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Health and Wellness, Music, Photography, Travel/Adventure

Caribbean Cruise: Day 3

March 23, 2020

At Sea – Mon. 1/27

There were so many fun things to do, every hour of the day, while we were at sea, but we weren’t inclined to do any of them.

Although, if I go on a cruise again (and I probably will), I will be inclined to do a few more things than I did this time. Since it was my first cruise, I was more like an observor, just getting a feel for the whole experience.

This morning, “Eager Me”was going to get up early and go play basketball but “Bad Me” decided to sleep in.

I slept in until about 8 a.m.

I went out to the balcony to check the weather (which became a morning ritual for me). This is what I saw.

The sea was so calm and the clouds were just hanging there, like a “Real-life Painting”.

The beauty of the clouds and sea reminded me of this beautiful song by Lizz that she wrote together with Maia Sharp. The song is on Lizz’s CD titled, “Freedom and Surrender”.

Click on “Real-life Painting” (above) to hear the song and then click on “Freedom and Surrender” to get a glimpse into the beauty of Lizz’s soul and the depth of her character.

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Health and Wellness, Music, Photography, Travel/Adventure

Caribbean Cruise: Day 2

March 23, 2020

Nassau, Bahamas – Sun. 1/26

We slept well and woke up a few hours before arriving at Nassau. We had breakfast and just looked around our floating hotel.

As we arrived at the Bahamas, you could see the resort Atlantis on Paradise Island, in the distance.

The pilot headed for the space between the two other cruise ships which had already arrived (above photo, on the right) at the cruise port.

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Health and Wellness, Music, Photography, Travel/Adventure

Caribbean Cruise: Day 1

March 23, 2020

Embarking from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida – Sat. 1/25

We arrived in Ft. Lauderdale, in the afternoon on Saturday, to board the cruise ship. It was scheduled to depart at 11 p.m. that evening. That gave the passengers all day to get there and get on board without any long lines or waiting.

We would arrive in the Bahamas about noon the next day.

Before we headed out, we had a practice drill, to teach us what we’d do in the event of having to abandon ship.

We had to gather at our Muster Station “B” (just below our balcony where the tender boats were hanging on the side of the ship) and receive further instructions about boarding the tender boats to safety. The drill lasted for about 30 minutes.

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Health and Wellness, Music, Photography, Travel/Adventure

“Here’s To You, Uncle!”

March 22, 2020

I asked Uncle Walt, “Do you just really like Jimmy Buffet or is that a parrot on your head?”

(This picture was recently taken in Ocho Rios, Jamaica, while he and I were on a Caribbean Cruise)

The parrot kept repeating, “Polly want a selfie!”

My Traveling Uncle

Last year, in November, I called my Uncle Walt to tell him, “Happy Birthday!”. He turned 82 years old and he’s still going strong.

He’s my traveling uncle. He’s always had wanderlust. He’s been to over 70 countries during his lifetime. He was in the Navy for a few years and he said he loved being at sea.

After that he worked for the government, as a “silly-vilian”. Well, that’s what I called him. I was in the military at the time. (And he is kinda silly sometimes 😁) . But he is very funny most of the time and has many interesting experiences to share.

He’d look for job openings which required travel. He wasn’t too finicky about what job he did, as long as he could travel.

He’s an avid reader. He’s knowledgeable about geography and history and he keeps current with the news and political scene.

He still travels and he still drives a car. He helps his 92-year old sister (My Aunt Helen) go get groceries.

He knows about a million songs and their lyrics and he sings all the time.

He has countless stories to tell about the travels and experiences he’s had during his lifetime. And he rarely tells the same story twice.

He speaks some Spanish. He spends quite a bit of time in Panama.

Even though single and fancy free to roam the world, he’s always cared about the family. He’s always stayed in touch with everyone, including all his nieces and nephews. He never married but said he almost did once, to a German girl, named Heidi (But that’s another story!).

Our paths (his and mine) have crossed often, throughout the years, in many different places, and we’ve shared a lot of good experiences together. And he’s been a good influence in my life in many ways.

So while I was on the phone talking with him, we talked about traveling and I casually mentioned to him that I’d like to go to the Caribbean for my next trip. I didn’t have a plan to go anytime soon, but thought I’d like to see that area of the world next.

So about a month later, early in January, Uncle Walt called me and said he had found a good deal on a 10-day cruise to the Western side of the Caribbean and asked if that’s something I’d like to do.

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Health and Wellness, Music

Rainy Days and Sundays (Always Get Me Up)

January 19, 2020

I’m alluding to a song that was popular in the 70’s, by the Carpenters, called “Rainy Days and Mondays”. The song says “…rainy days and Mondays always get me down.”

But I don’t feel that way about rainy days or Mondays.

Water is a life-giving force and water, falling or streaming, is music to my ears, nurturing my soul and soothing my senses.

I’m from the Midwest. We had frequent thunderstorms. So I grew up with an appreciation and eagerness for thunder and lightning (as long as I wasn’t outside, in it!)

But we seldom have thunderstorms here in Seattle. So, when one occurs, it’s cause for celebration among my kids and I. We call each other and exclaim “Hey, did you hear that?”

So imagine my elation when, one day, while I was shopping at Trader Joe’s, standing by the zucchini, I suddenly heard the faint sound of thunder and lightening…………..

……………just before the mist sprayed down lightly over all the vegetables I was standing next to!! 😂

Smiling ear to ear, I looked around to see if anyone else shared my simple fascination, joy, and surprise at the creativity involved in the making of that “thunderstorm”.

But everyone else was just going about their business. It seemed I was the only one who noticed it.

(Oh, well, maybe some day I’ll grow up. 🤨)

But, I say, two thumbs up 👍🏻👍🏻 for the ‘creative’ who came up with the idea!

So last Sunday was a rainy day. Sunday is my only day off. So it’s a day of rest. A day just to chill. A day to do laundry. A day to connect with family and/or friends. And it was a day to turn on “Lizzles!” (a playlist I made of all Lizz Wright‘s songs) and let Lizz’s music intermingle melodically all day long with the rhythmic rainfall gently touching down on the skylight above my desk (my creation station), while I sat there and dreamed wide awake as I began this post and thought about ideas for future posts. Also it was a kind of day that called for soup or a hearty stew, as they say.

Recently I bought an Instant Pot…..

….and an Instant Pot Cookbook….

……by Urvashi Pitre.

Her cookbook offers various dishes from all over the world, three of which were recipes for three delicious Korean dishes my boys and I learned to love during the years we lived in South Korea.

One of the recipes was for Kimchi JJi Gae (Kimchi Stew). I wanted to try it first.

It turned out really well. It was a great recipe true to the authentic flavor I have grown to know so well.

As the day went on, it got colder and the rain turned to snow.

By evening, 7-8 inches of snow had fallen. But I didn’t mind.

🎶 Snowy days and Sundays always get me up too 🎶.