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A little stew....errr, Stu time.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

February is the annual Firefighter Reunion for Stu and his fellow retirees from the Anne Arundel Fire Department. He has missed a couple of years but always tries to make it. This year was no exception except for being in Georgia instead of Florida for the winter.

I haven't attended for a couple of years and Stu isn't the best about taking photos...oops. He did take a nice composite shot as he prepared for another DiveQuest at Disney (he did it previously, here are the photos) .


He enjoyed DiveQuest and then went on to the Reunion which is always a great time. A group went and visited Disney Springs together and did the AmphiCar ride with them. Here are some pics from that adventure!














Yes, a good time was had by all and Stu had great motorcycle riding weather as well!


Ciao for now!

A little Amazon shopping fun.....

Monday, February 11, 2019

Yes, we love our Amazon Prime and it's especially handy when we aren't super close to any major shopping areas. Thought I'd share a couple of things we've bought recently that we really like and find valuable (at least to us).

We have several odd sized, different material shopping bags but we tend to not take them into the stores with us. For the most part, they get used when we go to Sam's Club. Tired of wasting all the plastic, we looked for a set up bags that met several criteria. First, the material had to be sturdy and the quality first rate. Second, they should have flat bottoms. Third, they needed to be the same. Fourth, short handles. Fifth, not too big (or they'd be overloaded and I wouldn't be able to carry them). And sixth, a nicety but not a must, they should come in some sort of convenient carry case.

Not easy, is it...but I found a set that looked they hit all points and I ordered them. BagPodz! When they arrived, I was even more impressed with the quality and convenience. This set comes with either 5 or 10 bags. Since we tend to shop less frequently, I opted for the ten bag set (currently not available, keep checking) in the bright blue (they come in four colors). I had a chance to use them this week and LOVE THEM! Here is my shopping cart with 6-8 (can't remember exactly) and not all of them are filled full. (Note, they are about the size of a traditional plastic shopping bag but hold MUCH more weight.)

Next up is something I never considered until hurting my knee this past week. Walking the dogs several times a day, initially I carried nothing with me. Most days I wear leggings and without pockets, hard to bring even a phone with two dogs. But after getting injured, I realized I needed to always have my phone with me. After several searches, I found the perfect wallet, Running Buddy.


Finally, remember the chewed up dog bed? Well, the price has gone up a lot on the same one, so I found another brand and ordered it. So far, so good! Good inside or outside a crate, I suspect the other crate will get a matching one soon and the old one will go in the back of the car. The only downside, no color choice. But hey, the #2doods don't complain!





Ciao for now!

Views & Doods

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Stu will be home today, happy me! I can completely rest my knee all day tomorrow and see how it does. All the walking with the #2doods has kept it irritated with some pain and swelling. Tomorrow it will be elevated as much and often as I can.

I have snapped a couple of sunset and yes, even a couple early shots on our walks. Enjoy...










As to the #2doods, they're never bored, even in the RV. Here is a video to prove it. Oh, Cooper is the one in the lead, leaping down the stairs and Murphy is the one that waits for him to turn around in the garage space and come tearing back through.


No, they're not always good as this photo shows....at least it has lasted more than a couple of months!


And a couple more...indoors and out.

Murphy's favorite way to sit in the RV...


We rang the bell, are you taking us out or not?


Checking out the area...


Cooper decides there's nothing exciting in his view and relaxes his guard...


Murphy isn't so sure...



Ciao for now!

Carnival Breeze Cruise - Western Caribbean

Wednesday, February 6, 2019


Better late than not, right? It's been hectic. I came back with a cold and it took a bit to recover. Then Stu headed down to Orlando for his annual firefighter reunion as well as another DiveQuest at Epcot. Me? I've been reading - a LOT. Oh, and nursing a wrenched/tweaked knee thanks to Cooper knocking my legs out from under me the first day Stu was gone.


That was Saturday and I've been plopped on the sofa, knee elevated and iced the first three days, along with taking Aleve. On Sunday I managed to get out to Rite-Aid and picked up a splint wrap. Today is the first day I can put weight on it without pain. Hoping that means the recovery is over!

Back to the cruise....we left on January 9th for seven days on the largest Carnival ship we've been on, the Breeze, out of Port Canaveral. We dropped the #2doods off at our new local boarding spot, Wild Rose Pet Care, the afternoon before. We got an early start and arrived in plenty of time for parking and shuttle service. Well, we thought we did. Turns out they not only had three ships boarding that day but a Norwegian Cruise Line ship came in early due to an extreme norovirus outbreak. Comments galore were flying on Facebook in the cruise groups and we quickly realized many of the passengers on that ship were using the same shuttle service. Not only did that mean a much longer wait for a shuttle bus but GERMS! We sanitized/washed our hands at every opportunity and also sanitized the handles on all our luggage as soon as it hit our room. Eeek!!



From there on, the cruise was a breeze...literally. The layout was very similar to the Magic and we fell in love with the decor. So NOT gaudy, so tropical. It was refreshing. In addition, although it holds a lot more passengers, we never felt crowded. I think the cabin was a bit smaller as well as the balcony, but the extra space gained was in the public areas.

Lido Buffet Area...




Atrium...


Library - quietest rooms on the ship (two rooms - one will pay to buy win service!)




That was the good. The food was okay and the public areas were FREEZING. We wore long-sleeves and often sweatshirts every night. The music was okay but LOUD. Maybe we're just getting old, not sure. Also, the talent wasn't what we had come to expect except for a trio of violinists and one guitar soloist. We didn't attend any of the shows, they were the same ones we saw last year in January. A disappointment, for sure.



The first night we ate in the steakhouse - it was EXCELLENT, the best we've had in the last several cruises. Stu got a smoked oyster type appetizer. What fun!







I ordered the shrimp cocktail (for him...LOL)


We went to the main dining room the second night. What a disaster! Slow, SLOW service, including a head waiter who took care of a table who arrived after us, then proceeded to go to another table in the middle of taking our order. We didn't ask for him again. Next night was the buffet, nothing we wanted on the menu. The third night we found the perfect wait staff and planned to come back. Well, until I got hit with a nasty cold. I ate buffet or room service and the last two days, I barely left the room. Sigh...



For the most part, we enjoyed it. Stu got to dive three out of the four ports - Belize was cancelled due to lack of signups. I only got off in Roatan where I bought a few long-sleeved items at PiraƱa Joe's. We've done this route a LOT and the first time around we did several excursions, now I just stay on board and write or read (it was reading this time).



We also hid a dozen or so ducks as well as pencils with little duck toppers. The bonus was Stu finding a little giraffe duck for me!







Here are some photos, you can see our entire album at SmugMug.

















Inclosing, our favorite drinks. Iced cappuccino from the coffee bar (using our coffee cozies from Etsy).



Ciao for now!

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