Mr Clayton your keycard is at the Priority Lounge!

yee haw. Looks like we have won the lottery and are being granted VIP status.   Hopefully full benefits but we shall see. 

sitting in the priority lounge waiting to board:


Nice Day. 

Writing this from the United Club at Dulles while waiting for our flight to Tampa.  Had a nice evening with Sam & Yost, both their Mom’s, some of their other out of town friends and very late in he evening, Yost’s son from New Hampshire.  After a crazy day it was so nice to relax and just chat with old friends.  For those who have followed this blog before, Y&S were with us for Mike’s big 50 trip to Italy…it was Yost’s big birthday too.  

After a wonderful night of sleep And helpingthem move some of the party supplies to the venue we had coffee and croissants.  Then a mike and I took a cherry blossom tour of east Potomac park and the tidal basin.  Was a beautiful day, sunny, warm, but not too warm.  The peak was earlier in the week, but still pretty.

Afterwards, we packed up, dressed up(a little) and had a great time with 80 of Yost and Sam’s family and fiends before heading back to Dulles.  All in all a great 24 hours with great friends.  Our plane is already here ( we don’t board for another hour) so hopefully we will get to Tampa on time 12:30 am (ugh) and make it our hotel uneventfully.  Have a quick sleep and then head to board Norwegian Sun.

Tomorrow the vacation truly begins! 




Made it.  

Had an uneventful flight and made it to DC just fine.  Because we were four hours earlier than Hertz expected us, we had to wait a bit for our convertible to be ready but we pulled away from Dulles at 7 and made it to our friends Yost and Sam’s place 35 minutes later.   We added this leg to the trip to attend the party celebrating their wedding which occurred on Jan 2nd.   We will celebrate with them tomorrow afternoon and then head back to the airport to wing our way to Tampa.  

I always think at least one thing has to go haywire on a trip so I’m counting on the whole flight cancelation is it.  Fingers crossed.  


How many gates does IAH have anyway?

So LaJuan “Kyle Petty” Harris got us to the airport in plenty of time.  Dropped our bags. Bought lunch and got to  gate 34 10 minutes before boarding was to begin. Note this was not the gate shown on our boarding pass.  2 minutes later we were moved to gate 39.   While waiting to Board the sign kept changing from Dulles to Phoenix.  While we were waiting Mike noticed there were two first class seats available so we rechecked in, plopped down an additional $75 dollars (we hav already pis $75 for econ+ and voila we no longer need our bad airport sandwiches, we get bad airplane lunch!   Anyway,   10 minutes later we were moved to Gate 43.  (That makes FOUR!    So we are standing  waiting to board. Out now delayed aircraft which is now unloading.  

Fingers crossed no more gate changes and that I we will be on our way shortly. 


Oh jeez.  

10:15 united texts that our 4:05 pm departure is delayed to 9:50.    So after a 15 min on hold with United we are rebooked on the 12:52 departure.   Can’t reach our original ride so Shanghai a coworker to take us.   Posting this from what feels like the Daytona 500 as lovely LaJuan rushes us to the airport.  Looks like we will make it.  

Our hero (no she wasn’t texting while driving)




Due to my crazy travel schedule over the last three weeks (Boston, Dallas,  San Antonio, Boston again) we packed out big bags three weeks ago. That meant we only had to run by Target for bug repellent and come home to pack out bag for DC and Tampa after work tonight (Thursday).  Once again I underestimated how long it can take….it’s now 10:42 pm!  But we are ready!  Haircut in the morning before work, office til noon and then we are off.   

Hard to believe the time is finally here.   When we booked this cruise it seemed a loooooong way away but the time  actually went pretty fast. Just hope the next three weeks move a little slower.   


Booking a big ole stateroom for the cost of a cheap one…and what in the world is a double cross meta upgrade?

We originally booked the cruise more than a year ago when we were able to snag one of the two forward facing (relatively) low cost balcony cabins.  We were able to use reward points from our Norwegian Cruise Line branded loyalty credit card to “upgrade” ourself from an inside cabin to the balcony cabin.  This type of upgrade is known as a double (because we went up two categories) cross meta (because we jumped from an inside across an ocean view up to a balcony). Upgrades can be from a lower category of a type of cabin to a higher one.  From a low deck inside stateroom to another inside on a higher deck for example.  Or they can be cross meta from an inside stateroom to one with an ocean view.  But blow 60,000 points and you can jump across two like we did.  (20,000 points were gained for signing up, the rest from always using it for Norwegian purchases 2 points per $ and when I learned about the upgrade possibilities using it for just about everything.!) 

The great thing about the 2xMeta that it takes the same number of points no matter the overall cost or length of the cruise…so for our 19 days we used the same number of points we would have for a 7day one.  The cost differencefor a short cruise might only be $200 or $300 but in this case we “saved” about $2,500!  

Of course at the this past January I was a bit frustrated and perturbed when after our final payment was due and paid, they significantly lowered the fares in an effort to sell out the ship (it worked) which meant that other balcony cabins were selling for what we paid for ours (at an inside rate).  I tried to convince Norwegian to lower my cost to the new price of insides which they wouldn’t do without me canceling (we would have had a $ penalty but we still would have been a few bucks ahead) which meant we would stand the chance of loosing “our” cabin.   However, they did offer us an onboard credit of $600 which is what the credit card points were worth if we cashed them in for cash. I asked and they agreed To instead redeposit our points so we have the opportunity to do it all over again.

So we will have to find another long cruise!


19 Days. No email.  And the Panama Canal!

For years I have wanted to cruise the Panama Canal and after hearing about our friends Peggy and Lowell’s transit in an aft facing stateroom I knew I only wanted to do it on one end of the ship or the other so that we could see everything along the way.   

As some of you know, Mike and I have sailed on Norwegian Cruise Line’s Sun previously (’round the horn, couple of carribean cruises) and enjoy its relatively small size and atmosphere.  And because it has two really nice bow facing staterooms with big balconies. For the last several years when Norwegian announced their future itineraries I would try to book “our” cabin for the Panama Canal cruises buy never was able to snag them.    Finally last year however I was successful! So if you are interested, follow along as we go from Tampa to Vancouver.