Thursday, March 07, 2013

I blog chronologically.

It may have been a few months , but when I picked up my proverbial pen this morning the next thing in line was to finish the last post I started and tell you all about how back in August I managed to go all the way to the Bahamas without stepping foot on a beach and I stopped.

I stopped because really is that what I have to say to you?

Is that really where my heart is today?

It's not.  My heart is a thousand miles away and there is just so much more.

More life, more depth, just more.

In a few hours 10 women that I love dearly will sit together in a church and praise God for the life of one of our husbands.  We will lift one another up, we will weep and grieve and we will hold the line for our friend in her sorrow.  We will be without words and our throats will constrict with the heartbreak.

Kristin said it best when she said that real loss stems from real love.

Jena and Ross have a real and abiding love.

One that has been woven into the lives of their children and to all of us who were made better by being witness to it.

Please pray for my friend.




Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Hero Husband ate a sea creature

After we finished out our sail on the Alexander Von Humboldt
we started the walk back to our ship
when Hero Husband saw a sign that said "Conchalicious"
and couldn't pass up a chance to try conch ceviche.



Peppers, onions, lime

yeah yeah yeah

I want to know what a conch is, and I don't mean the shell
because presumably he isn't going to be eating conch shell.

So they showed me.

People, it's a sea snail.




Now I am feeling bad for the little guy.

He's just a snail hanging out in his pretty shell not bothering anyone
when this guy shows up with a hammer and




after chipping a few holes into the shell, cuts him out.




Then chops him up with some lime, tomato, onions and peppers and serves him up for lunch.




Well apparently that is how you make conch ceviche.

And no I did not eat any.

By this point in my head I had named the poor snail Fred and just couldn't do it.

The End.




Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Alexander Von Humbolt

On a cruise you can choose to adventure off on your own at a port of call
or book an excursion through the cruise line.

Of course booking an excursion is recommended and comes
with the simplified payment of your ship charge account, 
assured return time (the boat won't leave without you if you are running late), 
and the decreased likelihood that you will be taken for ransom by hostile natives.
I'm not serious about the last one, but geesh they make you feel that way when *encouraging* you to book with them.

In Nassau we opted not to book any excursions, but in Freeport it was
decided that we would get off the cruise ship, walk across the harbor and
board a windjammer for a traditional sailing excursion.

 Freeport is a much less walking tourist friendly kind of place.
There were a lot of cargo ships hustling in and out while we were there.




As we walked around the harbor we passed another cruise ship from a smaller
line that focuses on the Bahamas.  

Apparently they do double duty because as we walked past it the 
bow was opened to drive out the cars that were being delivered to the island.



As we got closer it was noted that you could see completely through
from the bow to the stern.

You know you like it when I use nautical terms.




And then the Alexander Von Humboldt came into view.

Boy was she pretty.




Built in 1906 as a German training vessel she is an 
impressive sight with three masts and twenty-five sails




After being destined for the scrapyard Carnival's 10 year contract
put in place the means for a refurbishment and another adventure for her.





Miss Thing got situated and made herself right at home




and it wasn't long before Super Son convinced the crew to let him take the helm.




Not to be outdone Miss Thing was quick to take her turn.




Then we went to tour the galley




where Super Son found this




and promised to never leave until he had learned them all.

Never having been sailing before I was surprised at how slow it seemed.

But it was an amazing chance to slow down and enjoy the pace and
 experience first hand what is really a part of history.

And there is something very beautiful in that.





Monday, October 08, 2012

Cruisin

Our days in Charleston were wonderful, but even the 
most idyllic things must end at some point.

Yay for us that our next stop was the Port of Charleston
for a cruise to the Bahamas.

We boarded, found our rooms, had some lunch 
and then headed out to the deck to watch as we left the port.

Super Son quickly noticed the Coast Guard boats that were...
well they were guarding the coast.  
At least the small section of it that we were occupying




and while that was exciting this sent us back to the rooms to 
see if our bags had arrived and start with the unpacking.




They hadn't arrived yet and so while my children did this




I amused myself by watching where we were and texting it to friends
and family that by the time our cell phone signals died were really
glad I hadn't paid for the at sea service.










I found myself grateful that the bottle of wine you are 
allowed to bring on board is a carry on item because
when the rain started we were able to do this.




Yay to Hero Husband for remembering to carry on a cork pull.

You may be wondering why there is a flask ready to be filled 
next to our bottle of chardonnay.  I'll just tell you that that bottle of chardonnay
 tasted a whole lot like Malibu Rum and leave it at that.

The Wee Ones were impressed by the size of the ship.

It's like the hallways never end.




And you could climb the stairs forever




After a night at sea I was a little surprised to wake up 
in the middle of the ocean to find rain and traffic.





Thankfully both cleared pretty quickly and we were off.

Miniature Golf was a big hit




and then the Disney cruise pulled into Nassau next to us.

We suddenly felt very very tiny




and the kids kept stopping the game to watch Wal-E on the giant outdoor screen 
of their boat and ask why our boat didn't have a toob chute water slide and 
sing When You Wish Upon A Star with it's horn.

All very good questions, but hey, the Disney boat didn't have
Sibi the magician hereafter known as Miss Thing's new best friend.

Every time he showed up this is what she did.




A few magic tricks and she was smitten.




And then he taught her how to do her own card trick
and gave her cards to take home and practice. 

Seriously people it's hard to compete with that.




There was much rejoicing that the days were clear and sunny
even when the nights were not.




because clear and sunny means water slides
and slip-n-slide play area




and hanging out with new friends.




And when it does rain at night on a cruise ship there is plenty to see




Even if it makes you think you are on another boat...




one that maybe you wouldn't want to be on if you knew what happened to it.

Monday, October 01, 2012

Military Day


If you know my son at all you know a few things

he gives amazing, organ crushing hugs,

he loves to talk and holds random (and sometimes bizarre) facts in his little head that he will whip out during completely unrelated conversation

and he is a bit of a nut for anything related to military service.

During our trip to Charleston he was really excited knowing that there was a Submarine, Aircraft Carrier, Destroyer and Vietnam Support Base all at the Patriots Point.
Add to that an Air Force Base an he was thrilled with our agenda for Military Day.

First was the Air Force Base




Miss Thing thought she could get this one going




After seeing the planes we stopped at the commissary where I was pleased
to see that expectant mothers get priority parking over the wing commander.

As it should be.




Then we headed to the Yorktown.




Our first stop was the mess hall on the ship where we ate some lunch, which was quite tasty,




and we were off to explore.

Did you know that on an air craft carrier there are a lot of doors?  Or are they bulkheads?

Did you know that when you take a 1st and 5th grader through an air craft carrier
they will try to open ever door, spin every wheel and move every lever?

They will.




When the Yorktown was in service it carried more than 3,000 servicemen.

I get the feeling that this bathroom wasn't big enough.




I am amazed that these young men kept all of their possessions in these tiny lockers
(against the far wall) and slept in these little cots stacked three high.




The obsessive in me really wants to know who Rudy is...

did he have a happy life?

Everyone rolled their eyes at me.




And on to the galley.

This was the awesomest butcher block I have ever seen.




And my absolute favorite is

the recipe for 10,000 chocolate chip cookies.

500 eggs and 112 pounds of chocolate

I could totally do that.

With a bigger kitchen.




Then we made our way up to the deck.

Super Son was fascinated with the cable launching system.




Personally I'm happy to sit on the deck while someone else gets launched into the air.




After leaving the Yorktown we wandered over to the USS Clamagore.

I've never been on a submarine before.

I didn't really want to go, but hey, taking one for the team.




Submarines are more fun I think for kids.

Having a smaller body must keep them from feeling so 
"eek you are under water and the walls are closing in on you" small.

Super Son loved going through the doors the submariner way.




The bunks that they had to sleep on were tiny.

Someone didn't want to be lay down so I could show you,




but he was happy to try and get us out of port.




Once I was finally freed from the bowels of the submarine we were done we
moved on to the Vietnam Support Base.  




Which was an awesome exhibit that elicited only a few Adrian Cronauer based outbursts from me.




All in all military day was a resounding success.