Sand Through My Toes

My big adventure in the sand

Archive for the month “April, 2013”

Back to Reality… Stateside

Welcome Aboard

Welcome Aboard – Majesty of the Seas

Yes, reality from cruising the ocean blue to reality of another 9 days of vacation! A fantastic three days cruising towards Coco Cay with a day at Nassau in the Bahamas. On the ship, loved having a sea view room even though not in the room long enough to enjoy it!  But the short time in it getting ready, nice to see the sea!  Plus, my stateroom was decked out 

Welcome to Your State Room, enjoy chocolate covered strawberries!!

Welcome to Your State Room, enjoy chocolate covered strawberries!!

with a belated “Happy Birthday” sign on the door, birthday banner, and to boot, chocolate covered strawberries along with red velvet cupcakes!   Thanks Dad and Dee for a true post birthday month celebration!!

Familiarized ourselves with the ship on Friday, enjoyed a beverage on the upper deck for our bon voyage wave, participated in a game of Bingo (damn, no luck), super dinner and then off to the casino for a bit of gambling — nope, not my day for winning!!  Saturday was a day at our private island, Coco Cay — you would think if a bird shit on my hand and sprayed a bit of it on the side of my face while I was eating lunch, I would have some good luck — well, I am throwing that theory out the window b/c once again at Bingo and in the casino later that evening, lost again at both!!  Sunday, since my best friend and I had already done Atlantis on Paradise Island, we opted to be true tourists and shop a bit (came back with nothing — oh sorry, one item) and enjoy the atmosphere of Senor Frogs!  Ah, to taste “The Yard” of beverages and bop around to the dance music, always a good time!! 

Thirsty - needed not just one yard but two yards!

Thirsty – needed not just one yard but two yards!

I had a wonderful time with my parents and my best friend and only wish it could have been a 7 day adventure at sea! Here a few pics of the three days……

Love a lighthouse to help guide the way, plus the crystal clear blue water!

Love a lighthouse to help guide the way, plus the crystal clear blue water!

So many to foo foo drinks to choose from, which one should I drink first??

So many foo foo drinks to choose from, which one should I drink first??

Relaxing outside Senor Frogs!

Relaxing outside Senor Frogs!

Ah, the ferry back to the ship!

Ah, the ferry back to the ship!

Damn, her tan is better than mine! Next summer......
Damn, her tan is better than mine! Next summer……

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Ah, to be home……

After three solid days of wonderful traveling (please do read with sarcasm), I am finally home and believe that I have conquered the jet lag!  The 14 hour flight across the globe wasn’t too bad as I had the whole row to myself — able to use the extended strap on the seat belt to keep myself safe and secure during the flight while I laid out and slept off and on for the majority of the flight :-).  Caught my next flight and it was a flight from hell — two rows from the back of the aircraft — but that wasn’t the bad part, the storms that the pilot had to maneuver through were horrific!  Bumpy, bumpy, and did I mention, bumpy for the majority of the flight! AARGH……..   my Fresca went flying off the table and got this prissy lady sitting in the diagonal aisle seat nice and sticky — sorry prissy lady!

I have been able to spend great quality time with my parents, two of my three siblings, meet my new niece (okay, 8 1/2 months old but new to me), do a bit of shopping, and enjoy some great tasting home cooked food!  I can already tell that it will be difficult to head back but knowing that my time is limited makes it all the better!!  My best friend arrived  yesterday and we are off this morning heading to the port to sail the ocean blue!  Can’t wait to relax on the seas, have a drink, see a show, have a drink, eat at the Captain’s table (oh yeah, we’ll get there – maybe??), have a drink, hit the slots, have a drink, and hey, possibly win at bingo again! Yep, thirsty just thinking about it 🙂

Great to be stateside so far for 4 wonderful days — sorry, no pics at this time, but after the cruise!  Happy Weekend to all….

 

 

 

Soon, Very Soon…… Leaving on a Jet Plane

at least trying to get on one!  The journey for my R & R begins tonight at midnight when I need to call to verify if the flight I signed up for is still a go.  When I get that confirmation, that is really when the trek home begins.  One sleep over at my first stop in country, then off to another country for another sleep over, and then hopefully on a commercial flight heading home.  After re-reading what I just wrote, it makes the journey seem rather fluid and easy — from friends who were wiser that actually took their leave around the sixth month mark would have a hell of a story to tell about their sleep overs and connections.  But, along the way, did mention they met some great folks — so that is a perk! 

Many fun things planned while home but seriously just can’t wait to be with family and friends!  Cruising on the ocean blue, a baseball game or two, a seafood place aptly named “Kelly’s Landing Seafood Restaurant”, meeting my new niece (okay, she’s almost 8 1/2 months old but new to me),  a bit of shopping, and yes, a nice cold beer and a glass of red wine — can’t wait!!  Oh yeah, sand too but with waves crashing at my “water shoes” covered feet.

A big thanks to Trish, Susan, Carrie, and Jennifer for heading to my place and “shopping” in my closet for some clothes to send my way — gotta love Face Time!  Didn’t even think about not having a single thing in the states and obviously I am not in shorts or short sleeved shirts here!!  🙂 Krista, your rolling duffel backpack is making another trip around the globe — gotta love duct tape to help keep the wheels in tact — sorry friend!!  Don’t fret, keeping it light — backpack and a rolling duffel suitcase with a sleeping bag, fitted sheet and fleece blanket neatly packed away — how far I have come in my packing abilities!! 

Off to have a photo taken for Pat’s Shadow Run — ah, another organized event for a great cause! 

One rolling duffel backpack and a backpack --- love traveling light!!

Ah, traveling light — one on the back, one being pulled!  

 

Sleeping Bag a necessity in the duffel backpack!

Sleeping Bag a necessity in the rolling duffel backpack!

 

Believable :-) and Unbelievable :-0

Why does time move so slowly when something wonderful is looming on the horizon?  After eight months and 21 days, I can finally see the light shining on my packed rolling duffel bag and backpack,  and my name on the Space A flight (hopefully I’ll get a seat) out of here to begin my trek to the States.  Although it will roughly take between three to five days to get there, I can already smell the ocean breeze, feel the warmth of the sun on my body, the taste of a cold Yeungling on my lips, and all the sales at the shopping mall!  Oh wait, I mean the excitement in the eyes of my family and friends seeing me after such a long time!  🙂 Can’t wait to see everyone!!

For the unbelievable, my students were all on time after lunch when I walked into my classroom.  They were all actually working diligently without any instruction b/c they remembered what they were tasked with prior to lunch dismissal.  As I stepped through the doorway, I stopped in my tracks and stared at my student that sits in the neutral seat at the table.  I expect to see nuts and tea on the table after lunch. No biggie if it doesn’t interfere with the lesson.  But today, what I am so dumbfounded about?  Well, Mr. Neutral opted for a Krombacher in the middle of the day in lieu of his tea!  I started laughing and told them not to move so I could go get my camera. I laughed so hard I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.  So, the posed picture is just that, posed.  The all natural photo is truly him working with his beer in arms reach!  I NEED A BREAK!!!

Take my picture teacher, I am thirsty too!

Take my picture teacher, I am thirsty too!

Who needs tea after lunch when you can drink a beer?

Who needs tea after lunch when you can drink a beer?

Juma Fun – Flying High!!

Let's take a ride to make sure everyone gets their mail!

Let’s take a ride to make sure everyone gets their mail

A friend of mine told me that a great personality can get you many things that you would like and I must say, I agree with him! I was fortunate enough to meet a few helicopter pilots that transport passengers and mail — yes, mail!   They were asking me what have I been able to do since I have been here and I stared at them dumbfounded as though every day is a journey outside the wire to see the sights.  So, they were kind enough to manifest me on their trip to Farah to get the mail delivered.  You could say that I was overwatch for the mail, the pilot/co-pilot and I assume load master (sorry, don’t really know what his official title is).  They had me ensure that the bungee cord was securely keeping the important packages in place — truly though, to make sure that they didn’t jostle about and fall into my lap.  🙂

Flying in a plane can be a great experience, especially if the passenger next to you is friendly and may want to play travel scrabble, but there is something about being in a helicopter that is so exhilarating.  Watching the pilots doing their cross checks, starting the blades to get the bird humming and just sitting there for two minutes waiting for them to warm up (I really don’t know why, but it sounds good), and not propel forward but lift up off the ground and somewhat hover as you get ready to begin the mail run!  The helicopter shakes and rattles and hums and shakes some more as you sit and wait for lift off.  The headphones that they wear — you think it’s all business with those covering their ears — think again!  It was fun to laugh with them as I had the pleasure of listening in and yes, adding my two cents to their banter.  All in all, they appreciated having a witty (yes, they did say witty) sarcastic, sports enthusiast passenger on the two hour round trip journey to Farah to unload the mail!  When we returned, we headed over for a quick bite for lunch and they did say to come again anytime on the mail runs as it is nice to have “a scent of a woman ” on board!  How sweet is that? 🙂 

Farah is the home of the Citadel of Alexander the Great.  I wasn’t able to hop off and tour the grounds but if you have a zoom feature when you click on the picture, you may be able to see the ruins of the fortress.  The Citadel was a stop along the Silk Road between Persia and India back in the day! The other pics show the landscape of this country — mountainous terrain (I do have to say at one point I thought we were heading right for the peaks of the mountain, but nope, just scaled right above them — I did have an “Oh Shit” moment while watching us approach the mountain ridge!!), our battle buddy in the sky, and a neighborhood in the desert!  Enjoy….  I must say that I did have a fun filled morning on Juma!  

The ruins of the Citadel of Alexander the Great

The ruins of the Citadel of Alexander the Great

Just in case, Huey's fly with a Buddy
Just in case, Huey’s fly with a Buddy!

Boy, I am thirsty....can I find some water?
Boy, I am thirsty….can I find some water?

And your address is.......

And your address is…….

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