Saturday, September 30, 2006
Today, I slept in as much as I could with an almost 4 year old over at our place, which means I was up at 8:30 am this morning - around - and hung out with my nephew and sister-in-law and hubby all morning. My nephew’s new favourite movies are the Harry Potter Series, so I watched a bit of that (even though trying *not* to pay attention because I was told to read the books first, and I’ve only seen the first 2 movies (and I don’t remember much of the second one) so I want to read the books first - which are almost next on my reading list anyhow)…
On our way to lunch I stopped off at a second hand book store for my sister-in-law - I called and had them put aside a copy of Hamlet for her (she wants to read it - not for school - for herself - not my cup of tea - but anyhow!) and she ended up finding a book for only 5$ more but with ALL of Shakespeare’s Collection. She was happy. We even picked up some books for my nephew - he loves to read. I told him he has to teach his cousin baby S when he’s born to appreciate books like he does. He said “no problem!” Good! I want to raise a reader - as I’m a reader…. (J’s not. He reads the paper every morning and he has a subscription to a hockey magazine, but that’s the extent of his reading….. besides what he reads online….. but he won’t indulge in a good book). I’ve always been a reader. I’ve always LOVED collecting books, reading books, having a library. I think it’s fantastic to read. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.
We met J’s step-sister and step-niece for lunch along with J’s dad and step-mom - as we are celebrating J’s dad’s 60th birthday, which happens to be on Oct.11th - but since J’s sister is in from out of town - we figured it was perfect to ‘do lunch’ today. I won’t say no to chinese food! Today, it was J & I as well as J’s sister who treated everyone to lunch. J’s dad usually likes to pay the bill when we all go out - but since it’s his birthday, and we wanted to treat, we had to be really sneaky about it - and take care of the bill BEFORE the bill came to the table, so that J’s dad wouldn’t fight us to pay it! LOL… sneaky guy!
We just chilled out this afternoon - I was a little zonked, so I layed in bed for a bit, day dreaming - not actually sleeping, until we left to go to the Habs game. Wow - what a game. The Habs played the Ottawa Senators, and we kicked their butts, but only with like 2 minutes left in the game. The first period ended with a tie 2-2…. second period ended with the Senators up 5-3. (We were cringing in our seats!) And in the third period, we managed to score THREE more goals, to win the game, with only 2 minutes left. It was beautiful. You should have heard the crowd. Baby S - he heard the crowd. He was having a party in my stomach!
This evening J & I just finished watching the movie Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. I’m not too sure what the point of that movie is all about…? Anyone? Help? It was really well done, but just…. no point?? Or maybe we missed the point??? Has anyone seen it? Got any feedback? I did manage to get a LOT of knitting done on my Baby V-neck Cardigan…. it’s coming along great. I’m done the body, and now I’m about to start on the sleeves! Wish me luck - it’s my first sweater!
Friday, September 29, 2006
First, I have this yarn that I got in Cadiz, Spain on Day 8 of the trip. I had seen a few yarn shops in other countries and places previous, but this is the first yarn that I decided that I wanted to buy!
The information for this yarn is as follows: New Oso Blanco Merino, Color 210, and it's 100% Lana Merino Extrafina. Each ball is 50g and 137 yards.
Ohhh - but there is more! I found yarn that I had to buy while in Firenze (Florence), Italy, on Day 14 of our trip. This was from the shop that Jamie made friends with the owner and chatted with her while I checked out all the yarn. Touched, fondled the yarn... Mmmm - that was fun!
So yes - another batch of PINK yarn. Can you tell I like pink?? LOL. Seriously. I love love love it! So the info on this yarn is as follows: Felis Trends Art. LS, Color 18, 100% Lana (Wool), 50g ball and I think it's only 50m long (if possible?) not sure what mt. 50 ca. means on the tag right under the weight - could be meters?
So this is my lovely yarn. I love it. The yarn from Cadiz, I'm thinking about possibly a hat and mittens to match - and for the variegated yarn from Firenze, I'm thinking a bag - possibly felted - we'll see. I got enough of the variegated to make a fairly nice size bag - according to the shop keeper.
Now - with the exchange rate from Euros to Canadian Dollars it was NOT worth it for me to buy this yarn - a rip off - basically... BUT - because the yarn is from Italy & Spain - to me - it was worth it - because I'll have a memory of a) making the item and b) knowing where I brought the yarn back from.... but - cost wise - NOT worth it at all - unfortunately.... I put it on my visa - both purchases - so I was charged the amount, plus the exchange, and then the credit card charges 3% on top of that for using their card in a foreign country.... ain't that lovely? But.... I couldn't come back empty handed - right?
Ok, my sister-in-law should be here shortly with my nephew, as well as our usual Friday night poker gang for our Friday Night Poker game - can't wait!!! I am ready to play - as I've been practicing and doing well on the cruise - I'm ready to win some money! LOL
Thursday, September 28, 2006
On the knitting front:
I had to change the baby v-neck cardigan over to straight needles because the bamboo needles that I was using was making the sock yarn stick. I still can't believe that I'm using US6 (4mm) needles on SOCK YARN! LOL... but that's what the pattern asked for - and so I went with it! I can't wait for this baby sweater to start actually looking like something! I've never made a sweater before, so I am very excited to start working on sleeves and stuff!
My 26 week pregnant belly. Today marks 26 weeks. Wow - time flies. Only 14 weeks left until my due date - that's crazy. We are sooo excited and now that we're back we must start looking into getting the nursery ready!
Tonight, I don't know how - but Angela convinced me to leave the house for a bit... and go out to a new knitting meeting location - for those knitters in the Plateau (It is really easy to get to Jenn C. - it's not on a shelf somewhere - promise!)
I took 2 pictures tonight to show, and here is everyone knitting around some tables:
And here is Kate's daughter Tadpole joined us at knitting tonight:
Wednesday, September 27, 2006
I had a new Tide-to-Go that I brought with me to Europe, for those tough stains. Well, it didn’t last me long, the thing was broken in the tube. Boy was I mad, and I think that this $4 tube cost me more in damages to shirts I won’t be able to get stains out of, than the cost of the item. I had one or two shirts that have oil stains on them now, and I couldn’t get them out, I had no tide-to-go. I emailed Tide this morning, and this is the response I get:
We’re having systems problems and need to take some time off from answering e-mail. During this time, we’ll be upgrading our website technology to work out a few kinks and improve overall efficiency. We’re sorry we won’t be able to reply to your e-mail, but we expect to be up and running before too long and can’t wait to get back to answering your messages!
Your comments and questions are still very important to us. If you’d like to get in touch or have an urgent need, please call us using the phone number printed on your product package. We’re open Monday through Friday from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM EDT.
As always, we appreciate your loyalty to our products and understanding of our current situation. Thanks for your patience!
- GEEEZ! “We’re sorry we won’t be able to reply to your email?” Well, then they’ll be getting an even angrier phone call, because I’m annoyed with their customer service. They suck.
On a knitting note, I got my Secret One Skein Final Package today in the mail. I think my partner was supposed to reveal herself, but all I’ve gotten is her name, and that she owns an LYS in her hometown… which I think is somewhere in Louisiana? Anyhow, I will ask her when I email her a big thank you!
First, she sent me a copy of Knitting Vintage Socks by Nancy Bush… and book that I really wanted. Glad to finally have a nice looking start to a knitting book library.First, she sent me a copy of Knitting Vintage Socks by Nancy Bush… and book that I really wanted. Glad to finally have a nice looking start to a knitting book library.
She also sent me a 12″ circular set (US2 or 3mm) for knitting socks - but I am not sure how to knit socks on just ONE circular? (Not even sure how to do them on 2?) but… how do you turn heels with your knititng on one set of circs? (Put a string through the waiting loops?)
And for my one skein finished object that she was to mail, she made this baby hat for baby Sean. It looks a little big for a newborn, but we’ll see when he’s born what size he fits into. Speaking of babies fitting into clothes, I’m going to elaborate on that in a second…
She also sent me a skein of the yarn she used for the hat, so that I can make booties to match the hat she sent. I hope to get around to that before baby S is born! So much knitting I want to do - so little time!
I also got this ball of yarn… not sure what I’ll use it for - but I like the earth tone colours for a baby boy!
This is fantastic. You must see it!
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
Zeus was enjoying the fresh air in the window in the soon-to-be baby’s room:
What I don’t get - are people who go on vacation, and take pictures of the scenery - for memories - with their cell phone!
HOOOOOW in god’s name are they supposed to get print ready photos??? I guess not everyone needs their photos 8MP like I do! LOL… I just find cell phone photography to be really weird. It does NOT tickle my fancy.
In knitting news, I’ve been working on the baby v-neck cardigan for baby S. It’s coming along great, and I need to start my first button hole soon - I’ve never done a button-hole before, but for this project it’s just going to be a yo, k2tog. Which is great. (Simple).
Jet lagged I still am! (And hoping this cough goes away)…
Monday, September 25, 2006
1) 18th Annual Vermont, Sheep and Wool Festival was September 9th & 10th, and I missed it. (It’s usually in October, no?) Well, this year it came early, and I was in Europe (which probably was a better and warmer location to be) but… it was probably a fun time missed. Oh well - there’s always next year.
2) My Prenatal Aqua class tonight was cancelled - the teacher had her daughter’s 15th birthday dinner. (I feel like now I’ve wasted a membership. No aqua tonight, no aqua next week as it’s a Jewish Y and next Monday is one of the HOLIEST Jewish high holidays - Yom Kippur, and then what - no Aqua on Thanksgiving Monday the following week? She’s deciding whether there will be a class or not… I hope there is… I can’t wait another three weeks for an aqua class)!
3) The Prenatal Yoga class I signed up for a the same Y is NOT happening. A) no teacher to teach it (there was one but she backed out) and b) apparently not enough interest. (Another reason why I feel that my Y membership is now a waste of money. Thank goodness I only took a 3 month membership, one month already wasted due to all these cancelled Aqua classes…. damn it!)
On another note…. this time difference thing is hard. Jet lag - call it what you want. I’m messed up. Going to be super early (since it’s late in Europe) and getting up super early… I feel like lunch when it’s actually breakfast time and I feel like dinner when it’s lunch time. Talk about being messed up. Apparently for every hour of time difference it takes 1 full day to recouperate. 6 hours = 6 days. Ask me again on Friday how I feel - I’ll let you know!
I got this book in the mail today, it’s a book on a mitten… And it’s sooo cute! I can’t wait to read it to baby Sean!I picked up my lamination from the photolab today, and I love it. It was the b&w dog photograph that Purina (dog food) bought off me, and used for their ad in DOGS ANNUAL IN CANADA (which is still on stands probably for another month - until the new edition comes out next month). I should really consider sending them more of my dog images, and see if they’ll buy anything else for their ads!
My name was in the spine of the book, so the reason why I had to put a black border around the lamination, was so that they didn’t chop off my name! Go me! My first published item!
Oh - here’s a picture of me from last week knitting on board! I guess it was a little windy that day, it was like the only time during the day I was wearing long sleeves!
My knitting progress on board (which is way in the past…. it’s actually starting to look like something now - I just wanted to show off my on board knitting!)
It’s getting late, almost 9pm and I’m zonked. Bed time.
Sunday, September 24, 2006
Sleeping last night - that was easy - we both fell asleep while watching the Habs on TV - but we were both out cold by 8:30pm, that’s for sure. This morning - we were both up by 4:30 am (which is technically 10:30 am in Europe) tossing and turning until 7:30 am. By 7:30 am neither of us could stand being in bed anymore, even if we were cuddling. By 8:30 am, I was on the phone with my in-law’s making plans with my sister-in-law to meet at their Aunt’s house for lunch. (With an almost 4 year old, I knew by 8:30 am - everyone at my in-law’s were up already. Plus - my in-law’s are early risers).
This is the ring that J got me as an anniversary present. I had been wanting a black pearl ring for a very long time now. I just love it. Purchased in Europe.
This is my new fave purse. It’s crochet, and I am not sure what the material is - but it’s very soft and very stretchy. I picked it up in Lisboa, Portugal for 15€ for it. Well worth it.
I picked up this train for the baby’s room. I absolutely love it - I can’t wait to meet the little guy. 14 and a half more weeks to go!
I got this tea set in Casblanca, Morocco, Africa. I absolutely adore it - even though it’s not the fanciest thing in the world. It’s probably not even worth much, but to me, it’s a memory from Casblanca (along with the wood elephant statue that I got - I’ll have to take a picture of that too - just remembered about it - I collect elephant statues).
Saturday, September 23, 2006
Today was a really long day. We’ve been up since 6 am, Italian Time Zone, and we’ve been travelling for the last 18 hours. I don’t recommend it, even though I LOVE to travel. Travelling pregnant - that’s a whole other story.
The drive to the airport was an hour long. We got our luggage on pier side at around 7:10 am. 7:20 am the bus was loaded up and we were ready to go. People had colour codes to leave the boat - so that everyone made their flights on time. It was a good thing we left this early - it was a mad house at the airport.
When we got to the airport, there was an hour and a half wait just to check in and check our lugguage. To get through security, that didn’t take very long at all - maybe 15 minutes or so - and of course I got stopped - the woman thought that I had food in my bag - when it was actually YARN! She thought I had apples or something - since my balls resembled that shape. We both got a good laugh out of it - me and the girl at security - I think she felt more stupid than anything. I guess she’s not a knitter!
The first flight was super short, only about an hour and a half ish, maybe just a little longer, we flew from Rome to Munich, Germany. Had I known that liquids were ONLY banned to those traveling to the USA/UK/Israel - I would have brought back wine from Italy…. that’s for sure… but I didn’t know that liquids were actually ALLOWED for European travellers as well as passengers travelling Europe to Canada. I was very upset upon knowing this. I would have loved to of brought back some wine for when I’m done breastfeeding and can enjoy red wine again!
The wait between flights seamed pretty long, but we ended up going for a very expensive lunch, (didn’t have euros on us and their credit card machine apparently didn’t work anymore, so we had to use US cash, which was a rip off to us at the airport - but what choice did we have? We were hungry, you know?)
The second flight…. boy that was long. It was long being pregnant - but I am sure I would have felt the exact same way had I not been pregnant. 8 and a half hour flight, from Munich to home, and the sun never setting. When we landed at home, it was 5:30pm EST, and for us - it was 11:30pm Italy time. We were both zonked by the time we got in. Still am zonked. As soon as I am done this post - I’m off to bed. J & I are going to put on the hockey game (GO HABS GO) on the tv in the bedroom - and probably pass out!
On the flight, J & I watched one movie after another, to try and pass the time more quickly. First we watched the movie Hostel - which is one seriously messed up movie. If you didn’t like the movie Saw or Saw II - then I definitely don’t recommend this movie to you. If you like gore - then by all means - enjoy! The second movie we watched - finally - was Million Dollar Baby. Now we know why this movie won all the awards that it did. It was just a fantastic movie - and a fantastic LONG movie to watch on a plane to kill a lot of time! Then…. since we had just seen two really heavy movies, we decided to watch something a little lighter, so we picked out Man of the House - which I happened to bring with. A little dumb, but a little entertaining - so that was great. Those movies, defeinitely helped pass the time on board a LOT faster, let me tell you. And my hubby - who is generally not that pleasing to travel with (he likes getting to and being at the destination - but the actual travel time makes him grumpy and he doesn’t want to be talked to, etc…) but he was actually - ODDLY - in a really good mood almost the entire time - which made me have to be in a good mood, because I just kind of wanted to be left alone, and had enough room to sleep - which I didn’t… my back was killing me, my legs killing me (I made sure to get up enough on the plane - to go to the bathroom and stretch - because doctor’s orders - I didn’t want any blood clot problems, or anything else that can happen to pregnant women who sit too long on flights)…
Alright. Bed time. I can’t believe it’s not even 8 pm here, and I want my pillow. Then again 8pm for me is 2 am in Europe… so yeah - I want my bed! (Mmm, douvet here I come!)
Friday, September 22, 2006
Upon getting there, J & I had a “sampler” tour - which gave us the highlights of Firenze, and a bit of history, and then we had 3 hours on our own to do whatever we wanted, and then had to meet up with the bus to take us back to the pier.
During those 3 hours - J & I sat down and had a good italian lunch - I had some really delicious lasagna (over priced for the small portion that was served) and J had some spaghetti with meat sauce. The mixed salads were good too, as well as the bruschetta. J had a 1/4 of a liter of wine, which was the same price as a 1/4 of a glass of wine he had earlier while we were killing time. He couldn’t believe the rip off earlier on in the day - and my small glass of diet coke was the exact same price as his rediculously small glass of wine!
We finally made our way after lunch to this Yarn Shop that I had googled, the Beatrice Galli Yarn Shop. Unfortunately, she was closed between 1-2pm. It was 1:15pm when we arrived. So - I convinced my not so happy hubby (who got mad that I didn’t know that the yarn shop closed for lunch) to sit at the cafe right across the street and enjoy some Gelato (ice cream). We killed some time, and then there was like 10 minutes left, so we walked around the area for a little bit, and then got back to the yarn shop - and it was open! While I looked around for something that I wanted to buy (I came all this way - and got my hubby a tad annoyed - had to buy something - couldn’t walk out of there empty handed - not after all of that) and while I was looking, J made friends with the lady of the yarn shop. We learned that she’s been there since 1967, and she let J onto her balcony in the back, to take picutres of the scenery from her balcony (which you can see on her website, actually). She was such a nice lady, and J kept telling her good things about her shop - that people in North America talk about her yarn shop (to go visit it, etc…) and I think that totally made her day! I ended up buying some pretty variegated pink yarn, 100% wool - which I want to make a bag with. I haven’t decided if I will felt it or not - but I definitely have enough to make a bag, or maybe something else - we’ll see. I fell in love with the colours. I probably will get ripped off with the exchange rate - but I put it on my visa - so we’ll see what happens. I don’t want to think about it today - lol.
After that - we walked around a bit, sat down for a bit, people watched…. picked up the last few souvenirs that we needed for friends & family and J even got himself a belt! I really wanted to make sure that he brought something back home for himself. He’s bought himself almost NOTHING this trip - and I feel guilty - because I have picked up a few things for myself here and there… you know? I think all he’s gotten this entire trip is his new belt (which he’s really happy about - hasn’t gotten a new belt in… well, years….. - I’ve been with him 4 1/2 years and has not purchased a new belt in that time - that’s for sure) and a few items for keepsake - to put on display - from his travels (and that amounts to a total of 3 items)…. I guess men just aren’t into shopping - lol!
I even found this cutest train for baby S’s room - that I am in love with. I bought it off a street vendor - and he has all the alphabet so you tell him the name, and he puts it together for you. It’s a good thing that baby S’s name is short - not that the train was expensive, but a short name requires less space! I’ll have to photograph it - it’s just adorable!
The bus ride back wasn’t so bad at all - I got a little bit of reading done before passing out! Something about busses and falling asleep just make sense! We were back to the pier in no time at all.
This evening J and I had dinner with Jazzy & Dustin again, and that was really nice. We all get along great - it’s nice. I am glad that we made friends with another couple on the trip - it has made the trip just that much nicer. After dinner we all headed into the casino - for one last poker night. J said he’s going to miss the poker games - and that I believe! Tonight - poker was good to us. I had some pretty good hands, and I walked away from the table before J did - so that I could relax up in the room before our very early day tomorrow (18 hours of travelling just to get home - that’s going to be long!)
J eventually came back to the room - we went up for our last “late night” snack at the buffet - there wasn’t anything really I wanted so I came back and ordered room service (They have this delicious avocado vegetarian sandwich that comes with french fries - my latest craving (french fries!)) and J brought food down to the room. I ran back up to the bar (just as they were about to close) to get my final diet coke (wanted to take advantage of my coke card - coke was NOT free on the ship - 49.00$ + 15% gratuity for the two weeks for unlimited coke (FOR REAL!)).
J and I discovered that between the two of us - we made enough money to cover 3/4 of our room bill (which I just received - with all the purchases that we made to our room on board and to get on shore (Amsterdam was 75$US per person, Firenze today with the tour was 89$US per person, gratuity was added to each stateroom at 10$/person per day. That means, 140$ for 14 days x 2 = 280$ right there… that sort of thing - Gratuity goes to the wait staff in the dinning halls, and to the people who clean the rooms, I think that’s all).
I sat down with 40$ US to play poker (as the buy in was 30$) at the beginning of the trip, and tonight, when I cashed out - I walked out of the casino with 330$. I am VERY impressed with myself. J - I won’t even begin to tell you how much money he made - I am still in shock myself. Let’s just say - that our room bill was just over 1300$ US and we can cover pretty much 3/4 of it - if not more! (I have to work out the details with the exchange rate and what not - but yeah - it’s been a DAMN GOOD TRIP! And we’ve been lucky!
Well, I bid a farewell to the ship and the fun and the casino and the good memories we had on our honeymoon. It was worth it in the end, and I am glad J’s finally seen more than just Canada, the US and 2 cities in Mexico. He can now say he’s set foot in Europe as well as Africa! Check ya later - from Canada!
Thursday, September 21, 2006
I went down to deck 4 (where the medical center is and pretty much nothing else) at 7:30 am this morning, but the medical center didn’t open til 8 am, so I went back upstairs and lied in bed until 8 am. J tried to convince me to take some Robitussen, but I told him that I wanted the doctor to see me without any meds, so he can determine properly if it was bronchitis or not.
At 8 am I went back down, the medical center was open, and there actually were other passengers there waiting to see the doctor. I think I was third to go see him, which wasn’t so bad, but then when it got to be just before my turn, a woman collapsed on Deck 7 in the Princess Theater (while waiting to be called for her tour), so I had to wait even longer in the waiting room. Finally I got seen. 60$US for the visit and 19.95$US for Amoxycillin and 8.00 for some Paracetamol (which is basically Tylenol since I didn’t have any on me). So my bill came to $87.95 US. I have insurance, (which costs more than that - so you will be damn certain that I will be requesting a refund for that amount!)
The doctor said that I was not contagious, and that I could continue on the trip as normal, providing that I was up to it.
So, here in Cannes, J & I had to take a tendor boat (small boat) from the anchored ship at sea to the shore (the pier wasn’t big enough here to handle such a large ship). The ride lasted just a few minutes, and we were on shore pretty quickly.
We walked around downtown, saw a castle, but it was mainly a very modern city with not much to see. It’s too bad, because everything was too expensive and also another place where there was nothing much to buy at all. We actually didn’t spend any money here, besides on lunch (which consisted of baguette sandwiches - come on - we’re in France - must have baguettes!)
After lunch we walked around a bit more, and then eventually made our way back onto the tendor and back to the boat. On our way back to the boat, we walked by this beach that we decided to come back to (we still had numerous hours before the boat was leaving Cannes for the day). At this beach, I noticed this fairly attractive woman - topless. I pointed her out to J. He was confused. His wife was pointing out a fairly attractive woman, naked. He could look at boobs of another woman and get away with it. The entire boat ride back to the ship (all 4 minutes of the ride) he was amazed that I pointed her out. He was like “Most wives wouldn’t point out something like that - they wouldn’t want their husbands looking at boobies, but you.. you’re not normal! I love it!” LOL…
Once we got back, we put on our bathing suits and head to the beach. So we got ready, didn’t bring anything with us but towels, our cruise cards to get back on board and as well I brought Marley & Me to read.
And off we went… swimming in the Mediterranean sea! I am very upset that I didn’t bring my camera with me. I didn’t want it to get stolen while we were in the water, but no one even went anywhere near our bags (how were we to know, right?) so, I didn’t bring it. The water was awfly cold, but once you got into the water, it wasn’t that bad (even though it was HOT HOT HOT outside!) I worked on my tan once we got out, and read a bit in my book. There were plenty of 50+ year old women topless on the beach. J kinda laughed at some of them (as did I) as they CLEARLY should not have been topless, let me tell you! It was hidious to see! I kid you not!
After getting back from the nice afternoon at the beach, we both took a nap until dinner. For dinner, I tried King Crab legs (or any crab for that matter) for the first time. I’ve never had crab before. It was actually very good, but a pain in the butt to eat, because of the way they cut it open (to make it easier for those seniors on the cruise to eat it) as they cut it in such a way that the cartiledge was not coming off properly and it was just a nuissance to eat. I am sure that had it been cut properly, I would have eaten more than I did. Oh well. It wasn’t bad at all.
Tonight I discovered honey. I didn’t even realize there was any on the ship. I asked if there was when I ordered a tea, and they brought it out to me. I think I ended up eating the honey straight out of the container they gave me, instead of putting it in my tea. It was just so good coating my throat. Mmmm! Honey! My new best friend.
Tonight I visited the casino, but I did NOT play. J sat down, but I just wasn’t feeling well at all. I bought a really cute tshirt tonight for baby S - it has all the ports of call that we stopped at on this trip, on a map printed on the tshirt. I also got J’s dad 2 tshirts as he’s been the most difficult person to shop for! (Both him and my dad - but my dad I found a souvenir bottle of Port - since my dad is a big port drinker and collector). The tshirt for baby S is really cute, I’ll have to take a picture of it, and post it when I get home. (I have a ton of things that I want to photograph and post once I get back home).
I just cleaned up the stateroom and can’t believe that there is only 1 day left on the cruise, as Saturday morning we’re flying out of Rome back home. (Not direct - I wish).
I really don’t want to get back to reality. I am not ready. I am enjoying relaxing and traveling and seeing new things, meeting new people, and all that jazz. I am enjoying not cooking or cleaning and all the joys of an almost all inclusive vacation.
Tomorrow we’re in Florence, Italy. Can’t wait to have a nice italian lunch and enjoy the sites!
Repeat after me: I am not fat, I am growing a baby. After a lifetime of watching your weight, it can be unnerving (and sometimes depressing) to watch it go up, up, up. Whenever you feel bummed about your expanding girth (and your expanding bum), remind yourself that there’s a beautiful reason your body is changing. To fuel that baby growth, you need to keep your growth going, too, so dieting’s never an option when you’re expecting. Instead, eat as healthy as you can (remember, you share every bite with your baby), and eat as much as you need to in order to gain at the right rate. (One more time, with feeling: I am not fat, I am growing a baby!)
- Wow - 25 weeks. Where has time gone? Even though I feel fat and swollen… I must remember that I’m pregnant… NOT FAT!
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
First off, the woman in charge of our tour, I can’t remember her name, had a horrible accident when speaking in English, as well, she mumbled. We did manage to catch her say that it was going to be a 2 1/2 hour tour, BY BUS…. no stopping. We were supposed to get off the bus for “Great Photo Opportunities” as the tour ad described (that’s why we chose to do this tour). Anyhow, it turns out, that she tells us that the Olympic Stadium, where we were supposed to go, is closed due to renovations, so we won’t even get to go see that.
J and I last about 40 minutes on this tour. When every single person on the bus convinces her to stop at the Sangria Familia Cathedral to actually get out of the bus and take pictures of something that isn’t “A GREAT PHOTO OPPORTUNITY VIA THE BUS WINDOWS” - she gets the bus driver to stop. J & I decided to tell her that we’re not getting back on the bus after the 20 minutes that she has alloted everyone to walk around this huge cathedral and take pictures. Our anxiety levels (for the both us) dropped DRASTICALLY as soon as we set foot off that bus…. (Another thing that was bothering me was a lady sitting across the row from us, coughing and coughing the entire time. (Smoker’s cough and she STANK like she smoked 4 cigarettes just before coming on the bus). So on top of mumbling tour lady, I had a heavy cougher next to me. Imagine!
We didn’t tell the tour guide that it was also her fault we weren’t going to get back on the bus, but with her mumbling and poor english, it just wasn’t worth the 30$US per person for the tour to sit on that bus for another 2 hours. Pregnant or not pregnant… I didn’t want to suffer! Neither did J! Plus we also didn’t want to start shit with her, so we just blamed it on Princess Cruises and walked off. We probably won’t get our money back, but that’s okay, shit happens. I am going to open my mouth once we get back and see maybe I can get our money back, but for some reason, I highly doubt it.
J & I had a map… so we set on foot to see some sites and then eventually slowly head back towards the pier.
First we stayed by the The Sangrada Familia, which is the only cathedral in the world which is still under construction. It is Gaudi’s dream, to which he devoted much of his life. At the time of his death in 1926, only one of the towers had been completed. The continuation of Gaudi’s project has become an unmistakable symbol of the Barcelona, not just because of its spectacular size, but because it also reveals the spirit of a city which always been committed to building its future.
After visiting the Sangrada Familia, we sat down for a few minutes with a slushie, and I don’t think I would have ever paid 7€ for 2 slushies. (8.89US or 9.90 CAD). OUCH! But, I needed the sugar in my body… and it was, well, refreshing!
After that, with our map in hand, we made our plan and saw a lot of stuff. We saw a lot of the monuments that we wizzed by on the bus, and basically from where we were, not including all the stops we did, it was a 40 minute walk back to the pier. So we took our time.
For lunch we sat down at a restaurant called Sandwich&Friends. I really enjoyed my sandwich, for some reason I was craving Pepperoni!
We walked through the Gothic Area of Barcelona in the afternoon, and it was gorgeous. There wasn’t too much shopping to be done here at all - it was all junk pretty much. I think I did get myself a necklace though - but at a store that looked very American.
From the pier to the ship (you could probably have walked it - but not me at 6 months pregnant), was a 4.60€ ride across the pier area, over a bridge too. It may have been a 20-30 minute walk, but I was zonked by the time we decided to head back to the ship, after a lot of walking from the Sangrada back to the pier area.
My throat…. still bothering me. I hope it doesn’t really turn into anything, that would be sucky. Why me? Why do I have to get sick in the most BEAUTIFUL of weather? (We’ve had SUN and Beauty for the past week and a half. Who gets sick in the heat? I can understand not dressing properly in the rain for example, or something, but in the most beautiful European weather? ME! Just me! No one else gets sick but me! Just my luck!)
Tonight, was “Little Italy” in the dinning rooms for dinner. It was cute, and boy I won’t say no to Italian.
After dinner, we headed to the casino (of course). Tonight I started with 100$ and walked away at the end of the evening for me with 225$. I am VERY impressed with myself and with the way I am playing the game. J on the other hand… he’s a little shark (if that’s the right word). He started out this trip with 150$ and is now at over 500$ in his pockets (including his original 150$). At the end of the evening he had like 535$ in chips, so he kept the 500$ in his pocket, and went with the 35$ to the blackjack table. He played 20$ and doubled his money, so he walked away. Quit while you’re ahead. That’s my motto!
We headed up for a snack to the 24 hour buffet, and I’m going to go read a bit and head to bed. Poker was good to me today - I’m still floating around on cloud number 9 with luck!
Tomorrow we’re in Cannes, France. Oh - I can’t wait!
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
Today we slept in until noon, and that was much needed. We have both been zonked, that last week is kind of catching up to us. All the walking around - it’s tiring. Especially at 6 months pregnant!
My sore throat from yesterday is still bothering me. I really hope that it goes away. This afternoon I checked my emails, and then headed down to the casino where J already was. (Go figure!) I started with 102$ in chips and ended my afternoon with 160$ in chips. I am very happy about that. My best hand today - which J stayed in on (I tried to send him vibes to fold his hand - but he was being stubborn - and RAISING TOO - but we weren’t the only two in the hand… so that’s okay)… so yeah… my hand! I had pocket Cowboys (two Kings) and on the flop comes King, King, something else (the rest is irrelevant!) The turn and the river are irrevelant as well, as I had FOUR kings! J had a good hand too, but not as sweet as my nuts…. (Nuts is a good poker hand - so you can learn your lingo!) He’s still shocked about that hand - let me tell you.
Anyhow, tonight we had dinner with our new friends Dustin & Jazzy, who are really nice. They are from the Portland, Oregon area. They have been married just a few months longer than us (May 2005), and are also Texas Hold’em players. (It seems to be that the friends we made on this cruise are all hold’em players - lol).
After dinner, we all headed back down to the casino for some more poker action. I am still up, but I lost the 60$ that I made this afternoon. That’s okay though, I think I was playing a little stupid. Or, just not the right hands. That’s okay though, there is still time to make back the money! As soon as I lost the 60$, I walked away from the tables, J’s still down there playing, but I had to walk away before I played even more stupidly… you know?
Today, being a sea day, nothing else is going on. I didn’t partake in the slot tournament today, just didn’t feel lucky enough… J did try out the blackjack tournament, but didn’t make it in. I did tell off some guy this evening that was standing around the poker tables smoking. You are allowed smoking in the casino, but not at the texas hold’em tables… so I opened my mouth. If people aren’t allowed smoking at the table, then this guy shouldn’t be allowed standing over our shoulder smoking, so I opened my mouth, but I don’t think the guy spoke too much English, because I don’t think he understood me. Eventually I made a motion of smoking and waved my finger no, and I think he got the idea, cuz he finally left. It’s absolutely disgusting how many Europeans smoke. It’s like every single European and their dog smokes. That’s one thing I’ve realized in the past week. I swear! It’s like 4 out of every 3 Europeans smoke. I’m not joking. My unborn child is getting 2nd hand smoke from Europe, it’s pretty gross!
Alright, I’m going to go read. I’ve finished reading Tales from the Crib by Jennifer Coburn, and now I’m reading Marley & Me by John Grogan. I’ve been reading about one book a week now since I’ve graduated…. and I want to keep up the reading as there are so many books that I want to read before the baby is born and I have no time to read anymore!
Tomorrow we’re in Barcelona, Spain! I can’t wait!
Monday, September 18, 2006
Some info on Gibraltar:
Gibraltar is connected to Spain by a sandy isthmus, a ferry to Morocco and flights to London. The subject of repeated conquest and sieges, Gibraltar has been a British Territory since 1704. Ceded forever to Britain by Spain in the Treaty of Utrecht (1713), Gibraltar joined the EU in 1973, under the British Treaty of Accession. It shares a three-quarter of a mile (1.2 km) land border with Spain and has 7½ miles (12 km) of shoreline.
We lost 2 hours today, as Gibraltar is on a different time zone, and boy that was tiring.
First stop on the tour was to the cable car. That was pretty cool. When we got up there, we got to see a few tail less barbery apes. Those are quite adorable. There was a sign that if you feed the Apes, you can be fined 500£ (british pounds). Apparently they like plastic bags, so if you buy something, we’re told to put it in our backpack or purse, because the Apes think it’s food and will steal it out of your hand… which is crazy! They are very very smart animals. They are the only wild Apes in Europe. (AND VERY CUTE!)
While visiting, one ran into the gift shop, grabbed a bag of potato chips and ran out onto a higher ledge (so no one can reach him) and he ripped open the bag of chips and ate every single last one, licking his fingers afterwards…. I photographed this of course… too bad we had no video camera.
Down at the Apes’ Den I got to feed them (legally….. will not be fined 500£). We were given a seed that they are allowed to have. I had some in my hand, and had some of the apes’ eating right out of my hand. It was a pretty neat experience. One ape though, started tugging on my arm and then almost tried to bite me, I freaked out - and screamed, which scared the Ape. J took pictures of me feeding the apes, it was really cool. I can’t wait to post all my photos on FLICKR when I get back!
It was really neat hanging out with the Apes’. So far, this is one of my fave things on the trip! It was quite unique, actually.
We did a tour by bus afterwards of the ‘rest’ of Gibraltar (don’t forget the island is very small!) And we also went into the Great Siege Tunnel. It was all down hill, and I was very happy about that until I realized that you have to go all the way back up to get out….. well…. that was quite tiring, let me tell you! But, if the seniors could do it - so could I!
We stopped off at the Gibraltar Museum, and I decided just to pick up the souvenirs that I needed there, instead of us going into town afterwards. We were both really tired and didn’t want to go into the city (Main St.) after the tour ended, (which was bringing us back to the ship afterwards). We could have taken the city bus a couple of stops back into town, but boy were we zonked.
We had a nice time in the morning, so we decided to go back to the ship and have lunch. Before retiring to our room for a 3 hour nap (which was MUCH NEEDED), I was able to get the entire island of Gibraltar into ONE photograph! Can you believe it? ONE picture… it was that small.
Dinner this evening was just the two of us, and that was really nice. I had a shrimp stir fry and that was very good. J allowed me to have ONE sip of wine, to toast our 1 year wedding anniversary, and I enjoyed that one sip very much. (That is one thing I’m missing during this pregnancy… it’s wine! I love a good glass of wine!)
We had this card that we were given to bring down with us to dinner, which was to celebrate our anniversary on the ship. The only thing that it entitled us to - was the wait staff singing us “Happy Anniversary” to the tune of Happy Birthday. So…. we decided to take that back from them, and forgo the happy anniversary song! (LOL) We had also gotten one for celebrating our Honeymoon, so that one got chucked as well.
Tonight, J asked me what I wanted to do. He told me that he didn’t need to play poker (he has been playing Texas Hold’em everyday on the ship at night after we sail. Some nights I’ve been playing with him, and others, I’ve just done my own thing… (including laundry, which I did on Saturday night, as we didn’t pack enough tank tops for me and polos’ for J as we were expecting cooler weather than the heat we’ve been blessed with)). BUT… since our bad experience with the horrible comedian last week, I decided that I wanted to play texas hold’em tonight…. at my insistance. J couldn’t believe it! There wasn’t really anything else going on in the ship (in any of the lounges or in the theater) so… poker it was. We have become really friendly with the dealers in the casino, so that is fun too…. it’s funny that they now know our names!
Tonight I won 40$. I sat down originally last week with 40$ and tonight when I started playing I was at 65$. So In the end, tonight I left the casino with 102$. I am very happy about this, for sure. J on the other hand….. well, he’s up a couple of hundred - we won’t go there tonight! LOL….. I had a really fun time playing - that’s for sure.
I had brought J - 3, yes, THREE, cards that I bought him for our anniversary….. but since he decided to tell me that he didn’t bring any for me, not even one…. I decided to not give them to him until he writes me one. He said when we get back home. Ha! That will be the day (he’s Mr. Unromantic - but that’s why I married him - I hate cheesy romance shit to begin with!) Anyhow…. don’t ask why I got him three cards… one is just funny, and the other two, well, I just couldn’t decide…. you know? Maybe I’ll just keep them for next year. It’s kinda funny that he knows about them though…
I can’t believe it’s already been one year since the wedding… ONE FULL year! Where does time go? It feels like yesterday the wedding. I can remember it so clearly… it’s unreal! And who would have thought, that a year later, we’d be in a another country celebrating our one year anniversary, myself 6 months pregnant….. it’s just too amazing… !
Sunday, September 17, 2006
We got dropped off at the city center, and the cabi, (trying to make more money) tried to get us to take a tour of the city with him (for more money, of course). As soon as we left the pier, we could tell the poverty of this area/country. It really opened my eyes to how lucky I am to be living in North America, Canada specifically and for the simple things in life (like a roof above my head to sleep under each night).
We decided first to go into Old Medina Market, and that was quite the experience, let me tell you. First off, everyone wants your money, (to buy stuff from them) and you can tell that money is very hard to come by, so they are all harassing you to come in and look at their stuff. The passage between the shops was very tiny, with thousands of people walking around, and that’s why we only took with us what we needed (camera around my neck, passports and some money in J’s front pocket).
To be honest, our first impression of this city, was pretty bad. I was scared to be in this city, because of the type of lifestyle lived there. In the morning, I am not even sure how I made it until noon, out in that city. I didn’t feel safe at all, even with J by my side and no valuables with me, besides the camera around my neck.
At noon, we told the Toronto couple that we’d meet them back at the Hyatt Hotel, which was at United Nations Square (city center) where the local taxi cabs pick people up to drive them. We came back to the boat, had lunch (I was not going to have lunch in Casablanca, they warned us not to drink the water there, so why would I eat the food?).
After lunch, we walked back to the taxi area (which was outside of an 8-10 minute secured walking area around the boat) and this one taxi driver said that he would only charge us 20€ (25.57 USD or 28.58 CAD) for a 1 hour tour of Casablanca to see the Mosque, and all these really cool places. Well, 2 and a half hours later, we had seen a lot, and had a FANTASTIC afternoon, which doesn’t compare to the experience we had in the morning. (Not one bit!) We enjoyed visiting the Hassan II Mosque (which was BEAUTIFUL), the Corniche D’ain Diab (an upscale resort section of Casablanca), Habous Quarter (the New Medina - which is a lot better of a Market than the Old Medina which we had visited in the morning).
We went by this area where the first settlers discovered Casablanca, and live up on this little island. It’s now all gypsies that live there. Because the tide was low, we were able to walk over there, but when it’s flooded with water, the way the gypsies have to go back and forth between land and their island, is by paddling with inner tubes. It’s pretty crazy. This place, is a place where someone with bad luck can go and sacrifice a lamb, and once they do that, it should bring them good luck. Also - this place is a place that women who have not found a husband yet, can go see a fortune teller (gypsie) to find out what was going on with their love life. Pretty interesting place. I started taking pictures there freely, and then when this man who lived there started waving a finger telling me “No, No, No” I freaked out a little bit, and took photos either at waist level (zoomed out so I could get maximum view and then could crop later) or with J standing next to me, blocking their view of me taking photos. I think I got some great shots there, we’ll see what they look like on my computer when I get home (so hard to tell on my little LCD screen on my Rebel XT - even when zooming in to view. I even got a shot of the sheep that were roaming around freely, but I didn’t photograph a lamb that had been recently sacrificed, that was a little bit too much for me to handle. While on the beach walking back from the island, (my feet getting wet a little in my fake crocs (which I’ve been living in - SO much more comfortable than my nike’s!) as some areas had more water than others, I got a gypsie to give me a henna tattoo on my right hand and arm. It’s gorgeous. I hope that it doesn’t last took long, but it’s nice for now. It cost me 5€ for the tattoo.
Today I bought some local handicrafts (a wood elephant, as a collect elephants, this gorgeous mirror thing to hang on the wall in our house, as well as a Moroccan tea set) and J finally got something for himself.
We also went by the Royal Palace, but since the King was home, there was really tight security, and we weren’t allowed too close and the area that was viewable was very restricted.
The cabi stopped just before bringing us back to the ship, and ran out of his car, and picked me up a bouquet of flowers. I was really not expecting this. The cabi even got the security at the gate to allow him into the secured area, so that I wouldn’t have to walk an extra 8-10 minutes back to the ship because I am pregnant (that was quite a shocker and nice, since I was dying to pee, and didn’t want to stop in this country to use the facilities anywhere).
I still can’t believe that today, I set foot in Africa. AFRICA! Wow, I still can’t believe it. Of course one day I want to see an African Safari and visit south Africa as well, but this was really quite the experience, in a very Muslim area of Africa. I was shocked to learn that there are FOUR synagogues in Casablanca alone:
Synagogue Beth-El - 67, Verlet-Hanus
Synagogue Téhila Le David - Bd du 11 Janvier
Synagogue Benarrosh - Rue de Lusitania
Synagogue Em-Habanime - Rue de Lusitania
Between the 1940’s and the 1960’s there was over 70,000 Jews living in Casablanca and now there are fewer than 5,000, but that is still a strong amount.
Our opinion of Casablanca went from day to night. Unreal! I have such a better opinion of Casablanca now than I did this morning. It changed all because of the right cabi and an amazing taxi tour. And our tour was 100% better than any of the guided tours that you could have signed up with, with the on shore excursions with Princess Cruises. We went to places that the coach buses couldn’t go to, and also Princess didn’t want to be responsible for taking passengers to.
I probably won’t ever go back to Casablanca, but I am glad that I’ve experienced it, in different ways. J also is very happy after our afternoon tour. We just seriously, ended up with the right taxi driver.
I’m still amazed on how gorgeous the Mosque was.
I’m now a fried tomato, I hope that it settles into a tan very fast, that would be nice.
Tonight, back on board, we had dinner alone, because we were wiped (tired) so we were feeling very anti-social. J’s down at the casino (what else is new!) and I’m tired, so I’m going to go take a nice long hot shower and then read in bed. Tomorrow (ON OUR ONE YEAR WEDDING ANNIVERSARY) we’re in Gibraltar, can’t wait to see the tail less apes!
Saturday, September 16, 2006
Today, while in Cadiz, a lady whom was sitting at lunch next to us yesterday, whom we told her not to order Spaghetti Bolognes (due to the ketchup as sauce) ran into us (she’s on our ship) and thanked us for telling her not to eat that (she ended up ordering the swordfish, which is what J had and recommended to her). She ran into us in the streets while we were sitting down enjoying a slushie (it was SPIKE HOT today) and she was like “Hey! You’re the Spaghetti Bolognes lady” - lol…. apparently that’s my new nickname, haha!
I took a ton of pictures here, did some shopping, and just fell in love with the area and atmosphere.
This evening we had dinner with Dustin & Jazzy (nickname for Jasmine) who are from Portland Oregon (same where the couple we dined with last night). Dustin is 29 and Jazzy is 31. They are really nice. They got married last May, a few months before us, and are now taking their final vacation before having kids. It was really nice dining with them, and I hope to again before this trip is over. Looks like we’ll have some places to stay if we should ever want to go out to Oregon!
J just headed down to the casino, and I decided to come online, and check my email as well.
People on the ship know about the shooting that happened at Dawson College, as it’s on CNN in our staterooms. I have not caught any information, besides an article on CNN.com that a friend emailed me, and information from my knitting buddy Jennie - whom was in the school when it happened. I will ask her permission if I can post her story. If so, then I will.
OH! I FOUND a yarn shop here in Cadiz! I BOUGHT SOME YARN!!!!! I bought yarn in spain! HEE HEE! Some Merino, in pink. I am in love with the colour, and bought 4 balls, hopefully it will be enough for a hat and mittens. I took pictures of the yarn shop outside and inside. (I also have pictures of the other yarn shops that I’ve been into in the other countries!)
I forgot to bring any stitch markers with me, and have nothing to turn into stitch markers, and I need some for the baby sweater I’m knitting for baby S, and finally found some little elastics today, to turn into stitch markers. I couldn’t find ANYTHING at all on the ship to turn into stitch markers. Resources have been limited here for that! AND I can’t find a single lady knitting on board….! I need to know how to make button holes. I am on row 22 I think, and on rows 39 and 50 I have to make button holes. I’ve never done this before. If I find an internet cafe in a future city, I will see if I can google it and print it, otherwise, it’s too expensive while at sea on the ship. (.35 cent per minute! AND I’VE BEEN PAYING THAT - UGH!)
TOMORROW I AM IN AFRICA! AHhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! I can’t believe it myself. Casablanca, Morocco is where I’ll be! I am sooooo excited, let me tell you!
Tonight we gain back 2 hours, but then as soon as we leave Casablanca tomorrow, we have to push forward our clocks yet again. Sucky, but what can you do?
I think that’s it for today. If I forgot anything, it can wait for tomorrow!
Friday, September 15, 2006
The best 70 cents euro I spent today was to a boy on the streets playing an organ. He had a little dog with him, and the dog held the money bucket in his mouth. What was cute, is that the dog was howling along with the organ the boy was playing. It was very sad, but yet extremely cute at the same time. I gave him 70 cents to be able to take some pictures of it.
Today, I had a food ordering experience, yesterday, it was J who had the food ordering experience (the hamburger that he thought he was getting ended up being eggs and a sausage patty)… but today, I ordered Spaghetti Bolognes. Can’t go wrong with that, you’d think? Well, my spaghetti came, but with a pile of meat in the middle, and cut up tomatos around the plate, with KETCHUP (YES YOU READ RIGHT) sprayed wildly around the plate. It was as if someone went wild playing with ketchup. It was quite the experience.
This afternoon we stayed by the pool, I went swimming a little, and have been working on my tan. I love having a tan.
What else? I got my nails done in the salon (just a polishing). My nails (since taking off the acrylics, before the trip) have been brittle and really weak. So today I finally got fed up and had to get them polished.
Tonight we had dinner in the restaurant with a guy that J’s been playing poker with in the casino and his wife. Dave & Kathy. They are really nice. They actually got married 25 years ago on the 19th of September! (The day after our 1 year anniversary!) So we’re both celebrating our anniversaries next week! It was really nice talking to them, and Kathy and I chatted until just now while both boys played poker. They are really nice.
Hmm, what else? Not much else, I don’t think. Not besides our lovely day in Lisbon, and our lovely dinner, and my funny spaghetti story. Tomorrow we’re in Cadiz, Spain, Sunday in Casablanca, Morocco (AFRICA!) and Monday in Gibraltar (on our 1 year anniversary!) Looking forward to the next full week of fun!
Thursday, September 14, 2006
Today, we got up, had breakfast and then headed by shuttle into downtown Vigo, Spain. We walked around, took some pictures, and found the Main Street, with a bit of shopping, but who needs C&A, Zara, and all those “American Shops”. They even have a Sephora opening soon. Blah… I don’t need to go to Spain for that! Ugh. What a disappointment.
Locals don’t speak very good English, and J & I had quite the experience at lunch. I ordered a mixed green salad (which I was able to tell off the menu) and a spaghetti with meat sauce. J on the other hand, ordered what he thought was a hamburger and fries plate. What he got… was definitely a good laugh between us now…. what he ordered ended up being a plate with two eggs and a sausage patty, and yes, some fries. Fritas (or whatever it was, was indeed fries)… but the rest.. OY! So… he of course lost his apetite, and couldn’t eat anymore.
We walked around more after lunch exploring, and Vigo is another town that is “been there done that, will never go back” types of towns. I hope Barcelona in a couple of days will be better. Hopefully it will be a better view of Spain.
No tourist shops at all, couldn’t even buy a postcard anywhere (I’ve been dying to mail some out). I can buy stamps on the ship for the next port, but with no postcards, I can’t really do that, now can I?
I did manage to find some really cool earrings in Spain, which I’ve picked up as gifts for a few friends & family. But there was NOTHING else in Vigo…. and so we didn’t really spend too much time or money there. Which probably isn’t a bad thing.
Tonight, we had dinner and I had a Penne dish, and it was just fabulous. I am still loving being served and not cooking or cleaning. This evening we watched the Da Vinci Code, and now J’s in the casino playing cards again. He’s having fun and it’s a friendly poker game. All the dealers know us by name now! It’s kinda funny!
Tomorrow we’re in Lisbon, Portugal.
MONTREAL, Quebec (CNN) — A gunman was killed by police and at least 19 students were wounded after a Wednesday shooting at Dawson College in downtown Montreal, police said.
One student later died of her wounds, police spokesman Olivier Lapointe said. Radio Canada quoted Montreal Police Chief Yvan Delorme as saying the victim was a woman in her 20s.
Initial reports indicated that as many as four people, including two gunmen, had been killed, but Delorme told CNN that only the single gunman was killed. Police were looking for other possible suspects, he said.
Students said mayhem ensued after the gunman opened fire outside the college before taking his weapons into the school’s atrium, near a cafeteria where students were eating lunch. (Watch students flee the scene — 1:38)
One student told Global News in Montreal that the shooter was in his early 20s and was wearing a trench coat.
“He was saying nothing, just shooting. He told people to get away, and that was it,” the student said.
Another student, Daniel Mightley, 21, said he was outside the college, heading to lunch, when he saw a shooter to his right. The gunman, who was wearing a black trench coat and had a Mohawk, fired a shot and “everybody just ran inside,” he said.
“I saw his face and he had no emotion in his face whatsoever,” Mightley said. “He was walking very slowly toward us and just shooting.”
Delorme would not comment on a motive, but said the shootings were not hate crimes or terror-related. Asked to describe the shooter, Delorme said only that he had three weapons.
Police responding to an unrelated call saw the shooter about 12:41 p.m. outside the college and followed him inside where a shootout broke out, leaving the gunman dead, Delorme said.
Five of the wounded were critically hurt, and four more were seriously injured, hospital officials said.
Six of those needed surgery, a Montreal General Hospital spokeswoman said. All surgeries were scheduled to be complete by Wednesday evening, she said.
The spokeswoman said at least 15 victims were brought to area hospitals. Eleven patients were transported to Montreal General and four or five more were taken to two other area hospitals to ease the burden on Montreal General, she said.
Among the wounds being treated were gunshots to the head, abdomen, chest, arms and legs, she said. (Watch witnesses describe escaping through pools of blood — 3:44)
Police set up perimeter
Police cordoned off the 12-acre campus after the incident and searched a nearby shopping mall for suspects, a police spokesman said.
A Montreal police spokesman told reporters that a SWAT team searched the college door-to-door for other suspects, but there was no word on whether any were found or apprehended.
Video showed students streaming from the campus after the midday shootings.
“People were literally running for their lives,” said CTV reporter Genevieve Beauchemin, describing what students told her was a “stampede.”
Emergency personnel and police, in bulletproof vests, wheeled people on two stretchers to ambulances.
A first-year student who didn’t give her name said she saw one victim who had been shot in the leg being helped across the street, and another who had been shot in the stomach lying on the sidewalk. (Watch the scene inside the college, captured on a cell phone — :50)
“We were just sitting in class, and we were listening to the teacher and we heard guns going off,” the student said. “We looked outside and everyone was screaming and crying and there were people that got shot that were running away.
“And then our teacher left, and he came back and said the gunmen were inside and we had to leave.”
Dawson College will be closed until Monday, Radio Canada reported.
The college has 7,000 day students and 3,000 night students, according to the Dawson Web site.
In Canada, students as young as 16 attend college, which generally serves as a bridge between high schools and universities.
This is not the first shooting at a Montreal college. About 17 years ago, Marc Lepine opened fire at Ecole Polytechnique. Fourteen female students were killed in the December 1989 shooting before Lepine killed himself.
Lepine left behind a three-page letter blaming feminists for his not being able to get into the school.
Wednesday, September 13, 2006
What else? I tried duck tonight at lunch. J told me I’d like it… and to try something, and he wouldn’t tell me what it was… well, I liked it, and it was duck!
Today, we slept in past 11 am, and that was fantastic because we stayed up pretty late last night in the casino, J has been playing poker (texas hold’em).
I played in a slot tournament today, but didn’t win anything. It was actually the wildcard draw for one of the slots in the final game that ended up winning 500$. Oh well, maybe next time. I also played some bingo today, and that was fun. Some woman from Quebec City cleaned up pretty good, winning 2 of the prizes….. totalling also more than 500$.
Tonight was formal night on the ship, but J & I took it very semi-formal. Being almost 6 months pregnant, my wardrobe is VERY limited, and we figured we’d save my dress for the final formal night next week.
Tonight for dinner I had lobster, and boy was it FANTASTIC.
I’m enjoying not cooking and not cleaning! I love room service and being treated like the way we are.
I’ve been eating New York Cheese Cake every night for desert after dinner. Oh - so - fab!
Tonight I sat down at poker with 40$ (texas hold’em) and won two really big hands, but in the end, walked away 25$ on top of my original 40$. I like the people that are the texas hold’em players, and we see them daily.
They’re predicting really huge waves, so I think I’m going to head up to bed.
Tuesday, September 12, 2006
We’re having a great time. Loving this honeymoon!
Today we went into Le Havre, France. I bought something for baby S’ room We had baguettes in France today for lunch, it was good. There isn’t much shopping there, but we had a good time walking around and I took a lot of pictures. It’s just as dirty as I remember Paris to be. I did manage to find 2 yarn shops (I took pictures!) one was also a sewing shop, and the other strickly yarn. It was nice talking to the lady who owned the place, but I didn’t buy anything. Nothing striked my fancy.
Tonight we saw a Magic Show, and J’s now in the casino playing Texas Hold’em. I entered myself into a slot tournament tomorrow.
The food is pretty good. Better in the dining restauarants than the 24 hour buffet. I am very tired. A lot of walking and a lot of being in the sun. I have been going to bed early tho. Tomorrow we’re at sea so we will sleep in and the slot tournament is at noon-3.
There has been great weather here so far! Just our luck.
I learned that docking a big ship like the Golden Princess (which is what we’re on) costs half a million dollars for 24 hours of docking at the Rotterdam pier in the Netherlands. That’s why we only docked yesterday from 7 am - 4pm. Crazy eh??? That’s some big bucks!
I am actually getting a really nice tan! I’ve been in the pool everyday, taking advantage of that!
Next port is Vigo, Spain on Thursday! I’ve never been to Spain, and I’m damn excited!
Monday, September 11, 2006
I just bought a coke and got 15 free minutes on the internet at a coffee shop in Amsterdam. It’s J’s first time here, and my third. Wow, I can’t believe that I’ve been here already 3 times. Once in 1998, once in 2002 and now, again, in another 4 year increment, 2006.
We left the ship at 7:30 am this morning and got here just past 9 am. There was a lot of traffic and it was supposed to be only an hour and 15 minute ride.
I got baby S this really cute Amsterdam tshirt and some souvenirs for friends & family back home. I haven’t really bought myself anything at all yet. But that’s okay.
Tonight, we’ll hang out on the boat, we leave at 4pm from the pier. (2pm from Amsterdam to get back to Rotterdam where the pier is). We have to meet the coach bus back at the Rijksmuseum. (If I have any spelling mistakes I’ll correct them when I get back home - I apologize). (Typing fast, no time!)
Last night we went to dinner in the personal choice dining hall, I really enjoyed my meal. A really nice Chilled Papaya with Banana soup and a salad then Fettucini alfredo.
After dinner we saw a comedy show, then I lost 20$ in the casino, and J doubled his money at a Texas Hold’em table.
I’ve been relaxing and reading a lot. Loving this trip in every way.
It’s just too bad that most of the people on the ship are 50+!!!!
But that’s okay, we aren’t really interested in interacting with people anyhow, it’s our honeymoon after all!!!!
Tomorrow, we’re off to Le Havre, France. Until then, take care!
Sunday, September 10, 2006
So, we got no upgrades on our room, ship is booked solid.
We went into Bruges today, it was nice. We had a nice day. it’s HOT HOT HOT here. Last night was really cold though. Bruges was about a 30 minute drive from Zeebrugge, where the port is. I took lots of pictures, we took a canal boat ride, saw some sites. It was nice.
Most of the ship’s passengers are senoir citizens.
They put upon arrival yesterday JUST MARRIED balloons outside our room b/c we’re on our honeymoon. HOW FUNNY! OOps. Actually our 1 year anniversary is next Monday, so that will be nice.
I am starting to adjust to the time zone.
I saw a knitter on the streets knitting away. I think she was a shop owner (not a yarn shop - I do hope to find a yarn shop somewhere!
Tomorrow we’re docking near Rotterdam, but J & I have a ticket booked to take the 1h 15 minute drive into Amsterdam. He’s never been, and is dying to go. I’ve been twice, and love it there. (Not for those illegal reasons!)
More tomorrow. Just got out of the pool and am going to go shower and off to dinner soon. We’ll probably watch a show or something!
Saturday, September 09, 2006
Anyhow, we’re having a good time so far. The plane ride was uncomfortable. Customs took over an hour (at heathrow, it was rush hour apparently there) and then we had to wait another 45 minutes to leave to the ship. That was another 2 hour uncomfortable ride. Then we had to wait in line another hour to board the ship (check in line). So, it has been uncomfortable and a lot of lines and waiting. We’ll be in better moods tomorrow. The ship is still as gorgeous as I remember it from 4 yrs ago. It’s chilly here at night (we walked outside after dinner).
we’re here, we’re safe and we’ll be in touch! xoxo
ps - I am checking my emails, so email me!!
pps- EVERYTHING worked out with my tenants before we left, so we’re at TOTAL peace of mind here.
ppss- Unless I find a net cafe in one of the cities we’re docking at, then I wont be able to blog photos until I get back.
Friday, September 08, 2006
I feel so much better now that it was all taken care of - and everything fell into place before we left. I think Jamie and I will both sleep a lot better on our cruise knowing that we have tenants that are moving in and rent that will be paid. That was our biggest worry actually - was the rent for our mortgage. Of course, we have family that was willing to help us out should the case have been that - but I rather it this way - with tenants and money that is not owed back to anyone, you know?
I am still in shock. In the nick of time. It just 'worked out'. Wow..... wow.... wow.... Jamie is floored as well. Unreal. Crazy. Something that was too good to be true - just worked out for us. That is usually not the case for us - usually - lately - it seems like it's been worse case scenarios, and well - just to our luck - wow!
Well, I'm sitting here - at my computer - my parents are picking up Jamie and I around 7pm. We're just about packed - I want to hop into a shower at the LAST possible moment - I want to feel as fresh as possible while at the airport - and I have packed my knitting - I decided to NOT risk taking it carry on. I emailed my cousin Jenn to see if she got through security at our airport this past week with her knitting, but she has not returned my email - no idea if she is even checking her emails. Anyhow, because we're flying into London Heathrow, and with all the security because of the liquid problem just recently, I want to play it safe, so I'm not going to bother.... Jamie and I have a dvd player - so we'll watch a movie while waiting to board, and possibly on board as well. I hate flying overnight, I just know that I won't get much sleep and then when we get there, it's going to be like 9-10 in the morning there, tomorrow morning, and we've then got another full day ahead of us - which sucks....! But - the rest of the trip will be well worth it - it does suck that traveling is the pits.
Alright, must go shut down my computer, (I don't want to leave it on for 2 weeks) and hop into a quick but nice shower, and then wait for my parents to pick us up to take us to the airport!
And with that - floating on cloud number 9 because everything in life seems to be working out lately - I wish you a good two weeks (I should be able to blog - I don't know about posting pictures - but blogging and checking email will definitely be accessible to me).... so keep in touch - and enjoy!
Thursday, September 07, 2006
A lovely lady, my new tenant - Ms. C. with her 13 year old daughter and her 85 year old mother. Now... the fantastic thing about this is (fantastic for me that is) the fact that they moved from one end of Montreal (just off the island) to the west for September 1st. A few days later - they were flooded out of their place, and were desperate to find somewhere to live. They've been living out of boxes still in one room that didn't get bad damage - so they started looking like crazy. Anyhow, this is good for me, I need tenants bad - they need a place to live bad - and this all works out in the end for me and for them!
I met up with her this morning, and signed a lease. I couldn't get in touch with her previous landlord at the time (not the place she's been living in for a week, but the place before that) and trusted to sign the lease - (probably not a good thing on my part) but her current lease she was actually paying more than what my lease is for, so that was fantastic. At least I know she was willing to pay more for her other place that she got flooded out of.
This evening, however, I got in touch with her previous landlord, and got the a-okay that she's always paid rent on time, etc... and not a bad word out of her mouth - the small chance I took this morning with signing a lease without checking references - was a risk on my part - but it looks a-okay now, and I am sure anyone is better than the tenants I'm about to kick out (whom have never actually moved in.... and when she told me that she "started moving stuff in and decided she will keep the place - there wasn't actually anything moved in more than her matress on the floor and tv/vcr that are also on the floor that have been sitting there since she's pretty much had keys to the apartment).
So now - I have tenants - a gift from heaven I think - and my father in law is going to meet my new tenants on Saturday (we leave tomorrow night) with the keys.....
Now... about those keys.... I need to now chase down my tenants who still have the keys - get both sets of keys back from her - as well as cancel legally the current lease she has with me. Annoyance - yes - a bit much - but what can I do? I need to get this done, and it's going to be fun. I apparently can't legally change the locks on my place until the lease is cancelled - and I need my now "old" tenant to sign that the lease is cancelled - so that my new tenants can move in. I have less than 24 hours until I leave for Europe. This seems like it's going to be quite the nightmare.
Wednesday, September 06, 2006
The beginning of my day started out a little under the weather (not physically, but mentally) and I got out of bed, started reading a bunch of blogs about women who have lost babies late on in their pregnancy, or given birth to stillborns and got myself all freaked out for nothing probably. I obviously want the best for the baby, and I am just a worry wart, and worry about all the little things. I am sure that everything will be fine. I sure hope so anyhow. So that got me to go back into bed, crawl under the covers and daydream about anything else.
Anyhow, I finally got my day started, and I got almost all the laundry done, and my grandmother came over for a little bit, and then I went to go meet up with Angela for the knitting meet up. But, on my way out the door, I got the most awesome phone call. A potential new tenant! There is this woman, who got flooded out of her apartment, is looking to move somewhere immediately. Oh my! Good news! This may have been my lucky day. It would be this woman, with her 13 year old daughter, as welll as her 85 year old mother. Just the three of them, and she is like “we’re very quiet people, you won’t ever hear us” and she wanted to know what she has to bring tomorrow, (we set up a 10 am apt) to speed up the process of me checking out her application.. etc. She is going to bring her current lease to show that she is paying almost as much as what I’m charging, and I will then call her current and/or last landlord(s) to check to make sure she always paid her rent on time. I also asked her to bring blank checks, incase all goes well, she can leave a deposit for first and last months’ rent. I am not taking the chance of having this problem again! I really hope that all goes well. It would be fantastic to have new tenants right away and not have to worry about anything!
For some reason, it’s too good to be true. But I’ll see, maybe it is good!
Now, my only problem is finding my “current” tenant, who is probably avoiding my calls because she thinks she still owes me rent… but all I want is the keys back, and her lease signed that it’s cancelled, and I will leave her be. I don’t want to know of her or from her anymore. (Providing that the new tenant potentials work out). But she probably thinks I’m chasing her down for rent (which was that case, but not anymore, since I hope this works out!) Ok, I’m sounding very eager, ain’t I? Please please please let something go right!
Anyhow, I am wondering if the paper that she signed on August 3rd is good enough for a cancelation of a lease? It does state: “I, Ms. W, give R (me) permission to search for new tenants. I will pay rent until new tenants are found. Once new tenants are found, I will not be responsible to pay rent after their new lease is signed.” I am wondering if this is good enough as a cancellation of the lease, or do I have to get her signature on the existing lease for it to be cancelled? I tried getting intouch with my dad’s best friend who is a lawyer, but he was working late, so I will try him tomorrow morning.
I did try calling my current tenant, Ms. W, with blocking my number, and finally, someone answered the phone… her daughter. I told her to give the message, but I don’t know why she’s avoiding me.
So… tomorrow… I will call Ms. W first thing in the morning. I hope to get intouch with her.
I have to think about some options.
If my new lease can be signed, because of the August 3rd signed document, then I will sign the new lease, and then change the looks. And then I will take the matress, small tv, and dvd player, that are currently in the apartment on the floor of one of the rooms, out, and she can pick them up at her convenience. I want this to work out for the new tenants, and if they need a place asap, I would like to give it to them asap!
And if I can’t get the keys back from her right away, I was planning on changing the locks anyhow, so I will have to call a locksmith tomorrow, and get new keys made asap. But I’m just thinking ahead.
Wish me luck for tomorrow… I hope everything goes as planned!
Tonight’s knitting meet up was a lot of fun, but I got tired really easily. So even though it’s late and I’m still up, I feel less tired in my pj’s in the comfort of my own home, than at 2nd Cup. It was good to meet some new faces and also, it was really good to see some friendly familiar faces. Kadi got baby S an irish sheep stuffed animal on her recent travels, and I will photograph it tomorrow and show you how cute it is. It’s already in baby S’s almost room (working on clearing out my office, and that is coming along great so far!)
Alright, I am too excited to sleep. Wish me luck, wish me luck!
Oh, I watched Childstar last night. It was okay. It’s a canadian film, and almost a documentary style, I guess you’d say.
Tuesday, September 05, 2006
First off, I slept in, because I only went to bed at 4 am this morning. I could not sleep. I’ve been having a lot of nights like that lately… Maybe, it’s excitement for upcoming events, or what, or maybe it’s because I’ve been going to bed really late and waking up really early, so maybe I just haven’t felt like going to bed early, my hole schedule is out of whack, unfortunately.
So, I looked into it. My tenant’s check is useless, she has no money in her account. I finally got in touch with her today, and she will *try* to get me the rent for tomorrow, but she’s stuck in a really bad money situation right now and cannot guaratee me anything. I told her that I am looking for new tenants, and will try my best to get some as soon as possible. (Which I doubt will happen right away, but who knows). She said she’ll call me tomorrow. (I’ll hold my breath).
Today I got a lot accomplished. A return to Walmart, a return to Zellers, a return to the Baie, an exchange at Winners (TJ Maxx in the USA) and I got this during the exchange: (They wouldn’t give me back my money, it was over 10 days - which I was quite aware).
This cute little sleeper or costume says LITTLE STINKER in red over the chest. It’s a little skunk outfit. (SOOO CUTE!) It’s a 3-6 month outfit.
This is the back: (With the adorable little tail)
And the cute little feet!
I also got this really cute duck outfit, which isn’t as detailed as the skunk one:
And since there was still money on the exchange, I got this really adorable 6-9 month baby boy’s outfit:
Don’t you just love the little cute khaki pants? I just love love love it!
I am not going to buy anything else until after my two baby showers (splitting the family in half because we have so many people between my side and J’s side). I’ll see what I get at baby S’s showers, and then see what I’m missing after that. I just had to use up the money on something, and it didn’t cost me anything today (well, besides 3.40$ which was over the credit amount). Winners does not have a maternity section and I wasn’t going to hold onto the credit note until after I give birth, and I would have ended up using it on the baby anyhow!
What else is going on around here? Today I took off my acrylic nails. I decided that it was sooo much easier to take them off, than dealing with them. First off, it was hard to type. I still was able to type, but at a slower pace than I’m used to. Second, putting in and taking out my contact lenses was a real pain in the butt. Now I can do it with much more ease. I think I only wore my contacts twice in the month period I had my beautiful acrylic nails on, because of the pain they were to take out. I don’t think I’ll put them back on before the baby is born, and definitely not after.
No knitting today, but I am planning on going to the knitting meet-up tomorrow night, so I should get some knitting done. I hope to have more knitting time soon!
Hmm.. anything else going on around here? Not really. Not besides chores and errands. I am so happy that things are getting accomplished and done.
Oh! I did have my montly OBGYN apt today, and everything is looking fantastic with the baby, and he got my ultra sound results and everything looks great from that too. Glad to hear. He said my son is growing right on track, and everything is just perfect. Sounds good to me!
I’m about to start watching the movie Childstar. I’ll let you know how it is. I also plan on making a whole batch of stitch markers, now that I can bead properly without the nails!
- Knit and Purl Mama
- I am a 30-something mom who knits, and takes pictures, a lot. I am a mother to 3 adorable boys, Sean (Dec 2006), Mackenzie (June 2008) & Quentin (Nov 2010). This is my journey through motherhood, photography, the books I read, life in general and knitting, of course. Oh, and other crafts too!
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- Go Habs Go!
- European Yarn
- Dragged Out of the House
- Wednesday, Recovery Day 4
- Knitting Video
- The Cats Missed Us
- Time Difference Sucks. When it’s 6 am, I want Lunc...
- Family Gatherings, Show & Tell
- 18 Hours of Travel
- Firenze (Florence), Italy, Day 14
- Cannes, France, Day 13
- 25 Weeks
- Barcelona, Spain, Day 12
- Day At Sea, Day 11
- Gibraltar (UK), Day 10
- Casablanca, Morocco, Africa, Day 9
- Cadiz, Spain, Day 8
- Lisbon, Portugal, Day 7
- Vigo, Spain, Day 6
- Shooting at Dawson College
- Day 5: At Sea
- Le Havre, France Day, 4
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- Safe & Sound
- In The Nick of Time
- A Gift From Heaven?
- Can This Be My Lucky Day?
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- I Win Poker!
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