Sunday, April 7, 2013
The characters are diverse and so well written you long to introduce yourself and hang out with them !
In the beginning the only thing they seem to have in common is that they are all residents in the beautiful Alexander........a luxurious, old world charm apartment building in downtown Atlanta where only the ritzy can afford to live.
Samantha Davis....a forty something beauty whose outward beauty screams, " high fluting rich (well you know the type) who appears unapproachable". She married high profile, handsome attorney, Johnathon Davis 25 years ago for security when at 21 she found herself an orphan with two younger siblings to raise........... "Samantha is a true case of looks can be so deceiving.".
Claire Walker........ she knew before she said I do that she really didn't! After giving it her best for a few short years, she said; "I do to a divorce " and set out to raise her young daughter Hailey and become a novelist. Now that Hailey is off to college and with two published Historical Romance Novels under her belt she moves to a studio at the Alexander to write full time where she discovers..........
"you can force a writers butt into a chair but you can't make her think"
Brooke Mackenzie.....mother of two small daughters has just been dumped in an apartment she didn't want to be in , by her ex-husband Zachary whom she didn't want to be her ex. Finding herself living the age old story.... "I worked 2 jobs to put him through medical school, residency and set him up in private practice and I get dumped for Barbie " .
As if that wasn't enough, " Ken & Barbie" decide to move into the Alexander also making Brooke even more miserable!!
Edward Parker..........Downton Abbey fans.......think Mr. Carson with a little Mr. Bates thrown in!
Edward hails from Britain where his family has been "in service" for eons. He now holds the coveted position of Concierge of The Alexander where he sees too much and knows more about it's residents than they seem to know about themselves.
The residents are brought together when Edward decides to make Sunday nights in the club room
" Downton Abbey Night " complete with English food and drinks. They will watch one episode a week of Season 1 & 2 in preparation of the upcoming Season 3 premiere.
Thus the story of true friendship, mother/daughter relationships and finding ones self starts to emerge in these 3 totally opposite women as they form a common bond. Wendy Wax has placed in our hands a work of fiction that not only entertains but delights us and leaves us wanting more,more,more of both these characters and Downton Abbey !!! Get yours today, you won't be sorry!!!
Tuesday, August 7, 2012
One of the small towns I would have loved to visit was Haines, population about 1,800. However our ship only passed it by between Juneau and Skagway. This is a wonderful read about a newly married couple who went to Alaska for their honeymoon and stayed. It is the true story of Heather and Chip Lende's life in small town Alaska. I promise you will want to move to Haines after reading this one! Heather is a fantastic story teller!
Another great one was this historical true account of a Kindergarten teacher, 29 year old Laura Berton, who goes to Alaska in 1907 to teach school and stays 25 years.
Before we go any further I want to talk about "book popularity" these days. It seems readers, especially women, have gone crazy over the 50 Shades of Gray Series. I have not nor do I intend to read these books. Since these books "promote" both erotic sex and domestic violence, I think it is scary that they are so popular. Also it seems authors now days think that in order to sell books, they must use foul language and sex to do so. I don't agree! Think " To Kill A Mockingbird" or "Gone With The Wind" or Google Best Selling Books of All Time! I can look past some language and some sex but I keep a donation box to put the ones that turn me off in. Here lately I find that Christian Fiction and Historical Fiction bring me the most reading pleasure! This "Diamond of The Rockies" series by Kristien Heitzmann was wonderful! Set in the Colorado Gold Rush Days it tells the story of Carina DiGratia's move from Sonoma,California to Crystal Colorado a tent city of miners where a woman by herself is anything but safe. It is Christian Fiction.
Another CF Author whom I've discovered and love is Colleen Coble.
I ordered "Alaska Twilight"
and loved it so much...........
I got "Wyoming". It is 4 short novels in one set in the "wild west" territory days of Indians and Army forts that I hated to see end.
I also ordered her "Rock Harbor" series of 4 books and look forward to reading them. I just finished "Without A Trace" and it's wonderful! One to the next!
So....that's my list of recommendations of some great 5 star reads I hope you will give a try and I know you will enjoy!!
Tuesday, July 31, 2012
And.....it's raining! Since we were the first ship this season to experience dry weather in Juneau, Skagway and Tracy Arm, we weren't about to complain......
This was our favorite city of the cruise, the atmosphere is wonderful!
And....since Ketchikan is Alaska's rainiest city, it was perfect!
At 7:20 we met to board the bus for our excursion to the historic..........
Our driver dropped us off and we commenced to walk down 79 stair steps to the lodge....
Not so bad, it's the coming back up that gets you!
Where we boarded this boat for our Dungeness Crab catch..........
Here is a collage of "the brave" holding the crabs from our pot. Grandson Chris helps the guide pull the pot up... Now this was a hoot and we had fun!
We then cruised back to the lodge.....
To enjoy our
" all- you- can- eat" Crab Feast!
Dungeness Crab is the best thing I've ever tasted, I put it ahead of the best Lobster out there!
They had to run us off!
The bad part was we had to be back on ship by 12:00 PM, which left us 10 minutes to shop in town. We were so disappointed as Ketchikan is where you shop for Alaskan Made Items. :(
DAY 7............Victoria, BC
We were at sea most of the day but headed downstairs at 4:45 to watch son Todd who was in the top 3 of the talent contest that had gone on every night, belt out an awesome version of the song "Free Falling". He actually lost the contest by one vote to a girl from NJ who sang a Celine Dion song. ( Debi Greene you should have stayed and voted! HA! )
We actually were hoping a 92 year old woman named Georgie from Washington State would win it.
At 7:00 PM we docked in Victoria, BC......
We did not plan an excursion here since we were departing @ midnight and had to be back on ship @ 11:30 PM. There was so much packing to do after dinner since we had to have all our luggage out in the hall by midnight.
I took this pic of our fabulous dining room waiter Noel on our last night. He was just amazing every night and we actually were sad to leave him! He posed in front of the "Baked Alaska".
I want to say a special " THANK YOU " to son Todd, wife Lori & family for giving us the gift of visiting the most beautiful place we've ever seen...........
We are totally in LOVE with her.........and we're already planning to take a trip back by air and stay at least 2 weeks!!!!
If you've never been............GO! RUN! WALK! FLY! CRUISE! JUST GO!
Monday, July 30, 2012
This is a collage made from pics I took..........
Here is a great video(not mine) that will educate you on Tracy Arm history and give you your on tour........ENJOY!
Thursday, July 26, 2012
Our excursion started with a bus taking us to the White Pass Depot to board a train to FraiserBC.
We rode this train but they also have a steam engine train, pictured below, that runs on certain days.....
This was our conductor whom I thought looked straight out of the 1800s...........
DIL Lori gets serious with GD Taylor when she hears we are about to cross a VERY high bridge!
Gold was never found in Skagway but it was the point at which the prospectors got ready to leave civilization and make the long hard trek across the Yukon Pass in search of wealth. The old foot path can still be seen. When the railroad was put in, it made carrying all the gear and food they would need a much easier task.
An interesting fact we learned about Skagway is that no one has been born there since the 1970s. They do not have a doctor there, only a clinic with 2 nurse practitioners. Women are removed at the start of their last trimester to Anchorage or Seattle to await the birth. If they are high risk, they are moved before the last trimester.
If you visit Skagway......ride the train as it will let you see a part of Alaska that will mesmerize you! The train made a couple of stops to let Hiker/Campers off. I'm assuming they were to be picked up a day or two later and taken back to Skagway.
In the distance you can see Bridal Falls which can only be seen from the train.......
For 15 years starting in 1923, George Buchanan, a Detroit Coal Merchant, began bringing groups of 50 boys and girls to Alaska to teach them about earning and saving money. This wall commemorates his effort.
When we got to the Canadian Border at Fraiser BC our bus was there to pick us up for the ride back to Skagway via the Klondike Highway..........
We enjoyed the bus ride back as you see some different scenery and our driver stopped at this sign so we could get pictures.........
A short distance past the sign is where we saw this Black Bear having lunch.....
He also stopped at this overlook where you can look down on Skagway and see the town along with the cruise ships in dock. On the far right are 2 Princess ships. The Golden is in front with the Diamond right behind her.
We were then dropped off in downtown Skagway at the historic Skagway Inn for lunch and then picked up for some Gold Panning! This "old time prospector" was a delight!
The Gold Panning was located on the banks of the Skagway River...........
Turns out I can add "panning" to my list of talents! I ended up doing both Hubby & son Todd's as they just couldn't "get it right"..... :)
After combining mine and Eric's, we had $37.51 in gold which I had put in a necklace. Todd's family of 5 panned $ 51.00 worth which was put in a necklace for DIL Lori!
Here's my necklace!
We were then dropped off in town for sightseeing and some shopping........
This is the 1899 Alaskan Brotherhood building whose front is made from driftwood..........
It now a museum........
As time to be back on ship approaches, the town empties...........
Day 5 will be be the Awesome Tracy Arms Fjord.................
Have a great weekend!!!
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
However it only takes one United Airlines Flight Delay to turn your dream into a nightmare!
Sit back and have a good laugh at our expense ??? :)
We left Hattiesburg and drove to New Orleans to spend the night as we had to be at the airport at 4:30 AM for our 5:54 Am flight to San Fransisco aboard United. We were told the flight was delayed due to mechanical problems and "hopefully" would take off at 12:00 noon. We were then told that all flights were overbooked and we would NOT make our ship in Seattle ! OMG! I was in tears! Since our flights were booked by Princess Cruises and United guarantees you to make the ship, United told us that we were to be switched in San Fran to Alaska Airlines, put up in a hotel in Seattle and flown to Juneau on Sunday morning to join our ship at noon on Monday. Take my advice....don't EVER book on United !!!
We arrived in beautiful Juneau at 7:00 Am Alaska time Sunday morning.
The airport is very small but so pretty. These were hanging in the airport.
This Grizzly was hanging out in a glass cage so hubby got close..........
This is a view of the Taxi parking lot and a gorgeous mountain.......
We were picked up by our hotel, The Driftwood Lodge, who were absolutely wonderful in getting a room ready and letting us check in early as we'd had only 3 hours sleep. Our room was the one on the bottom right, in back of the gray and red cars.
Right next door was a wonderful cafe The Sandpiper. After a hot shower and a few hours sleep we had lunch there. Hubby tried an Elk Burger which he did not like but I had a Reuben which was so good.
This was the view from our room.......
Juneau is full of these huge Ravens and they have no fear of humans. I loved hearing them as they seem to converse with each other constantly.
Monday morning we were told by Princess that we would NOT be allowed to board until all passengers had disembarked the ship which meant that we would NOT get to go on our Juneau Excursion for Whale Watching & Mendenhall Glacier !! Here comes the tears again! So we went for a walk on the streets of Juneau and since all the shops don't open until "a ship docks" we only saw this lonely Bear.
At 11:30 my son called and said they were docking so the hotel loaded us up and took us to the pier. We were shocked to see about 20 others waiting who had also missed the ship in Seattle due to United. We met 3 couples from Shreveport, La who had gone through a worse ordeal than us. We also got to see our family coming off the ship on their way to the excursion which made me feel much better. When we checked in we were told we could book a later excursion in Juneau but I WAS NOT ABOUT TO LEAVE THAT SHIP !!! :)
Of course the ship was pretty empty because everyone had been on the ship since Saturday and were ready to feel land under their feet. We also learned that in reality, we were lucky because they had gone through some rough seas and half the ship got sea sick and all the entertainment was canceled because the ship was rocking so bad.
Thanks for laughing with me and not at me !!!! :)