Wednesday, July 25, ’12: $1000.00 to purser’s office Embark QM2
H-86 Hamburg L H 86 L 59 H H 85 L 61 M H 82 L 64
L-72 C H 101 L 79
Bear update: The Bear says The Pirates Tried To Block Me From Coming Into Hamburg Party. TR says, “But we bulldozed our way through.” Moose say, “You couldn’t drive a bulldozer, Bear!” Lou says we will have a Bulldozer Party. We will serve Bulldozer Foods.
We woke up to sun. Will it last?
Tucson 100/76 Brooklyn 86/72
We woke up at 7:30AM. We got dressed and went downstairs to the hotel restaurant for breakfast for “fruhstuck”. We had cornflakes, orangenscaft, coffee, and pots of English breakfast tea. Then we paid the front desk and arranged for a taxi at 11:00AM. Gary called Hertz at the Hamburg Airport. They repeatedly didn’t answer the phone. He called Kemwell in America. They suggested road service when Gary told them that the car didn’t recognize the key and wouldn’t start. Gary said he didn’t have time and they would have to pick up the car. When he started to explain that the car was parked at the Best Western St. Raphael at Adenauerallee 41, he got cut off before he could give them the hotel phone number. I think they copied down the address. At least I hope so. We then transported the luggage down to the lobby and sat there for about ten minutes. I had barely enough time to check my bank account and notice that the Best Western in Salzburg, the Imlauer, put a charge for $519.60 through on my Fidelity Checking account. It’s now in negative numbers. Just as I was about to transfer money to cover the charge (the hotel obviously dropped the third night), the taxi arrived.
The taxi to the cruise terminal wasn’t as pleasant as the taxi to the airport ten days ago on July 15. We couldn’t open the windows in the back seat. The cab’s A/C was almost nonexistent. Fortunately it wasn’t a very long drive. We paid 15 euros to find out that the porters at the cruise terminal weren’t ready for us yet. The passengers were still disembarking. I decided to have everybody move inside to the cafe. But there weren’t any chairs at the tables. We had to compete with the crew for a bench along the wall. Gary bought Cokes, our last meal in Germany. Believe it or not, they served the drinks in glass cups! It was very warm inside the terminal building, which didn’t seem to be properly air-conditioned. Finally Gary got to check the baggage. Then it was time to board. The line snaked forward toward the counter where we were given room keys. Then we went through security and boarded the boat on the exact same ramps that we used to disembark 10 days ago. When we were boarding on the second, enclosed ramp I could feel the air-conditioning from the ship wafting down toward us.
We parked ourselves in the bar on deck 4 and used the bathroom adjacent to Sir Samuel’s. I checked the handbag shop. It was still not open. Gary took luggage up to 8081 using the elevator while Kenny and I waited. Then we all went up to see the new cabin on deck 8. We almost immediately went down to the King’s Court on 7 to eat lunch. We had Irish stew. We reserved four more nights at the specialty restaurants on deck 8 during the voyage, including tonight and tomorrow night. We sat there until 2:00PM, then we returned to our cabin. I made a reservation for lunch at Todd English tomorrow.
Gary spent most of the afternoon doing laundry on decks 8 and 10. All our clothes were filthy. They haven’t been cleaned since we were on the ship 10 days ago except once in Nurnberg when we sent select items to the valet laundry at the Hilton Hotel. Kenny and I went to the book shop on deck 8 to buy postcards. Gary joined us and bought a picture dictionary of the German language. We went back to the cabin to unpack. Then there was lifeboat drill on deck 7. We went back to our cabins to dress for dinner at 7:00PM. We went down to La Piazza for Italian food. We watched the ship start up the Elbe River while we ate. We went outside on the deck to take photos. Then we went down to deck 3 to buy a converter for the fan and some magnets. We saw boats following us. A Mississippi riverboat with a wheel in the back was following the ship!
Channel 40 on TV
Can you imagine a McDonalds With A McCafe That Looks Like a Bakery? This is a reality in all the autohofs in Germany, stops right off the autobahns. McDonalds is transformed into a posh cafe, serving fancy coffees and cappacinos, English breakfast teas, and pastries on china cups with real silverware. This is not a McDonalds any American would recognize. In all of Tucson, Arizona where I currently live they don’t even have a bakery that makes strawberry stuffed rolls with powdered sugar like that. It’s all very nice and expensive, but it interferes with the essential core of the fast food restaurant — quick in and out and a cheap meal.
Still no contract . . .
Thursday, July 26, ’12 exchange euros and pounds British Summer Time
H-64 North Sea L H 88 L 61 H H 79 L 59 M H 83 L 64
L- C H 99 L 78
Bear update: The Bear says We Have Set Sail Towards Tarthens Party. TR says, “I am bringing my prisoners to the King Bearus 2.” Moose say, “That sounds like Gobbledy Gook, Bear!” Lou says we will have a Gobbledy Gook Party. We will serve King Bearus Foods.
We woke up to sun. Will it last?
Tucson 97/78 Brooklyn 91/78 T-STORMS
We woke up at 8:00AM. We got dressed and went to breakfast at the King’s Court on deck 8. Kenny went to the lecture at Illuminations about the end of the world or some such rot. Gary and I went to the Immigrations Inspection on deck three at the Britannia Restaurant to pick up the passports and get them stamped. They handed me Gary’s and Kenny’s passports, but they couldn’t find mine. We sat there minute after minute as they shuffled through the pack of passports. The lady called the manager. She said they’d have to check. We went back up to the room in a sullen mood. I wanted to know what would happen if they didn’t find it. We stopped by the shop on deck 3 and snapped a photo outside on deck 7. Gary called. They called back to say they found it stapled to cabin 4072. Gary went to tend to more laundry. We went to lunch at Todd English in the aft section of deck 8. Gary and I ordered steak. Kenny ordered chicken. For an appetizer we had bibb lettuce. We talked to a waiter who remembered President Bush’s visit in early May. He said you wouldn’t recognize President Bush, but he did. The couple didn’t stay for very long. They left after only 45 minutes just as other guests started to arrive. He said Barbara Bush walks very fast. Gary went down to the purser to exchange all the British pounds and the rest of the euros. He mailed 24 postcards that have been accumulating for days. They represent most of the postcards from Salzburg on. The ship is charging $69.50 to frank and mail them which sounds like highway robbery. Gary went out on the patio to read a book while we left the door open. Kenny sat on the sofa and read a book. I sorted through the luggage and sorted out the souvenirs, postcards, calendars, etc and started to repack them. We had a reservation at 7:00 for the Carvery but by 6:00PM no one wanted to wait to eat any longer. We went down to the King’s Court and had roast beef at the buffet, better than they were going to serve at the Carvery and for nothing extra. We strolled briefly on the promenade deck. Then we went downstairs to shop on deck 3. I finally broke down and bought a purse, a Guess handbag with as shoulder strap to complement the elephant tapestry bag. Gary got a pair of shorts. Kenny went to fetch water in the Chart Room. Gary called the Britannia Dining Room about getting a B-Day cake tomorrow night.
Cunard Lost My Passport! 7/26/12: We lined up at the Hamburg Cruise Terminal to board the QM2 for the return voyage to Brooklyn. The Cunard officials collected our passports when they gave us our keys. They claimed that they would return them today during the U.K. Immigration Inspection. We lined up this morning between 10 and 11 at the inspection to collect our passports and get them stamped. My son’s and husband’s passports were right there. But they couldn’t find mine. Only hours later after much hassle did they find the passport. It was stamped to the cabin number we had on the voyage over to Hamburg, cabin 4072 instead of the one we occupy right now, cabin 8081. I can’t imagine what inconvenience I would have to endure if they left it behind in Hamburg or somehow lost it. Why do they have to “collect the passports”? I’ve heard that German Immigration Officials want it that way. That’s at the expense of common sense. Common sense dictates that you stamp the passport as the passenger presents it to you. Then you return it on the spot. Nothing else makes any sense considering how important passports are supposed to be these days .
Today’s postcard reads:
We are crossing the southern reaches of the North Sea. We are passing Holland and Amsterdam. by 5:00P, we will be passing Antwerp, Belgium. By 9:00PM we should be passing Dover in the English Channel. We are supposed to arrive at Southampton at 6:30AM tomorrow. It’s 64 outside on the deck.
I should add that the sea temperatures are 61. Seas are slight. Germans are swimming in the pool behind Todd English on deck 8, which looks like another lively spot on the ship. We were the only ones having lunch in the restaurant. Everybody else was outside at the tables at the bar and in the pool or lounging in the deck chairs. I took a photo of Gary standing beside the pool, which is very tiny and predictably is up a set of wet stairs. They look very dangerous.
Still no contract . . .
Friday, July 27, ’12: Southampton: Azores Summer Time
H-75 Southampton L H 76 L 54 RAIN H H 83 L 66 M H 85 L 66
L- C H 97 L 76
Bear update: The Bear says Tomorrow We Will Have A Stick The Pirates With A Sword Party. TR says, “That ought to make them heel.” Moose say, “I’d like to meet you heel, Bear!” Lou says we will have a Stick ‘Em With A Sword Party. We will serve Swordfish. Lou says The Old Man Is Conspiring With The German Pirates To Help Them Escape.
We woke up to clouds. Will they last? They lasted, and the temperature in the carport climbed to 75.
Tucson 100/79 Brooklyn 88/75 T-STORMS
We woke up at 7:00AM British Summer Time, really 8:00AM Central European Time. We got dressed and had room service breakfast. We spent the entire morning in our cabin listening to announcements and using the internet. The final call to disembark in Southampton came at 10:10AM. Because we’re in port and no one else on the ship is using the internet, the performance is the best I’ve seen. We paid Gary’s bar dues, checked the water bill, checked Kindle sales and downloaded the reports, checked the electric bill, logged onto Fidelity and transferred money to pay the BW Imlauer in Salzburg, checked Kenny’s credit card, email, and bank accounts, got on Facebook, downloaded the weather widgets, bought a toy on Amazon.com, downloaded general email, etc. We also called Kemwell in NYC about the car pick up, called the BW in Hamburg, and called Hertz. They haven’t picked up the car yet, but they know where it is at the Best Western St. Raphael on Adenauerallee 41. The front desk clerk in Hamburg still has the key. We went to lunch at 12:00 noon down on deck 7 at the King’s Court. We took a brief walk on the deck. Then we returned to our cabin to find out that the room hadn’t been made up. The breakfast tray was still there. We called the steward and room service to get no response from either.
I started working on the itinerary in the US. I’m plotting out the time to Virginia Beach. It takes almost as long as I had originally mapped out to get back to Tucson. Who knows when we will ever get back there? I’ve also added up figures for what Gary’s earned for the first time since early in the trip in the 20’s of June.
We took a break mid-afternoon to get lemonade on deck 7. The room still wasn’t made up. We called my parents and the kennel. We got the breakfast tray picked up. We’ve gone through most of our internet minutes in only two days, especially today, but then after this we won’t be able to do much with it until we get back to the States. It’s probably not worth doing much besides trying to download email until then.
We went to La Piazza for dinner at 7:00 just as we did two nights ago. But we planned to have dessert in Britannia. We went down to deck three. Gary went to the purser to trade in foreign coins. Kenny and I bought a wallet for Nam from Harrods. Gary said the purser won’t take foreign coins. Great! We’re stuck with them after exchanging a wad of bills yesterday. We showed up at Britannia at 8:30PM. They seated us at a table with three other people from Germany. Kenny bolted. We told them to send the cake up to the cabin via room service. I had to scream at them on the phone. I snapped photos of the sunset on 7 and went down to the King’s Court with Gary to grab cakes. We got back to the room at the same moment as room service. We lighted a candle and sang happy birthday complete with a card. Gary’s B-Day gift was the shorts yesterday. He wore them today. Boy, did he need them!
1000 guests from Hamburg to NYC, many of them Germans. Tune to channel 40 for announcements.
$83.08 is what we owe on the water bill right now. It’s due on 8/13/12. The last bill was sent on 7/24/12. That must be the bill for watering the plants.
Message from Captain as cast off:
Southampton water, past big tankers, move past inbound ships, speed up to go down channel, Gravel Bank, N side of Isle of Wight, E and down the channel, free to go English Channel, early tomorrow morning passing Bishop’s Rock to begin formal Transatlantic crossing, slight seas, winds 3 to 4 NW as proceed out into the Atlantic. Party on Deck 8 as leave port. Land of Hope and Glory. Yell, “Hip-hip-hooray!” Play God Save the Queen. Voyage 182 Transatlantic crossing. We were on the 181st.
Why Do Boarding and Disembarking Have To Be Such An Ordeal? 7/27/12
Captain Christopher Wells said we have 2600 passengers aboard the QM2. 1600 are disembarking in Southampton today. Why can’t they have porter service to your cabin so you can disembark for a fee, tipping the baggage handler, and can disembark when you want? In other words, why don’t they have walk off, self-disembarkation for everyone but with assistance for the suitcases? Why does everyone have to be in a line or in a group to get off with a time assigned to you?
Disembarking from a cruise ship ought to be made more convenient! You don’t have to go through metal detectors and at least in Germany we didn’t have to go through customs either. I suspect New York will be more of an ordeal in that respect, but couldn’t they do customs on the ship before you disembark to save time? Then you could head down to deck 3, walk through the exit doors to the ramp, and take a photo of the ship in port. It could be that simple.
We left Southampton for NYC on Gary’s B-Day. We passed big tankers and inbound ships. We are to pass the north side of the Isle of Wight. B tomorrow morning we should be in the English Channel. Bishop’s Rock is the traditional beginning of the Transatlantic Voyage. Winds are 3 to 4 NW and seas slight.
Still no contract . . .
Saturday, July 28, ’12: Cape Verde Time
H-61F L H 67 L 52 H H 71 L 52 T-STORMS M H 78 L 62 T-STORMS
L- C H 96 L 76
Bear updates: The Bear says Fatty Is Trying To Rouse The Atlantic Pirates Against Us Party. TR says, “I will poke him with a sword.” Moose say, “Me hopes Fatty pokes you, Bear!” Lou says we will have a Fatty And The Atlantic Pirates Party. We will serve Atlantic Foods.
We woke up to clouds. Will they last? They lasted, and the temperature outside on the deck was 61.
Tucson 91/74 T-STORMS Brooklyn 82/72 T-STORMS
We woke up at 7:30AM. We got dressed and went down to the King’s Court for breakfast. We had a photo op on deck 7. Then we returned to the cabin. The room hadn’t been made up yet. The steward isn’t on our schedule the way the stewardess was on the way over. Kenny went to the 10:00AM Insights Lecture on Juliard and to another one on Central Park after that. We went down to deck 7 to take a walk along one side of the ship and back while I took videos. Then we went to the bookshop and looked for materials on the Queen Mary. They caught my eye. Somehow I’d never though of the QM2 as a source of such research materials. We stopped by the library and sat in armchairs overlooking the bow of the ship. I took more videos. Gary checked out a book on WW2. I found one on the Queen Mary with lots of photos that could be useful for Captive At The Berghof. When we got back to the cabin at 11:20AM the steward was making it up. Amazing! I studied the book from the library, trying to glean details for Berghof, especially from the photos. We showed up for lunch at 12:00 noon at Todd English and were seated. Kenny showed up shortly after that. The captain came on with his report. We ordered sirloin burgers for lunch along with the fancy salads. They gave us finger bowls with lemon slices and hot water. It made your fingers smell good. About 1:15 we returned to our cabins. Somehow they talked me into going to the classical concert at 2:15 in the Royal Court Theater. Even that now has a more popular bent. The lady just sang a song from My Fair Lady. We had tea in Sir Samuel’s on the way back up to the room and paused in the shops. We went to dinner at the Chef’s Galley to watch a demonstration of French cooking. We bought towels and got a cheese plate to return to our cabin.
It is more windy and cooler than yesterday. If this keeps up, we’ll be back to long pants soon. The first three nights of the voyage — Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday — we slept with the door propped open to the balcony. In fact, we had it either propped open or all the way open all day long those three days. On Thursday afternoon sun shined into our cabin and heated it up. Gary sat out there and read. Now I can see it will probably be shut most of the time.
Cunard’s Bad Manners 7/28/12: We were given second seating, late dinner, at 8:30PM on the third level in the Britannia Restaurant. That’s too late for us to eat dinner. In fact, we’re the early dinner crowd, frequently eating back home at 4:30 or 5:00PM. So we never intended to show up for it. But yesterday, July 27, was my husband’s birthday. We called to order a cake. They said they would present a cake at dinner. We said we’d come only for the cake after eating dinner at La Piazza on 7. When we showed up at Britannia at 8:30PM, they seated us at a table with three total strangers. This was a private birthday celebration. We were outraged. We demanded that they serve it via room service in our cabin.
It isn’t “modern” to be seated at a table with strangers. The age of that kind of socialization is over. In the time when it existed many of the socialite passengers knew each other anyway, or at least knew of each other. In this age of transportation for the masses instead of just socialites, it’s an insult to be seated with people you don’t know from Adam. That’s why they don’t do it on shore. It reminds me of Amtrak. I haven’t booked a long distance train ride on Amtrak in years.
TOT: $15, 841.84 Fidelity accounts
At 8:00AM we passed Bishop’s Rock. By noon we were in the Celtic Sea. By 5:00PM we left the Continental Shelf of Europe for the main part of the Atlantic Ocean. It’s 61 outside on the deck.
Still no contract . . .
Sunday, July 29, ’12: West Greenland Summer Time
H-62 L H 64 L 51 RAIN H H 63 L 52 M H 72 L 58
L- C H 95 L 77
Bear update: The Bear says The Pirates Stole The Bathrobes Party. TR says, “Who knows what else he ran off with.” Moose say, “Me wishes he’d run off with you, Bear!” Lou says we will have a Bathrobe Nabbing Party. We will serve Stolen Foods.
We woke up to clouds. Will they last? They lasted, and the temperature on the deck climbed to 62.
Tucson 90/72 T-STORMS Brooklyn 78/70 T-STORMS
We woke up at 7:30AM. We got dressed and had room service breakfast. We spent the morning in the room doing work on the computer. We had room service lunch. At 2:00 PM Kenny went to the concert downstairs. We went to the book shop. I bought a Stonehenge book mark for my father and more postcards. We sat in the library. I took an extensive video of the sea going by. I borrowed another book on English gardens. We returned to the cabin to meet Kenny. He’d gotten water, too. We spent the rest of the afternoon in our cabin. We went down to deck 7 for dinner at the King’s Court. I bought more internet minutes. After dinner we watched the DVD about the Queen Mary that I bought yesterday. We did postcards.
QM2 Charges For Too Many Food Extras 7/29/12:.
When you book a cruise or a passage on the QM2, you expect to have your room and board paid for in it’s entirety. You soon find out that it’s not true — even when it comes to the cabin! As soon as you make your first trip to the purser on deck 2, you discover that they’ve added an automatic tip of $99.00 to your room tab for each person in your room. You can get one $99.00 subtracted if you have three, but two of the $99.00’s stick no matter what even if you don’t like the service or the room steward or stewardess. If you order bottled water at meals they charge you over $5.00 a bottle. If you order Coke, the same thing happens. Their excuse? It comes “from the bar”, whatever that means. Even tea and coffee aren’t completely free. If you sit down at Sir Samuel’s on deck 3 and order either you get a charge added to your room. And if you want to keep bottles of water in your room to drink at odd hours, you have to pay either room service or the bar for the privilege.
Not even the food is completely free. If you eat lunch or dinner at Todd English you incur a hefty charge. If you eat dinner on deck 7 at one of the specialty restaurants in the King’s Court — the Chef’s Galley, the Carvery, or La Piazza — you get an automatic $10.00/person cover charge added to your bill. (They also bill you separately for bottled water.)
Isn’t there anyway to eat and drink for free — in other words for what you already paid when you bought the ticket? Yes, eat at the Britannia Restaurant on decks 2 and 3. That’s the restaurant that almost everyone on the ship is assigned to unless you’re in the grills because you have a suite on decks 9 or 10. But even there they charge for bottled water and soft drinks. The only totally free option for dining is the self-service buffet part of deck 7, the King’s Court. Whatever you can find there no one will charge you for. But it’s a mob scene. It’s hard to find a table to sit at. Entrees run out and you have to wait for them to be restocked. And the only drinks you’ll find most of the time are: orange juice, apple juice, milk, lemonade, tap water, a selection of teas, and hot coffee. Room service is provided, but the menu is extremely limited, and the same drink limitations apply.
Great Circle Course 3000 and 4000 meters of sea between us and sea bed. Sailing on Great Circle provides shortest distance. Have to constantly adjust ship’s course. Long ocean crossing. Best done by following Great Circle. Going N. 5:00Pm going due NW. Reach vertex of circle, then go S, heading progressively further southward. 51 degrees N is N most point, then heading S to Newfoundland. Nice and calm. Low lying clouds, patches of blue sky good for Atlantic crossing. 2700 meters depth under keel. 19.4 knots speed. 2283 nautical miles to NY, 62 outside, 59 in ocean, seas slight. I filmed the ocean going by from deck 8, the library.
We continue to pursue the Great Circle Route across the Atlantic. Today we reached the northern apex of the route. We started south towards Newfoundland. We saw patches of blue sky. It’s 62 outside on the deck and 59 in the ocean. Seas are slight.
We got a long email from Christine at the kennels. Apparently Putlitz’s stroller broke! I had to go on Amazon and order another one quick. It’s supposed to be delivered on Wednesday.. This was the email in its entirety:
Hi linda and Gary Lots of love from your kids at Parkview Kennels We have recieved several packages for Sabaka and Pulitz. We love being part of your trip with your post cards! I read them to both Pulitz and Sabaka while we are taking our brake during our walks. I hope you are receiving these emails. I have sent 2 prior to this one and dont know if you have got them. What I am going to do is email them to Sharcon@comcast.net so they are emailed twice. The last two emails consisted of telling you how beautiful the roses were an about Pulitz’s stroller. So 1st and foremost Sabaka and Pulitz are doing very well. Both recieved the meds on the dates they were to be given. Thank you again for the roses, they are magnificent. They are fully bloomed now and have them in my bedroom so I can adore them as soon as I awake. 2nd in case you didnt get my email was the zipper on Pulitz stroller is broke. I will take the stroller to a shoemaker on Monday and hopefully he will be able to repair it. Look for my email on Monday around 5pm Pittsburgh time.
I dont know what I will do without the stroller for Pulitz if the shoemaker cant fix it, if you have any suggestions please email me and let me know. Other than that Sabaka looks amazing and his exercise level is almost a mile 3/4 without a break on a daily basis. He eats like a king. Every Sunday is King Day for Sabaka his day starts with 1/2 cup of dry food (solid gold) is the dry he eats mixed with 1/2 chicken or ground meat or the lamb or beef roll. Then the King has brunch which is scrambled eggs, pancakes (which he LOVES) and or bacon or sausage with a piece of toast. Sabaka loves my cooking!!! He has brunch around 10 or 10:30 am I like us to be in the park by 11am. We walk a little and go to creek and he gets his paws and my feet wet. Pulitz watches along with my daughter. They both think we are fools. Thankfully Stephanie goes with me every Sunday for 2 to 3 hrs. Her and Pulitz don’t have as much fun as Sabaka and I do! After we cool our Paws we go to the pet store and walk around and normally buy a frozen bone or a box of greenies so Sabaka can have special treats daily. I havent done a very good job on keeping the receipts, but we still have about 40 dollars left and I will be getting more lamb roll and dry and ground meat and chicken. We still have lots of rice left. I make sure Sabaka has a huge variety of food. He gets tired of the same old vegetables and likes the can veggies over fresh. Also I put Peanut Butter in his King Kong, this keeps him busy while he is inside of the kennel and so do the frozen raw meat bones along with the greenies.
I get special treats for Pulitz while at the Pet Store too but Pulitz is finicky! Pulitz would much prefer to hang out and watch the fish and the exotic parrotts, they also have ferretts that
Pulitz would love to play with! HaHa Pulitz sometimes plays with toys, expecially the snake with the feathers on it- that is Pulitz’s favorite!
After the pet store we go to Starbucks and thats where everyone asks questions about Pulitz! I get them both fresh water from Starbucks and Stephanie and I get our mocha latte’s We hang out for about 30 to 40mins an then back to the park, normally we walk around the pond hoping there will be ducks for Pulitz to look and if there are Stephanie and Pulitz watch while Sabaka and I walk around 1 time. We are really enjoying spending time with them and quite honestly I get to spend quality time with my daughter also, so thank you guys so much for that. We are normally home before 2 and relax till about 4pm We always eat early on Sundays It is roast night for us so of course we make a big roast because we also have alot of dogs! Pulitx has tried duck, and tuna and salmon but really only likes salmon. I get Pulitz a small piece from the grocery store every week. If there is something different that Pulitz likes please let me know. So we all enjoy roast on Sundays-maybe you guys will be home on a Sunday and join us.
Well all is well and I need to get back to work so answer if possible and I do read the post cards to the kids and we all enjoy being a part of your trip! Again thank you for the roses and I will email soon
SABAKA & PULITZ
christine and stephanie and staff at Parkview Kennels
Still no contract . . .
Monday, July 30, ’12
H-61 deck L H 64 L 54 H H 64 L 52 T-STORMS M H 73 L 54
L- C H 96 L 78
Bear update: The Bear says Fatso Has Been Put Into Solitary Confinement TR says, “He was conspiring with malefactors back on Wallen Ridge Drive.” Moose say, “Sounds like you, Bear!” Lou says we will have an Exterminate The Malefactor Party. We will serve Wallen Ridge Brew.
We woke up to clouds. Will they last? They lasted with patches of blue and the temperature on the deck climbed to 61.
Tucson 93/73 T-STORMS Brooklyn 80/71
We woke up at 7:30AM. We got dressed and had room service breakfast — corn flakes with bananas for a change. We spent the morning in the cabin doing paperwork. All the sudden today everyone starts responding to my blogs about the ship. We ordered room service lunch — cheeseburgers with tomato soup. After lunch Kenny went to see The Canterbury Tales again and to buy water. Gary and I went to the library. We returned a book and got others out. One on Germany, an Eyewitness Guide, has to be returned tomorrow. I got some snapshots of the sun and the clouds. We also bought postcards, a booklet, and bookmarks. I realized that the Stonehenge book marker is appropriate for Gwen only. It has to be sewed. I have to get my father a book with other book marks. We returned to the cabin to read books and write postcards. We went to dinner at the King’s Court at 5:30PM. They were late opening. After dinner we took snapshots on the deck. Then we went up to the room and looked at downloaded photos. Then we viewed the photos on the second, now finished, card —- photos from Nuremberg to today.
The Internet — Cunard’s Great Rip Off
I just paid $89.95 for 240 minutes of online service. That sounds like more than you could possibly use on a 9-day crossing from Hamburg, right? The thing is this is the second time I’ve bought the package on this voyage. So far I’ve bought 480 minutes worth of time. Where does it all go? After you sign in you try to get on Amazon or your bank account, but it takes many tries to do so. You get charged for all the time you waste. Are you getting the picture? You try to download your email. But the download is ridiculously slow particularly if you get a lot of mail. You get charged all during that download time. You should get charged by the amount of data you use or download. That would be a better system. But of course Cunard wants to rip you off.
6 sea days, only 3 days over ocean floor areas, last three days continental shelf America , last sea day, only middle 3 have depths 4000 meters, middle day , early hrs this morning crossing mid Atlantic Ridge, NS axis ocean, immensely long mountain chain extends from arctic ocean near Iceland down to S tip of Africa 10, 000 miles, miles width 1000 miles, sometimes reach sea level form islands such as Azores, crest of ridge long valley zone of sea floor spreading, magma wells up and cools, sea floor spreading outward from ridge, Atlantic Ridge widening 4 o 10 cm every year, 172 years crossing distance increasing prices up to pay for fuel, 8 meters increase of distance bet Southampton and NYC, depressing to South of us in last few hrs, more windy, temperature down, misty stuff lifted and can see where going
650 nautical miles north of Azores, speed 20 knots, 459 nautical miles since yesterday, 1819 miles to NYC, dry with patches of fog, 61 F, 59 sea temp, 20 knots wind, seas slight, forecast seas to remain same, possibility of showers
This is the last “sea day” of the Transatlantic Voyage. There are six all together. The last three are over the continental shelf of America. Today is the last over the actual ocean floor. Early this morning we crossed the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. We have dry weather with patches of fog and blue skies. It’s 61F on the deck.
Write blog about why QM2 reminds you of your RV. Also should be all-inclusive resort like dude ranch — no honor bars! Charge extra only for liquor.
Still no contract . . .
Tuesday, July 31, ’12
H-59 L H 68 L 59 H H 66 L 55 M H 75 L 60
L- C H 97 L 78
Bear update: The Bear says That Wallen Ridge Freak Has Taken Over The Western White House In My Absence Party. TR says, “It will take an Armada Of Pirates to blast him out.” Moose say, “Me’d rather blast you out, Bear!” Lou says we will have a Blasting Party. We will serve Pirate Foods.
We woke up to clouds. Will they last? They lasted, and the temperature on the deck climbed to 59.
Tucson 93/73 T-STORMS Brooklyn 81/71
We woke up at 7:30AM. We got dressed and ate room service breakfast. We spent the morning in our cabin working on the computer and going online. We ordered room service lunch. The same British waiter delivered it. After lunch Gary culled through his list of names on the computer. Kenny will have to check their phone numbers. I made list of legal contacts to call from the list on my red phone. Kenny went to the classical concert at 2:00PM. We went to the library and the book shop. We returned to the cabin. We went to dinner at the King’s Court buffet on deck 7 at 5:30PM. We took a short stroll on the deck and took movies all the way up to the room — along with all those laundry room movies I took today.
It’s The KIng’s Court Or Room Service For Me Since There’s No Pizza Delivery . . . 7/31/12
After putting up with bungling waiters in Britannia who constantly interrupted our conversation and having to practically serve ourselves at Sir Samuel’s on more than one occasion we decided that we won’t patronize anything except the King’s Court or room service for the rest of the voyage. We tried the pub on deck 2 only to have a waiter pester us and try to get us to hurry up so he could seat someone else. We tried Todd English on 8. Even here the waiters interrupted the noon report when the captain was speaking and I was trying to take notes. And after two lunches there we had always exhausted their menu, which was expensive. We had several dinners in the a la carte section of deck 7, La Piazza and The Carvery. We always had Russian waiters. My son is a Russian translator. Even he had a hard time communicating with them. Also we don’t like waiting until 7:00PM to eat dinner. We even tried the Chef’s Galley when they were demonstrating French cooking. We walked out in the middle of the presentation after we ate the main course. This was the slowest option of all. It was going on 8:30, and we were still not done with all the courses. Back at home we’re used to eating by 5:00PM. And the long dinner was causing us to miss sunset on the deck. We wanted to take photos.
The King’s Court, though it is crowded, supposedly starts serving dinner at 5:30PM. That’s the closest to the time we’re used to eating. It seems to have the most choices. No one interrupts you when you’re dining. Room service has a limited menu. But at least you can eat whenever you want to 24 hours/day. No one interrupts you by knocking on your door mid-meal telling you that someone else it to be seated in your cabin.
What the ship needs is a pizza outlet that delivers to your cabin or to some table on deck 7. The tables ought to have numbers for this purpose. And they ought to fix the wi-fi so you can order from your computer.
Noon Report: 7/31/12:
Atlantic Ocean nice , flat, calm. 3 days on proper ocean section. Just coming to end of third day of ocean. About to come onto continental shelf of N Am. Grand Banks of Newfoundland. Shallower area 200 miles E called Flemish Cap, circling around n perimeter of Flemish cap. 350 E of St John’s in Newfoundland. Underwater plateau. Depths at center of cap 120 meters to 700 meters. Cold waters of Labrador current mixes with warmer waters from North Atlantic current spinning off with Gulf Stream. Refuge for marine species during Ice Age. Fishing grounds comparable with Grand Banks. Pilot whales visible earlier. Evening Grand Banks higher chance whale sighting. Grand Banks inside Canada. Flemish Cap outside Canada. Overfishing. Red fish decline in recent years. 461 nautical miles since yesterday. 19.2 knots average speed. 1359 nautical miles to NYC. 59 on deck 55 ocean 6 AM Cape Grace tomorrow
Today we came to the end of the third day of ocean travel in deep water. We reached the Continental Shelf of North America. This evening we entered the Grand Banks, a rich fishing area. The crew have sighted pilot whales. At 6:00AM tomorrow we are supposed to pass Cape Grace. It might even be visible if we can get rid of the fog. The temperature on the deck is 59,
Still no contract . . .
Wednesday, August 1, ’12
H-66 on deck L H 73 L 59
L- C H 97 L 78
Bear update: The Bear says We Have Tortured The Mary Bears Party. TR says, “The Pirate In Tarthens is selling pool passes.” Moose say, “Me will blow up your pool, Bear!” Lou says we will have a Blow Up The Pool Party. We will serve Mary Bear Foods.
We woke up to clouds. Will they last? They lasted with intervals of sunshine, and the temperature on deck climbed to 66.
Tucson 97/74 Brooklyn 82/72
We woke up at 7:30AM. We got dressed and had room service breakfast. We got the customs forms in the morning. They consumed our attention. We ordered room service lunch. I wrote down the captain’s report. After lunch we went to the library to return a book. Kenny met us there. We put in the laundry and went down to deck 3 to the shop to buy more key chains, etc. We went back to the room. I’m finishing up with a book on Queen Mary I to return to the library tomorrow. There was a whale sighting on deck 7. I’m taking movies of the book. We went to dinner at the King’s Court. We’re trying to figure out how to disembark.
day 5, over continental shelf since around 5 yesterday afternoon when came onto Grand Banks Newfoundland, patches of fog yesterday, before midnight and thru this morning clear, unusual, Cape Grace on Avalon Peninsula part of Newfoundland 5 AM, lighthouse could see for 20 miles away, heading down to Sable Island, Lorentian Channel for 4 hrs or so, outflow from St Lawrence Seaway, cold Labrador current mixes with warm waters of Gulf Stream, lifts nutrients to surface, richest fishing grounds in world, shellfish lobster, sea birds, haddock, swordfish, seals, dolphins, whales, summer Gulf Stream melts ice, in March and April don’t come to Grand Banks, summer cross center part of Grand Banks and come as far N as Cape Grace
45 56 long 76 nautical miles S of Newfoundland, speed of 19 nauts, 484 natuical miles isnce yesterday, 2227 mi from Southampton, NYC distance 841 nautical miles 19 degrees 66 F on deck sea temp 61 seas slight forecast wind increase showers
What language do they speak aboard the QM2? 8/1/12
I don’t know what Cunard pays it’s stewards, stewardesses, waiters, waitresses, and functionaries. But not all of them seem to understand what you are saying. Nor can you understand them. When I was disembarking in Hamburg a worker was speaking to me about something I’d forgotten to give him. He kept putting his hand out. I shrugged and walked down the gangway off the ship.
Many times waiters in the Britannia Dining Room didn’t understand what you were ordering. When you gave directions to have the salad served with the main part of the meal they ignored you. When you wanted the bill for the bottle of water they didn’t provide it or gave you something else. A waitress in the specialty section of the King’s Court didn’t understand when we told her we wanted to make a reservation for another night.
QM2 Should Go Faster 8/1/12
One week ago today we boarded the ship in Hamburg. One week later we just passed Cape Grace. One cannot help but think we should be in New York by now. Why all this slowness? The maiden voyage of the first Queen Mary was 4 days, 5 hours, and 24 minutes. The length of first voyage to set transatlantic record in August of 1938 was 3 days, 21 hours, and 48 minutes. Essentially that would mean you’d leave Southampton on Friday and get in late in the afternoon on Tuesday. This is Wednesday. I feel cheated. I wanted to be there Tuesday. You think this is blasphemy! I’m supposed to want to enjoy every day of the cruise going to concerts and plays by RADA, taking tea in the Queen’s Room, sitting by the window in the library reading books, going to the spa. Of course I do, but in moderation. I’m like the people years ago. I’m taking the ship as transportation between New York and Europe. I hate airplanes, and this was the only other available means of transportation. Instead what does Cunard do? They lengthen the voyage next year from 7 days to 8 and from 9 to 10 to Hamburg. I figured I’d better go this year before it gets even slower.
We passed Cape Grace at 5:00AM this morning. It’s on the Avalon PEninsula, part of Newfoundland. The lighthouse could be seen from 20 miles away. These waters are rich in shellfish, lobster, seabirds, haddock, swordfish, seals, dolphins, and whales. During the afternoon we went out on the promenade deck to watch whales breeching. The temperature on the deck is 66.
We got an email from Christine Lewis today. She received the stroller. Here’s the email in its entirety:
Hi Gary Hi Linda, I was emailing you two yesterday when the UPS man arrived telling you that I tried velcro and that the shoemaker was on vacation. Well to my surprise and of course Pulitz’s surprise a stroller arrived. We went on the lonest walk ever! Thank you so much from your pretty kitty. I was racking my brain trying to figure out what will work. The shoemaker will be back in town on Wens so let me know if you want me to take the stroller and see if it can be repaired. We went out early this morning because they are calling for rain and we went to the pet store as usual. We got a lamb and beef roll for Sabaka and kitty treats for Pulitz. I always make sure that Pulity has can while we are out and also water for the both of them. Today is also bath day for Sabaka – he absolutely loves his baths. I use a rubber scrubber in each hand and massage him for at least 10minutes. He also got his octopus-I had to get rid of a few toys he was destroying and ripping apart for fear he may ingest some of the toy. Pulitz loves the snake
Its become extremely hot and humid in my apartment so I moved Pulitz kennel to the living room-its much more comfortable than my apartment. I haven’t even been sleeping there due to the heat. I also got your email about just using the harness. We did not use a chain collar at all just the buckle collar and the harness. Sabaka is so silly he does circles when we get to the park because he so excited. I know Pulitz probably wishes he didnt know us because so riduculous when we run around. Tonight will be just Pulitz and myself taking a walk. We do this occasionally-we stroll around the high school after Pulitz has been bird watching all afternoon. Well back to work-Is your pick-up date still the same or will that change? I don’t want to tell the kids that your coming home soon if there is a delay. Enjoy the rest of your vacation and lots of doggy kisses and purrrrrrs from your babies!
Sabaka & Pulitz
Still no contract . . .
Thursday, August 2, ’12
H-71 on deck
Bear update: The Bear says We Have Tortured Fatty And The Old Man Party. TR says, “What the hell is Walipurgis Night.” Moose say, “You’re too stupid to find out, Bear!” Lou says we will have a Stupid Bear Party. We will serve Mysterious German Foods.
We woke up to clouds. Will they last? They lasted, and the temperature on the deck climbed to 70.
Tucson Brooklyn 88/72
We woke up at 7:30AM. We got dressed and ate room service breakfast. We paged the steward to get rid of the breakfast trays, pick up the trash, and hand us new towels. “Don’t hang up. We are paging your correspondent. Then they say, “We are paging your correspondent. Please hang up.” We proceeded to pack. We attempted to get a machine for the laundry. It was too late. We ordered room service lunch and got Coke and water along with it. We continued to pack. Then Gary settled with the purser and got $275.22 back in cash. Now we have to plan where to go to dinner so we can practice carrying the luggage after dinner. We went to the King’s Court on deck 7. We hurried out onto the deck to snap a photo after dinner just as the fog was rolling in. It’s been appearing and disappearing all day long — along with the rain. Now you see it. Now you don’t. Before we went to bed we had a discussion about the New Jersey Turnpike. What a change of topic! We’re supposed to be driving it tomorrow. Where will we have lunch?
QM2’s Cabin A/C Is Almost Non-Existent 8/2/12
Final sea day of crossing of Atlantic. Quite a nice bright day. Showers about. Patch of fog on starboard bow. Mostly clear. Skirting George’s Bank. Laurentian Channel. Sable Island already passed. Few people live there. Crop of horses live on Sable. Skirting around s end of Georges Bank. Lies bet cape cod and cape sable island in Nova Scotia. Gulf of Maine and Atlantic Ocean separates. Naming new areas named after English patron saint. By 1850s known as Georges Bank. Most westward of great fishing banks. Good fishing area. Ports and passengers. Gloucester. 400 years lucrative fisheries. Trawlers damaged sea floor. Overfishing resulted in much less fish on Georges Bank. Nantucket late this evening. Traffic Island approaching outer harbor of New Pilot 3:45 to 4 in morning. Ambrose Channel to Verazzono bridge 4:45AM for passing under bridge. Hour back on clocks. Come into lower bank section of NY harbor. Enhanced by Manhattan on port side. Brooklyn on starboard side. Near statue by 5:30AM. Governor’s Island. Back up in channel to go alongside pier. Forward end of ship on port in to Governor’s Island can see statue. Can see statue from either port or starboard.
Lat 41 Long 66 W 140 E of Nantucket Island 264 feet, speed of 19 knots, 519 since noon yesterday, 2745 miles since Southampton, 323 miles to NYC, patchy fog 21 C or 70F on decks 61 sea temp, seas slight, forecast NY 81 F
We are supposed to pass by Nantucket late this evening. We have just come through an area known as the Georges Banks, the most westward of the great fishing banks. There also has been much over fishing there. Tonight before we go to bed we finally turn the clocks back to Eastern Time. The temperature on the deck is 70.
QM2’s A/C Is Almost Non-Existent 8/2/12: Not posted on ship
As soon as we boarded the ship in sweltering heat in Brooklyn on July 6 — I think it was 96 — the public rooms had glacial A/C, and that was good. But as soon as we got to our cabin, 4072, we wondered if the A/C was broken. We turned it down to the lowest setting and left it there the whole voyage. A little cool air seemed to emanate from the vent. It didn’t do much. Our Vornado fan broke the third night of the voyage because of a malfunctioning converter box that the ship sold us. Boy, was it missed! We had to use bathrobes as covers instead of the thick quilts that the ship provides as its only bedding — no sheets!
On the way back we boarded in Hamburg when the temperature was in the low 80’s. But again we noticed that cabin 8081 had the same kind of A/C —- practically non-existent. We’d bought a European fan. That helped when we rigged it up with a converter box. But it was no Vornado. This time we got the idea of propping open our balcony door. We either put a pillow in it if we want just a little sea breeze. Or we prop it open with a balcony chair if we want a lot more. Other guests are doing this, too. We can hear the wind when we walk down the hall and pass their doors.
You should do a blog about how you don’t like the design of the ship contrasted with the original Rotterdam, Holland America’s flagship. Also do blog about how the ship reminds you of your RV.
Still no contract . . .
Friday, August 3, ’12
H-95 Cherry Hill T-STORMS L H 70 L 59 RAIN H H 72 L 56 M H 76 L 62
L-73 C H 94 L 75
Bear update: The Bear says Tomorrow We Return To The USA In Triumph. TR says, “I hope the Wallen Ridge Pirate Quakes In His Boots. Moose say, “Nobody would quake when they see you, Bear!” Lou says we will have a Send The Pirates An Email Party. We will serve Newspaper Headlines About Ourselves.
We woke up to sun. Will it last? No! It got cloudy and rained by evening. The temperature in Cherry Hill climbed to 95.
Tucson 99/76 Brooklyn 89/77 T-STORMS
We woke up at 5:30AM. We’d arranged for a wake up call on the phone. We got dressed and went down to the King’s Court for buffet breakfast. Of course there was a huge mob scene. We went out onto the promenade deck to look for the car in the parking lot. There was the Bearmobile. We called the purser’s desk to confirm that disembarkation was from the main lobby area on deck 3. Kenny and Gary ferried the suitcases down the elevator while I stayed in the room as I do in motels. I looked around the room. Gary and Kenny traded off coming back upstairs. Finally Kenny and I went down, saying good-bye to the steward. We met Gary in the Chart Room across from Sir Samuel’s, the exact spot where we had first boarded the ship 9 days ago in Hamburg. We wheeled the luggage to the Royal Arcade main lobby and handed over our self-disembarkation cards. As we exited the ship we handed over our room cards. Then we went down the exact same gangway we used to board the ship — but this time it was deserted! We were confronted with the same stairway and escalator. Gary and Kenny took the elevator and met me downstairs. We went to the bathroom and proceeded through customs. A small cute dog sniffed us. They stamped our passports and we paid to pick up the car at a machine by the exit. It was a short walk to the car. It still worked, though some bird had gone to the bathroom on the windshield! But then came the fun part. Gary didn’t know how to get to the bridge. We stopped at a McDonalds for directions. We got caught in slow-moving traffic at the tail end of the rush hour. Finally we crossed the Verrazono Bridge and paid a $13.00 toll. Then we crossed the Goethals Bridge and got onto the New Jersey Turnpike. We stopped at the Thomas Edison Rest Area and got $100.00 out of the ATM machine. Next we stopped at the Molly Pitcher Rest Area and continued on to the Richard Stockton rest area. We ate lunch at Burger King. We called all sorts of of people including my parents, the kennel, Gary’s clients, etc. Next we stopped at Office Max to buy water flats and Scotch tape and at Burger King for dessert. We called more people. Around 2:20PM we arrived at the Holiday Inn Cherry Hill and checked into room 115 for 2 nights. We unloaded the car and did the laundry. I have to repack everything over the next day or so. Right now the suitcases are packed to get off the ship doing self-disembarkation. We have to pack them for storage in the car so we don’t have to take the souvenirs out every night at every motel. In fact there should be an unload and a non-unload section. We went to dinner at Chili’s. Then we went to Bed Bath & Beyond in the giant shopping center next door that looks bigger than any other outdoor mall I’ve ever seen. It looks more like a shopping city with streets of its own in the shopping center. We had dessert at the Red Hot & Blue at the hotel. We did laundry and wrote postcards.
Suddenly this morning the cell phones were back in use. Gary had messages from Farmer and Palmer. Apparently Farmer sent documents. Nobody bothered to email us. I was still in the cabin in the QM2 while I was fielding messages from Joanne.
We woke up a little after 4:00AM. There was lots of noise coming into Brooklyn even if people weren’t lining the way cheering as they were in Hamburg. Kenny said that from his sofa sleeper at the window he could see the lights as we passed under the Verrazono Bridge. He said he could hear traffic. We lay awake listening to sounds of the ship tying up at the cruise terminal.
We picked up a free copy of USA Today at the hotel. It looks like heat’s built up in Texas and Oklahoma, making it impossible to go back that way, at least right now. I remember the same phenomenon last summer.
Brooklyn 90/73 T-STORMS
Haddonfield 97/72 T-STORMS
Cunard Was Spying On My Facebook Page While I Was Aboard 8/3/12:
Two days ago in cabin 8081 aboard the QM2 returning from Hamburg to New York, I had just posted my comment about how the staff aboard the QM2 was often challenged to communicate in English when we got a call from the purser. He asked if there was anything he could do for us. When my husband asked them to be more specific, they said they’d seen what I was posting on Facebook about them. This was not Cunard’s Facebook page, mind you. I was banished from that one last January for comments I made about the Costa Concordia. This was my own personal Facebook page. How would they have known about my comments if they had not been snooping on passengers? Facebook was one of the websites that they featured onboard. Not that comments posted on my Facebook Page aren’t public in the sense that I mean for other people to read them, but this was downright creepy. It was like Big Brother Aboard The Ship was watching me.
Still no contract . . .
Look up phone numbers for Gary’s separate list on Saturday. Call Gwen, John Buckley, and the following:
List of Active Clients for G:
16)Ron Del Sesto
What was so stressful about traveling in Europe?
Took 6 hrs to drive 150 miles, longer than AAA average for the US which is 2.5 hrs to go 100 miles.
Roads like I-95 with constant stalls and slow-moving traffic, rude truckers, and narrow lanes, sometimes use shoulder as extra lane
Delay you in ways you wouldn’t imagine like paying for the bathroom and standing in line for food forever, looking for parking at every single autohof or rest area, etc.
Don’t speak English hardly at all, hard to make yourself understood
Had trouble one time tried to use check card to pay for something
Cities with streets too narrow for cars, too many one-way streets, too little parking, weird underground parking lots, small lots with so little room get trapped inside car and can’t back out
Weird way of linking flushing mechanism of toilet with door lock in public rest areas, got locked inside stall
Had to keep switching hotels at the last minute when we found that the accommodations weren’t what we expected, seemed to happen every day. The biggest problems seemed to be: 1)finding rooms on the ground floor which happened only twice or at least on the first floor with access by what we considered decent stairways 2) finding parking for our rented Ford Mondeo 3)finding rooms for three adults instead of two separate rooms. A/C was also a problem. At least windows always opened but there were never any screens. Tubs weren’t usable as showers very often. They had high-rise tubs that were dangerous to use. Gary had to help me out. Not all hotels provided washcloths. No one had American beds. The American emphasis in recent years on pillow top beds hasn’t hit Europe.
We couldn’t locate any of the hotels. We always got lost. Nothing was located in a logical place. We had trouble parking at all the hotels except for the one in Nuremberg. We had trouble backing into narrow spaces and getting out again. Passengers had to climb out of the car and direct Gary to pull forward or back up as if he were driving an RV instead of just a passenger car.
Particularly on the way back from Salzburg we kept on checking into hotels at 8:00PM or later every night. No time to do anything!
It took too long to eat meals, including meals at McDonalds and Burger King. No one in Europe has heard of throwaway cup and paper burger containers. They insist on serving everything on china plates with real silver ware and glass cups. And all the breakfasts at hotels were far more elaborate affairs. We saw ladies sitting in chairs at autohofs and rasthofs with salt and pepper shakers. They were tailgating with china!
No one has heard of coin laundries in hotels. We went for 10 days with only one valet laundry in Nuremberg for only a few selected items. We had three suitcases full of dirty clothes when we got back on the ship. We couldn’t wash the clothes in the sink. There wasn’t time for them to dry. During most of the trip the weather was too wet and cool.
14)We kept wondering what had happened to the weather. It was supposed to be July. Yet it seemed to be cool and rainy from the time we boarded the ship after emerging from a heat wave in the USA all the way across the country from Tucson to Brooklyn. A waiter in Weimar said that they were missing their summer. We got caught in the rain walking back from the Marionetten Theater in the dark on the night of Friday, July 20. It poured. In Weimar I was even wearing a long-sleeved top, which I hadn’t done since March. The weather alternated between clouds and rain and brief intervals of sunshine. Not until the last two days of the trip did we get clear, sunny weather. The German news declared that it was summer all over Germany. That weather held all the way across the North Sea to Southampton. But it was too late to have much of an effect on the sightseeing part of our trip.
15)Stairs! Weird stairs! I expected the Nuremberg Dokumentation Center to be on one level like a National Park Visitor’s Center. Remember the handicapped? But it had a set of frightful stairs! I would never go up there. There were even stairs in rest areas going downstairs to the bathroom where you had to pay 70 cents to Sanifair at Serways to use the toilet! As a return you got a 50 cents voucher to use at the rest area to buy something. At the Old General Walker Hotel, or the Platterhof, up on the Obersalzberg they had a spiral staircase down to the bathroom. It was an ordeal just to do that.
Best Preparation I Did Ahead Of Time:
1)To bring over $5000.00 in euros in cash with me in Gary’s money belt and zipped inside my elephant tapestry bag. There was no time to go to an ATM, and our cards would probably have been rejected. It doesn’t sound very practical, but I don’t know what would would have done otherwise. I used T-checks once, but I remember using those in Europe as a kid.
How The QM2 Reminds Me Of My Old RV
What possible resemblance could the huge ocean liner have with my old 22-foot motorhome? The bathroom, stupid! 48 inches wide. Length without shower: 45 inches. Shower: 46 inches deep, width is 24 inches. Frame of shower is 2 inches. Also you step up into the bathroom just like the RV and you have a hand held shower spray. The only difference — a fancy counter top. But we installed fancier faucets ourselves in our RV.
June Kindle Report looked up online for late August payment:
Details to Tend to:
1)call 800 Best Western to complain about Hotel Imlauer
2)call FEDEX about First Overnight
3)tell Cunard didn’t use transfer paid for
4)call Fidelity about transfer to Kenny’s account
5)call Fidelity to complain about Imlauer
6)call Best Western Rewards
Lusitania Plot Corrections:
1)Dora should be collecting her nickels for the trolley rides
2)When they drive to BMC they should be driving the Lincoln Highway, not Route 30. They should see the Amish in buggies driving down the road. Incorporate rural scenes with red barns and signs that say, “Drink milk”. Describe the Allegheny Mountains as they climb over them with the terrorist tailing them.
3)Fog when Dora peers out porthole wondering if can contact parents. Warm air meeting cold North Atlantic seawater and can’t even make out the waves out her porthole. The terrorist has put a sign over most of her porthole so no one can see in and she can barely find a crack for peering out.
4)When Dora’s locked inside her cabin she feels that she’s going crazy being so alone and so thwarted. It’s emphasized and underlined by the whistling wind outside her cabin door.
She can’t get any sleep listening to the howling wind, tossing and turning, and thinking about the saboteur. It sounds like a nightmare.
5)At another point listens for anyone on the deck. Silent except for vibrations of ship.
6)When Edward first meets Dora she wraps comforter around herself, not sheet. Europeans don’t use top sheets. She also notices that double beds are like two singles pushed together.
7)Guests at the Verandah Cafe must make sure to wear shawls and outer wraps. And don’t wear hats! Make sure to leave those in the cabin because of the wind. Dora sees folks with blankets on their legs and wrapped around themselves enjoying hot tea, coffee, and steaming chocolate. Don’t make it look like a Southern California cruise! You’ve got to emphasize the fog, the rain, the winds, and the whitecaps out at sea. Only in the fair weather do guests sit out on the deck in deck chairs with blankets thrown over their legs.
9)Dining room had vast polished wooden floor. It was so shiny you could see yourself in it. Red carpet runners provided a way to walk between tables. Wooden chairs with arms done up with red velvet upholstery. Red roses in middle of table covered with white linen tablecloth. Cupola rises high in center of dining room. Looks like the Pantheon with white marble effect with gold leaf. In center at top have cherubs looking down at you. Second level of dining room has golden railing with Corinthian pillars with gold leaf. Corinthian columns with gold at the top everywhere on the main level dividing the room.
Ladies were all dressed in long gowns with feathers in their hair. Don’t forget the white feathers. It seems to be very Edwardian.
10)As pull up in front of Ware Hall, see statue of Sir Adolphus carved in marble standing in topiary boxwood bushes along drive.
11)Dora and Edward: Sit on a white garden seat in the rose garden with tea rose hybrids and China roses with a red brick wall covered with green vines behind them. Combination Magna Charta roses with blue campunulas and purple salvias. Gardens of the National Trust by Stephen Lacey
12)Carp pond: floating water lilies
14)pilot whales visible as leave Grand Banks and head out into the Atlantic Ocean
Captive At The Berghof corrections:
1)Change description of Cabinet Room at 10 Downing Street
2)Might mention Admiralty officer invited to Carinhall on the occasion of the Naval Treaty. Or mention there were other meetings that had already occurred. Goering could be talking to the navy officer in the background. Better yet say it already occurred and Hitler is using the event as an excuse to draw Edward in.
3)Helga mentions a French bed, no washcloths
4)Visit to Zeppelin Field in Nuremberg:
Dora swept into the Zeppelin Field and stadium by the National Socialist officials and Hitler’s entourage with Helga following i1n the rear. Photos flashing everywhere and movie cameras going as she is literally shoved along by hands reaching out for her as hears deafening. “Heil, Hitler!” Tries to hold onto sanity. Aware only as day turns to night of daughter in front of her carried by Linge right behind the Fuhrer himself. Also buoyed up by Edward’s presence behind her with his hand in the small of her back forming a joint consciousness against the incursions of the mob in her ear and trying to tug at her mind.
Forced up stone stairs amidst multitude of officials and up to the platform built to look like the Pergamon altar in museum in Berlin. Thomasina seems farther away. Tries to reach for her and hold her, take her away from Hitler, but she’s always turned down and ignored.
When turn on stadium lights for “cathedral of light effect” daughter seems to dissolve into a beam of light with Hitler. Outlined in light like Gods in a box of light separated from all ordinary mortals. Only Edward is left. She turns to him and complains. But he’s not there! Stunned, confused, panicky, alone. Thinks, What am I doing here? Nowhere to flee.
I saw a little girl’s traditional Bavarian costume. I looked for one with a green skirt. It’s what Hitler should give Thomasina when she visits the Berghof. Dora and Edward should be scandalized that she’s not dressing like an English/American miss. Mr. Benley should say something unprintable. Then Hitler should send her a snow glob for Christmas, and in the snow globe is a miniature of the Berghof! He should also send her a musical Christmas tree made out of wooden pieces that sings German songs.
6)When Dora and Edward visit the Berghof Hitler should serve meatloaf, an egg sunny side up on top of it, German potato salad, a tomato and parsley, and mustard for lunch. For dessert Hitler serves apple strudel with vanilla ice cream and whipped cream. The little girl’s enchanted.
Redo all the German food scenes in the novel based on the menus you ate in Bavaria and Germany. Will seem more authentic. Even breakfast at the Berghof should be transformed when Edward and Dora are being held captive for a Lawrence map in 1938 with their daughter being held by Linge and Hitler. They could be silent as they select scrambled eggs, bacon or sausage, cold cheeses or meats under glass with a metal tong and move on to a selection of pastries and fried tomatoes with cheese and various fruits and yogurt. They could sit there with their individual pots of English breakfast tea with a pot of cream and a sugar bowl sitting on the table. They could be stirring the tea in the small china teacups with a special spoon for tea while the servers ask them if they want coffee. They should have silver fingerbowls with hot water and lemon slices to give your fingers a scent after you wipe them on your linen napkin.
7)Queen Mary scene:
a)First-class restaurant, the Verandah Grill: scarlet red carpet done in square pattern. round tables with red chairs with backs and arms, close together but parties seated separately, chandeliers, and pillars that reflect the glow of the overhead lights. Crystal vase of roses on each table. Scarlet glow. Everybody smoking and drinking. Smoke wafts around you. Everybody dressed to the nines in tuxedos and long gowns.
First-class cabin on main deck: large stateroom about the size of a 50’s Ho-Jo’s with two portholes with drapes. An easy-back chair and a sofa with a coffee table. Those European beds two singles pushed together with wooden back frame and wooden footboards. Walls seem to be wood-paneled with a mural in brown and gold behind the bed. Writing desk in wood much larger than the current one I’m using right now. Looks like one on land with vase of flowers and lamp. Dresser with drawers and a mirror. Aquamarine carpet with gold and red crown symbols forming a pattern. Silver finger bowls with warm water and slices of lemon.
8)When visiting the Berghof Thomasina sees a peacock butterfly with orangish wings with a pattern. Alpine thrift grows in meadows next to the Berghof. Round pink and purple balls grow in grassy lawn. Alpine pasqueflowers are gathered in vases on the patio. They resemble daisies.
As approach road up to Berghof, drive along road that parallels stream. On rocks in a turn of the winding, twisting road up to the Dictator’s mountain retreat see patches of pink and white rock jasmine in the sunlight. A chamois might peek out at them from the mixed deciduous woods. An Alpine chough flies overhead He’s a black bird about the size of a raven or crow. When get to Berghof when clouds disappear get a view of the Konigssee from the porch. from Eyewitness Travel Germany
9)When chasing Helga go through main cabin-class lounge with high ceiling and pillars, easy chairs with pillows and sofas, floor lamps, wooden and parkay floors. Go through Cabin Class Long Gallery in 1936 paralleled the promenade deck. 22 large window overlooked the Promenade Deck. Indirect lighting by 8 ornamental pylons which were mirrored reflectors, pointing upward, mounted on decorative columns. Lots of comfortable, pillowed chairs. Betram Nicholl’s Sussex landscape towers above you on wall of Long Gallery.
10)Also when chasing Helga go through Starboard Gallery. Room 56 feet long and 20 feet wide. Autumnal color scheme. Used laurel wood and Wilton rug in brown tones. Indirect lighting concealed in long cornice troughs running the length of the room. Artwork by Cedric Morris. Two flower studies above each of the two fireplaces at opposite ends of the room.
11)Starboard Gallery adjoined ballroom 35 by 50 feet with height of 12 feet and 6 inches. Parquet oak flooring with contrasting inlaid pattern and border of sycamore, laurel, and peartree. Raised platform on either side of the room, one for the orchestra and one for refreshments. Color scheme delicate peach, gold, and silver and ornamental mirrored panels. System of automatic color change lighting, new in the 30’s. Music controlled the light. Red, green, and blue lights. Tone and intensity of lighting would automatically change the lights.
12)Verandah Grill 68 feet wide and 29 feet long situated on Sun Deck with a spectacular view aft out to sea. Verandah Grill had nightclub atmosphere. Could enjoy a la carte meals, cocktails, and dancing on 28X20 parquet floor. Dance floor flat, raised surrounding area was where dining tables located. Had black Wilton carpet. Decoration provided by canvases by Doris Zinkeisen, frames in silver and gold. Balustrade of silver bronze separated the tables from the dance floor. Sweep of 22 windows each 5 feet 9 inches high. After midnight tables removed and Verandah Grill became Starlight Roof nightclub. Infamous and famous.
Cabin-class smoking room very traditional with oak and walnut paneling. Forward end of promenade deck.
Drawing room on starboard side of ship opposite library.
Cabin-class observation lounge: Korkoid flooring featuring bold designs. Lots of windows. Bar with stools on opposite side of room.
Luxurious cabin-class swimming pool located on D deck between 1st and 2nd funnels. Complete with balcony on C deck 60 X 42 feet. Pool lined with small glazed briquettes.Walls covered with faience tiles with bands of emerald green and red. Walkway around pool covered with black tiles with non-slip surface. Pool had slide. Changing rooms.RMS Queen Mary World’s Favorite Liner by David Ellery
Deck games were popular
Cabin Class Children’s Play Room with smiling sun light fixture overhead. Forward end of promenade deck on the starboard side. 40 feet by 18 feet. Height of 12 feet 6 inches. Room laid out in 3 sections, general area in middle and separate sections for girls and boys. Built in slide and log hut, three caves beneath the slide and small aquarium with tropical fish. Cinema area children could control projection of cartoon films by push button. Illuminated, barred windows. Children could observe wild animals in captivity. Walls decorated with paintings by George Ramon. Included series of animals that appeared to be making their way down the slide. Ceiling decorated with man in the moon, stars, and a smiling sun, teddies and dolls and beautifully crafted toys
broad yet sheltered promenade deck with table tennis games
Escape From The Berghof:
Edward’s chase down the mountain at night should be done on a motorcycle, not in a car. I saw lots of motorcycles climbing the hill to the Obersalzberg. They work better on those wicked switchbacks. He could crash on that, too, and it could go up in flames. It’s particularly appropriate considering Lawrence and his bike.
1)Flintstones Season 3 1/29/12
2)The Sound of Music 3/6/12
3)A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum 5/6/12
Books Read 2012:
1)Five Days in London: May 1940 by John Lukacs 1/28/12
Hertz Capital One Kenny $111.54
Virgin Mobile monthly plan Kenny $50.00
Part 5 of the Trip: Back in the USA
Friday, August 3, ’12
1)Brooklyn Cruise Terminal parking Bearmobile Fidelity Checking $480.00
2)McDonalds Brooklyn orange juice Fidelity Checking $3.03
3)McDonalds Brooklyn orange juice cash $1.73
4)Verrazono Bridge toll cash $13.00
5)Thomas Edison Plaza postcards cash $3.00
6)Thomas Edison Travel Mart 6 Fuji waters cash $17.94
7)Richard Stockton Rest Area Burger King lunch Fidelity Checking $23.70
8)AT&T K phone $54.55
9)NJ Turnpike cash $5.45
10)Office Max 2 flats of water and Scotch tape Fidelity Checking $9.21
11)Burger King: sundaes and Cokes Fidelity Checking $6.07
12)Holiday Inn room 115 cash $271.38
14)Chili’s dinner Fidelity Checking $65.18
15)Bed Bath & Beyond: mattress cover, Vornado, mouthwash, nightlight, toothbrush, and soap Fidelity Checking $97.31
16)Red Hot & Blue Fidelity Checking $21.24