Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Tagged - I'm it!

Mitzi tagged me while we were in the Mediterranean. No chance the internet was working over there. So here is how I think I'm supposed to respond, with 6 things you probably don't know about me. 1. When my best friend, Dana, and I were young girls in Provo, every Saturday in October we went to Woolworth's (where the Nu-Skin building is now on Center Street) and bought carmel apples and fake glue-on long fingernails. It was our favorite thing. 2. As a girl my favorite movie star was Mitzi Gaynor. I loved her gamin-like quality. She had cute short hair and I saw her in the movie, "Anything Goes" where she wore wonderful long chandelier earrings. My favorite type of girl - cute, fun, pretty with a touch of glamourous bling. 3. As a brooding pre-adolescent, I was in love with Frankie Avalon. He shivered my timbers. My first record was his 33 speed long playing album with "Venus" and my favorite, "Gingerbread" lyric - You're full of sugar, you're full of spice. You're kind of naughty but you're naughty and nice. This carried on for some time until one day he was in Utah at Lagoon. Of course I wento get his autograph. When I saw him I couldn't help but notice that all too fatal flaw of Hollywood men - he was short! I cooled my jets and never fell for another singer until Weird Al Yankovik 4. As all young girls do, I thought a lot about the man I would someday marry. What would he be like? Television was fabulous in the 60's. I determined that my "dreamboat" would be a cross between television stars Dick Van Dyke - tall, dark and funny; and Andy Williams - dark, romantic, able to carry a tune. How did I do? As the years went on, perhaps it should be noted that Dick Van Dyke ended up an alcholic and Andy Williams' wife ended up murdering her illicit lover in Aspen, Colorado. All things considered, I actually think I did really well! 5. My favorite smell is autumn leaves. In college all around the neighborhood of fraternity and sorority houses at the U were big trees with black bark and tons of golden yellow leaves. One of my favorite memories is walking through ankle-deep yellow leaves and smelling that crushed autumn leaf smell. The glorious time of autumn just fills me with awe at the beauties of the season. 6. One of my worst experiences ever - As a young woman I went to what is now called the "Stadium of Fire" at BYU for the 4th of July celebration. It was the first time I'd ever been and we were sitting up high on the bleachers. A little girl behind me had apparently had too much cotton candy, etc, etc. and about half way into the show she leaned forward and vomited right down my neck. Memorable.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007


So, I was just checking out kids blogs and saw Nicole's option for Edward from Twilight. It was Tom Welling looking very other worldly. Wow, just bite me now. However, when I was reading Twilight, I had more of this image in mind. This is the new Flash Gordon on the Sci Fi channel - Eric Johnson. He played Joshua in The Work and the Glory and Whitney in the first season of Smallville. Go hot vampire!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Danny Kaye's Doge

We found the Doge! Remember Danny Kaye talking about the Duke and the Doge in Court Jester. Well, today we visted the Ducal Palace in Venice. It was adorned in the midst of the Renaissance and the ceilings are the most elaborate works of art I've ever seen. Remarkably, many of the paintings combine Christianity with Roman mythology - statues of Mars and Neptune guard the entry into the Ducal Palace. You couldn't take pictures and it was overwhelming. So I bought a very heavy book to show you because it also included St. Mark's. Yesterday we went to San Marco square and went through the Bascillica. Words cannot describe this and I was completely unprepared. The entire enormous building is lined with mosaic figures surrounded in real gold. All the archways and domes and walls are gold mosaics. Gold, gold, gold, gold. It glitters; a lot. Present everywhere is the winged lion. Apparently St. Mark is described as the winged lion in the Apocolypse. The winged lion is atop the clock tower. By the way, the clocks here are interesting. They show the signs of the zodiac. The hour is listed as a Roman numeral and the minutes are shown in regular numbers. Clock faces show 24 hours in Roman numerals but the nine is VIIII instead of IX. Yesterday afternoon we took a ride in a gondola - the "standard tour" through the old part of Venice. We had a handsome young gondolier who sang "O Solo Mio" to us the whole time. Dad was thrilled. The boat was named "Deborah" after his 10 year old daughter. Finally, we found someone who was married and had a family. As he rowed us under the bridges, people kept taking pictures of us. It was a grand highlight. Not many people use boats because they are very expensive. We paid 80 Euros, about $100. Good it was a one-time trip!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

I'm still trying. Fred says the problem with the ship's internet is that the signal tends to be intermittent. As I try to upload photos or a photo album the signal will quit and then it starts over. However, I web shows that all my albums are now uploaded and you should be able to see them online at So please check it out and let me know if this worked! I would feel so happy if it did. Today we arrived in Dubrovnik, Croatia. What a scenic, lovely little place. There is a narrow strip of land between limestone mountains of inner Croatia and the Adratic Sea. At the bottom of the strip is Dubrovnik. We had a handsome young guide - 27 years old, with the darkest eyes I've ever seen. He told us of St. Blaise, the Roman Catholic saint who watches over and protects the city. Medieval limestone walls surround the city, several hundred feet high in many places. You can buy a ticket and walk along the top looking down the sheer walls to the sea below or to the stone streets. In either case, I was terrified, white knuckled and sweaty. At the first available exit, I announced I was getting off the wall (about 2 miles into it). The group acquiesed and came with me. We climbed on our little bus and took off for the countryside. Again we went straight up an narrow, winding road with sheer cliffs. On top was our reward. We found ourselves at the highest point overooking the city. Recently there was a chair lift that took people up here, but it was bombed by Montenegro in the 1991 war. Apparently they are still trying to recover. There are 3 religious factions in Croatia; Roman Catholic, Greek Orthodox Christians and Moslems. During the war the good Christians did some ethnic cleansing of all the Moslems in the country. Hence there aren't many of them left. We took a different route down into the countryside to a charming little seaside town that was quaint-plus. We walked along the dock and the water was so clear you could see everything on the bottom. Dad and I decided we could easily spend a summer here if there was a decent toilet. Earlier the ladies went to the public bathroom and found a hole in the ground. I passed. We had only a short time to shop. I was hoping to get Dad a great tie, as Croatia is supposedly the birthplace of the necktie. They were very expensive and not too cool. There was one with Dalmations on it. They are a symbol of the city too, although we didn't see a single Dalmation. We thought about Carole today. Walking through the little town marketplace, Dad spotted a gelato store. We got a waffle cone gelato for 1 Euro (pistachio)! Bargain. In the little seaside town Dad found a bakery and bought apple streudle, bread, cheese danish, snicker rolls that everybody split on the way back. Once back in town we found another gelato store that was willing to take our last kuna (Croatian money) for 2 more gelatos - chocolate (they labeled it Cokolatda) and tart berries - guess who ate that one. I walked into a jewelry shop and found something I loved. There are famous for coral, turquoise & filagree jewelry, but what caught my eye were some pendant/charms that were small replicas of the Russian Faberge eggs. All over town we had seen signs for Faberge in Dubrovnik - a big exhibit they had earlier in the season. I bought a green and red egg. Dad had some extra kuna that needed spending, so we got another blue one. I can use them as necklace pendants or maybe I'll get a charm bracelet. Anyway they're neat and will always remind me of the Tzar dining room on the cruise ship that is also decorated with Faberge eggs.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Athens, Greece

Hi there, I am unable to even attach pictures to an email and sent it. I have spent much time and many dollars trying to get Iweb to publish my photo albums. Colie, if you have another suggestion I may try it, but so far I've spent a lot of money using the ship's slow internet to no avail. Yesterday we were in Athens. The traffic was as bad as London, but it didn't move as fast. Mostly, it didn't move at all. It is one overcrowded city. Our guide took us first on a tour of the city because there were so many people at the Acropolis, you couldn't move. The highlight was seeing the sight of the first Olympic games. The stadium holds 68,000 people and looks brand new because all the benches are made of marble. It was used in ancient Greece (hillsides) and then again for the Olympics of 1862 when the marble benches were added. Then we ascended the highest hill in Greece for an overview of the city. There is little green space and most of that is around the monuments, so they tend to stand out. Tasos, our guide, said that no one tears down anything in Greece, so the city is filled with old buildings. The reason is, if you are building and find any ancient artifacts, the government comes in and takes over your property for its historic value. You are paid for it, in about 2 years time. Meanwhile, you're out of luck. We finally got to the Acropolis in the afternoon. It was so fantastic. Acropolis means city on top of a hill. That it is. How they ever got all that marble up there is beyond me. Atop the Acropolis is the Parthenon - built as a temple to Athena, the Virgin Goddess of Greece and daughter of Zeus. It is jaw dropping. I know of nothing in the world to compare to this marvel of architecture. This is the environment of Plato and Socrates. Just below the Parthenon is Mars Hill where Paul the Apostle spoke to the Greeks. The Greek flag is blue and white with a cross in the upper left field. The blue is for the sea. The white if for the purity of the people's souls, and the cross is for their Christianity. There is picture of me in front of Hadrian's gate built to commemorate Emperor Hadrian throwing the Turks out of Greece. Too bad you can't see it. All this is sparking my desire to re-learn Greek Mythology and history. All of it is now so real!!! Today we are in the Ionian Sea. I've never heard of the Ionian Sea (although Geography Clark probably has) and now I'm in it! The Wasatch Groupers are wonderful traveling companions. We are sharing this great adventure together. Much love to each of you. I thank you for holding down the fort and caring for the needy little creatures. Are there any perfume fragrances you might be interested in? There is a duty-free shop on board? Let me know. Love you so much Mom

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

What is Halloween all about?

Pics on Iweb

Okay, I've been making albums of daily pictures on iweb as Nicole suggested. So I'm hoping she can get everyone online from them to view them. I tried to follow your suggestions Colie. Let me know if I've done it right or not. We are just leaving Ephesus after a fabulous day. Fred hired a guide for us through the internet. It turns out he has guided Mel Gibson, Bill Gates and a bunch of mucky mucks through the city. He has a doctorate in archeology and has worked uncovering ruins in Ephesus for the last 23 years. He also teaches in the archeology department at a public university. Boy, did he know his stuff. If the iweb thing works let me know and I'll let you see Ephesus. Love, The Blogmomster

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Hagia Sophia

Hi, This morning we visited Hagia Sophia; the only place in turkey I've heard of for years. It was built in 500AD by Justinian. When it was complete he supposedly said that it was more beautiful than Solomon's temple. It is pretty impressive. I still can't load pics on blogger. I'll try Nicole's website idea. The carpet guys got dad today. En route to the Grand Bazaar - shopping like in Old Town Jerusalem but higher class - we found a neat rug shop and a nomadic rug that we fell in love with. If Dad's building was already sold, I think he might have bought. I took pics of the Nomad border, etc. Love that rug! Hagia Sophia had my living room color scheme - gold with red and blue. The ceilings here keep your head cranked upward - always looking to heaven. The gold mosaics are fabulous. To get to the upper levels you don't use stairs, instead you walk up rock paved swutchbacks that were likely used to roll heavy building materials up to upper floors. It is a Chrisitan Mosque that has been taken over pretty much by Moslems. Crosses are re-designed or brushed out of the decor. The did leave Virgin Mary & child in the uppermost dome. A new thing - whenever we enter a dining room or get off and back on the ship, a crew member steps forward and sprays our hands with antiseptic. Remember when folks were getting sick on cruise ships - no more! Thanks for taking care of the Cannon creatures - and the pets, too! We are headed toward Ephesus tomorrow! Love, The Blogmomster

Monday, October 8, 2007

unposted pictures of Istanbul - followup

Note the tree-lined pathway to Topkapi Palace. Also, we met a young man whose family owned a carpet/pottery shop. Just outside the shop was a most unusual fence. It 's made of broken pottery in cement. He told us that when customers break the pottery, they just build it in the fence. Okay, I;ve been sitting here for 20 minutes trying to upload 5 pictures. I decided to redo and try to upload only one It isn't working. Plus they are charging me by the minute. I guess you just get verbage for now. I'll keep trying. Love you guys! The Blogmomster


Soooo We were called to prayer at 5:30am this morning from the minerette atop Hagia Sophia, the 1000 year old Mosque that is the major landmark of this city. No big deal for me, I awoke at 1:00am and finished reading "Twilight" till Dad got up with the prayer call. We ate our breakfast atop the hotel in a charming rooftop area where we could see the Black Sea. Tour guide, Fred, got us going early and we walked to see the Topkapi Palace. Wow! Move over crown jewels - the treasures of the Ottoman Empire were breathtaking. Ruby encrusted daggers. Giant emeralds everywhere. Several thrones. My goodness. The buildings didn't seem spectacular until we visited the "Harem". Those ladies knew how to put together a palace. Much of the wallspace is covered in tile from the 16th Century. The deorated domes are fabulou. Most of my pictures are bird's eye views of fabulous domes. Marilyn White concluded she could have been part of a Harem. We got to the ship about 1:30pm today. We immediately went to eat and made a dinner reservation in the Tzar's dining room. It is decorated with portraits of all the Russian Tzar's and all the bannisters are reproductions of Faberge eggs. I'll send pictures later. We ended the evening with our first NCL show - a singer that was in the original production of Les Miserables. Love, The Blogmomster