Tuesday, November 27, 2012

We Are Norwegian Now... we cruised the Jewel

We are home.  All five kids are alive, happy and well. They did fine without us for a week. But let me tell you easing back into real life is not glamorous or fun.  Cruising like a Norwegian is much more exciting than working, cooking or cleaning.  My only regret....I  was not being able to blog, tweet and facebook during the week, as so many things were happening moment by moment and it would have been nice to share.

I unplugged all devices and that had a whole host of benefits for my romantic week with the World's Greatest Husband as we sailed on our anniversary love boat but the down side is trying to explain moments like the "washy washy man" after the fact. It would seriously have more of an impact and humor if I were tweeting it the moment it happened, with little explanation, now it simply has lost the energy to explain the washy washy jingle and humor. But if you have cruised like a Norwegian, you are giggling right now.

So here is my quick recap of the Norwegian Jewel.... ready?? stay with me.... wait for it..... and now  BOOK IT....

Ironically, the couple that cruised to get away from five kids... had 800 on their boat (I am not kidding) The boat usually hosts 200ish but cruise a thanksgiving cruise and that all changes.  Lucky for us our house is a loud, fun place so being near kids on the boat didn't seem so bad but as the week went on and they all became friends, they traveled in packs and that was interesting to watch.   We heard that some kids were crying when their parents went to camp to pick them up.  My bottom line take on the kid thing.... I think it is a great family vacation idea. Especially for a family with children ages 8-17.   That being said, I would want to cap their key cards so they couldn't spend a trillion of my dollars.  We chatted with a proud dad talking about his kids and their exciting trip only to offer a wink and a  whisper-- "Ya, but take it from us it's way more fun without them."

Once we got settled into cruising life -- life was perfect. Our meals were beautiful and yummy.  Entertainment, top notch with amazing talent and skill.  Staff - the friendliest bunch of paper mom peeps I've ever met. Accommodations were luxurious, roomy and clean.  The Norwegian staff certainly knows how to throw a party.

So what really struck me?
Nakedness in the spa.  No holding back, naked ladies dressing and undressing into comfy robes to sit on the mosaic heated chairs that stared out onto the ocean. Big lady nakedness and little lady nakedness.

The rules don't change.  Shorts and t-shirts are not allowed in the dining room on any night even though we continuously saw folks trying to break the rule and slide on in.  Seriously, you paid a lot of money to cruise I think you should be able to find something other than running shorts and a ratty old T.

A wine package is a good idea.  For a couple who doesn't drink much.... we managed to down a bottle of vino each night.  The package made it easy and was offered at a discount on day one.

The cabin stewards are sort of psychic.  I swear our guy only saw our face once and one evening while walking on the wrong side of the boat he shouts out - cabin 5586 you are on the other side.... amazing.

My only complaint........  hair conditioner.  Bravo for Norwegian saving the earth by having dispensers rather than  individual packaging for soap and shampoo but I missed my conditioner -- a minor complaint for a week in paradise....and oh ya, I didn't care for the hamburger buns.

Now I am ready to book another.  But next time I will stay plugged in and tweet my feelings as I go.  I am hoping I have the power ball winning ticket because I will look to "rent" the whole boat and throw one heck of a party for my family and even you my faithful readers.

I hope your thanksgiving was lovely.  As for us, we are thankful for many things but believe it or not, we ate in the Italian restaurant, Mama's on Thanksgiving - we had the place to ourselves and the best service on the boat.

Tis the season people.  I hope to be blogging a bit more just so we can celebrate the meaning of the holidays together. . . . . like old friends.

Friday, November 9, 2012

One Direction and Rick Springfield

Dear Mom and Dad,
I've had a burning question of late. . . was I as wacky as my two 12 year old girls when I was their age?  I think the answer is yes but last night really sealed the deal.  You see, the girls are obsessed with the boy band One Direction.  They watch videos, play their music, read about them, text about them, hang their posters and scour stores for anything with One Direction or as "directioners" say. . . ID on it.  I've had moments where I think this little obsession has been a right of passage, something cute, part of growing up.  Then I've had other times when I have said, turn it down! or turn it off way too many times before they actually listen.  I heard one of them actually has 24 tattoo's.  While in the kitchen yesterday, one of the girls (I'll let you guess which one) actually whispered with big eyes, "Mom I heard the song "rock me" actually means something else, something inappropriate."  Playing dumb I ask, "Really like what?" and she mouthed the word "s-e-x" to me.  I think it was the first time I ever actually heard the word uttered from her sweet innocent lips.

Last night we watched them perform on the X-factor and the girls couldn't breathe,  they jumped, screamed and one cried.   Then it dawned on me. . .

  • My Rick Springfield t-shirt from the t-shirt shop where you pick the iron on. I picked the back side of the Working Class Dog Album as my iron on.
  • The poster board collage of all my Rick pictures from 16 magazine.
  • The "I've Done Everything for you"concert with Alison Terry
  • Joining the fan club (ok, I admit as an adult!)
  • And much like the word s-e-x I remember whispering the word s-h-i-t when he sang carry me away (the flip side of the Jessie's girl 45)  
  • The fact that I remember the first song he sang at my first concert was "Kristina" and I recently scored pretty darn high on the Rick Springfield online trivia game shouldn't concern you today..... I've been to more than a dozen more shows since 81 but it really doesn't compare to some of the other 40 somethings that I meet there. 
So last night about 8:30PM I answered my own question and in a very sweet way I was brought back to my early teen years, reminding me of the days when there was no greater joy than watching Dr. Noah Drake on General Hospital.

And for the 100th time on this blog, I will post one of my favorite photos in the world.  Saying this was a thrill of a lifetime really doesn't even come close.
 I wonder if the girls will meet Harry, Zayn, Nile, Liam and Louie in 2037.

Mom and Dad, thanks for letting me have that little teen obsession that makes you want to practice kissing on your pillow.  I still think he is the best.

By the way - Rick has a new album out - Songs for the End of the World.
visit his website for all the details - www.rickspringfield.com and if you are wondering my favorite Rick song is "ordinary girl" he wrote it for his wife.
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Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Ready to Cruise like a Norwegian

I must admit, since downloading the Norwegian Cruise line puzzle app, I get  little butterflies in my stomach every time my cub scout completes a puzzle and the "cruise like a Norwegian song" plays.  The count down is on and it has never felt so good.  November is a crazy month, I will send 850 solicitation letters asking for support for our local library and I will welcome more than 1200 people to a special one day festival at the Library (the day before my cruise).  Although neither project completely rests on my shoulders.  The buck stops with me and failure really isn't an option. I am working hard.

I've earned my cruise every single day since my last one  16 years ago and the one before that 20 years ago ( a college graduation present).  But this month - my cruise month - with all my responsibilities and projects it seems as though I am earning double points on this countdown journey.  Basically just like you, our life is a circus.

So here is what I am looking forward to the most as I "cruise like a Norwegian" (Can you hear the music?):
1. I am looking forward to not having to share a bite of food off my plate or a sip of my drink and yes, for extra credit lets not forget that I won't have to cook that plate of food or pour that drink.
2. I am looking forward to dressing up, dressing down and undressing. I am looking forward to wearing the new clothes that the World's Greatest Husband has no idea about.
3. I am looking forward to meeting new people, sitting on a beach, having a glass of wine everyday and reading a book.
4.  I am looking forward to uninterrupted sleep.
5. I am looking forward to no alarm clocks, homework checks, spelling tests, permission slips, tween pouty lips, huffs, puffs and stomps.
6. I am looking forward to a week of no electronic media monitoring.
7. If I have to remind the World's Greatest Husband to take a shower, brush his teeth, get his pajama's on (ok, that's a stretch we are a lone for 7 days PJ's aren't needed) pick up his clothes or wash his hands - I swear I will jump overboard.
8. I am looking forward to playing Bingo like a grandma.
9. I am looking forward to listening to music that does not include tracks by One direction, Glee or Justin Bieber.  All cutie-patooties but not my choice on the radio dial.
10. Most of all --I am looking forward to celebrating five years of a beautiful marriage and family with the guy who has changed my life all for the better.  The man who is my rock and my safe place to fall.  The one who just recently looked at me and said, "wow, I don't think I've ever seen you without make up on"   Ya, you can imagine the rest of that conversation......

Almost Bon Voyage my friends.......  Hey Jewel peeps - get ready, I am coming......

Friday, November 2, 2012

Paper Wreath

I've been busy.  I can't stop.... seriously.  It's an addiction.


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