Thursday, September 15, 2016

Lazy Day At Sea

Freedom of the seas 
day 7
Fun day at sea
Saturday, August 20, 2016

We didn't set an alarm this morning.  I initially told husband I'd set one for 09:00 but he said no.  He said I needed my rest so we will sleep in even if we miss breakfast.  The thing is, the windjammer buffet has late breakfast on sea days so we had until 11:30 to get breakfast.  We finally got up at 09:25 and after our morning ritual, headed for breakfast.  This morning, I had pancakes, a piece of waffle, a small bit of scrambled eggs, a small Apple Danish and a bran muffin with two cups of tea.  Husband had pancakes, scrambled eggs, hash browns, and fried potatoes.  We were disappointed there wasn't any turkey sausage this morning, only pork so that was a bummer. Every day there was turkey sausage except today so I don't know what happened there but anyway.

After breakfast we walked down the stairs as usual to burn off the calories ha ha, and we stretched out on deck chairs on deck four (the no smoking side).  We both had our personal music; me on my iPod touch, and husband on his Samsung phone.  I wrote up some blogs and played candy crush and stared over board while husband had a nap listening to his music.  

At 13:15 we went to see a 3D movie in the Acadia Theatre.  The movie was a cartoon called "Penguins" with those funny penguins from the Madagascar movie.  I had a good laugh.  One guy sat behind us and fell asleep and even started snoring! Ha! Ha! Ha!  By the time the film ended it was 15:00 and lunch in the buffet was about to end as well.  We managed to secure ourselves two cheese burgers and a glass of lemonade.  Once we ate lunch, we snagged a couple of cookies and two glasses of water and stashed them in the room for later. 

We spent pretty much the remaining of the afternoon relaxing on deck four listening to our own music through headphones and napping.  Seems a few other folks had the same idea!  The non smoking side of deck four was always the quiet spot.  We just dragged two deck chairs off to the side and made that spot ours. 

Dinner was in the windjammer buffet as is our preference and the specialty menu corner featured German food.  After dinner, we went back to our room and started packing.  

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Cozumel, Mexico

Freedom Of The Seas, 
Day 6
Cozumel, Mexico
Friday, August 19, 2016

This was our last island day but not our last day on board the ship.  This itinerary was seven days but day two and day seven were to be fun days at sea.  To us, they were lazy, relaxing, munching cookies and drinking lemonade days at sea.  Ha!

We got up early enough to complete our morning routines before heading to the windjammer buffet for breakfast.  I had Kellogg's corn pops cereal, tea and a bran muffin this morning while husband had pancakes, home fried potatoes and orange juice.

We exited the ship from deck 1 as per usual and walked along the long pier to find the excursions meeting point.  We took the Explore Cozumel With Shopping tour booked through the ship for $56 USD per person.  This trip was well worth the money and I would strongly recommend it. It's also a great tour for seniors.

We met up with our tour guide, Edwin, on the pier and were told to wait for the rest of the group.  We walked through the parking lot to an air conditioned large tour bus. Kind of like a slightly smaller version of a greyhound tour bus.  As usual, you pick your seats and they remain yours for the duration of the tour.  You know, they have to tell folks that because sometimes some rude folks get angry they got on the bus last and got the undesirable seats so they rush on after the first photo op break to try and nab the better seats. *shaking my head* Most folks we encountered on this cruise were very friendly and polite.  The teens on this cruise were plenty and most were rude, joy riding the elevators, wasting food like crazy in the buffet, running up and down the halls and along the decks.  They apparently were taught nothing at home with regards to behavior and respect for elders and the disabled. *shaking my head*

.......moving it along....

The bus then drove off with our driver, Miguel, at the wheel.  Edwin gave us some history of the island and we went to a museum where we learned about the Mayan culture. We later went to a cacao making place and got to see how it was made and taste some chocolate and had the opportunity to purchase flavoured chocolates after sampling many.  After boarding the bus again, we drove, heard more history then stopped at a tequila shop where we learned about the qualities of tequila and tasted five different types of tequila.  Personally, we passed on the sampling but had jokes with other passengers when they were sampling.  I took video and photos.  Videos still aren't loaded to youtube yet....but here's a photo of me with two really large parrots that my Mom would have fallen in love with!!!

Back on the bus, we then stopped at a beach side stop for photos and to stretch out legs and make purchases in the gift shops and use the toilet.

The toilet was a nice clean group of stalls with porcelain commodes...That didn't flush. Obviously since we were in the middle of nowhere so naturally there'd be no running water.  But the attendant provided soap and poured water over our hands to clean up but everyone was embarrassed that the toilet didn't flush because we weren't told that in advance.  My apologies to the lady who got to see my fluorescent yellow pee courtesy of by vitamin B complex tablet.

By the sea, there was this really big coral with the Mexican flag on top.  Husband  climbed it but I was too scared.  There were so many holes I was afraid to step in one with my heavy self.  I suffer from anxiety now that I'm in menopause so I worry for the strangest things and sliding off a large coral, cutting my leg and having it amputated due to Ebola was one of them.  Seriously.  We asked another passenger to take our photo and she took photos of us going up the rock, of me cowering away, of husband on the rock...and a selfie of herself that I just thought was so cute and a funny thing to do so we kept it! (that's her down there!  Isn't she cute!)

Somewhere along the way, I got bit by a mosquito on the back of my left arm and on my leg and the top of my foot.  Big suckers too. Am not worried about the Zika virus because it's more of a danger to women in child bearing years and my ovaries gave up in January so there you have it.  And we used bug spray too! 

Anyway, the tour bus dropped us down on the main shopping street where many very aggressive sellers kept calling my husband "hey bro" to get his attention and get him to make a purchase.  Um, that's kind of like if we called him "hey amigo"......anyway.....  There was one larger store that had great prices: 3 tee shirts for $20 USD, magnets ranging from $1 to $3 each, hats from $5 each.  And the sales lady didn't harass us either.

After we boarded the bus, we were let off at the port where we would show our sea pass card to board the ship once more.  That tour was 4 hours and 30 minutes long but closer to five hours.  Only problem I had with this tour is they didn't provide us with bottled water along the way, we had to buy our own which we did prior starting the tour.  We paid $6 USD for a large bottle of Evian water, the 1.86 litre bottle, it was cheaper than buying two small bottles.  That's my only beef.  We're paying enough that water should be included, at least one small bottle.

When we got back on the ship we took the stairs to deck 5 to go to Sorrentos pizza while everyone else waited for the elevators.  Since the windjammer buffet was finished for lunch and was preparing for dinner, pizza would have to suffice.  We didn't want to eat anything off of the ship for fear of getting ill.   We had two of the tiniest slices of cheese pizza ever made, and some apple flavour water that didn't really taste like apple but it was very refreshing nonetheless. We were going to get two more slices of pizza but the line got terribly long once everyone who waited for the elevator got there!   We headed to our room to shower and change for dinner since the buffet opened at 18:00 for dinner.  Near 18:30 we went and ate pasta for dinner and ice cream with cake for dessert then went out on deck 11 by the pool and fell asleep on the sun chairs watching the sun set and looking over the side of the ship.  We went to our room, watched some more olympics on television then went to bed close to 22:00.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

George Town, Cayman Islands

Freedom Of The Seas, 
Day 5
George Town, Cayman Islands
Thursday, August 18, 2016

Our tour for this port of call was cancelled and the money we prepaid was credited to our sea pass account.   We had decided to just walk about the shops so we didn't rush to get up early.  We had our breakfast just after 10:15 then went to catch the ferry to shore.  The ship was tendered as there is no pier or whatever you call it.

The ship was tendered along side two Carnival Cruise Ships: Carnival Sensation, and Carnival Paradise so there were plenty of tourists ashore today!

Once ashore, we were a bit lost so we took a photos or two and started walking.  A guy approached us selling a tour of the island.  There were a bunch of other tour guides outside the gated port area selling the same tour, I suspect they were all the same company.  We seen a handful of folks going on the tour so we said sure why not.  Besides, there were three ships in port which meant many tourists.  Excursions not sold by the ship are located outside the port terminal whereby the ones sold by the ship are located inside.

 The tour cost us only $20. USD per person and we got to see some of the island.  We went to the town of Hell and also to see Dolphins.  We also got a lot of history about the island from our guide, Glen.  It was well worth the money.  We gave Glen a nice tip and took a photo with him at the end of the tour like we always do.

I wore shorts and a tank but also a long sleeve linen top to protect my shoulders, arms and neck from further sunburn.  The tour was almost two hours and we were inside a small tour bus mini van type of vehicle.  The air conditioning was a bit weak and the bus a bit worn on the inside but we had jokes and a great time with our co passengers.  We were nine tourists in that vehicle.  (photo below is husband with our tour guide Glen)

We took photos and video and boy was it hot and sunny!  I'm typing up these blogs daily on my iPad from a lawn chair on deck four while watching the soothing water out to sea!  I'll just post them online at a later date!  I just don't want to forget any fun details.  (update: I still have to get the videos posted to YouTube so when I do I'll just post a blog with them... sorry)

We had to be back on the ship by 15:00, the last ferry (or tender??) to the ship was at 15:15 and you snooze you lose, unless your excursion was booked through the ship, the ship will leave without you if you are late returning!

The ship left at 16:20 because it was waiting on two passengers. These passengers did not book their excursion through the ship but instead went out on their own.  Most likely they forgot the time difference (Grand Cayman is one hour behind Florida time and the ship uses Florida time that they refer to as "ship time") or the guests cell phones adjusted the time zone without their knowledge, or they just assumed the ship left at 17:30 like in most ports of call.  Either way, they were late so their passports were left ashore for them....when they finally find their way to the port and realize there is no ship waiting.  That's gotta hurt! Their luggage would be forwarded back to Florida, not sure but most likely at the end of the cruise, but they would have to arrange their own way back to Florida.

Wow. That's still gotta hurt.  Most folks just heading to the beach leave the ship wearing only their bathing suits and tiny cover ups.... imagine having to get to an airport or hotel or something...being stranded in a foreign place in only a bathing suit, flip flops and a skimpy cover up... ouch that's gotta hurt real bad.

Later, Husband took a nap out on deck four while the ship pulled off and I ......blogged and played candy crush off line though, no communicating with the outside world until we return home on Sunday night.  I did text my sisters at least once a day to let my mom know we were doing fine.

Our usual evening routine of dinner in the windjammer buffet, because the formality of dinner in the dining room defeated the casualness of a vacation in our opinion.  We took a stroll in the Promenade shops on deck five, then on deck 11 and deck 4 before watching the Olympic races from one of the bars that had large flat screen televisions! Then off to bed we went pretty early like old folks, missing all the night events but that was the purpose of this vacation, for the two of us to get plenty of rest.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Falmouth, Jamaica

Freedom Of The Seas, 
Day 4
Falmouth, Jamaica
Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Our alarm woke us up early. We did our usual morning routine, and went for breakfast in the Windjammer buffet. Today we tried banana pancakes with syrup, fried plantain, tea and orange juice.  Since today's island was Jamaica, the buffet hosted a corner dedicated to Jamaican cuisine.  

After breakfast, we exited the ship and met up with our tour for $34 USD per person.  We booked the Heritage Walking Tour that was almost two hours long walking along the edge of Falmouth.  

Our guide told us some history of the islands and we were all too glad to skip the part about Christopher Columbus who discovered nothing since people already lived there! That'd be like me saying I discovered Jamaica because it was my first time going there.  Bad enough the dude changed the name of Haiti (according to our tour guide yesterday) so you know, stop talking about Columbus discovering things.

Anyway, we got some great photos, heard some history and then returned to the port to look for souvenirs for the family. 

We always take photos with our tour guides on every excursion we take on every cruise we went!  Makes for great memories. (photo below, me with out three tour guides)

Back on the ship, we watched pier runners (these are the folks who are running late and risk missing the ship!) two guys almost missed it but I think they had their tour booked through the ship because that's the only way it waits for you.

We had dinner in the buffet windjammer again; roast beef, mashed potatoes, vegetables, peas and rice, curry goat, jerk chicken, jello, ice cream and oatmeal cookies.  And of course lemonade, water and tea.

We didn't see any shows yet this cruise.  We'd seen plenty on past cruises so we weren't to broke up over it.  We still hadn't run into Shrek and Fiona (they were on this cruise too.)  by the end of this day I was lobster red. Burnt shoulders, arms, my legs were tanned but not burned like my shoulders.  I used sunblock spf50 and still I'm suffering! Dude, that is wrong on so many levels.

We watched a bit of the movie on the big screen out by the pool but we didn't catch it from the beginning and it looked to be an interesting film so we walked around a bit then found our way to the NextCruise desk and booked another cruise but we aren't sure if we will go on it though.  Either way, we have about ten months to decide at cancel and get a full refund.  We booked it this way to get the free on board credit and a lower deposit rate with 30% off, and  because husband really liked the itinerary.  I'll blog that at a later date. 

It got late, we went to our room and watched some of the olympics then to bed.

note: the photos don't have a date stamp yet because I'm still in the process of taking care of that... I'm so slow this time around LOL.  

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Labadee, Haiti

Freedom Of The Seas, 
Day 3
Labadie, Haiti
Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Today we were in Labadie, Haiti, the private resort island owned by Royal Caribbean.  Our alarm went off early and we got up, did our morning routine and then got ready to disembark the ship.    I think the ship docked at 08:00 and we got off the ship near 09:00 after eating breakfast in the windjammer buffet (scrambled eggs, hash brown, fried potatoes, plain pancakes with syrup and English breakfast tea.)

This cruise, we prepaid our gratuities and booked/paid our excursions all in advance on line.  Basically, everything for this cruise was taken care of before we left home.  We brought money with us but chances are we won't spend it except to tip the excursion tour guides and to purchase souvenirs.

Our tour was the Discover Haiti Coastal Tour and was supposed to be at 10:30 but the ship notified us of a time change so it was at 13:00 instead which we were happy about too.  While we waited for our tour, we walked about the island, took some photos with our Canon DSLR camera and tried out our new selfie stick that had the ipod touch connected to it.  

We took some cute selfies and also at least eighty five photos of the inside of my bag because the selfie stick was on Bluetooth and kept snapping my iPod. Ha ha ha.   Oh my gosh I can't stop laughing.  This happened to us every single day!  Tons of photos of the inside of the bag, the floor, the wall, the sky, my hand! Ha! Ha! Ha!

Anyway, We got a couple of beach chairs under a tree and relaxed while watching folks do the zip line, or swim in the ocean.  I took some video too but haven't had time to post them to my YouTube channel yet... sorry. 

The ship had a bar-b-q on the island where we had lunch of burgers, hot dogs and fries.  I love that the ship serves beef hot dogs!  We bought a bottle of water for an arm and leg because we needed to keep hydrated.  A small bottle of water, I think the 500ml, was $3.65 USD.  Highway robbery in my opinion. 

When finally it was time to head to our tour, the guy in security directed us back to the ship like a genius so we had to come back around to get to the dock for our boat tour. I would have flipped if I missed it because there is no refund.

We paid, $54 USD per person for this tour through the Royal Caribbean excursions.  We pre paid our excursions on line a month before the cruise so we wouldn't have to wait in the excursion booking lines on the ship to make reservations.  Let me tell you, the lines were long for those who had to wait in them because there were only two employees taking care of the excursions and who wants to spend vacation time standing in line?

We boarded a catamaran that took us along the coastline where I took some video, and some photos.  We had seats on top in the shaded area but I still got burned even though I used sunscreen with SPF50.  The tour guide showed us a rock formation called mermaids rock.  He said some believe that mermaids come there so people leave food and rum for them to be in their good favour.  

We also passed by a sand bar where another tour was busy partying while some folks swam or snorkeled.  It looked pretty cool to see a shallow beach in the middle of the deep waters. (the above photo)

We passed plenty of local fishermen and a couple of kids in a row boat selling bananas.  I tried to give them five American dollars but we were still moving so I folded it up and tossed it to them.  The kids jumped from their boat into the water and got the cash and gave me the thumbs up to say thank you. 

Our tour continued along the shore while the guide pointed out spots on land and told us the local history of the places.  All in all, it was a beautiful tour and well worth the money.  Drinks were sold on the tour as were handicrafts.  We picked up a handicraft for a souvenir gift. 

When we went back aboard the cruise ship, we went to freshen up, then roamed the ship before dinner.  

After dinner we sat outside on deck four and watched the sun set and the stars emerge before going to grab a tea and heading to our room and calling it a night.

Yet again we went to bed by 22:00 thus missing the live night shows.  That's ok, we got to watch them on television, the cruise records them and airs them on the interactive televisions in the staterooms! ....and the cruise director Casey, was still a flop.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Fun Day At Sea

Freedom Of The Seas, 
Day 2
Fun Day At Sea
Monday, August 15, 2016

Today was a sea day.  We set the alarm on my iPod touch to wake us at 07:45. We woke up and did our daily routine which consisted of saying our prayers, using the toilet, taking a shower, brushing our teeth, husband shaved while I combed my hair, getting dressed and packing our backpack for the day, blah, blah, blah.

Didn't have to make the bed!  Yay!

We went to the Lido Deck for breakfast in the Windjammer Buffet.

Didn't have to cook!  Yay!

We had scrambled eggs, home-fried potatoes, turkey sausage, a pancake, orange juice, water and tea.

Didn't have to wash dishes! Yay!

After breakfast we toured the ship from top to bottom, end to end.  We took pictures and then we went to see a 3D movie in the Arcadia Theatre.  The 3D glasses were a bit uncomfortable for me as I wear prescription glasses but they did fit right over them.  Still, I found they gave me a headache.

The movie was a cartoon called "Home". It was so cute, we laughed a bit too.  We were going to go see an ice show but ten minutes of waiting WE FROZE because we were in shorts and tank tops.  For the ice theatre, we should have worn pants and long sleeve shirts!  Maybe we will will see one on Saturday. 

Yes, there is an ice skating rink inside called "Studio B" and it has free skating but you must wear pants because it's too cold and if you fall you may stick to the ice (I'm laughing at that visual), and socks for the skate rental obviously.

Lunch was in the windjammer buffet where we had a wide variety of food to choose from but we went with hamburgers, fries and mashed potatoes with gravy and a glass of lemonade.  There was plenty of food to make your own green salad, or cold cut sandwich, there was also seafood rice (brown rice with shrimp), pasta, fried chicken, and fish of some sort so the food in the buffet wasn't lacking!  For dessert we had jello but there was also a variety of cakes, mousse, cookies, tarts and ice cream.  Later in the afternoon we tried the soft serve ice milk from the sprinkles vending machine.  It wasn't all that because it was ice milk not ice cream....big difference to me.  It comes out of the machine slow and hard like frozen yogurt so you can't really twirl it nice on your cone. And it's frozen milk not cream so it melts fast and makes the cone soggy real fast.  There is a Ben and Jerry's ice cream shop on deck 5 but it costs extra and I'm just not that desperate for ice cream!  My inner pipes hate ice cream anyway.  Every time I eat it my belly aches and I bloat (fear not because I travelled with Pepto Bismol tablets! )

We missed the belly flop competition at the pool because we were in the theatre but we watched it on the television later.  We didn't miss much because the cruise director had no jokes whatsoever! Sorry Casey but you flopped!

We had dinner at 18:00 in the buffet: mashed potatoes, grilled chicken breast, gravy, steamed rice and lemonade.  I had a tea afterward with dessert of blueberry pound cake and chocolate ice cream that my inner pipes hated.

After dinner we went to the online area and we sat to people watch.  We had a great view from deck eight down to deck five.  It was formal night, which we don't participate in, so we sat back and people watched.  Personally, we go on vacation to be laid back and chill.  Dressing up for dinner is a chore unless it's a family gathering, wedding or holiday, you know what I mean?  We prefer vacations where we can veg out, you know, "lay like broccoli".

It was a nice relaxing day but sort of busy since we rarely were able to catch the elevator and had to walk up and down the stairs all the time but it was good exercise considering how much food I ate and it's only day two! 

We went to our inside cabin on the eighth floor, showered, brushed our teeth, watched some of the Olympics on television then said our evening prayers and went to bed exhausted.

Slept like King Tut in that big comfy bed with soft pillows and the gentle sway of the ship. 

Monday, August 22, 2016

Our Summer Vacation!

So finally husband and I got to take our vacation.  

We had initially purchased this seven day cruise over a year ago.  If memory serves me correct, we put the first deposit on this in May of 2015.  We purchased the flight tickets sometime in November.

Royal Caribbean 7 Night Western Caribbean Cruise.

Freedom Of The Seas 
Day 1
Orlando, Florida
Sunday, August 14, 2016

We started our day by getting up at 03:45 and had a quick breakfast.  Bill, the taxi driver who is also a member of our church, came to pick us up at 05:05 to drive us to the airport. We were so busy chatting him up on the drive that he missed his exit and almost got us lost in a golf course ha! ha!

Ok that's really not funny!  

We eventually made it to the airport and did the self check in using one of those computer things, which was somewhat user friendly, problem is it will still provide a boarding pass ticket even if no seat is selected or even available!  The kiosk prints our boarding pass and luggage tags once you pay the baggage fee then you just need to drop off your luggage and go.

One lady was in line at the baggage drop off with tons of luggage for her family but her husband was still at the kiosk doing the self check in! She was having a difficult time managing the luggage because she was waiting on her husband to help her thus she was holding up the line.  Folks got mad and walked around her.  We gave her the "not cool" look while everyone else just grumbled out loud to her.  We put our luggage through without having to pay over weight fees, that's because we weighed them at home first! Then off to the waiting area for the Air Canada flight.  The two pieces of check luggage cost $25 Canadian each bag.

When we got through to the waiting area of our plane, I was curious to check what seat we had because it wasn't saying a number like usual, just "GTE".  First I thought that meant the emergency exit seat, so I asked the lady at the desk and she said it was no seat and that they oversold the flight by five seats! She then asked would I accept $800 to fly later.

No way! Uh uh! Nope! Not going to happen!

We needed the flight now!

So instead of seats 12E & 12F like we actually purchased, we ended up with seat 43.  

Yup. Seats forty-friggen-three.

The very absolute last two seats at the back of the plane right beside the toilets and all the noisy crying kids.

Any further back and we'd have been on the tail of the plane!

I would say FML, but at least we were on the plane.  Count my blessings!!!

This is the only time we've ever reserved seats and ended up with something else.  Then again, this was the first time we've flown with Air Canada.  Our past flights were with American Airlines and Air France.

Basically, clearing customs and baggage check & pick up were quick and easy, it was the seating arrangements that sucked.  Air Canada you failed miserably.

Anyway, counting our blessings like I said.  

We arrived at Orlando Airport, got our luggage easily and found the Royal Caribbean shuttle that awaited us.  All in all getting off the plane took about ten minutes since we were the last passengers and getting our luggage took like two minutes after we caught the tram train to the baggage area of the airport.  We met up with the representatives from Royal Caribbean who were handling the shuttle service for which we prepaid and fifteen minutes later we boarded a large greyhound type of tour bus (our luggage, except carry on, were stored under the bus in the baggage areas) and we headed to the cruise terminal at Port Canaveral.  

Roughly 45 minutes later we pulled up to the cruise terminal.  The shuttle takes care of handing off the luggage to the porters so we just had to deal with our carry on.

The line in the cruise terminal was long...and I mean long! There were plenty of representatives behind the counters to assist folks so the line may have moved quickly for all I know.   We had priority check in because we checked in online a couple weeks ago so we just needed to set up our on board account with a credit card, have our photo taken for our sea pass cards and that was it. They had a priority line with two people in front of us.  Three minutes, tops, we were on our way onto the ship.... now if we had to wait in that very long line behind what looked like a hundred and fifty people, well, it may have been longer than three minutes.

It was almost 13:30 so we were able to get into our stateroom and drop off our carry on luggage and change into a pair of shorts since we wore jeans on the plane.  We went straight to the 11th floor and the windjammer buffet. Husband and I both ate an apple, some mashed potatoes and a strip of freshly cut roast beef along with some french fries, lemonade and water. 

The muster drill was at 15:45 when the ship was about to depart.  We went to our muster station, stood there for 15 minutes in the heat and humidity, were presented with the emergency info and life jacket procedure then were dismissed.  After that we went up to the Lido deck (deck 11) to watch the ship leave port.

Then we strolled around the ship for a tad longer ....

....and kept going to check our room to see if our bags arrived every so often. Only one did after two hours.

Luckily, we half pack, as in, half of my stuff and half of husbands stuff in one bag, and the other halves in the other bag.  See, if one bag gets lost, we will still both have a change of clothes!  Anyhow, the second bag arrived an hour or so after the first bag.   We unpacked, walked the ship some more then we went out to see the stars. 

The sky was breathtaking!

We went out onto the very top of the ship way out front. It was quite windy and quite dark too since the ship itself only has so many lights out there.

The night sky.......So beautiful.  So many stars, bright moon and a few puffy clouds with one giving off lightning like natural fireworks!  So very beautiful.

We went to bed after that, exhausted.  By then I think it was 21:30.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Self Promotion

  So recently, I've been working pretty hard on items to add to my shop.  I've cut out lots of plastic shapes and stitched on a few pieces of felt and some cross stitch as well.  I'm hoping to load all the finished items onto the shop within the next two or three weeks even though I will soon be going on vacation and having to close down my shop for a bit, at least I'll have the items loaded.

I've been getting some pretty nice sales considering I've only got a handful of items up there.  The good thing is, all my prices are listed in Canadian dollars so with the American exchange rate, any American buyer is getting a great deal!  I just enjoy stitching so I don't pad the price too much with "time it too to make", I just really need to charge for the supplies used.  Shipping costs are actual costs I get from Canada Post and since items are small, they fit into a padded envelope shipped via lettermail so no customs documents are necessary thus no extra customs costs will be incurred.   

Buy Canadian made items!!!!  CraftilySewn on Etsy Hand made in Canada!!!   

Ya, that's just me plugging my shop. 

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Girly Romance

Have you ever watched a movie and fallen completely and utterly in love with it that you watched it over and over and over again?  That's something that happens to me quite often.  A couple weeks ago I watched You've Got Mail, you know, the Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan film.  I love that film.  I own the DVD but this time I recorded it on the DVR from one of the old movie channels and watched it late one Sunday night.  

I watched it about six more times in the following two weeks!

The funny thing about that movie is it's pretty dated because who really has a dial up internet connection these days!  But the movie overall is very sweet and entertaining and it had a few good chuckles in there too.  I enjoyed it.  It was one of those "feel good" movies that I always enjoy watching.

Last week I recorded The Lakehouse, that movie with Sandra Bulluck and Keanu Reeves.  I also own the DVD of that film but I believe I had only watched it a time or two.  Well, it was on one of those old movie channels the other week and I recorded it and watched it late one Sunday night.  

I have since watched this film five more times!  

I love it.  Oh I'm in a dream now just thinking about it.  The on screen chemistry between the two lead actors is amazing, similar to that of the two in You've Got Mail.  

I enjoy watching girly romance films, but only if the two lead actors have that connection.   I've read many reviews about the Fifty Shades of Grey movie, how the two lead actors just don't click realistically on screen.  I haven't watched that film, most likely because I read the book and there is absolutely no way that book can be turned into a movie without it being a triple x  film.  Seriously.  But anyway, a nice sweet fantasy romance to watch on a late rainy evening would be The Lakehouse.

Saturday, July 30, 2016


I've noticed lately that others on pinterest are experiencing the same dilemma as me.  The annoying pinner who would rather re pin your whole board rather than just follow your board if its obvious to them that they like what they see.

Now here's the thing.  When I surf pinterest, I pin multiple pins and even like some of them too.  If I find I pinned more than say, six pins from the same board, I stop, check out the rest of the board, then just follow it.  I've got my boards set up with my personal interests.  I like crafts, some more than others, and it shows on my boards.  I like photography, so I have some boards set up with the types of photography I like.  I love to bake and I'm still learning how to cook, so those boards reflect that as well.  But I'm not making boards just to get followers as it's obvious some folks are!  That is most annoying.  I really dislike when I see my news feed say so-and-so pinned 400+ pins from that other person.  

Wait, what?  400+ pins?  She basically hijacked the other persons board!  Chances are sure she liked the pins but why not just follow the board?  Maybe I'm just too picky but it irks me when someone does that.  This week, I had someone pin 45+ pins from one of my boards.  Sure they're there for the taking but be courteous, don't hijack the whole board.  If you like it then LIKE the image too don't just re pin it.  I'm not worried about who follows and who doesn't but seriously, some of us put lots of work into maintain our boards for our own personal interest and we are more than willing to go ahead and follow another board so it would be really nice of everyone did that too.  

Just my two cents while I climb down off the soap box.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Dear Gran;

I've been feeling somewhat emotional lately.  I can blame it on menopausal hoeomones or I can fess up and say I wish my Granny was still here so I can write her a letter.  I used to joke that my Granny was my therapist!  She would get a big laugh out of all the "issues" I had, that were really non-issues!

If I could write her now, I'd tell her about my craft shop.  I'd tell her I finally know how she felt about her shop when she'd tell me about things she made and was planning to sell.  I'd tell her about my nephews and nieces, and their accomplishments, because I'm a super proud Auntie. I'd also tell her about my dieting ups and downs so we could laugh together.

So lately I'm in a funk and I've been munching a ton of apple turnovers in return.  

Today, I miss my Gran. 

Monday, July 4, 2016

Getting My Groove Back

Yes, this is how Susan is getting her groove back.  I am serious about dropping some pounds before going on vacation.  Up to now, I've been real sluggish but then I decided to sort of join the 28 day challenge with the fit girls guide.

I downloaded the free fitgirl app and it counts down the days and gives you a small focused workout.  If you also buy the books, that I believe include recipes and menus, you'll probably make better progress.  I'm cheap and stingy and poor like that so I'm only using the free app.  I've also decided to do the no junkfood July which will ween me off the box of Mike and Ike's I've had every work day for the past three weeks,  and the ice cream sandwich, and the apple turnovers too.  

Ya, I've been greedy.

So, I'm combining the fitgirl workouts with the no junkfood July along with portion control and better choices to make it a real deal.  I've also been listening to a podcast by a food coach and it's working! I'll blog about the podcast next time but I've been listening to that for two weeks prior to beginning the fitgirl.  Ok sure I still over snacked but it did encourage me to take a closer look at my habits which is why I seriously decided on the no junk July.  I need to get that added sugar out.

O. U. T 

So I won't be posting before and after pictures unless I'm really successful at doing it my way.

Queue music by Frank Sinatra....

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Thinking Of Vacation

I'm beginning to get excited knowing our vacation time is soon coming up.  Still a couple months off but just the thought of it has me breathing a sigh of relief.  

We're pretty glad we went to England last year especially with the political situation as it is recently.  We did enjoy London quite a bit but we just didn't pack well for it even though we searched the internet to find out how to pack.  Basically, we packed for summer, because it was late summer, however, the temperature felt more like early spring.  Still, we had some great days when we went out and about.  Loved it!   Now, this year, it's all R&R

Friday, July 1, 2016

July 1, 2016

Happy Canada Day!  It's a rainy day here in Montreal. Enjoy the long weekend. Be safe, don't drink and drive!

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Birdhouse Ornaments

I love when I go on Pinterest and see my handiwork pinned and shared hundreds of times!  

Most of all, the birdhouse ornaments I made for my family in 2011, yup that photo right there is mine!! (see post here).  I've begun making some more of these to sell in my etsy shop but they are slightly different from what I made for my family.  The bird is a bit larger, the hanging thread is different and the flower placement is different as well.  I also stitched all three types of houses whereas for my family, I used only one of the patterns stitched twenty times!!!    I just love to stitch, and making new things, and some old ones too is great mind therapy!  

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

The Hashtag Situation

I love my friends!  I love that I have those friends who keep me up to speed on things that I'm lagging behind on.  Ok, so I have this online friend (never met in real life) and we chit chat from time to time about crafts and blogs and celebrity gossip.  As usual, I grumbled about how some aspects of my blog are driving me nuts and turning me off from blogging.  She gave me tons of upgrades that I need to do to get things the way I want them.  So here I am, trying to update the hashtags on my posts.  Not all of them, but just the relevant ones ... 



Like anything on this blog is really relevant!  It's like an online diary open to the public.  

According to my friend, once I get the hashtag situation sorted out, she'll let me know what to do next!  ha!  That woman cracks me up!!!

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Strike One

As much as I want to complain, I won't because I get it.  

I just read that Canada Post is gearing up for a possible postal strike on July 2.  I read some news articles and it comes down to the workers not having a contract since 2015.  I'm not taking sides here because I don't know the issues, I don't work for Canada Post, all I know is I just put my etsy shop on vacation mode because I don't want any shipments to get caught up in that.  Hey it's no big deal for me because my shop is still relatively new, I barely have any sales to begin with and it will give me a chance to complete more unfinished objects that were lying around waiting for attention.  

Just glad I got that tidbit of information though because I hadn't noticed it on the news.  I wouldn't want to order something on line and then give negative feedback for non delivery, or have someone order from me and give me negative feedback for non delivery!  yikes!

Anywho, that's the biz.

Friday, June 24, 2016


I've been spending a bit of time finishing up some of my U.F.Os, otherwise known as Un Finished Objects.  Been uploading them to my shop too.  I'm beginning to like having an etsy shop now since it allows me to stitch more and the money I make from sales buys me more yarn.

Feel free to take a peek.  Prices are very reasonable, as is shipping costs (provided by Canada Post). 

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

60 Things Gotta Go

Ya it's been a bit since I've blogged.  My mind is so cluttered lately and the hot flashes have me in flames.  So... I need to start somewhere with getting myself in line.  

I need to lose weight but I've plateaued and got cranky.
I need to put more effort into my etsy shop but I've got too many ideas in my head so I'm confused.
I need to down size some stuff in our home but I just don't know where to start.
And I still have to shop for our upcoming vacation.

Sigh.  Life is so hard.  Ok it's not hard, I'm just being the drama llama right now and it has nothing to do with horomonal whatnots either.

I found this list while surfing Pinterest and it is where I'm going to make a start.  I'll take care to Complete this by the weekend and give you an update.  I know it says do it in sixty days but I need it done like now ok.  Meanwhile I need to compose more blogs to auto post because I'm hot flashing again.  Whew! 

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Go On, Listen To A Book!!

It looks like Audible and Goodreads have finally jumped on board in a combined effort to get folks into books and ahead in the reading challenges. .... I've only been saying this for a while too I might add (but I don't take credit for inventing this though, that'd be silly). Ha!

I checked my email and seen this pop in... Can't help but think they read my blog post!  I'm so delusional sometimes.  

I do agree though that no matter what ordinary day to day thing you got going on, an audio book is a great choice instead of those radio stations that play "today's music hits" over and over and over and over.... or if there aren't any interesting topics on the talk radio stations.  So thanks Audible and Goodreads for not mentioning that you got this idea from reading my blog for getting the word out!!  :-)

Friday, May 20, 2016

The Twitchy Eye

Seems lately I get the "twitchy eye" when things don't go according to my mental plan.  Then again, I should know better because nothing ever goes according to my mental plan anyway!  

I had this super great idea for this blog then it went all bonkers and now I find I'm blogging less and less and pinteresting more and more... is "pinteresting" a word?  If not, I take full credit for inventing it.

Ok so it's a long weekend here in my neck of the woods and lets hope my weekend plan works out well.  If it does then I can stop the twitchy eye.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Listen To A Book

I fell in love with audio books.  There, I said it. 

If you've never tried an audio book, give Audible a try and download a free book!   

I wouldn't say that I've always loved to read.  I checked out books from the library while at school and read most of what I borrowed.  I borrowed books from friends that they insisted were worth reading and I've purchased the occasional book mostly based on the cover.  For a while there, I just stopped reading novels and filled my mind with "stories" from The National Enquirer, and other magazines but nothing of real substance.  I can't say what nudged me back into reading but I do recall standing in the pharmacy in front of the shelf consisting of magazines and paperback books and skimming over the covers and titles of the books instead of the magazines.  I also recall my selection was a romance paperback book... a historical romance and that did me in.  From then on I read countless historical romance novels and enjoyed pretty much all of them.  

With the invention of audio books in mp3 format rather than on a bazillion cassettes, I found I read even more than I did when I was saving money by buying second hand paperback books from the used book store in the hospital. Ok technically it's not "reading" but listening, but either way, I'm getting the story.  I found that eventually, I just downloaded books to have something interesting to listen to while I was at work.  One romance book after another in audio book form.  

The best thing about audio books is it's a great way to read books you otherwise wouldn't really give a second glance.  I read the Millennium trilogy (Girl with the Dragon Tattoo....etc) via audio book and loved it!  Had I read the ebook or printed copy I doubt I would have gotten past the first chapter.  Not to say the first chapter was boring, but it has to set the scene like all books do and it's usually ..... dry.  Ha!  And also, getting into a reading challenge that encouraged me to read outside of my favorite genre... well... I have a greater love for audio books now!!!   Last weekend, while I was busy stitching an order for my shop, I listened to an audio book : Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn (ya, I don't always pick winners but it had potential).  I even listen to them when I'm out for a walk.  Or should I say, when I'm walking round in circles at the track in the park because you know me, likely to fall off the sidewalk and bust a hip joint.

I'm falling deeper and deeper in love with audio books!   Got a book suggestion for me? 

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Smells Like Boiled Eggs

I seem to always have an interesting experience when riding public transportation.  

This morning, the bus I decided to take smelled like boiled eggs.  I won't say rotten eggs but certainly hard boiled eggs.

There was a lady on the bus having her breakfast which appeared to be an egg sandwich... that she started eating before I got on the bus... and was still eating when I got off the bus thirty minutes later!  

I'm all for eating breakfast and healthy breakfast too but everyone on the bus had windows open because nobody wanted to arrive at work smelling like a hard boiled egg.

And there you have it!

Friday, May 6, 2016

Bless You!

I spent the past two weeks stitching up a storm!  Usually, I'm not fond of stitching the same thing twice, let alone dozens of times but if there's a colour change, then I somehow convince myself that it's not the same....though technically it isn't but you know what I mean.

I'd fallen in love with the purse storage pocket tissue pack covers.  They really don't hold a full pocket pack of tissues, more like a few at a time but it's nice to have this little packet stashed in your purse or backpack or overnight bag with a couple tissues inside.  I just fold up regular tissues in mine. 

The photo above was the only opportunity I had to photograph them... As I was boxing them up for delivery because I stitched right down to the last possible minute even forgoing sleep to get then out in time.  At the time I took that photo, I'd been awake for just over thirty six hours!  Ouch!  Unfortunately, the dark hot pink colour didn't make it into the photo!  Ugh! I really like to photograph everything I stitch.  I sell these in my etsy shop (the blue one at the moment, but other colours can be requested).

I'm truly surprised that I'm not looking to break from stitching right now,  usually, once I'm done stitching a big lot, like let's say, the Christmas family ornament, I can't bring myself to stitch anything else for at least three months!  But this time around I can't wait to get started on a new pattern.  

Items sold in my shop don't include labour time because I just like to stitch, especially when I find a cute pattern!  I'm hoping to load the shop up with lots more items in the coming weeks because I've got about a dozen patterns I'm itching to see completed!