All In One Night

I just had one the best and most hilarious Friday Nights out with the ladies in a long time. It seems that when a few of us gathers in one place, we are like a freakin magnet for drama, intrigue and hilarity...Let me start from the beginning...and remember...all of this happened in one night....
So, we start the evening at the Hotel Monaco where we are all supposed to meet for drinks before going to dinner. We are tee-heeing, laughing and sharing stories. I go to the bar to get a martini, come back and put my purse on this long table that people are gathering at. Since I never turn my back on my stuff, I'm facing my purse while talking to the ladies. We are in the midst of good story, when this lady opens my purse and starts to look through it. WHOOOOOAH! Hold up, wait a minute.

Diva: 'Scuse me! What do you think you're doing?
Crazy Lady: Uhhhh...I lost my cell phone and was just looking for it.
Diva: Well, it didn't just jump off you and into my purse.
CL Friend: Hey, no biggie, she's a Police Sergeant.
Diva: Well, then she should know better.
CL: What ya drinkin'? Can I buy you a drink?
Diva: NO.

I turn my back to the Crazy Lady and relate the incident to my friends...who, of course, got my back. The alleged "police" and her accomplice made a bee-line for the exit when they noticed that 'bout 6 black women were gonna whoop up on her ass right there in the bar. I don't know what she thought she was gonna get away with, but she picked the wrong purse and the wrong sista. I may look like a diva but I will whoop you ass without so much as breaking a nail and Lord help you if I do - IT IS ON!

We move on to our dinner reservation at Zaytinya's...and I use the word "dinner" lightly. Eleven of us show up for dinner. We are all laughing and talking, celebrating Val's engagement, showing the ring around....having a great time....when all of a sudden, the restaurant manager comes
Manager: It looks like you guys are having a great time. We are glad you're having a great time and we want you to continue; however, would you mind keeping it down so as to not disturb the other customers? Thanks....(walks away)
Table Diva's: SILENCE. (for a hot second)....then BAAAHAAAAHAAAA. Yeah right, beeyatch. When you can quiet down the whole freakin' restaurant, we might listen. WHATEVER!

Then the waiter finally comes over and starts to tell us how to order from the menu - 'cept we can't hear him over the dull roar.

Diva: "Scuse me, could you you speak up louder, like pop-off, from the diaphragm?"
SongBoy: "No, I can't. I'm a singer and I'm preserving my voice."
Table Diva's: Total look of perplexity...We didn't hear a word he said.

So like where are you a singer at? You so off Broadway, you in another state. Stop the madness. Where was my "NO Bullsh..t" card when I needed it.

He comes back to take our order. I signal for him to come around to the other side of the table (it was round)..."Cause I'm preserving my voice for the evening." If looks could kill, I would have been a bloody mess, but he still came around to my side of the damn table.

We ordered a million of these "small plates" and acted like savages trying to get a piece of what ever was on the plate. It was just not enough. You do not come to Zaytinya's for "dinner". This is really a place you just come for drinks and a snack and then move on for a real meal. $500 later, we are still starving and pissed....on the hunt for some real grub and and some un-watered down drinks.

We mosey up the street to a bar next to the MCI center where the waiter said we could be as loud as we want to and proceed to hook us up with the appropriate amount of snackage and drinks. He brought me a margarita that had so much RITA in it that it looked clear. Now that was a great drink.

We wrap it up at the bar and are trying to decide where to go next. We are standing on the street in front of the MCI center, saying goodbye, cutting up a bit when we notice this man sitting on a window ledge with a megaphone. He was just sitting there, very still, when all of a sudden he decided that he was going to be louder than us by starting a diatribe on his megaphone. And why did LisaA have to egg him on by doing a street dance to his bible rap?

STOP THE MADNESS!!! We decided that we are going to just "walk away" and he proceed to follow us all the while rapping in his megaphone a combination of gangster-"you a ho" rap and intertwining it with Bible scriptures. I tried fighting him back with my umbrella (tried to stab him with it), he just jumped back and kept following up. Finally a police car pulled up and stopped him. Whew! Wasn't sure how we are going to get rid of our mega stalker.

But no sooner than we round the corner to the car, do we witness this guy slammin' a woman up against a concrete wall by her neck.

Diva: HEY! Stop what you are doing right NOW!!!! I've got a camera and I'm calling 911.
Deb: Don't get involved in their business...call 911
Val: Call 911...AND KEEP WALKING LISA!!!!
Deb: walking up the street and dialing 911.
Diva: Yes, I'm calling from the corner of...... and a man is beating a woman on the street.
Woman Getting Beat: Please don't call the police. I'm okay...as the man shoves her in the car.
Diva: The license plate is...hold on...I gotta get a better look (approaching the car)...Virginia plate xxx-yyy.
Val: GET IN THE CAR!!!!!
Diva: jumping in car trying to figure out the video feature on my phone in case...

We pull off and the perpetrators are still sitting there in the car. Police come down the road and we flag them down as they are about to pass the abuser. I doubt that they could do anything since the girl kept saying that she didn't want help. WOW!

The last of the gang is bopping down the road jammin' to music from Zanzibar's so we decide to go for a little dancing. We get there and out in front of the club is this woman stone cold passed out being held up on the steps of the club. Some guy is holding her head up trying to keep her airway open. The ambulance pulls up and like a dead weight they throw her on the stretcher (there was a slight wardrobe malfunction that she is definitely gonna regret when she wakes up). The drama was just on going. We find out that the club closes in an hour and we ARE NOT gonna pay $20 to dance for an hour, so we just stand there for a while watching as people leave the club. I thought I was going to go blind. WHAT IS UP WITH BOOTIE SHORTS, STILETTOS HEELS and CELLULITE. EEEEEEWWWWWWAH. NASTY.

We decide to blow that scene and go back to the hotel and raid the minibar....YEAH. Hotel party! We get back to the Willard and they have a mini bar that charges your room the minute you pick it up. Pat & Deb are picking up EVERYTHING and examining it. STOP. PUT IT DOWN. We listen to some music while munching on minibar snacks and finally realize it is 3:00 am.

Time for nite nite! I had such a great time! I'm still recovering.

...And all of that happened in one night.


No Bullsh#!X$$t

Aren't there just times when you wish you had this sign on a stick or something and you could just whip it out in someone's face when you KNOW that the words coming out of their mouth are complete BULLSHEEYT.

I got this sign at a negotiating workshop this past week. We were all given one and if we heard anyone negotiating some BULL then we just put up the sign as if to say "STOP THE MADNESS - YOU LIE LIKE A RUG." It was a blast.

I have mine on my fridge as a reminder to my kids that MOMMY ain't hearin' no bull.

Anybody got some examples of where they would use this sign?


How Much is Your Blog Worth

Now this really sucks...if you buy into the hype...I know I'm personally worth a whole HEAP more than that...

My blog is worth $1,693.62.
How much is your blog worth?

Grand Mediterranean Cruise - The Video

Here is a short video slide show of our recent cruise to the Mediterranean.


Wash Your !#**$%X!!! Hands!

There is just NOTHING nastier (that I can think of at this very moment) then watching people in a public bathroom using the toilet and then walking right past the sink and out the door as if they pee and crap don't have no germs. EEEEWWWWW!

I'm in Penn Station, Newark about to catch the Acela back home after a week of training and I gotta go. Now this bathroom has to be one of the nastiest bathrooms I have ever seen so this is a definite hover maneuver. My backside, hands, thighs - NOTHING is gonna touch that toilet. Good thing I work out. Whew. So, I take care of that bottle of water I had been drinking and go to wash my hands. This woman - who looked nasty to begin with - comes out of the stall and walks right out the door. I thought I was going to HURL. If you only knew what was actually on your hands even AFTER you wash your hands you would NEVER go without washing and in fact would carry some Purel with you at all times.

The picture below is a screen saver from Cedar-Sinai ....."......Then, after they finished their lunch, Murthy handed each of them an agar plate — a sterile petri dish loaded with a spongy layer of agar. “I would love to culture your hand,” she told them.
They pressed their palms into the plates, and Murthy sent them to the lab to be cultured and photographed. The resulting images, Silka says, “were disgusting and striking, with gobs of colonies of bacteria.”
The administration then decided to harness the power of such a disgusting image. One photograph was made into a screen saver that haunted every computer in Cedars-Sinai.

.....In its 2000 report “To Err Is Human,” the Institute of Medicine estimated that anywhere from 44,000 to 98,000 Americans die each year because of hospital errors — more deaths than from either motor-vehicle crashes or breast cancer — and that one of the leading errors was the spread of bacterial infections." "Selling Soap, NY Times, Sept. 24, 2006"

It is well documented that germs cause illnesses.... STOP BEING NASTY AND WASH YOUR HANDS. You would just hate it if you got an MSRA infection cause you doctor didn't wash his hands or your gym Buddie slapped you on the back with their unwashed sweaty hand after using the toilet. EEEEWWWWWWW! Nasty can kill ya.


The Pope has lost his mind...

I usually don't discuss this kind of stuff here but the latest "decree" from the Pope smacks of crackerish tendencies...like he needs to come off the pipe with this latest assertion that the Catholic church is the "only true church" and only "true religion." Sounds pretty close the what the the Antichrist would say prior to the beginning of Armageddon - you know - one world religion and what not.

Instead of drolling on and on, quoting scriptures and what not on how if he just actually READ the New Testament he might get a CLUE, I give you this commentary from CNN that I totally agree with....
Commentary: Pope's comments irrelevant to non-Catholics
By Roland S. Martin, CNN Contributor

(CNN) -- Non-Catholics who are up in arms of the proclamation by Pope Benedict XVI that the only true church in the world is that of Catholicism shouldn't even bother getting upset. Just chalk it up to an old man trying to get a little attention.

For him to even suggest that only the Catholic Church can provide true salvation to believers in Christ shows that he is wholly ignorant of the Scriptures that I have known all my life.
Sorry, let me take that back. I've really only known the Bible for the last 13 of my 38 years. That's because those first 25 years were spent as a die-hard Catholic. That's right, I was born and raised in the Catholic Church. One of the first meetings to build the church I was raised in -- Our Lady Star of the Sea in Houston -- took place in my grandparents' living room. Many of my Saturdays and Sundays were spent serving as an altar boy, Catholic Youth Organization leader, dedicated student of Catechism, and constantly reciting the Holy Rosary. And the reality is that we were never really encouraged to study the Scriptures. The standard practice was for all of us to read the same pamphlets passed out by the church, recite the readings from the New and Old Testaments, listen to the Scripture chosen for us in the Gospel and hear a normally bland homily.

That isn't always the case at some Catholic churches. If you visit St. Sabina in Chicago, Father Michael Pfleger will surely have your soul jumping with his strong sermons and willingness to engage the community to get involved in direct action. Yet as I reflect on my years as a Catholic, it pretty much was a wasted experience, as there was more identification with the church, and not with Christ.

And that's why Pope Benedict XVI is meaningless, along with his decision to re-state the primacy of the Catholic Church. This week, the pope released a document correcting interpretations of the Second Vatican Council, which some say modernized the church. But for hardliners like Pope Benedict XVI, the liberals went too far in some of their declarations.

But what ticked folks off was his assertion in the 16-page document by the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith that the only denominations that can call themselves true churches are ones that can trace their roots back to Jesus Christ's original apostles. He even suggested they suffer from defects. This is nothing but a naked attempt by Pope Benedict XVI to "own" Jesus by virtue of the Catholic Church considering the apostle Peter as its leader. He refuses to acknowledge the reality that Jesus didn't consider a church to be most important.

What was? The Great Commission.

The Bible records in Matthew 28:16 that Jesus called his 11 disciples (the other, Judas, hanged himself after betraying Jesus) to Mount Galilee and decreed, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." (New International Version).

It doesn't matter what Pope Benedict XVI has to say, or for that matter, any other religious leader. A Christian believes in Jesus Christ and what He had to say, not what a man of God has to say. This is not an attempt to completely dismiss religious leaders, but is further evidence of what happens when ego is more important than the work of Christ.

John 14:6 says, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." Nowhere does it say that Peter, Pope Benedict XVI or anyone else can supplant Jesus as the leader of the church.

It is these kinds of missives by Pope Benedict XVI that do nothing to support or build the community of faith. All it does is divide.

Protestant leaders: Don't buy into the foolishness. Let Pope Benedict XVI keep running off at the mouth and making pointless declarations. If you keep bringing good news to the poor, setting the captives free and assisting those who seek to know Jesus, then you'll make more headway in doing the work of Jesus than any 16-page document will.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the writer. This is part of an occasional series of commentaries on CNN.com that offers a broad range of perspectives, thoughts and points of view



Hallelujah! One of my bestest friends in the world and the maid of honor at my own wedding got engaged to her man over the 4th of July Weekend during a holiday excursion in Puerto Rico - at the Ritz Carlton no less.

The 4th of July weekend is very significant in that Val & Manny had their first date 4 years ago at a party at my house on the 4th of July. We have not only celebrated the 4th but their "dating" anniversary every year since then (except this one-we were on the cruise). We would always have a BBQ followed by homemade fireworks display - I would run around the yard lighting all the various fireworks I bought like a crazy woman. I love my girlfriend.

I am SOOOOOOO happy for Val & Manny! My maid of honor is gonna be a bride. WOO HOO!
Let the CELEBRATIONS begin.

Congratulations Val & Manny. Ron and I love you both.


First Class

I am now totally ruined when it comes to air travel. FOREVER! I used airline miles to upgrade our seats to First Class for our 10 hour journey home from Venice.

First Class is THE ONLY WAY to travel. Without a doubt. As one of my husbands business partners keeps saying "Economy Class is just no way to live." I absolutely believe him. Now, you would think that as a Travel Diva I would have traveled in first class before - Nope, wrong. I've been slepping to all my destinations so I could maximize my spending when I get to where I'm going. I had no idea what I was missing. It was awesome. Ron kept telling me to stop giggling and fidgeting with everything - act like I knew what the deal was. WHATEVER. If I had my camera handy, I would have been snappin' pictures, I was havin' so much fun. Here is why First Class is the only way to travel - especially for transatlantic flights:
  1. You get to board FIRST!
  2. They serve you champagne while you get settled and wait for everyone else to take their seats.
  3. You get a REAL pillow and blanket that has been sealed in plastic prior to use.(not that mini pillow and pseudo flannel blanket that you are not sure how many people have breathed on it - never use em anyway)
  4. You get a bag of goodies (pair of socks, eye mask, ear plugs, toothpaste & toothbrush).
  5. You order "Lunch" off a regular menu.
  6. You get a pair of Bose-like (noise cancelling) headphones that you don't have to pay for. You gotta give em back though.
  7. You get your own personal television.
  8. The seat FULLY reclines and has a foot rest. And the seat is big enough that you can actually curl up in your seat and get some GOOD sleep. It was like Manna from Heaven.
  9. The attendant pulled out my tray and placed a mini linen tablecloth on it in preparation for my "lunch"
  10. The meal was served on CHINA with REAL silverware and glass stemware...and we were so close to the cockpit with all that REAL stuff.
  11. You don't have to pay for your drinks. And you can keep asking for refills. I must have kilt that bottle of wine. As a matter of fact, the alcohol was not served out of mini's, but FULL sized bottles - just like at a bar. UNBELIEVABLE.
  12. You get a bathroom that is only used by those in first class (approx 16-20 people vs. 200).
  13. They offer you a newspaper in the language of your choice. You don't have to buy one before you get on the plane.
  14. Snack time (yes, they have snack time) was ice cream...NOT served in little Styrofoam cups, but like mini Hagan Daas containers. Ron had 2. And if you want more snacks, they leave a bowl of fruit and basket of chips and stuff in the front kitchen. You can just help yourself. STOP THE MADNESS!
  15. You can have the WHOLE DAMN CAN of soda. Not just a cup.
  16. They offer you hot towels to freshen up before dinner and prior to landing.

I was just beside myself with joy. I felt like my cat when he looks real comfortable and curls up with a sigh. That was me! I ate my meal off of china, drank my wine out of glassware, reclined my seat all the way, put up the foot rest curled up under my binkie and watched a movie (several) on my personal TV. It was the most enjoyable, comfortable flight I've ever had.

I'll still be doing economy for domestic travel...ain't got it like that yet, but I had to tell Ron that it will just be UNACCEPTABLE to travel overseas anymore unless it is, at least, business class or higher. UNACCEPTABLE. Imagine my shock when he said "Deal." He must have really loved it too. I love my man - guess that is why I renewed my covenant for another 20.

Well, its back to reality - real life faces me...along with billions of emails and bills. Sooooo, off with the Travel Diva and back to being a Salesdiva...girl has to earn a livin'


Ah! Venice

I definitly believe that Venice has to have been THE best stop on this cruise next to Istanbul. The arrival was just incredible. If you are to come to Venice, you HAVE to see it as you arrive from the Bridge Deck (or anywhere at the front of the ship). It was THE most spectacular view and a navigational feat to watch as the Emerald Princess - this huge beast of a ship - navigated the main canal (I've forgotton the name) sailing right past St Marks Piazza. Just incredible.

Ron and I did a two excursions today. Once was a tour of Doge Palace & Murano Glass Demonstration (which I couldn't take pictures of the Master at work-BUMMER). The Palace was cool but we found the Murano Glass demonstration much more interesting. We watched as this man made a vase and a glass horse in the matter of less than 10 minutes. It was facinating. We (or rather Ron - cause, and I know this is hard to believe - I was bout spent out) found a glass piece that would go great in the house and ONLY cause Ron insisted, did we purchase it. Yeah Yeah. After our tours were finished, we had an evening gondola ride with serenade. It was so nice. It was one of the best days of the whole trip.

Today, we disembarked from the ship. The party is over. We are staying one more day in Venice and have dinner tonight at a restaurant that came highly recommended. After getting off the ship, we found our hotel, checked in and then went out for a little nic-nac shopping for last minute gifts for family & friends. Ron wanted to eat first (AGAIN) and just as we were about to go back out into San Marco's Square, I got the ultimate in good luck sign - I got dumped on by one of the millions of pigeons right on the top of my head. HOLY CRAP! Ron was amazed that I didn't have a total melt down and since we were not that far from the hotel, we went back so I could get the BIRD SHYT out of my hair. Only a Steptoe!

After clean up (it wasn't as bad as I thought), we ventured back out and found a cafe looking over the Grand Canal. Ron had a pizza while I enjoyed just the BEST gellatto I have ever had on the face of the earth. Yummy. Yummy (as our ship waiter would always say). We sat for a while and watched the tourists go by. People watching is absolutely fascinating. Finally, we went on another shopping trek and picked up some trinkets (Murano glass necklace for Cara's teacher and some other glass items), even picked up some Venitial Masks to add to the collection.

Ron is now taking a nap before dinner. I am writing to you as I watch the rain come down. First bit of rain I've seen in over 12 days. Tonight is our last night of our adventure. Tomorrow we board a flight home.

P.S. I was able to upgrade our seats on USAIR to business glass using our miles. Going home in comfort baby - AS IT SHOULD BE!!!


Views from the Emerald Princess

Keep Your Own Bag of Woes

Just when we thought we had some drama during the cruise, we overheard a converstation a girl was having at breakfast about her ordeal during the cruise....HER LUGGAGE (and the luggage of about 50+ other passengers on a flight from Frankfurt) NEVER ARRIVED - at least not all of it. She has had to spend most of the trip finding underwear, clothing, personal items while in the various ports.

I think I would have just died. CRUISE OVER.

How in the world would I have done my hair? By day 2, I would have looked like Ooom Foo Foo, the bush BEEYACH....something straight out of the Lion King. If you think I had trouble with the sizes of clothes in Naples, HOW ABOUT A DAMN BRA! Small just was not going to harness these girls in at all. Oh, and my shoes! Two days in confinement was NOTHING compared to the anquish I would have experienced and Ron would have had to endure if I didn't have my things for 12 days.

So, I peeked into somebody elses bag of woes, didn't like what I saw and grabbed my bag back. Moral of the story...hold onto your own bags of drama, intrigue and woes cause there is DEFINITLY somebody else who had a bigger bag of crapola than you. Gives you a whole different perspective on the matter. Would also be helpful if I thought about that while in the midst of my own drama, but then where would be the fun.


Romantic Tip of the Day from the Emerald Princess

Each day we get a newsletter in our stateroom mailbox called the “Princess Patter”. It is your daily guide to cruise activities aboard the ship – also known as your formal extortion guide. They do list the entertainment for the day but they also list all of the “deals” that are happening in the “Boutiques Onboard”, the “Lotus Spa” (where I did purchase a small country), the “Gatsby Casino”, the “Photo Gallery”, the “Art Gallery” and last but certainly NOT least…the Drink of the Day! If you are planning a cruise, it is not the price of the cabin/stateroom that you get that will kill you, it’s the alcohol, internet, cappuccino, spa, photo portraits, & shore excursion bill that will nearly bankrupt you. Buyers Beware.

One of the interesting things that I found in the Patter was the Romantic Tips of the Day.

· Always have a bottle of champagne on hand so you can celebrate anything (or nothing) at the drop of a hat (Ron and I have decided that we MUST adopt this one – my non-alcohol drinking husband has acquired a taste for champagne – I wonder how?)
· A kiss is a lovely trick designed by nature to stop speech when words become superfluous. (Look it up)
· Love is a process. Adjust your daily schedule in some small way to advance the process of love in your life. (ABSOLUTELY. Didn’t make it this long without this tip)
· Identify one pivotal event that brought the two of you together and celebrate that event every year. (Well, I’m not sure how we celebrate going to a Military Academy each year, but we do celebrate the Army-Navy Game each year – does that count?)Romantics do not put their partners first by ignoring their own needs and wants. Rather they put their relationship first. (Nuff said)


Athens, Greece

We arrived in Athens today and went on a tour of the Acropolis where we walked up approximately 80 steps leading to the Parthenon. It was a beautiful site overlooking all of the city of Athens.

After our tour we went down to The Plaka which is a 19th century shopping district at the foot of the Acropolis. Of course, it's streets are lined with shops, boutiques, jewelry stores, tavernas and cafes. Ron found an art store and decided to get some art to decorate the new "wing" with. Our general contractor (Tyree), who practically lives at our house cause he is still working on things here and there (can anyone remember the name of the guy who lived with Murphy Brown and was forever painting her house), put travatine and marble with glass accents on our new hallway that connects the old part of the house to the new. Well, Ron found a few pieces that he fell in love with to accent one of the walls in the hall even found a couple of pieces for Tyree that we are sure he can incorporate into something. (two white marble tiles with silver medallions depicting Greek athletes) I KNOW he will make something - probably incorporate them into some tile work.

We stopped to have something to eat at one of the local cafes, I found another charm (the Parthenon) for my charm bracelet and then Ron fended off the gypsies selling tablecloths. I thought for one second that Ron was going to take some old woman out cause he was tired of telling her no and even blurted out - "WHAT PART OF NO DO YOU NOT UNDERSTAND." Obviously, she only understood "yes" and "how many Euros?" cause she didn't pay Ron and mind.

Found out AGAIN that the world is just too small. As I was waiting for our tour guide to come gather us to get back on the ship, I was talking to a nice couple we met from North Carolina. He asked where in Clarksville did we live (cause they once lived in Columbia, MD - go figure). I told him the main cross-highways and after he indicated that he know exactly where that was, I told him our main street. He then told me that he had a best friend that used to live on our street on an out parcel of a farm that now had 4 houses on it with 3-4 acres each. GET OUT! He described the house and you won't believe this, but Ron and I bought that very house. NO WAY! Named the family and everything. Yep, that's them.

The world is just too small.

Kusadasi, Turkey: Path to Ephasus

Aren't I the smart one! I was one of two passengers to answer the question of the day (what bird can dive to a depth of up to 900 ft) - Well, if you have watched Happy Feet you would KNOW that it is an Emperor Penguin! I won Ron and I free drinks (that's a big deal when even a doggone soda costs a fortune) in the Adagio Bar where "we can enjoy an Italian aperitif, martini, or INDULGE in a delicious dessert after dinner - always with breathtaking views and live entertainment." I don't need an excuse to INDULGE, obviously (Dolly Parton ain't got nuttin on this sister), just bring me the certificate and I'm there. The detox, fast, diet and even my exercise plan will have to wait till I get back. Not only did I blow the whole program, I done BLEW UP. Yeah, yeah - sacrifices must be made in the name of fun and travel. That's what a TRAVEL DIVA does!

Ron and I made an appointment for a private portrait sitting two nights ago (cause it came with free snacks, wine & champagne). We spent an hour waiting our turn, drinking champagne and having a great time with a large group that was going before us. Ron, of course, made a business contact for some dealings he has going on in Vietnam. The man DOES know how to work a room. Anyway, we got the portraits back and SHAZAAM! We look MARVELOUS. I can't wait to scan them in when we get back for ya to see. All I can say is YEAH BABY! Or one of my favorite morning pick-me-ups/affirmations....(standing in front of your mirror)..."DAMN, I LOOK GOOOOOD! (snap you finger like you mean business). SHIT!

Okay, back to the story...
We arrived at Kusadasi, Turkey this afternoon. The entire town has been transformed into a center for tourists (complete with a Burger King and a Starbucks), with access to Ephesus and the entire Ionian coast. I was excited about this stop because I wanted to go to Ephesus - not to see all the Greek stuff - but because it was there that the apostle Paul tried to preach and proclaim Christianity in his workshop and the apostle John wrote part of the New Testament and also died there.

During our tour we walked through the remains of the Magnesia Gate which leads to a downhill marble-paved road right down into this Roman capital. It continues past the Odeium (small theater or concert hall), the Temple of Hadrian, the Celsus Library, and the Great Theater. The Great Theater had seating for 25,000, and it is the site where St. Paul preached to the Ephesians.

After the tour, we were taken back to port for some "free time" to shop. Ron wanted to get out of there and back on the ship lickity split. He said that the sole purpose of the shop keepers was to "pry the last dollar/Euro from your cold, dying hands." He fussed all the way back to the ship, mumbling something about having to haggle for me and wondering what damage I would do if I had money to burn. WHATEVER. He thought he was home free, but as we were passing through the customs building to get to the ship, there was a whole display of snow globes. I HAD to have one to add to my collection. Ron throws his hands up in the air, tells me to remember - "cold, dying hands" - and waits for me to complete my purchase. Since this was in the duty free section, I didn't have to bargain. Thank Goodness!

Tonight we sail for Athens, Greece...but first Ron and I went to a show in the Princess Theater...can you say bob & travel? It was kinda cute and all, but not anywhere near a Broadway-like performance (as they claim). I've found the little side shows in the Explorers Lounge or even Karaoke in Club Fusion to be much more entertaining. We are gonna try the comedy show tomorrow evening after Athens.
Till Then....