For Part 1,  go here.

For Part 2, go here.

Today is Part 3, which covers the 5th day of our trip, the second day in  Bermuda. After looking through these photos I have definitely decided to use some for some My World Tuesday posts, so there will be more later. That means I may  not have picked my favorite photos for this, but it is a general overview of the day.

We decided to rent a scooter. Tourists are not allowed cars, so it is scooter or public transportation. We knew we could not get to all the places we needed to go, especially in a timely manner on public transportation since we wanted to go Letterboxing. Thus we rented a scooter.

Notice the attractive helmet. Imagine how much MORE attractive it looked on me. No pictures. (We really did not chronicle all of this trip very well, did we?) The scooter was quite an adventure for two reasons. Prince Charming has not spent a lot of time in his life on such vehicles, therefore he was a bit nervous about driving it. Also in Bermuda they drive on the opposite side of the road from what we do in America. And they have roundabouts. On the first roundabout we missed the exit and had to go another way. We could not find a place to turn around for five miles. But I was not irritated. I was in love! (I’m telling you, waiting ten years to take a honeymoon is not a bad idea at all!)

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Now notice the wind. I mentioned that it was blustery the day before. This day was not much different except there was more sun.

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Our letterboxing adventures that day took us to an old fort (one of many on the island) and to Horseshoe Bay–possibly the most popular beach on the island. The fort was wonderful, and even more so because we FOUND the letterbox! At the bay, we found one out of two.  We have no idea if the other was there or not; the clues seemed to be not very clear, so it could have been there without our finding it.

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The water was cold, but there is no way I can be by and ocean and not get my feet wet. I grew up in the Midwest, and now I live where there is even less water. But when I first saw the ocean (7th grade?) I was in love… forever.

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The plovers on the beach were not shy. This one was running within inches of a person lying  down on the beach.

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By this time it was mid-afternoon. We had to head back for the daily nap, which by this time was preceded by daily ice cream. (Good thing we were hiking a lot or we would have gained 15 pounds each that week!)

Tomorrow is SkyWatch. I haven’t decided if I am going to just post a sky picture for the next day or include the next day on Friday. It doesn’t matter. The sky picture tomorrow will be good no matter where it is from

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For Part 1,  go here.

This is the 4th day of our trip, the 3rd day of the cruise. (Not full days. We left New York in the evening, spent the next day at sea and arrived in Bermuda the following morning.)  I only  have one day this time, so a few more pictures for that day. But I am still amazed at how few pictures I took. I think I was afraid of using up all my memory cards. If that was the case, I will be the first to admit how stupid that was!

When we awoke (after a sleepless night–although I love cruising, I don’t sleep well on a ship), we were slowly coming into the harbor. I think it took about an hour to get in once we slowed our speed.

The colors of the water were enchanting to me.

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We docked across the bay from Hamilton at an old fort.  It was a blustery day. Very cold. Very windy. A little rain. But we are adventuresome sorts, so just decided to make an adventure of it.

We took a ferry to Hamilton the first day to do the obligatory shopping. Gifts for lots of family and friends and hopefully something we liked for ourselves. I am NOT a shopper, so we decided to just do this and get it over with. Since it was a blustery day, I did not feel like I was missing much at the beach.

I was cold most of the day. We walked quite a bit around the city, but that did not warm me up. Periodically the sun would come out, and I would find a spot in it to sit when it was out.

That is when I became acquainted with the noisy little birds, the Kiskadees. I had never seen them before and had no idea what they were until we went book shopping (my favorite souvenir from places I visit) and found them in a book about Bermuda. As long as the sun was out, I could have stayed and watched them all day.

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Apparently the weather that greeted us was unusual. It was the last day of March, but we were told it was “January weather.” Many things were in bloom. Hisbiscus were everywhere. This red one really grabbed me.

click photo to enlarge

click photo to enlarge

I decided to head out on a little walk of my own while Prince Charming took a break and guarded our treasures. I was enamored by the colors of the buildings. (More on that another day.) I decided to walk a little and see what kinds of colors I could find, but one of my favorite shots from the whole trip is this white City Hall building with the blue, blue sky in the background.

click photo to enlarge

click photo to enlarge

The wind and rain picked up, so we headed back to the ship for a nap. Note to self: If you have to pick a dinner time on a cruise, ALWAYS pick the late one so you can get in a nap before getting ready! (We were already missing our kids, but were grateful they were not there. It would have been fun with them, but a completely different kind of experience.)

Tomorrow is our first day of Letterboxing in Bermuda. (And do not begin to think that I am going to start regularly posting something every day!)

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A year ago today (by the calendar), Prince Charming and I were boarding a cruise ship for Bermuda. Not long after I started blogging (approximately 9 months ago), I thought I would blog about this trip when a year  had passed since taking it. Then My World came up, and I thought I would just do a couple of posts for that meme about our Bermuda trip. I might still do that, but last week I started a series about a local place we go hiking, so I decided to not break into that. I wondered if I  should wait to blog about this, but I have a few OCD areas of my personality, and it was a year ago, so I want to talk about it NOW!

This cruise was something I earned through my stamping business. I am almost ashamed to admit that I have been  a St*mpin’ Up! Demonstrator just shy of 13 years, and this was only the second incentive trip I ever earned.  The first one I earned (ironically, a cruise to Bermuda–they have  only had two in my  history, and I earned both of them) was when Chic was 5 months old. It was also less than a week after Prince Charming’s mother passed away, so we had to skip it. When Bermuda came up again, I was elated because I had had a fascination with it since childhood, and not going the first time was quite a blow. So I worked extra hard that year, and things fell in place over which I have little control, and I got it.

This was doubly good because Prince Charming and I had been married almost 10 years but had never had a honeymoon. (We  met online. He lived in North Dakota; I lived in Missouri. We  married in Canada, and moving him from North Dakota to Missouri was our “honeymoon.” I often say he’s lucky he did not get divorce papers after that!) We traveled quite a bit, but always to North Dakota, so those trips did not really count as vacations. Then Chic came along, then Chicklet. By the time we took the cruise to Bermuda, nearly 10 years after our marriage, our trips alone to not visit family amounted to a house-hunting trip to Albuquerque (which I believe we both cherish as a psuedo-honeymoon) and a 3-day trip to Las Vegas (which also holds a special place in our hearts).  But this was a week, no NINE days, on a relatively exotic trip with no. children. Although both of us LOVE to travel, if we never get to travel again, this trip will be a highlight for us forever. (I personally think a honeymoon after nearly ten years might be better than one right after being married.)

So what I have decided to do is post my favorite (or favorite few) photos from each day of our trip for now. I might do one or more My World posts about Bermuda later, but since time is important to me, I thought I would just do this now.

We actually flew out the morning before the cruise or we would not have been able to get there in time. We “sailed” from New York, so we spent the night there. This was a double-edged sword for me because I. LOVE. NEW YORK.  My first visit was at Thanksgiving my junior year in college, and I have been 3 or 4 times since.  There is just no place in the world like New York. (Not that I have been to the whole world, but you know what I mean.) So I was excited about being there (and especially getting a hot dog from a street vendor–I wonder if native New Yorkers think I am insane for that), but we were not going to be there long enough to stray far from our hotel  near Times Square, AND Prince Charming had never been to the state of New York, so this gave him a new state which made him tied with me for states to which we have been. (It is a silly competition, but most of our married life I have been at least one state ahead of him. I will go to great lengths to visit a state I have not visited in order to keep my lead. But now we are tied–at 44 states each–and it looks as if it will remain that way for quite some time–unless I can find a way to visit my friend in Tennessee and take a road trip to South Carolina.)

click photo to enlarge

click photo to enlarge

The picture of above is of Times Square. (I think. This is not as bright as I remember it, and there were so many more lights and electronic billboards than the last time that I had been there that it seemed like I was in a science fiction movie.) Prince Charming took it with his camera. I decided to leave my camera at the hotel because on my first visit to the Big Apple, my dad bought a camera from someone on the street, and we realized after developing the film that it had probably been stolen about 3 minutes before he bought it. I would have rather gone somewhere else our only night there, but since Prince Charming had never been there, it was important to see the place.  He has traveled more of the world than me and has been to places like London and Rome, but I think he was somewhat awed by New York. We did walk away from the crowds to a little pub to have dinner. It would be crazy to be in New York and not get one meal in a restaurant somewhat away from where all the tourists are.

The  next morning my friend (from Tennessee–I was so elated she was on the trip with us) and I got pedicures. She actually got a manicure, pedicure, facial and massage (for an incredible price), but I am not much into all of that. (Too ticklish. I only get a pedicure once a year to fix all the winter neglect, then I do my own the rest of the year.)  Then we met with Prince Charming for brunch–street hot dogs–at  my insistence. I should have taken a picture of that, but maybe my camera was still packed and hidden. (And I was not blogging then, so I was not yet taking pictures of every. single. thing. that crossed my path in a day.)

We boarded the ship, found a  nice gift from St*mpin’ Up! (we got a gift in our room every day of the cruise–the first day was a soft blanket which was good because it was COLD) and left port. I did not go to the Bon Voyage party because a) I was cold and b) I was on a ship without children with my husband!  From our balcony, we watched the Statue of Liberty go by and headed out to open sea.

click photo to enlarge

click photo to enlarge

We had an amazing sunset. The sky was most brilliant when there was not much sun left and after it had set completely, so I am not including the photo that everyone wants of the big orb just getting to the ocean.

click photo to enlarge

click photo to enlarge

The next day was a sea day. I only took four pictures that day, so my selection is slim. We spent some time looking at art and attending an art auction.  (Almost everyone I have talked to since who has cruised has done the same thing on at least one sea day.)

click photo to enlarge

click photo to enlarge

Since I am doing My World tomorrow, I covered three days today. I will make a concerted effort to get a picture or two up on Tuesday about my cruise. That will be the first day in Bermuda.

Back to Orlando today.

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The place I stayed for my January visit to Orlando was the Doubletree Castle Hotel. I stayed here because it was supposedly close to the Convention Center where my Conference was. (“Close” is apparently a relative term. It was close enough for running shoes. Not close enough for street shoes. Thankfully they have a semi-reliable trolley system there.) The other reason for staying here is that as usual, Prince Charming was in charge of setting this up, and this is the best deal he could find. (It WAS a good deal!)

When I arrived, I thought it was a bit cheesy from the outside.  Coral paint and turrets.  But it turned out to be a nice place with the second-most-comfortable-hotel-bed-which-I-have-experienced. (I have never stayed in a Westin with a “heavenly bed.”)  Probably the best part was the warm chocolate chip cookie given to me upon checking in (which is apparently a Doubletree signature). Most pictures can be enlarged when clicked.

the pool

the pool

close-up of pool fountain

close-up of pool fountain

The grounds were pretty. (But what wasn’t? It was January in  FLORIDA!) The room service was inconvenient, but had WONDERFUL food. (Next to the bed, this is the most important thing to me.)

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This place was created for a book and me

It was definitely very “castle-like” inside. My Princesses would have loved it. (But I loved being there by myself!)

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My World is a weekly meme in which participants are virtual tour guides. Go check it out and see the worlds of others. Or better yet, take a look at the guidelines, and do your own My World Post!

Some comments in last week’s My World  Tuesday post wondered why I was at Universal Studios when it was closed.

Well, I was going to post about that anyway, and it is a large part of my personal world,  so here it is.

My “job” is being a St*mpin’ Up! Demonstrator. In May, it will be thirteen years that this has been one of my jobs. And for the past 6-1/2 years, it is the only job I have that pays. (And I have plenty of other jobs!)  St*mpin’ Up! has events for their demonstrators all through the year, but the main ones are a Convention in the Summer and a Leadership Conference in January. At the Leadership Conference, they have something called “Manager’s Reception” which is for people at a certain level and above. The last several years they have made this reception some kind of party, and this year they rented out part of the Islands of Adventure at Universal Studios. I really don’t know how many people were there, but I would say not more than 200. Everything was free (4 rides, caricature drawings, arcades, food, drink), and it was so much fun. I went alone and was a little uncomfortable with that because I thought it might not be as fun on the rides by myself, but it WAS fun. I never actually WAS by myself; I was usually with people whose friends were too afraid to ride!

So here are some pictures that show just how fun it is to go to a St*mpin’ Up! party!

This was at the entrace. I knew I was in the right place!

This was at the entrance. I knew I was in the right place!

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Dinner was great.

One of the desserts.

One of the desserts.

The desserts deserved two pictures. Get this... I didn't eat ANY dessert. I knew I would be riding rides, and I did not want to risk too much sugar making me sick before I even started. (Is something wrong with me that I picked rides over desserts?)

The desserts deserved two pictures. Get this... I didn't eat ANY dessert. I knew I would be riding rides, and I did not want to risk too much sugar making me sick before I even started. (Is something wrong with me that I picked rides over desserts?)

Banners like this decorated the poles along all the streets.

Banners like this decorated the poles along all the streets.

Light displays like this were also sprinkled around.

Light displays like this were also sprinkled around.

These guys were great. It was hard to get a good picture, but they were covered in lights, and excellent dancers, even if they were on stilts that were chest-high to me.

These guys were great. It was hard to get a good picture, but they were covered in lights, and excellent dancers, even if they were on stilts that were chest-high to me.

Pardon the bad photo; it was VERY dark there. This won't fit in with another post, but I had to include it because "Ironman" is my favorite!

Pardon the bad photo; it was VERY dark there. This won't fit in with another post, but I had to include it because "Ironman" is my favorite!

Three hours of fun later, I was just a little queasy from all the rides, but there was still a nice good-bye sign. (And they gave us gifts at the bus.)

Three hours of fun later, I was just a little queasy from all the rides, but there was still a nice good-bye sign. (And they gave us gifts at the bus.)

My World is a weekly meme in which participants are virtual tour guides. Go check it out and see the worlds of others. Or better yet, take a look at the guidelines, and do your own My World Post!

Wow! It has been such a long time since I have had a regular post that was not SkyWatch or My World.  I love doing those posts, but I am itching to write something. Unfortunately today is not the day for I have far too many things to do to write, but there is a need in me to get SOMETHING up here, so I am putting up random things I have been thinking about, have noticed or are just about me lately.

This is not my tree. I never got a good picture of my tree. This one belongs to Jenn at thursdaydrive.com.

This is not my tree. I never got a good picture of my tree. This one belongs to Jenn at thursdaydrive.com. (After her daughter and mine put all the silver balls in one place.)

1.  I am ashamed to say that last night while my daughters attended a birthday party, Prince  Charming and I finally took down our Christmas tree, the girls’ tree and the few other decorations we had out for this year.  You learned here that my holiday season was a little crazed. The aftermath has not been much better except that there was no school (no drop-off/pick-up time “wasted” and no art classes to suck up an entire day plus preparation and clean-up) and no business stamping so I actually made a little headway, though things have not slowed down in the least.

2. I mentioned in another post that I joined Facebook. I really do not have time for this any more than anything else I do, but I really do not spend that much time there.  (But I will admit enough that I probably should not have joined it because I have NO time for it.) For the most part I have really enjoyed it. I was amazed at all the people from my past (On Facebook it is the  real life “me,” but apparently I have “paranoid” privacy settings according to someone who wanted to find me.) who are on it and how fun it is catching up with a lot of them.  I am required to say, however, that some people are exactly as uninteresting and juvenile and self-serving as they were in high school.  (For the very few of you from my real life who are reading this, I promise you I would  not have said this at all if it were you or anyone I know you are close to.  Also, there are only about two, in my opinion, in this category.) One would think 20-25 years would be a cause for personal growth, but apparently not always.

3.  It is amazing what can be accomplished in 4 minutes when getting ready for church. (I put this on my Facebook update.  It was meant to be funny, and I thought two people there, who also read my blog, would “get it,” but they did not say anything.  Apparently I am not THAT funny!)

4. I think I could be a snowbird. A week ago I was in Orlando where the high temperatures for the six days I was there neared 80 almost every day. I used to think I was fine with winter, but now I think I could be quite content in a place like that January – March.

Taken while driving through a neighborhood in Orlando.

Taken while driving through a neighborhood in Orlando.

2009-01-07airplanereadinglight5. Traveling makes me remember how so many people are irritating. I was  honestly surprised at the general rudeness at the airport of other travelers both to myself and others. And why do people have to get on an airplane and want to talk and laugh loud enough for the entire plane to hear them? An airplane is not a comedy club, and if it were, the passengers are not the performers.

6. This trip also reminded my why Southwest Airlines is my favorite.  Both flights I took were early. Their employees are friendly and happy (which must indicate something good with their employer since some travelers are rude and dealing with that all day and still being happy and friendly is an amazing thing in my opinion), and the flight attendants usually let their personalities show in some way. This time we were on the tarmac waiting for a gate because we were early, and a flight attendant sang to us songs about the airline. Also, they have a new boarding system since I last flew with them, and it is even better than before. It means that passengers can remain seated in the gate area until they announce the flight. It is wonderful.  I. LOVE. SOUTHWEST. AIRLINES!!!!! (Last Spring and Summer I flew twice on two other airlines and one was downright horrible and the other one barely acceptable after being being accustomed to Southwest.)

click photo to enlarge

click photo to enlarge (I think it's worth it)

7. While in Orlando I visited my best friend from my senior year in high school and freshman year of college and remembered why she was in the first place and why we have kept in touch all these years. She is the definition of genuineness and kindness and is a huge inspiration to me.

8. While sitting in the Orlando airport I was reminded why I am glad I do not watch the news. Airport CNN was on and some anchorman was “reporting” political news in such an opinionated manner that I wanted to shoot the screen. (Thank goodness I had my laptop and tuned him out by trying to catch up on blog reading.) Our family does not watch TV… EVER. It is not a moral decision or anything other than about time and convenience. But not exposed to it for so long (We have watched almost none since moving to Albuquerque more than 6 years ago. I was recovering from surgery when Hurricane Katrina hit and tried to watch that a little, but even the reporting from The Weather Channel got on my nerves, so I stopped.) makes one see how ludicrous it can be, and I know I could not start watching it again. The “reporting,” by the way, had to do with two opposing political icons, and the anchorman was antagonistic to both, and cocky to boot. Did. not. like. it.

9.  This week has returned to “normal” with a vengeance. Not only do I teach art this week (I did last week, too, and was reminded why I do not really love doing that), but I have three stamping events. Plus I am a little lot behind on other things due to being gone and all. It will be interesting to see what I feel like at the end of the week. Thank goodness for my end-of-week activity.

bare mimosa tree at my daughter's school

bare mimosa tree at my daughter's school

10. Over the holidays (and on my trip) I was reminded that I have some really wonderful friends with whom I do not spend enough time.  I saw all these friends, even if briefly, over the holidays, and it was one of the most heart-warming things I can imagine. There is a post spinning around in my mind about it, so hopefully I will get back to somewhat regular posting this week… hopefully.

Finally, thanks to all of you who keep coming here and reading no matter how little or how infrequently I post and when it takes me a while to catch up at your place. I truly appreciate your visits and kind words!

 

We went on a little trip last weekend to Purgatory Ski Resort. (Where there was almost no snow, and definitely no skiing, but we did not go to ski, so it was fine with us.) We went with some friends, and Saturday night we went on the Polar Express Train Ride.

The ride is based on the book, The Polar Express, which I had never read until that weekend when I knew we were going to go. My opinion was that the staff of the train did an EXCELLENT job making it a wonderful trip for children based on the book.

We arrived at the train station just before dark. Kids wear pajamas on this trip, so the streets were filled with pajama-clad children.

walking to the train

Snow boots seemed to be a requirement with the pajamas

 

The train station was sparkling with holiday lights and was packed with people.

train station

train station

When they called our train, we all went outside and waited for it to arrive. We could see the smoke before we could see the train. It finally came around the corner, then got close enough for me to get a picture without being agressive to the people around me.

"Polar Express" engine.  See engineer waving.

When we entered the passenger car, it was decorated with pine garlands, ribbons and lights.

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We had two “chefs” on board who provided us with DELECTABLE hot chocolate (not too hot) and a chocolate-covered cookie. The hot chocolate really impressed me because the book mentions how “chocolate-y” it is, and it WAS! I do not care for watery hot chocolate, and this was not. And it did not burn my mouth – or more importantly, the mouths of my children.

During the trip to the “North Pole” the book was read while the chefs carried a copy back-and-forth on our car so everyone could see the pictures.

The North Pole was brilliantly lit, and there Santa came on the train. For the trip back Santa moved from car to car giving each child a silver bell. Here again I was impressed because the bells were nice with a clear, beautiful ring. (And children would have been happy with anything.) When Santa was not in the car, we sang holiday songs. It was festive and magical.

Chicklet with her bell

Chicklet with her bell

When our journey ended, it was definitely dark, and the Durango street was also enchanting.

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My World is a weekly meme in which participants are virtual tour guides. Go check it out and see the worlds of others. Or better yet, take a look at the guidelines, and do your own My World Post!