Monday, February 29, 2016

Leap day?

I've never understood why they call it 'Leap Year'.  

When a leap year occurs we add an extra day onto the month of Feb so there are 29 days instead of 28 days.  

But what does this have to do with leaping?  We're not leaping over a year, or even a day for that matter.  In fact, quite the opposite.  Rather than leaping over (skipping) a day, we're actually adding one.  

Wouldn't it make more sense to call it 'Add A Day', or 'Double Day', or 'Extra Day'?  I mean, almost anything would be better and more accurate than Leap Year.

And why is it necessary to add an extra day every four years?  Click here for the origin and history.

Friday, February 26, 2016


At first I thought this was one of those sensational headlines geared to alarm you but ultimately has no proof or science.  But as I read through it I realized this truly is an amazing breakthrough.

Terminally ill patients are left symptom free after treatment with modified cells - described as a "potential paradigm shift".

Check out the story and video HERE.

I sure wish this would have happened 17 years ago when Spouse's father was diagnosed with leukemia.  He passed away less than 2 months after his diagnosis.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Great weekend

On Sat I worked until 4pm.  Just a few minutes after I got home, our dear friends Hugh & Kerry and George and Kelly arrived!  Hugh & Kerry typically visit every year on the 1st weekend in Feb in order to participate in the Polar Bear Plunge, but this year it didn't work out since Spouse & I were on our cruise.  Hugh & Kerry were kind of looking for an excuse NOT to plunge into the cold ocean this year, but didn't want to skip a visit with us, so we mutually agreed on this past weekend.

After sitting around and talking for a little while, we decided to have dinner at Dos Locos.  It was busy that night and our friends the owners weren't there, so we ended up having to wait quite a while for a table.  But it was worth the wait as we all really enjoyed our food.  That night we returned home and talked and laughed some more until 11:30.

The next morning we lingered over bagels and coffee, discussing real estate, the presidential campaign, and hypothesizing about Obama's potential Supreme Court nomination.  When it was nearly noon we hugged our friends and said goodbye as they headed back to VA.  Can't believe I didn't take any photos while they were here.

Spouse (who has been sick with a cold all week) decided to take a nap, so I decided to take Big Ella out for some exercise.  Steven & Thad decided to join me and we enjoyed a Sun afternoon joyride.  Later that evening Spouse & I met up with them for dinner at Serendipity, an Italian restaurant we like that overlooks the Indian River.
It was their last night before closing down for 2 weeks, so our entrees were obscenely large.  We decided to take a piece of homemade almond pound cake home for dessert, which was likely the best pound cake I've ever had!  The owner's mother makes all the desserts.

It was a great weekend!

Friday, February 19, 2016

Monday, February 15, 2016

Cruise catch-up

We had a great time on our cruise!  The weather was great and we met several fun people.

Since I already shared a lot of details and photos about the Oasis of the Seas in this post, I'm just going to catch you up with a few personal pics and stories.

We had an exterior stateroom with a balcony that contained a table and 2 chairs.  We enjoyed many lovely vistas like this during our cruise.

Our 1st port of call was Nassau Bahamas.  Our friends Thad & Steve joined us for a group selfie.
We were not impressed by Nassau.  The famed 'straw market' was really just a big souvenir shop.

The ship was absolutely a major plus for the cruise.  It was absolutely enormous and had more shows and activities than you could see or do in a week.  I took this photo to demonstrate the size and scale of the ship.  Near the bottom right where the 'Royal Caribbean' logo is printed on the ship, there are people standing on the pier.  Look at the people, and then look at the height and length of the ship.  Mind.  Blown.

Our 2nd port of call was St Thomas, US Virgin Islands.  For $25 per person we went on a tour of the island which included several scenic stops and an hour to shop in town.  This photo was taken near the top of the mountain.

We were part of a group so we had a couple private functions throughout the week, one of which was a Mardi Gras party on Fat Tuesday.  Below I'm wearing a cool, feathered mask (purchased at the Dollar Tree for $1) and Spouse is wearing Mardi Gras beads.  I bought him a mask too, but he didn't want to cover up that handsome face of his. 

Our 3rd port of call was St Maarten, which turned out to be our favorite of the 3.  Below is a selfie taken aboard the water taxi which shuttled us from the pier to the beach.  You may notice that I always seem to be wearing the same green t-shirt.  That's because this t-shirt color-coordinated with all 3 swimsuits I brought.

The selfie below was taken on the beach in St Maarten.  No, we're not sunburned.  The reason we look red is because we're sitting underneath a red umbrella, so the sun through the umbrella cast a red haze over us.
The water was crystal clear turquoise and the beach was like sugar.  It was really beautiful there.

On our way back to the ship from St Maarten I took this photo.  Our ship is on the left, a 'normal' size cruise ship is on the left, and in front of the 'normal' size cruise ship are people standing there.  This helps you once again get some perspective on the enormity of the Oasis of the Seas.

When we got to the airport to come home it was 73 degrees in Ft Lauderdale.  A few hours later when we got off the airplane in Washington DC it was 15 degrees.  Two days later it snowed.  NOT the welcome we were hoping for, but we had a great time.

Monday, February 01, 2016

Warm and sunny Sunday

Wow, yesterday we had some pretty incredible weather!  It was bright and sunny, and the temperature got up to 63 degrees - on the last day of January!

Its hard to believe that just 1 week ago we had about 5 inches of snow.  Yesterday felt like Spring.

Spouse & I took the dogs for a nice long walk, and while doing so we saw several people wearing shorts and even a few cars with their convertible tops down.

Don't get me wrong - I'm not complaining.  In fact, I could get used to this kind of winter weather.