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About the Header Image: Idlebrook Wendy Darling Evensen, the baby of our family.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Port Canaveral to Orlando Airport

Good morning,

Today I'm on the road again, this time from Port Canaveral to the Orlando airport to pick up daughter Catherine and Aunt Carol who are coming to spend a week with My Honey and me on board Freedom of the Seas.  It's about a 45 minute drive each way.
When I got to the airport I went to the cell phone waiting lot to wait until Catherine called to tell me she had arrived.  These lots are the best things airports have done.  You pull into a parking area close to the terminal and wait until you receive a call from your people telling you that they have have arrived, have their luggage, and are waiting at the curb.
I knew the Delta flight was delayed a few minutes when I pulled into the cell phone lot.  I was delighted to see these huge cranes wandering around.
The weather was well over 100 F so I was sitting in the car with the air conditioning running when I saw this character wander into the lot.
I had only my baby camera with me, but was happy I could get these shots through the windshield.
I'm also glad the zoom worked rather well.  This car had pulled in across the grass divider and pulled up with window open to take pictures.  I believe the crane thought he was going to get a handout.
When he realized he wasn't going to get anything, he moved to the other side of the lot and headed for the potties.  He passed the potties, though and went over to a large puddle of water.

That's about when my cell phone rang, Catherine and Carol had arrived, and I pulled around to the terminal to pick them up.  I was busy driving so don't have pictures of that.
But, here's Freedom of the Seas as we pulled into the parking lot at Port Canaveral.  For those who fly or drive, this is an exceedingly easy port to getting to and from cruise ships.
This is a view from the second floor of cruise ship terminal where we waited to board.
And, beyond that reflection in the glass is the huge Freedom of the Seas.
Within minutes we were across the gangway and aboard Freedom.  More images of our week together are coming soon!

Best,
Lois

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Monday, August 30, 2010

Other things I do on board....

Good morning,

I have more to do here on board Freedom of the Seas than just walk on Deck 12...
  ...and take really cool pictures of hot tubs hanging off the side of the ship.
 When I am not doing that fun stuff, I am working on my CPA license continuing professional education (CPE).  It's not all that bad, though.  I am retired, but I do enjoy staying connected with my profession as I keep my CPA license current.  I'm required to have 120 hours of CPE every three years.  I attend some courses while at home and do the rest of it while at sea.  Each of those five books in the image represents a course.  I've finished two and I am currently working on the third one.

So, it's not all fun and games, but this sure is a great place to meet my CPE requirements.  ;)

Have a great week,
Lois

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Sunday, August 29, 2010

Floating Boxing Ring and Weight Room

Good morning,

Yes, I am still aboard Freedom of the Seas, and yes, that is a full size boxing ring.  There is a complete Work Out Center here including all the standard cycle and running machines.  The boxing ring is unusual for a cruise ship, though, that's for sure.
And, here are weights...
...and various other...

...weight lifting equipment.

I have been under this area and understand completely why this sign is here.

So for you work out folks, you will find all the tools you need here.  This is such fun!

Best,
Lois

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Saturday, August 28, 2010

Changing Weather at Sea

Good morning,

I have only two images and a link below today, but they tell an interesting story about the weather.

The image above was taken off the island of Coco Cay, Bahamas recently.  This is one of the private destinations of Royal Caribbean and I'll have more images of it coming soon.  What you see is a storm approaching that produced some heavy rain and wind, but disappeared just about as quickly as it came. 
This second image was taken as we were pulling out of St.Thomas, U.S.V.I. last week at sundown.  We had a scattered shower or two that day, but the rest of the day was clear and gorgeous.

So, of course, not all days on a cruise ship are sunny, but the storms are usually few and far between.

Hurricanes are a different story and I was asked about them recently.  Since we are a floating hotel and weather forecasting is fairly accurate, we are able to move out of the way of serious storms.  Back in 2004 while aboard Majesty of the Seas I documented our week Avoiding Hurricane Frances.  Click on the link to see the images and story of that week. 

Best,
Lois

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Friday, August 27, 2010

Stairways

Good morning,

I've been out and about the Freedom of the Seas with my camera again.

The image above was taken from Deck 12 looking straight down;  the forward part of the ship is behind me.  To the right and left are glass elevators.  If you look carefully through the glass doors, the carpet on the left side (port) is green;  the carpet on the right (starboard) is red.  These colors correspond to the colors of the navigation lights on the outside of the ship.  There is a beige pattern in the carpet in the center of each elevator lobby that shows through the doors on some of the lower floors on both sides, but the main colors are green and red on each side.  Fascinating detail.
This time I concentrated on some of the many stairways around the ship.
It is fascinating how different the stairs look in different lighting.
They provide wonderful opportunities for formal portraits, of course, but I really love the stairs themselves.
In addition to the stairways in the central areas of the ship, this set of stairs is found in the fitness center.  More images of that area to come....
And, not only are the stairs beautiful, take a look at the ceiling.  That structure replicates the structure of the bottom of a boat. 

Every time I walk through this ship I find something else new.

I hope you're enjoying my photo tour with me.

Very best,
Lois

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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Anna and the Doggies

Good morning,

My daughter sent me some pictures a friend took of my granddaughter recently at our local AKC club and they are so precious, I just have to share them.  I'm sure Anna's out-of-town cousins will enjoy these images, too. 
Anna is holding the friend's dog who seems very happy to be on her lap.
The image is a little dark, but in the kennel is our Penny.  Don't feel sorry for Penny being in the kennel:  she goes in there willingly and stays in her comfort zone to rest after agility runs at the club.  We have kennels in every room of the house and leave the doors open.  Penny goes into her space to rest between active play periods and the kids know not to bother her when she goes in there.
Are these two cute or what!  OK, I'm prejudiced.  ;)

Lois <-- VPG  (Very Proud Granny)

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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Walk in St. Thomas

Good morning,

We are back in St. Thomas, U.S.V.I. today and the crew is having a life boat drill.
The lifeboats on the water look like alien pods have landed. 
When I walked over to Havensight Mall this time I turned around to get a picture of the ship and discovered there was more ship than I had camera...
...so I walked a little further and got what I affectionately call a "ship butt shot."
I did a little shopping again, but the real fun...
...was finding just a few blooms on this extremely hot day.
The ants scurrying around on this one reminded me of the ants on the peonies at home just before the blossoms burst open.
I saved the best color and blossom for last.

There weren't as many flowers here in St. Thomas as there are in the Spring, but even in all the heat, these pretty flowers are able to bloom.

So pretty!

Best,
Lois

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Monday, August 23, 2010

Lunch and Shopping at the Port of St. Thomas, U.S.V.I.

Good morning,

Today I have some images to share of our trip ashore in St. Thomas, U.S.V.I.
 We had lunch at the Havensight Cafe, a spot where we had lunch many times about ten years ago when we were here aboard Splendour of the Seas. 
This lovely lady served us Diet Cokes and club sandwiches.
While we were here, the bar got busier.
Here's the view from the outside.  It's hot here, but there was a gentle breeze flowing through the restaurant.
After lunch we strolled around Havensight Mall. We weren't the only ones taking pictures. 
We looked across the parking lot and could see our ship, Freedom of the Seas, "pulled up to the curb" so we could stop in for lunch.  ;)
I can never seem to get the whole ship into my camera at the same time.  I guess I need a bigger camera.
We strolled through one of the breezeways between the buildings...
...past the post office where I mailed some cards and letters.  I am always happy to be in a US port so I can mail things where I know they will be delivered promptly.
As we came around to the other side of the building we could see the tram taking people up the side of the mountain...
...where they can get a spectacular view of the ship and the port.
Back to the buildings on the other side of the post office, you'll find all kinds of clothing, camera, jewelry, and souvenir stores.  We were on the way to the drug store to pick up some Crest mouth wash.  It's hard to find down here.
Be careful when you cross the streets and parking lots here!  Not only does the traffic move on the left side of the street which can be deadly for those of us used to it the other way around, some of the drivers aren't very careful about pedestrians, even in the crosswalks.  This is one of those places where you can be dead right.
We found the drug store that has been there for at least 25 years of our memory.  We also found the prices three or more times what we pay at home for common items.  It's understandable that merchandise has to be shipped down here to an island so may cost more for that reason, but the mark-up felt a bit steep for my accountant's sensibilities.  I waited to get back to Port Canaveral to do most of my shopping for everyday items.

We strolled around the "block" of stores and back to our ship.  It was a very enjoyable day ashore and we hope you've enjoyed going along with us via our images.

Very best,
Lois

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