Archive for 2009

Grand Cayman

I was putting in a new tape when I heard it. A woman screamed like she was being murdered – a blood curdling scream. Within seconds, a whole group of people joined in, adding their own screams to the mix. Men’s and women’s screams created an odd harmony of panic and horror. I ran to the stern, still trying to load the camera. I expected the worst – someone must be seriously hurt.

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Dining with the Captain

“Do you want to sit at the Captain’s table tonight?”

“Ah, gee. Not really. Do we have to? Would it be rude if we didn’t?”

That settled it. “Yea. It would be rude. We have to do it”. I had violated my own rule about dealing with children, or anyone else for that matter. Never offer a choice when there is really only one answer.

Guided by that little piece of hard-earned wisdom, I said “We’re going to the Cruise Critic party at 11:30.”

With no options given, Ryan simply nodded.

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Skijoring 101

Story of Huck the Chinook’s first attempt at Skijoring (with pictures)

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Day 1 On Board Mercury

I proceeded to unpack, but Ryan made no move to do likewise.

“Don’t you want to put your stuff away?”

“Nah, I’ll just leave it in the suitcase. It’s fine.”

I patiently pointed out that with the suitcase in the room, there was no room left to walk. Reluctantly, Ryan unzipped it and heaped the contents onto the bed.

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To the Ship

“Welcome. May I have your tickets please?”

I handed over the booklet. The desk person examined it, and punched the reservation number into her computer. After looking at the screen a little too long for my comfort, she said “Welcome Mr. X. Would you mind stepping into that room over there please?”

Oh boy. Was it the suitcase again? Ryan and I walked the few steps into the adjoining room, which was furnished with a couple of tables, some chairs and a couch or two.

“What’s going on?” Ryan asked.

“I don’t know. No idea.”

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This posting serves as a prologue to the second cruise story. The first cruise story, recounting our first-ever voyage, was posted serially on over a 3-week period. More than 10,000 people awaited the posting of the final chapter, and the whole experience was wholly unexpected and quite a thrill. The unprecedented response to the that story (now in book form – What Time Is the Midnight Buffet?) motivated Celebrity Cruises to contact me and offer a free cruise in appreciation. We’ll begin with the events leading up to that event.

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The Trip Begins

I don’t think I ever woke up so fast. I was immediately in a cold sweat, hands shaking.


“The guy is here to take you to the airport!” Kris repeated. “He was out there sleeping in his car! Scared me to death!”

Last I knew, I had a full day and another night before it was time to leave. Had I slept through somehow? No, not possible…

“What day is it?” I asked.

“Thursday, I think” Kris answered, none too surely.

“Yeah, it must be Thursday” I said, trying to be assertive.

“Are you supposed to fly down a…

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OK – You Win

A poetic ode to the Chinook

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It’ll get you there, but… A review of the Garmin 755t GPS.

GPS – Global Positioning System

Everyone should have one if possible, but shop carefully.

I researched these devices long and hard and, desiring something that represented the state-of-the-art, decided on this one. Santa kindly brought it to me, though the charge mysteriously appeared on my credit card bill.

My first exposure to a GPS was in 2005 when I rented one (along with a car) for a trip through Nevada and Arizona. It was also a Garmin unit, and it worked flawlessly throughout the two week trip. It was particularly useful when we met our son in Tucson to get…

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Cruise Stories

There are four stories in this series, and all were originally posted on One of the stories is now a book, and the other three are here for your enjoyment.

The first story chronicled our inaugural cruise, a ten-day Caribbean jaunt aboard Celebrity’s Galaxy in celebration of our twenty-fifth wedding anniversary.  The response to this story was so overwhelming that Celebrity Cruises invited us to take a second trip, gratis.  Eventually the story was released as a book, What Time Is the Midnight Buffet?

Kris was unable to accompany me on the free trip, so

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