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Pat, doesn't your cruise leave 1-9? You'll get to spend some time with him in FL before boarding again, right?? To bad he doesn't have a side car!! :D

 

I'm another one who really doesn't like to dress up anymore. Before I retired, I had to "dress to the nines" everyday for years for work and fancy parties, etc. I would be happy if I never had to "dress" for dinner again. However, I know he enjoys that so I'll bet you break down and go a little dressy on the cruise. ;) I would do it for him! :p

 

I'm in central Illinois and we are preparing for a winter blast, although not near as bad as the upper midwest is getting. :eek: Where in PA are you? I was born in Pittsburgh and all my relatives were there until they passed on. I love PA, hate the midwest, no hills, nothing but corn fields!! :(

 

Sue

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Pat, doesn't your cruise leave 1-9? You'll get to spend some time with him in FL before boarding again, right?? To bad he doesn't have a side car!! :D

 

I'm another one who really doesn't like to dress up anymore. Before I retired, I had to "dress to the nines" everyday for years for work and fancy parties, etc. I would be happy if I never had to "dress" for dinner again. However, I know he enjoys that so I'll bet you break down and go a little dressy on the cruise. ;) I would do it for him! :p

 

I'm in central Illinois and we are preparing for a winter blast, although not near as bad as the upper midwest is getting. :eek: Where in PA are you? I was born in Pittsburgh and all my relatives were there until they passed on. I love PA, hate the midwest, no hills, nothing but corn fields!! :(

 

Sue

Hi Sue...Do I add you to the roster? I'm just going to throw in my black dress and a pant suit that will suffice to eat dinner those two nights. It is bitter cold here in Lancaster County (southeast) PA as well. I actually deplore winter, but am retired and hubby doesn't think there is anywhere else on this earth to live. Besides, I couldn't leave behind two of my five grandkids who live close by. We miss out enough on the three boys who are in Tennessee, which is 10 hours away. I've had my ups and downs pertaining to this cruise, so will bite the bullet, not cancel and see what transpires. It's like most people say on here...it is what you make of it. I'm on the open ocean...what could possibly be that bad?

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#22 December 5 - 12, 2010 Going South

The day in Fort Lauderdale was great and Barbara drove me through all the environments - which sure are impressive. And that they call F.L. the Second Venice is certainly justified with the many canals with beautiful homes and gorgeous yachts fronting them. We had lunch at a large Jewish deli restaurant - a

welcome change in diet! Matzoball Chicken Soup and half a smoked beef (only they call it "corned beef" )sandwich with cold slaw and an entire pickle - WOW! Later we went to their house where I was able to reply to some emails. A nice day!

And now I am in Key West, that is, I was, since we are already under way as I write this. An eventful and fruitful day, because I finally got the Travelscoot.com (look at it!) and had help with it by Tim, a newcomer to our table wich, apart from Jeff, who is doing another leg, has Tia, a black lady, but two chairs are empty.

Of course there was the "usual" champagne (i.e. sparkling wine) which we shared. But back to the scooter. While it cost me almost $ 50 in taxi fare and storage charges at the UPS Store, I sure was glad that finally this has been gotten and Tim was very helpful in setting it up. I used it right away, in the afternoon drove quite a distance into town where I found a Starbucks with WiFi. The Scooter is all I had hoped for and I am very happy to have it. The nice thing is that I don't even have to undo and fold it up in the cabin - I have a perfect spot for it and it's out of the way. I'll take a picture later and send it.

Before, when I got back to the cabin, there was a little package for me. It cntained a small box with the "Black Card" from the MSC club and a badge like the ones worn by all MSC employees including officers, with my name on it and underneath "VIP Guest". There was a note with it, reading "Caro Egon, Your MSC Black Crd has finally arrived. We also think it would be nice to give you a MSC Badge since you are part of our family. It is a great pleasure having you on board. With our best regards, Stefano Aloia, Hotel Secretary". So I have arrived!

Another newcomer at our table, lives since 35 years in Canada but is Iranian, calls himself "John" which I am certain is't his real name. Seems like a nice guy. Because of his religion, he eats kosher, but the ship has no kosher menu, which I find surprising since there are a lot of Jewish people on these cruises. So he concentrates on seafood which is always available and very good. Now we are 4 men and 1 woman; Tia is only 29 but looks older, maybe because she is overweight, quite busty and sports a prominent cleavage. I don't mind sitting next her.

Before we got to Ocho Rios, there was another Gala evening with preceding cocktail party for everyone where, as I mentioned before, they also serve martinis of which I had two. Was sitting next to a nice couple from Cape Canaveral in Winter and Hayesville, NC in Summer; he a retired flight captain, and she reminds me of Sandy. But what I feel must have been a mistake, since I already received my "ration" for this cruise when leaving Fort Lauderdale: there was another bottle of champagne (the real stuff, MOET) and a plate with chocolate covered strawberries - it all went down to the table, but since two men don't drink, Jeff, Tia and I had half the bottle and will finish it tonight. Such waste of potential romance. And on top of it, I am not even fond of champagne.

The sea was rough this morning when I went for my swim shortly after 7am - we only got into Ocho Rios at 9 - so the pool was pretty rough too for the first half hour or so, but then calmed down as we entered the approach to the island. From the ship to shore in Ocho Rios was a pretty long way and I was zooming along like Speedy Gonzales on my Travelscoot which behaved beautifully also on several ramps which I had to climb to find a new location for free WiFi, after being directed to it by a helpful policeman.

December 9 in Georgetown (Cayman Islands) we had to tender in. They took me and the scooter down to the gangplank in a little elevator and loading the scooter into the tender (a motorboat holding some 125 people) was no problem. Ashore I discovered that I had forgotten my wallet; I went to the Starbuck's Cafe just the same, thinking that I may well meet someone from the ship who would lend me a few dollars . I actually did after I decided to try for WiFi in front of the place and had their WiFi even without having to buy a coffee. It was a beautiful day with temperature around 75 and the town is bustling with activity - I see many banks and names of international companies, so it must be an important commercial center on this island with its beautiful beaches and lush vegetation. Wonder how it would to live here?

Tonight a large envelope was delivered to me in the cabin. It contained a large photograph of Cori and Michelle who were on the ship in November and played Scrabble with me; Cori had sought me out because she "knew" me from CruiseCritic. They also had listened to me playing in the Atrium and Cori made two photos of Michelle and I at he piano, one posing, another kissing! I don't know how she did this and figure that she must have left the envelope and enclosed note with the board photoshop with instruction to make these copies. Really very touching.

At Cozumel Dec. 10,

Outside Starbuck's at a shaky table and lots of trouble getting on line, probably there were so many others and the bandwith was too narrow. But eventually I was able to send out some emails. Lots and lots of people from at least two cruiseships I see. Some women sport fancy head ornaments of balloon-sausages twisted into artistic (?) configurations. I made a photo of two of them, however the camera was on "video". Par for the course.

While swimming in the morning, I have occasion to watch people, most with coffe cups or breakfast plates in hand, walking around looking for free seats at the tables on both sides, while one deck higher, on the balcony surrounding the ship, many jog or walk. Again there are many children on board, some babies, in arms or strollers. There also are many old and frail people around; one man, obviously a stroke victim, can hardly walk, another has only one leg but I saw him on the dance floor hopping around on it (is that exhibitionism?), and there are several people in wheelchairs, both push-type and electric ones. Many Germans as well as Russians this time - a very interesting mix.

While the cabin and restaurant stewards are either Indonesian (Selamat Pakee=Good morning) or from Madagascar (Salama), the girls (for drinks) running around with small trays, sometimes with 2 glasses of decorated Sangrias on them which they hope someone will buy, come from Bulgaria, Roumania and the Ukraine. All staff above these ranks seem to be Italian.

 

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Pat, thanks for taking the time to post his e-mails. I have enjoyed reading them all. I can't wait to meet him on our 1/9th cruise. He sorta reminds me of my 91 year old mother in-law. She is just like him, healthy as can be and doesn't act or look her age. If I could get her to go on this cruise he would be smitten with her. She is very little so they would look so cute together. If only I could talk her into joining us. My mom would also get along with him because she loves to play scrabble and is always trying to find someone to play with her.

 

I look forward to meeting you and Egon in a few weeks. Thanks again for posting. JoAnne

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I am so in love with Egon! Pat, this is wonderful, what you're doing, please don't stop! I just discovered this thread today and am bummed that I'm at the end but looking forward to following it for the next ten months!

 

I have seen detailed posts on CC on how to post pics. When I come across one again I'll copy it here.

 

I am going on the NCL Spirit 2/27 and I discovered that Egon and I will both be in Cozumel 3/4. Unfortunately I have an excursion booked that day but I'll be looking for him at the docks after. We arrive at 8 and he arrives at 10 so I doubt I'll see him in the a.m. I would love to meet him.

 

I was surprised when I read that he is 5'4". He looks much larger in his photo from the newspaper article. Maybe it's just that he resembles my uncle who was 6'5".

 

Thanks again, can't wait for the next installment. I'm subscribing right now!

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Pat, thanks for taking the time to post his e-mails. I have enjoyed reading them all. I can't wait to meet him on our 1/9th cruise. He sorta reminds me of my 91 year old mother in-law. She is just like him, healthy as can be and doesn't act or look her age. If I could get her to go on this cruise he would be smitten with her. She is very little so they would look so cute together. If only I could talk her into joining us. My mom would also get along with him because she loves to play scrabble and is always trying to find someone to play with her.

 

I look forward to meeting you and Egon in a few weeks. Thanks again for posting. JoAnne

 

Would you be open to another single lady joining your group to meet and entertain Egon? I have been following the postings of his adventure since he first posted his plans. And, all of yellowbird23's posts has really shown his personality. Thank you so much yellowbird23 for taking the time to post his emails to you.

 

Anyway, I'm up for a quick getaway next month and would love to be a part of your group of lovely ladies. This sounds like something that would be so much fun for Egon as well as a lovely cruise.

 

I am turning 59 (please tell me it's not true :D ) on Dec. 16, am a double-divorcee, own my house and work as a professional. Please shoot me an email at Diane so we can discuss this. I am seriously interested in joining in. :D

 

Hope to hear from you soon!

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Hello all! I WILL be going on this cruise for sure. How could I not after meeting so many fabulous and genuine people on here.

Janine>>You will be on my favorite ship of all of them. Spirit is fantastic, although Mexico is not my favorite cruise destination. Egon goes out on his scooter in the ports to find WiFi connections and to post.

Jo>>You really ought to get your mother on board. Tell her about this wonderful man. When was the last time she was wined and dined? Looking so forward to meeting you. Like your mother, I, too, love Scrabble, although I think he would be out to whoop my arse! lol

Dizzy>>59 is nothing! I'm 64, but, like Egon, AIN'T DEAD YET! so will keep on rolling as long as I can and leave my grouchy hubby at home with the dawgs!!!

Edited by yellowbird23
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Pat your to funny. My DH would NEVER let me go on a cruise without him. First of all I don't have a job and he couldn't survive without me here. I have always wanted to go on a all girls vaca to just get wild and crazy. I think by the time I get to do that I'll be using a scooter like Egon. Anyways good for you Pat and I know you will have a blast. Really looking forward to meeting you.

 

DizzyDallasDi, I think Egon would love having another single female to fuss over him. Just from what I've read (thank you Pat) he seems to be a hot ticket and not the least bit shy.

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Pat your to funny. My DH would NEVER let me go on a cruise without him. First of all I don't have a job and he couldn't survive without me here. I have always wanted to go on a all girls vaca to just get wild and crazy. I think by the time I get to do that I'll be using a scooter like Egon. Anyways good for you Pat and I know you will have a blast. Really looking forward to meeting you.

My DH has been telling me "this is your last one (cruise)". I don't have a job either other than driving him nuts. I took early retirement 2 years ago and since then have taken 4 cruises without him. You will find that they actually do survive without us. My daughter has him over for supper and I leave lots of lunch meat, canned soup and Dinte More stew...lol! Somehow he always survives.

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My DH has been telling me "this is your last one (cruise)". I don't have a job either other than driving him nuts. I took early retirement 2 years ago and since then have taken 4 cruises without him. You will find that they actually do survive without us. My daughter has him over for supper and I leave lots of lunch meat, canned soup and Dinte More stew...lol! Somehow he always survives.

Sun-4-Ever>>>There are tricks you use that makes them allow you to go. You and I must sit down and talk onboard....lol!!!

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Would you be open to another single lady joining your group to meet and entertain Egon? I have been following the postings of his adventure since he first posted his plans. And, all of yellowbird23's posts has really shown his personality. Thank you so much yellowbird23 for taking the time to post his emails to you.

 

Anyway, I'm up for a quick getaway next month and would love to be a part of your group of lovely ladies. This sounds like something that would be so much fun for Egon as well as a lovely cruise.

 

I am turning 59 (please tell me it's not true :D ) on Dec. 16, am a double-divorcee, own my house and work as a professional. Please shoot me an email at Diane so we can discuss this. I am seriously interested in joining in. :D

 

Hope to hear from you soon!

 

What have you decided? Are you with us or not? I e-mailed you but no reply as of yet.

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It's 20 minutes to seven as I write this in a somewhat crowded situation in my cabin, to the right a Rye and gingerale and a little bowl with the oriental cracker mixture which always comes along when you either order a drink at the bar or at the cocktail parties (when I help myself for the lonely moments). Like clockwork, five minutes ago room service delivered a bottle of Moet and the plate with strawberries and I persuaded him to take it down to my table in the resaurant. It's always a nice reception for whatever newcomers will be at the table, but rather boring for me because it always leads to my explaining over and over again the why's and wherefore's. Maybe I should print it all out on a sheet to pass around?

After the usual immigration ordeal which is attached to every return to Fort Lauderdale, I went into town on my scooter and must have covered 4-5 Miles. Found a Mega Liquor Store with great prices and bought a half gallon of Seagram's VO Canadian Whisky, found a Supermarket where I looked for Aromat, a Swiss condiment which I love but had to settle for Accent to add flavor to some dishesw which lack it somewhat. And two liter bottles of Schweppes Ginger Ale on Sale and then headed "home" again but had to ask directions as I had lost my way in the shuffle. By the way, I was not concerned about the booze, because I discovered that at Ft.L, there is only one scan and that is operated, I think, by the US Security which doesn't care about what you take aboard as long as it passes the security criteria. The scooter behaved admirably and I was glad that I could on several occasions lift first the front, then the rear easily up or down and curb where there was no handicap access. Went for a small lunch in the cafeteria, rested 1/2 hr and had a phone call from Stefano who said that he had a lady there who wants to meet me, and when I asked him for her same, he said "EmiIy". I went down to meet her and it was Erin, from the MSC Fort Lauderdale office, with whom I had dealt extensively over several month, but never met. I had once written her that I figured her to be about 24 but she turns out to be 32, a cute and busty little Irish lass, alas. Anyway, we chewed the fat for about 20 minutes, when she had to leave again. I then walked down again to the top floor of the Terminal Building to attend to my computer work and had trouble sending out anything for quite a while since it wouldn't "synchronize offline changes" - still something I don't understand. But after trying this and that and rebooting, it finally was nice to me.

The newcomers at the dinner table are three women and one man. To the right of me is a lady from San Francisco but Iranian, which is an odd coincidence, because in the same chair sat John, the Iranian, before. Next to me is a real chatterbox who dominates the table and is the ype who may ask you a question about yourself only to use the answer as a steppingstone for a long dissertation of her own experiences (or her daughter's, or about her grandchild...)Next to her a lady from New Brunswick and beside her a man from British Columbia who is the quiet type - I asked him whether he is always so quiet or was he waiting to get a word in edgewise and this hint to my neighbor was greeted with much amusement by the lady from NB and swallowed but regurgitated by the chatterbox. Anyway, they all were happy about the champagne. I noticed that the Iranian drank two glasses very fast and commented on it to her - her reply was "I like to drink" and asked me whether I like red or white wine better. That's about all the conversation I had with her. I am not very excited about this round table. The 10 strawberries went like a wildfire.

Gala night, and cocktail party (Martini!). We suffer.

The cafeteria is along both sides of the ship. This morning, when I went for breakfast, there was such a lineup at both sides that I only grabbed a box of raisin bran, a plain yogourt and milk. At lunchtime the scene was repeated on both sides, throngs of people lined up. I saw between the two sides a "Pasta station" with only a few people and got some curlyques with pesto and some ice tea and that did it for me. Since there is the choice of having either meal in the restaurant, I'll do that tomorrow, even though my little demands don't really justify it. It seems that the ship is pretty much full.

I again played in the Atrium and then sat with an all dressed-up couple, she is in a wheelchair, has an illness the name of which I have forgotten, is much overweight and in constant pain, but has a nice personality with a positive outlook. I gave her one of my CD's, since she had asked me to play several songs for her. There are lots of people, most dressed up nicely, waiting to go to the first Dinner Sitting at 5.30. I also see a young couple, not dressed up, he in shorts, with two small kids whom they allow to climb all over the furniture. The "ME!" generation.

The cocktail party, the too loud music and two martinis successfully behind me, I found another newcomer at the restaurant table next to me, a nice man who looks like 85, but turns out to be 96! All there mentally and by the way he walked when we left, in apparent better shape than I am, also a little taller. Because of the ambient noise we only had little conversation, I believe he was something like a corporation lawyer. The chatterbox next to me did her thing and the lady from New Brunswick seems like a silent observer; we talk with her and find out that she is a missionary with World Vision. Made a Scrabble date with "Silent Austin" and when we played today, he beat me, though I helped him to it on several occasions. Today I also had another session with my friend Stefano and discussed things from laundry (confirmed free), internet access (unavailable - it seems to be a franchise over which MSC has no control), the possibility of leaving my things in the cabin if it is not rented for the Jam Cruise Jan 4-9 (not possible- once chartered, everything is out of MSC's control .But he confirmed that they will find a place to store my things and they would also help with finding affordable accommodation for me using their influence as a cruise company). Also discussed emergency measures in case of sickness or death; burial at sea is forbidden by law. I'll draw up necessary instructions and information, post it in the cabin and in two sealed envelopes for the office and medical center.

I drove 1 Mile into town at Philipsburg in search of WiFi which at the port was only available at a Telecom store at $10/hr and finally found a Starbuck's which turned out to be an actual internet store with access at $7/hr. So I'll wait until we are in Charlotte Amelie tomorrow, but I enjoyed the town, quaint, but totally tourist oriented - no wonder: there are 6 huge ships in port, including the Queen Mary II, which disgorged thousands of people.

 

PS: The pics are from Philipsburg.

 

 

 

 

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If anyone knows how to transfer pictures, please e-mail me so I can e-mail what I get and put those pics up here. Not enough of computer savy on my part! proos@ptd.net

 

 

Hello, Pat!

I arrived home Monday from my transatlantic cruise. Except for the grueling disembarkation, the cruise was enjoyable.

 

You may already know this, but there are several photo-posting websites, where you can post lots of photos, then just provide a link for people to click to that website, directly to your pictures. I use Picasa, but there are others as well (like Flickr). I'm not computer-savvy either, but found the Picasa site to be user-friendly. Maybe something like that will work for you to post Egon's pictures?

 

I can't wait to hear from you after your cruise with Egon. I know he will be a fun person to get to know.

 

Keep us posted...

 

Cynthia

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If anyone knows how to transfer pictures, please e-mail me so I can e-mail what I get and put those pics up here. Not enough of computer savy on my part! proos@ptd.net

 

 

Hello, Pat!

I arrived home Monday from my transatlantic cruise. Except for the grueling disembarkation, the cruise was enjoyable.

 

You may already know this, but there are several photo-posting websites, where you can post lots of photos, then just provide a link for people to click to that website, directly to your pictures. I use Picasa, but there are others as well (like Flickr). I'm not computer-savvy either, but found the Picasa site to be user-friendly. Maybe something like that will work for you to post Egon's pictures?

 

I can't wait to hear from you after your cruise with Egon. I know he will be a fun person to get to know.

 

Keep us posted...

 

Cynthia

I'll have to check it out Cynthia. Thanks for the info.

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Thanks, Pat! I have bookmarked his site onto my iPad. I love reading about this man. I haven't been able to find the cruise pictures yet, but I have to finish shopping today, so I will be coming back to this later. :) Have a great day, and thanks again for keeping us informed about his travels.

Edited by INCHARGE
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Also in Charlotte Amelie were 6 Ships and we were parked at least 2 Miles from where I had found WiFi. On the way I was stopped by some people asking for info about the Scooter and I gave them one of the business cards the company had sent along. 4 days ago, sitting on the scooter with my right foot in front of the foot rest, when by mistake I turned the throttle and the thing jumped forward, with the foot rest slamming in my inner leg just above the ankle. Since then I have much trouble, unbearable pain when first trying to stand and walk after getting out of bed; after walking a while, the pain reduces somewhat but is always there, whereas when lying down it disappears. Naturally the region in swollen and even touch sensitive and since it hasn't improved, I went today to the Medical Center, where the somewhat terse doc only said that this takes a long time, continue putting the salve I had still from Switzerland and especially for such injuries, and putting the leg up. They don't have Xrays but he didn't think anything was broken. At least he didn't charge for the advice.

Another Gala Evening, with preceding cocktails, on the menu is lobster or filet mignon, or veal, and of course the obligatory baked Alaska complete with parade and much hoopla, which I recorded on the little digital voice recorder I bought some time ago after my old tape-type recorder collapsed. At 5pm took my usual drink down to the Atrium to listen to the trio playing, when I was accosted by a blonde who had heard about me (she actually said that I was a "legend" on the ship) and also wanted me to meet her friend with whom she traveled - have a look at the result attached. Two Southern Belles, one from Georgia, the other from Texas. But I didn't see either of them again in the evening, because Dinner at 8 took until after 10pm and then I first went with Cheryl (my tablemate from New Brunswick) to the Pigalle Lounge where a small combo with an off-key singer was making noise, wound up at Angelica's until 10.45 and then went to bed, separately, ****** still intact. I actually had propositioned her, i.e. suggested that when we leave Ft. L. an d I get another champagne, I would have it delivered to her cabin and we sit on her balcony (which she has) and have it, rather than having it taken to the table. But no, not alone with me. On the other hand, hugs and kisses in public. Shucks. But to come back to the two blondes: pictures can be deceiving.

Many people like to be photographed with the captain (occasions for that are available, by the way). Well, I'm next in line, and that's about all there's to it. And so, by virtue of photo opportunities, I establish my reputation as the "Playboy of Poesia". Ha ha. You can be awfully lonely when you are popular and everyone knows you as "Signor Egon".

Nassau has been and it was raining there. I sat a few hours on my scooter and did the emails and have begun, with the help of Barbara, to find acomodation in Fort Lauderdale for Jan.4-9. My leg still bothers me a lot and I can only hope that this will improve soon. Back on the ship, like always before the end of a cruise (i.e. every week from now on until March 2011), the accounting office is a hive of activity with people settling their accounts before tomorrow's disembarkment. But let me tell you a little about the magnificent Atrium. It is actually the equivalent of the hotel lobby and has on one side the reception with 6 or 8 positions, on the other side the accounting with the same number. In the middle, raised up by four steps, the beautiful Kawai Grand piano, which is encased in lucite or plexiglass, looks beautiful but is somewhat hard and to my mind, has a too "metallic' sound. It sits on a huge glass covered basin filled with ocean water, which, when the ship moves, moves also. On this platform and around the piano perform alternately the Trio Napoletano, with a true virtuoso on Mandolin, a guitar player and a young lady in front with cymbals in hand, swaying to the music and sometimes singing to it with a little girl's voice. The other trio could be in any Kurhaus in a Spa in Europe; they play that kind of pseudo-classical pieces but are excellent and proficient musicians consisting of piano, violin and cello. Above this tribune rises the Atrium three stories und is surrounded by balconies and transversed by sweeping stairways - it's just gorgeous in concept, architecture and materials used. By the way: by now I am pretty familiar with the repertoires of the Trios `and the Jazz Duo, know the menus and the 6 or 7 different theater productions offered. It's OK.

 

Note: Anyone wanting me to e-mail the pics that sometimes accompany the blog: proos@ptd.net

Edited by yellowbird23
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OMG! I am so worried about his leg! I am hoping he will see a doctor when he goes off the ship for that week. Maybe that friend can take him. He does not need an infection to set in. I will pray for his speedy recovery.

I told him I will be bringing an ACE wrap as well to try to protect it and he said he wants one. I spoke to his son yesterday and he doesn't seem too concerned so will monitor his Dad through his son.

 

BTW>>He knows people in CC are reading his blogs and is very happy about it so any encouragement you add will be greatly appreciated by him I'm sure.

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I'm so pleased to find this thread. Months ago I read about his plans on the MSC Roll call and have often wondered how he was getting on. I've really enjoyed reading all his posts and lokk forward to reading more (now that I know where to look)

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