Tuesday, 12 March 2019

Keeping busy

We're finally getting some decent weather, at the moment it is 2C.  Yes, it's above freezing here and though we have some snow in the forecast for tomorrow, it shouldn't be more than a centimeter.  I expect I'll see some melting off the overhang out front soon.  Can it be that spring is finally coming nearer? 

Perhaps!  My brother saw a pair of robins at the farm the other day, when it was still very cold.  He told me he imagined it was a couple, and she was ragging on her partner.  "It'll be fine, you said.  We'll get there early and get a prime nesting spot, you said.  The snow will be nearly gone and the bugs will be out, you said.  Why I ever listen to you, I don't know.  Sheesh!"  Sounds about right, lol.

I'm heading out on Saturday for even warmer weather.  I fly out to Fort Lauderdale, leaving Regina about 10 a.m. and arriving around 9 p.m. local time.  I'm staying at a hotel that offers shuttles from both the airport and the cruise port, as well as a free breakfast.  Normally, I'd have dinner the night of arrival at the nearby Moonlight Diner, but it will be closed by the time I reach the hotel. It's too bad because I enjoy the old fashioned decor of the diner.  I have a layover in the Toronto airport so I expect I'll grab a bite there to see me through til morning.  

The itinerary includes Antigua, Barbados, St. Kitts, St. Thomas, Martinique and Grand Turk (Turks and Caicos).  The latter two ports are ones I've never been to as yet, so am really looking forward to both.  The cruise is over 10 days, with 6 ports and three sea days.  That doesn't add up, right?  Well, that's because they include the day of arrival back in Fort Lauderdale.  Once we return, I've booked myself into a hotel for two days near the port.  It has been on my bucket list for many years to spend a couple of days at the beach so that I can wave at the cruise ships as they sail out in the evening.  Sounds weird, I know!  But I think it will be fun.  Plus I'll get photos from a totally different perspective.

Out of curiousity I checked to see if my fare had gone down since I booked, it has not.  In fact, if I had booked last minute, it would have cost an additional $500-600.  Yikes, no deals there!  The costs of the first hotel is a bit higher than I would have liked but I believe that was due to the timing as it is spring break for some places.  On the other hand, I used Airmiles for my hotel right on the beach, and what is normally a $400/night hotel (and well beyond my means) was under $100 for the taxes/fees for both nights.  The flights I booked through the cruise line were reasonably priced, no more than I've ever paid for a previous trip so I was happy.  Overall I'm close to my budgeted average cost per day.  I'll have to penny-pinch a bit on the cruise itself, no extra shopping!  

I think this is the last cruise until June 2020 but it may not be the last trip for the year.  A friend of mine (we met in university in the mid '90's) is currently living and working in Inuvik, in the Northwest Territories. She's there for a three term and will be retiring in January 2021.  Over time, she's accumulated several weeks of vacation, and while she and her husband do travel together frequently, he doesn't as much time available.  So she sat down and figured she could take 2 weeks off every 2-3 months, and decided that we need to do a girls trip in October 2019.  

She wasn't certain where she'd want to go, so I did a bit of research and made a few suggestions (including one cruise....are you surprised?).  Last night we chatted and she mentioned she also has access to a timeshare option in various locations because of their ownership of a timeshare in Aruba.  I did remind her the Caribbean would not be the place to go in October.  Too great of a chance of a hurricane!  She was going to review the materials she's received and see whether there was anything in particular that was interesting and a good price.  At this point, I'm don't know where we might be going or if she'll change her mind.  I will, however, start saving for a trip just in case.

Back at home, the Brier ended on Sunday with one of the best played draws I've seen.  Team Alberta, skipped by Kevin Koe, was the winner over Team Wildcard, skipped by Brendan Bottcher.  This is Kevin's fourth Brier title, this year with two new players on the team.  Brendan and his team also curl out of Alberta, and had to win their way into the Brier, since Koe won the provincials.  They got to play in the wildcard game based on points earned on tour.  The wildcard team have been together for three or four years and this is the second year in a row they've been in the Brier final.  Pretty damn good for a young team - the skip is 27!  I suspect this team will win the Brier one day, just not this year.  The game came down to the final rock in the tenth (and final) end.  Koe had a tough shot to get his deuce and Brendan's last rock, didn't make it easy for him.  But the shot was made and win was Team Alberta's.  They won every game they played through the tournament (12 in total) so the win was well deserved.  They will do Canada proud at the worlds.

The curling gives me lots of time to knit.  This is the scarf/shawl I've been working on.  I did a rough measurement last night and I've got about 12 inches more to knit.  That shouldn't take long to finish, but the rest of the week is busy so I may not get it done before I leave.

I've also started a baby sweater with the remaining yarn leftover from the blanket.  It is a crocheted, worked from the yoke down.  I've finished the yoke and have started into the body.  I may leave it for a bit, as I found a pattern for an Easter basket.  I have lots of bits and bobs of various yarns of similar weights so will use some of that for the basket.  While there may be enough of one color I think I'll do it in stripes...or maybe not, we'll see.

This is a close-up of the knitted pattern.  It's an easy, four row pattern so I think I've not made any obvious mistakes.  I have had to frog it back a few times when I've not been paying attention and have lost a stitch.  Each row ends slightly differently so it's pretty easy to figure out when I've made a boo-boo.

The rest of the week is going to be very busy.  While I've pretty much finished packing, that was done between curling games on Saturday, I have other things to do before I leave.  On Wednesday, I'm meeting my friend K for lunch.  She and her partner just returned from their latest cruise, and I have items from our December cruise to deliver to her.  We just haven't been able to connect as they've been away for most of the winter.  Lucky!  

I also plan to make a batch of buns and muffins to leave for my son.  I don't have to, he certainly won't be expecting me to do so, but Eli and D will also be here this week so I know they won't go to waste.  They arrive on Thursday after my morning nail appointment.  Eli is getting a much needed haircut and she has a doctors appointment in the afternoon.  I get to watch the little man while she's at her appointment.  On Friday, we have an appointment at the bank, and of course, I have dinner with friends in the evening.  We also need to get her taxes filed while she's here.  They'll stay until Saturday morning, and head home after dropping me off at the airport.  Yes, it's going to be a busy few days!

His mom took him to the library yesterday in Melville and with the nicer weather they walked.  He's wearing a harness and leash because he's a stinker and runs off when given the chance.  And yes, his feet really are that big!  He's got really wide feet and finding shoes to fit those feet is tough.  They picked up several books, some for each of them.  She also learned that the children's reading program is for children 3 and up, so it will be another year before he can attend.  In the meantime they've been doing lots of reading at home, and making various crafts together.  He's growing up so quickly!

On that note, I'd best get back to the housework that needs doing.  Have a great couple of weeks everyone.  


  1. This is your third cruise since December, right? Nice! I hope you have a wonderful time, am looking forward to pics when you return.

    The shawl is pretty! If the pattern is easy, post it or email it, I'm on the look-out for a simple pattern to make a shawl for the office. (I'm either having a hot flash or freezing now.)

    Enjoy the remainder of your week and safe travels!

  2. Sounds like a really great cruise you have planned. You have this cruise business down to a science. Enjoy that 24 hour food they offer.
    What a cutie Eli is. Have fun with him.

  3. Have fun on your cruise, maybe it will be full on Spring when you get back (or not, it seems to be dragging on). Spring is suddenly making it's voice heard here, we expect double digits next week up to 16, I will believe it when I see it. We have been getting cold winds lately so not great for walking, it would be nice to get the dog and my Mom out for more walks. I am always saving for travel, no matter if a trip is on the horizon or not. I have slowed a bit lately though as with buying a different house there will likely be some new furniture in our future.

  4. Have fun on your cruise! Our daughter is just returning on Monday...they liked Puerto Rico the best. She said St Thomas was so packed with people it was no fun. I don't have a report on Turks and Caicos yet. I will await your review! :)

  5. So far, your retirement is a busy one, though it seems like it's the right kind of busy.

  6. You make my day when I get to come over here. LOOK at that little weed and his big feets! Have fun and I cannot wait to read what you have to say. Girls week is such a fun thing. I haven't had one of those for awhile!!! LOVE the paternities. I can't knit or crochet as I have said before probably. I am completely dead in that section of my brain.


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