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Day Five of My Longest Vacation Ever

I amended the title because I realized that, even though no one said so, many, many people have done longer vacations but I have not.  Do you even call it a vacation when you are retired??  Sure!!!  In order to take a vaca you have to earn it yearly…Well, folks, I have!!! Being in the “middle” of the sandwich generation, I have indeed EARNED it.  No offense to anyone in my life, but, seriously?? Admit it, I have earned it!!!

The first sailing day of the cruise consists of: sleep late, have a big breakfast (after all, it is going to be a stressful day), go to the Meet & Greet which you setup and the cruise line messed up by changing the venue and not notifying you until you boarded the ship..crap!!  Talking to a room full of passengers AND crew and trying to get SOMEONE, anyone but me, to make a decision about the “end of the world party”.  It is so strange to take the microphone and say to all the cruise critic people, I am spalady, but you may call me Kerry” and have everyone clap!!  Big mouth captures the audience!!!  No, I am kidding…I couldn’t capture anything, they just know me as one of the people who has an opinion on everything!!  Right, Julie???

So, next is lunch, then a nap, then dinner, then bed!!  Except for excursions, this will be the activity list for the next 3 weeks…boring for you, but exhausting for me!!!

Day Four of….

Norwegian Sun

Norwegian Sun

Our room...cabin 8059

Our room…cabin 8059

Today we sail on NCL Sun!

Set alarm for 8am but we were up at 7:30. Repacked our big suitcases and then met Kristy and Ron for breakfast. We all had the buffet. I booked a van to take us to the port and a bellman to pick up our luggage.

When we went to get in the van it was already full!! So we went with a feisty taxi van driver from Haiti. It only cost $12.00. And we arrived in one piece! That’s always a good thing !

The terminal was a zoo! With the walker we were waved up a ramp to the head of the line. Then it was a bottleneck because security was blocked. About 15 minutes later it was opened and we were whisked to the VIP checkin. I was allowed to have Kristy and Ron sign in with me. In a few minutes we were on the ship. As we entered the atrium Carol was waiting for us. We all headed to Four Seasons for lunch. Lunch was great, as usual, especially the warm bread pudding for dessert!

Our cabin is balcony 8059 port side, aft. It was ready and very nice. I believe it is smaller than our inside one will be but it is nice to have a balcony. We unpacked our carryons and sat on the balcony until our luggage came. After we unpacked it was time for the lifeboat drill. That was easy!

Hanging out was the activity of the rest of the day after I went and signed up for 100 minutes of Internet for $55.00.

Dinner was at 6:00 in the Garden Cafe with Kristy, Ron and Carol. Carol was dragging after her red-eye flight from CA. We had to set our clocks ahead at bedtime so Pat and I went under the covers at 8:45, now 9;45!

It was a tiring day that went by way too quickly.

Day Three of …….

We did not sleep as late today!!! We were up at 7:45 and showering.
Went down to Cafe Verde for breakfast buffet at about 8:30. We sat over tea for a long time then sampled a little of this and a little of that. Shortly after 9:30 Kristy and Ron called from their room and came down to meet us for breakfast. I knew they would be just the way they are…real people. They are fun and so easy to talk to!

Breakfast was, as usual, YUMMY!

Ron and Kristy left to sleep off their jet lag and Pat and I went to the lobby to scope out chairs to people watch. Wellllll, there were way too many people!! There was a wedding and two graduations…the lobby was packed! Pat decided to walk to the CVS and I decided to go to the room for a while. Around 1pm the lobby was still packed but we found two easy chairs together.
Pat read and I blogged. There were a lot of interesting people to watch. Next we went out to the pool…the a/c was a little too much for me in the lobby…my toes were cold!

Went to bar for a fruity drink…Ron and Kristy joined us at about 5:30…we moved to the dining room. Really nice light dinner…off to bed…we sail tomorrow!

Pool at Hyatt Regency Miami

Pool at Hyatt Regency Miami

Our private cabana

Our private cabana

Day Two of the Longest Vacation Ever

Lobby of Hyatt Regency, Miami

Our room on the 21st floo

Our room on the 21st floor

This hotel is beautiful! We were so tired last night when we checked in we really didn’t notice much…until we saw our room! We are on the 21st floor (gulp). We opened the door to a gorgeous, palatial, soft, comfy, better than home, room. I know, that sounds gushy but, seriously, it is worth all those words. And the sheets!!! Sooooo smooth and soft!

I was a little leery when I booked through hotels.com because it was a “deal”: buy 2 nights get 3rd night free. When researching reviews, I found many that were just so so. But it is near the port and is downtown so if we want to do anything we are in the right area. This is us, doing something!!

Doing something in Miami - December 14, 2012

Doing something in Miami – December 14, 2012

After “doing something” we had dinner in Cafe Verde in the hotel. Tonight was Italian buffet night. After sampling the antipasto, I had spaghetti and meatballs and Pat had cheese tortellini in Alfredo sauce.

Since we had such a busy day doing something, we decided to retire early!!

Day 1 of Longest Vacation Ever

JetBlue BDL to FLL

JetBlue BDL to FLL

Here we are at 38,638 feet after a normal and uneventful takeoff. I always find takeoff to be the hardest part of flying. I know most people would disagree with me and say landing is harder but, sorry, for me, it is takeoff.

Today Pat and I are flying from Bradley International airport in Hartford, CT to Ft. Lauderdale on JetBlue flight #939…leaving 12:44pm arriving at FLL at 3:55pm. Seats 8D Me…8C Pat.

At 9:15am Pat picked me up at my house in Old Saybrook and drove back to her house in Chester (to minimize car switching). Her sister, Nancy, picked up us at 9:40am and drove us to the airport. She dropped us at Terminal A at 10:40 with hugs and kisses. We entered the terminal with boarding passes in hand to find no line for checkin luggage. The bad news is our flight is delayed by one hour. First bummer!! (Turned out to be 1hour and 25 minutes). It took all of 5 minutes to be on our way to security. There was no one there!! We were two of a total of four going through. My carryon went right through! No questions, no inspections. My walker had to go through X-ray separately…yay, they did it for me! The TSA people were very nice and efficient!!

Next stop is always McDonalds (official family treat at airport). McDonalds at Bradley is CLOSED for repairs!! Second bummer!

I travel with a 4 wheeled walker due to knees that need, but have not been replaced. When arriving at our gate, I went up to the desk for a tag for my walker so that it could be put in cargo at the end of the jetway. They are always a pretty pink!

Next, while we wait for our delayed plane, we must eat and drink! What to have, what to have!?? How about sweet potato fries with chili and cheese? Yummy…and how about a glass of Reisling…double Yum! Okay, there go the fat grams for today!!

Boarding for us was easy…right after wheelchairs!! We are in row 8…love the front of the plane…male flight attendant saw me struggling with my carryon and took it for me and put it in the overhead bin.

Boarding took place quickly with the help of the flight attendant who kept saying “let’s get out of here quickly!” Yay, her! We actually took off at 2:20pm.

Hours one and two, not too bad. Hour three…I’m getting twitchy.
I had a diet Coke…hate Coke but at least they give you a full can…2 bags of mixed nuts(there went the fat grams for tomorrow!!). Listened to the Kardashian novel (a little tedious, but interesting enough to finish later), visited restroom, now watching JetBlue TV. Hurry, please, I am getting more twitchy and my anxiety pills are in the overhead bin!!!

I just hope we don’t have a slow descent…they really hurt my ears. I like a cowboy pilot who goes in fast.

Pre-Cruise Jitters

November 28, 2012

There’s a time between the chaos and the serenity that is just, well… boring!

This is that time.

Snow was predicted for today but it’s just raining and it’s cold.

Thanksgiving is over, some blogs are written, the bills are programmed to be paid, Mom’s schedule is semi set, and I have completed 99% of my packing.

There is little to do but sit and wait.

Boy, I hope that doesn’t jinx it!

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Successful Day Ends Painfully and Wide Awake

I have had “start packing today” pencilled in on my calendar for two weeks. As soon as I woke up this morning I started. In order to accomplish this I had to first pull out a bunch of messy clutter from the floor of my closet. I picked up a bunch of papers from the floor that I had placed there to get them out of the way for the cleaning lady. I forgot that my netbook was among the papers. As I picked it up the slippery little bast**d it fell out and landed, edgewise, on my big right toe. OOOWWW!!! That will leave a mark.

I was determined to “carry on!!” So I hobbled back to the closet and managed to pull out all my summer/cruise clothes and fold them neatly in piles on the love seat in my bedroom. Then I continued to organize the closet by gathering all my now-too-large sweatshirts and pants for donation. Four trips to the car made a nice load for the collection bin at the high school. Back home I started a laundry of whites and continued to sort various small things for packing.

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I had decided to pack fairly light for this 21 night cruise with 7 more nights in Florida pre and post cruise because one of the perks of having sailed with NCL to the Platinum status, you now receive free laundry. On a long cruise this is worth about $100. So now that I have most everything laid out, I find that my 30″, easy to identify, pink suitcase will be much too large for this trip. Meaning I will have to buy a new suitcase about 26 or 28″.

Okay, so I will get a cheap one. No sense investing in a good one…the airlines beat them silly! Tomorrow I will see what Walmart has to offer.

So after a successful day and feeling really accomplished, I head for bed around 10pm, read for a while and fall asleep easily. Alas, it is not to last!! While turning over in my sleep I twist my bad knee and am wide and painfully awake. OOOOWWW…AND…now my big toe is throbbing!!! Hells bells, I might as well get up!! And do what, I ask myself? Well, Dummy, isn’t this exactly the reason you started a blog in the first place, DUH!!