Plans for Tomorrow

Plans for tomorrow

Macy’s department store. More Central Park.

Dinner and a theatre show.

Arrangements for shuttle to airport for wee hours of 20 January.

Rockefeller Center.

Pick up flag and few souvenir gifts for grandsons and two daughters.

Have you found joy in your life? Have you brought joy to others? The two questions from bucket list movie … Answer is yes and yes.

Uptown loop stops, Brooklyn Bridge and Brooklyn Tour on bus.

Soho means south of Houston st.

Starbucks for decaf skinny vanilla latte

Check emails and post blog

Call James Lane to meet up.

Drink more water

Enjoy my new long black coat

Fall in love with New York

Pack and get ready to go home.

Mamma Mia

Mamma Mia, Here I Go Again

I step in to the theatre door. I catch my breath in my chest, the beauty is stunning. Red floral. Box seats, velvet upholstery. Less than 10 rows back from the stage. I am trying to stand mindful as the theatre seats fill up around me.

New York, New York

New York New York

Welcome to the shiny big apple! Blue skies, bright lights, people, shopping, sight seeing, eating and falling in love with New York.

We disembarked into the city, took a cab to the Manhattan Times Square hotel on 7th and about 50 th street. In the heart of the theatres, and just a short walk from the ball drop in times square.

The cab was waiting for us outside the ship pier. He helped with all the luggage and promptly took us to the hotel in just a few minutes. As we arrived at the hotel door, a Bellman and doorman assisted with our luggage and took us right to the lobby desk. It was before 11 am, I don’t recall exactly the time, but our room was upgraded and ready for our arrival. The service was incredible. The hotel is clean and in such a great location. I would stay here again and recommend it to others.

There is a desk also for purchasing tickets for theatre shows in New York. A separate desk for arranging shuttles to airport and hop on and off buses, taxis and whatever form of transport might be wanted.

Internet complimentary in lobby. Recommendations and maps galore. Info on shows and shops. This city is ready for me.

We selected our shows for Friday and Saturday night, dinner included for Saturday. We also selected hop on bus, and headed outside for some lunch and exploration.

Selections include Wicked, Mamma Mia, Evita, Jersey Boys, Mary Poppins, the Lion King, Rock of Ages, Newsies, and Nice Work if You Can Get It amount so many more.

We sat on the open top deck of hop on tour bus and did the whole route today. We toured and took pics of the Empire State Building, recalling the movies we could remember that used this famous site. We saw Central Park. A beautiful sunset. The colorful sky and a view from the eighty sixth floor. I saw a Lulu Lemon store in Soho district on Broadway!

A long line of people camped out on the sidewalk out front of Rockefeller Center, in hopes to gain admission to Saturday Nite Live on Saturday night! It is only yet Friday morning and they are sleeping on the sidewalk, with blankets and some lawn chairs holding their spots. Brrrrrrrrrrr.

A quick dinner at Applebee’s and then off to Mamma Mia in the most beautiful theatre I have ever seen, and not a full block from our hotel!

The movie, the Bucket List is on tv, reminding me that it is never too early to be checking off the items on my list. This trip has certainly helped with that.


How to get the most from sea days

How to get the most from your sea days

There are so many options available to all passengers on a cruise ship. I have heard people say they think they would be bored on a cruise ship. If in fact that is true and they get bored on sea days, they probably get bored on land days as well.

What are your hobbies? What kinds of activities have you always wanted to try? Fencing? Using the gym? Painting? Ballroom dancing? Writing? Meeting famous and interesting international people? Reading? Singing? Playing Bridge? Completing puzzles? Learning computer techniques? Cooking? Ever wonder about a life at sea? Dressing up or staying casual? Learning about diamonds and precious stones? Going to Vegas style shows nightly? Being waited on hand and food? Experience quality spa treatments? Attend lectures on fitness and health? Practice tai chi?

I could go on and on. Some ships have skating rinks and zip lines, rock climbing walls and flow riders. Most have hot tubs and pools year round. Almost all have extensive libraries and Internet connections. There is almost always a promenade deck for walking miles out in the wild seas.

Several of the activities you might do at home, if you took the time. Others might be on your bucket list to learn and enjoy. Make a list each evening before bed from the variety offered on that ship the next day. Step out of the routine and find yourself intrigued by meeting new people who enjoy the same types of activities you do. Or perhaps sit for hours over tea in a lovely lounge listening to live classical music while immersed in your favorite author’s latest offering.

Travel with an ereader, iPad or NetBook computer. Find your self in the activities of the day, with your partner or solo.

Talk to your favorite travel consultant for advice about the most suitable ship for your interests.

Sea days are the best days to really experience a cruise ship as the destination.

Activities on Cunard


My experience with Cunard is that there are too many activities to take them all in. The speakers are competent and informed. Right now I can hear one of the chefs demonstrating his culinary expertise and he is getting multiple applause in the Queens Room. Water color painting takes place on this ship in the Brittania restaurant. Steve has gone to listen to an actor speak about science fiction genre movies. Yesterday it was westerns.

Shopping specials everyday. A few authors are on board signing books and speaking about writing. Bridge games for all levels. Casino instruction, movies, dance lessons, wine and champagne tasting events. The ever present food, and tours of the ship. Istudy courses for those wanting to learn about iPads and using Mac computers. Photo finishing and lectures about the history of Cunard line and other ships at sea. Even the woman Captain talks about what it is like for her living at sea. Trivia events throughout the day, today includes James Bond theme trivia also. Even martini mixing workshop, today James Bond style.

Art galleries are beautiful on this vessel. International musicians in many venues throughout the ship. Lots of windows and comfy chairs for sea viewing. Games room is busy with jigsaw puzzles and card players. Fitness and health workshops throughout the day, something for everyone, Pilates, yoga,tai chi, reflexology, acupuncture, massage and more. Bingo. Jewelry lectures, even hair dressing tips. Galley tours and coffee hour each day for solo travelers. Golf putting, ping pong, swimming and hot tubs.

I think I will go for a wee wander, and maybe a rest in the room before lunch. What a luxurious way to travel.

Reading at sea

Reading at sea

Today is a day of reflection, not so different from another day. I have taken some time to read on this trip. Dressed up and sitting in this amazing and beautiful library. Surrounded by pages of wisdom and titles and experiences of people who took the time to write. Is there anything more noble than writing to share wisdom with the world?

I have read a few heartfelt books on personal development so far, today, The Gift of Imperfection by Brene Brown. She writes like she speaks (I have heard her on YouTube recordings). What a lovely soul and great gift to the world.

This day the sun is shining and the seas are calm, almost no movement at all. Some hazy fog like patches. I am sitting in front of a window on the second floor of this library, atop the spiral staircase and surrounded by rich dark wood shelves, green carpet and wall posters with the names and life dates of some of the most famous authors of all time. I see why people love this ship.

Women dressed in skirts and slacks, hair in place, make up applied and adorned by some jewels. What a treat to be surrounded by women who dress as if they care about the selves and first impressions. Many speaking foreign languages, German is very common on this ship. When announcements are made, they are also said in German. This is a world cruise. People traveling the world on this ship for up to 4 months. I am learning who these people are. Very experienced cruisers, retired and wealthy of course.

Imperfection comes in every language and size. We all have the same hours in the day and the same opportunity to have the life we desire. We all are influenced by our self talk and the encouragement of others. We all have shame and fear, courage and hero within. We all have a story of how we got here. We all make choice daily, minute by minute of what our tomorrow will be.

Back to the ereader, and my mindful experience on this incredible ship. Thanks for joining my journey and giving me your compassionate support today and every day. This moment reminds me of that song “you are the wind beneath my wings”. You know who you are. Please feel free to comment on this blog so I know you were here and thinking of me. It matters.

Love Pam

Painting my journey

Painting my journey

I have completed three watercolor paintings on this journey. Well more, actually but three that are any good I think. Stonehenge, New York skyline (a bit abstract) and a door and stairway somewhere. I hope to do a few more before I leave the ship. It is so much fun.

I am learning a lot from the instructors and in particular that I spend too much time overdoing the details. No one told me that however that is how I feel.

Time to sleep, my paintings are around me in my stateroom and it is late.

Wishing you all well, and sending happiness from sea.

Love Pam

Another wonderful day at sea

And another sea day

The seas are a bit calmer today and the sun is bright and sparkling. We ate breakfast in the dining room and met some very interesting people as well, for lunch. We always enjoy sitting with others at meal time. And the food and service are very good. I enjoy a pot of peppermint herbal tea at the meals, and water no ice, and often a pot of hot water.

Last evening we were invited to meet the captain, a woman, and her crew, mostly men. Champagne flows freely and the Queens Room is such a lovely venue. We talked to a lovely couple, she is retired as a child psychologist. So investing. It seems over fifty percent of the people we have met are from the UK. Perhaps more.

Those who have heard of Victoria or Vancouver, also love it. There is never a shortage of things to talk about. Many are very experienced cruisers and a substantial number indicate that sailing on Cunard for transatlantic is much better value than flying!

Tonight we have another formal night and another cocktail party followed by a ball. Last night was the black and white ball and almost every seat was full at dinner with such an attractive group of people dressed in their best. Men with tuxedos, black bow ties, white jackets, white bow ties and black jackets. Women with sparkles and glitter, black on white and black on black. This is such a handsome ship and the passengers make special effort to dress for occasions.

We will still have a few more balls to attend, a masquerade, and royal ascot ball. We have plenty of clothes to honor the occasions. Tall champagne glasses full of lovely pale golden bubbles to celebrate the event.

I finished two watercolor paintings today, the New York skyline, and a door and staircase, probably from somewhere I have traveled. I will start another one or two tomorrow.

The painting instructor is lovely and very generous with her time and tips. I can tell I am surrounded by British accents, I can hear the accent in my head as I type this entry. Quite lovely indeed.

Well, more to come. I hope the sun is shining where you are and that your new year is giving you a glimpse of greatness to come.


Love Pam

Another day at sea

It is a sea day

Good morning. I thought I would try room service for fun this morning. I also intend to go to the restaurant for breakfast. For lunch they are making me a gluten free pizza. Most of the days are planned around food.

Each day is 4 hours in watercolor class. I enjoy that activity and it is my main item on each days agenda. There are always many numerous guest speakers, enrichment programs and even istudy courses for using iPad. I made it to one of the basic iPad classes. There are dance lessons daily as well. On the last ship we attended and practiced every day. Not yet on Queen Victoria.

We have lovely new table mates, over half from Britain and one American couple who asked to be moved from their original table. Steve and I have participated in some trivia events but I don’t mind opting out of those.

Mornings are more leisurely on this leg of the journey. We are gaining an hour a night for now as we head west to North America. I love it done in the night time rather than at noon on the way over. They did it that way I understand, so that the crew does not miss their precious sleep time. Going west they get those extra hours of sleep so that works well.

This ships is not as stable and not as large as Queen Mary 2 so i am experiencing more sensitivity to the rocking of the ship. I find the ship we are on to be almost identical to Queen Elizabeth that I sailed with in September with Penny. Beautiful dining room, lots of great places to sit, 2 storey library with spiral staircase, and the Cunard museum are extras on this ship.

I have read a few books, yesterday I read one about traveling for a few years and how this author prepared for that, and tips for other travelers. Interesting and I don’t see myself doing that. While I am interested in working on a cruise ship, I don’t expect I would be content to leave my friends and family for long periods of time. Vacations at sea will have to suffice to scratch my travel itch.

Well, off to breakfast soon, hope you are having a great day wherever you are. Love Pam

Tour in England

Gloria tour gal, and driver Rob

On our way to Stonehenge and Salisbury. 9:30 am start on 10 January 2013.

Britains premier port is Southampton, since time past. Azura is another liner in port. Famous people have toured through here. And stayed in his lovely first class hotel (picture).

250,000 population. Old city walls, complete and where water used to come too. 700-800 years ago the kings wine was stored here. Defensive towers were built to protect royal belongings, like wool and wine and are all still intact. Wool was English gold, used for coats and cloth. Wool exported, and in trade for wine, spices.

Pilgrim fathers left from this port. Many ships were not sea worthy. This city has very proud maritime tradition. Many old buildings converted to luxury expensive apartments. Driving on the left side of the road..

Many people commute from here, the 70 miles by train to work in London. Lovely little red brick buildings. 700 islands in Britain and 180 are inhabited. We are on the biggest one now. 61 million inhabitants in Britain, and most dense country in Europe. 15 million live in Lomdon. 70 percent of land mass is countryside, only 12 percent with buildings on. Mainly agricultural in this area. Top third is industrial. Mid England, textile and pottery. Bottom 1/3 is lovely agricultural land and commuters to London. Few sheep, cows, pigs can be seen out the window, also grow grape seed and linseed used for oils..

Average earnings not high, 23,000 pounds gross income. Taxes off that starting at 25% tax. 40% for higher income and 45% if make over 120,000 pounds annually. Very affected by the economic times, many struggle and in the traditional British way, no one really talks about it.

We drive through forested areas that the Royals used for hunting in previous generations. This area is famous for all residents of the area to let their ponies graze and wander in the open farmland. Oak, ash, beech, elm trees are traditional in forest. Queen Elizabeth daughter of Henry 8, her gloves were made here: white leather, gold thread and adorned with jewels.

In the year 1066 King William the Conquerer changed all laws and rules forever in England. Originally he came from France and hunted deer in this forest. If others tried to do the same, the law cut off hands of those who hunted deer in this forest. 1000 years ago a king of England was murdered in this forest.

It takes about 10,000 oak trees to build a cathedral, and many were built here! Also used trees to build war ships. Now only 6% of land of forest remains.

Quant cottage style homes dot the landscape. Beautiful. Some thatched roofs, many with multiple chimneys out the roof. Scattered trees, as we near Salisbury where the land is mostly flat.

More later