Join me in Snarkville

Being snarky is the only thing that makes this place enjoyable. After all, if you can't laugh at others, how do you feel superior?

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Location: Snarkville, Left Coast

Treat me no differently than you would any Queen. I rule my Snarky kingdom with some kind of dignity, but I refuse to add grace. I rule with my Prince of a husband (he can't be King, since he married into his royal title) and my son the Duke of Snarkville.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

My last post...

....yes, I've decided to take a little plunge and move this little snarky world out on her own to her own domain. So please continue to keep up with me at:

I was able to import all the juicy goodness that is here over onto my new blog -- so please feel free to forget this place even existed ;) (read: a redirect will be going in soon)

Good bye fair Blogger -- I think Snarkville is ready for the world!

Thursday, June 08, 2006

There's No Place Like Home

Dorothy was so right. However, no amount of clicking my heels together got me home on time yesterday. There was an hour delay in Atlanta (raise your hand if you are shocked). We arrived in the "A" terminal, were told to go to "E" terminal. We grabbed lunch and tried to keep occupied for the 3 hour lay-over. Then, I got this feeling that the gate was going to be changed on us. Prince checked -- and YUP, it was. Back to "T" terminal. Shoot me.
Let me paint a picture. I checked everything I could. We carried with us, 3 backpacks (Duke's is on wheels) and a car seat. And still we were loaded down like pack mules. You might think we carried on too much stuff -- but NO -- there was NOTHING we carried on that we didn't use -- NOTHING.
We got to the T gate and found out the plane was delayed by 30 minutes -- but they were still unloading the inbound plane at 2:45pm (we were scheduled to pushback at 3pm). Ok, on the plane, get settled -- Duke took his nap. We look up to see an entire high school heading our way. There was a band/drill team from St. Louis heading to Honolulu, HI. There were at least 5 rows all the way across the wide body plane with no one over 17. URGH. While I'll admit they were better than I expected -- that's not saying much. I was pooped when we arrived. The upside was that those kids weren't fighting me at the bag claim when I got my bags -- FWIW, the fastest I've gotten bags in my life.
Home. For like 40 seconds. I had a meeting to run off (I was 45 minutes late -- but everyone kept telling me "why are you even here" -- dedication, folks, dedication --- or insanity, maybe.)

In other news, I have tons to do -- but right this second I'm waiting for the washing machine to finish so I can shower. Then off to do real work -- yippie.

For Niki: I am waiting for a photo of the costumes and I will NOT announce what we were until I've got that photo. Trust me, it will blow you away.

For Sue: Yes, I'll be there tonight!

I need more coffee. Lots more after this whirlwind. Next trip -- end of June to Seattle and Canada.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Less than 24 hours left in Florida

Yes, I'm counting the hours. Not that I don't just love all this hot, humid, fun-packed vacation spot you have down here (I don't), but I miss home. I'm not sleeping well because I miss my cats sleeping on my feet or my head whichever. I miss my routine. I miss -- well, I miss pretty much everything. I did get a much needed little break, but I was done with this and ready for home about 4 days ago and all else has seemed overkill.
However, all that said, I feel I just MUST update you on the experiences.
On Freedom of the Seas:
When last we spoke of this ship I was sorely disappointed. Well, it did improve a bit. The service for the second dinner was better, but I have to say that I think that Royal Caribbean had scaled back service to the point that it was really lacking. Many agents commented on how hard it was on them to serve 1500 passenagers and wondered how they would handle 4,000. I wasn't as concerned really. Knowing that this ship is going to be in the Caribbean, the ports of call will help off-load much of the passenager load throughout the day. And with a few things that weren't open on my cruise, like room service, reservations for the alternative dining locales, and the children's program; I think that will help spread the folks out a bit. Also, keep in mind the bars were very very busy due to the free drinks on board too.
The sad note is that Royal Caribbean really fell down on the job when it came to thanking us for being there. Most lines leave thank you gifts or notes in your cabin on the last night. No such gift. This was a little shocking -- but as you can tell the Queen took it in stride ----she coolly walked up to guest services and demanded the special book she should have been given.
Club Med:
The food was bad. No, not really. I doubt I lost any weight while there -- and most of my disappointment comes from my lack of love for a buffet. I should note that I was a bit wrong about the service, there were a few places on the property that served its guests -- I just never had an evening free enough to enjoy them.
However, for every bad thing I have to say about the food, I have 100 good things to say about the kids' program. Oh, my. Duke went swimming twice a day the days he was there. they have a pool just for the little ones, with a slide. He had so much fun he didn't want to leave the first day we picked him up. While it isn't educational or at all like pre-school, he ran around and played and ate with other kids. Plus the staff was really nice.
This shinning moment doesn't overshadow my 12 hours without hot water, for which I didn't get even a "We're sorry." or my overall disappointment with the experience. I did speak to many other folks who said this was not typical of the Club Med's in the islands, so this is not how I should judge them on the whole. However, it was pretty apparent from someone who had never done the all-inclusive before that I'd do tons of research before going to another one.
The Convention:
As much as I wasn't in love with the location (nor was anyone else really), the convention was tons of fun. I'm coming home with loads of new ideas and things to try. We have spent four days filling a calendar with ideas just to try to space them out a bit. So, there should be much excitement from me for at least a few weeks to come. It did totally re-charge my batteries -- which was the whole point right?
Special sidenote: the prince and I won the costume contest on Saturday night. And Duke is now a proud owner of a portable DVD player.

To my Secret Pal:
You are so pretty to send me a box. I know you said in a few days, but I can't wait to mug the mailman for it. I'll be home late Wednesday, but if it is there already, I'll have a photo up for all to see by Thursday.

On the final night of my trip, my father is cooking dinner. I shall eat and eat. Tomorrow we get up way too early for the birds, but head off west to return home. My bed awaits and I can't wait to crawl inside it.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Off the Ship and onto Club Med

Before you start thinking "WOW, she has the life. Cruising and Club Med all in one vacation." Let me paint for you a picture.

My day began at the crack of 7am. Get up; get dressed; get off the damn ship. Then drive two and a half hours north (in traffic) to Club Med. Now is it just me, or do we think Club Med is supposed to be a high end luxury resort? Let's put it this way -- I hope the Club Med in Florida is not an example of their offering. Let's review how my impression and reality are so NOT connected:

Club Med rooms will be large and posh. There will be first class service in regards to the rooms -- like my bags will be brought inside my room; there will be turn-down service; the lights will work; and everything will be clean and comfortable.

The room is basically clean. While it feels like it was rode hard and put up wet, it is actually clean. The room's best feature is the HUGE closet. Yup, the closet could be a nanny room in most European countries. I'm still not sure why, but it is huge. The furnishings went out of style while I was in high school -- and yes, I know I'm not marrying the bedspreads, but updated styles is one of the things that shows a resort cares to keep up. Thus far we have not been turned down, so I'm doubting this is happening. When we checked in our bags were dropped off in front of our room, not brought in at all. And there seems to be a master switch (or in our room two switches), that have to be in a certain position to make any of the lights work. URGH.

Club Med, being a world class resort, would have world class food. There would be service that would include people coming to your table to bring you food. There would be choices that would include a few things not normally in my diet, but on the most part fabulous dishes. It would have been like a cruise ship on land.

There is a buffet. Your Queen does NOT enjoy buffets. I find that food sits too long, it is often over cooked, and if I'm going out to eat -- I want to be served DAMN IT. Yes, I'm a snob -- but come to find out there are 300 other travel agents here who feel the EXACT same way.

So, Duke is living the high life at the Queen Mum's and I'm jealous. But tomorrow we have classes -- there's been more FREE stuff, thus far -- so I'm thrilled -- what? You can't tell? Go figure.

On to other brief news:
I have not been knitting. Perhaps this has something to do with my foul mood. However on Freedom of the Seas, we were running all over the ship (literally. We did the Ultimate Race -- sort of an Amazing Race on the ship. We ran from one end to the other MULTIPLE TIMES. Prince did the flowrider AND the rock climbing wall. I got to ice skate. We came in 4th of 16 teams. We are proud. My inner thighs HATE me from climbing 14 flights of stairs up and down). And frankly, I'm too hot to pick up my wool. I would rather not sweat all over my handwork. So, either we find A/C or I'll be knitting on the plane ride home.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

I'm onboard...

..yes, only because I love each and everyone of you SO much that I'm dealing with the world's SLOWEST internet connection. For future reference, if on a cruise ship -- do NOT pay by the minute for your connection -- there is no such thing as a fat pipe -- and this is slower than most dial-up I know. However, because this is a special cruise it is FREE. FREE. FREE. So, I'm posting.

First, my review of the ship thus far -- LORD, it is HUGE. I had to change shoes because I think I wore the first pair out. Yes, there is a ton to do on board this ship. Hopefully, the issues I've found are more due to the beginning of the season and NOT a universal problem with ships this big or RCCL as a whole. My biggest complaint thus far is a real lack of food and drink. On Pride of Hawaii there wasn't a bar closed and most places to eat were serving LOTS. Here -- we have late dinning (8:45pm) and wanted a snack. THREE places later and there was no snack to be found. I'm hungry.

Second, I'm now childless. For the next four days, the Prince and I are without child. We are loving it. Yup, this is a life!! ;) However, what do we think of the first childless night together in a long time having twin beds??? Yup, walked into our cabin (Inside, overlooking the Royal Promenade -- I suggest you look up cabin 6297 on Freedom of the Seas -- we are in a PR cabin-- and see where we are) and had twin beds. My first thought was "What the heck???" then I thought ---- "hmmm, SLEEP." We have a queen bed now, so who do you think won? However, the bed is the new upgraded with the pillow top --- oh, yum. I'm not thinking too highly of my cabin boy yet either -- he left an empty water bottle in one of our drawers. Thus far, I'm rating this trip lower than Pride of Hawaii.

Thirdly, the hot tub is nice on this ship; they have music pumped underwater in one of the pools; and everything is free. I've been the gift shop once and will probably go back -- I need something for the boy and for my pretty internet buds (yes, there will be a new contest soon -- so warm up your writing hats). I'm hoping the Casino will be open soon too -- so I can win back some of what this trip is costing me ;) Other than that -- let's hope dinner doesn't disappoint me.

Finally, I think I'm suffering from a lack of adult beverages right now -- I need many, many MANY more.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

My last day...sort of.

Today was my last day before we head off to the great wide world of the Freedom of the Seas. I feel rather un-prepared. I shood have deck plans in my hands, have the Prince and I split up and share the photo taking duties, and figure out how to get a spa appointment first thing. What I will end up doing is changing my clothes four times and wondering if I've got everything. I suck -- we all know this and can move on from the constant reminders of such right?
Also, I have to deal with the fact that Duke will be spending some quality time with the Queen Mum and Queen Pop. He will be brought to us at Club Med on Sunday. Do you think I can sleep in just ONE day between now and then? PLEASE? yep, I'm doubtful too.
I do happen to have BIG news. I'm going to be at BlogHer this year! It is in San Jose and I'm going. I truly can't wait -- there is SO much to learn and so many superstars to meet. But the best part is that I'm a volunteer! I get to go and I get to work at the same time -- oh, I'm oh so thrilled -- in the least snarky way I can say this. I haven't come down from this high all day.
So, I don't know how much I'm going to pay for internet tomorrow and Thursday -- unless it is the cost of Duke's college education, I may try to blog a bit for you folks at home. Otherwise, I'll get you all an update on Friday.
Presents? Oh, there may still be presents ;)

Monday, May 29, 2006

What a day and an half!!!

No, it wasn't a day and a half since I posted, it is just that we crammed a full day and a half's worth of fun into a day. And boy are we all tired.
First sidenote: let me be proud to announce that Duke is doing really well with the potty thing. He even woke up from his nap today to go poop (though not going back to sleep could have killed us all). He also went running in (while Prince was doing HIS potty thing) to go pee -- which he promptly did on his socks. Of course, in true form for Duke, he could be in underwear by Sunday here and then we will go home and he won't pee in the potty for two more months.
Second sidenote: The Queen Mum (yes, Polly we are visiting the Queen Mum -- not the woman who thinks I stole her son away) and Queen Pop throw a party/BBQ today. It was a blast. We had more food than we should have and enjoyed much laughter. Duke was a charmer and a half -- and didn't fall into the pool at all. Prince got brilliant this evening and took Duke and bought a remote control boat -- which turned into the hit of the evening. Shockingly, there was not a single guest here who did not play with the boat -- from 3 to 83!!!

And on to the post: I got this e-mail today from Polly, one of our (the royal "our" is use here -- we are so thrilled) frequent commenters (and someone who is Pro-Ocean):
You know when I saw Gin Blossoms? You knew I was
going before I went. So while I was there, the lead
singer was taking people cellphones and singing to the
person on the other side. And I thought wow, how
Queenie is this, a personal concert?? But I didnt
have your phone # saved or I would have totally given
him my phone for him to sing to you. What would you
have done said - hey sing one of your hits buddy... or
FREEBIRD.. or sing Toad the Wet Sprocket!

So this got me thinking. What would I have asked the Gin Blossoms to play for me on my cell phone -- had Polly thought to program my phone number in? At first it was easy -- some random hit -- but then I got to thinking -- really what would the Queen in me suggest? I'm thinking I'm leaning to "God Save the Queen" personally, but do you think that would be too much? So, I'm thinking I'd lean to Toad the Wet Sprocket -- or one of my obscure favorites Camper Van Beethoven.

So, now I must ask you what would you have asked? And in this area, what/who is the one concert that you are still willing to sleep outside OVERNIGHT for tickets to? I figure if after 30 you are still willing to sleep outside for tickets, it must really be worth it to you. I however will only reveal my choice in tomorrow's post.