Thursday, September 30, 2010

Attic Treasures

I have been wanting to clean out the attic for well....years. While we were gone on the wedding cruise we had a heavy rain. Not only did it knock out the computer and cable it caused a leak in the den. We had not really checked into what was going on in the ceiling. Last Saturday we had a pretty heavy rain storm. I walked out in the den, which fortunately is tile, and found water dripping from the ceiling. Fortunately it was not a gusher and towels were able to soak up the water. Shortly after that the rain ended. We called the insurance people who could not come out to check what the problem was until today. The good news is that the roof does not have to be replaced. The bad news was the problem is way under our deductable. All that means is we have to fix it ourselves or hire someone to do it. I really wanted to check the area of the leak. Knowing that I have a ton of stuff stored up there I now was going to be able to start emptying the attic. The pile of stuff was actually not too bad. I did find some interesting things, stuff I did not even realize was up there. Yes I am a book-a-holic. I have tried to pass that on to my kids. That is pretty obvious when you look at the amount of books stacked up. The school books were from a good friend of JE's who taught elementary school. The neatest thing about these books is that I read these same ones as a kid. I was hoping to find them so now the grandkids can enjoy them too. I also found my Brownie Fiesta camera that I got at Christmas in about 1965. That was a good little camera. I found baby clothes. Seriously? I thought they were all gone. These will probably go to the women's shelter. We found a ton of trophies. These included sports trophies and Awana trophies. These seriously have to be gone through and something done with them. One of the boxes I was very excited to find was full of trucks. I did not know I had any of these left. I am not sure who they belonged to but next weekend the grandboys are coming and now they will have some cool stuff to play with. I am very excited since there is maybe only a third of what we pulled down today that is left in the attic. I can't wait to see what other treasures I am going to find next.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Grand Turk

Our last stop on our cruise was in Grand Turk, BWI. Beautiful blue water and soft sand are the big draw to this island. Matthew and Corteney were planning on scuba diving so they were gone most of the time we were here. We only had around five hours to be off the ship. This was Matthew and Corteney's favorite place, other than St Thomas where they were married. It was my least favorite. As you get off the ship you have the same stores that are at every port. I mean how many time can you look at the same stuff? Plus there is no good transportation to anywhere on the island. A taxi would cost you around $80. There was a lighthouse on the opposite end of the island but we did not go there or to any other sightseeing as the cost seemed ridiculous. I thought it was funny that my shirt matched the color of the water. It was very beautiful. In that picture you can see a small boat anchored beside the ship. This was a military ship. Since Grand Turk is part of the British West Indies this ship was on guard in the dock. Let me tell you it was fully loaded with machine guns and missles. It might look small next to our ship but it could take it out of the water in nothing flat if it had to. Yes, we were "wastin' away in Margaritaville". Good Ol' Jimmy Buffett has found a home on Grand Turk. The place was crazy busy. We met Matthew and Corteney there. My children are such a bad influence on me, haha. Matthew insisted on us all having a drink. Well mine was a banana daiquiri. It was actually quite good. I only had a little as again it is not good for me, but what I had was well worth getting. After we left Margaritaville, Matthew and Corteney went swimming one last time. I plopped in a chaise lounge under the palm trees. By then it was not as hot as it had been earlier. We found it amazing how close to the ship they were able to swim. They said little fish were everywhere. This was our last stop and the next day would be an "at sea" day where all we would see was water. This trip was really a lot of fun.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

San Juan Puerto Rico

The day after the wedding we cruised into San Juan, Puerto Rico. We docked in Old Town. I had heard that the newer parts of San Juan were just like every other city so I am glad we saw Old San Juan. Being a history buff, just can't get enough of it, I wanted to go to the fort on the coastal edge of the city. Fortunately it was just about a two block walk from our dock. We first went to San Cristobal. It is an absolutely beautiful old fort. My favorite part of the fort were the sentry boxes or garitas. These basically hang off the side of the fort and were used for watching the Caribbean for whatever invader might be approaching. The views were indescribable and the coastline with the water splashing in were breathtaking. In one picture you can see down the coast. At the end of the island there was another part of the fort, and it had a lighthouse. This was called El Morro. I really did not think we would get to that section because it looked so far away. We only had about five hours for sightseeing. Low and behold they have FREE trolleys that will take you around the city. We grabbed a trolley and it took us directly to El Morro. This fort was very much the same as San Cristobal. Both took over ten generations and 250 years to build beginning in 1539. You can see from each fortification the wall that was built to surround San Juan for protection from invading countries who wanted the wealth, gold, silver, gems and spices of Puerto Rico. From the one garita you can see a small island in the distance. We learned that years ago there was a leper colony there. Jane Ellen and I walked up to the top of the lighthouse. It was very windy but you could see for miles and miles. One thing I loved about Old San Juan were the city streets. Now I would not want to drive them every day but they were interesting. The streets are basically only two cars wide and our trolly driver wrangled that trolley like it was a Cooper. One time as we came around a corner I do not know how he kept from hitting a car. He acted like it was nothing. He then deposited us right in front of our dock. As we were walking back to the ship there were samples of, wait for it....margaritas. Hmm...of course we had to sample. One was made with tequila the other with rum and some banana flavor. Ok, yeah that was my favorite. I made JE take a picture of me sampling it to show Matthew that I had tried it. Ok, I had more than one sample. I think I was beginning to understand why Captain Jack Sparrow got upset when Elizabeth poured out the rum while they were stranded on the deserted island. All in all it was a very fun day just not long enough. I would love to go back and see more of San Juan.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Wedding in St Thomas USVI

I have so many pictures of the wedding that it is hard to choose from. So I chose a few that are lovely. We were at Megan's Bay on St Thomas. People always look at the bride as she comes down the aisle. I have found the groom to be the one to watch. I took this picture of Matthew as he saw Corteney for the first time as she came out of the palm trees. The next picture is Corteney as she walked down the sandy beach. One of my favorite pictures is of them laughing after Corteney had to reach for her tissue during the ceremony. People are so stressed before weddings wanting everything perfect. I recommend a beach wedding. Not only is it beautiful but a lot more relaxed. Walking hand in hand down the beach. What can I say. The photographer they hired had them pose under the palm tree. I love this picture. Unfortunately from my camera it is a little dark, but still beautiful. A lovely wedding.

The Bahamas

Ahh...vacation. Here we are on the wedding cruise. We docked at Half Moon Cay in the Bahamas for about six hours. I am still amazed at the blue water. It was a day of hanging out at the beach, sitting in the shade, eating BBQ and enjoying life. Now I must preface the picture of me with the clove cigar and beer by saying I never do that sort of thing. Having RA limits some things you can do and drinking is one of them. For my liver's sake I don't do it. So it is a posed picture especially for Matthew. But we got a laugh out of it. My toes resting in the shade with sand on them. I just thought it looked "vacationy". Of course the lovebirds. They are so wonderful to be around. Plus they are such fun to do things with. You never know what they are going to talk you into doing.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Days Without a Phone or Computer

Having been gone on the wedding cruise we were unaware of the big storm that rolled through North Texas. Apparently it was bad with tornadoes and lots of heavy rain. I was oblivious to all this because I was cruising along in the Caribbean heading to St Thomas for Matthew and Corteney's wedding. It turned out beautifully and more info will follow in another post. It was not as hard as you might imagine to be without the internet or phone for eight days. Really did not miss it at all. What was hard was getting back to "the real world", finding out your cable and internet were out and that they could not be restored for four more days. That was weird. So I am behind on everything and had something like 400 e-mails to deal with. Delete is a great button.