Tuesday, February 24, 2009

No way, no, thank you!

Ater the car incident today, my sister went out, when she came back, she hands me a card that came in the mail for me. "Here, I know you'll want this", as she hands it to me. Then she proceeds to tell me she got one also, and was laughing histerically in her car when she read it. "When you open it read it out loud".
I open it, this is what it had been written:

"Lorraine
I want to thank you for coming in and getting a spray tan in our Magic Tan Booth. We're sure you enjoyed your tan and look forward to seeing you again soon".

I couldn't stop laughing! If you read my, "Tanning Fumigation", you would know. "Not in this life time", I say to my sister, between laughing. I can't imagine them thinking I enjoyed my tan. It started to turn yellow and was gone before we went on vacation. Reminds me of that song, "Hurts so good". Nothing to me, "hurts so good".
Oh Jeez

It's not a blonde thing-1

Yesterday I noticed some liquid, on the ground, by my rear tire. At first I thought a dog must of peed on my car, and thinking "wow, that's a lot of urine for a dog". The closer I came to inspect it, the more curious I got. "Is that leaking from my car?, I think it is!" I went back into the house and got a paper towel to dip into the liquid. "Nope, not pee, it's sticky, yellowish in color, with a cloudiness that has some rainbow colors, you know, like in oil, in the middle of the puddle", am thinking to myself.
I came back into the house and told my sister, "something is leaking from my car". "Where?", she asks, and I tell her. She goes out to look, "it could be break fluid", she says.
"Well, let me call Buck, maybe he can come over and tell us what it is", I called back to her. So, I get on the phone, Buck is sick, doesn't want to leave his house. (I can understand that, my sister has been sick since we got back this past Tuesday). I tell his wife, Loretta, "maybe tomorrow if he feels better, I don't want him to fix it, just tell me what it is, OK?"

I called her this morning, she wasn't that friendly so I didn't mention it to her, just told her I would talk with her later.
Now, my sister asks me, "is Buck coming over today?", so I explain the conversation to her, "no, don't think so". She proceeds to search for a card of a guy that fixed something on her car, at a very reasonable price. Then I get the idea to call our friends, Sandra and David. He knows a lot about cars. I call, he's on the other phone ordering supplies for his business, (he's an electrician) and Sandra will have him call me back.
When he does call back, I tell him about the liquid, "is it in back of the tire?, he asks. "Well, no" I'm saying as I go back outside. He then tells me to go to the rare of the car, look and check to see. I'm explaining it to him as best as I can. "I don't know where it's coming from, there's a metal thing that's wet, that's all I can see and that's on the side of the tire, near the front of it", I respond. "What kind of metal thing?, he asks. "I don't know, I barley know how to drive and keep it running", I tell him. Then he tells me to get into the car and step on the brake, at the same time, my sister is on the phone with that guy (she finally found his number) and he's telling her the same thing, about stepping on the brake. "It feel tight, I tell David, he then tells me to start the car, then step on the brake. "How far is the brake peddle from the floor? he asks. "Oh, about the same distance as usual, I don't know!". The he says, "try driving it around the block", "no", I respond, "if it's brake fluid I'm not driving it" I tell him. "well, I don't know what to tell you, what do you want me to do, come over there?", he asked. "It's not like you're in North Carolina, hell yes, come over and look at it", is my response to him. (Let me say here, we are friends, and talk to each other that way and they were down for the week from North Carolina. Sandra is the one that went on that vacation trip with us. She is our verbally adopted sister.)
I tell my sister that Sandra and David are coming over, she tells me that guy will be here tomorrow, then I explain it is better to get a second opinion, so we'll know what has to be done. "He's an honest guy, she tells me. That wasn't the point, another opinion is good.

It's not a blonde thing-2

David and Sandra drive up about fifteen minutes later. They have their babies with them, Sassy and Diesel. I asked David if he was going to look under the car. "No, I'm going to look in the hood", I went inside, when I come out again, he says, the liquid smells like candy, then sticks his finger under my nose, but gets it on my nose. "Candy?, my car can't be spilling candy". "It doesn't look like any brake fluid I've seen", he says. I go back in the house to get him a paper towel to wipe his hand. Then, I take Diesel's leash and suggest to Sandra, we take them for a walk while he's checking the car. When we come back, David is yelling at me, "hey Lucille, I found your leak" (my name is Lorraine) and then I look at my sister, who's standing there, arms crossed, head kind of bowed, shaking, giving me this strange look, like I just robbed a bank. There in Davids hands is this plastic bottle of, "Heavy Duty oil stabilizer", that I had put in the back of my back seat, last time I cleaned my car and forgot about it. It's a convertible and the black plastic lining, behind the seat had that goo on it. I was afraid to look in the trunk, but when I did, I was glad to see there wasn't any in there. It had gone through a small hole down through the car! It had been in there since the Feb. 9th. The cap was on it, you know the kind that looks like a mini cone? Guess, those don't do a good job if the bottle isn't standing up. Am sure glad David came over to check, rather than that other guy driving all the way, just to laugh at us. Sounds like a "blonde thing", doesn't it? It's not. My sister keeps looking at me and laughing, she's the blonde. I'm just me.
Blushy 2

Monday, February 23, 2009

Well, That's All Folks

I think I have written enough on our vacation. Now, that we are broke and back down to earth, my sister just can't wait to move to Florida. Which I'm guessing will be by the end of May or June. Maybe, I should start packing now? Yes, I'm also that ready, patience...my self! I have enjoyed sharing, our "Vacation, Adventure and Lessons Learned", with you.
Hammock 1

Ft. Lauderdale-4 Beach Place

This is where you come out to go to the beach.
Me coming out of the place we ordered lunch from, they have a great chocolate crepe.
This was taken from where we were sitting down to eat.



I would recommend going there, public parking, across from the beach, doesn't get any better than that.

Ft. Lauderdale-3

While driving around looking for a place to eat, someone told my sister of a public parking deck, where there were a bunch of stores located in that building. We found it, but had a hard time finding how to get upstairs. There was a young man, that was also lost in the parking deck. We followed him around for what seemed for a good half hour. It really wasn't, lol, but it felt like it along with feeling dumb. Finally we found the elevator. It was where it always has been. lol. Yes, I know, I'm being silly.
When we finally got up onto the floor with the stores, we were pleasantly surprised. It was like an open air mall. I'm sure there would have to be a roof that closed when it rained. We also found, you can go out of that place, straight across from the beach. We did manage to walk on the beach, but it was getting rather chilly by then. This place is named, "Beach Place".

Ft. Lauderdale-2

Sis 'N' Sandra doing what comes natural, sunbathing.
Nice size pool, very clean.
aw..tranguility..nice place to enjoy a fresh cup of coffee early in the morning.
Sandra, sis and me
Sandra, sis and Linda
Sandra, me and Linda.
Sandra, it's a hot tub, not a bubble bath!

Ramada, Ft. Lauderdale, Show 'n' Tell-1

The Ramada in Ft. Lauderdale, has a very scenic pool area. The poolside room, with the patio, was enjoyable to us. Some things I didn't like about the hotel, was the coffee situation. True, there was a coffee maker in the room, but it's not the same as coming out of a restaurant. I remember when you could get up at 6 AM, and get a fresh cup of coffee. (Not here, you have to wait until 7 AM, not sooner! Now, the Ramada, in Orlando, you could go to the dinning area, and they would gladly give you a fresh cup of coffee).

The other thing, I went to get four cups of coffee, along with cream and sugar. I asked the cashier if she had a tray for me to carry them back to my room, that I would bring it right back. "no, no trays".

This became a juggling act for me. I put the change of the twenty in another cup, put the cup with the coffee on top of that, then took sugar packets, put them into an empty cup, and the creamers, on top of those, and walked back to our room. When we went for breakfast, guess what I saw? A little brown round object, that one uses to carry things one, yes, that's right, a "tray". I felt like asking her, "what do you call this?" but I knew I would really get a crappy attitude along with the question, so I let it be. I may be growing in my old age. lol. Now, on with the "Show and Tell".

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Drinking and Driving Don't Mix

After attending a wedding and reception, at The Dunes Golf &
Beach Club, yesterday, a woman, got into her car and told it to drive her home. This was about 9PM.
The car, being unfamilar with the area, decided to take the short cut home, through a bunker on the right side of the green on the 8th hole.
I'm sure she must of woken up at that point, stepped out of the car, and thought she was on the beach.
Think next time, she won't trust her car to do the driving when she's drinking? One would hope so.
She was there this morning with her daughter when the tow truck came to get the car. Bet she felt stupid!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Vacation, Adventure & Lessons Learned-part 1

It all started, when my sister wanted to go on a cruise. Something she always wanted to do.
She starts looking around the Internet, and came across, "CheapTrips.com". They had a "good package deal", for 563.00 plus 25.00 dollars for two extra people, plus port fees & taxes of 118.00 for my sister and me, 258.00 split between the other two. (We envited our friend Sandra and a friend of her's Linda to share this adventure with us.) This was for 3days, 2 nights in Orlando, including food. 3days, 2 nights in Ft. Lauderdale, including food and 3days, 2nights cruise to Nassau and a gift vacation voucher for 2 in Las Vagas and Vermont. Wow, what a deal. The trip also included, your choice of traveling, using your car, they will give you 100.00 for gas, or, you could fly, purchase your own plane tickets, and they will supply you with a rental car to keep until you're scheduled to return. Sounding better, isn't it? Now we are looking at the total cost for this trip for four people 964.00, plus plane fare, which we choose. Plane fare one way, 408.00 split 4ways, 334.00 coming back. That's 742.80 equalling 184.70 round trip, each. Still can't find a better deal than that anywhere! really?

Vacation, Adventure & Lessons Learned-part 2

After receiving your "Travel Documents", everyone gets excited. Rather than reading the fine print throughout the document, you just flip through the pages, and see that everything they have said to you over the phone is correct. "Complimentary Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner for Four Adults, 50.00 Matchplay with Imperial Majesty Cruise Line (for the casino), Choice of the following, Alamo Rental Car or Drive yourself or Tickets to Universal Studios in Orlando". We are now, jumping for joy.

Then we start asking questions over the phone. "What is the sleeping arrangements on board for four adults, how large is the room?" Answer: "There are bunk beds". "What? for four adults?" Oh yeah, I can just picture that! "You can "upgrade" "to what?", response: "a small suite". "What's that like and what is the cost?" "250.00, will get you, one bed, 2 hide a-beds". Still not bad, at 62.50 each for roomier conditions. Then more "upgrades" : 3 nights, 4 days on ship. (2 days in Nassau) for 198.00 sis and me, 158.00 for Linda and Sandra (split). "upgrade" for a Mini Van for 198.00 to handle four adults plus our luggage. Are you getting the picture so far?

Vacation, Adventure & Lessons Learned-part 3

First let me say, my sister paid the first 563.00 of it herself. Our friends, where just going to split the rest of the charges, such as "upgrades" and their portion of the port fees and taxes. Which still wasn't that bad. And share other expenses as the came about.

As the late, great announcer, Paul Harvey, used to say, "and now for the rest of the story"

After our itinerary came, my sister is reading it, and discovers, it is a promotion for a "Time Share", and she is required to attend a ninety minute sales pitch, upon getting to Orlando. At no, time in any conversation about the trip was that mentioned to her. She gets on the phone to call the people that arranged this, and wants to know what "the time share deal is?" Nobody said a word to her. They insisted that she was told about it, and she requested to listen to all the taped conversations. Being so upset about this, I told her, I thought it was still a good deal, and "we will have an adventure, after all, what was ninety minutes out of seven days of fun?" We were going to spend two wonderful days in Nassau.

We get to the airport and first thing, we have to pay, 60.00 for our luggage. (15.00 each) While making the reservations, US Air didn't have a place on their site to pre-pay for that. We arrived at Orlando airport about one PM. From there we went to Alamo Car Rental, where we were told, we had an econo car, which will hold two adults, 2 children and one large suitcase. My sister explains, we "upgraded" to a mini van. "What am I suppose to do, drive that car and leave the rest of them at the airport?" But, upon looking at the itinerary, there was not mention of mini van. But, "we could upgrade" for a price. Way after we got home, we found where she marked to price to up grade of 198.00 written down, but the person on the other line, never made the changes! She called two different places while at the car rental, and no one could help her with that. The estimated charges, put on her card, was for 229.54 To keep car, for seven days, insurance, taxes and upgrade. This really got to her, 'cause she knew she upgraded and paid for it. We picked out the "full size car" we wanted and drove off towards Kissamee, where our hotel was.

Vacation, Adventure & Lessons Learned-part 4

When we get to the Ramada Inn, we had to go to the "Welcome Center", where you are given the vouchers for your hotel stay, meals, and what time you will be going to the, "Time Share Pitch". My sister was told it would be ninety minutes and you could leave after that time, even if they weren't done by that time. Attending was mandatory for them to OK the payment of the hotel room. After the Welcome Center, we went to check in and my sister is handed a bill for 24.00. By now she is ready to explode, "For what? Everything is suppose to be taken care of." The lady tells her it's for the, "amenities and taxes". This was the printout:

Surcharge 8.90
State Tax .54
City Tax .45
In Room Safe 1.00 (even if you don't use it)
State Tax .06 (on safe)
City Tax .05 (on safe)
Charitable Donations 1.00 ( their coffee fund?) Total for two days 24.00

Later that night, Sandra and I used our Dinner voucher to get something to eat. After we finished, the waiter said he will be back with the bill. "The bill?" I ask Sandra. "Isn't this suppose to be free?"
Yes, the buffet was free, but you have to pay the taxes on the food and they add the gratuity to it.
Now, I can understand the gratuity, because some people won't tip, even if it's free. But taxes on free food? That blew my mind. That's the way all the meal were, buffet style, taxes and gratuity, in the hotels.
The next morning, my sister went to the sales pitch. The ninety minutes, turned into 4 1/2 hrs. There was no way she could have left. They had taken the group off the grounds where their cars where, and took them to another location. Bingo, got you by the "you know what's". That night was our second night, and the next morning we were headed for Ft. Lauderdale, that was our third day there. Yep, three days and two nights.

Vacation, Adventure & Lessons Learned-part 5

When we got to Ft. Lauderdale, we had to check into the "Welcome Center" for our vouchers. As we enter, there's a couple standing there, the woman was irate. "No shuttle to the ship, hotel and rooms dirty and disgusting". We looked at each other, and just couldn't wait to see this! What did she mean no shuttle to the ship? "You have to drive yourself to the ship, then pay for parking for the days you're away." Cost? 45.00 for the four days and three nights aboard ship. Yippee, another "surprise". Then we are called in back to see a man by the name of Brian, who proceeds to tell us, we will want to attend another sales pitch. "It's not a time share", he reassures us. "It's a vacation package, only ninety minutes long, you can time it and leave after that amount of time has past. And you get four free tickets to go on the Jungle Queen, where you will see the homes of the rich and famous, then taken to an island, where you will eat all the free Barbecue ribs, chicken and shrimp, you want. That's worth ninety minutes of your time, isn't it?" Well, it did sound good, they were free. Something to do, while back on land. All we need is a 40.00 refundable deposit, just to reassure your attendance. So, we agree, then proceed to check into the hotel. Which by the way, wasn't dirty and disgusting! I will go into that later, with the show and tell part. At check in, sis was handed another bill for 24.00, same charges as the one in Orlando, for two nights, which was going to be split one day, one night, then the cruise, one day, one night when we got back.

The sales for the "vacation package" turned out to be a different concept on time sharing. The meeting was late getting started, Linda kept saying, "tick, tick, time is ticking." It started about thirty minutes late, our ninety minutes took about 3 1/2 hrs. Yes, we got our free tickets and sis got her deposit back.

Vacation, Adventure & Lessons Learned-part 6

I'm not going into the cruise part now, that will be with the "show and tell". When we got back to the hotel, after the cruise, it was about 10-10:30 the morning of the 16th. Nobody was allowed to check in until 3PM. Yes, you are reading correctly. Talk about upset people! Now, check out is 11AM. Four hours to get rooms ready? Really? Some people changed into their bathing suits and went to the pool. When 3 PM rolled around, the line was out the door! We finally got in at 3:20. But we did luck up on one thing, no smoking rooms were available, so we got a poolside room with patio! That was very nice!
The next day when we had to check out at 11AM. Our plane didn't leave until 7pm. What to do with all that time? We packed everything except the cloths we were going to wear on the plane and put on our bathing suits. We packed the car, and stayed by the pool until 2PM. Then we went shopping and to another place I will discuss in "show and tell".
We went to the airport, to return the car, couldn't find a gas station to fill the tank close by, so we were charged a fueling cost. Not only that, but charged another day for the rental car, because we failed to show up at 2PM to return the car. Which, I'm sure the rental person informed us of, in her mind only! Total free car rental added up to 286.00! Lesson learned, never, ever go this route again! Stay away from "CheapTrips.Com". READ ALL THE SMALL PRINT on everything, even if there are fifty pieces of information! The amount of the whole trip could have been spent on a direct cruise, longer days in port, and without the added expenses. And just wait for my "show and tell" of the 4 days, 3 nights cruise and our time in Nassau, coming up!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Arriving at Ramada, Orlando Fl.






Here we are, arrived at the "Welcome Center". This Ramada is an older hotel. There are two pools. One inside and one out. The outside pool had two sides. One with lounge chairs, behind them, a small part with sand. The pool areas are very clean.

Orlando Fl. Ramada -rooms need fixing





This is the "Show 'n' Tell" part of the vacation. Starting with the Ramada in Orlando fl. Basically it was kept clean, except the rooms were in need of painting and repair. I know it's a old hotel and they started updating in the indoor pool area, but as you can see, rust and cracks. Some I didn't get pictures of. Didn't want to dwell on the negative, enough people where doing that already. The olden days of bell hope service doesn't exist here. You have to load and unload your own luggage. If you are a smoker, there is room for you to do so, outside. One night we wanted to take our coffee cups outside with us, but weren't allowed, so I ran to the gift shop to purchase four cups, at .99 each, returned to the dinning area, where the cashier washed and filled them with fresh coffee for us. I have to say, they were very nice. The food area was very clean and the food was decent. Some people complained, but come on, it wasn't a "five star" hotel.
The main complaint I have of this hotel, was the bad mouthing of the staff of the hotel in Ft. Lauderdale, which proved to be wrong as you will see later in this segment of my "show 'n' tell".

Ramada Orlando, Our Room

videoThis is us after eating some Spanish food, that my sister was dying for, not that I didn't want it either. My mouth was watering for it.

Ramada Orlando

From left to right, Sandra & myself sitting, Linda ordering a drink at the lounge inside pool area. My sister and Linda played pool. I did one game, and scratched. :)

Orlando Ramada Lobby-video

video

Orlando Ramada indoor pool video 1



video



The indoor pool area was nice.

Ramada, Orlando indoor pool video 2

video

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Cruise-"Show 'n' Tell-1

These next parts will be the "Show 'n' Tell" of the cruise, which was suppose to have been "upgraded" to 3 nights and 4 days. Was to be 2 days in Nassau. If you read my, "Vacation, Adventure & Lessons Learned", you will know what I'm talking about. A lie told to my sister by Brian, at the Welcome Center in Ft. Lauderdale, he assured her of the 2 days in Nassau.


(This was an old ship, and with lots of character, just like an old person with wrinkles.


Someone said it was fifty years old. Others, say it's older. I'm putting my bet on one hundred.)



Day 1- was the day we boarded about 1PM and took off about 6-6:30PM close to sunset. The "splash" pool was closed along with both hot tubs early that evening.
Day 2- We got to Nassau in the morning about 9ish, were suppose to be able to be there from 8AM- 10PM, but we had to be back on board at 6:30PM.


Day 3- we were no where near Nassau, that day was spent, on ship all day! You talk about upset people. It was called, "fun at sea", day. Yes, we made our own fun, but we wanted and expected 2 days in Nassau!


Day 4- back in Ft. Lauderdale 9:30 AM. Nice long day, right?

Our's isn't The Cadillac, it's the Pinto!-2













videoAs I was making this video, a guard told me, I couldn't take any pictures. Once I got on board, I could take all the pictures I wanted.

Our Cabin-3

videoHere is our cabin. I must say, it was roomy. I have seen old movies of suites on ships, if I thought for one second it would be like that, wrong! lol. Some say their room was like a closet. Every night, they would turn down our beds. If you left your night cloths out, you would find them folded on your pillow. My sister couldn't get over the "shower was on the floor". It is like camping in case you have never been. The shower it's self is one of those removable hoses, if you don't take it down, everything gets wet. There was a sign warning you of how hot the water can get. I don't know why. lol

First Day Lunch Buffet-4


videoThis video is of the lunch buffet on the first day. I was following Sandra. We were looking for sis and Linda. The food was good.

898 People Aboard-5

videoHere is what is called the "splash" pool. It looks bigger than it really is. I did wonder just how many people could fit in it, you know like the kids all squeezing into a phone both or car. My guess would be ten tops! The hot tubs were great, yes, I did take advantage of that.

Our Day in Nassau-6





When we got into Nassau, they tried to talk us into



the "guided tours" the ships arrange. We didn't sign up for them. We wanted to go out on our own. Before you go through the terminal, their are people that want to take you on a tour also for starting at



about 75.00 each, no, no. He kept going down in price until he reached 35.00 per person. We were told about the taxi's there, for 25.00 they will take you all over the island, or one place for 4.00 each.



My sister and Linda went to the Atlantis (a high class hotel and casino), while Sandra and I went to the Straw market, where you can wheel and deal like a pro! My kind of place. and took a horse & buggy ride. The taxi driver told us it was about 12.00 each, but when we first asked, he tried to charge us twenty dollars each! He finally said, 10.00 each. Now he was talking our languish. While on that ride, our guide was telling us about their laws there. If someone is found with a gun, it is time served plus 6 months per each bullet found. They don't mess around in the Bahamas. They will hang a man or woman.

Atlantis Hotel & Casino-7





These were taken by sis, her and Linda went to the Atlantis. Beautiful place.












Limbo Champion-8





video





If you think you can limbo, just watch this guy.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Valentines Day Dinner-9














We ate in the dinning room every night. After food was served,




all the waiters would form a line and dance, these are the pics from




Valentines Day dinner. Every female in there got a carnation.




There I am at bed time with flower in mouth. That was fun.







(Click on pics to view)







Monday, February 9, 2009

Battling the Hose

Went to the car wash to vacuum out my mess of dog hair and cigarette ashes, today.

The vacuum was seventy five cents, last time I used it. Now, it's up to one dollar. Been a while since I went to do it myself. I don't mind the extra twenty five cents, but, that hose was like wrestling with an over sized worm, that just wouldn't turn it's mouth to eat it's food! I thought, "well, I'll try the next one." So I moved my car over to the next machine. That one wasn't any better, it would have worked if I was vacuuming the head liner, or maybe, even turned the car upside down. Two dollars later, with sweat pouring down my face, hair standing on edge and muscles aching, I said, "that's it, I'm done!" I honestly believe the worm won that battle. Car looks good enough.

Nervous

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Yep, Another "Welcome to MB" day.



When I woke up this morning, I went to see if Bun-Bun (a wild rabbit we feed, given name: Bun-Bun) came to eat it's food last night. Then noticed snow flurries. I was like a little girl again, but fought the urge to wake my sister up to show her it was snowing. As, I started to make my coffee, she came out of her room, eyes at half mass. "It's snowing out side", her eyes got wide and she ran to the back door.

Snow in Myrtle Beach isn't something ones sees too often. We also took some videos, see below.

Whoo hoo-morning snow-video 1


video


Share my joy of, " snow time" at the beach, w/ me, the wild child, in the morning

Smallest Snow Ball-video 2


video


A snowy day in Myrtle Beach, SC. "Come-on down".

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Now, this is a sandwich


I found this picture of myself, pointing a finger, saying, "now, this is a sandwich ".

Ever wonder why some New Yorkers, complain about the sandwiches they get? Just look at the size of this. That is what they are used to eating. Now, now, don't say, "go back to New York". I don't by any means miss living there, but I do miss the food. Just thought I would let you know the "why".