Thursday, April 26, 2012

Manual Labor

A short break from the cruise pictures...

We're in the final weeks of packing up my old boss.  He has to be out of the office by next Friday.  To say I'm sick of boxes, sick of packing and unpacking, is an understatement.  I've moved homes four times in the last six years.  I'm tired of the entire process.  So, it's a bit of an insult to have to do it at work.  I didn't sign on for this.

On Tuesday, I came to work, opened my office door, and found my entire floor covered in old files, meant to be recycled.  I'd told my boss not to worry about the recycling, that I'd take care of it.  I did not mean for it to be discarded so haphazardly that I couldn't get to my desk, let alone pull out the chair.  I threw a minor tantrum, kicking the papers across the room and cursing.  Thankfully, only the custodians were here to hear me.  One of the nice ladies came to get my trash and asked about the papers.  When I told her, she said, "I'm sorry for you."  So am I.

I'm trying to not think of moving the new boss in, later this summer.  I'm really trying to not think of the remodeling that's supposed to take place for our building in a few years.  Good grief!  

I want to do the work I'm meant to be doing at work.  Not manual labor.  

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

St. Kitts

This was our second time to St. Kitts - a lovely island that is not as built up as St. Maarten or St. Thomas.  On this day, we ventured to the extreme tip of the island to Cockleshell Beach.

The main reason we wanted to spend the day at Cockleshell was the view it had of Nevis.

We spent the day on the beach with this view.  Pretty cool, eh?  We thought, surely, the clouds at the peak of Nevis burn off at some point during the day.  But the didn't.

Interestingly, there was a brush fire going on in the hills behind us the entire day.  None of the locals seemed alarmed so we tried to adopt the same attitude.  By the time we left, the fire had scorched several hills.  And, later that evening, when we left the port of St. Kitts, we could see the fire still burning.  It's still the dry season in the Caribbean.  Hurricane season is, naturally, their wet season.

Friday, April 20, 2012

St. Maarten

Next up: St. Maarten, the island that is half French and half Dutch.

We were here in February, on the Dutch side.  This time, we headed to Orient Beach, on the French side.  We got some chairs and an  umbrella and enjoyed the view.

A rain shower dampened our spirits so we headed back to the ship.  

There was a Disney ship docked with us here.  Though the idea of being confined to a ship with tons of kids and tons of Disney characters is just about my worst nightmare, it was a nice looking ship.

After a swim in the pool, we headed to lunch.  We sat outside and this was our view.  If only our meals in Texas had this kind of scenery!


Thursday, April 19, 2012

Virgin Gorda

We docked in Tortola for the day and our destination was The Baths at Virgin Gorda. Above, the nondescript entrance to The Baths.

After hiking down to The Baths, you're met with this spectacular beach, Spring Bay.

In The Baths, you walk through huge rocks that have formed passageways, pools, and coves. There were some really tight squeezes in these passageways, but you're rewarded with some breathtaking sights.

These stairs don't look difficult to tackle, but when you're wet and the stairs are wet, they're tricky.

Once you're through The Baths, you get to enjoy this beach, Devil's Bay, which had the clearest, most perfect water we saw on the trip. Not a bad place to spend the day!

We hiked some trails around Devil's Bay and found some smaller, rockier beaches. Just lovely!

If you're ever in the British Virgin Islands, you must get to The Baths!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Serenade of the Seas

This was my fourth cruise and the first time to sail on a Royal Caribbean ship in a class other than Voyager. This is a class of ship that is one step smaller than Voyager class - Radiance class. She is named Serenade of the Seas.

Ironically, our next two cruises will be on Radiance class ships.

I thought I would notice a difference between classes of ships - that I could tell it was significantly smaller. I could tell but I mostly noticed other things. Like how much more elegant this ship seemed with more wood paneling and graceful lines. The Centrum - above - was the heart of the ship.

The Solarium (the adult pool) is really cool on Serenade. It has a retractable glass roof - convenient since this ship used to go to Alaska. The Solarium is like an oasis - very nice!

One of the biggest differences between the classes of ships is that Radiance class ships have outside dining. Awesome! We spent a lot of time out here, watching the ports come and go.

The only real place this ship felt smaller was on the pool deck. Having only one pool here - usually overly crowded - made the space feel a lot smaller. The ship itself seemed much skinnier.

But, overall, Serenade was a very elegant ship. I'm glad I'll get to sail on two more ships in her class in the coming year or so.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Travel Madness

Our day, last Friday, April 7....

2:30 am - wake up.
3:30 am - leave for the airport.
4:05 am - park car at the airport, catch a shuttle to the terminal.
5:00 am - pick up McDonald's breakfast to eat on the plane.
5:45 am - plane leaves for Miami, on time (thank goodness!).

At check in, the very nice lady got us onto an earlier flight from Miami to San Juan. Our ten hour layover was reduced to two. Yay! On top of that, she forgot to charge us the baggage fee. Awesome!
9:00 am - land in Miami.
9:15 - 11:00 am - I work Yes, unbelievable.
11:35 am - flight leaves for San Juan. I spend it all working on a massive spreadsheet. I'm such a dedicated employee!
2:05 pm - land in San Juan.
2:40 pm - arrive at and check in to our San Juan hotel.
3:00 pm - walk to the beach (see below) and then to a Walgreens for various supplies.

4:15 pm - sit down at our favorite restaurant in SJ...order our first pina coladas of the trip! And eat way too much.
5:30 pm - back to the hotel to relax. Exhausted! But, wait! I finish my spreadsheet and email it to my boss. Work is now done!
8:30-ish pm - go to bed. We'll sleep for ten hours straight.

The fun begins the next morning!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Wake Up Call

We leave for our second cruise of the year on Friday. In other, somewhat random, news, there were a lot of storms in DFW on Tuesday. Perhaps you heard of our tornadoes?

This morning, at 4:45am, my phone rang. I didn't get to it in time and dismissed the call....until Mr. Higgins' phone rang. He answered his, to be informed by American Airlines that our flight to San Juan was canceled. W...T....F.

We got up - 45 minutes early - to get on the phone with AA. After 45 minutes on hold, when every good and worst case scenario had already run through our heads, we finally talked to a representative. She was super nice considering it took her an hour to get us booked on different flights. But at least we're on flights.

We're leaving at an hour of the morning that I'm still not fully capable of processing (it's so early) and will then have to wait ten hours in the Miami airport for our flight to San Juan. Our first and only concern: luggage. What do they do with checked bags for ten hours? Perhaps we should check them only to Miami and re-check them to SJU later on?

I love vacations. I love to travel. But there are always tornadoes. Here's hoping this is the only hiccup in our trip. It happened last time - we sat on the runway for three hours - and will hopefully be the same, and work out, this time.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Fiber Fest

My new knitting friend and I went to the local Fiber Fest on Saturday. I'm so glad we did! This fiber, of course, is not the kind you eat; it's the kind you knit. Yarn!

I hadn't been in four to five years so I was super excited to have someone to go with this year. And boy, had the fest grown since the last time! It was about four times bigger! So much yarn!! Our favorite booth was a locally grown alpaca yarn company. Have you ever felt alpaca? There's nothing softer! I spent way too much on a skein...and could have bought a lot more!

I also bought some bamboo, which I adore. How do they get bamboo so soft?! I avoided further temptation and was amazed that I stayed exactly within my yarn budget. Yay! Such a good day!