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

Monday, January 31, 2011

Cozumel Blues, Senor Frog, and How to Avoid a Hangover

Good morning,

Here are a few images taken during another of my walks on the deck of Freedom of the Seas.

The day was overcast, but the sky so bright through the layer of clouds that the blues of the water used up just about all the blue I had in my camera.  The sea was rough this day and waves crashed ashore.  Even though tied up, waves hit the back of the ship so we felt movement all day.

As I stood at the rail I took three images of the panorama in front of me:  the image above was to my left of downtown Cozumel off in the distance.
Straight ahead are hotels, shopping, and restaurants...
...and, further to the right is the dock for tour boats and shopping buildings at the end of the pier.
 Here is a zoom straight ahead of a favorite spot in Cozumel.  Senor Frog is here with all the usual drink, music, and dancing.  Even from out on the ship, I could hear the music and shouts of the crowd having a grand time which was just fine for me. 

I'm glad I enjoyed Senor Frog from afar where I would not have to worry about a hangover in the morning.  ;)

Enjoy!

Lois

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Sunday, January 30, 2011

Who is Steering the Ship?

Good morning,

While cruising along on a huge cruise ship on a sea day, the waves crash against the side as the ship slips through the water.

If you don't want to spend all your time at the pool during all those hours there are many events that are both fun and informative for the guests.
One of those events is the Captain's Corner.  It's an opportunity for guests to meet the Executive Committee who will answer questions about the ship and life at sea.

A regular question from guests is, "If you are here, who is driving the boat?"
Captain Tor immediately informs everyone that this is not a boat, it is a ship.  Those yellow things in the image above are life boats hanging on the side of our ship.   Anyone who calls our vessel a boat will owe everyone else in the room a drink.  And, ships are steered, they are not driven.  That always brings laughs and a very important lesson is learned about boats and ships.  ;) 
There is always (24/7) a bridge team of officers on the bridge;  and, as necessary when not on auto pilot, there is a helmsman at the wheel while at sea.  Although there is an autopilot program that can be set, there are always eyes on the sea.  The Captain, Staff Captain, or Chief Officer take over to take the ship in and out of port and when the ship is in congested areas.

There is also always an engineering team under the supervision of the Chief Engineer in the Engine Control Room who monitor all systems that provide all the power for propulsion to get the ship from one port to the next, electricity, heat, air conditioning, clean water, galleys, laundry, toilets, etc. 

 Happy cruising!

Lois 


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Saturday, January 29, 2011

Knitting Pattern Review - Creative Knitting, January, 2011

Good morning,

Here's a review of a sweater I just made.  It is unblocked in the image above, but the knit is so soft it probably won't need much blocking.  Just being worn will make it fit nicely to the body.

This sweater is "Ethereal Eyelets Pullover" from the pattern on page 17 of the January 2011 issue of Creative Knitting magazine.

What drew me to it was the pattern stitch in the body.  I like the easy eyelet pattern stitch and the look of the resulting fabric.  I'll probably adapt it to use again in some other garment.

The yarn is sport weight, #3, so there is a whole lot of knitting here. 

Something I really, really like about this pattern is that it is designed to fit the body well.  Instead of a straight body from hem to underarms, there are increases and decreases that provide a very flattering fit.

I enjoyed making the sweater, but doubt I would make it again, at least like this.  I am sure I would change the edges to something more defined than the roll of stockinette stitch. 

But, I think the roll edge will be nice for a doll dress to give the dress a little lift at the hem. That will probably be coming soon.  ;)

So, that's my review of this Creative Knitting Magazine pattern. 

What are your favorite knitting magazines? 

Best,
Lois

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Friday, January 28, 2011

Celebrity Solstice

Good morning,

In St. Maarten, Dutch West Indies, Freedom of the Seas was docked along side the Celebrity Solstice.  I am standing on deck 4 of Freedom as I take these images.

Since Royal Caribbean owns Celebrity Cruises and the two brands are operated independently, Solstice is related, but is not quite a sister ship.  So, I suppose we could say Solstice is a "cousin ship" to Freedom.
This is one of the newer ships Celebrity fleet...
...and, as you can see, has a large number of balcony staterooms.
Celebrity provides a place to rest and light refreshments on the dock side for their guests.
 The two ships along side provide a ship "canyon."
 As we walked across Deck 4 of Freedom, we exchanged friendly waves from familiar Freedom faces from across the ship canyon who were visiting Solstice.
 I never cease to be amazed at the beauty of these huge ships.
 It takes approximately 18 months to build one of these marvels after all the designs are made and approved.
 For those of us who so enjoy beautiful ships, it is great fun to see and photograph other ships in the fleet.
 And, after a few hours, Freedom and Solstice each sailed away to their next ports of call.

Best,
Lois

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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Evenings at "Home"

Good morning,

Although there is plenty of excellent entertainment and food available, some evenings while on board a ship it is nice to spend an evening at "home" in our suite.

On a recent shopping trip ashore I picked up this three disc set of the 1982 Miniseries, The Blue and The Gray.  So far we have watched the first two discs and will watch the third when we get another long evening at home. If you haven't seen this series or haven't seen it recently, it's a good "watch."
The blue expanding file case above is also something I just picked up at the store.  I have been looking for one of these that has the bottom of each compartment sealed and finally found it.  I have labeled the pockets with knitting needle sizes (I have more than one of each size) and have filed my circular needles for easy access.  The brown case in front is a set of interchangeable knitting needles.  The brown case fits perfectly into the back pocket of the expanding file. 
So, while watching The Blue and The Gray I started a new sweater.  It's not the one on the cover, but I'll have a picture of it all finished eventually.  ;)

What do you like to do on quiet evenings at home?

Lois

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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Cold is Relative in the Caribbean

Good morning,

Out here in the Caribbean cold is relative.  This is the sun deck/jogging track one deck above the pool deck.  The man wearing the dark hooded jacket is an employee, arranging the deck chairs.
Just before I shot these images, the ladies at the bottom right had walked from the upper deck to the lower deck.  Note they are in swim attire.
And, here is another image without zooming my camera from the same spot where I was sitting in the Viking Crown Lounge.  You'll see there are people enjoying the water at the same time the man wearing the hooded jacket is still arranging those deck chairs on the deck above.

The temperature on this day was in the mid 70's F.  Yes, it was a little more windy on the deck above.  Obviously, those in the pool didn't feel it was too cool to swim and the man in the jacket didn't think it was warm enough to take off his jacket. 

Temperature is so relative out here.  Those from cooler climates think this is a beautiful spring day;  those from warmer climates are reaching for their coats. 

I was inside taking pictures.  ;)

Enjoy!
Lois

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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

New Year Visit With Old Friends

Good morning,

I'm a little late getting these images on line, but want to share our recent visit with our friends Martha, Russell, and their son, Scott.  The image above was taken on board Freedom of the Seas, obviously on New Years.

We have sailed with these lovely people from Texas before so it was so much fun to get together once again.  Martha is a regular reader of this blog and was nice enough to say I could share these pictures with you.
Do these folks know me or WHAT?  This book was my Christmas present from them!  :)))))  Do I like to bake bread or what???? 
They also brought us a lovely tree ornament which was promptly put on our tree.  I couldn't get a good picture of it on the tree, so it is shown here with a background that would allow its beauty to show.
And, the surprise gifts they brought are for Erik and Penny at home.  I have no idea what is inside *wink*, but I am sure Erik and Penny will figure it out quickly when they get their gifts when we get home. 

Thank you for the gifts, Martha, Russell, and Scott, and for the best gift of all, your friendship.

Very best,
Lois

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Monday, January 24, 2011

Come Walk With Me

Good morning,

I have a few images today from places around Freedom of the Seas on a sea day.  As most of you know, I keep my baby camera, a Canon PowerShot SX210 IS in my pocket most of the time so I am ready to capture images as they appear before me.

The image above is of a couple enjoying the view and fresh sea air on a sunny day. 
I walked inside the ship past the Schooner Bar and saw the bartender had left a demonstration of his balancing skills out for admiration and picture taking.  I did both!
This is another display at the Schooner Bar.
After walking the length of Freedom of the Seas, more than an American football field long, I went out on deck again to see the weather had changed to overcast.  Off in the distance, with a great deal of zooming, I was able to capture an image of another Royal Caribbean ship, the Jewel of the Seas.  She is a sister ship to Radiance of the Seas, a ship I was able to photograph recently in Cozumel, Mexico.
Back inside I went up on the pool deck where there were folks enjoying the slightly overcast, but warm day.  This is the Solarium, an area reserved for adults.
At the opposite end of the pool deck is the H2O Zone, an area especially for children.  Between the two is another pool for everyone.
I then went for a wonderful snack that surely included more calories than I could have possibly walked off.  There is just nothing like Norwegian Waffle Cakes and ice cream.  Oh, yum!
By the end of the day the sky had cleared and there was a gorgeous sunset. 

It's amazing how the weather can change throughout the day while at sea.

I hope you have enjoyed walking with me. 

Very best,

Lois

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Sunday, January 23, 2011

Healthy Snacks

Good morning,

I just want to let you know there are healthy snacks on a cruise ship.

We enjoyed these snacks with friends, but also had to include another food group...
Chocolate IS a food group, right?  We all have to have our daily requirement!  ;)

All you other chocoholics out there know exactly what I mean!

Enjoy!

Lois

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