Sunday, May 31, 2009

This is a test to get pictures on the blog. It was successful but now I am not sure how I did it.
Gloria in Chicago's American Girl in March of 2008.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Alive & Well & Busy

Have not been posting because I do not want to take the time. Too many other things to do. This will be short & sweet because I want to get going. Morning seems to be my best time. I feel like I've got the world by the tail and there is nothing I cannot do. By evening that fades and being weary and tired things do not go as well.

Still dealing with kitchen. Waiting for back splash guy to come and put it in. Finally made a decision after agonizing over it. Brief description of what is going on in the kitchen--composite stone counter top, sink and faucet were installed. Counter top is very simple--off white with a very tiny fleck, granite sink matches very well and it is an under mount which I like, wall paper was stripped (that was a job, let me tell you). I still liked the wall paper that we took off but it was dated. Painted the walls a very cheery yellow which I like. Fresh coat of white paint was applied over the woodwork. Back splash is as follows: white subway tiles, ropey tile which is about the size of a pencil, 2 rows of small cobalt blue squares, ropey tile again (so it kind of frames the blue squares) and then the rest will be the subway tiles. Now if only I could get pictures on this blog I would be able to show the before and after (if it ever gets done.) Now I am into cleaning and scrubbing. Now those of you who have done a project knows that the other parts of the house goes to hell in a hand basket. I do have to mention how well Pudge has been handling most of this--not great, but well. Butted heads a few times--but nothing like it could have been. He has been cooperative and sometimes even pleasant about this. He is busy with other little projects that need to be done. This is not his thing--never has been and never will be. But once again, he has surprised me.

I need to get going. Days go by so fast.

Oh I forgot to mention the curtains which I have bought material and will be making. It will be just a valance and it is what I think is kind of "cutting edge" as they would say on HGTV. They are a bright cherry red paisley. Hope this all looks good when it is all said & done.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

The Cruise - Port # 3

Cabo San Lucas. There was no harbor for ship to port so we were brought to shore on smaller boats. We decided to do an excursion with the other 2 couples who have become our friends. It was a Sea and Land. After getting to shore we were put into lines and got on smaller boats. We went out for a ways until we came to beautiful rock formations coming from the ocean. It really was awesome. The waves were crashing against these rocks which made it even more incredible. Then we went to shore and boarded buses. First to a glass blowing factory. It was interesting. Got to see them blow glass. Then to a cactus farm. That was OK. Then they took us to a beautiful hotel high in the hills overlooking the ocean. The sight was so beautiful it was almost surreal. Spent some time there. Took pictures of the 6 of us. Boarded bus again and drove about 17 miles to a town for shopping. It was kind of a high buck town. Shops were classy and expensive. The only thing we bought was some tea that the guide talked about and ice cream cones. Then the bus was going to bring us back to the boats to get on ship. We had about an hour before we had to be back so Pudge & I asked to be dropped off in the town. Bill and Nancy also came with us. Nancy wanted to find a certain Tshirt shop that her adult boys requested she bring them. The name of the shop was Cabo Wabo. I had never heard of it but it was really popular. One of the singers from Led Zeppelin's band (I think that was the band) started this shop which also was a bar and a lot was happening. We did not have much time so we found our way to the ocean and found out we could walk to where the boats would pick us up. We had planned to take a taxi. The walk was very pleasant. It was like a boardwalk that wound its way around. Many vendors and interesting people. Had to wait in line for some of the boats to get us back because it was nearing the time everyone had to be back. We enjoyed Cabo but did not have much time there.

Friday, May 8, 2009

The Cruise-Port # 2

Mazatlan was our next port. Decided to so the same excursion our new found friends were doing. It was sightseeing, show and shopping. Boarded a bus but we did not get on with our friends. They were on a different bus. Went through back streets and neighborhoods. I liked this part of it. You are really able to see how they live. Yes, there was some seedy and poverty laden neighborhoods but to me this is all part of it. Stopped at a shopping area and there also was a big church that we went into. Found a big huge market and really explored that. It was fascinating. Lots of meat being sold--big huge pigs heads, feet, and what looked like big sheets of fat. Everything was right out in the open--not protected under glass or any covering. Not sure if all of it was even refrigerated. It did appear to be fairly clean but I would have a hard time buying meat for my dinner there. I liked all of this because it is so cultural. I appreciate the way they live. That's not to say I would want to live like that. Toured the big church passing many beggars. Many people do not like this and I do have to say it is sad but as unfortunate as it is I am fascinated. There is a mother begging with the cutest baby. I so wanted to hold the baby and give her $ but I didn't and I am ashamed. Back on the bus to see the cliff divers. Drove along a narrow road with cliffs and the ocean is below us. The place with the cliff divers is swarming with vendors that immediately try to persuade you to buy. I made my way to the wall so I could see the divers. They were not super high but high enough. The thing that I was impressed me abut this was the violent, swirling water with crashing waves. They did have to wait for a time for this pool of water that they dove in to look just right before they went. When they did dive they high tailed it out of that pool like no body's business. I know that was the part that was dangerous. Onto the show. We hooked up with our friends and sat with them. It was definitely a Mexican show with lots of acts. I did enjoy it. After that we went to the shopping area. They push those charm bracelets (remember we got one on the Alaskan cruise) but you have to pay for the charms. I did not buy any. They are chintzy. I did get more of the free bracelets. I think I now have 5. Shops are fun. I bought a beach cover up dress--it was $10.00 and I got it for $6.00. Also bought -- now I hope I can explain this -- it looks like a big scarf with strings but you can wear it as a skirt around your bathing suit, a shirt about 3 different ways, a scarf on your head. The lady showed me how to do all of these things. So I bought 2 of them. I don't think I can remember all that she showed me. I wonder if I will ever use them. It is one of those things where you get caught up and think you really will use it but after I got home I am starting to wonder. Oh well, they were cheap. Bus only allowed us 45 minutes. We decided to stay longer and take taxi back. We found a great hotel on the most gorgeous beach and went to their deck and had drinks. It was incredible to sit there and people watch as well as watching the waves and of course, the vendors. I loved it. The day was gorgeous. Then decided to walk the town. Got off the beaten track and did some exploring. We like this town and its beaches. Back to our favorite spot at the hotel and I bought a mango on a stick. It was so good. The taxis are like golf carts. We hired one and had a great ride back to the ship. We both decided that we like Mazatlan.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Cruise-The Ports

With a little encouragement from my cousin I will finish up about the cruise.

1st port - Puerta Vallarta. Pudge did a golfing excursion that the ship offered. I got a van with other people from the boat and went into the town. We had been there in 1995. There were some things that were familiar to me. The boardwalk that goes right along the sea. The shops are across the street. I remembered that there was a big open air market and it was off the main street. I started to wander around knowing that I would find it sooner or later. I came upon a church that I remembered going into when we were there before. There were quite a few people there. I sat down just to take in the serenity and beauty. Of course, I watched the Hispanic people come in, genuflect and bow their head in prayer. There was a man saying the rosary, a lady doing the stations of the cross, another lady nursing her baby while praying. Then all of a sudden the priest and altar boys came out and mass started. It was done in Spanish but everything else was the same. I stayed for the entire mass and enjoyed it very much. Now my mission was to find that market. I did go into a store. It looked small but once inside it went on & on. There were many vendors in there. As you would walk by they would try to entice you into their section. They were pleasant. I find it fascinating and different. Most of the stuff there was very touristy and kitchy and not to my liking. I did buy a small Mexican flag. Of course you have to dicker with them. They wanted $6 and I got it for $3.00. I found the open air market. It was fun to look. I really enjoy the Mexican people. I walked back to the main street by following the boardwalk. It is fascinating to see the vendors with their wares walk the beach and boardwalk. I did buy 2 kites. They look like people parasailing. I hope they work as good here as they did there. I sat and watched sand sculptures being created. The guy was working so hard. He would walk to the sea and carry 2 large buckets of water back to his sculpture time and time again. Also watched fishermen on the shore. They were not using poles. It looked like a ball of string and they would just throw it out and roll it back up. One caught a blow fish and you could see it puff itself up bigger and bigger. It is only 1:00 and I am not meeting Pudge until 4:00. I decided to see if I could find somewhere to get a pedicure. I had one there in 1995 and it was the best I have ever had. I went into a hotel lobby because they sometimes offer that service. I asked and they gave me directions to one. I had no trouble finding it. Went in. It didn't seem too much like our salons. 2 ladies crocheting on the couch. I asked about a pedicure. The older lady bought a plastic dish pan with warm soapy water and put my feet into it. Everything in this place was quaint and primitive. I had an incredible pedicure and only cost $11.00. Did some more walking and people watching. At 5:00 met Pudge after waiting for him for an hour. I was going to give him another 1/2 hour and then go back to ship. Cell phones would only give us some Spanish speaking woman so we were not able to connect. Went back to open air market and then to a cute, quaint Mexican restaurant. It was warm and they had table fans that they directed toward us. I had a margarita and nachos. Pudge had burritos. It was good. About 7 pm we went back to the ship. We were to set sail at 10 pm so we got back in plenty of time.

Will post about the other ports at later date.