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The Chardonnay Sisters Last Ride


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I think most would agree that 2016 had been the “New Coke” of years. Right up there with the Edsel,

bottled water for dogs, and the Samsung Galaxy Note 7. So, what were we to do but set out on the high seas to help move the calendar toward 2017 and better days.


We took a Lyft to LAX, having decided to brave the big, scary airport and fly direct rather than meander down to the Hollywood – Burbank – Bob Hope – Gene Autry –Brad & Angelina – Jennifer Lawrence Airport where the name is actually longer than the runway. This required xanax and Chardonnay, which we packed for just such an eventuality.


We stopped into the Gladstones at LAX for some pre-flight drinks and munchies where I ordered the “seasonal fruit” plate. Apparently, my brain was already in the Caribbean because seasonal fruit in Los Angeles in late November consisted of a bowl of cantaloupe and nothing more.


We boarded our first ever Virgin America flight after hearing many people rave about this airline. Apparently, their claim to fame is mood lighting. Which meant that we entered the plane around 10 am to find all the windows shuttered and a very dim cabin indeed. Of course, the window seat passengers could have corrected this but no one seemed so inclined and so we flew the whole daytime trip in almost complete darkness which I thought was a bit weird.


Once in FLL,we called the hotel to ask about the shuttle and were told it was full but would come back for us. An hour later,the van did indeed come back but was again full. Eventually we called a Lyft driver but he couldn’t find us. Finally, we gave up and hopped a cab. 2 hours after collecting our luggage, we were checking in at the hotel that was 1.2 miles from the baggage claim. Needless to say, we were pretty cranky when we got to the hotel and that only got worse when the perky front desk person told us (quite cheerfully) that our reservation had been cancelled. Sis managed not to d anything warranting a Code Red incident and whipped out the color-coded file of spindled and mutilated travel docs to prove that we did, in fact have a reservation and we would be staying at their fine establishment if we had tobunker down in the lobby.


We’d stayed at this hotel before when it was a XXX but now it was between names as it undergoes upgrades to become a Four Points by Sheraton. It’s not there yet, say 2.5 points but if you can deal with only one working elevator and blackout drapes that we assured were there but seemed to be hiding, it fit the bill.


We settled in, meandered across the street to Ernie’s for a grilled ham and cheese on Bimini bread for me and teriyaki chicken on great slabs of said bread for Sis. Wonderful. Then we stopped at the conveniently located CVS next to the hotel for some last minute essentials – tissues for the cabin,cough drops, full size shampoo and conditioner (does anyone else hate that Elemis stuff?)

Once back at the hotel we realized that the Evil Twin had left her glasses at the front desk. Since she was less than gentle with the desk dude, I claimed they were mine and made puppy dog eyes until he reluctantly produced them from under the counter. I don’t think he believed me for a second and they were certainly headed for the shredder.


Next morning we crawled down the road for pancakes at Denny’s and called an Uber to get us to the pier. We were too scared to call Lyft in case we got the same confused driver as yesterday. That one tried to charge me $5 for being a no-show. I complained that if I was a no-show, so was he and got the charge lifted. If neither party shows, who exactly stood who up? I need to watch An Affair to Remember again.


The Uber driver complained the whole way about the traffic and about how little he would be making from our trip. This is our fault, why?


Short line to check in but body-slamming aplenty and lots of other bad behavior to be seen. Hopefully, this was not to be the norm for the trip.


I need to remind myself that the overly-caffeinated, happy people saying, “this way, this way,” and “right over here,” actually make me insane because I can clearly follow signs, I’ve been here before, the entire crowd is moving in the same direction and I’m not actually an idiot.


The lovely woman who checked us in, let’s call her Myopic Myrna, squinted at each of our passports and boarding passes, leaned down until her nose was practically touching the computer screen, looked from one sister to the other and kept swapping out paperwork out in front of us as if she just wasn’t sure who was who.


Normally this is not a big problem; Mom couldn’t tell us apart and no harm done. In fact, Christy often got blamed for my antics so it usually worked in my favor. Not this time.


We left the desk and made our way onto the ship where we joined different lines to pass through security. I was waved through but The Twin’s security guy puffed up his chest, stood in front of her blocking her way and was clearly giving off signs that there was going to be a“incident.” I looked over to his desk and clearly saw my picture on his screen. When I tried to tell him that, he seemed freaked out that there were now two security threats instead of one.


We tried to explain that somehow Myrna had put my pic on both IDs. No one seemed to believe us and even when we explained we were sisters, travelling together, the alarm bells were minutes away. We were asked to wait and many phone calls happened. One security guy went out to interrogate Myrna (who is likely doing time as I write this) and we were both asked the same questions over and over – what room are you in? Me: 7081. Her: 7081. “Both of you?” “Yes, as we’ve explained, we’re sisters, traveling together.” That was not going down at all.


Eventually,a Front Desk person was called and escorted us down to check us in all over again. The Twin had to re-do everything from her passport info to her Emergency Contact.


But finally,we were in and after running to our room to drop off all the heavy electronics that never seem to work in the Caribbean anyway, we headed to the MDR to checkout our table. I looked at my keycard and saw that we were at Table 75 which was set for four. Never liking to take a chance sharing a table, we decided to go have it changed. Our HAL TA has bought us a Pinnacle reservation for that night at 5:00 and being late diners, we wanted to see if we could change that too.


So, I went to the Pinnacle and Her Evilness walked over to the desk set up across the way to sort out the dining table. The Pinnacle folks had us sorted in no time and Sis was quite miffed when the MDR guy asked to see her key card and pointed out that it clearly said Table 73, which is already a table for two. Fine, I’ll buy a pair of readers in the shop.



OK, that’s as far as I got on this review. My beautiful sister passed away, against doctors’ orders, and mine, last week. I’m furiously pissed off about that and I’ll get back at her someday, I promise.


This is the Chardonnay Sisters checking out. It was a great freaking ride!


This review was going to be great and here are some of the lines I was holding in reserve:

I hope they make you chuckle.


Sounds like a greeting card from a Chinese dollar store


I tested negative for affluenza


If I wanted to kill myself I’d climb your ego and jump to your IQ


I’m pretty sure my spirit animal has rabies


People who don’t understand sarcasm are awesome.


I hate being bi-polar. It’s awesome.


An optimist is simply one has yet to hear the news


Six out of seven dwarves aren’t happy


Whenever the brain and heart fight, it’s always the liver that suffers


…wouldn’t even hear the grenade rolling in


He could start a fire in a bowl of water


Blame the tooth fairy for prostitution. She’s the one who taught kids to sell their body parts for money


I’m an indoorsy type


Your secrets are safe with me because there’s a good chance I wasn’t listening


I’m not insulting you, I’m describing you


What is the new testament if not fan fiction?


I’m dressed like a carnival ride


I think my guardian angel drinks


Some people are proof that evolution can go in reverse


I stop the microwave at 1 second so I can pretend I just diffused a bomb


Wine -- the medicine that makes your mouth work faster than your mind


I hate people who use big words just to make themselves loo perspicacious


When I see ads on TV with smiling, happy housewives using a new cleaning product, the only thing I want to buy are the meds they must be on


My calling in life went straight to voicemail


I don't find it hard to meet expenses. They're everywhere


Our conscience is clear- we don't use it


Nothing is fool proof to a sufficiently talented fool


You look like a before picture


Dear alcohol, we had a deal where you would make me funnier, smarter,and a better dancer... I saw the video... we need to talk


I'm not an alcoholic. Alcoholics need a drink, but I already have one


In principle, I can stop drinking, the thing is – I don't have such aprinciple


We all sprang from apes, but some people didn't spring far enough


I haven't been ignoring you; I've been prioritizing you


The probability of someone watching you is proportional to the stupidity of your action


I think I figured out Victoria's Secret. She's hungry


I'm not afraid of commitment, I'm afraid of involuntary commitment


I've learned so much from my mistakes, I'm thinking of making a few more


Don't jump to confusions


Plan to be spontaneous, tomorrow


I love how people say they're "expecting" a baby, as if it might be something else, like a penguin


Oops. That should have stayed in a thought bubble


Explaining **** is a bit like teaching poetry to fish


Don’t judge me because I’m quiet. Don’t mistake my silence for weakness. No one plans a murder out loud.


Never insult seven people if you only have a six-shooter


Ah, so and so, my constant reminder that Darwin was right


I’m indecisive and impatient; I don’t know what I want but I want it now.


I’m ambidextrous; I can write illegibly with either hand.


I can’t go to the store today because I’m still in my PJs. The same ones I wore to the store yesterday


Has anyone ever chosen delayed gratification over immediate?


I’m may be superficial but I’m not superfluous


I’m in good shape. Round is a shape


Well that’s a bear we all gotta cross


I still can’t figure out how velcro works


Quit shuffling and deal


Grey Gardens remake


exerting himself to a perspirational degree


I broke a few of my clay tablets on the first day and may have missed something important


Concentrating so hard I think she must have found a way to get Gilligan off the island


Last time something like that happened, Noah was building a boat


Some things are better said with an eye roll


I rolled my eyes so hard I saw my brain


Facebook is the only place where it’s acceptable to talk to a wall


Don’t stumble over something behind you


I’ve seen these guys. There’s no Kirk, there’s no Picard. They barely have a Jordy


Fat enough to pull small moons out of orbit


I’d trade that for a tic tac


A four way stop is an IQ test you take in public


Just saying, I would unplug some people’s life support to charge my phone


Not the fastest server on the net


I’d have his best intersts at heart but he has no heart and I have no interest


Makes my eyeballs itch


Sometimes I drink water to surprise my liver


If I didn’t drink how would everyone know how much I love them at 2 in the morning


I wasn't lying, I was just writing fiction with my mouth


Plan B has stubbornly refused to reveal itself


Your expression does not lend itself to your defense


You’re driving me to drink. No,really. Get in the car, you’re driving.


Some mistakes are too much fun to only make once


Warning: Dates in calendar are closer than they appear


Revenge is beneath me but accidents happen


I don't have a solution, but I do admire the problem


I say no to alcohol, it just doesn't listen


Sometimes my intense dislike of prison food/the color orange is theonly thing keeping me in line


I didn’t say it was your fault I said I was blaming you


Thank you very little


I am more pissed off than a dragon trying to blow out candles


My stomach feels like it's taken up macramé


A woman can sometimes make a fool out of a man but most guys are the doit yourself type


They say alcohol kills slowly. So what? Who’s in a hurry?



I put my scale in the closet and that’s where she’ll stay until she apologizes


He's a recovering alcoholic: recovering from last night


Why should I learn to be patient? I want to be patient NOW!


My liver just won employee of the month


The type of people who use summer as a verb


If you’ve never missed a plane, you're spending too much time at theairport


Sometimes I take baths because it’s hard to drink wine in the shower


I don't need a reason to enjoy a little wine. All I need is a glass


If God is watching us, the least we can do is be entertaining


The trouble with being punctual is that nobody's there to appreciate it


If procrastination was an Olympic sport, I'd compete in it later


I’d say she was approaching forty but I won’t say from what direction


I’m not really a social drinker. I’d say most of my drinking iswork related.


I do yoga to relieve stress. Actually I drink wine in yoga pants.


I know right from wrong. Wrong is the fun one


The best way to deal with fatigue is to sleep it off


Never met a cliché he didn’t have a head on collision with


All very fascinating in an NPR kind of way


Apology accepted. Trust denied.


If you stop telling people everything will be sorted out when they’re dead maybe they’ll try to sort things out while they’re still alive.


I’m not slurring my speech, I’m talking in cursive


Just a whiff of existential despair


How Sarah Bernhardt of you


Butter – Paula Deen dinner mints


I think I’m overdue for an aneurysm


The end of an error


Not exactly backward about being forward -- karaoke


Someone told me I was delusional. I almost fell off my unicorn


If a telemarketer calls, give the phone to your three year old and tell her it’s Santa


I can’t wait to see his face on a milk carton


Suffering from premature disembarkation


He could jump into a haystack and get stabbed by the needle


Having the kind of day at work where I fear I’m a flight risk


She said please as if she wasn't sure if she was pronouncing it correctly


I was gonna give her a nasty look but she already had one


She gave me a look that made me very grateful she didn't have superpowers


He sets an abysmally low standard which he consistently failed to maintain


Sorry, I didn’t hear you over the sound of you proving my point


I don’t have a bucket list but I have something that rhymes with one


I don’t remember much but the fact that i needed sunglasses to open the fridge tells me something


After four drinks I’m using **** like a comma


She’s now on her “cut your own bangs” glass of wine


I got the whole life story and trust me, no one is paying for the movie rights.


drink like no one's watching. Or is that dance? whatever


You’re a career break for the right therapist.


You smell like drama and a headache. Get away from me


I'm glad I don't have to hunt for my food, I don't even know where hamburgers live


If you mix Taco Bell hot sauce into your ramen, it tastes exactly like poverty


Sometimes I write “drink wine” on my to do list just so I feel like I’ve accomplished something


This aging thing is really getting old


It was surreal. Kinda like when you’re travelling in a different city and Jeopardy comes on at 7:00 instead of 7:30.


I dont meet the height requirement to ride that roller coaster


I drink wine for other people's protection


I don’t have kids because I’ve seen the village and I don’t want it raising my children


It’s not that I’m immature; it’s just that she started it


Dinner is poured


Trying to understand some people’s behavior is like trying to smell the color nine


There’s a nap for that


Auto reply – If You Can Read This… then I’m on vacation.


I need a 6 month vacation twice a year


I pretend to like people all day. That’s called being an adult and why wine is called an adult beverage


You can’t drink all day if you don’t start in the morning


I have a black dress and I’m not afraid to use it.


Cute jacket. It’s white with sleeves that make you hug yourself


I don’t have the blood alcohol level to deal with this right now


I’d have better people skills if I was with better people


You look like I could use a drink


I think my check liver light came on


You can’t make someone love you; you can only stalk them and hope forthe best


My decision making skills closely resemble those of a squirrel tryingto cross the street


I don’t have bad handwriting. I just have my own font


Like drinking a glass of hot sand


The Grape Depression


Mornings are something that happen to other people


It has been said that civilization is 24 hours and two meals away from barbarism.


I’m ashamed of what I would do to a Klondike Bar right now


Pretty sure i can see the inside of my own skull


Spilling a full glass of wine is the adult equivalent of letting go ofa balloon


Vacation deficit disorder


Rolled my eyes hard enough to affect the earth’s rotation


It’s important to learn from your mistakes if you want to repeat them perfectly


How did it get so late so soon?


Fat people are harder to kidnap


If heat makes things expand, I don’t have a weight problem, I’m just hot.


That girl could find a corner in a round room


Satan called, he wants his weather back


You know it’s too hot when the chair gets up when you do


I wanted to lose 10 pounds before the trip. I only have 13 to go


I’m already eating at a Thanksgiving level


Mostly what I call cooking is just melting cheese on stuff


I once tried to cook something from scratch and ended up summoning ademon


Alcohol is the liquid version of photoshop


There’s no time like the pleasant – eric idle


In alcohol’s defense, I’ve done some pretty stupid things when sobertoo.


I’m in the fitness protection program


Unlike my cell phones I’m not getting thinner and smarter


**** FIT – so happy its Thursday, Friday is tomorrow


Moving at the speed of dark


It is not MY fault that I never learned to accept responsibility! I blame the scapegoats


Horse sense is a good judgment which keeps horses from betting on people


Wine flu


Looks like something I’d draw with my left hand


Don’t be condescending (that’s when you talk down to people)


I go online to check my mail and 5 hours later I’m watching a video tutorial of how to talk to a giraffe

I’d fight a radioactive bear


I’ve never faked a sarcasm in my life


Raisin cookies that look like chocolate chip cookies are the reason I have trust issues


Sometimes I wrestle with my demons. Sometimes we just snuggle


I’d fake my own death to avoid going to a party


I drink wine because I don’t like to keep things bottled up


You be Thelma, I’ll be Louise


The risk I took was calculated but man am I bad at math


The heat index was somewhere between OMG and ***


“I love humidity,” said no one ever.


Stepped on a lego


Not to get technical but according to chemistry, alcohol is a solution


My patience was fully in the deficit range


I know the voices aren’t real but they come up with some really good ideas


I’m ready for some blessings that aren’t in disguise


Gravity storm


I still have tabs open from the Mondale campaign







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We haven't met (on Cruise Critic or in person), but I love you already, and I hope you're on my next cruise, whenever that might be! I am so very sorry that you have lost a piece of your heart and soul (my aunts were twins; one died too young, and the other will never be the same).



Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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Please know that your sister and your travel antics will be greatly missed! So sorry for your loss. Your postings were some of my very favorites as you 2 traveled the world. Hopefully you will continue to cruise and write your awesomely entertaining and so very literate chronicles.

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So sorry to hear of your loss.


The Chardonnay sisters always provided great tales here and your sister will be missed.


You kept her spriti alive with your humour.


Prayers for you and your family.

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I am so sorry to hear of your loss and do not wanr to believe it is true.


yOU and your sister

povided many of us with such good humor for years and many of us will greatly miss your fun reports.


This latestt report is you usual magnidficence ans needss to be perinted an saaved.


My best wishess to you as you work through your loss. Surely your wonderdul memoeries and great humor will help see you through. You and yor sister gave us the great gift of laugfhter. THAN K You. you b well and please come back to 'see us when you pic k up the pieces and move along. Be well and be happy..

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Dianne, along with so many others I'm send condolences to you and the entire family for the loss of your dear sister. We will all lift our wine glasses this evening in her honor. I'm also sure she was sitting right beside you in spirit as you composed this tread and kept egging you on to add even more humor.

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