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naturelovergirl

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  • Content Count

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About naturelovergirl

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    USA
  • Interests
    travel, singing, nature, reading, cooking, hiking
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Norway

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  1. We had a very calm, personal, and socially distant 4th of July celebration in Florida... none of it was typical of what we normally do, but we think we made the most of it all in a weird year. After making a late breakfast we drove around backroads, listening to music that reminded us of traveling through America. ”Pink Houses”- John Cougar Mellencamp ”America”- Simon & Garfunkel “Ventura Highway”- America ... and many many other wonderful songs We also found a quiet park where we walked and enjoyed the outdoors. After making dinner at home we walked around our neighborhood and paths to look at the fireworks displays in the distance and around the neighborhoods (Many people always set off big fireworks in FL on the 4th from their homes) We saw so many fireworks this year... there were less large public gatherings of fireworks displays offered this year, so people were setting them off themselves obviously. My favorite moment of our fireworks walk was seeing a family who had distantly parked their car on a ridge to watch them all around. We all waved and said “Happy 4th” to each other across the road... and as we were walking away, we hear every exclamation of fireworks delight from the child. We finally “Cap”-ed the night off rewatching Marvel’s first Captain America movie.
  2. We received our refund for our Cunard Alaska voyage today- it was accurate to the 60 day mark for the refund The funds went to our credit card
  3. Although our state of Florida is certainly climbing in new cases (and making the news for it), we, personally, continue to practice safe social distancing and wear masks without complaint. Those of us in our circle of friends are all of the same mindset as well... so just know, no matter what is seen on the news about the Sunshine State, there are also people here who are working to be caring and responsible citizens during these unprecedented times. We actually did a full and absolute quarantine for three weeks so that we could finally visit our quarantined elderly family this week. Very grateful for this special time with them.
  4. We continue to do plenty of baking during this time. Father's Day in the US is on Sunday- so I have made bread for my father and grandfather as presents... we are a bread loving family (low carb is just not our thing), and I am the only living person in my family who makes it from scratch now. In my family, you don't get much better than a present of homemade bread. Several years ago, my sweet husband gave me a birthday present of bread baking classes at a true cooking school. I learned so much there- and I have continued improving my skills since then. There are many things that I have hated about this pandemic in regards to my work and to missing travel- but what I have loved has been making bread and learning new skills and recipes in the process. I am definitely a better bread baker since all of this began... and I can be grateful for that.
  5. Again- who knows what the new normal of cruising will be once they start back up... but we do look forward to another Cunard voyage in the future (we were in Norway last summer and were supposed to be in Alaska with Cunard this summer) Meliador- If you guys are anything like us, once you have your first Cunard cruise you will look forward to your next... which is why we had booked Alaska. It is a very special and nice experience. That cruise to Quebec sounds great! Perfect time of year with the leaves.
  6. Hello from Florida. Yes- Universal Orlando parks opened on Friday with partial capacity and specific rules. Other parks and tourist venues will continue to open with restrictions. Also... Yes, Disney will open with limited capacity and many changed rules in Mid-July. It is a slow grind back (and not anywhere near what we all considered "normal" before the pandemic)... but they are all trying to do the best that they can for all. We personally continue to miss seeing family, friends, and traveling so much...
  7. Florida continues to figure out the complex steps in reopening. The theme parks have all started on their planning and procedures for this. Universal Orlando parks open with restrictions at the end of next week. Disney will open with restrictions in mid-July. Again, I stress the word “restrictions”... it will not be what we all considered to be normal for a long time. It will be interesting to see how it all goes for the parks and for tourism in general. I believe how it all turns out here will be a litmus test for many other branches of big tourism and for the entertainment business- everyone will be watching and learning what works and what needs tweaking. Personally, we have been making bread, hiking, walking, and trying to keep our spirits lifted. We miss our lives before the pandemic- especially our work In the performing arts... which will unfortunately not return for a while. Each step towards normalcy helps, but we still have so far to go. Stay safe and find beauty in the small things.
  8. Yes, we watched the concert last night too... and thought they did a good job despite the differences. We watch and love the concert every year.
  9. A few more places and businesses are opening in Florida with restrictions and modifications. We are not personally ready to try them all at this time, but are interested to see how they go. We are continuing to practice social distancing while enjoying hiking or riding bicycles at our recently opened Florida State Parks. This has seemed like a great solution for us- be outside, get exercise, and to explore all while maintaining safe distances. Although we have been exclusively cooking this whole time, we do plan to pick up some carry out from some favorite local restaurants soon- we want to support them. We had a separate cancellation for a resort where we were waiting on a refund because of the pandemic... and it took until today- just one day shy of 60 days- for that refund to come in. So, certainly things are taking time with travel refunds... but that came through around 60 days. Hope you all are well and finding joy where you can.
  10. Hello from Florida. We have had some restrictions lifted in the state- we are in what they refer to as Phase 1. Honestly my husband and I have only chosen to take advantage of a few small things as part of this phase... we are kind of in a wait-and-see mode. We have not been to any of the recently opened limited capacity restaurants (not really interested in that yet), but we have GREATLY appreciated that some of the lovely State Parks have opened with restrictions and social distancing rules. We went on a beautiful bicycle ride and then a terrific hike on another day. Both activities were completely socially distant, but gave us a sense of "normalcy" which has been lacking of late. Salons did open here last week with stringent regulations (masks, clients waiting in the car for appointment, and limited capacity), and the place I go, specifically, opened up this weekend. They have outlined all of the modifications they are making- and I feel confident that they are going to do their best. I have made an appointment for the end of the month for a haircut. As a person with extreme wanderlust, I am constantly aware that my love of travel is a bit (or a lot) hobbled at the moment. I long for the day when I can travel again. Still, I am realistic and aware of the magnitude of this global quandary. It has also shuttered our small business until life gets back... and so that is an additional loss in our normal existence. We miss working very much. Still, we try to find the joy where we can. Luckily, we are resilient, and have the moxie within ourselves to keep life vibrant. Stay safe, everyone. (Thanks HostHattie for the Gavin & Stacey pic of Nessa... We are Americans who absolutely loved Gavin & Stacey! It is almost impossible for us to say the words, "I Know" without saying them like Nessa)
  11. Just finished week 6 in Florida... Our families in other southern states have continued to stay secluded and well- since we both have elderly grandfathers in the high risk group with mothers who take care of them, this has been important to us all. We have been able to continue sending grocery delivery to our grandfathers... It has worked so far. Personally, we had been getting only deliveries to our home since we went into social distance... but... My husband had his first actual trip to the grocery store this week- masked up and sanitized like a science fiction novel (we came to the conclusion that we could trust that he would take every precaution) He arrived at opening and was pleasantly surprised to see people in the store also being respectful and cautious. This was a departure from some of the stories we had heard from others of people not taking this seriously. He was also able to buy us almost everything on our list. So at least in our area he had a good experience. Grateful.
  12. On a side note from all of our many steps surrounding this Cunard cruise cancellation- We were very pleased (surprisingly so, honestly) with the good customer service from our travel insurance, the airline, and our lodging in Vancouver... no cancellation fees and prompt refunds on the lodging and insurance... we will be waiting on the airline refund. After pondering over it some more, we decided in the end to just take the refund of our deposit from Cunard. At first we were on the path of FCC, but we started talking about pros and cons of both ways. It was only going to be an extra $50 bucks we would be gaining in the FCC. Since it was only the deposit amount, and we were not going to rebook at this time, we decided to just wait on the deposit refund... So we will be in the waiting process like the rest of you... we shall see how long it does indeed take. We will still plan on returning to Cunard... and would love that to be next year... but in the end, we decided to make it our choice.
  13. I only expect the 125% FCC on the deposit amount we paid... We had also not made the final payment yet. Of course, once we talk to our Travel Agent, we will confirm all. At this point we are planning on just keeping the cruise credit on this deposit amount and not asking for a refund.
  14. Yes- we watched the Cunard video regarding this announcement this morning in the US on Facebook. Although our August trip to Alaska will definitely not happen for us this year, we are glad that Cunard has already made the decision. This has allowed us this morning to make cancellations on some of our lodging before and after the cruise as well as rental cars we had reserved. We will be working on cancelling the plane tickets next. One day we will have the opportunity to see Alaska... Until then, stay safe.
  15. I’m on week 5 of social distance in Florida. We continue to do Fixer-Up work around our home. We were fortunate to have much of the supplies we needed here already before the start of this, and the rest have been delivered. It has been a way to stay busy and be able to accomplish some tasks even in these strange times. We have made some good food including some delicious homemade breads. Luckily we both love cooking. Grocery delivery has been our choice in this- and so far has worked. We have not needed to buy some of the items (like t.p. and cleaning supplies) that have been running out consistently... so we shall see down the line how it goes when we do need them. We continue to look at our August Alaska voyage on Cunard, but the longer things go on, the more we are resigned that it most likely won’t happen this year. We were hopeful at the start, but not so much now.
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