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All Things EARTH... part 2

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OOOH....the last one shows up on my phone! Now I just need to learn how to rotate it!

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Laurie, welcome back, cant wait to hear about the rest of the trip!On your pictures have you tried just posting them from your phone instead of using a third party product? All my pictures are just from my phone. Melody

 

 

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I have a new phone and I will try it,, but they were all posting sideways for some reason before!

 

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So we wandered around the ship, which we are familiar with. However, we haven't sailed Freedom in 4 years, and we recall that she went into dry dock somewhere in between then and now. Mostly, I noticed some newer chairs and the like in certain areas. They have always done a nice job keeping the ships up. Our dinner, which is late seating, was being delayed to 8:30 and we were really hungry when we got on board. I can't say I noted the time, but I thought the line moved very quickly considering the delay. We are diamond now, so our line was a bit shorter as well. I think we dropped off my tote bag in the room, and headed right back down to find a bite to eat at 2:00 or so.

 

I never eat in the Wndjammer, which is their buffet. Nothing against it, we just haven't really used it since our very first cruise. With this class of ship, there is a place in the Royal Promenade for pizza, and another for little snacks and these mini sandwiches. My husband got pizza, and I got a sandwich.

 

We check for our luggage very frequently. I don't know why, but I never feel like my vacation has officially started until I unpack. So once that was done, I felt so much better.

 

Here are some pictures from night one. I get the full package, because I really like pictures, and you can get them all for the price of about 10. I always want more than that, you know? It's my souvenir. I admit that I don't like their posing a lot. I will share the picture my husband took as soon as I get a chance to download it.

 

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Since the phone photos posted properly, I will continue to post those. I'm glad they aren't sideways now!

 

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Our next day was a sea day. The weather was beautiful - sunny and warm. We do a lot of wandering on sea days. I like to take some time to read out on either our balcony or on many of the older classes of ships, on deck 4. They have great loungers, and it's covered so I don't have to drown myself in sunscreen.

 

Other than an hour or two for reading, we move quite a bit. We do not use the elevator at all. Our room was on deck 8, the game room is deck 14. Our dining room was on deck 3. So you get the idea. I think when my husband said that we should play a game or two right after lunch, I should have thought a moment...deck 3 up to deck 14! Phew! It's a great way to add exercise to our day.

 

Day two was also our first formal night, and I decided to wear the teal/blue lace dress for this one. There was a lady I saw numerous times during the cruise, but especially on formal night. She walked up to me and said that she loves to see everyone dressed up, and getting their pictures taken. She wanted me to know that that I looked stunning and she loved my dress the best. I have to say, that totally made my day. I felt so honored. A few others came up to me and told me I looked beautiful.

 

I know I seem a bit obsessed at times, but really, I'm not. I just feel if you figure it all out beforehand, you will fee confident about what you are wearing and the choices you've made. That is how I felt that night.

 

Now, for way too many pictures:

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Captain Toni was great. He had a sense of humor. He would play songs when we were leaving ports such as "On The Road Again" by Willie Nelson. When they originally printed this photo, my husband was so sad. They took two photos, but the one they printed, he was wetting his lips so in the photo, his tongue was sticking out. He asked the photographer to check on the other photo, and at least his tongue wasn't sticking out!!!

 

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I will post a photo of my daytime outfit, but I have to wait for my husband to send it to me. I wasn't really thinking - he took pictures with his phone, and I took some as well. He said he would forward them later on, and now that my phone can post them properly, it should be easy to do.

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Day three was Grand Cayman. We decided on a helmet dive.

 

Have any of you ever done this before? There is a medical questionnaire, and I was a bit concerned because it asks if you have a hearing loss. In the course of the conversation, I found out that you can't hear anything during the dive. So I got to thinking, what difference does it make? Then I found out why with other questions they asked. If you have any issues with your ears, the dive can be hard to do. There is a tremendous amount of pressure, so if you have trouble with that to begin with, or your ears pop a lot, it can be problematic.

 

My thought was that it isn't a very big deal.

 

The helmets weight a lot - like 75 pounds! Air is forced into them by a hose, and the way it all works, the weight keeps the helmet on your shoulders, and the air and that inverted effect keep the water out. water is in the base of the helmet, as it is open. It's a bit unnerving at first. I was so sure I was led to this excursion to drown, lol.

 

You climb down a ladder off the boat. You go to a second ladder, and move down a few steps so that only your head is above water. Then they put the helmet on and begin to lower you. The helmet is always a little heavy, but it is amazing how nature works with water and all. I won't bore you with the science, but it is quite an experience.

 

And it took me a long time to get down the ladder. The ear pain was extremely bad. You are taught signals before you go in the water, and a thumbs up means you need to go back up. I was tempted, but took my time. When I got to the bottom, it was noticeable, but bearable. My husband was right down the ladder in seconds, on the other hand.

 

When I go down, there was a whole school of colorful fish just waiting. They feed them, and that keeps them trained to stay for our enjoyment. The guides are very talented and experienced, and it was such a fun thing to do.

 

The downside is that I don't have a waterproof camera yet, and RCI won't let them take pictures, for some reason. So all i have is my memory to share with you.

 

I wore my red one piece from Athleta. I really love that swimsuit, and so glad that I can now fit into it properly! Very comfortable and well made. I have the matching cover up as well. Melody, I think you may have mentioned having the same coverup in a shade of blue or aqua? It has a hood, long sleeves, and this sweatshirt style pocket in the front.

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Dinner was date night, or dinner at Chops. What is funny is that I wasn't thinking about the photographer hours. We had one set of photos before dinner, but the rest were after. I always get a little bit of food coma after a big meal and wine, and then I was wearing a dress that I was concerned would wrinkle. It held up great.

 

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Doesn't the white background do wonky things with my hair color? But I love these casual photos because they are fun.

 

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I was a little wrinkly, but not too much. I think I look tired though, and I needed to relax that arm. But it is still a decent picture.

 

http://image.ibb.co/hJW5xS/Scan0090.jpg

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Welcome back Laurie!

 

I'm loving reading about your trip! So nice to take a vicarious vacation!

 

You DO look beautiful in that teal dress. SO PRETTY! I adore the last photo that is the closer up of you and DH, with you in front? OMG. Lovely. That's my fav. I love the texture of the background on that one too.

 

The necklace looks great with the dress, too.

 

The green from the first night looks nice too. Interesting how the different cameras and lighting make that dress look like such different shades of green. The starfish necklace is fun.

 

I really like your boarding day outfit though! That shirt is super cute. I really like the detail at the neckline and the detail at the hem. And how it isn't fitted but it isn't too loose. It's a perfect little cami. Very useful.

 

I'm glad ChoiceAir fixed up your flights on the outbound. That is the good thing about using them. Mom has had great experience using them. And often they are very competitive in pricing. Not the easiest transition into vacation mode to have to deal with travel issues, but oh well...it all worked out. And the deal with the pier...wow. Being able to roll with such things is necessary. Glad you were able to and that it didn't sour your days.

 

Looking forward to reading more!

 

Oh...Margaret...those first two dresses seem great to me. I don't care for the third one at all...for all the reasons already discussed. That first one with the pockets though...That's wonderful, but I think I would get frustrated with what would happen to look of the dress if I were to actually use the pockets. The second one though...that's sweet. And having the fuller skirt below the hips is key. The colors are really good.

 

I'm setting up to sew my first dress for myself. In all the years I've been sewing, I've never made a dress. I've been thinking that I want a simple solid colored dress that I can change up with scarves and jewelry and jackets and overlays, etc. I think I've been influenced by one of the pages of the JJill catalog which had a linen dress...and I think it said something like One and Done. The dress wasn't anything special though. But that idea...I think Margaret that you have said that about some basic dresses before...talking about how easy they would be to wear and dress up and down.

 

I went through my stash and found a teal, deep aqua colored linen look fabric. Then my sewing pattern stash and found one that I had picked our before that is just what I'm thinking of. I'm going for a woven fabric one (the linen look) so that it will hopefully keep its shape better and end up being more flattering that a knit. I have everything I need to make the dress except for a 22" zipper in a more complementary color (I have a white one...but I want a color that will blend more). I'm debating the idea of making a muslin fabric bodice first, just to be sure that I get the fit that I want...or whether or not I can just make adjustments to the fashion fabric itself. I'm leaning toward the muslin... I'm also making some changes to the pattern...like adding in seam pockets!

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Laurie, love all the pictures. That teal lace dress is just spectacular

 

 

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Tomorrow is Les’s bday & we all got together for strawberry shortcake (his favorite) of course cameras come out a087da52a4c3b5b1a445cf36777552c7.jpg75926c75022959e9e314e6df64189041.jpg01402bd327c4187343d8ada1177d96cd.jpg

 

 

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Here is my outfit from the first sea day. It felt dark to me but I thought it worked out well.

 

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This is another picture of my sailaway outfit. It's interesting how so many tops are made looser and less fitted now.

 

I'm always concerned that the style will "tent" out over my chest and hang funny.2944.thumb.jpeg.d0a14239779a3b84f2507f5cd4c0faa2.jpeg

 

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Laurie, I agree, you look amazing in the teal dress. Love the necklace. You look so fit and comfortable in all your outfits. I especially like your "dark" top. Looking forward to hearing more about your activities all week.

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Posted (edited)

Melody, you have a beautiful family. It looks like you had a fun day, everyone is relaxed and smiling. :)

 

I've been skimming the book Anita mentioned. It has interesting moments but I don't think I'll do all the activities because I've already done a lot of that work. I do like the part Anita quoted about whether someone who grabbed an item from your closet would end up with something you love. I think Laurie would agree that when it comes to work clothes, we have to make compromises and "love"doesn't have much to do with it. I have to say I don't really love my workout clothes either, though I do have favorites. At least I've moved beyond the choice between "bad" and "least bad." More like, "ok" and "doesn't make me look so fat."

 

Thursday I'm getting my hair done for real so I'll try to get some good pictures. It's going to be a very subtle change over probably the next two years since I don't want to cut off all the length. I've never been a short hair person.

Edited by MJC

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Thanks Margaret, they were all excited that there was cake in their future! & good wine [emoji23][emoji23]

 

I’ve hit the 40lb loss mark, although this picture doesn’t show it. Finally able to keep most things down. Bread, potatoes, rice still aren’t on the menu; however, pasta (with plenty of sauce is ok) & oatmeal works. My kidney function has improved 30% (which is thrilling!). A1C remains unchanged at 3.1 & total cholesterol is holding firm at 88 (total) a bit low. Melody

 

 

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Thanks Sally

 

 

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Melody, you have such a happy family! And your granddaughters are getting big. Congratulations on your weight loss also. It is good to hear that you are starting to feel like your usual self.

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Let's see....

 

I am looking for a picture of my outfit that I wore in Grand Cayman, but it appears I did not take a picture of the complete outfit.

 

After the helmet dive, they leave you off near a restaurant that has restrooms, so we had dry clothes with us so that we could change. We then went over to Guy Harvey's for lunch. They outside seating is covered, and has a great view of the water.

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I found one horrendous picture of the top I wore with my soggy hair that was still drying. I'll pass on posting it, lol.20180410_103932.thumb.jpg.8bcdc30cda73a7b187899b7ca95524cf.jpg[ATTACH]1[/ATTACH]

 

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So Grand Cayman was Caribbean night at dinner. This is a lot of fun. The waiters, bar tenders and so forth all wear their tropical shirts, and the guests are encouraged to do the same. I planned this out ahead of time, so that I was wearing my one tropical feel dress.

 

I apologize in advance for so many pictures. We love the lifestyle photography, and those were done by our favorite photographer on board. But I also want you to be able to see the dress as a whole.

 

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My husband says he's sorry for looking dazed and confused in this one, lol. But it was a good picture of the dress!

 

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The colors in the dress are really great colors, and I like that earth colors don't always have to look fall like. Light colors aren't my best, but this is really nice.

 

http://image.ibb.co/jffZP7/Scan0089.jpg

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The next day is Costa Maya. We didn't know what to do, so we decided to simply wander around the port area. My husband had a bit of a cold, and I felt that the timing for a low key port worked out well. We watch the dolphin swim, got some lunch, wandered into the stores and visited a mini chocolate museum.

 

Every time I cruise, I choose to wear one of my late sister's necklaces. I build an outfit around it - which is so interesting because she was not an earth, nor did she wear earth colors. After she passed away, no one was really interested in her costume jewelry, but there were these three great necklaces.

 

I don't have the best picture, but i will post it along with an up close shot of the necklace.

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I have some things to do, so I will post more tomorrow.

 

Anita, I do miss sewing sometimes. It's just that the few stores even sort of close by have mostly craft items, not really sewing fabric. I wouldn't mind making a few things here and there.

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Margaret, you have posted some great links to pretty spring and summer dresses. I wish our weather matched that! It's snowing right now. Yuck.

 

Like most everyone else, I like that second dress quite a bit. I think it has a universal appeal because it is flattering on so many shapes.

 

One thing for me is that I like fitted things, but they aren't the best for my figure, unless they fit really well. That can be hard for an inverted triangle, who is also short waisted! I often look for things that follow my shape loosely so that I don't get the tenting effect that I hate so much. I call it semi fitted, but I'm not always sure if people understand what i mean by that.

 

With the green dress from the first night, it came with a belt and that looked really bad on me. A wide belt and short waisted don't go together well. I was good with the dress fit, but when I lost more weight last year, it had a loose shape to it and it just didn't seem to do much. I took it in and I like it a lot, but I wouldn't mind tweaking it a bit. I think the same goes for the yellow print dress I wore. That one there did the tent thing, which Is why I posted a few different views of it. The underdress is a solid buttery yellow knit, and that was taken in to hug the body a little more. The advantage to that is it stays put, which means a lot with a shorter dress. I didn't want to raise my airms and have the whole dress go up!

 

I am still looking for tops. I think the navy and rust print top is really nice. Margaret, you mentioned you liked that top, and the first thing I thought of when I bought it was you. I kept thinking that would be a great shirt for you.

 

I wore a few knit tops that were okay. The colors and fabrics were great, but the length was hard for me to figure out. One was that rust shirt in one of the last pictures.

 

So let's see...the next day is Cozumel. Boy, I love Nachi Cocum. We were the 2nd people there, and they were waiting for the cashier to show up, so they told us to just go ahead and pick out our chairs. I did quite a bit of reading, plus we splashed around in the water quite a bit. They also have very good margaritas! And that grilled grouper...yum.

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This was our second formal night. I love this dress also, but not as much as the teal one! One interesting note was that I was having trouble finding a necklace that I wanted to wear with this dress. I settled on a set that looks layered, but you can add or delete necklaces to create the look you wanted. I though that was fine, until I was getting dressed.

 

I realize that they were not staying put, and because they were individual, they were getting twisted together and just not behaving at all. I chose the one I liked the most and wore it individually.

 

I have to tell you - this was the most casual formal night I ever saw. Considering I was on a cruise in September, I found this odd because there were so many people dressed up on that cruise. I think it just depends on so many different things. Still, we had fun with it.

 

Melody, don't you have one like this from your RCI cruise?

 

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The photographer kept asking me to move my left shoulder forward more. I was tired of the photos with that awkward pose where my shoulders come out and the whole trunk of my body looks strange. I do wish I had relaxed my arm more, but I think it is a good picture overall.

 

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This is another good photo of the dress. It's warmer than it appears here.

 

http://image.ibb.co/nGGGMn/Scan93.jpg

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The next day was our last day and a sea day. I have to say this went way to quickly! We like using the game room and wandering quite a bit, and we worked on a jigsaw puzzle. We weren't close to finishing it, and I realized that we have some puzzles at home I want to get out.

 

I also finished up my book. My Nook is an important part of my vacations. I read "The Lying Game" by Ruth Ware. I have enjoyed all of her books so far. Have any of you read this?

 

Since there is no formal photography the last night, we did find someone to take our picture. I will post that next. It's a nice dress - I've worn it before. Because of the straight shape, I took it in myself but I am thinking of doing the same as I mentioned with the others - creating a shape that follows my silhouette more?

 

Oh, and the day outfit is of our favorite shirt that a bunch of us have.

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Nachi & grilled grouper ...my all time favorite. I see our blouse! I do have a similar picture 764600530_MelodyMeLiberty2017-10006.thumb.jpg.5e156116c451564c154d28a3346ed555.jpg

 

 

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I looks like you had a wonderful vacation Laurie!

 

I'll have to look up the helmet dive idea. I've never heard of such a thing. The blowing out of the ears is a big deal with the diving. I went to Hawaii with my parents the summer after my Freshman year in college. Dad and I went scuba diving. I had a separate instruction in the deep pool at the resort. We had to go through the whole sinking down and blowing out your ears process. The pressure is unbelievable until you do. It's like having a cold or stuffed up sinuses on an airplane. SO uncomfortable. Rough business there, but it sounds like you overcame and enjoyed yourself.

 

 

Nachi is always a relaxing wonderful day. Your pictures bring back happy memories of my own.

 

 

I think Margaret said it well...you look so fit and happy in the photos. I also like the darker shirt. I know what you mean about feeling too dark though...I think we've talked about this before and how it can feel unseasonable to be dressing in Earth colors all the time. It's a challenge to find our tones in other season appropriate colors.

 

 

In my experience, the formal nights on the Caribbean vacations have really gotten less and less formal. The TA we took was overall the most formal ship that I've been on. Every evening. I think you might really enjoy that aspect of a TA. I like the ivory dress. It's attractive on you. The teal one is stunning though.

 

 

I'm expecting the Alaska trip to be quite casual in the evenings as well. Especially since Celebrity has renamed their formal night. I think it's Elegant Chic or something like that?

 

 

Melody...your family always looks like they are having such a good time in your photos!

 

 

I've been reading my Vogue Sewing book. It must have been published in the 80s because the photos are all 80s fashion. The text is timeless though. It compares a seamstress with a sculpture artist...taking a flat piece of fabric and working it into a 3 dimensional garment. I really appreciate how the text talks about how a woman with good fashion sense knows her figure well enough to know what flatters her shape and how to manipulate her clothing through choices of fabric and color and style to highlight her best features.

 

 

Here is one little take away for everyone. It mentions how shiny fabrics, because of the way that they reflect light, increase the size appearance of whatever it covers. And how more matte and textured fabrics reduce the size appearance of what they cover because of the way that they absorb light. It is a Vogue book, so there is quite a bit about general fashion.

 

 

There is also a sort of chart that highlights different body descriptions (short waist, long waist, thin arms, heavy arms, large bust, small bust, etc etc) and matches that against all the different styles of clothing parts and highlights what is most flattering and what to avoid. The clothing parts are all the different types of sleeves, necklines, waist placement, etc.

 

 

 

Yesterday, DH and I were running errands and I picked up a 3 tiered metal push cart thing the I am going to turn into my portable sewing room. It'll be a great place to store my machines on the top and all/most of my supplies so that I can wheel the cart out of the closet and to wherever I'll be sewing. Our apartment building has a community room with a nice large table that I may decide to use. I assembled the cart today and will organize it tomorrow. I need to get DH to help get all my measurements...there are so many to do!

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Thanks Anita. We spent many years separated by our oldest daughter & son’s military assignments so time together is even more special. We try to get together at least once a month or more now.

 

 

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Laurie,What I found interesting is your daytime outfits that had printed tops were the most flattering even though you say you don't like prints.

Anita, Our Alaska cruise was the most casual cruise we were ever on even on formal night very few people dressed up .I agree that formal night especially the second was is getting very casual .We leave for Cuba in a few weeks and I am only taking casual clothes since we will be in Key West till 7pm then Havana till 8 pm.

Melody , I wish my daughter lived closer but we keep in touch a lot and make the most of our time together .

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Sally, I really hope you get to go to Cuba this time! I would love to hear all about visiting there!

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Well our cruise drought is over. We booked a Celebrity Eclipse cruise fromVancouver to Hawaii for Sep 2019! Going to combine it with a 2 week stay (1 week on Kuwai, 1 week on Oahu) after to celebrate our 50th anniversary. We were able to get early deployment rates, C2 for C3 rate, military rate, beverage package, gratuities & OBC for less than we paid two years ago. Pretty happy

 

 

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