Thursday Throwback – The last Spring Break

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Spring 1987

It was Spring 1986. Mike was about to graduate college the next quarter. Yes quarters then not semesters. I was just a year from graduation. We were on our last Spring Break of our life. It was a cool windy March in Florida and in the ocean was a bit cold on the windy day so we flew a kite. About the shorts? What can I say it was the 80s and neon was cool baby.

Happy Birthday Patricia My BFF For Life

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Patricia and I have been BFFs since 5th grade for me, 4th grade for her. This photo is from 2006 when we met in Chicago with our kids and took the Gangster Tour. She’s as silly as I am. Her lack of sense of direction but ability to find cardinal points on the compass compliments my sense of finding things via landmarks and gut feeling while never being able to point to North. We enjoyed taking weekends away each year when the kids were growing up. I’m heading down to Hollywood Florida to see here sometime around the first of the year. In the meantime go wish Patricia a very happy birthday on her Facebook account.

Wildcard Wednesday – Orlando in October

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Mike and Mom in front of the big Orange gift shop. Mom got oranges to take to friends and we shopped.

In October Mike and I took my parents to our condo in Orlando. We flew to Knoxville, rented a van, picked up my folks and hit the road. We made it just about half way the first night then on to Orlando. It was a calm week there seeing the sights. Dad mostly chilled in the apartment. Mom got out to see things. Below are photos of our trip where we ate our way through Orlando.

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Stand Back – Photo Dump Approaching

For Memorial Day I went down to Tennessee to spend time with my parents.  My has gotten into Greene County history and doing posts on Down Home Greeneville on Facebook with a short historical write up about each.  While I was there I took her around to make photos.  Needless to say I made more than a few of my own.

Then I got home with my camera chips and realized I’d not loaded up all the photos from our trip last July to Williamsburg Virginia and the Norfolk area.  I know I’m not done with the cruise pictures.  Oh and winter – there’s been a really hard winter in there with shots of it, snow sculptures and such.  Any way it turns out I have a few thousand pictures to upload.  Okay maybe not multiple thousands but definitely over a thousand.   So hold on to your hat for a few photo posts as real life time permits.  There will be….

July of last year the trip to the beach, Williamsburg, and Mike’s Navy graduation (that I didn’t get to see due to flight booking, my agent ahem named Mike booked my flight before the ceremony not after)….

Mike enjoying a dessert while on vacation - Oct in Orlando

Mike enjoying a dessert while on vacation – Oct in Orlando

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Life is a beach when on vacation in Virginia in July.

The brutal winter here had us all thinking of the tropics.

The brutal winter here had us all thinking of the tropics.

Yes I actually have over 400 photos from Williamsburg.

Yes I actually have over 400 photos from Williamsburg.

Oh you know there were pet pictures even after losing Rappy and Mo.  We still have the furry boys and Aaron added his cat Ashe to the family.

Oh you know there were pet pictures.

Holidays in Tennessee.

Holidays in Tennessee.

Did I mention it was a nasty winter here?  It was and we did all we could to make the best of it.  Ice sculpture contests and such.

Did I mention it was a nasty winter here? It was and we did all we could to make the best of it. Ice sculpture contests and such.

Of course more beading and craft sales...

Of course more beading and craft sales…

Going about Greene Count Tennessee making pictures with Mom.

Going about Greene Count Tennessee making pictures with Mom.

Yep and more on the cruise adventures.

Yep and more on the cruise adventures.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So over the last three days I caught up on my uploading to Flickr. Yes over 1800 photos uploaded. Raw just off the camera no adjustments images. I’ll improve a few for future posts – maybe if time permits.

Also for my birthday I got a droid tablet (no Apple stuff for this girl) so now I can easily take stacks of comics with me to read. Expect that sometime there will be catch up on those too.

In the meantime you have been warned – photos are coming. Be prepared.

On The Way There

 

 

Yep this is another pic spam Vacation, wish I was there, posts.

You are going where?  Without US?

You are going where? Without US?

 

Those of you with pets know that leaving them when going on vacation takes planning.  We have a wonderful pet sitter that has always done superior work with our furry babies, Always There Pet Care. However for the first time in many years our holiday and theirs lined up.  So I was in a quandary as to what to do considering I have two furry boys that need medication.  At their check up I was asking the doctor if she could recommend someone.  To my surprise one of the vet techs volunteered!  Of course I paid her the same as I do our usual sitters and was glad to have the boys in good hands while I was on the high seas.

Somewhere over the Eastern US.  (photo mine)

Somewhere over the Eastern US. (photo mine)

 

Ft. Lauderdale Baggage claim.  (photo mine)

Ft. Lauderdale Baggage claim. (photo mine)

We flew to Ft. Lauderdale on Friday to catch the ship on Saturday in Miami.  We left on an early flight from O’Hare and thanks to Mike’s frequent flyer miles the flights were $20 roundtrip!  We had a connection in Charlotte and every flight went off without a hitch.  Though really I swear if the seats get any thinner I’m going to have to sit on one cheek.  My dream is to travel first class if not like this.  And may I add I have never been in or through an airport that wasn’t under some kind of construction/renovation.

Hollywood Beach - it was good to be back to the ocean.  (photo mine)

Hollywood Beach – it was good to be back to the ocean. (photo mine)

Hollywood Florida beach Funny bar signs - more on the link (photo by me)

Hollywood Florida beach Funny bar signs – more on the link (photo by me)

 

My BFF lives ten minutes from the Ft. Lauderdale airport.  So she graciously arranged to be off work and picked us up at the airport.  Then it was over to her place to shed our Wisconsin Spring clothes (warm!) for shorts, sandals, and tees.  Then we went to the Hollywood, FL beach for a walk in the sun.   After that to Las Vegas (yes in Hollywood) for a real Cuban dinner.  It was delish!  and yes Walter (for the fellow Fringe fans) is right everyone loves Flan!  I however could make a meal on their black beans and rice with plantains for dessert.  Then she graciously drove to our hotel in Miami Beach.  By then I was exhausted.  I’d gotten up at 4am to make it to O’Hare for our first flight.

Trust me it costs more today and doesn't include meals.  (photo by me)

Trust me it costs more today and doesn’t include meals. (photo by me)

Part of the Lobby of the new addition (photo by me)

Part of the Lobby of the new addition (photo by me)

 

 

Sorry for the bad quality but made at night with my phone.  This is the elevator floor love the details of older buildings, rarely see that any more (photo mine)

Sorry for the bad quality but made at night with my phone. This is the elevator floor love the details of older buildings, rarely see that any more (photo mine)

Beach side of Cadillac Hotel (photo mine)

Beach side of Cadillac Hotel (photo mine)

 

Misty morning look at the hotel's beach section where they provide chairs and umbrella (a must for fair skinned me) photo Mine

Misty morning look at the hotel’s beach section where they provide chairs and umbrella (a must for fair skinned me) photo Mine

 

We stayed on Miami beach in the Old Cadillac Hotel now a Courtyard by Marriott.  The hotel was built in 1940 in Art Deco style and is on the US National Register of Historic Places.   It was renovated in 2004 for $40 million and is a beauty any way you look at her.  We stayed in the original tower.  That night we did a walk on South Beach.  Let me say I saw more silicone than you’d see at a caulking convention.  Also I’m out of touch apparently the style is to wear neon undies beneath a thin white dress.  We in Wisconsin are so behind the times…

Boardwalk Miami Beach (photo mine)

Boardwalk Miami Beach (photo mine)

My version of the classic shot of the Fountainbleau on Miami Beach (photo mine)

My version of the classic shot of the Fountainbleau on Miami Beach (photo mine)

 

The next morning was a great breakfast (split a HUGE omelet with Mike) and another walk on the boardwalk (very different scenery this time).  We were just down from the famous Fontainebleau Miami.  Of course being a crime show addict I had to tell Mike about the Batman memorabilia collecting heir’s murder.  Once we enjoyed seeing the ocean and beach section that came with our hotel (that we didn’t have time to enjoy).  We checked out and caught a cab to the port to catch a ship.

I guess this 24 hours was our version of Planes, Trains, automobiles, and ships.  (train at O’hare to get to the airport from remote parking).

Next time I’m on travel it’ll be about being on board ship.

As always you can click on an image to be taken to my Flickr account and see more photos or click on the links for more information about other stuff.

Until next time!

 

This Is Where I Was and There Was No Internet

Sometimes you just have to run away to the Caribbean and unplug from the world.   That is exactly what I did.  I floated around on a ship with my 2,999 shipmates.

Photo - mine

Hollywood Beach Florida, Photo – mine

Departing Port of Miami by me.

Departing Port of Miami by me.

Sint Marrten by Me

St Marrten by Me

 

Yes the water is THAT blue - by me

Yes the water is THAT blue – by me

Sunset at sea by me

Sunset at sea by me

Spent several days at sea – wonderful except for the throat infection days where I saw the ship’s doctor and slept.  Did yacht racing in St. Maarten, took a tour of St. John, USVI and stayed on the boat for Nassau as I didn’t feel like snorkeling.   Loved having someone to cook and clean after me.  Could live there for that.  When I was feeling better I started writing again but the cruise was almost over by then.  **SIGH**

Unfortunately, I had to return to reality and the world here didn’t stop.  So I’ve got a To-Do book instead of list.  Oh, and I still feel like I am on ship – land sickness.  I didn’t get sea sickness but I’ve got land sickness – prime demographic for it middle aged woman on sea over seven days.  Good news – it goes away over time.  Bad news – no treatment and can last months.  Good news – not sick feeling just slight almost pleasant rocking feeling.  Bad news – there are multiple documented cases of prime demographic that lasted years.

Stay tuned more photo posts to come.  I’ve got three cameras of stuff to download and process.

Until next time!

Happy 2014!

Dusting TV Set with a feather-brush from the National Archif of the Netherlands as a member of the Flickr Commons  No known copyright  restrictions.

Dusting TV Set with a feather-brush from the National Archif of the Netherlands as a member of the Flickr Commons No known copyright restrictions.

 

**Blows the dust away and gets out broom**

Why hello there!  It’s been awhile since I’ve been here.  Lots has happened and not so much has happened.  I do have a good excuse as to why I’ve been gone.

First off Miss Mo my female kitty got worse.  It was very sad.  She died and we did discover that the issue was a fast developing spinal cancer.  I still miss her very much.  She was a very special girl.

Miss Mo at the Vet's.  She made a number of visits before the spine cancer took her.

Miss Mo at the Vet’s. She made a number of visits before the spine cancer took her.

Next Mike graduated another post-grad program in Norfolk.  It was another trip there for a few days.  I was very proud of him.  While there we went to Colonial Williamsburg.  I made lots of great picture.  Yes I’ll do a very belated post about them.

Then there’s work.  A few times we’ve had short staff for medical reasons, people moving, etc.  At times I’ve work full time rather than part time to help out.  I love what I do so I don’t mind.  BUT for me it’s a side thing.

Finally my writer’s block broke.  Yes I furiously wrote 41 chapters of a whole new story, 21 chapters on my Urban-fantasy with a rural setting, and about 12 on my steampunk novel.  The muses were so demanding I’ve been cramming in writing where ever I could.  Now my goal is to go to an event in Madison by their continuing education branch where I can do pitches to publishers and agents.  Oh to get an agent!  My focus will be on the whole new story and getting it prepped as that muse is the most demanding.

He's a cadet now.  He'll be commissioned as an officer upon his graduation.  This photo is from his graduation from basic earlier this year.

He’s a cadet now. He’ll be commissioned as an officer upon his graduation. This photo is from his graduation from basic earlier this year.

Aaron is doing well in college and in ROTC.   He got a full scholarship in bio-chem from them.  He loves having his own small apartment.  No roommate problems that way.  Being one who has to report to PT at 5:45 am with roommates who think 10:45 am classes are early can be difficult.

The holidays were nice.  Our big present this year was a new furnace and boiler.  Our 30+ year old one finally gave up the ghost.  Heat is a must in Wisconsin and a new system isn’t free.  So each time the radiators bang with a surge of new heat we wished each other a very Merry Christmas.

Did craft fairs again this fall and winter.  They went very well.  Now maybe I’ll make time to get an on-line shop up in 2014 along with a book agent and a few novels sold!  Eh?  why not dream big!

Mike and I took a vacation to Florida in the fall.  Again we enjoyed an airboat tour.  Also we managed to not go to a single amusement park.  Did hit the beach though!

Wonderful airboat tour to ourselves!

Wonderful airboat tour to ourselves!

Health wise 2013 was one of improvement.  My 2012 surgery seems to have helped many issues.  It’s a slow and gradual process getting healed and stabilized but well worth it.  Sadly as you get older bouncing back from such things goes slower than I’d like.

Finally for Mike – he’s nearing the end of his Navy career and retire looms on the horizon.  I don’t know what we’ll do with ourselves.  We’ve spent all our relationship with our lives accommodating the Needs of the Navy first and foremost.  Now, there will be no monthly drills, no 2 weeks or more of active duty, no call ups – just waiting until we need to collect retirement.  However that might be pushed off another year or two if he can.  Captain Mike loves his Navy.

Yep Blue is the leader and the cause of frequent screen repair in the summer.  As you can see his brother hangs back to ensure all is well.

Yep Blue is the leader and the cause of frequent screen repair in the summer. As you can see his brother hangs back to ensure all is well.

Our remaining pets the two Furry Boys – Red and Blue are facing problems of aging cats.  Red has chronic kidney insufficiency.  Blue had hyper thyroid.  They both take medication regularly.  They are healthy and happy  but aging like the rest of us.

As for comics…  Yes I’m still into them.  Saw Thor The Dark World and enjoyed it.  However I do agree Tom Hiddleston’s Loki got the best lines.  Then again I’ve always enjoyed snark  (sarcastic humor).  As for reading – I am behind.  As in a few short boxes behind not counting those I only get in digital form.  So be patient with me, I’ve been writing more than reading.  However if there’s an issue you really want to chat about – shout out to me and I’ll be sure to move that title to the top of the catch-up list.

I guess that gets everything caught up about me and mine.  Hope you and yours are doing well, had a great holiday season and are looking forward to 2014.