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  1. Like
    Skigoofy reacted to melmar02 in A Hole in our Yard - Another Not a Cruise Live Blog   
    We've had a couple of dry days, and the plumber came back out to add some more equipment to the pad. Hopefully the electrician makes it out today or tomorrow because we have more rain in the forecast on Friday and again on Tuesday.
    In the meantime, I may have booked a 2BR Aquatheater on Allure.  781 days to Star Class!
  2. Like
    Skigoofy reacted to MicDay in Bad Influences, thank you :)   
    So after reading @twangster blogs on Alaska.
    I booked an Alaska cruise for May 15th 2022
    So after reading @RickinSTL comments about this Caribbean cruise on the Mariner
    I booked the August 13th 2022 cruise on the Mariner
    I'm so excited for these two totally different cruises, let the planning begin.
  3. Like
    Skigoofy reacted to JLMoran in Z-plasty? WTH is a Z-plasty? (Yet *another* nahtacruz blog)   
    Good news. It looked a lot better this morning than when I went to bed last night, and so far pain levels are back to where they were two days ago.
    Sent the doc’s nurse a photo and spoke with her directly. She said the pain was most likely a combination of the front part tearing a bit (she could see that in the pic), but only superficially; plus normal pain from the sutures being pulled and tugged as I move around. No follow-up or delay in getting the sutures removed is needed.
    She said apart from that, everything looks great and I’m clearly doing everything I’m supposed to be as far as wound care and maintenance. Also said once the sutures come out on Tuesday that I should feel a lot of relief. It will still look a bit raw at that point; normal for this kind of surgery. Full healing will take another 2 or three weeks, and I’ll need to continue using gauze coverings throughout.
    Oh, and she said the picture I took was great! 😂
  4. Haha
    Skigoofy reacted to Lovetocruise2002 in Thoughts on not allowing kids under 18   
    This is what I already told my girls. 😆Seriously, I am not waiting around for them. Bit selfish, but that is what happens when you have a cruise crazy mom who has not been cruising for a while. 

  5. Like
    Skigoofy reacted to LogicallyLazy in Across the Seas & Through the Stars - Actually a cruise live blog - Quantum 1 March   
    Thanks for the info. Luckily, I was aware of the complimentary gratuities. I had to call in to upgrade and had done a mock booking online to see that the gratuities were added and highlighted this over the phone. At the time, there was a system glitch where they were unable to input the comp grats, so they just omitted the final payment of it. It was a few weeks of seeing “Pay remaining balance” on the cruise planner before I they finally removed the charge 
    That’s awesome! So far all the communications with her have been phenomenal. She’s been able to answer all my questions and even managed to go above and beyond with some of our requests. And we haven’t even started cruising yet! 🤣
  6. Like
    Skigoofy reacted to LogicallyLazy in Across the Seas & Through the Stars - Actually a cruise live blog - Quantum 1 March   
    T - 10 days to boarding. The anticipation is building everyday. Does the days seem longer all of a sudden?
    Initial packing has started, pulling suitcases out of musty stores after being neglected for so long. Feels surreal that I’m actually packing for a trip of any sort. 
    Luggage tags printed and at the ready. 
  7. Like
    Skigoofy reacted to melmar02 in A Hole in our Yard - Another Not a Cruise Live Blog   
    The frozen tundra of Texas has thawed out, and work has resumed. The plumbers showed up around 3:00 yesterday afternoon to finish digging the trenches for the pipes manually. They also brought some of the equipment out. The project manager stopped by this morning and said the plumbing should be finished today. We have rain in the forecast this week, so he's not sure if the electrician will make it out before next week.
    DH's grill should be on the way. He received daily updates from the company about shipping delays due to the weather, but he hasn't heard a thing since it warmed up. He's going to follow up with them today. I'm going to lose my spot in the garage soon. Stonework should start by the end of next week, and our patio furniture will be taking my car's place for a bit. We may leave it there until after plaster to keep it clean.
    I'm excited that things have started moving again!

  8. Like
    Skigoofy reacted to JLMoran in Z-plasty? WTH is a Z-plasty? (Yet *another* nahtacruz blog)   
    I forgot something in that last update. Our younger daughter (aka the artist, whose work I’ve shown in earlier live blogs) got her acceptance notice for the summer Japanese Language and Cultural Immersion program that she applied for nearly a year ago!
    Assuming she’s able to get vaccinated in time and nothing else comes along to muck things up, she’ll be spending 4 weeks with a host family in Kyoto from mid-July through mid-August.
    This is a huge deal for her. She’s been self-studying Japanese for almost a year now, and has been saving money from her part-time job to help pay for it (until her job was let go due to COVID-19 anyway). She hopes to live and work in Japan after college; she wants to get into character design for one of the smaller video game firms there. We’re really happy for her!
  9. Like
    Skigoofy reacted to LogicallyLazy in Across the Seas & Through the Stars - Actually a cruise live blog - Quantum 1 March   
    So, with these cruises to nowhere, all passengers will need to undergo a rtPCR Covid test and have a negative results before being allowed to board. This is carried out in partnership with Eurofins and TrustOne. We received our email just a little more than 2 weeks before the cruise to book an appointment to the the swab test.
    The swab test needs to be done between 3 days and 24hrs before the cruise, which means that we were given 2 dates to choose from, namely 26 or 27 Feb.

    Overall, the booking procedure was straight forward and really easy to set up.
  10. Like
    Skigoofy reacted to LogicallyLazy in Across the Seas & Through the Stars - Actually a cruise live blog - Quantum 1 March   
    My main goal with this trip is to really kick back and relax...and food...lots and lots of food. 😆
    Of course, all the usual stuff that we'll get to do onboard as well. Bumper cars, north star, shows, food. Wait...did I mention that already? 
    My genie is already on it, planning everything for us.
  11. Like
    Skigoofy reacted to LogicallyLazy in Across the Seas & Through the Stars - Actually a cruise live blog - Quantum 1 March   
    Getting home and dropping my bag onto the floor, tearing my mask off and slumping into a seat after an exhausting day at work, I thought to myself "I really need a vacation"
    That's really the catalyst of what got me booking a cruise in the first place. For all intents and purposes, this would basically be my first cruise. I know I went on one when I was a really young kid, but all I remember from it was the inside of the cabin. 😅 Having not left Singapore in over a year and a half, I was getting stir crazy on this little island. I needed to get away from all of it, and low and behold, Royal announced the resumption of cruises to nowhere in Singapore. It was a no brainer.
    Of course, I'm not one to jump head first into something without thinking it through; I'm paranoid like that. I did some research on cruising and stumbled upon a little website called Royalcaribbeanblog.com. I watched countless videos, browsed the message boards and I knew I just had to do it.
    That was that, the start of my journey onto what I'm guessing is going to be a new addiction. So, come follow me on my journey as I experience cruising for the first time and get the full star class experience at the same time.
    I would also like to thank everyone who has answered my questions and help me get the ins and out worked out for this sailing. Special shout out to @Lovetocruise2002 @WAAAYTOOO @twangster and of course @Matt for all the insight you have provided.
  12. Like
    Skigoofy reacted to LogicallyLazy in Across the Seas & Through the Stars - Actually a cruise live blog - Quantum 1 March   
    Gonna try giving this a shot even though I've never done a live blog before. Please take it easy on me 😝
  13. Wow
    Skigoofy reacted to melmar02 in A Hole in our Yard - Another Not a Cruise Live Blog   
    Thanks for checking @JLMoran. We've been below freezing for days and had some negative temps in the mornings; however, we've also been extremely fortunate and have kept power throughout. Most our area is without or still experiencing rolling blackouts. I need to start baking for Saturday's wedding tomorrow, so hopefully our luck holds. All faucets dripping with no issues there so far either.  My sister lives 20 miles away and their power was out most of Monday. Brother in law had no power for over 30 hours and is now dealing with broken pipes. We've had 2 rounds of snow 3-4 inches the fist time and another couple inches last night. 
    I guess the pool technically has water in it.  A lot of them have frozen over in our area.

  14. Like
    Skigoofy reacted to Matt in Skiing of the Seas - Still Another Not a Cruise Live Blog   
    What a day!
    We got an early start on the day, waking up at 6:45 so we could be at the mountain by 8. 
    We rolled in right on time and there was already a giant line for private lessons.  My daughter claimed she didn’t need lessons and so I decided to call her bluff and took her out for a few runs. 
    Her first run down might have set a land speed record, but she definitely has the upright stance down.  
    I could see her issue was forming the right “pizza” shape with her skis, and I had bought before the trip clips for the front of the skis to keep them together without letting the tips cross.  
    The clips make shuffling your feet tough, but on the mountain she’s a pro.  She can stop and sort of turn (assuming she remembers her right from left). 
    I regained my form almost immediately and it was like riding a bike. Didn’t fall over once, although getting off the lift once I did leap frog my daughter when she tumbled. 

    we skied for about 3.5 hours and it was pretty crappy day. Temps in low 40s and constant drizzle. It wasn’t so bad on the slopes but everything gets wet and my daughters gloves got too wet so her hands were freezing. 

    Truth be told, I started feeling the lack of sleep, loss of energy, and distinct lack of coffee. 
    at 12:30 we decided to call it and headed back to the condo. 
    The worst part of skiing is the Sherpa part where you have to lug all the equipment to/from the car.  She isn’t strong enough to carry all of her own equipment and one adult means you have to split the trips up. 
    When we got back to the condo, I put up the clothes to dry and immediately napped.  This was a deep and hard nap, like after a red eye where you don’t sleep.  
    I woke up and felt still awful.  Was I sick? COVID?  Turns out I just needed coffee.
  15. Like
    Skigoofy reacted to Matt in Skiing of the Seas - Still Another Not a Cruise Live Blog   
    The line to get our rental took a while, maybe 45 mins or so. But we had plenty of time. 

    They processed us fairly quickly and we were on our way.  
  16. Like
    Skigoofy reacted to Matt in Skiing of the Seas - Still Another Not a Cruise Live Blog   
    At last we made it!

    first up, waiting in a mammoth line to pick up rentals. That’s fine because I only bought lift tickets for tomorrow and Sunday. So today is the “get ready day”

  17. Like
    Skigoofy reacted to Matt in Skiing of the Seas - Still Another Not a Cruise Live Blog   
    Good points on temps! Just hoping it all goes well, and as we know, @twangsteris the voice of reason (unless he sided with @Lovetocruise2002 against me).
    Today we hit the road!
    After Gabby got back from school, we began the drive. 

    It’s a 10 hour drive, and for the drive up, we split it up. 
    Aside from an accident in Orlando, traffic moved well and we made good time with one stop for dinner and gas. 
    We rolled into the metropolis that is Walterboro, SC a little before 9pm. I booked a room at a Holiday Inn Express, which I paid for in points I accrued in the “old world” days of travel pre-COVID. 
    Hotel is nice, but they are remodeling so there’s parts walled off and front desk warned us construction noise begins at 8am. Fine for us, we have to get back on the road!
    The room is great and up to Holiday Inn standards. 

    I was satisfied with the COVID protocols of the hotel. Plexiglass at front desk, places to stand, room clean, etc. 
    Time for a good night’s sleep so we can get to the mountain tomorrow!
  18. Like
    Skigoofy reacted to JLMoran in Z-plasty? WTH is a Z-plasty? (Yet *another* nahtacruz blog)   
    So the surgery went without a hitch. Got there at 6:15, was being carted into the OR right on time at 7:30. A few minutes later, I was in blackout from whatever cocktail they put in my IV before wheeling me in there.
    I woke up at 8:30, zero pain in the foot. Doc said the local injections he was giving me should be good for 8, maybe even 10 hours. He also said, and this is the part I wasn’t so thrilled to hear, that the skin was pretty tight after he sutured everything up. Even with the Z-plasty approach he used. His estimate is a 50-75% chance this is going to work.
    He said he was debating going the full skin graft right then and there while I was on the table, but decided to take a wait-and-see approach. There was nothing bad about the underlying tissue, and all the surrounding tissue looked good, so I guess he wants to see if I’ve got just enough Wolverine-type healing factor to pull it off.
    It’s just wrapped in an ace bandage, with packing underneath where he worked. No weight restrictions, but I do need to keep it elevated as much as possible over the next couple of days at least.
    He said on Wednesday I can remove all the bandaging and take a normal shower. No need to wrap the site in plastic or anything, but at the same time I shouldn’t scrub it or anything else “aggressive”. And then I’ll just need some gauze pads to cover it, and I can wear a regular sock.
    Fingers crossed this is as “mild” a recovery as he’s thinking it’ll be!
  19. Like
    Skigoofy reacted to melmar02 in A Hole in our Yard - Another Not a Cruise Live Blog   
    @JLMoran Our builder uses gunite which is shot through the hose as a powder. There is a second hose for water. The two are mixed as they come out of the hoses, and the guy spraying them can adjust the water and therefore thickness of what is being sprayed on the walls. To be honest, I've never mixed concrete myself, so I'm not sure if it is thinner or not. This seemed to be pretty thick, kind of like mortar that was then spread out with various tools to form the inner shape. Kind of like icing a cake with buttercream. I can do all kinds of different things with icing depending on how thick it is. 
    The outside dried relatively quickly. The crew finished at 2pm, and the project manager stopped by closely thereafter and said that we could get in it that night if we avoided the edges of the steps and benches. If we waited until today we wouldn't have to worry about them though. It's a foot thick in some places so to keep the outside from forming cracks while the inside dries, we have to wet it down twice a day. When they finished, they dug 4 little holes in the bottom back down to the dirt underneath that will just be filled with plaster at the end of the project. If we get more rain and any water accumulates under the shell, this will prevent it from floating on top of the water like a boat, the holes will let that water come into the pool instead. 
    In about a week they'll come out to finish the plumbing and electrical, then they install the water line tile.

  20. Like
    Skigoofy got a reaction from parkyy2k in Fake, Made Up and Completely Impossible Virtual Cruise Blog   
    Thank you for this! I can almost feel the sun on my face instead of the fluorescent work lights in my eyes.
  21. Like
    Skigoofy reacted to R.J. in The $20,000 cruise surprise (Ovation of the Seas)   
    You've thought about it, you've dreamt about it, you've researched it - Are you going to do something about it?
    Lets have a look and see what I did.
    Many Many Many years ago, my parents took the whole family on cruises around the south pacific. I still have a hand carved fisherman's sail boat model from Fiji with 1977 carved into the side. (Hmmm 43 years ago) Back then you could throw coins over the side of the ship when in port and the local would swim down and pick them up, how times have changed.
    We are addict's, all it took for me then was a taste 43 years ago and even to this day I love cruising !!!!
    I had wanted to cruise for a VERY long time and based on my professional responsibilities it just wasn't possible.
    My best friend and I had talked about taking a cruise for a very long time. And it took a long time for both of our schedules to be in line with each other so that we could take time off work to go on a cruise together.
    In August of 2019 on the celebrity reflection, my best friend and I (Including Families) took a 12 NIGHT SCANDINAVIA & RUSSIA CRUISE.
    Well like a junkie that has been clean for decades, my cruise addiction got what it needed and like a fresh blood transfusion "CRUISING" was back in my blood.
    Within a month of returning from Russia, I had booked a cruise for my family. The problem I had, was that it was going to be a surprise, a VERY BIG surprise and I could not tell them.
    Every chance I got, I was watching Royal Caribbean Blog, The Klaykowski's (AKA The ship show), Cruise tips TV, Tips for Travelers and on and on. "I LOVED IT". Some of it as silly as it sounds was over my head and not until now do I understand what and why they were saying things.
    If it was mentioned, I bought it. Magnetic Hooks, Highlighters, collapsible laundry hampers, first aid kits, dental kits, sunglasses, sunhats and the list goes on. If you recommended it I got it.
    My mother had died in January and I thought that it would be a great surprise for my father to go on a cruise with us. In short my father has become a home body and getting him to the cruise terminal in Sydney, let alone out of the house was a bigger task than I thought it was going to be.
    After three subtle attempts to see if I could get him to Sydney (Australia) to go to sea world, I accepted that he was simply content at home and that was OK.
    So how do you purchase all of these cruise must haves and not have anyone catch on to the fact that that's exactly what you are planning.
    EASY -  You invent a cruise !!!! What I mean is, you let them know that you are planning a cruise sometime in the distant future but not when they expect it.
    At the time, we were in Hong Kong and I had told them that I have arranged a vacation at Sea World on the Gold Coast (Queensland, Australia). Everyone was happy we were going on a vacation.
    Problem was that the cruise I had planned was departing out of Sydney and Sea World is in another state, Queensland. Kind of like saying we were going to Orlando but needed to go via New York.
    When going to Australia we always flew into Sydney, so telling them that we would fly into Sydney spending a couple of days there and then flying to Brisbane did not draw any undue attention.
    The reason I used Sea World, was because they had already been there before and they knew what to expect. Because it is a resort it was easy to explain why they needed swimming paraphernalia, hats, sunglasses and so on.
    So how do you explain why they need cocktail dresses, evening wear, high heeled shoes and so on? I know - tell them that I have prepared a professional photo shoot. We need everyone looking their best so the family can have some lovely photo's to look back on.
    I had planned everything down to the most minuscule detail. I went to a photo store to laminate their boarding passes, I had their bag tags printed in color, I had personal lanyards made. I even bought them Samsung tablets (Not iPads) as a ruse to give them gifts that included their boarding passes in a bag.
    Being the genius that I am, I forgot where I hid the damn things before we left. Using some Sherlock Homes logic I worked out - now where would you hide those things if I were you. I FOUND THEM. Afterwards thinking what kind of an idiot would hide them there.
    Just think about planning a cruise months in advance and 1.) You cannot tell anyone and 2.) Getting them to pack for it. It's crazy !!!
    My wife though I was nut's, because I was watching her pack. I've never done this before, but she is a genius at packing. (Yes I got the CUBES) This was to ensure that she didn't forget anything (She did - no magnetic hooks or collapsible clothes hamper.) Who needs that stuff at sea world right.
    A small side note. We had a mini brake in Japan earlier in the year. We were staying at Universal Studios (Osaka) Japan and on one of our day trips went to Osaka Aquarium for the day. To get there you take a short ferry trip from universal to the aquarium.
    After the day at the aquarium, on the way back to our hotel. While we were on the return trip on the ferry, guess what ? We passed Spectrum of the Seas. I just wanted to explode, I just wanted to shout out and say "LOOK THATS WHAT YOU WILL BE ON AT XMAS" It took so much strength to keep my mouth shut, but I did and the surprise was still safe - so the story continues.
    We arrived in Sydney two days before the cruise, so we were in no rush. Qantas for the most part are very reliable, so I was not expecting any flight delays. I was able to upgrade of flight tickets so the surprise was just getting better and better. They didn't know about the business class seats either.
    When I mentioned that I had planned this down to the most minuscule detail I was not kidding. I had booked a hotel in Sydney that would require us to take a ferry into Circular Quay. Circular Quay is where the cruise ships dock in-between the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbor bridge. This would have us pass the Ovation of the Seas before reaching the wharf.
    I had made sure that I had the current time table for the ferry, so that we would pass the ship just at the right time and subsequently we could board the ship at our predetermined boarding time.
    I don't know what time we went to bed the night before the BIG SURPRISE cruise, I was so paranoid about sleeping in and missing the ferry.
    Remember my wife and two daughters thought that we were going to Sydney airport from the hotel to fly to Brisbane. I'm so close at pulling this off. so so close.
    We had stayed at this hotel before and my wife new that we could get a reliable airport shuttle service.
    From the hotel to the wharf, where the ferry was to depart was about a 5 minute work downhill (A very steep downward hill) We had five large suitcases, backpacks, camera bags and nick knacks hanging off us. We looked like Sherpas taking guests belongings to the top of Everest.
    I'm so close, we were all struggling going down the hill with all of this luggage. My wife looks at me like you cheap bastard you could not even cough up enough money to get the airport shuttle.
    We are half an hour away from the greatest surprise ever and do I have to take this #$%@ from her. YES YOU DO! She doesn't know and I probably would have thought the same thing.
    We get to the wharf everything is on track, we are early for the ferry and we are almost there. One thing I have not mentioned is that this ferry is designed for commuters carrying either a hand bag or a brief case, not a family of four going away for two weeks on a cruise.
    In Australia everyone is quite nice and patient so like a worker bee I grab one bag put it on the ferry and run back and get another till we have everything onboard the ferry.
    Now I have to get the timing just right, as I had envisaged such a long time ago I was going to get this on film. How do I get them outside while I get their xmas gift bags ready?
    We will be passing the Sydney Opera house which is on the left hand side of the ferry and the Ovation of the Seas will be on the right hand side as we pull into the wharf.
    I ask my wife to take the girls out and get some shots with the Sydney opera house in the background, OK - no problem out they go. Every second counts now I have to get it just right.
    I get everything organized, all of the bags are in order and ready to be given out. I go out the back and ask them to stand on the opposite side of the ferry and this is what happened.
    When booking the cruise I figured this will be a one off and if I am going to do it I should go all out and give them a cruise that they will never forget. Hence the cost of the surprise, you only live once and life is here to be enjoyed and experienced to the fullest. Also when I booked it I planned for my father to be in our room as well so we needed a large room.
    We got a suite and every extra possible, the only thing I regret now is that I didn't know about STAR class. (SKY class sucks, it's like being a brides maid.)
    To follow up their surprise about finding out about the cruise, the next surprise was going to be seeing their room.
    The next video is of the family seeing their room for the first time. If you cannot smile while ,during or after this room (I cannot really call it a room tour) surprise you need to go take some happy pills.
    I hope that you have enjoyed this little adventure and trust that you can have as much fun in the future cruising as we had in the past.
    Just so that I could link these videos to this BLOG, I had to create a YouTube channel about half an hour ago. Nothing sexy to see, just life in the raw.
    Maybe I will be as creative as Matt and learn how to edit one day.
    Best Regards
    I was also wrong about this cruise. I thought that it was going to be a one off - NO - I have four more cruises booked with more surprises to come.
  22. Like
    Skigoofy reacted to melmar02 in A Hole in our Yard - Another Not a Cruise Live Blog   
    Yes, they took 2 panels of our fence down to get in. That side of the house has a retaining wall that runs the length of our yard with the fence posts set into the wall. They cut the post between the two panels and will weld it back together when they put the panels back up in a couple months. The fence will stay down for most of the project. 
    The excavation includes haul away for every company we spoke with, so there are a couple dump trucks taking turns getting filled and taking the dirt away. Excavation, closely followed by gunite, was the biggest part of the total bill. 
    We didn't get a cover as we don't really winterize pools here. No sales guy has even mentioned one to us. We'll be able to swim without a heater from the beginning of May through the end of September, and we'll add a couple months to both sides of that with the heater. We had a cover for the pool I had growing up, and we hardly ever used it. We'll just skim the leaves and the the Polaris work its magic in December and January every year. 
    Here's a better picture of where they took down the fence. It's starting to take shape. 

  23. Like
    Skigoofy reacted to melmar02 in A Hole in our Yard - Another Not a Cruise Live Blog   
    Gunite. We went with a medium blue. The plaster in pool we had growing up was really white. I'm not sure if that's what my parents picked or if it just faded, but it was too bright. Then they had major problems with the pump and it was a bit so lovely shade of dark green for a while. I wanted something in between. Pebble Sheen Blue Surf.
    I'm sure I'll have a cousin Eddie crawl out of the woodwork come summer. That will probably be my brother in law. 😆. We considered both, and we decided on chlorine. 
    We have company this morning! 

  24. Like
    Skigoofy reacted to melmar02 in A Hole in our Yard - Another Not a Cruise Live Blog   
    I'm not gonna lie. This has absolutely nothing to do with cruising, but I know I'm not the only one hurting for the excitement of living vicariously though someone else's vacation. I really miss seeing those pictures of a stranger's first glimpse of their grand ship, the awe of looking up the centrum or promenade, and all that food, glorious food. So in the spirit of @WAAAYTOOO's house recon I thought I would share my family's journey just to give us all a diversion. We're getting a pool! 
    We've talked about a pool for some time. The yard in our old house would have been perfect for one, but with two little kids, we knew we were going to outgrow that small house quickly. So we put the thought to bed. Even though we really wanted one, it just didn't make financial sense at the time. We built the house we are in now almost four years ago, and our yard is much, much smaller. We tossed the idea around every now and then, but it was always just a passing comment and didn't feel right - there wasn't any real excitement around the thought. Then 2020 came along, and we were all stuck at home. Towards the end of spring, we starting talking about finally landscaping the backyard and got excited about putting in some pavers for a fire pit. You know, so we could go on vacation from the tv in the living room.
    Summer was coming and the plans were almost finalized. Along with summer comes all things water so we started hitting up the community pool. However, it seemed a hassle with having to time when we thought capacity wouldn't be an issue, but having to come right back home if there were too many people there. Sigh. Then one day in late June, an excavator magically showed up in our back neighbor's yard, and is was a like a sign. We were inspired by the dust and noise next door! What started as a fire pit suddenly grew to add a pool, spa, and since we're having work done anyway, a small outdoor kitchen. I spent about a week researching, mapping out the lot and overlaying some designs... ok, we could make a pool fit back here... let's call a few companies a get some quotes! 
    Well just about every other homeowner in our area had the same idea.  After playing telephone tag with 10 different pool builders, we finally got in touch with 3 of them. They took our info and said a sales guy would call us back...in 2-3 weeks! Only 2 of those sales guys actually called, even after following up with the 3rd guy over and over, and we set appointments for them to come out and look at our yard which took another 3 weeks. To be honest, we really weren't surprised at the delay because about every 5th house in our neighborhood had a pool company's sign in their front yard. 
    We met with both sales guys on August 7, and after another couple weeks, we finally we got renderings and quotes back from the two companies. One was just ok and was way over our budget due to a plumbing feature they put on every pool that's included in the cost. I had visions of Fargo and William H. Macy trying to sell us the special undercoat was applied at the factory. The other design was a lot more elegant and much closer to the cost we had in mind. So we refinanced the house at a significantly lower rate, cashed out some equity, and signed the contract. Time to wait for permits!
    And wait...and wait...and wait. The pool company said it would take 3-4 weeks for the city to approve the permits, but I had been following a few other pool builds on our neighborhood's facebook page and knew it would be closer to 5-6. Well throw Thanksgiving in there, when our small town city offices shut down for the week, and it wound up being closer to 8 weeks. Good news though - our dig is finally scheduled for this Monday. Santa's bringing us a hole in the backyard!  
    Here are a few different angles of the renderings our builder provided us. Unfortunately, since we live in the outer suburbs of Dallas, the mountains will not be included. 

    We've also picked out the materials for the decking, tile, stone, and interior. The deck will be similar to the coping.

    Once water is in the pool, it should look like this.

    Hopefully we don't have a lot of delays (we expect there will be some; that's just part of a build job). Right now we should have water in the pool in 90-120 days. Just in time for cruising to take back over!

  25. Like
    Skigoofy reacted to Cruiseallday in Covid 19 Vaccine   
    I get my Covid 19 Vaccine on Wednesday. I feel cautiously optimistic about cruising starting up in the 2nd quarter of next year. At least a few ships at least. It looks like by April anybody in the general public should be able to receive the vaccine. Lets just keep our fingers crossed! 
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