Monday, December 5, 2011

Cruising with Quilters.

If you have ever considered going on a quilting cruise....... DO IT!!  If you are a quilter, then you know how much fun it is to hang around with other quilters, and what better place than on a cruise.

 We were lucky that we were sailing out of Baltimore.  Just a quick drive to the ship.  I think that's the only reason I even considered going at all.  I read about the cruise on Pat Sloans blog about a year and a half ago.  It sounded like fun so I threw the idea out to my Wild Thread friends.  I didn't expect anyone to bite but I tried anyway.  I was shocked and thrilled at the responses and before we knew it,  we were packing.  We booked through Sew Many Places and were able to pay monthly for about 11 months so it was relatively painless.  Go check out their trips,  there are lots to choose from.
 This is the small conference room that Bonnie's classes were in.  We had Janome machines all set up and ready for us, including Bobbin Boy who helped with any problems and was always ready to wind a bobbin.  See the stack of boxes in the back?  The machines were for sale at a very good price.  I need another machine like I need a hole in my head but quite a few ladies took machines home.  
If you're wondering, we didn't spend too much of our time 'slaving away' at quilting and sewing.  It was a 9 day cruise with 4 days at sea (2 days on the way down and 2 on the way back).  We only had classes on the days at sea.  We had a couple of hours of class in the morning and a couple in the afternoon.  Pat and Bonnie each had a project.   Pat's was pretty much entirely by hand so her classes were held in a beautiful bar with a beautiful view at the top of the ship. 
 The rest of our time spent having cruise fun.   I have to say that all of the personnel on board were just awesome, so friendly and anxious to be of help.  My roomate, Janet, and I had a wonderful suite attendant named Mr. Brown.  He told us that if we ever needed anything, just stick our heads out in the hall and call his name.  We adored him and I don't know if he ever took a break.  We especially loved the fun towel sculptures he left us. 
Our first stop was San Juan, Puerto Rico.  My friends and I took a walking tour of Old San Juan.  It was very nice but happened to be about 5 miles of walking in high humidity.  My poor friend, Annette, got a gigantic blister on her foot.  GIGANTIC!!  Poor gal.  After our long hike, we had some dinner and drinks at Senor Frog's restaurant.   We had been there for a while before we looked up and saw this display on the ceiling, lol.

 Inner tubes with bikini clad bums hanging up. 

 Another Mr. Brown masterpiece.

Check this out!  There was some rough sea on the way home, stirred up by tropical storm Sean.  Not only were we warned about it but we had to leave our last port three hours early to aim around the storm.  As we left, we kept coming across crewmembers TYING things down!  The big coffee urns, potted plants, even the frozen yoghurt machine.  It was disconcerting but exciting too, lol.  The 25 foot waves didn't pan out though, darn!  There was quite a bit of rocking though.  As one of my pals said, "It's nice when I go to take a step and the deck comes up to meet me."  I was rocked to sleep every night and slept like a baby.  
 Here we are in the Schooner Bar.  We met here before dinner most nights to enjoy the D.O.D. (Drink of the Day).  Lots of tasty drinks.
Here we are in the dining room with our waiter, Maxisimo, and his assistant, Crismon.  Their service was unbelievable.  Wow!   And omg the food was so darn delicious.  Mmm mmm mmmmm!

And here is the gang at the farewell cocktail party with Bonnie and Pat.  From the left is Sandy, Janet, Charlyn, myself, Annette, Diane, Bonnie, Chris, and Pat. 
If you go here you can see Pat's photos from the cruise.  She took a lot of great pictures and make sure you see the one of me at the ironing table!     Go here for one of Bonnie's posts about the cruise.  She took a picture of the same potted plant that I did, lol.
I started my Christmas decorating today.  I was feeling very unprepared for the holidays this past weekend so last night I spent some time online doing some shopping and we got the decorations out of the basement.  Every day this week after work, I plan to work on the decorating.  We have some holiday festivities coming up as well as my daughter's birthday this weekend.  It's time to get cracking and get my holiday act together.  Wish me luck.  I  have some little gifts I made that I'll show next time.  G'nite!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

I'm alive!!

Yup, I am alive, and if I were kicking I would be kicking my laptop, or the wall, or my internet bill or............................!  I haven't solved my problem uploading pictures yet.  My husband spent some time with my laptop and improved the situation but the process is slooooooooow.  I'm sure I should just go visit the Geek Squad at the local Best Buy but I bet they are crazy busy this time of year.         
 Anyway,  enough whining.  I want to thank anyone who is still visiting this little blog which hasn't been very active. 
I have had a fun Autumn.  I went on my first cruise!!  And it was with a group of my Wild Thread girlfriends  AND  Pat Sloan and Bonnie Hunter.  
The picture up there is of a table  display when we went aboard the ship.  Crazy carved fruit.  Lemme tell you, I never wanted to go on a cruise and I guess only quilting could get me there.  But I think I have been converted.  Kinda like when I said I would never live with a cat, and now we have four (and wouldn't want to be without one)!  I can't wait to go again, I'm trying to talk my husband into one.
This post was just a test, I really have to go get the holiday decorations out of the basement.  I promise a better post  later today or tomorrow, and I will show you some of our cruise fun!  Ta ta.