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New England and Canada Cruise – Day 5, at sea

Tuesday, October 20th, 2009

Yet more photos have been posted from our trip! As usual, click on any of the photos to see the entire album, this time for Day 5.

We were excited to have our first sea day of the cruise. I can’t believe that our first one was on Day 5! I think in the future I will lean towards cruises that have sea days right away. I loved our port stops, but it’s nice to have that sea day to get acquainted with the ship and relax a bit before the whirlwind tours.

Gabe and I slept in as long as the munchkin would let us. She slept until 8:45am (7:45 her time as she hasn’t exactly adjusted to the time change). We didn’t complain about that! We got ready and headed to breakfast in the dining room. On our previous cruises, this has been our favorite spot for breakfast. This time, we decided we preferred the breakfast buffet in the Windjammer. The food wasn’t a vast improvement in the dining room (though we felt that it was on our other cruises). Plus, the service was a bit too slow for Maddie (despite asking for them to bring some Cheerios ASAP). Our dinner waiter was working the breakfast and came by the table a few times to marvel at our child who was actually eating. We told him not to take it personally; breakfast is her meal! He couldn’t believe that she ate so much.

My parents found us in the dining room towards the end of our meal, and we headed to the Fisher Price Royal Tots playgroup with my mom. The cruise had less than a dozen total kids. Three of the kids on the ship were under 3 years old. Maddie’s playmates were another girl who was two months younger and a boy who was about 9 months old. Everybody had shown up to the playgroup much earlier than us, but Maddie didn’t mind having all the toys to herself.

We really enjoyed having a balcony on this cruise! I hope that we haven’t spoiled ourselves for future cruises. I’m pretty sure we’re not going to splurge for that balcony every time! We were pretty happy with our cozy interior room on the Grandeur of the Seas when we didn’t know what it was like to have our own balcony! Maddie loved it about as much as she loved running on the decks on her first cruise.

Gabe, Maddie and I attended the Cruise Critic party with my parents. Kristin and Chad skipped it, and I think had more spa treatments. Gabe won a bottle of champagne in the drawing at the party. My family had plenty of wine and champagne for dinners for the rest of the trip as my parents had purchased the wine package (7 total bottles for the whole trip).

We went to lunch at the Windjammer and then to Logo trivia! Logo trivia had 50 different icons supposedly representing national chains and such, though a few of them turned out to be regional. Gabe, Maddie, and I formed a team with my parents. We were excited to be able to get 42 of the questions correct which earned us first place and a bunch of coveted keychains.

Mom, Kristin, and I entered the slot tournament while Gabe relaxed on our balcony with a napping Maddie. The three of us decided to enter the tournament together, splitting any winnings that any of us happened to get. The slot tournament was hilarious. We just pushed that button as fast as we could! Everyone got a chance to participate in a preliminary round, and the top winners in those rounds played in a final match to determine the winner. Kristin made it to the finals, but she was unable to secure the win. Oh well. It was entertaining and only $20 each to play. Better luck next time!

Next on our agenda was Team Trivia in the Safari Club. Mom and I headed to the trivia where we expected to meet Gabe and Dad. Gabe had decided to spend time on our balcony with Maddie (we didn’t know this until we tried calling the rooms to find them). We couldn’t find Dad, so Mom and I formed a team with some strangers. The trivia had a great turnout (maybe 40 teams?), and our team was first! The prize this time was a bottle of champagne. Our other teammates didn’t want the champagne, so we added it to our alcohol collection.

Mom and I went to get Gabe and Dad for the cheap $11 Bingo session. My parents had never played bingo before, so we had a little excitement teaching them how to play. I was close to getting Bingo on the first game and was even able to stand (they ask you to stand when you’re one away from Bingo). That was as close as any of us got to winning a prize. Oh well. Once again, at least it was cheap! Maddie had her snack while we were playing Bingo and made it through the session.

We opted for a different plan for dinner that night. I went down and decided what I would want to order for dinner and decided to entertain Maddie outside of the dining room until the appetizers were served. Maddie and I played in the Centrum. We looked at the drink menu (lots of colorful photos), watched the elevators go up and down, and then danced to the live music. We showed up to dinner about 30 minutes late, and I was surprised that my family had not even ordered our appetizers yet! Turns out that they had a family style Caesar salad to start the meal, so things were a little different that night.

Nonetheless, the delayed start time for Maddie did the trick and she made it through dinner. We went to Mom and Dad’s room to watch the sunset, but we had missed it (plus it was a big cloudy anyway). Gabe went to the casino (to lose more money) while I hung out with Mom and Dad. Before Maddie went to bed, she had a lot of fun watching the crazy dance party in the Centrum! We watched the madness from the 8th deck. It was quite entertaining, and Maddie enjoyed the music, lights, and crazy dancing people.

I went to the casino while Gabe put Maddie to bed where I lost less than $20. I thought my time in the casino was better spent watching my family gamble, so I watched Chad, Kristin, Mom, and Dad play roulette, video poker, and blackjack for the majority of the time. My $20 came into play when everyone was winning at blackjack. I was not so lucky! Oh well…at least I kept the losses to a minimum.

I went back to the room to relieve Gabe, and he headed to Quest with the rest of the family. I was sad to miss the craziness of Quest (especially since we missed it on the last cruise), but glad to let Gabe have a good time with my family. Kristin and Chad had never experienced the Quest madness, and I think they all had a good time. I’m always amazed to hear of the things that people will do in that game show. It’s a crazy, crazy time. While they were gone, I got ready for bed and caught up on my trip report notebook. Unfortunately, this is the last day that I managed to put onto paper…so I’ll be winging it for the remaining trip reports.

The next day we had another morning shore excursion, this time in Halifax, Nova Scotia – yet another new province to add to my list! I was excited to check so many new destinations off of my life’s travel list.

New England and Canada Cruise – Day 3, Bar Harbor

Wednesday, October 14th, 2009

More photos have been posted from our trip! Click on any of the photos in this post to see the full album from Day 3.

We had another early day with a shore excursion in Bar Harbor, our second and final stop in Maine. Kristin and Chad ordered room service for breakfast, and the rest of us went to the Windjammer for the buffet. Gabe and I weren’t too impressed with the selection and quality when we ordered room service breakfast in May. We were happy with the Windjammer this time! Maddie had another great breakfast to start her day.

Our tour was an hour later than the previous morning, but we were tendered instead of docked, so we had to allow some extra time to get to our tour. The tender process was quite easy this time, so we had plenty of time when we arrived on shore. Maddie enjoyed pointing out all the boats in the water. We walked around a little before the tour, but we had to get in line early so that we could sit together and hope to get Maddie a seat.

We liked Bar Harbor much better than Portland! The town had a lot more character. We were excited about our tour, Cadillac Mountain and Rinehart Pavilion. I knew when we were going to Bar Harbor that I definitely wanted to go to Acadia National Park.

Our bus was a bit full, and we were worried that Maddie would have to sit on our laps, but fortunately a few people didn’t show up. Thank goodness. It turned out that this excursion was going to be difficult enough as it was with our little toddler. I think she decided that two days in a row on a bus were not her idea of a good time, plus this tour was a bit long and only stopped twice. I was disappointed that we didn’t get more chances to get off of the bus for photo opportunities. Perhaps that is why Maddie was not happy about being on the bus either! The worst part is that Maddie had a stinky diaper in the first 15 minutes of the tour. We didn’t stop for at least an hour and a half. It was awful! We decided that this was Maddie’s last excursion for a long, long time. Ah well, we learned our lesson.

The views in Acadia were beautiful, especially from the top of Cadillac Mountain. We even were able to spot a little fall color. We had nice views of our ship from the top of the mountain. Unfortunately, we only had about 15 minutes at the top, so Gabe and I didn’t get much chance to enjoy it. We had to change Maddie’s diaper and barely had time to walk to the restrooms and back.

Overall, I definitely prefer tours that have more stops for photo opportunities. The only other stop on the tour was for blueberry pie. The pie was very tasty, but we didn’t have a lot of time for photos at this stop either. All in all, it was a pretty long tour for toddlers (and adults) with little chance to stretch our legs. Maddie hated the time on the bus, but she did love the blueberry pie!

We all opted to get off at the first stop when we returned to Bar Harbor, and Gabe, Chad, and Dad spotted a Brewery right away and went to investigate. They participated in a free, personal beer tasting of four different beers including an interesting blueberry one. Maddie was so tired that she fell asleep in the stroller when it was parked in the tasting area.

We walked around Bar Harbor and visited various shops while Maddie napped. Chad, Kristin, Gabe, and I went to eat lunch while Maddie continued to nap. We were shocked that she napped through the entire meal. Everyone except for me enjoyed their lobster rolls (and I certainly did not feel left out, yuck!). After lunch, we walked around a bit more and then headed back to the ship.

Once back on the ship, we got some food for Maddie and went to hang out on my parents’ balcony. Maddie enjoyed her banana and had a funny moment when she was requesting more banana. She was pointing at the plate of banana, saying “nana! nana!” Then she got a funny look on her face and looked over at my mom and said, “Nana…” You could really see the gears turning and the light bulb appear above her head.

We took Maddie to the Crayola art session. She was the only kid to show up, and the session was geared towards older kids. I’m not sure that oil pastels are a good match with toddlers! She learned that she could easily write on the glass table (which fortunately easily wiped off). At one point, I said, “don’t let her write on her shirt or anything.” Maddie immediately looked at the fistful of pastels in her hand and looked at her shirt and proceeded to draw on her shirt. Oops! Turns out that oil pastel draws nicely on shirts, too.

We got ready for dinner and spent some time on the deck outside before heading to the dining room. Dinner did not go especially well, and Gabe ended up taking Maddie out of the dining room before the entrees were served. Unfortunately, this was Italian night when the waitstaff dances around and sings for us. Gabe was able to catch most of it.

After Maddie went to bed, my mom watched her for about 30 minutes so that Gabe and I could spend a little time in the casino together. We felt like winners when we left the casino with all of the money we brought into it. We didn’t leave with any of the casino’s money, but breaking even with slot machines and video poker works for me.

We went to bed early since we had yet another early excursion the following morning (plus we were losing an hour that night due to the time change). It’s a little exhausting to start the cruise with three straight port days, but we were excited that we would be visiting a new Canadian province the next day (New Brunswick).

New England and Canada Cruise – Day 1, leaving Boston

Wednesday, October 7th, 2009

I’ve also posted the photos from Day 1. Click on any photo in this post to see many more in the full album (from Day 1).

We started the day organizing our luggage and getting ready to board the ship. Bags needed tagging with the special cruiseline luggage tags, and we needed to sort out what we were going to hand carry onto the ship. It took us a while to get ready! We then headed with my mom to find some breakfast. We ended up having a tasty breakfast at a sort of grocery store. Maddie ate a big breakfast while sitting on Nana’s lap (our “high chair” since they had none).

By the time we were finished with breakfast, it was time to gather our belongings and head to the ship. Somehow, we accidentally cut in line during the boarding process (which was an honest mistake). Things seemed like they were going smoothly as we filled out our health forms and acquired our sea pass cards. And then we had to stand around FOREVER waiting to get onto the ship. They were doing some sort of annual Coast Guard inspection, so I believe this was an unusual circumstance. No matter what the case, it was the worst boarding experience that any of us had ever had.

Since we accidentally skipped in the line (oops), they gave us “group 7″ as our boarding time. We still have no idea what that would have meant since my mom arranged priority boarding for us due to the pregnant woman and fidgety toddler. Once the line was finally started, it took a while for it to get moving. The actual boarding was awful as we had a VERY steep climb up to the ship. The man in front of us was in a wheelchair, and it took 3 strong people to get him up the boarding ramp. It was a ridiculous situation. I was concerned about carrying Maddie up that ramp onto the ship.

Once we made it onto the ship, we explored a little and then went to lunch in the Windjammer. Gabe and I were impressed in the differences between our previous ships (Vision of the Seas and Grandeur of the Seas) and the Jewel of the Seas. It makes a big difference to be on a much newer ship! The Jewel of the Seas is a little larger than our previous ships, too. We felt that the food in the Windjammer was much better than either of the other ships. We typically avoided the buffet in the past, but this time we were happy enough with it to have lunch and breakfast there almost every day. We did not notice any other kids while we were having lunch.

After lunch, we were excited to finally see our rooms and all of our awesome balconies. This was the first time that we have had a balcony, and we loved it! Maddie especially enjoyed it. Kristin and Chad and our family had hump rooms (8086 and 8088). The hump rooms have enormous balconies, compared to the other rooms. Maddie approved. My parents had an aft room which was also very neat and had a nice balcony.

We put Maddie in the stroller for her afternoon nap and explored the ship while she napped. Gabe and I were impressed by the Jewel of the Seas! It has a lot of nice things that our other ships didn’t have like extra restaurants, mini-golf, water slides, basketball courts, and self-leveling pool tables. Maddie’s nap was cut shorter than usual due to some dancing in the Safari Club. We headed back to our rooms where we found our baggage had been delivered, so we did a little unpacking before the muster drill.

Our meeting location for the muster drill was in the Schooner Bar, and we were not required to bring our life jackets to the drill. I guess we missed out on goofy photo opportunities this time! We did some more unpacking and headed to dinner after spending a little time on Mom and Dad’s balcony.

We were concerned about how dinner would go for Maddie since she had such a short nap, but she did great! She made it through the entire dinner. She was entertained by her new purse which contained some small books, new Little People figures, and her bracelets. The purse and contents were a hit and kept her entertained for part of the meal. The wait staff provided her with crayons each night, so that always entertained her a short while. She also enjoys wiping her tray with the wipes after her meal.

We walked around the ship some more after dinner with Kristin and Chad and ordered a special wine and cheese package for Mom and Dad. Somehow that was a much more complicated process than it should have been! I guess it’s much easier to order those types of packages before you set sail. Gabe and I couldn’t resist going to the casino on the first night. Mom and Chad wanted to go, too. Kristin volunteered to watch Maddie after she went to bed, and the four of us headed to the casino.

We looked for Texas Hold’em and didn’t see a game running, so we played blackjack, roulette, and video poker instead. We all took advantage of the once-per-cruise deal where you can buy $30 worth of chips for $20. Gabe and I did not have a successful first night in the casino!

We went back to the room, hung out a little with Kristin and Chad on our balcony, and went to bed. We didn’t have too much trouble sleeping in our stateroom, but we did notice that we can hear the music from the Centrum in our room. They seem to play pretty late (for us), so we were worried this might be a problem. Our room was the first one on the hall, right next to the elevators and the open 8-story Centrum area.

Bermuda Cruise, Day 4, part 3, back on the ship

Thursday, June 4th, 2009

We had to wait in a little bit of a line to get back onto the ship. It didn’t take too long. Once we were back on the ship, we took our showers and changed into our dinner clothes (though we had plenty of time until dinner). We gave Maddie another bath in the shower, and she hated it, again. We definitely like to bathe her on the days that we put sunscreen on her.

Since Maddie did not nap for too long earlier in the day, we put her in the stroller and tried to get her to nap some more before dinner. We walked around the ship quite a bit as we left the port and watched our last few views of Kings Wharf and other parts of Bermuda.

Our time in Bermuda was so short, but we were happy with what we were able to see. If we had another day, we would have visited Hamilton. We might have collected some sea glass. Several others from our Cruise Critic board talked about the glass that they collected, and it sounded neat.

We walked a ton during our trip. Maddie loves the stroller, but she also requires you to keep moving. We enjoyed strolling on the 5th deck since we could make a complete loop most days and it was shaded. The only problem with Deck 5 is that it could be quite windy when we were at sea! Deck 10 also had a loop (which is about a quarter mile, who knows how many times we completed that loop and the one on Deck 5 which is longer!).

After we took in the sail away views, we headed to Rock ‘n Roll Name That Tune trivia. We had a pretty good idea that the songs were all going to be from the 50s and 60s. Unfortunately, this was the case. In fact, we’re almost positive that the songs were identical to the ones that we had on the last cruise. The repeat performances that we experienced on the cruise were disappointing. The good part is that we didn’t feel like we were missing much when Maddie prevented us from participating in an activity! Maddie woke up during the trivia game, and we headed to the Solarium for a snack. They always had hamburgers, pizza, and fries in the Solarium.

Between trivia and dinner, we let Maddie run around the decks and walk down the hallways. She had a great time and continued to make friends everywhere she went. Nobody ever called her a boy when she was walking around in a dress, but we got it frequently when she was in her stroller and it didn’t seem to matter what she was wearing.

We had the best dinner on the cruise this night, perhaps because she had a nap closer to dinnertime. She was entertained with stickers, Touchy Feely books, and crayons. She made it more than halfway through the entree. This was the only night that Annabelle didn’t make it through the entire meal. Funny that Maddie’s best day was Annabelle’s worst (though I must say that Annabelle was still content to be at the table, she just didn’t want to sit in her high chair).

After dinner, we went to see the sunset and had just missed it again. Maddie didn’t care, she had the most fun of the cruise running around on the decks and shrieking. This was definitely one of my favorite memories from the cruise. She was so happy! A couple of older kids were playing on the decks, and she thought they were hilarious.

We took some video and a bunch of photos. Maddie had the time of her life.

After playing on the deck for a bit, we headed back to the room to change Maddie into her pajamas and put her into the carrier. We tried to go to the show, but Maddie wasn’t quite ready to sleep and started to get fussy. Gabe walked Maddie around until she slept and urged me to start playing poker. The last night that he played, he had to wait at least 30 minutes for a spot at the table. Since only one spot was left after we cut through the casino, I sat down and started playing.

Maddie fell asleep soon afterward, and Gabe was able to successfully transfer her to the pack-n-play. He did some reading while I was playing poker. A house phone was just a few steps away from the poker table, so I checked in with Gabe to ensure that Maddie was still sleeping every 30 minutes or so.

I had a great night playing poker and ended up profiting $229. Not too shabby! I was thrilled. I plan to write more about my poker experiences in a separate post, as I mentioned previously.

While I was in the casino, I took advantage of the deal that allowed $30 in chips for $20. The cashier claimed that I could use the chips at the poker table, but I wasn’t surprised when the dealer said that they were invalid. I ended up using half of it on the roulette table and the other half on the craps table. I really enjoyed playing the other table games! It didn’t hurt that I made money doing it, about $40 total profit. Overall, I ended up with about $260 in profit (after I blew $10 on a random slot machine). Maddie was still sleeping when I got back, and Gabe was excited about all of my profits!

Kentucky Trip Report

Friday, May 8th, 2009

We went to Kentucky for the opening weekend of Keeneland, which was the first weekend of April. Somehow over a month has passed since the trip, so I’m going to try to recount it now. I’ve also posted the Kentucky photo album.

We left home on Thursday morning, hoping to make it to Kentucky by dinnertime. The trip is about 8 hours, but with Maddie it seems to take at least 10. We usually drive as long as she will let us, stop for food, and then drive as long as she will let us again. She typically does fairly well for the first part of the trip. This time, she slept for a few hours in the morning. We stopped at a Cracker Barrel for lunch where Maddie was the star of the show.

After lunch, we ran into some awful fog. Visibility was so bad that it was difficult to see the car in front of us. This persisted for several miles, and then it was smooth sailing after that. Maddie did pretty well until around the time we got to Kentucky. We stopped at the Kentucky Welcome Center to stretch her baby legs. She liked walking around the picnic area.

Meanwhile, Melissa and Jason were touring Mammoth Cave, which is neat but in the middle of nowhere. I was amused that their bus driver said, “Well. I have bad news and good news. The bad news is that we’re under a tornado warning. The good news is that we’re about to go into a cave!” Ha! We hope to tour Mammoth Cave someday.

We had dinner with Gabe’s family and did some visiting before heading back to the hotel for Maddie’s bedtime. When we visited in November, we tried having Maddie sleep for a little bit at Gabe’s parents’ house before going to the hotel, but that doesn’t work real well for her these days. We stayed at the Hyatt attached to Rupp Arena which was neat, even if we didn’t get to see the inside of the coliseum. We did make a discovery while strolling around the shops in the hotel. The art gallery had a featured artist that did scroll saw art similar to Gabe’s parents. In fact, one of the portraits had been cut from one of Mick’s patterns! Gabe’s parents were interested to hear about that and actually may provide more portraits for the gallery by “the original artist” at some point.

Friday was opening day at Keeneland. The weather wasn’t great, but it was better than the last time we went to Keeneland. It was chilly and windy. We stayed inside most of the time, but we did go out to watch several of the races. We had a great time! Gabe’s mom and Dylan went with us as well as Melissa and Jason. We did really well this time and actually cashed quite a few tickets, including Gabe’s first trifecta (well, it was my first, too)! That was very cool. Melissa had some great luck as well – she cashed over half of her tickets, amazingly. Jason was not quite so fortunate and did not cash a single one of his bets.

After a day at the track, we went out to dinner with Melissa and Jason at Joseph Beth Cafe. Jason enjoyed his first hot brown, and Gabe’s meal was tasty. Unfortunately, Melissa and I got quiches and they were lukewarm. Turns out that lukewarm quiche is not very tasty. After dinner, we visited Artique which is a local chain of art galleries. Gabe’s parents have some of their work displayed in some of them now. We were in the super pricey side of Artique with fancy glass sculptures and vases and such. I held on tight to Maddie and made sure we weren’t within kicking distance of anything breakable – it was a bit scary to even walk into the shop. They have signs all over the place that basically say, “you break it, you buy it.” While we were in the shop, a lady knocked off a large glass vase off of one of the display pedestals. We saw her standing next to the register looking absolutely sick when we were leaving the shop. Yikes! We peeked at the price tag of a much smaller vase, and that one was $700. Who knows how much a larger, showcased item was priced! I’m glad that it didn’t happen to us – scary!

We went back to the hotel, put Maddie to bed, and played a little Tichu with Melissa and Jason. Maddie didn’t want us to have too much fun and only let us play a few hands.

On Saturday, we spent time with Gabe’s family at his parents’ house while Melissa and Jason went to the Kentucky Horse Park. In the evening, we treated Mick and Debbie to a birthday dinner at DeSha’s, which was very close to our hotel. Maddie was a bit restless during dinner, so the two of us went for a walk around the neighboring park. Mostly, I think she was a tired baby as she was ready for bed right after dinner and slept long enough for us to play a complete game of Tichu with Melissa and Jason.

We woke up bright and early (well, not too early) and headed back to North Carolina on Sunday morning. We managed to coordinate a lunch at Cracker Barrel with Melissa and Jason about halfway through the trip. Maddie did pretty well, but we did have to make a few extra stops in the second half of the trip.

PackRat: The Addiction

Wednesday, July 30th, 2008

On Facebook, I have received a ton of requests for stupid applications, games, quizzes, etc, etc. Most of them, I have ignored. I believe that I ignored requests for PackRat numerous times, but one of my friends convinced me that I should give it a try. I added the application. I said, “I don’t get the big deal, this is dumb.” A few hours later, I was hooked! Gabe and I have been spending all of our “free” time (and some that is not so free) playing PackRat for the past several days. Laundry and dishes are being neglected. Clutter is piling up everywhere, even worse than normal. Books are getting dusty. The DVR is starting to delete unwatched shows. I’m even WAY behind on my feeds in Google Reader. Even the internet is being neglected! Don’t worry, the baby isn’t being neglected (though usually one of us is playing while the other is tending to the child!).

So…what is PackRat? Well, there’s no way that I can describe it that will make it sound “awesome” to you. As I said before, the game sounded lame to me until I started playing it. Gabe mentioned that it reminds him of Animal Crossing, which we used to play quite often on the Nintendo DS (and has me interested in getting Animal Crossing when it comes out for the Wii later this year!). Basically, it involves collecting sets of cards. You can obtain cards by stealing from your friends or “rats” (bots who also have card collections), buying them in the marketplace, combining cards in your “pack,” and finding cards that pop up on your screen randomly. I will warn you that most people play cooperatively. Stealing from your friends without permission is generally frowned upon, so don’t do it!! Playing cooperatively with your friends works quite well, actually. Several of us are usually online at the same time, messaging each other back and forth about the cards that we are trying to collect. Usually, most of us are working on different sets, so we are happy to help others!

The cards are quite pretty and sometimes amusing as well. Apparently, new sets are introduced and old ones are retired from time to time, so the availability of certain retired sets is very limited. The card collections cover a variety of interests, so you can pursue whatever set appeals to you at the moment. Currently, I’m trying to complete the Rat Pack set, which is a collection of casino and Vegas themed cards. It’s a difficult set to attempt, so I definitely do not recommend it when you first start playing! Gabe is working on Papa Louie’s, a pizza themed set.

I plan to write post soon with a “beginner’s guide” that should help newbies get started. We’ve only been playing a few days, but we have been playing quite intensively! It doesn’t take very long to figure out what is going on with the game, but it is a bit confusing about what to do when you first begin.

The PackRat Wiki is VERY useful for completing sets. It will let you know where to find particular cards as well as which cards combine together to make other cards.

Currently, we are both quite obsessed with collecting our PackRat sets. I’m sure that the obsession will die down over time, but for now we’re having a lot of fun with it!

Cruise Day 7 – At sea

Wednesday, September 26th, 2007

We were sad that this was our last day, but we made the best of it! We loved getting our daily Cruise Compass which detailed the day’s activities. We carried a schedule in our pockets to ensure that we didn’t miss our favorite activities! (more…)

Cruise Day 5 – Tracy Arm Fjord Scenic Cruising

Sunday, September 23rd, 2007

Today was basically another “at sea” day but with neat scenery in the morning. We woke up early so that we wouldn’t miss the best parts of the scenery. Reviews that we had read said that this was one of the highlights of an Alaskan cruise, so we didn’t want to miss it! We woke up and headed to Deck 9 to get a good view, but then we quickly found out that it was raining. We didn’t want to stand around in the cold rain, so we went to the dining room to get a quick breakfast. It was only 7:30am, so we had plenty of scenic cruising left and the dining room had just opened. (more…)

Cruise Day 2 – At Sea

Sunday, September 23rd, 2007

I know that some of you are patiently (and not-so-patiently) waiting to see the photos, but it’s going to take a little while longer. I have most of the pictures ready for the website, but I haven’t started captioning them yet. I should have them up somewhat soon. I was hoping I would have them finished by the end of the weekend, but since it is now Sunday…I’m not so sure. In the meantime, I will entertain you with more information than you ever wanted to know about our trip. Aren’t you excited? (more…)

Seattle Day 3 / Cruise Day 1

Saturday, September 22nd, 2007

We had a little time in the morning to do our last bit of touring of Seattle, so we headed to Pike Place Market where we planned to have breakfast at The Crumpet Shop. It was here that we discovered the answer to the burning question…what is a crumpet? Turns out that crumpets are tasty! We decided that crumpets are what English muffins are attempting to be. (more…)