Friday, March 27, 2009

HAPPY BIRTHDAY.............. two of our favorite nephews.................


and Matthew..................Happy Birthday, Guys.

The Fountain Dance

The Cruise Director and his staff put on this production the last night at the Crew Talent Show. I guess all the NCL staff do the same skit on all the ships, but it WAS great.

This film from YouTube is NOT our sailing, but it is our cruise director and his staff.
They were perfect at their jobs all week.

We're Back...........

We've been back for almost a week now and I feel like I'm finally getting back into the swing of things.

Seven days on a cruise ship is a very long time. It generates lots of memories, photographs (even when you've lost some of them), definitely generated a few extra pounds and has certainly generated a ton of laundry. It's sad to come back though. Even though we had plenty of time on a ship, it is hard to come back from that "vacation" mindset.

The NCL Dawn was a beautiful ship with all the spectacular amenities you could think of. There are bigger ships out there, but the Dawn is beautiful. We had the luxury of being with Jessica who showed us around wherever we wanted to go, so we didn't spend three days trying to find out way around. We got lots of extra perks and privleges and VIP status wherever we went. We didn't have to wait in line to do much of anything. We got to leave the ship first for all ports AND we got to leave whenever we wanted once we were back in Miami. Lude's brother Nick sent us a fabulous bottle of wine and a fruit tray which we enjoyed the entire week in our cabin and at dinner. The food was'll have to ask me about the food.

But the shows.....were great. I have to admit that the main stage shows on the Dawn were better than any shows we've seen on Carnival. All the NCL stage show productions are through Jean Ann Ryan Productions and are top notch. I can't say that the theme of them is any different than what we saw on Carnival....all flash and glitz, but the production and talent is top notch. In comparison, the shows on Carnival were much like watching something from a High School production.

Second City was the best - OF COURSE. What did you think I'd say. In reply to our "Gee, Jess, you were great", her reply was "finally, you get to see me do something I love". And, it's obvious.

We saw some beautiful mountainside scenery, a bar where you exchange your panties for a drink, a rum factory, lounged on a couple beaches, bought some Larimar jewelry in Samana, saw beautiful sunsets and drank very fruity concoctions (all at half price......schwinnnng!)

And, rounding out my "bucket list": Jess and I parasailed. What a thrill. I can't say it was THE highlight of the trip, but it was UP there, if you know what I mean!

We love cruising and absolutely can't wait to go again......L's already looking....anyone want to go?

April's a busy month for us. Next week, I am driving to Normal, IL to visit with kClare for a long weekend and see a couple of ISU shows. I can't wait. We'll do some sort of "bunny/egg" rituals because she can't be home for Easter! Neither of the kids will be home. Anyone want guests for Easter dinner???
Then at the end of the month Dad and I take our annual pilgrimage to the south. Little Rock is some beautiful country and I enjoy going. And, I love helping with the Little Rock Feis and spending time with my brother PJ and sister-in-law, Judy.
But for a couple of pictures from the trip.........
Getting ready to watch the Crew Show on the final night.......
The Cast and Production Crew of The Second City onboard the Dawn..........

Jessica and Nick do a little Improv on Friday Night.......unbeweavable.........

Jess and I at Great Stirrup Cay Beach in the Bahamas

Jess and I parasailling in the Bahamas...........

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St Patrick's Day........ all our family and friends. Hope you're having a very fun one because you know without a doubt that WE are. Wish you were here because we're not so much wishing we were there this time!

When Irish eyes are smilin'
And Irish smiles are big,
When Irish hearts are hopeful
And the piper plays a jig.

When Irish stew is bubblin'
And the soda bread is hot,
And Irish tea is steepin'
In a little Irish pot...

When the room is warm with laughter
And the songs are bright and bold,
And there's poetry and magic
In the stories that are told...

Isn't it a blessing
Isn't it just grand
To know a little part of you
Belongs in Ireland?

Happy St. Patrick's Day to you all.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Our Baby Has a Cold............

......all her friends had one, so she couldn't resist.

Next week she'll be home for spring break and I think she's ready for it.

Life in the drama department is always dramatic...."never a dull moment" as they say.

One of these years, school is going to send us home someone who's not sick!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Bloomin' Delights..............

Where were these blooms at Christmas time? I ask you?

Jess is a Little Out of Her Element...........

The Dawn was privately booked by a company that runs a "folk" festival cruise (I'm not sure if it's annual) and it's loaded with fabulous folkish/western singers and of course, their devoted groupies I suppose.

The big head liner is Lyle Lovett and some of the other singers are The Indigo Girls, Patty Griffin, Shawn Colvin, Aslyn, Bonepony, Mindy Smith and lots others that I don't even know myself.

Definitely not tunes that jtotheJoy will be loading on her iPod anytime soon, but fun just the same. Normally, when these tours happen, Second City releases the cast to fly home if they wish, but the tour requested that Second City perform, so she's happy.

She caught this picture of Lyle Lovett......

Monday, March 2, 2009


Did March come in like a "lamb" or a "lion"?

I wasn't paying attention.

We've just come off that dreaded "okay, it's the last week of February, which is the shortest month of the year, but feels like the longest, and we're all tired of winter and ready for March to be here" week. I see it at work too, the people that come to the library begin the complaints about having had enough of winter around the 20th of February. March brings the promise of nicer weather, vacation for some, St Patrick's Day (for those that imbibe) and sometimes Easter. But it's the sunshine that appears more and more each day that is refreshing.

So, let's get on with it...............spring that is.