#SecretSubjectSwap: Jul 5 2019

Friday, July 5, 2019

Welcome to my first post in the Secret Subject Swap. What is it? Well, a group of bloggers submit ideas for a post and the hostess, Karen @ BakingInATornado.com, divies the ideas back out. Then we write.

This time around, seven brave bloggers picked a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts.

Here are links to all the sites now featuring Secret Subject Swap posts. Sit back, grab a cup, and check them all out. See you there:

My topic this month came from Wandering Web Designer:
     "Did you take a vacation this year? Where did you go and what did you do?"

Vacation Picture FreePNGImg.com
Now this is interesting since it's only just become July and the kids are finally all out of school. July and August, the traditional vacation time.

So do I look at the first six months of 2019?

Or do I go back to July 2018 for my view?

Hmmm, even funnier, after retirement it's all vacation time, isn't it?

I mean, we don't WORK, not in the traditional sense. Okay, so I do write novels but it's a part-time thing and believe me, I don't make a lot of money from it. I continue doing it because my readers want more. Stu works his butt off around out house. Between the over two acres of land that needs mowing, the landscaping simplify plan we're putting into place this year, pressure washing the deck and house, building his hobby barn, keeping all our vehicles in running order, well, it's like having a job.

Seriously, we have had some mini-vacations already this year. First was a cruise in to the Western Caribbean on Carnival Cruise Line, followed by attending the Northeast Florida Highland Games in Green Cove Springs, FL, capped off with five days at Walt Disney World (sans kids). Let's take a quick look at each one.

January - Carnival Breeze
We try to cruise at least once a year and often it's to the Western Caribbean. We have done this itinerary probably half a dozen times. Why? Because hubby gets to scuba dive most, if not all, of the ports. While we love Princess Cruises, they don't offer the number of dive excursions that Carnival does. Plus, they are more expensive.

Here are a few choice photos from the cruise...

Hubby on our balcony
Lido buffet area - loved the decor!
This is the library - with self serve wine!
Me relaxing on the balcony - there is a clear panel in front of my feet.
No, I didn't participate in the water slide...lol
Our guilty pleasure - iced cappuccino from the Coffee Bar
Sunset from the ship
There are many more photos and videos in our SmugMug Album...

March - Northeast Florida Scottish Highland Games & Festival
The middle of March found us headed from our RV site in Folkston, GA to Green Cove Springs, FL for the Highland Games. This had been on my bucket list for years, there was always a reason I had to miss them when they were close enough to attend.

This one was perfect - a one day event, an ultra reasonable admission fee, fantastic fairgrounds for the event, great weather, and AWESOME bands! Oh, my interest isn't just my married name, McNicol, but my paternal grandmother was a MacQuarrie.

Take a peek and see what you think.

There are many more photos and videos in our SmugMug Album...

April - Walt Disney World

We have done Disney several times since we met in 2008, but other than a one day trip, it's always been with the grandkids. This time it was for us and we have a reason - we were celebrating our tenth anniversary!

We booked our vacation (yes, I used that word) well in advance, getting a package that included our park tickets. I also, for the first time, rented a scooter in advance, knowing it would enhance my enjoyment. We spent the first afternoon/evening in Disney Springs, two days in Animal Kingdom, one day in Hollywood Studios, and one day in Epcot.

It was fun to see some of the newer attractions in Animal Kingdom, most related to the movie Avatar. We also splurged on our dining plan, opting for three paid for sit down meals every day. And we took advantage, even with the ones that took "two meal coupons", easy to do since we rarely eat three meals a day.

Here are a few (very few) of our days there...

Disney Springs
Pandora in Animal Kingdom
Lion King nap (excuse the blur, taken from moving vehicle)
Definitely nap time...
Epcot breakfast visitor
It was the annual flower festival at Epcot
Topiaries were everywhere!

Dinner in Epcot
Toy Story Land was completely redesigned in Hollywood Studios
It even has a roller coaster for the littles - Slinky Dog
I found my perfect t-shirt! (I love T-Rex jokes)
Having lunch at Sanaa restaurant in the Animal Kingdom Lodge - animals galore!
Kevin from the movie Up
Lazy sunny day
Definitely a lazy day - again
Mother Nature's show before the Disney night show
A teensy piece of the spectacular show in Animal Kingdom
There are many more photos and videos in our SmugMug Album...

So there you have it - I guess we have had some pretty amazing vacations in 2019. We are blessed.

Be sure to check out the other participating blogs listed at the top of the page!

Now, if you made it this far, this is to let you know this blog is moving effective immediately. Please CLICK HERE and follow the new location. Thank you!

Ciao for now!


  1. There are Highland Games in Florida, how awesome is that?
    Call it mini vacation all you want, but you've had some great trips and experiences. Beautiful pictures of the lions and the cheetah - or is it a leopard?

    1. Actually, more than one. My late husband and I tried to go to the ones in the Tampa/St Pete area back in 2003-2004 but never made it.

      Looking at this graphic, I think it's a cheetah. LOL! https://qph.fs.quoracdn.net/main-qimg-4bf31d6c390897849ad33ae9dce1e3c6

  2. I've been to the Highland games in KY years ago and it was so much fun! I'm trying to talk my husband into taking a short cruise, but so far no luck. He doesn't like to give up control so letting someone else do the driving makes him nervous lol! I'm planning a trip to Disney World to bring the grandkids sometime soon but right now we're getting ready for our huge 6 week vacation we're taking next year. (Rena from Wandering Web Designer)

    1. Hey Rena, Disney is such a blast, no matter what your tastes are. Always something of interest, just plan ahead with the Fast Pass and the phone app. Really helps.

      My first cruise was a 3 day with my late husband. Now we try to cruise once a year, our next one is bigger at 14 days and going out of a new port for us, New Orleans. We are going with good friends who have never been to Panama (we did it on a different cruise line but same ports as this time). Hope you can get hubby to give it a try - just don't go in summer or on school breaks. Too many kids. Enjoy your planning!

  3. Being retired is the greatest especially if you are physically able to go and do. So many are not, you are blessed. We are not retired but both work from home. So we get to enjoy leisure time each day and do little day trips often. It's a great life. Thanks for sharing with us on your first SSS.
    Spatulas On Parade

    1. We are blessed, both with early retirements as well as reasonable health. I am slowing down and it's frustrating but I'm still better off than many. Thanks for dropping by!

  4. I do love being retired it is a grand situation to be in. Well it is if you are in decent health and economically healthy also. Unfortunately my wife has a lot of serious health issues so we make the most of our home. I dont know how you manage to cope with two acres I find it hard enough to keep on top of half an acre but I keep thinking up new projects in my mind which my body then complains about as I try to do them. . . . . Pesky Brains.

    Great photos. I think my blog will manage to let me know when you add new posts now it never seemed to do it before, I dont know why. I'm not in cyberspace quite as much at present as I am making the most of dry weather at home. British summers are fickle beasts so when its dry and sunny we all run outside and worship the sun God.

    1. So sorry about your wife, Rob. Having been caregiver for my late husband, I understand. Hubby takes care of the two acres - he has a lawn tractor and a zero turn mower. He can mow the whole thing in an hour. Trimming is minimal, only done when it looks messy. LOL! That said, hubby knows if he goes first, the house gets sold and I'll move into an independent living facility (no maintenance issues).

      Enjoy your weather - we're in the heat of summer, seems hotter than last year but who knows. It might just be our tolerance is decreasing.


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