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Old 05-21-2010, 03:23 PM   #31
Dyerneeds
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Originally Posted by lborne View Post
I wanted to take one of those sandy feet laying on the beach chair shots but this girl in a bikini got in the way and spoiled it.


hey! i dont remember signing a release so you could post my Sweet Polly's picture here.
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Old 05-21-2010, 03:27 PM   #32
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so, how much wine exactly does mommy drink?

FE game is fun. until someone sticks a red Br@ FE on your cabin door like on our cruise!!

enjoying the updates. i'll have to catch up later as we leave for WDW tomorrow.
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Old 05-21-2010, 03:30 PM   #33
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The Disney lawyers say I'm not allowed to talk about it. Actually, I was just kidding. Sort of. I was thinking of about an encounter with another character which is not really that funny or amusing. We were at MGM for Star Wars weekend and Aayla Secura was there taking photos so I had my photo taken with her and my wife just thought I was a little too happy and giddy about it as I would not stop talking about her and if she (my DW) would paint her entire body blue for me. And on top of that, DW did not actually take a photo of me with her, so I was really bummed for a week.

Here is the only good photo I could find of her online.

http://i111.photobucket.com/albums/n...-Secura-01.jpg

that reminds me of the time we were at MGM during star wars weekend.
chics dressed up like Princess Leia everywhere.
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Underdog and Tart Girl BOBing on the Magic, Plus the Mystery of the Red Br@ FE
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Old 05-21-2010, 04:38 PM   #34
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Day 3 - Castaway Cay - Part 2

Today I am home from work tending to a sick DS7. Normally I’ve been writing these TR updates on my lunch break, but here I am now sitting at the kitchen of my very quiet (DS7 is asleep) home, with a cup of coffee and plugging this out on my laptop. I kind of feel like a writer, except I know that I would never have the patience to actually write more than a TR. And MS Word is telling me that the previous sentence is fragmented and I have no idea what that means. OK – let’s get back to the TR before my coffee gets cold or DS7 wakes up?

Now back on board, DS7 and I get washed up and I take him to the Lab. I toyed with the idea of joining DW and DS11 at the theater to see Alice in Wonderland, but it was already 3:45 and the movie started at 3:30; although I later found out that they show previews. Since I was all alone, I was determined to actually read at least a page or two in my book. I grabbed my book, but not my ODCLDOTDPC – I left it ON PURPOSE this time – take THAT Disney. We had brought a small bottle of coconut rum on board and were given some very nice aluminum water bottles for being part of the Castaway Club. I filled one about a quarter (or maybe it was half) full with the rum and headed for the drink station. There I poured in ice and coke, making sure to use the paper cups provided so I did not contaminate the drinking station, but most importantly so that I did not get dirty looks from anyone due to my contaminating the drinking station and have to read about my inappropriate behavior on the DIS.

With my coke and rum, and my book, I looked forward to at least an hour and a half of relaxation. I’ve had enough sun for the year, so the adult pool was out. However, I knew just where to go – Outlook Café – or just right outside of there where they had these really comfortable looking lounge chairs with ottomans. How did those little seats for your feet become known as ottomans? I bet it has something to do with the empire, but I don’t remember seeing them in any of the Star Wars movies. As I was walking I looked over the railing and saw the continuous stream of people coming back to the ship. I’d better hurry since there are not many of those chairs. I found one and it was wonderful. I had a great view of the unoccupied part of CC, and if I sat just right, no construction equipment was in sight.


Here is MY chair and ottoman outside of Cove Cafe. The end table is MINE too.




I enjoyed two entire chapters of my book – Naked Came the Manatee. Normally I do most of my reading at home and can get a lot read, usually the same paragraph over and over. I already know better than to try and read when the kids are awake, so I routinely wait until they go to sleep. The problem is, my DW is still awake and that is when she likes to “talk”. And she expects me to respond to her like she thinks normal husbands do. So I can’t just sit there and pretend to listen. I've never mastered the technique some husbands use where they can nod or shake their head at appropriate times to feign that they are listening. I usually nod when I should have shaken, and this always leads to a much longer conversation at much higher volume levels. So whenever there is a short break, I quickly read a paragraph before being interrupted again. But then, when I go back, I have to re-read that paragraph to get myself caught back up.

Yes, I’ll get back to my TR at some point. Stop complaining – I could go and take a nap right now instead of writing.

My official aluminum Castaway Club water (coke and rum) bottle is now empty and needs a refill. The wait staff are no help to me, nor are the kids or DW. So I have to make a quick run back down to the room to get the rum and then back up to the drink station to get the coke and ice. I take my book with me because I’m not one of those scum balls you read about here on the DIS that put a towel or book on a chair to reserve it. Instead, I flip it over on its side.

Our aft room is very convenient. You normally don’t have long waits for the aft elevators except when everyone is boarding (like they were doing now). But I just took the stairs since I needed some exercise, and the dink station is straight up from our room. I got back to Cove Café and mentioned the free bingo game on deck 15 to the lady who had rudely taken MY chair. So I sat down and began chapter 3. Soon along came Stitch with his cast member handler. They were hamming it up even though no one was really around to see. He bounded in front of the automatic doors for Cove Café and started to go in, but the CM said “No stitch, I don’t think having espresso is a very good idea.” I laughed. Then Stitch noticed me. I was not sure what was going to happen, but he came over and gave me a mini shoulder massage. It made my day as long as I imagined a good looking female inside the costume. Yeah, that was my “encounter” with Stitch. Kind of lame, huh? But that does not happen on Carnival. On Carnival the good looking lady is not wearing a stitch (costume).

Notice how the jokes are getting less and less funny the further I get into this TR? What do you mean they were never funny?

Back to my book, at least for a few minutes until my pager went off. That’s odd I thought, because DS7 wanted so bad to go back to the club. Maybe he’d found his way to the bridge and was pushing buttons, or he blew up the lab making flubber. But the pager said “Your child is participating in the Friendship Rocks show. Meet us at the Walt Disney Theater.” Now that is NOT what I was expecting. See, we talked to our kids about this show earlier in the planning stages for the cruise and they said they would rather skip it since they had done it twice before when it was called something else.

Because I am here at home instead of work, I have access to my old Navigators from the past cruises and can look up the name of the old show before it was changed to Friendship Rocks. But you know, it would be a heck of a lot easier to just ask someone on the DIS. OK OK, I’ll get off my lazy butt since I need more coffee anyway. Anyone know what it costs to have a live in butler? I mean butleress? Before it was Friendship Rocks, the show was called “Celebrate the Journey”. Do I get bonus points for that?

So I ran down to the room to put my book away and write DW a note on the magnetic post it notes that I brought and stuck to the door – which she never used. I kept the “water” bottle with me and found a seat right near the front of the stage. Soon the kids began streaming in. Hmmmm – where is DS7? He’s not there. I know where he is – back in the Lab playing the ship simulator now that everyone has cleared out and is here in the theater. Well, I tried to be a good parent, but my kid just did not cooperate. I kind of felt like a “you know what predator” being there watching all the kids when mine was not even there. And I did not want to walk out and have people think I was a bad parent leaving the show early – plus they present a slideshow of photos taken over the past couple days and I thought I might see my kids, but nope they were not in any of the photos either. Thankfully it was only a 15 minute show. I was a bit annoyed at the staff for paging me, but it was not worth complaining because I felt overall things had improved since the last cruise.

It was now around 4:45 – 5:00 (?) – early enough that I thought maybe I could get 15 more minutes out by Cove Café. As I was headed to the room to get my book I hear DW and the kids call out to me. The movie was over and DW picked up DS7 from the club. While DW got ready for the show, I brought both boys upstairs to eat. We ran into our friends DS11 who was getting pizza, so the 3 boys and I sat out by the pool and ate. I could not just sit there and watch them eat, so I had chicken tenders (of course). They all got ice cream and then it was time to get them ready for the show.

Tonight’s show was Disney Dreams. I love this show. I hope they don’t get rid of it. Maybe they could just move it to 7 night cruises. It was amazing, as always. We arrived only about 5 minutes early for each of the shows and never had a problem getting a good row of 4 seats. And I was told the ship was filled. Maybe it was due to the later dinner seating, as most people try to get the early dinner and then see the show later.

The show let out right at 7:15 and our Palo reservations were for 7:00 – 7:30. DW checked DS7 into the lab and DS11 just checked himself in. I can see in a few years that it’s going to be really nice when they can both check themselves in and out. I headed back to the room to get some wine, but had to stop at the Promenade lounge to get some glasses first. It was slow going as the path from the theater to the Promenade lounge took me through Shutters (the area where they display the photos), and this being the last night and the theater just letting out, it was very crowded. Pretty frustrating actually because naturally people just kind of stand still in Shutters to admire how great their photos look. Shutters is really just in the wrong location, but I suppose it is like that on purpose to make sure everyone is going to pass through at least a couple dozen times.

I pick up the glasses, refill them from the room, and then head to Palo. It’s about 7:25 now and our friends and DW are sitting in the lounge area waiting for me to check us in. When I originally asked to reschedule our 8:30 reservation, they offered 8:00, but I said if possible, we would really like to eat right after the show – 7:30 ish. They were so accommodating and just wrote 7:00 – 7:30 on my reservation card and said to come anytime between then and they would seat us. As it turned out I am glad I had that signed reservation card because my new time did not make it to the master list. They had me down for 8:30 and I had to show them my card. There was a bit of confusion now. There were 3 other couples waiting to be seated and they said they could seat us right after they seated the other 3 couples. But we did not know how long of a wait that would mean, if any, and we were not told. However, we were promptly seated BEFORE any of the other couples – odd.

I realize I did not get any good photos of the inside of Palos.



This was the first time our friends (who were on their 4th Disney cruise as well) had been to Palo. If they had not been cruising with us, I don’t think they would have bothered to try it. We were seated in a very nice table right by a window so we could look out over the water. The past 2 times we’ve sailed were in November, so by 8:00 at night it was dark and we never realized what a nice view Palo’s offers. Another thing we noticed about sailing this time was that we never felt the ship rock at all. Not even a little. It felt like we were docked the entire cruise. Normally I don’t mind a bit of rocking. It tends to clear out the restaurants and then I get better service.





This is our 4th visit to Palo’s and we’ve come to have very high expectations. That is usually a bad thing because seldom can something live up to high expectations time and time again. Palo did. Service was remarkable. With fewer tables to wait on, we got lots of attention. The great Palo experiences could also be attributed to the fact that we’ve always dined with family (the members we like) or friends. But be warned, the meals here linger and you can easily be there 3 hours unless you mention before hand that you’d like to be done at a certain time. Just mention to the waiter that you want speedy service like you get at Taco Bell. You are sure to get noticed. Our friends had not brought their own glasses of wine, but they had a glass at Tritons that they really liked, so ordered a bottle of that even though it was not on the Palo menu.

TIP: The wines listed in Palo’s menu are more expensive than those available at the other restaurants. However, you can order bottles from other restaurant menus if you remember. Probably, even if they had not remembered, the waiter could have gotten them the wine list from the other restaurant.

First off, you will get a selection of freshly baked breads and 3 different dipping sauces. Your waiter will also bring out the Antipasto - Prosciutto, Bresaola, Parmesan Reggiano, Marinated Olives and Sun-dried Tomatoes. Next we ordered a pizza for the table. There are several kinds listed on the menu, but we asked for it to be made with mushroom and prosciutto as our topping. It was perfect as there were 4 slices. I had the Tuna Carpaccio and Lemon Oil Dressing which was Thin Slices of Ahi Grade Tuna brushed with our Chef's Special Lemon Oil. And I also had the fried calamari. I have had both of these here before and knew they were excellent. For my main course I had the Grilled Monkfish with Braised Radicchio and Prosciutto, Served with creamy Mascarpone Polenta. I also had a half order of the Lobster and Mascarpone Ravioli
Freshly prepared served with a light Truffle Beurre Blanc.

TIP: You can get half size orders of practically anything which is nice if you can’t decide what to get.

DW and one of our friends got the Beef Tenderloin, and everyone in our party on the past 2 cruises (excepting me) has gotten it for their main course. Everyone felt it was excellent and I never saw one that had to go back.

For dessert we got a sweet pizza for the table. The description on the menu is not complete. It was a pizza with vanilla olive oil sauce, but it also had tons of cut strawberries and some type of sweet creamed cheese on it. We were all stuffed from dinner but the pizza was completely gone in a minute. But we still wanted more dessert. I’ve had the amazingly famous chocolate soufflé before. In fact, last time we were at Palo, they brought me two. So I wanted to try something different. I had the Pineapple and Almond Ravioli which is Lightly Poached Pineapple filled with an Almond Mousse. DW had a bite and did not like it, but she did not think she’d like it based on the description. I thought it was really good and different and I’d get it again. DW got the Chocolate Amaretto Indulgence - Silky Milk Chocolate, fresh Raspberries on Almond and Biscotti base, with extra Dark Chocolate sauce. She liked it so much that by the time I asked for a bite, it was gone. We had coffee with our dessert which is real brewed coffee and not the typical Nescafe sludge. So now, after 4 meals at Palo, we’d not hesitate to do it again and again.

The cost for Palo is $15 per person and then you are expected to tip on top of that. We figured that we’d just eaten a $150 meal per couple (without the wine), so we tipped based on that.


Hey - how come my friend gets to be in the middle of the women?




After dinner it was getting late. We figured we would not see our friends the next morning as disembarkation mornings can be hectic and the friendly Disney staff throw you off the ship. It was about 10:50 and DW still had to pack a suitcase to put outside by 11:00. We did not worry too much because….

TIP: You don’t have to put your luggage outside the night before, but you will then have to lug it yourself off the ship. A good plan is to leave all luggage in your room while eating breakfast (which your wait staff will appreciate), and then grab it when you are done.

However, we really did not want to have to lug our big suitcase. So while DW packed, I checked the kids out of the lab and turned in our pagers and their wrist bands. This was one of the longer lines we had to wait in. But I did not mind spending time waiting in the line because I knew a tired, packing at the last minute wife, is better left alone. I learned that lesson the hard way when last time I made the suggestion that she should not have packed so much in the first place. But eventually the fractures healed.

Once back at the room I got DS7 tucked into bed. DW was just finishing packing and it was 11:10. Again – I knew better than to call out the time every minute. I put the suitcase outside and it was gone the next morning, so evidently 10 minutes late is still OK. DS11 wanted to go to the arcade since he had never been yet. So I took him with the intention of getting the least amount of money on the arcade card as possible. But luckily, the one game he wanted to play still had credits on it, so he got to play for free. We then took one last walk around the ship. We finally got back to the room around midnight and went to sleep.

Check back next week for the last and saddest day of the cruise. I might get time to up finish this TR up over the weekend, but don’t count on it.

Last edited by lborne; 05-25-2010 at 03:49 PM. Reason: Still can't spell and forgot title
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Old 05-21-2010, 05:14 PM   #35
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I have to agree about Palo...definitely worth it to go back over and over and over again! Did you finish "Naked Came the Manatee" ever? Such a fun book. I took a class at Miami with Evelyn Mayerson (one of the writers) around the time that book came out. She had us break off into groups and write a short story in the same manner as the book was written...what a hoot that was!

Looking forward to your final installment on what has been a fun report!
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Old 05-21-2010, 06:43 PM   #36
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Did you finish "Naked Came the Manatee" ever? Such a fun book. I took a class at Miami with Evelyn Mayerson (one of the writers) around the time that book came out. She had us break off into groups and write a short story in the same manner as the book was written...what a hoot that was!

Looking forward to your final installment on what has been a fun report!
Thanks. That sounds like fun to write a book like that. I have not finished. I have not even opened the book since the cruise. I've been meaning to read it for ages, and only took it on the cruise because it is small. I'm sure I'll have it finished by Christmas.
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Old 05-21-2010, 06:50 PM   #37
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More photots can be found here at my photo site. I think I used most in the TR, but you can find more from previous Disney cruises. And some of you Disney fanatics might find the old photos from the 1970s interesting - last folder in the list.

http://picasaweb.google.com/Bornefamily
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Old 05-22-2010, 11:18 AM   #38
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Thanks a million for the laughs! Great TR.
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Old 05-22-2010, 11:51 AM   #39
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Love it

Love your TR - Can't wait to get my own Drink of the Day cup!!
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Old 05-24-2010, 11:22 AM   #40
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More photots can be found here at my photo site. I think I used most in the TR, but you can find more from previous Disney cruises. And some of you Disney fanatics might find the old photos from the 1970s interesting - last folder in the list.

http://picasaweb.google.com/Bornefamily
Thanks for sharing the old 70s Disney photos! Classic!
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Old 05-24-2010, 11:30 AM   #41
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Day 4 - Back at Port Canaveral

We woke this morning bright and early to the sounds of us docking in Port Canaveral. We are now officially considered stow-a-ways, and Disney was going to give us our one last, very quick, meal before tossing us to the cheerful US customs officials for processing.

One of the best tips I learned here on the DIS is that you do not have to go to breakfast at your assigned time and restaurant as Beach Blanket Buffet will be open. This was especially useful information when we had early seating because the assigned breakfast times were 6:30, 6:45 or 7:00, which even though I am usually up early, the rest of the family is still sleeping and trying to get everyone ready and out of the room by 6:30 is not going to be fun. I feel especially bad for the wait staff that have to deal with us depressed zombies when they only have that Nescafe sludge to offer.

TIP: Cove Café is open the last morning where you can get real coffee.

But since this cruise we booked late seating, our assigned dining time was 8 am. That we could do. We finished packing our small bags and carried them to Parrot Cay. We left them outside along the wall where many other people had left their bags. Our servers were there and took us to our table. We had a nice breakfast, but to be honest, I don’t remember exactly what I had because I was sulking. DS7 wanted a Mickey bar, and normally we don’t let our kids eat ice cream for breakfast, but we were still on vacation and let him ask the server for one. Unfortunately, the stockpiles of Mickey bars are in a portion of the ship that is now locked and off limits. Give me back those tip envelopes.


Outside of Parrot Cay before our last chance to pig out.




Sad that the cruise is over and he can't even get a Mickey Bar for breakfast.





Now they are happy because we said maybe we'd have to do another Disney cruise next year.





Sebastian is looking over us. Don't have the crab.




After eating we say goodbye to our wait staff. I really feel for these guys who work so hard and get paid so little. Can you imagine having to serve all those people 3+ meals a day, and just when they finally leave, an entire new group arrives act like the entire Disney ship was built just for them? No, I would not last long waiting on people on a cruise ship - espeically my wife.


We get in line to disembark the ship. Holy cow – is THAT the line? It was longer than the line for any of the characters. Now normally, we would have waited in that line because we would have thought that the rest of the ship is now off limits to us. I’m not sure where we got the notion that Disney wants you to leave right after breakfast, but that’s always what we have done, no matter how long the lines. But now we were thinking clearly and decided we did not really want to wait in line to leave the ship*.

*Legal disclaimer – If the ship is sinking, it is a good idea to disembark in an orderly fashion and follow all crowd control cattle fences that Disney will erect, and that will mean waiting in line. Unless you have a fastpass in which case you can enjoy other attractions such as the buffet and then enter the fastpass evacuation line at the designated time on your fastpass – but not a minute earlier.


Maybe they will let me stay if I play When You Wish Upon a Star every night.




It felt a little odd going off on our own, and I was half expecting the elevators to only take us to the disembarkation deck. The other half (of my brain??) was expecting crew members to sound an alarm when they saw us and nicely ask us to get off the ship. But neither happened. We went up to Deck 9 and hung out by the pool. Playhouse Disney was playing on the Aerial view TV and the boys played foosball and ping pong. There was one other family lounging out by the pool and crew members who walked by only said “good morning”. I did not even get asked if I wanted a DOTD, which this morning is called the “Back To Reality Cocktail” which consists of whatever you have at home that will help you get over the depression that the cruise is OVER.


Trying to get every last bit of value from the cruise.




It was nearing 10 am and we were finally starting to feel like maybe we should leave. I could not find a good place for us all to hide, no bars were open, there was no deck party, and my boys are too old for Playhouse Disney and we could not find the giant remote to change the channel. So we made our way back down to where we disembark and there was no line. They swipe our KTTW cards for the last time and we head to the warehouse where they keep the luggage. Another nice benefit to waiting till almost last to leave the ship was that there was hardly any luggage left, so finding ours was easy.

TIP: Remember your luggage tag color. Last cruise I could not remember if we were red or purple – it was blue and took us a while to find it.

Now that we had our luggage, we were accosted by unionized luggage handlers wanting to sell us the DOTD or carry our bags, assuming we’d tip them in 10s and 20s. DW is cheap, so we always, and I mean ALWAYS, carry our own luggage. Sometimes you can’t even see the kids because we’ve got so much baggage piled on them and it looks like the luggage is moving by itself.

Now that we have all our luggage, we wait in line for US Customs. The crack team of highly trained professionals were using all the tools at their disposal to keep drugs, nuclear weapons and bananas from illegally entering the US, including having Pluto sniff us. Hey watch it, there are no bananas THERE Pluto. In reality, all you do is hand the agent your customs form and passports. The keep the form and you are free to go. I wonder what they do with all those customs forms. Do you think there is some giant government warehouse where they file them? There must be billions of these forms. And what do they do with them? Mine all show the same thing, that I bought 2 bottles of rum.

TIP: If the US customs agent asks if you have any drugs or weapons, you should tell him “Meet me in the parking lot and we can make a deal”. You don’t want to conduct business there in the terminal and hold up the line.

Once out of the terminal, we walk to our car and take the sad 1 hr drive home. Driving to the port is much more enjoyable than leaving. At home the feeling that the vacation is really over sinks in when we start the first load of laundry and we have to make the kids something to eat rather than sending them to Pluto’s Doghouse.

The best cure for PCB “Post Cruise Blues” is to watch the episodes with Steve, (no wait, that’s Post Blues Clues Blues).... is to book another cruise - but not on Carnival.

Thanks for reading even if it did cause your productivity at work to plummet, and I hope at least one tip will prove valuable.
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Old 05-24-2010, 11:50 AM   #42
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I thoroughly enjoyed your trip report from beginning to end. All of your tips have been duly noted
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Old 05-25-2010, 09:30 AM   #43
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Official Disney Cruise Line Drink Of The Day Platic Glass

Here it is in all its amazing plastic glory. The Official Disney Cruise Line Drink Of The Day Plastic Glass or ODCLDOTDPG, filled with unofficial margarita. Its sort of feminine looking and at first I felt a little odd when carrying it, especially when they add the little cherry or fruit piece and umbrella. Its kind of like when my DW asks me to get her purse from the car. I've never figured out a masculine way to carry her purse except to run with it and look like I've just stolen it, but that means smashing the car window. But after 3 or 4 DOTDs, I did not really care what anyone thought. Plus DW told me to not let it out of my sight as it was like cash because of all the potential money it could save us and I fear her more than being called a sissy.


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Old 05-25-2010, 02:59 PM   #44
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Notice how the jokes are getting less and less funny the further I get into this TR? What do you mean they were never funny?

SO not true, dude. I'm sitting at work giggling like a teenage girl at a Jonas brothers concert. Funny, funny stuff.


Anyone know what it costs to have a live in butler? I mean butleress?

About the same as the cost for that nanny to take the kids when they stert whining.
I just found your TR, and its over. Could you please consider booking another cruise so you can write some more?

I really have enjoyed this -- thank you.
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Old 05-25-2010, 03:03 PM   #45
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I wonder what they do with all those customs forms. Do you think there is some giant government warehouse where they file them? There must be billions of these forms. And what do they do with them?
They're in the warehouse with the lost Ark.
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