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All Things EARTH... part 2


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Laurie, welcome back! So glad you had a good time and the shingles didn't interfere too much. Hope you have some photos to share with us.


We got a sweet upsale offer on our cruise and were able to move up two decks and into a balcony stateroom.


Debbie, awesome idea! :D

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I'm doing some odds and ends today, but I plan to start my pictodiary later today. I've got laundry going, we're cleaning house, the pictures were sent to Walgreens to be printed, and I'm going to pick up a few things at the store!


Melody, how is your husband doing?


I will say that I do like the packing cubes. I think I need a variety of sizes for my needs, and for my husband as well. I also know that I need some new luggage. Mine has really been taking a beating, and when we arrived in Tampa, I was surprised to see that our largest suitcase looked pretty bad! When we opened it, we also found that it was apparently searched. Everything was there, just messed up.


It's funny, I'm very focused now and have a good idea of what I want when it comes to luggage and packing cubes. I hope to get this squared away before the next cruise in June. I've never had two vacations so close together! The sad thing is, since we are looking at Alaska, I don't think my next vacation will be until around July of 2017.


Here is one picture for you all. You remember me talking about trying things on, the accessories and the whole outfit? To make sure it was what you had in mind? Well, I forgot to wear my shoes when I tried it on at home. This was a dress that was too small at the time I sent it to be hemmed. I was excited when I got it back because it fit, and tried different necklaces on with it. I failed to try it on with my sandals, or I would have had it hemmed again! It's that thing where the dress lays differently and is looser... I will find a picture of the purse I carried, and then you will see why I chose the necklace I did. But for now, here is a picture that I thought was flattering. It took a lot of pictures for me to realize that the way they have you stand doesn't work well for my figure. I think this picture was pretty nice, overall.



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Laurie, after the second stay in the hospital DH is doing much better.


I know what you mean about not liking how the photographer poses you. I normally say, let's try this & pose the way I know is most flattering, which is almost always one foot in front, putting the hip at an angle. That being said, that dress really shows how much work you've been putting in at the gym. Lookin good, good definition in those arms. Melody. Here's what I mean by an angle shot ImageUploadedByForums1456685927.284310.jpg.078e8aee32a4d23e439d0b14a88deb14.jpg. All very different



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Melody, I'm so happy to hear that your husband is doing better. I wish him a speedy recovery.


When is your Hawaii trip?


When I pose, I don't have a tremendous amount of flexibility at the waist. I'm rather short waisted, so what happens is that you miss the waist altogether in a photo. I'm learning!


I really liked that picture, and found it flattering. At one point, the photographer had me turn my chest outward like, and tip my head back a bit...that was awful. With my measurements and lack of flexibility, I looked ready to fall over, I was imbalanced.

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So, we had a very early flight out of Syracuse, so I got up at 4:00 AM. This was the first time flying with American Airlines. I planned this cruise out later, and decided to use ChoiceAir through RCI because our weather can be iffy, and they will guarantee getting you on the ship. I checked, and the price was the same as if I booked it independently. I couldn't get a decent flight time to use Jet Blue. I would say the experience was good, in that the flights were either right on time, or even early. I do miss the TV, and the little snacks. They provided beverages though.


We go to Tampa around 1:00, I think. The weather was nice. If you were in the sun, it was warm. If you were in the shade, it was a bit cool, but not bad. We stayed at the Residence Inn downtown. They had a nice staff, and our room was spotless and in very good condition. The outside of the hotel isn't overly appealing, so I was a bit concerned at first. The hot tub and pool area looked good. It had the typical buffet breakfast.


We also ask the people at the hotel where the locals go. We found ourselves much more tired than we expected. We thought it would be a good idea to walk somewhere and get some fresh air and exercise, to see if it would wake us up. The nice lady at the front desk recommended us to a little pub a few blocks away that I believe was called Taps. We ate outside in the fresh air, and the food was fabulous. We then walked around this park that I just loved. There were kids running through a sprinkler type fountain that was set up for them, and there were families playing catch, frisbee, etc.


There was also a nice area to walk.







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Those pictures were taken with my phone, so they were a bit to the small side.


We walked back to the hotel, and I have to admit, we were still really tired, so we hung out and watched the rest of the Daytona 500. It's vacation, so I have always felt that we should do whatever appeals to us, even if it is nothing.


The hotel provided a shuttle to the port. I couldn't contain myself, I always want to be there soooo early, but my husband says we shouldn't leave until noon. He did agree to leave at 11:30, and I have to say, between the ride, dropping off the luggage (I needed new luggage tags - short story is that I left them at home, and brought the wrong ones.) going through the usual lines, and getting sailaway photos, we were onboard by noon. It was incredibly fast. It is a smaller ship, but it was sold out, from what I could see online.


I think they took 6 or 7 pictures before we even stepped foot on the ship, lol. I'm not thrilled with my sailaway pictures. I did not try on my shirts, just my existing and new shorts. I figured the tops were fine. Some were, some were not. I had some bloating issues for the first few days from the shingles medicine, and then tucked in my shirt because it was baggy and past my hips. But I was happy, and it showed!


This is a scan, and Photobucket won't let me rotate it, for some reason.




Our room was nice. I love having a balcony. It has that rounded bed end that Pam and I have spoke of before. Some of the RCI ships have regular beds, but a lot the ships have these.








We sailed under this bridge. The captain didn't announce it or anything, but I don't think we had a lot of room to spare. It was very beautiful.





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We have always had the drink in hand, out on the top deck sailaway routine, but we did things a bit different this time. We actually had a drink while meeting the bartender in the Schooner Bar, and then we were on our balcony for sailaway. We were far from alone - it seems to be a very popular thing. I really enjoyed that, in a very different way than the party type of atmosphere. I will say that I missed having a fruity adult beverage in my hand!


We had My Time Dining, which I'll abbreviate as MTD going forward. My husband and I typically ask for late seating at a large table. We like having people to talk to and becoming friends with. Unfortunately, we had to choose between early seating and MTD, and we chose MTD. I should say I chose it, and then let my husband know! I could have changed it if needed, but he said to leave it and we would see what we thought.


I have mixed feelings. I missed getting to know table mates, and so did my husband. I missed having the same waiters. We did ask if we could request the same waiter each night, but they indicated that it might mean waiting longer. We could see that the system could get a bit complicated at times, with people saying "table for two only" and so forth.


We also learned that you have to pay attention to the photo times. We would normally go down for dinner about 20-30 minutes early, have our pictures taken, and maybe get a pre-dinner drink. As a result, we couldn't find the photographers just before dinner. I didn't get any pictures the first night, but my husband took a picture of me.


I really like the dress. It's very comfortable. I thought it was more muted when I saw it online, but I like the dress enough to keep it. I think everyone would probably agree it is more a fire color, although it lacks a tiny bit in brightness.




Do you find yourself taking pictures of your toes? I do. I went with this glittery gold. This isn't the best picture, but you will get the idea.




There are no pictures of most of my daytime outfits. I brought some baggy tops, simply thinking they'd be loose but not sloppy. Fortunately, most things worked out. They just weren't...me? Does that make sense? I really like to be pulled together and to find tops with some interest that aren't just basic knits, but I'm still working on that. You can see the shoes I chose to wear though. Those are so comfortable!




It was a sea day, and we did a lot of exploring and relaxing. It was formal night, and you saw one view of my dress already. Here are a few more pictures. You will see what I mean about trying to stand a certain way. But we have some beautiful pictures. I want to point out that my husband is doing so well too. He's lost weight and goes to the gym with me all the time.





Edited by laurspag
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This will probably be my last post for the night, since I'm still getting myself organized and ready for work tomorrow. (booo....)


The next day was Nachi Cocum day. This really is a relaxing, beautiful place to go. I had downloaded a new book to read, and I had trouble putting it down. But we did spend time wading in the water, drinking margaritas and snacking. Here are some photos.


Once again, I haven't been able to rotate these. I will keep trying.








They do space people out, so you feel like you have privacy. It's very peaceful.




So this is night we decided to go to Chops. We have always went to a specialty restaurant for one night, and we've always treated it as date night. This is where I planned to wear the aqua/turquoise/jade dress. I'm describing it that way because it's been viewed differently by different people, in different lighting.


I struggled to get a good picture of the dress with the poses, but you have all seen it on me when I was trying to decide to keep it or not. What do you think of the color? Like the orange dress, is it heading more towards fire?


I can get away with that sometimes, it seems.

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Oops, forgot this pic from arriving at Nachi Cocum:




And this one, from when we first arrived in Mexico:










Notice the bit of color? Since I was wandering in and out of the sun, I was covered more than I wasn't. Doesn't matter - next time I'm there (and I plan to go again, for sure!!!) I'll make sure I put the sun screen on.

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Oh, and one more thing - those are the earrings and bracelet my husband got me for Christmas. Boy, do I ever love that bracelet. I loved having it in the photos.


I will scan and post a picture that shows more of the dress tomorrow, but they aren't the best ones.

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Laurie, the closeup of you & hubby on formal night is awesome & I really like all of the pictures in that turquoise dress (stunning dress). Love Nachi Cocum, I think I have the same pictures! did you have the grilled grouper?


We leave for Hawaii on 22 April & cruise 26 Apr from Honolulu, Maui, Kona & Hilo & end up in Vancouver on 6 May. Melody

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Laurie, So glad that the shingles didn't interfere with your vacay!!


I just love Nochi Cocum. Such a peaceful easy day. Looks like your weather was perfect. Your DH looks so relaxed!


I, too, love the headshot of you and DH, with you behind him and arms around him. Such a good one.


Your bracelet is beautiful!


The thing that's coming across to me in your photos is how good you are feeling (I know you were dealing with shingles, but I mean in general)...I sense a feeling of accomplishment and happiness at your progress in health and fitness. THAT is what I'm seeing clearly. It's pretty fab to see...because you do look lovely, Laurie.

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I, too, love the headshot of you and DH, with you behind him and arms around him. Such a good one.


Your bracelet is beautiful!


The thing that's coming across to me in your photos is how good you are feeling (I know you were dealing with shingles, but I mean in general)...I sense a feeling of accomplishment and happiness at your progress in health and fitness. THAT is what I'm seeing clearly. It's pretty fab to see...because you do look lovely, Laurie.


I agree with everything Anita says. You look wonderful. That lace dress is stunning on you.

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Not meant as a downer, we got the final pathology report today on DH. It was colon cancer, but they did get it all and no chemo or radiation. Upset, yes, but relieved as well. Melody

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Melody, I'm glad to hear that your husband doesn't need chemo or radiation. All we can do is take care of ourselves the best we can. I had a colonoscopy at age 48 or something like that, because of family history. It's always good to be proactive.


I didn't mention it yesterday, but we did ot use the elevator once on our cruise. We decided it was a good way to get extra exercise. I really am trying hard to take care of myself, as is my husband.


I hope your husband continues his recovery speedily so that he is ready for your vacation.


Sent from my SM-T530NU using Tapatalk

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Laurie, love your cruise pictures the lace dress looks fabulous on you! I need to tailor the ivory lace dress that I wore. It was too loose in the middle. Like you said earlier, rather than making me look smaller, it made me look sloppier than I intended.

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Me and my big mouth! I'm not sure my last comment came across as I intended. I've re-read it, and it appears I made the comment all about me when what I meant to do was compliment Laurie on how gorgeous her lace dress looked on HER! What I should have said and meant to say was:


Laurie, love your cruise pictures. You look fabulous in your lace dress!

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Melody, so glad to hear that the outcome was a good one as far as the C goes. Sending happy and healthy thoughts to you both for a quick recovery and no more scares like that.


I am having my first colonoscopy next month. I have been trying to prioritize my health during this breather with my parents, so I have lots of tests on the calendar in the next few weeks. I hadn't been to the doctor in 8 years. I am done sticking my head in the sand.

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