Tag Archives: cruise

End Of Year

To those that I have missed, hope you had a Happy Thanksgiving, from my family to yours. Also, let me not forget, hope you had a safe and uneventful Black Friday. Now for the Small Business Day (Saturday) and E-Monday. Mine was good with just a small event to help end the year.

Thanksgiving night, wee hours of Friday morning, I had to go to the emergency room for a kidney stone. If you have ever suffered through one, try to prevent it. The pain is indescribable. This is my second one and I hope I never have to go through this again. The intravenous pain medication is righteous. I see why people can become hooked, however, no worry about me, I didn’t take much. That was Friday and now I am fine, no pain at all, the stone is gone. Must have passed it sometime during that day but I didn’t see it.

Early next Friday morning my wife and I will be boarding a train to go to New Jersey for boarding a ship for another cruise. Going back to the islands, hopefully most of them are back in business. For those that are not back in business or are doing a little business, we will see first hand the damage from the last hurricane. Either way, the trip is worth it and we are eagerly awaiting the date. I am glad I had the kidney stone attack this weekend instead of next weekend.

When I get back I will have to hit the ground running. As a new member of the Resident Council, here at Imperial Plaza, I foresee a busy year, we have a great new membership. I also have a January deadline for another story for the Mighty Pen Project (there’s a web page and it’s on Facebook) as well as finding a place to publish the two stories I have ready to go. I am also working on another but that is almost at the halfway mark. Then there is the Howard Baugh Chapter of the Tuskegee Airman Inc. (web page and Facebook also) of which the scholarship committee have a deadline for submitting names (I am part of the committee). It’ll be a very busy year.

With Christmas coming up I am sorry I will miss putting out the next faithingodministries.net blog and the next tega227.com blog (this one). While I am away for two weeks, my mind won’t be on blogs or anything that have nothing to do with my travels. When we get back I will have to put myself on a ridged schedule and stick to it. This year procrastination have been my close friend, I will have to lose it at sea and leave it there. I have let retirement get the best of me, I have to snap out of it.

Next year I will do my best when it come to getting things done, however, I need a favor from all of you. I need followers, shares, likes and comments. I’ll try to do my part and I really need all of you to do your part as well, like passing on my blogs and having your friends do the same. Until next time. Take care and I’ll see you all in two weeks with a few pictures.

Coco Cay, Bahamas

 

 

 

 

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Vacation Cruise

We have returned (my wife and I) to land after nine days at sea, on the Grandeur of the Seas, with stops in Bermuda, Nassau (Bahamas) and Coco Cay (Bahamas), over twenty four hundred nautical miles, round trip. I loved it but I did not love what we returned to, the aftermath of a terrible storm. Trees down, roads blocked because trees were across the roads and power lines and no electrical power anywhere. I have been through and seen worst but that is something a person can’t get used to. It’s an inconvenience, to say the least, but I’ll get to that later.

First let me write about the cruise. We traveled from Imperial Plaza by bus with twenty six other people and checking in/boarding was a breeze. It was better than what I anticipated plus the weather was perfect. In fact, the only day we ran into rain was at the last stop, Coco Cay, Bahamas, and that was an off and on rain. In fact, when I took the picture of the sailboat with the lightning strike behind it, it was a sunny morning. When the off and on rain hit, I was reclining in a beach chair on the beach, letting the warm rain wash over me along with a gentle, warm breeze. What a relaxing day.

The first stop was at Heritage Wharf in Bermuda. We took a tour of the entire island with frequent stops included. That night we cruised the waters in a glass bottom boat, looking at the fish and the old ship wreck that was sticking out of the water which have been there a couple hundred years. This is proof that Bermuda is surrounded by a reef and there are only two ways past the reef. It was quite warm but a nice breeze gave relief from the humidity. Lovely place but it would be expensive to live there. Michael Douglas and a couple other stars have property there but they can afford it. While we were on the tour, we stopped in the capitol, Hamilton, and did a short tour downtown. We also did the same thing at the far end of the island, St. Georges.

The next stop was Nassau, Bahamas and it was a little hotter (I don’t mean that in a bad way. I love the heat.). We toured a cigar making factory, a chocolate factory and the Natural History Museum. Of course I had to get some nice, fresh, hand rolled cigars. Love a good cigar (I know smoking is bad for you but to each his own, I say). From what I could see, Nassau is small and densely populated. My wife and I concluded that the reason people there moved and worked slowly was because of the heat, humidity and the closeness of everything. The more (faster) you moved, the hotter you become.

The last stop was Coco Cay, Bahamas (owned by Royal Caribbean). As we were entering the port I took the picture of the sailboat and never saw a lightning strike. Later that night, when I reviewed my pictures, I was startled to see the lightning in the photo. Now it is one of my favorite photos. It was sunny as we were coming into port but it later turned into on and off showers. The weather was warm with a nice breeze. I lazed under an umbrella and, as the showers came and went, I only got wet from the knees down but was never cold. The cruise line had nice food (hamburgers, hot dogs, BBQ, fruit, and beverages). Then the seagulls started flying all around us and occasionally stole food. They were very aggressive and would get as close as a couple feet (can anyone say aggressively hungry?).

On board the ship was fantastic. I could write a book about the things that went on, the fine service, the wonderful shows and, of course, the duty free shopping. The food was greater than great and there was a different menu each day. The on-board casino kept me and my wife occupied (she won the slot machine contest. I came in thirteen out of the many people that entered) and the drinks flowed freely (not free). I love being retired and on a constant vacation. It was so wonderful that we signed up for a cruise in December 2017, but all good things must come to an end and it did.

Getting back to Imperial Plaza, via Imperial Plaza’s bus, was easy, especially with the traffic (only a couple slow downs). Then the bottom fell out. We knew there was a wind storm but we didn’t expect the power outage or the destruction the wind caused. Trees were down everywhere and electricity was out. Oh well, can’t fight Mother Nature, just cope with it. We returned on Saturday afternoon and Imperial Plaza’s power came back at four thirty Sunday afternoon and then the fun began. Saturday night we stayed in a hotel and returned Sunday afternoon. Then, forgoing unpacking, we began emptying the chest freezer and refrigerator/freezer plus cleaning both. Now we will restock with the insurance payout. The company we are with is making a fast payout for the lost food.

Monday, we walked the area taking pictures of all the devastation and carnage that had occurred. It looked like a war zone with so many trees down, broken trees, trees on cars, trees on houses, and traffic lights not working. There were many vehicle accidents because where the traffic lights were out vehicles had to come to a stop. Some didn’t and, of course, there was an accident (one death that I am aware of). There was even damage to one of the buildings of Imperial Plaza. The wind was a “straight line” wind, not a tornado, as I’ve heard some people saying.

Well, I’ll close this and say “stay tuned because it’s not over yet”. This year’s traveling is not over yet. This weekend we’ll go to Maryland Live (casino) for my wife’s birthday, then the following weekend is to Colorado for my grandson’s wedding. Then to Pa. for a family reunion and I don’t remember the rest. I’m retired and I love this traveling. I’ve worked many years to have and enjoy this time in my life. You all should do the same. I wish all a good summer and safe travels. Enjoy life!

Lightning Strike

Lightning Strike

Coco Cay, Bahamas

Coco Cay, Bahamas

Grandeur of the Seas showtime

Grandeur of the Seas showtime

A resident of Coco Cay

A resident of Coco Cay

A small piece of the wind damage

A small piece of the wind damage

I Am Retired

To be retired is greater than expected. To be able to do whatever, whenever and never have to worry about rising in the morning and going to a job. It is so nice to just lay in bed and think/relax. That is when I do my best thinking. I think about what time of morning (afternoon?) it is, what to fix for breakfast, what to wear today and dose off again, for however long it may be. Time belongs to me and not the job. Time is all there is now and I have worked a long time for this. I have been approached and chastised for not writing an article for the last two weeks. All I can say is I am retired. The article is not a job, it is pleasure, however, I ask “am required to submit an article each and every week?” I am retired and, this year, there is a lot of traveling that have been done and more to come.

While away, I do not carry my laptop, I-Pad and barely want to use my phone. There is a cruise coming up real soon and there will be very little communication for ten days plus, a wedding halfway across the country and much more. I am retired and deserve to go everywhere I can and enjoy myself without obligations to anyone (except my wife, of course) or anything. My wife and I just came from a week in Puerto Rico and I sent out, maybe, four pictures over Facebook. I really didn’t want to do that but to just stay in touch with anyone that was worried about why there wasn’t any communication. Again, we are retired. That is what retirement is all about, is it not?

Then there are people that wonder why I have a part-time job. First, the job is not hard work. Second, it is only four days a month. Third, it provides me with a tad bit of cash for my casino trips. Fourth, over the years, I have watched many people do one or two things and die. They continued to work and never had any real pleasure before or during retirement. They never retired or could not afford to retire. And those that did retire but just sat around and did nothing, passed away early and/or needed assistance to survive, never having enjoyed their retirement.

I said all of that to say this, or at least hopefully having this fact understood. The blog was to be about retirement, it is not a job to be done. The blog is to be done between my exploits, not a thing that causes everything to be stopped in order to write and print this. The blog is a pleasure writing, not a chore that is kept to a hardwired structure. And, lastly, it clears my mind for the true writing that I am into, novels and printed articles.

Hopefully I did not ruffle anyone’s feathers by writing this but truth is truth. I am on my own schedule, no one else. My wife and I do many things together and then we have our own things that are done separately. That is retirement. To do things that you want to do, at your leisure and not a calendar or clock in sight is retirement at it’s best. Most days I have to look at the paper or something else to realize what day it is and then check my pocket calendar (I have a phone appointment calendar also) to find out what I have to do today and what is coming up tomorrow. To me, today is tomorrow because tomorrow is not promised and, therefore, do whatever today because you may not be here tomorrow.

So, I’ll try to get out a blog on retirement every other week and one on religion in between that but it is not a promise or guarantee from me. If I recall correctly, when I first started this, I said I would try (I repeat “try”) to do this every week. Try is the optimum word. If there are other things you would like for me to write about, contact me and let me know. There is a comment box, use it. Until the next time…”Be kind to your neighbors because you’ll never know when you’ll need them. Also, ensure your words are soft and sweet because you’ll never know when you’ll have to eat them.”IMG_0234

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Busy, Busy, Busy

I have neglected putting out my blogs for good reasons. It is not because I am lazy (some may argue that is the case but I’ll never waver) but have been busy with my MPP (Mighty Pen Project) classes and with the board of the MPP. I am also getting together (finally) the website for the MPP that will give much more information than I could give to you here. As you know, it is geared to all active duty military, ex-military and the families and/or friends of each service. To go further, in case you have not read my other blogs, it is for writing. These papers can be for memoirs, books or just plain getting things off your mind. The course is a once a week, ten week class taught by an instructor from a college, university, etc. In other words, this is a free college level course Who can argue with FREE?

How can this be free? That is where the Virginia War Memorial come in. With their help and guidance, we have come a long way. Now we have our own board and is attempting to function (some day) on our own. I have the task of setting up the website and keeping it running. A daunting task, to say the least. I hope to premiate myself by accomplishing this in a very expeditious manner. Wish me luck and the fortitude to carry on.

As far as Brookdale’s Imperial Plaza is concerned, it is slowly but surely moving right along… making people angrier and angrier along the way. The director (I should say “ex”) is no more. She was fired (she say she left on her own) but the rumor mill is really humming. I strongly believe the rumor mill (I have my sources). I will not say what those rumors are because, if wrong, I could be charged with slander. There is enough going on that I don’t want to be in the middle and end up on the wrong end of the spectrum. I have not seen nor met the lady that’s holding down the fort until a new director is named but I hear she is nice. I don’t remember her name but I do know she is from another facility that is in the Brookdale family. And, I want to add, people are not happy with the changes at the Magnolia Room or any of the dinning rooms, to be exact. Like I said before. People are always against change, whether good or bad. It doesn’t matter.

I am also a member of the grounds committee and, just think, I am suppose to be retired. I am doing more now than when I wasn’t retired. I guess being busy does not give you time to think about your age. I think about it every now and then and cringe. Personally, I think the two guys that do all the grounds work does not need anymore supervision or oversight than they already have. They do a fantastic job. I’m one that believe in the saying “if it’s not broken, don’t try to fix it.” I am told that I am expected to attend the different building gatherings in order to get their input about what they want done on the grounds. NOT!!! If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it plus I don’t have the desire or time to commit to such an endeavor.

Anyway, I’ll try to keep the blog going. I have so much coming up. A trip to Puerto Rico, a cruise, a trip to Colorado and, of course, the casinos. Add to that the MPP and I should finish my classes by the end of March. I forgot the Neighborhood Watch program, I am committed to that also. In order to be a good neighbor, commit your services to the neighborhood. If we all did a little, crime would be at an all time low.

Until next time…be kind to your neighbors because you’ll never know when you’ll need them. Also, insure your words are soft and sweet, you’ll never know when you’ll have to eat them. BYE!!!

The Great Outdoors

Those that missed the trip to Washington and the cruise on the Potomac missed a grand day.  The weather co-operated and there was no shortage of fun, good music and great food.  Ron and Tracy took a lot of pictures of people and I took many sightseeing pictures especially close-ups of the take offs and landings of the planes.  I even have some good shots of the helicopter before it landed.  From what I understand, there will be other great trips.  Don’t miss the next one.

I am still vigorously riding my bicycle and now I am all over Lakeside, Dumbarton, Stapes Mill and Broad Street.  It feels better than just riding in Bryan Park.  I am almost ready to go further than I am now but I must first get the gel seat Ron was telling me about.  My rear end is killing me.  I don’t have much back there and the bike is trying to take what’s there.  I’m sore as hell.  My legs are doing fine and, in fact, I surprised myself by getting back to Imperial Plaza quicker than intended and I wasn’t even winded.

The drivers out there are crazy dangerous and here I am on a bicycle in their way.  I had a crazy lady turn into a car lot, right in front of me, and then tried to park in the row of cars along the sidewalk.  Instead of stopping at the edge of the side walk, she went out a little further and almost hit me.  Riding a bicycle is not crazy, it’s the drivers out there that are crazy.  As I said in an article I had in Yahoo Voices, the drivers only care about themselves and, if you get in their way, you will be hurt.

There was a big accident, here at Imperial Plaza.  A woman was driving to the rear of Dogwood apartments and as she came around the corner of the building, instead of turning, she kept straight.  She hit a car so hard that she knocked it into another car and pushed both vehicles two parking slots away.  She was not injured but the vehicles were badly damaged, at least one was totaled.

Don’t forget the last blog, see me on Yahoo or contact me and I’ll tell you how.  Have fun, spring is here outdoor activities are starting and I see people in the garden plots.  Take care!!!!