Thursday, April 28, 2016

Cruising 2016

One of our favorite vacation getaways is to go on a Cruise.  We feel like it's the most bang for our buck.  We love the ocean, water, sunshine, sand and tropical places so it just makes sense for us.  Normally we go out of the Galveston port but this time we picked a different port.  We sailed out of the Ft. Lauderdale port.  And since we had never been to Ft. Lauderdale, we took a couple of extra days to take in the sights there too.

We took a dinner cruise on the "Jungle Queen" that was very nice.  They took us to a private island for a BBQ dinner and then entertainment.  Along the way they pointed out all the famous people's homes and their private yachts.  We were in awe of all the breath taking homes and gorgeous yachts.  

Saturday we boarded the Carnival Conquest Cruise Ship.  Our destinations were Grand Turk, La Romana (Dominican Republic), Curacao, and Aruba.  We had never been to any of these destinations.

In Grand Turk we didn't do anything for an excursion, we just went to the beach that was adjacent to the cruise ship.  Of course, the water is so crystal clear and the white sand it beautiful.

This is the King and I and our feeble attempt at a selfie.  Needless to say we need more practice!  

A view of the beach from the Cruise Ship.

The second port of call was La Romana in the Dominican Republic.  We toured a Cigar Factory (guess who picked that one!) and the historic Altos de Chavon.  

Matilde Cigar Factory

A worker rolling the cigars (and smoking one too)!

The amphitheater was magnificent at Alto de Chavon

And the view of the river below was majestic.

We did not care for La Romano too much!  It is a very poverty stricken area, lots of garbage in the city everywhere and even more motorcycles and scooters.  We had a very uneasy feeling just driving through the streets on the tour bus.  I'm glad it was a unanimous decision NOT to stop at the city market by all the passengers on our bus.  I don't think I would have gotten off if we had stopped.

Curacao was our third stop.  It had a very quaint feeling with all the dutch influence in the architecture.  Sadly I forgot to turn around a take a picture of it.  This is the floating bridge that we walked across to get to the shops.  

In Curacao, we took an island tour that was very informative.  Our first stop on the tour was a slave museum.  Our guide "Babe" (in the green dress) spoke of the life style of the slaves before and after being freed. 

Notice the quilts on the bed in the slave's bedroom...

Another attempt at a selfie....

The last port of call was Aruba.  We really liked it there.  We took another island tour that concluded at the beach, our favorite place.

The King at the Natural Bridge (which fell into the ocean in 2006)

This is a small part of it that still remains that they call the "Son of A Bridge".  

Our next stop on the tour as a rock formation.  The King went to the top and took this photo overlooking Aruba.  You can see the cruise ship in the distance.

I thought it was interesting that the mosques in the cemeteries are painted the same color as the house that the descendents live in, and every 5 years bodies are rotated out, the bones are crushed and placed in an urn inside the mosques. 

We were disappointed that we couldn't go up in the lighthouse due to maintenance and refurbishing being done.  

Sadly, all good things must come to an end and it's back to reality!  Until the next one....  Cruise On.  


Tuesday, April 26, 2016

You've Got Mail

Lookie, lookie, lookie what I got in the mail while I was gone on our cruise.  There's nothing better than a nice surprise among all the bills and junk mail.  Okay, maybe a check for some quilting would be better than this or a letter from one of the grandkids, but that's about it!

My block is in Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks Volume 13 Magazine.  And there's a blog tour coming very soon to kick off the Volume 13 blocks.  It is May 2 - 6, 2016.  I'm featured on the very first day on May 2nd.  I do hope you'll come back and see my block and enter for a chance to win some of the great giveaways Quiltmaker has in store.  You can read all about it on Quilty Pleasures blog here.

See you soon!


Monday, April 25, 2016

Traffic Jam Sew A Long Month #3

I swear it was just yesterday that I posted the Traffic Jam Sew A Long Month #2 and here I am posting Traffic Jam Sew A Long #3.

This month you're make 2 blocks.  The first one is Column 1, Unit 4.

You'll need:

A - 1 – 2 1⁄2” x 12 1⁄2” Fabric #1 Background
C - 1 – 6 1⁄2” x 12 1⁄2” Fabric #1 Background
F - 1 – 2 1⁄2” x 8 1⁄2” Fabric #1 Background
D - 1 – 2 1⁄2” square Fabric #1 Background
B - 2 – 2 1⁄2” x 12 1⁄2” contrast fabric #2

E - 1 – 2 1⁄2” square contrast fabric #2

Begin by sewing D to E and press seam to E.

Sew F to E and press seam to E.

Sew B strips to each side of C.  Press seam to B on the left edge and press seam to E on the right edge.

Sew A to the left side of B/C/B unit.  Press seam to B.

Sew D/E/F unit to the right side of unit made above (A/B/C/B).  Press seam to B.

You made one more block.  Now label it L/T Column 1, Unit 4

The second block you need to make you've actually already made before.  You made it in month #2 last month.  Somehow I failed to tell you that you needed to make 5 instead of the 4 you made.  So... make 1 more.    Here's what you'll need.

1 – 2 1⁄2” squares Fabric #1 Background
1 – 2 1⁄2” x 4 1⁄2” Fabric #1 Background
1 – 2 ½” x 8 ½” Fabric #1 Background
1 – 2 1⁄2” squares contrast fabric #2
1 – 2 1⁄2” x 8 1⁄2” contrast fabric #2
1 – 8 1⁄2” square – Focus Fabric #3

Refer to Month 2 for specific sewing directions or your Traffic Jam Pattern.  

Label this block L/T Column 1, Unit 5.

That's it for this month.  See you next month on May 30th.  

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