was good. I do remember the after dinner show…there were whales everywhere! I had never seen so many whales from the cruise ship before. After dinner we went outside (because it was so warm) to view the whales and saw dolphins and seals as well.


Day 3 Tracy Arm Fjord and Juneau:
Well, I got up early (even though a social director said it was not worth it) and I am glad that I did. The fjord breathtaking as you entered its mouth. The landscape inside was pretty, water falls, glacial ice, trees, mountains, ice bergs, whales and fjord colored waters. I was looking for the Sawyer Twins. I was very disappointed…the twins were at the end of the fjord to the right, and then you could only see one and just a portion of the one. Even though it was pretty, after you have been to Glacier Bay National Park, this is a let down. I was very sad that we did not go back to Glacier Bay. I shall not go back to Tracy Arm and never want to.

Juneau-----Now this is what I love. Juneau is a wonderful place. We were docked at the last dock and got there early so our tour left a bit early. First stop the Mendenhall Glacier. Now this is wonderful!!!! We were dropped off at the park (which I can’t figure out why it is NOT a National Park) and walked down the path to the glacier. Of course you can see the glacier from the road, but you really need to walk up to it. It is receding at a very quick rate. I was shocked at the difference that I could see in just 2 years. I took tons of photos down by the glacier and then made my way to the visitor center. I was looking for books. I found one for Trevor on glaciers fjords and ice bergs. I did not find an adult one on glaciers, which was the goal, rats. Then it was getting time to go but I had time to go to the picnic pavilion and feel “glacial air conditioning”. It was a very warm day, so the air coming down off the glacier was not only nice, but very welcoming, and the coolest air you can imagine. I loved it.

Next we boarded our bus again and Thomas took us to Auke Bay. The bay looked the same as 2 years ago, so I enjoyed that. We boarded a larger boat than I had last time. Last time we had about 20 guests this time about 50. It was a 3 tiered boat, I was nervous about the viewing but that was to be a short lived nervousness. We headed out and almost immediately saw a whale. Actually, there were whales EVERYWHERE! Everywhere….it was perfect. At one time we had a pod of 8 right off our port side. I got 78 fluke shots with my camera, last time I got 4! What a difference!!! There were whales everywhere! We saw some calves feeding for their first time in Alaska waters and showing off a bit too. This was a great use of $170, especially if you are a whale freak like me. We also saw eagles and seals and sea lions, but that is such a backseat to the whales.

After the excursion, I did some shopping until I just ran out of time. We got on the boat about 20 minutes before sailaway. What a great day!!!

Day 4 Skagway:
John and I had been planning for months to take the train into Canada. We called Larry the Chilkoot tour operator and secured some spots on this mornings tour. Since we had all ready walked into town, Larry came and picked us up and took us to meet Shawn our tour guide. He was a bit of a surfer type, laid back kind of dude that called the town Skagwicga….he was so funny.

The first thing Shawn did was take us to the train. We had taken the train 2 years ago, but you never get to step on the Yukon soil, so that is why we took a different tour. Passports are required for this tour so Melanie and Hannah could not go. There were some photos that I wanted to take on the train this time. I had missed them the last time, and luckily I had most of the trip memorized so it was not hard to remember what I had missed. I had missed the cemetery on the right as you leave town. This is a great little place, and full of history. Then up the mountain, Bridal Veil Falls is a MUST DO on the photo talking list. I missed it last time because of a dead battery. There are rapids under the falls that NO ONE has every conquered because of the roughness and rockiness. Many have died trying. Then there is a rock about 2/3 of the way up. On this rock is a cross. The story goes….this guy was helping to build this railroad. This railroad was needed desperately. Many folks and horses were losing their lives trying to make the trek up this mountain into the Yukon country. In the Yukon there was gold and these folks NEEDED gold. They were so poor. The Canadian government was ok with American’s coming up there, but said that they must bring enough supplies to survive for one year and the Mounties checked to make sure. Now this was over a ton of supplies that each person must bring. And it was per person, so if your wife came, you brought her supplies too. The railway was supposed to help the folks get over to Canada. Well, this guy was blasting the mountain and a rock (boulder) broke loose and crushed him. The other dudes tried and tried to get the boulder off (I don’t know why, he was crushed), but they could not so they put a cross into the rock. I have just shortened the story….you get the gist but you should hear the whole thing. I got photos of the American/Canadian border and then we went to new territory (for us) up into Fraser BC. There are 9 people that live here. We thought when they called it a town there would be shopping or something….nope 9 people and a customs office. We did get our passport stamped though by customs. Shawn meet us with the bus up in Canada and took us back down into Skagway. On the way, he dropped us off at many of the great sites, glacial waterfalls, scenic overlooks, fjords, and the American/Canadian border for photo opps. He was a great guide full of the Skagway stories. Of course, my goal was to find a book of these stories once we got into town. I fell in love with these stories 2 years ago and that was on the agenda, find a book. The first thing John and I did when we got back into town was grab a bit to eat. We ate at a former brothel, the Red Onion. The chicken salad I believe was the most perfect stuff ever. I loved this chicken salad. Our server was good, but the host was rude, not the call girls were sweet, but of course they wanted to take us upstairs to the brothel and we had no desire to do that, we just wanted lunch. After lunch, we started shopping, I hit the bookstore first and got a book on the gold rush. This book does not talk about Soapy Smith so I have to keep looking. Then we found a needlework store. NEEDLEWORK!!! You never see these, do you know how hard it is to find good patterns? That is why I have taken to designing my own so that I can have some. This place was great…I probably spent more money in here then I needed too, but I will use all the charts that I bought, so I am not too concerned. I am even ordering 2 others from the clerk. Then we found a fudge store, yummy, we got some fudge and nut clusters. These were very good. I shopped for more books but did not find what I was looking for…keep looking. I went into the Alaska t shirt co (my fave store in AK) and bought some stuff. Not much only about $20 ($10 of which was a book on Alaska). Then it was time to go, once again we were just making the cut off before the ship left. We enjoyed literally every second of these ports.

Day 5 At sea:
Our second day at sea. I had a lecture, journaling class, shopping at the mall, more dips in the pool and hot tubs, cross word puzzles and reading to do, and formal night. And we had to alter our course due to very rough seas….well it was rough for us too. 15-20 ft swells. This is the stuff I love and you don’t get enough of. It was almost impossible to walk in a straight line….no it was impossible.

Day 6 Victoria:
Once again, I did not get to enjoy much of the city. I won’t bore you with details, but I will say that the government building, the downtown, the port, and the restaurants….well, I think I know a little about them all. We went into I believe every restaurant looking for somewhere to eat. Either the food was not what we wanted or they did not take minors, or they had a 3 hour wait. We settled and a little place called Wicket and Sticks and I had fajitas that were wonderful and hot tea. YUMMY!!!

This is it folks….day 7, you are rushed off the ship as soon as they get into port. I hope you enjoyed my fun.