Friday, November 26, 2010

Central Park at the Oasis







I hope you don't mind but for Sightseeing, Favorite and Pink Sat.I would like to just repost photos from our favorite cruise, the Oasis of the Seas. I have been extremely busy and I really cannot find time to post anything new right now.


Another nice feature of the Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas cruise ship is that it has an ice skating rink. AJ wanted to try it so John took her and gave her some lessons. She learned pretty quick and was on her own before long. This is the second part of Sightseeing Saturday about Oasis of the Seas. I am combining SS with Pink Saturday, which is hosted by Beverly. If you want to see more adorable pinks, go to http://howsweetthesound.typepad.com/my_weblog/. I am also linking with Laurie at
http://bargainhuntingwithlaurie.blogspot.com/
since this has really been my favorite cruise after all so many that I have taken. Last week, I showed you the Boardwalk. Today I will show Central Park and the spectacular ice show and some high tech features. The Central Park is on the 8th Deck and with its 12,000 plants and trees planted, it truly is a natural haven. It is made out of various high end restaurants, bars and shops.

One of the shops located here is Coach, which we frequently visited. Too bad, they did not have any good sale items. They also have an art gallery and the Park Cafe where you can eat for free anytime, cafeteria style.


Central Park by Night


Now, I will take you to Studio B, where the ice skating arena is. We watched the most spectacular show of all, a rendition of Hans Christian Andersen's works, portrayed through ice skating and dancing. The Russian skaters were truly amazing.

Do you recognize AJ? Yep, she was so excited to be picked and be part of the show. This was the second time John and she watched the show. They wanted to watch it again because it was so good, it definitely deserved a second look. As for me, I stayed in the cabin watching TV and getting entertained. I'll tell you more about that next week.




And now for my Pink Sat. contribution. The dancers all looked adorable in their pink tutus.




The ship is incredible. We thought being in a giant ship with so many passengers would be total chaos and be so disorganized. Not so! It had so many high tech features. Seen below is a self serve bar.






At the bottom right, you will see pictures of terminals, which were placed strategically on each deck. You just enter where you want to go, and it will show you a map and directions and how to get there. So, you really can never get lost.





If you have been on a cruise before, then you have experienced being in a crowd looking for your pictures, going from rack to rack. At Oasis of the Seas, you do not have to do that. Your pictures are all organized in a single portfolio so all you have to do is pull it out, look at your photos and buy whichever you want. There were no crowd nor lines at all. The number of your portfolio is listed on your Sail and Sign card. If you want to order any prints, just go into one of those computer terminal that are all over the photo shop, view your photos, select which ones you want and order right from there. How convenient is that?




They had 23 interior lit bronze microscope vessels placed randomly all over the ship called "Small Wonders" and when you look in them, they have different interesting natural wonders of life in them. Shown here are a few. AJ really loved looking in.




I hope you enjoyed another tour of the biggest cruise ship in the world. Next Saturday, I will show you more. Thanks a lot for coming along and thanks Beverly and Laurie for hosting Pink Sat. and A Few of My Favorite Things.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Rearranging Table at Christine's Corner

It's my favorite day of the week so even if I did not have time to prepare for a tablescape, I just do not want to miss this event that Susan of http://betweennapsontheporch.blogspot.com/ is hosting. We have been busy with company this week. My ex co worker who came for a visit left last Sunday at noon and then my step daughter and her hubby arrived at night on the same day. It gave me just enough time to change beddings in the guest room.
Today, my stepdaughter Heather asked if I had a dinnerware set that I can let go cause they could use one. I told her she can have one of the sets at the store so we went there. She picked what she wanted and I packed them in a box to be loaded in the car. Then, I noticed that my turkey plates are no longer on the table. They were sold! I hurried and replaced them with the snowman plates sitting on the next table, which I am showing you. Ok, you will have to forgive me because this was created really fast so it is kinda mix matched.
I actually have another tablescape that I creted tonight but I am busy cooking and I have no time to take pictures yet so I will show it to you maybe next week.

I just took whatever I could use for a centerpiece and I got ahold of the a mercury vase and a round tea light holder. The tulip candle holders were already there.


Then I spotted some red and white plate chargers that said "Believe" with a snowflake on them and I added those as one more layer, more like storing them there.

Actually as we walked out, I spotted a tall wooden angel with a Christmas tree from another vendor and I bought it and placed it as part of my centerpiece but I forgot to take pictures. I am going back on Friday to add holly berries in the mercury vase to create height so this tablescape is not done. I am also replacing the table runner into something more Chrismassy and replacing the flatware too. I will show the table again when it is complete to my satisfaction but for now, here it is!


Thank for viewing my impromptu tablescape. Thanks Susan for another table play time!

Monday, November 22, 2010

A Dinner Party Before Thanksgiving

Tuesday fun times are here again. It's Tabletop and tea time!
Thanks to all our gracious hosts for all these fun events:
Marty for Tabletop Tuesday at http://astrollthrulife.blogspot.com/

Lady Katherine for Teatime Tuesday at http://ladykatherineteaparlor.blogspot.com/

Martha and Terri for Teacup Tuesday at http://www.marthasfavorites.com/

Wanda Lee for Tuesday Tea for 2 and Wednesday Teatime at http://theplumedpen.blogspot.com/

Sandi for Teatime Tuesady at http://sandimyyellowdoor.blogspot.com/

Wanda Lee and Pam for Tea Things Tuesday at http://silkenpurse.blogspot.com/




Last Friday, I had a dinner party for 8. My ex co worker, Gwen from Florida, drove to visit us and I invited our neighbors, Dr. Lauer and Vicky, John's pingpong buddy, Clyde and an anaesthesiologist from out of town, Dr. Engleman, to join us. I always try to limit my sit down dinners to 8 so we can just all gather around the formal dining table. Sometimes if I have kids over, I also set the round kitchen table for them but this night was for adults only.
For my coffee and tea, I used my pewter set, one of my favorites. I like to use pot warmers so I can get the drinks ready in advance and keep them warm.

I set the desserts and drinks on the kitchen table.


I bought a doz. rose buds from the grocery (sad to say they were dry the next day) and added holly berries from our bushes for fillers.


I baked a rum cake, a yucca with coconut dessert and pecan fudge.





I had the food laid out buffet style in individual warmers on the kitchen counter.


But I set the table in the formal dining room with the shrimp cocktail all ready. You must have seen this for Tablescape Thursday, without the food of course. I just added the dragon fly place card holders.
I also added fresh holly berries to my centerpiece, which I cut up from our bushes along the driveway.


And here we were, all ready to eat. After we ate the shrimp cocktail, I took out the Rocksharp cyrstals I got from Bill away and passed Caesar salad around. And after they were done with that, I had the guests get up to get their food from the buffet. I served crawfish stuffed baked chicken (I like serving this because I buy it already stuffed and ready to bake and it is easy to just stick it in the oven to cook), chicken with soup with green papaya and spinach, stir fried veggies with shrimp and beef, baked catfish with the rosemary I picked from the garden.

We all had a great time, socialized in the living room for a while before dinner, ate, got up for dessert afterwards and socialized around the dessert table and then in the family room and then back to the kitchen for seconds, lol.

Thanks so much for stopping by. And thanks again to our lovely hostesses!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Angels on the Bluff



I hope you all had a great week. I did too, busy as usual! Anyway, it's time to relax for a little bit now and go sightseeing. You might not think the cemetery is not exactly the best place to visit but our cemetery is one of the most famous ones in the country with so many intersting people buried there. Besides, there was a special annual event that went on that we did not want to miss. I want to share it with you. The event sells out every year and this time, I made sure I reserved the tickets early.




I am also linking with Linda for Junkin Finds at http://ljm-alacarte.blogspot.com/

Beverly for Pink Saturday at http://howsweetthesound.typepad.com/my_weblog/

Laurie for Favorites Saturday at http://bargainhuntingwithlaurie.blogspot.com/

The Tablescaper for Seasonal Sunday at http://thetablescaper.blogspot.com/



Before we go to the cemetery (we are not really in a hurry to get there, are we?) , let me show you my pink junkin' find and favorite for today. I bought these 2 vases from another vendor at the store. The one on the left was $1 and the one on the right was $2. Now, tell me, who can resist prices like that! I could just turn around and sell them for more in my booth but let me use them first on one of my vignettes or tablescapes. Aren't they just the cutest? They are pretty tall too!





Ok, now to the cemetery. The Angels on the Bluff is an annual event here in Natchez, usually around Halloween, where reenactment of the lives of the one who is buried there is portrayed, usually by their descendants wearing period costumes.


They really do a lot of preparations for this that is why people come from all over to watch.

Even Carol of The Writer's Porch, came all the way from Hattiesburg with her husband. She said she tries to get a ticket every year but they are always sold out by the time she reserves, so this year, she placed a note on her computer terminal reminding herself to buy tickets the first day they go for sale. It worked! I was so happy to meet her and her hubby. They are such sweet people.

This is the first act that we saw. The tomb is empty because the one who was supposed to be buried here, a HS student, fell from a ferry and drowned and was never found. The actor was so good that I had to ask John if he was the real father. I mean he was even tearful telling us how he did not know that the person he tried to help by throwing him a life saver, was his son. John laughed cause all these happened a long time ago, some of them in 1800's.


Ginny Benoist, as Madame Marguerite Justine Belhomme Marchand Benoist Mezeix “The milliner of Natchez,” stood before her grave and gave an account of her life. The Milliner of Natchez is known for her hats that appear in the Henry Norman photographs.



Next, we were treated to the story of Vaughn, portrayed by Doug Broome of the First Baptist Church. Vaughn edited the first Baptist newspaper in Mississippi and served as pastor at First Baptist Church. He was one of the founding members of the Mississippi Baptist Convention.


This was a total surprise. We were walking towards the next stop when we heard "Amazing Grace" being sang by a young lady, on top of a hill.

It was a pleasant surprise indeed. Isn't that a pretty oak tree?


Owen was the president at Natchez College for many years. The university was first supported by black Baptists of Mississippi and flourished under Owen’s leadership


While on our way towards our next destination, we passed by the graves of the unknown civil war soldiers.


This was one of my favorites, I think because the setting was very elegant. This is about the Fleming Family and their story of love and tragedy was told. The family owns one of the antebellum mansions in Natchez called the Towers.


This guy had the funniest story. He is actually a local attorney and he is a great great nephew of the deceased buried here. He portrayed himself as the deceased and gave us stories about things that happened mostly while he was drunk. Evidently, the deceased loved to drink.



Diana Glaze portrayed jazz singer Marian Montgomery. Yep, she was performing in the cemetery by Marian's family grave.

That was the last show and I cannot wait for next year's Angels on the Bluff. They portray different people's lives every year. It is never the same.

Carol and Eric really enjoyed it and I am sure they will be back.

After the cemetery, the bus took us back to the visitor center where we parked our vehicles.

We headed to a restaurant called Magnolia Grill which was located right across the Mississippi River, and had dinner there.

I had a redfish topped with crab, some veggies and a baked sweet potato. Uhmmm, yummy! Actually, all of us except for John had this red fish. It was so good!

My friend Debjani, joined us. I had originally purchased a ticket for my mom too but after finding out that we had to walk, I knew she could not do it. Debjani tried to buy a ticket but they were sold out so I gave her my mom's ticket.
Thank you so much for joining me on another interesting trip.
And thank you to all our gracious hostesses!

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