What an Adventure…On the Seas! :)

We have had an amazing holiday and it was much needed.  Tomorrow we make the trek back stateside.  Fingers crossed it will be a better flight than the last!  And I have loads of posts to do based on our trip and today I start with our home on the seas.

Our ship was the Adventure of the Seas:

Cruise 5 2013

We were very excited as we approached the ship.  It’s amazing how large they are.  This ship is due for a refit next year so it was a bit tired but very clean and the crew for the most part were extremely friendly and helpful.  Given they have about 1000 people working there you won’t get sunshine from everyone but I’d say the vast majority really tried hard.  And it shows.  While we had issues here and there we felt like they wanted to make things right.  Unlike the couple at the table next to use.  By the end of the cruise they were known as the complaining couple by guests and crew alike!  I’m not sure why they took the cruise but by the end of it they had changed the toilet seat, requested a completely new bed, complained about the food so much they worked themselves up to a dinner with the captain.  They even tried to change their waiters but the rest of the table put their foot down.  It was very strange!

Cruise 1 2013

The captain was hilarious.  In fact after one of his talks a guest asked if he had ever considered a job as a stand up comedian.  He said no but he should because eventually they will figure out he doesn’t know how to drive this thing.  🙂  But actually he and his team were quite good.  When we docked in Cartegena it was pea soup thick fog.  The port had closed but the captain went over the plan with the harbour pilot and the ship was allowed to dock.  And this port is very small.

Cruise 2 2013

I think the best bit about the cruise was the people watching.  They had a welcome back party for members.  Basically if you’ve done a cruise you’re in.  But to get to the highest level you need to have 700 points, which is 700 nights!  There were a few at that level.  Including two gentleman who got on at Malaga.  They came on for eight months.  I just can’t imagine the laundry bill and they had some wild outfits, including turbans, top hats, and car shaped purses.  Some people didn’t know what to think but I thought it was fabulous.  If you can’t have fun, what’s the point?

Cruise 3 2013

What we discovered is that elderly people have turned to cruising as a form of assisted living.  We were taken aback at the amount of mobility scooters and wondered if this was a trend and apparently it’s a lot cheaper to cruise round than go into various homes.  As a consequence there wasn’t much going on at the nightclub on this cruise.

Cruise 4 2013

There was great fun to be had at the quizzes though.  We won twice!  Came close a few other times.  One prize was two umbrellas which were fine until it became rainy and windy.  So those were left in a bin in Lisbon.  Absolutely useless!  Then we won a cap, keychain, document holder, camera holder, and a blingly light up ring.  I liked that one!  I wore it that night for a bit of fun.

The ship also had a peekabo bridge where you could see the bridge.  That was very interesting to watch.  Such a small section of the ship that controls all but there it was.

Cruise 6 2013

There were some characters on the cruise like the american woman who was shocked we didn’t drink ourselves under the table.  She once had a $3800 bar bill on a cruise!  Crikey.  And as most of the people on the cruise were Brits we had a blast zinging back and forth.  Though when she was standing there she finally said to me she didn’t understand a thing we were saying.  I had to explain there is English english and American english.

But the best bit is that we met some really lovely people at the Champagne bar and that became our watering hole.  We’d all meet up before and after dinner and just had a great time.  And I’m pleased to say some great new friendships were started.  🙂  Dinner at Portofino’s was an absolute blast.

We did take the opportunity to go as far front as we could.  I did resist the “king of the world” bit.  But I did have to hang on as it was very windy!

Cruise 7 2013

Stay tuned for more stories!

Are You Apple Eating or Apple Picking?

Every year we get together with 3 other families for our annual apple picking adventure.  It seems like we just did that but poof it’s time again!  Mother Nature has a habit of rain or the threat of rain whenever we plan on coming and of course it was forecast to rain.  But we planned going anyways.  We won’t melt!

It turned out to be quite the weekend.  About a week or so ago this little kitten, we’ve called her Tiramisu, decided our back garden was the place to be.

Apple picking 1 2013

Isn’t she cute?  Well we think it’s a she.  But she would show up during the evenings so we waited because you don’t want to take anyone’s kitty.  But we came back from our date night on Saturday night at 9.30 and there she was in our garden.  Way too late to be out.  So we grabbed her and brought her in and set her up in the guest room (aren’t we good hosts? 🙂 ).  Boy the dogs were curious!  The Humane Society opened at 11am in the morning so we planned on bringing her over.  We have two dogs and a cat.  Our cat would just mutiny if we brought another animal to stay.  Bad enough when I opened the bathroom door in the morning and she all but had her paws on her hips and a look on her face “We need to have a chat”.  She was not amused!  If I had my way I’d adopt every pet that needed a home but I do need to think of the rest of the family and the animals we already have.  So we couldn’t keep her.  But at least she was safe because that night the rain that was supposed to come Sunday afternoon swept through Saturday night.  I was up all night listening to that storm.  Sometimes it was like a very large fire hose was aimed at our house!

Come Sunday though it was gorgeous.  Such a beautiful day for apple picking.  The kids love it.  They all run round eating the apples.  The orchard know some of the goods go out in stomachs rather than bags.  Think that is reflected in the price!  Fair enough.  I joked with my daughter saying we should have weighed her going in and then out again.  🙂

Apple picking 2 2013

Try as we might to be careful it never fails that you pick one apple and a bunch fall off.  By the state of things I was not the only one with this problem.

At this orchard they had the oldest and I think tallest elm tree in the region and I was all set to take some really nice photos to share.  What I found instead was this:

Apple picking 3 2013

It died.  Such a shame.  It was like a beacon for apple picking.

This year they had a very large pumpkin patch and we came across this funny looking thing.  Someone thought it was a turban pumpkin.

Apple picking 4 2013

I love the colours of autumn.

Apple picking 5 2013

The trees were laden with apples of all sorts of varieties.  We filled our 1/2 bushel bag in no time.

Apple picking 6 2013

Which means baking!  We made baked apples last night for dessert.  But there is apple pie, apple cake, and a bunch of other goodies to make.  🙂  Of course a lot of them will make their way into the kids lunches.  An apple a day….