Sunday, April 27, 2014

Never Ending

I had a blissful Friday and Saturday at least local!  Friday I got a lot of home front stuff done and Saturday was wonderfully relaxing and enjoyable!:). And now I'm back on the road to the airport for a crazy, not one week, but almost two weeks of crazy.  

Tonight I'm on my way to Tampa (I keep on forgetting and saying I'm going to Orlando...) where there's another sales meeting.  This one will be even worse than last week as it will be just as boring and uneventful - without the free parties and drinks... At least I get to spend a few days with my boss again though!:). LOL....

My happy place of the day - my upgrade on this flight to first class!  My yuck of the day -I just booked a flight for the end of May and had worked out the whole schedule with the rep, only to have him text me today and say "oops - May 26th is Memorial Day".  Blech - now I don't know if I'm going to keep the flight or try and rebook with an up charge on the fare.  I'm sure my new friends in San Fran, Willie and Lillie, would love to see me, but I kind of want to be home so well see.

Oh - and another yuck - I'm sitting in a taxi with a driver who has bathed in some type if potently horrible cologne and now my head is splitting.  When in doubt - don't douse... :(

Hope everyone's weekend has been amazing!

..... Note - it's 2:12 am in Tampa on Monday morning - we just landed:). Plane problems, switch planes, weather... Never ending...!

And one more btw... This is why I never check my bags...:(. 45 minutes and they're still not coming out but I had to check this week since I had to pack liquids for almost 2 weeks.  Which means Ill have to stand at baggage at least 2 more times before I'm done with my liquids!

And yet one more btw - I got to the taxi and showed him the hotel I wa going to and he just looked at me and said "I can bring you there if you really want me to!" And so then I look at the hotel and am like "is there something wro.... D'oh!  We're in Tampa - not Orlando!"  Yes - I've been thinking Orlando and Orlando convention center is what I booked!  I am on the way to the Marriott in Tampa now and just praying they do have a room for tonight!

And it continues... I'm not crazy - I had booked Orlando because I was going to work over there... But I had booked the Marriott, I had just done so with a group rate so it did didnt pull up with my number.  So then they find that reservation and cancel the other res I just made and he tells me because of my status he's giving me a top floor corner room with balcony - all these nice sounding things and then he goes to make my key - and apparently between 3am and 3:15am the key system goes down so he couldn't make my key because he literally went to make it at 3am:). LOL!  So he ended up having up walk me up himself and we had a nice chat along the way on how he lived in Chicago for 7 years right by the United center but never saw a Bulls or Blackhawks game - but he's a huge Cubs fan!  Ah - 3:09am and now I can't do anything but laugh because... Well, it 3am!  What else could I be doing at 3 am!:)

3:15am - my keys were shoved under my door all nicely advertising the business of the year for the IMCO convention!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Ah! Sunshine!

Today it was what some might call - spring weather!

Meetings in the office in the morning - new car in the afternoon (lease was up) and then I got to escape to the trails for an hour and let my happy, tan legs run free!  They haven't been covered since the cruise and today was reason to put those running shorts on and let them breathe free in the north!

Happy Friday!  Happy sunny Friday!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

This Is What Spring Should Look Like

This morning I went out running and saw things that I had forgotten were synonymous with spring... 
It makes me so sad to know that Ill be going home tomorrow and won't be seeing this.  But on the plus side - we still have this to come!  Unless spring skips us altogether and just moves into summer?  NO!  It CAN'T do that!!!!!!:(

Today is the big event- woohoo.. The vendor exhibits.  It's mid day now and it's been deathly slow.  The CEO has even come around to all of us and apologized for it being so slow.  My boss and I have been bonding - it's been quite productive in that way.  It actually will go nowhere but down from here - 3 more hours and more boredom. Here's the pose of a bored cowgirl working a vendor show.  Just leaning on the back table emailing and trying to do actual work.  Yawn.  BTW - you should see my boss' outfit -it's like Black Bart meets western town law man.  We're quite a Weiman pair, and surprisingly one of the only booths wearing outfits (totally unusual!  We never do and everyone else usually does.)

More about Nashville - One of the things that is joined with the hotel were at is the Country Music Hall of Fame.  And on the hall going that way is the Hatch Printing Press (just moved from their original location on the Main Street).  They printed tons of the oldies but goodies posters for lots of different acts like Will Rogers and Minnie Pearl and everything.  Now it's in this nice new building and you can watch them makes posters and things and take a tour.  Pretty cool.

I was supposed to do dinner with a friend on Monday night who has just moved to Nashville but she had to cancel.  She and her husband are picking me up tonight and we're going to one of the top restaurants in Nashville!  The foodie in me is quite excited!:)

Yay! Sales Meetings!

In case you didnt realize, that title was sarcasm at its finest.

First day of a sales meeting that we didnt need to get to until tomorrow as SOMEBODY read the schedule wrong (another fine example of sarcasm as that somebody was NOT me)....  Our vendor exhibits don't show until tomorrow.  So today we've been catching workshops.  One of them was actually applicable (Healthcare Infection) and I did learn from it, even though it was given by one of our major competitors.  The second one was by HIDA about healthcare reimbursement initiatives.  Boring... The basic jist that I learned was something I already knew all about - government/healthcare today is totally screwed up and redundantly tedious to those who try to work with it.  

We're sitting in an awards luncheon now and I'm choosing to not fall asleep so I'm making good use of my time by blogging.    The plus here was that lunch was amazing!  Awards luncheons at these things are usually bland and mass produced - this one was completely fresh and tastes almost as good as the 5 star restaurant we dined at last night!  Being the foodie that I am, I'm still looking at my empty plate sadly and that's a crazy concept for a sales meeting meal!

This afternoon - finish setting up booth.  And then shop for one more piece to complete my western wear theme outfit for the booth tomorrow.  I was told to expense stuff so expense I will!  The idea of shopping makes the idea of standing at an exhibitors booth all day tomorrow - tolerable:)

Commentary - were having the meeting in the new Nashville Music Center which is absolutely beautiful!  It's right across from our hotel and today from the top floor, I got to see the pool at the Omni which makes me sad I didn't bring my swimsuit.  It's so awesome I'd love to swim there just to experience it!  Not a great pict compared to the actual view but I tried... Imagine it ten times more amazing than what you're seeing in the picture!

Later in the afternoon I walked down to the Main Street (Broadway) just to find something to put our raffle prizes in.  I wound up getting a cowboy hat for the raffle and a cowboy hat for me to wear tomorrow (well see how long I keep it on).

You walk around the downtown area and you're accosted by boots and hats on every corner in every shop!

And next to the hotel, I found something that some might call an oxymoron...

Off to the evening festivities - vendor only session (I think it's where they tell us what we should be doing better to help them... 
Then big hoe down party - free eats that are actually pretty good and an open bar with these amazing "rocktails".   The country band playing is old and loud, but not bad.  

And all these women walking around in their newly purchased cowboy boots (some can pull it off - some - not...).  It looks like everyone is getting in the western way for the vendor exhibits tomorrow.  Yee-haw!

Oh -one more crazy thing we saw this afternoon... Police practice repelling down the side of the building across from the Music Center.

Monday, April 21, 2014

And I'm Gone Again

Try to guess where I just landed.... Crazy - it could be anywhere.  I've found a good portion of the US looks like this!

So if your interest has now been peaked... Nashville!

I'm here for a sales meeting/vendor fair.  It's a western theme and I was informed before I left for my cruise that we were supposed to dress western appropriate.  Like I have ANY western wear.  So after booth set up I'm going to mosey (I can use western vocabulary!  Wonder if that counts?) around the downtown to see if I can wrangle up something western looking.  

I do get to meet up with a friend for dinner.  They just moved down this way the beginning of the year.  I also get to have dinner with my cousin Isaiah.  Haven't seen him in a long while so it will be good to catch up.

We're just deplaning  - it's back to work for me after a week of blissful nothing....

An aside - I'm very disappointed that our hotel for 3 nights is not a Marriott chain (lose those points - sad).  BUT - Its the Omni Hotel right downtown and its actually beautiful so - recommendation to stay here if you're ever passing through!  It's right by all the major sites - and you will get lovely views of abandon warehouses and empty lots to boot!  Ah - there's another western reference!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Here Are The Two Days You Missed

Because I had no more Internet minutes on the ship and would have had to pay quite a bit more for additional, I had decided to let the blog lay silent for our last two days at sea.

We it back from Belize and went to dinner where Dawn talked about how she's been craving chips since the beginning of the week.  We headed back to our room and watched a movie and about 9:30 our phone rings and Lillie asks if they can stop by our room quick.  They come about 5 minutes later and they drop off...
That's just how absolutely sweet they are!!!!!!:)

We then had a complete day of rest on the boat on Thursday.  It was beautiful weather and I laid out from morning until night - Dawn joined me for a few hours and we actually hung out with Lillie and Willie watching life go by at the pool and just chatting.

Thursday night brought the second "formal" dinner and our last night to see the "...illies":)

And we had to bid adieu to our two waiters, Beni (from India) and Luis (from Mexico).  They were both splendid waiters and totally knew what we wanted before we even asked for it!  

We don't get fancy so often so have to get as many Picts as possible when we do:)

Friday we slept late as the weather was supposed to overcast and cooler.  We ended up having breakfast with Lillie and talked forever and then wandered around decks for a while.  There's nothing like letting the wind whip through your hair on the putting green on the 18th deck!

Packing had to be done as we had to have our bags out before dinner.

And then we headed back up deck where we watched half of "Top Gun",

Then ate dinner and then headed to get massages!  The best way to end such a vacation!

And that's pretty much what you missed - or didnt miss.  But now you know our whole entire week!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

We're Headed Home!

Just to let everyone know - that we did indeed make it back from Belize.  We managed the rest of our cruise with a lot of relaxation and rest and got back to Port of Houston this morning.... Got our bags...

Stood in the line for customs...

And then boarded a bus for the Houston airport.  Dawn went to terminal A and checked in and I went to terminal C and checked in and then Dawn took the train over by me since my flight leaves before her.  We've eaten and now we've been sitting in the Red Carpet Club for a while.  I head over to my flight in about an hour and sadly Dawn still has about 5 more hours until her flight.  But at least she can still stay in the Club here which is much better than, as my brother in law says, sitting out there with "the people".  

We're now saying sad goodbyes to warm sun and tans/burns and shorts and no cell phones and the water.  
Back to normal life:(

Wait - addition to post...
Dawn and I have discovered a worse  "normal" to head back to...
We could work at an airport....
On the runway...
As a sweeper-guy... 
And here's everything you have to sweep...

Thank you my normal!!!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014


Today is Belize.  I've been wanting to come to Belize since my last cruise 5 or so years ago and from what I'm hearing about Belize - I don't know why I've been wanting to come:).  I came down for my morning latte and ran into Willy and Lilly and we talked for a while.  They had heard it was really poor, smelly and possibly dangerous.  I guess we'll see.  We can't come to a different country and never go on shore!

We've anchored out so no willy-nilly going on shore and off shore.  We have to tender off and on the boat with local charter companies.

It took about 30 minutes to get to shore and there was a friendly Belizian talking to everyone - and we can't forget the group of Spanish speaking tourists from some crazy country that kept on yowling and sending their old grandma up to one of the deck poles to so pole dancing for them.  I can't tell what they were clapping and yelling but it seemed to be "Toga, toga!!" We're still not sure but it was not attractive!

Lots of waves and lots of in and out sun, and besides the crazy Spaniards, an enjoyable ride over - and no foul smells hit us on the dock.

We got off the boat into the tour city area and decided we wanted to go see more Mayan ruins and the rainforest so - we found an on shore tour company and got stuffed into a van sardine-like with 13 other fellow tourists as trusted that we'd make it somewhere safely.

The ride there proved to be exceedingly interesting as there was a wonderful couple from Texas seated in the front and twinging and twanging up a "bless her heart" storm.  Telling stories about their trip to Brussels where no one spoke English and a cruise they took up in British Columbia, all prefaced with y'alls and "they done"s.  And what was even more amusing is that they were seated by a couple from Victoria, Canada with their little accents "we went ew-t" and going on about how they speak French and all the great things they have in Canada.  Cruise ships definitely have quite a concoction of passengers -provides for hours of entertainment.

We're now getting a linguistics lesson from our driver... He's saying that the Belize dialect is close to Jamaican which is a mix of English and Creole.  He gave a for instance that if you want to know what time it is you'd say "how much o'clock?"  

The last 14 miles to the ruins the driver called the "adventure" part of our tour - the drive there on the "2 lane" road... 

And now we're on the "highway" to Mexico.  Apparently if you stay on this road it will take you about 3 days to get to Mexico. It actually seems like its going to take us 3 days to get to these ancient ruins!... Actually, I do believe we'll be ancient ruins by that time!

We finally got to the ruins and were accosted by a hundred different locals peddling everything from mohagany wood carvings to coconuts and dried bananas.

We got our tickets ...

And entered the ruins of 

There were some of the ruins we could climb so of course - they had to be climbed!

The ruins were pretty interesting - and pretty - ruined...:)

And then we also got to stroll through the rain forest at the back of the ruins.

We got back to the front and our guide took us over by a little "restaurant" there. I'm sure we were supposed to buy from his friends.  

I spotted some kids across from the restaurant and so I opted to make some new friends...:).  They belonged to the woman who worked in the kitchen at the restaurant and poor things just wait there for her each day.  We had fun coloring and playing with cars until it was time for me to go.  I think we shared solidarity - 5 brothers and sisters and I told them there  were 5 in my family too.  3 sisters and 2 brothers - they all liked that.

And now we're back in our van, on the "Mexican highway" headed back to the dock - hopefully in time to make it to the boat.

And because I'm attempting to finish this to get free wifi because I'm almost done with my boat wifi - Ill leave you in suspense until tomorrow to find out if we made it back to the Caribbean Princess!