Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Caribbean Cruise 2010

What can I say? To me, traveling is all about the people. And once again, I was fortunate enough to meet up with a great crowd.

First, a little background. Somewhere in the early part of this decade, I arrived in Orlando to discover my cousin had to cancel the cruise we were about to embark on. Although a little bummed (well, a whole LOT bummed), I figured, what the hell. I've vacationed alone before. Long story short (too late!) I met Marty and Ali one night in the piano bar, and from that day forward, a lifelong friendship blossomed. I've cruised with them three times now, and faithful blog readers will remember (hell, all you have to do is scroll down) that I visited them in Cape Cod a couple months ago.

On our last cruise (2007?), we met Jamie and Jim with whom we've kept in touch via Facebook. Around March this year, the guys proposed a 50th birthday celebration cruise, and I eagerly signed up. Sadly, Ali and Marty weren't able to go, and to tell you the truth, I was a little apprehensive about proceeding with my plans because I hadn't gotten to know Jamie and Jim that well. Plus I couldn't remember having met the other people in the group (even though...yeah...I'd met them three years before--perhaps alcohol was involved...?). Anyway, would I fit in? Would I just be a pain in the ass to people who already knew each other well??

Suffice to say, by about day three of this month's cruise, I was saying things like: "I'd travel anywhere, anytime, with you guys." And they were saying, "we're booked for April, here's our travel agent's phone number." Truly, I can't begin to express how much I fell in love with Jim and Jamie. They made me feel cherished and safe....which ain't that easy when you're hanging over an abyss in the tropical rain forest!!Their friends were special, too. Although we didn't spend as much time with Kim, Kelly, Dennis and John, we DID get to hang (and I mean that LITERALLY) with Bobby and Arlene, one of the nicest couples you'll ever meet. Bobby's eternally sweet disposition, along with Arlene's infectious laugh, left a lasting impression on me! (Hope to see them in April!)

Okay, onto stories...first of all, hello Tampa! Arrived to cold and rain, clad in my normal California attire of leggings and a sleeveless top. Brrr. But I braved the inclement weather, caught a cab from my hotel, and jaunted on over to the Hard Rock Casino. Made a modest deposit there, then headed back to the Hilton. (Kind of an interesting sidenote: As my driver proceeded IN THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION of my hotel, I started to wonder if I'd been a little hasty in accepting the offer of a non-taxi-type. Alas, it all worked out.)

The next morning, I got all dressed and re-packed, trucked on down to the lobby to wait for the shuttle, and discovered POURING RAIN. I mean, WTF? Isn't Florida supposed to be sunshiny? I froze my BUTT off getting to the ship.

I guess the weather must have cleared for a half second, cuz I scored these photos as we left port.

And here, for your viewing pleasure is a little video I took as we sailed into (through?) Tampa Bay. (Ah...it looked deceptively tranquil at the moment, didn't it??) More about that and the rest of the cruise when I get a moment...

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Oopsie at Bemco

Small traffic accident in front of work last night. Fortunately, no one was hurt...but great entertainment was enjoyed by all!

Monday, November 08, 2010

San Diego Weekend

Dana Point Harbor
Ditto
Looking north from Pacific Beach (San Diego)
Crystal Pier in Pacific Beach
Downtown San Diego (with Coronado Bridge in distance) early morning
Surfers in front of the condo
Crystal Pier (again)
Cousin Charles, Matt and Janet along with Uncle Chuck and wife Rhona at my uncle's 85th birthday party...so fun to get to spend time with my Gorder relations!




Thursday, October 07, 2010

By Popular Request

Okay all you anti-Facebook folks. Here are some photos from my trip back east. Enjoy!

Old City Hall is now a Ruth's Chris Steakhouse



















The Omni Parker Hotel--where I stayed and where JFK proposed to Jackie
Random guy who tried to pick up on me and bought a round of drinks for the bar when I suggested (successfully) that the bartenders might have a charger for his dead cell phone.

From the walkway between casinos.


Christmas trees!
Wedding venue!
Paul and Jenny--bride and groom!


Scene from wedding venue
Look at those beautiful windows!
Lindsay and father of the bride
Custom-made wedding topper

Cousin Lindsay and moi
Father of the bride (Dan), sister of the bride (Reagan), mother of the bride (Lindsay), best friend of mom (Elizabeth) and her friend Tom.
After wedding affair at Abigail's
Atlantic Restaurant at Wequasset Inn and Resort on Cape Cod
Marty, me, and Ali
Marty and girlfriend
Ali playing on the car thingy
Ali and Marty showing off their drunk driving skills
The pool at Wequasset
Cottages at Wequasset
More pool
Fire pit at Wequasset
Fog rolls in
Seal! (Not to be confused with Heidi Klum's husband)
The Chatham lighthouse where all the weather reporters set up cameras during Cape Cod storms
Ali and Marty's ADORABLE house!
Me demonstrating Marty's outdoor shower