Sunday, May 30, 2010

Seattle's Best

I am having some trouble figuring out how to add pictures so I will do that later when the internet manager is here.

We got to our cruise boat around 11:30 checked in and then Betsy and I went for walk around the Public Market area of Seattle. It was very crowded and full of Seattle grunge/hippies selling their tie dye shirt and leather bracelets. We didn't see the fish throwing show. I'm not sure exactly where that was. We did stop in for a tea tasting which was very nice. Betsy made a $30 guilt buy so we will hopefully be drinking Lychee Black on the boat.

We finally got out of port and the ride is very smooth. Very beautiful. I don't think we ever get out of land view. It is strange that the water is deep enough for the gigantic boat so close to shore. We explored the ship and got something to eat. I didn't get too distressed when a Haz Mat dude walked through the dining room in full garb including respirator. A few minutes later a whole team came back through carrying a red bag. Somebody probably threw up or spilled blood. I wonder why they had to carry it through the dining room, though.

**Norwegian Star**

Went to a show last night. It was a little taste of the performances coming up this week. You would not believe how big and nice the theater is. The host, our cruise director, Candi, looks like Ellen Burstyn, no, not her, Ellen Barkin, with a South African accent. The show was part Cirque, part cheesy theme park show. There was a contortionist girl who was wearing a very distracting body suit. In front, you know where, looked liked a tear drop, and in the back it looked like a poop stain. The sound volume was way too loud for Mom and she forgot earplugs, so she just held her hands over her ears the whole time. Betsy spotted a JFK/RFK/Rod Blagovich look alike in the balcony who obviously had a bit to drink and was singing the words to "tonight's gonna be a good night" and dancing in his seat. After the show he got up and boogie danced with his wife. I was picturing Boy17 playing his trumpet in one of these shows someday. Just for fun.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Airports and Such

Just so you know, I am blogging at the unseemly rate of .55 per minute. And the internet is working exceedingly slowly, I assume so you eat your minutes faster. Cruises rake you on the 'incidentals.' So, if I don't correct my spelling, grammar, and left out words, forgive me.

Back to the airports. Everything went smooth until I realized at O'Hare that I had a rat tail comb in my purse. For those who don't know a rat tail comb is a very pointy, in this case plastic, hair utensil. Since I didn't have anything else to groom hair with, I decided to keep it in my purse since I had already passed security. Imagine my discomfort when they announced there would be random security checks before boarding, and since I was so close to the gate, I couldn't really remove it from my purse discreetly and either throw it away or break the tail off (making it possibly more dangerous item), I decided to take my chances. I made it on the plane without being checked and started eating the leftovers of my candy apple (carmel, white chocolate cheesecake rolled in graham cracker crumbs). I suddenly realized I was now on the plane with not only a pointy comb, but a very sharp wooden stick surrounded by delicious apple. Needless to say, since I am now on the Norwegian Cruise Line (heretofore known as NCL) headed to Alaska, I didn't get caught with that contraband either.

I was real excited that movie showing was "Invictus" since I've been wanting to see it. It started with Ashton Kutcher in a flower shop and that didn't seem right. Eventually I figured out I was watching "Valentine's Day," light barfola fare. It was actually somewhat entertaining, except there were 4 or 5 guys I think go by the names McDreamy, McSteamy and McCreamy and I couldn't tell them apart so that was a little confusing.

We slept in an airport Seattle hotel quite peacefully except for the famous noises of my mother in her disturbing sleep. Betsy and I both awoke at 4 a.m. and the sleep talking, mumbling, snoring, snorting, grinding, etc. was in full force. We had a hard time stopping laughing enough to relax and go back to sleep because more and more emanations were coming all the time. My dad and children know what I'm talking about.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Into the Wild

So my sister calls me tonight and I am out for a long, leisurely bike ride, and gets me all hyped up about travel plans for Alaska. Boarding passes, luggage size, etc. When I say what time we're leaving for the airport, she gives me one of those, Oh's, with the dead air afterwards. Like that's not nearly early enough. I was way too unconcerned for her. I asked her earlier this week how we are going to resolve our inevitable quarrels while spending 10 days and nights together with our mother. There was no answer, of course, but to laugh about the time I was visiting her in Colorado in college and we got into a fight and I called up this goof ball who rode with me, and told him there was a change of plan and we would be leaving the next day instead of 3 days hence. Betsy was stuck lying in bed unable to move because she twisted her neck skiing and couldn't lift her head out of bed. I think she started crying and we made up and I had to call the guy back again and pretend like that was my evil twin who made the earlier phone call. We will have to use our fabulous Vick communication skills and it should make for a laugh later on in life.

I'm sure my dad will have plenty of panic attacks tomorrow when they come to pick me up. I will try to keep the blog up to date, since travelblogging is my favorite kind of blogging. There's always so much more to write about when you are on a grand adventure.

Sunday, May 23, 2010


Here is Uncle Cal looking resplendent (2nd time I've used that word today) in his new suit. He stopped by to show off the new threads today. He told me he hasn't bought new clothes since his wife Alva died. I'm not sure but I think that was sometime in the 90's. 1990's. He's a sweetheart and is trying to impart all the family history he can to the next generation (or anyone who will listen). His Parkinson's is making his speech very labored at times and hard to follow. Some of his favorite phrases are "he went to work and ..." and "a woman should raise all her husband's children." That last one comes from 'shocking' family history that was revealed about 15 years ago.

Uncle Cal's 1967 International Harvester pickup is in our driveway straight off the Farm in North Dakota. It took my parents 4 days to drive it here from ND. Wow, that was dedication to get that thing down here.

Four days till we leave for the Alaskan cruise. My mom, sister and I are departing from Seattle and will be back June 7. Can't wait.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

May 15, 2010

Hello to all my blogger friends. All 5 of you. I have been distracted with the evil empire, Facebook. It has caused me to spend countless hours doing absolutely nothing productive, when I could have been blogging about important issues of the day and at least preserving my memories for posterity (or as long as blogger wants to archive them).

Here is what I have been up to today. Graduation with my Master of Social Work from the University of Illinois. I am totally bragging when I say that I graduated with a 4.0 grade point, though social work is not the most rigorous course of study out there. Oh hell, it's my blog I'll say whatever I want.

After what was supposed to be a one hour ceremony, everyone was on edge. This bag of wind "student respondent" took the stage and thought she was the keynote speaker and blathered on and on about who knows what. No one could pay attention because she was giving a blow by blow of every class and every walk down the hallway she took. It was ridiculous, embarrassing, who picked her?? I would have done a terrible job in my own right, but it would have lasted less than 3 minutes and everyone would have been a lot happier. But who asked me?

Here I am with parents who supported me throughout this journey, and with Pat who has been there every step of the way, encouraging and casting humor on many a situation.