Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Travel Tuesday - Ship Life - by Lady

I love life on the sea. In another life I would have a yacht (I am far to lazy to sail) and live on the ocean. Since this life does not permit such luxuries, I have to settle for the cruise ship.

The things I love of cruise life:
-the food - it is so good, and I will share some of my favourite dinners below
-the gentle rocking of the ship
-my room is cleaned daily and I don't have to do it
-the pace of sea days 
-the predictability of it all

Things I don't like:
-the large number of other people. Over the years I have met and spent time with some wonderful people I am still in contact with on the ship - but in general, it is way too people-ly. 

Often, to save money and because let's be honest we are rarely in our room other than to sleep and change, we get an inside cabin. However, on this trip, given it was my first trip since the pandemic began, we upgraded to the balcony. I had totally forgotten this and was thrilled when I realized, because more than any other trip in my life, I found being around people the hardest on this one.  

The Man - who doesn't love the balcony spending a little time on it

Two things on the ship anchor your life (pun intended) - port days and the time you can leave the ship and the time you have to be back to the ship, and meal times.  As a person with food allergies, the whole process of getting food can be a thing. In general, I order my food the day before so the kitchen can prepare it. In spite the fact I say no gluten and no soy, they can seriously make me anything! Sometimes my dinner is better than Man's! Unfortunately, for the first time, I somehow got some soy (no one can figure out how, which is a little scary - but it was the one and only night we ate in the main dining room), and had one evening of toilet dependency and 36 hours of feeling really gross, but this was a blip and had as minimum impact as it could.

Here are some pictures of my favourite meals - although I realize my Chinese food is not pictured here and they made me amazing, safe food and honestly the Chinese restaurant had some of the best service. (Note: my dinners all have meat but there are lots of vegetarian options on the ship).

Steak dinner at the speciality steak house - Cagney's

Lamb at Le Bistro - the French Restaurant and our favourite

Osso Bucco from the Italian restaurant

French onion soup 

My favourite dessert - this yummy pear

Duck - at Le Bistro - we ate there twice

For those who don't love food like me, here are some non-food pictures:

The port in Bonaire

Coming into St. Lucia

Proof I was out of my room past 9 pm and at the Glow party

Because we never have pictures together

I hope you enjoyed a little of our life on the ship. Come back with us next Tuesday to go on a hike in Aruba! 

Monday, February 27, 2023

Mischief Monday - Weather and Change

 Dear pals,

As we mentioned last week, the Man is starting his return to the office. People keep saying return to work, but he has been working the past 1076 days. Friday was his first day back. He will be going 2 days per week, he has picked Monday and Friday for now.

The work environment has completely changed for him. People don't have assigned desks, they have to book them hotel style. There are fewer desks on the floor for distancing. Team members may not all be in on the same days. You can't leave anything at the office. It is a big adjustment. 

It is a big adjustment for us too! However, Lady and Man are thrilled to say, we rocked the first day alone. There was no destruction, no messes, only 2 thrilled dogs that their people returned. Lady and Man hope this trend continues. 

sunrise on a cold morning

In other mischief news, we have had a cold snap. It has been like -26C/-15F. Some mornings Lady has decided it is just not safe enough to walk, so we have short business trips. Lady says it is a bit ironic it is so cold this week, because we have one of the warmest winters on record. The Rideau Canal Skateway couldn't open because it needs 10 days below -10C/14F to freeze thick enough to skate on. This is the first time since it opened as a place to skate in 1972 this has happened. Previously, the shortest skating season was 18 days. 

We are keeping warm with fires, electric blankets and snuggles!

Saturday morning when it was too cold to be outside

Hope you are all staying warm friends!

Friday, February 24, 2023

FFF and Nature - Blue

Thanks to Aunty-Yam for hosting this event.

On dark, cold winter days,
I dream of blue.
Blue skies, blue seas,
sound so much warmer to me.
I wonder why I don't move,
to the land of all blue.

Thanks to Rosy and Sunny for hosting Nature Friday.

Thursday, February 23, 2023

Habit Breaking

Some puppy has developed a very bad habit. If both of us are out of the house some big orange dog goes downstairs to do his business all over the floor. 

I have no idea who she is talking about

To be clear, at this time, the dogs are alone maybe 2.5 hours on a Tuesday evening and for 4ish hours on Saturday. Man is still working at home (although he will have to start going back to the office soon) and Lady works out of the house 2-3 days a week. 

Also to be clear they are taken out right before we go (even if it is not a routine time to go) and are left with a going out greenie.

Someone, just doesn't like a change in his routine and he does not like to be alone.

As the top of the stairs is too wide for a traditional gate and previously I have not found an affordable alternative that the little black dog wouldn't eat, this is our current solution:

As long as the stairs are blocked there are no messes (and yes we have used all the fancy stain removers to discourage him). 

Leaving is now a production, garbage up, stairs blocked, dogs out, greenie given . . . . The things we do for love!

Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Travel Tuesday - Orlando and San Juan - by Lady

The world of travel has changed a lot since I last left the country in October 2019. Flights out of Canada were challenging and expensive. The Man and I like to be near the port the day before our ship leaves, so to make this happen in a reasonable way for this trip, to get on a ship on Sunday - we flew Ottawa to Orlando on Friday and then Orlando to San Juan on Saturday. The advantage to this was reasonable travel days (although long enough for me to read a book on each of them) and limited airports. One trip we looked at left Ottawa at 6 am, arrived in San Juan at 1 am and visited 4 airports!

Thursday night we stayed with my parents, who live closer to the airport and at 3 am, when the temperature was close to -40 C/F (it is the same), we headed to the airport. It took us an hour to go through security and customs (fun fact, if you are flying directly to the States from some of Canada's airports, there is part of the airport that is US territory and customs are dealt with there). After a rather uneventful flight, with a very rough landing, we made it to Sanford airport.

Here is the big drawback to our plan, our flight to San Juan was out of Orlando International, so we took the long Uber to our hotel, which was in iCon Park. As we had time to kill, and it was the only day with poor weather (it rained quite heavily part of the afternoon), we explored iCon park. Unfortunately, the aquarium was closed, so after lunch and before a visit to a bar to kill time until our room was ready, we enjoyed Madame Tussaud's! (I had never been to one before!).

Here is some of the fun from Madame Tussaud's 

The King of Pop with the King of Tacos

Power Pose!

I say, what about breakfast at Tiffany's

Probably my favourite picture the entire trip lol!

Phone Home

In the evening on our walk back from dinner at a great Indian place, the park was a glow. 

When you are in Orlando, everyone makes things Disney themed. Here are the Man's breakfast waffles.

We arrived in San Juan Saturday afternoon. It was a bit grey, but it didn't rain on us. 

One word I would use to describe the weather the entire trip, windy. I have so many pictures like this! (My hat kept blowing off, my ponytail actually blew out one day!)

For the king of tacos (and because there are always options for me with my allergy to gluten and soy), we found a little Mexican place.

We started with margaritas:

and then the tacos came. Man ate tacos and then ordered a serving of tacos for dessert!

The weather was nicer Sunday morning when we went for a stroll before boarding the ship.

Then it was time to get on the Norwegian Epic and set sail!

Picture actually taken in Aruba as I realized I didn't have a picture of the ship

Phod hope you all enjoyed this more than he did. He found it boring!  Next week we will talk about ship life and food, mostly food!

Why isn't she writing about me???

Monday, February 20, 2023

Mischief Monday - So Much Camp

 Dear pals,

We are happy to report that we made it home safely a whole week ago. It took Lady this long to get organized, something about having to return to work right away etc. etc. Anyway, we guess better late than never. 

While Lady and Man were off jet setting (we are going to let them do a travel Tuesday series to share about the trip starting tomorrow), we were in camp.

As always, we would like to report that camp was terrible. Sadly, Lady and Man arrived when Lee was sitting in a room with about 10 other dogs having a story read to her, so they are having trouble believing we were abused. The staff could report on almost our every move (Lee seemed a little anxious, but did play. Both of us loved the staff over the other dogs. We took over the big bed and didn't want to share with others). Yes we lost some weight. Yes we were excited to be home. Yes we slept a lot the next day. However, there was no abuse, it was just not home and we didn't love it. 

Hugging Lady after we got home

There was one incident of misbehaviour. When Lady and Man arrived to rescue us, Phod was not in either of the play rooms. Turns out a new senior husky had joined the group and Phod would not leave this poor gal alone. She didn't like it, so after a bit, Phod had to leave camp. 

Sleeping so soundly the day after we got home, he didn't hear Man calling him

Other than being overly friendly, nothing of note happened. Lady said it would be awhile before we had to go to camp again. She and Man don't have any current travel together plans. She is mindful we are getting older and that is a consideration on future travel. 

We are happy to be back to our routine and look forward to catching up with you all.

Friday, February 3, 2023

Be Back Soon

 Gone in search of sun.  See you all in a few weeks. Please take care of yourselves!

Thursday, February 2, 2023

Nature on Thursday

Winter is upon us, and Lady's feeders have attracted some of the local wildlife. Here are a few of the visitors from last week.

First up we share the loan male turkey. He must have lost the ladies to another male. He was disappointed the feeders needed to be filled and came right up to Lady's office window where she was working and stared at her. He was like 3 feet away. By the time she went to get him some food, he had left. 

After Lady put out the food (and actually a few days before, they have been around a lot) the gang arrived. It can be as many as 16 birds. 

This is them in the side yard - there had been a fight - we think between males

Lady was lucky one day to catch a glimpse of one of her deer friends. She admits, they are some of her favourites. 

Not pictured a group of 30 small birds - Lady thinks some kind of sparrow; all the chickadees; downy woodpecker.

They can be very distracting when she is working! 

Happy Groundhog Day!