A slight obsession with books

Crafts, cats and books


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Baltic scrapping #03

I’ve finished scrapping the second day of our cruise, which was the first full day and was spent at sea. There are six layouts starting with the intro for the day.Once again, it has a square photo with a ‘just the facts’ journaling block.

Next is a layout about our lovely cabin. It won’t be the only cabin layout, but it’s a start 😉

Next is about the restaurant where we had breakfast, plus what we had. Then I did a layout about the maps by the central lifts and how useful we found them while we were finding our way around the ship. Some of the layouts are going to be very plain and simple, as otherwise I’ll still be scrapping this holiday in ten years time. I will embellish some a bit more, but I’m comfortable with a simple style and the main thing is to get the journalling on there.

The next one is about me getting dressed for dinner again, and waffles about how I even got a mani-pedi before travelling. (my first ever!)Finally, there’s a layout about our evening. The journalling is about where we had dinner, and what we had, and about the evening show in the Broadway Lounge. I recently added to my stash of travel-themed papers and embellishments with a pack of Basic Grey Second City. The theme and colours were perfect for this layout. Next up is one of our port days – Sweden!

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Baltic scrapping #02

The first day of our cruise is finished. I’ve only done four pages for it though. This and the sea days are quite light on photos, but once I get to the port days, there are loads. Great fun!

I’m starting each day with an intro page and they’ll look similar. They’ll all have a square photo and a ‘just the facts’ journaling block. This is the intro page for day one. I did a layout with details of how our morning went and the embarkation process plus what we did once we got aboard. There’s more journaling on this than in whole albums that I’ve done before! Photos are of the sail away.

Next is a layout of me, all dressed up. The journaling is about how I never get dressed up these days and that this is very dressy for me.Finally is a layout of our first dinner on board – what we had and what we thought of it.  As you can see, the layouts are quite heavy on the journaling so far. Some won’t have much, as they’ll just be to showcase some photos that I love, and others will have lots. I want to tell the story of our adventure so in future years I can look back and easily remember all the details. I guess that’s the main reason that I scrap.


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Baltic scrapping #01

I’ve finally made a start on scrapping our latest holiday – the Baltic cruise. I usually spend some time getting organised before doing a large album but this time I really went to town. I think it may even border on the obsessive but we’ll keep that to ourselves, ok?

We took a lot of photos, even by our usual standards. I think there were still well over 2000 after I’d deleted all the blurry, badly composed, and duplicate ones. There were about 750 in Russia alone. Once I’d finished deleting, I used Photoshop Elements to tag them. Once I’d got them thoroughly tagged, it was much easier to see what I’d got as I could look at just the ones taken in the Hermitage museum or at the Little Mermaid. It was much less intimidating then.

I went though them in order to pick out the ones that I wanted to use to tell the story of our adventure. I  then  tweaked and sized them. I’m using mostly 6×4 with a few 5×5 and the occasional 3×4. I ended up printing just over 600 photos, via Photobox. I’ve had problems with them in the past, with larger prints, but they’re pretty good for standard sizes. I waited until there were some good offers and probably got them for about half price in the end.

Once they were printed, I put the photos for each layout into poly pockets, in ring binders, and put a post it note on each pocket with layout details or notes. The post its were, of course, colour-coded 😉 

I then used those to go through the albums and work out how many page protectors I’d need. Then I labeled them with more post its to indicate which layout would go where.

I’d printed way more photos than I intended to scrap. I knew I wanted to include lots of photos but didn’t want to end up with twenty albums and still be scrapping them into my retirement. The solution was to get lots of divided page protectors. I can slip the photos into those, which is why I printed mostly 6x4s, and if I want to I can do a 6×4 journaling card to slip into one of the pockets too. I’ve already got the photos in the divided page protectors and I’m really pleased with them. 

I’d already bought three identical albums as I knew this was going to be a big project but having got all the page protectors organised, I realised that I was going to need a fourth one. What can I say? We did so much and saw so many amazing things and I want to record it all. I love looking back on our holidays. The albums bring back so many memories.

Here are all the albums and photos on the shelves, ready for me to dive in.Everything is all labeled up with my dymo printer thingy. It makes me happy to see everything so organised 🙂

And, I’ve already started scrapping. I’ve bought some lovely travel-themed papers and embellishments this year and I’m really going to enjoy using them.

This is the first intro page with a photo of our lovely ship and journalling about how a Baltic cruise was on my bucket list.

While we were away, I knew we’d have limited internet access so didn’t want to upload hundreds of photos to Facebook. We thought it’d be fun to do a selfie of the day and upload that to let friends and family see where we were each day. We had a laugh with it and did some funny poses or faces on some. Obviously this had to be documented. This is really busy compared to how I’ve been scrapping lately but I’m chuffed with how it turned out. I got to play with my dymo printer again. I’m thinking that’ll come in handy for labelling anything in the divided PPs.This layout is the day we drove up to Newcastle for an overnight stay before going to the port. You know you’re nearly there when you see the Angel of the North. Photos of our lovely hotel room and more of that yummy travel-themed stash.


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Baltic cruise – Norway

A few weeks ago we went on a Baltic adventure. I’m going to do a few posts of our days ashore, along with lots of photos. Our eighth and final port was Oslo.

I was wide awake at 6am so I opened the curtains and sat in bed, alternately reading and looking at the sail in to Oslo. We didn’t dock until 11am and I’d taken quite a lot of photos by then as the scenery was lovely.

We had breakfast in Islands just before we docked, and then left the ship. We waited for the Hop-on Hop-off bus and set off for our first stop. We wanted to see the Vigeland statue park as I’d read about it and it sounded really interesting. It was definitely worth the visit. It was a lovely sunny day again and perfect weather for walking in a park. The statues were amazing and there were so many of them. These are a few of my favourite photos from the park.

We really loved it there. It was an amazing place to visit, and we didn’t even explore further into the park. I’d definitely go there again if we found ourselves back in Oslo.

After we’d finished walking round, we stopped for a sit down and an ice cream. We picked a couple of iceys at random and they were delicious. They were chocolate coated ice cream, and the ice cream had a liquorice flavour swirled through it. Yum.

We got back on the HoHo and went to the Viking museum next. There wasn’t a great deal there but there were two huge Viking ships as well as several smaller exhibits. We didn’t stay too long as their air con wasn’t working and it was really hot and stuffy in there.

From there we walked to the folk museum and spent a couple of hours exploring. They have loads to look at, including a beautiful stave church. There was a 1950s farm laid out with the old tractor, the buildings, some animals and a farmhouse. Inside there was the farmer’s wife who gave us a glass of delicious, refreshing cordial. We really enjoyed our visit there as it was great to be out in the open air, in the beautiful sunshine, and seeing Norwegian houses through the ages.

Back on the HoHo and we got off in the city centre. We still had a couple of hours before we needed to be onboard so we had a late lunch. Stephen still wasn’t that hungry as he’d had a massive breakfast but I was starving so I had a delicious open sandwich in a little café, while Stephen just had a cake. He had a Scolebrod which was very nice. My sandwich was huge with tons of prawns on it.

We walked back to the ship from there. It only took about 20 minutes as we were docked really close to the centre.

I did a bit of shopping on the way back. We found the Hard Rock Café so I bought a bear and some pins. Practically next door was Pandora. As I’d had some charms in Copenhagen, I wasn’t going to look, but Stephen insisted so I got the Norwegian set of three to go with my Danish ones. Both stores told us about claiming our tax back and gave us the forms. Back on board we saw the chap from blue global and got a nice bit of cash back. Brilliant.

We took coffee for me and beer for Stephen back to the cabin and prepared to watch the sail out, which was amazing. We saw lots of people enjoying the sun and some gorgeous scenery.

We didn’t do much more that evening. We popped to Islands for dinner and didn’t bother with the show. We’d had two days with a lot of walking and exploring and needed to just chill. I’m not sure where everyone else on that ship got their energy!

So, that was our last port. We had one more day, which was spent sailing back across the North sea. We hit a storm for a few hours and the ship got a bit bouncy underfoot. The captain told us that we’d reached gale force 11, which would explain why everyone was walking around as if they were drunk. It still felt safe though and everyone was laughing and having fun.

We had the most incredible holiday. We saw some amazing and beautiful places, which I’ll never forget. I’d do it all over again, given the chance.

Thanks for reading!

 


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Baltic cruise – Denmark

A few weeks ago we went on a Baltic adventure. I’m going to do a few posts of our days ashore, along with lots of photos. Our seventh port was Copenhagen.

We watched some of the sail in from our balcony again. I really loved being able to do that. We saw lots more wind turbines.

We were out of our cabin by 8.30 and heading to Islands for breakfast. I loved the selection in there. You could easily have something different for breakfast every day. I had porridge with dried cranberries, and some mixed fresh fruit with some yoghurt, topped with flaked almonds. Healthy, huh?

We were ready to leave the ship by 9am, but we were slightly late docking again so we had to wait an extra 10 mins. When we got off the ship, it was really hot already. I think it was 20°. We’d planned to do a lot of walking too.

We were docked at Langelinie, which is close to the city centre. We only had to walk for ten minutes from the ship and we were at the Little Mermaid. We took some photos along the way, of course.

The mermaid was mobbed, even at that early hour, but we managed to get some photos although we didn’t bother trying to get down to her.

I’d always wanted to see the mermaid so I was really chuffed to have finally made it. After we’d admired her for a while, we carried on walking and went into a park where we saw some lovely features.

From there we walked along the harbour front for a while. The harbour front was lovely. We really enjoyed our stroll.

Eventually we came to the Amalie garden. It was small but very pretty with a couple of water features.

After we’d walked through there we were at Amalienborg Palace. We had a look round the outside and then carried on towards Town Hall Square.

It turned out to be a longer walk than we’d expected, partly because we couldn’t figure out which way we were going, even with two guide books and a map, and partly because it was so hot. We got there eventually though, via the Pandora shop, where I got a set of three charms exclusive to Denmark, and the Hard Rock café, where I got a bear for my collection along with three pins.

After taking a few photos round the Town Hall, we went into Tivoli gardens where we had lunch and spent a couple of hours looking round. It was lovely in there, even with the rides and all the people, it was still peaceful and pleasant in the gardens.

We then headed back allowing ourselves plenty of time for the return walk. We were getting quite tired in the heat but made it back by 4pm, ready for our 6pm sail away. After dropping the backpack in our cabin, we went to the coffee port and got iced coffees and some rather lush cakes. We took them back to our cabin and enjoyed them on our balcony.

I sat out there for ages, enjoying the breeze and reading my Kindle. It was heaven.

By 7pm we were getting peckish so ordered room service as neither of us really wanted to get changed and go out. We had steak sandwiches and they were delicious.

I carried on reading for the rest of the evening while Stephen watched tv and did puzzles. There was loads we could have been doing around the ship, but we just wanted to quietly relax and recharge ready for Norway the next day.

 


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Baltic cruise – Germany

A few weeks ago we went on a Baltic adventure. I’m going to do a few posts of our days ashore, along with lots of photos. Our sixth port was in Germany.

We had the choice of exploring the local area or taking a tour to go a bit further afield. I’d always wanted to go to Berlin as I’ve read a lot of novels set in Berlin, mostly spy or war themed, and I wanted to see the places that I’d read about. It was a long coach drive there but we decided it’d be worth it.

Our alarms were set for 5.30am as we needed to be on the dock for 7.15 to get the coach. Unfortunately Stephen’s alarm on his phone went off at 4.30 as despite me reminding him multiple times the day before, he hadn’t changed the time zone on it. Sigh.

My alarm went off at 5.30 and we got up, got ready and headed for the buffet for a quick breakfast. We were back in our cabin and watching the ship dock from our balcony by 7am. The ship was quite late docking as it was getting on for 7.15 and we were only just tieing up. We were lined up by the gangway with lots of other people and we waited and waited. There was a problem with the gangway. The German port authorities couldn’t get one to fit our doorway and it was gone 8am when we finally got off the ship and 8.15 before our coach left. We should have departed at 7.30 so we were a bit worried that we’d have to miss something out. As it happened, it was fine and we had plenty of time to see everything that we wanted.

We had a long drive to Berlin, about three hours, and it was mostly through a flat, uninteresting landscape. Jens talked to us quite a lot during the journey, telling us of his life in East Germany before the wall came down, which was fascinating.

Along the way we saw a lot of wind turbines.I know a lot of people think they’re ugly and spoil the landscape, but I really like them. I think they look graceful.

We had a rest stop on the way, just before we reached the outskirts of Berlin. We had time for a comfort break and to visit the shop for snacks, if wanted. Our driver had a stash of bottled water and beer in a cooler that we could buy.

We carried on into Berlin and drove around for a while, seeing the various sights with a commentary from Jens. Our first photo stop was Charlottenburg palace, which was lovely. We just had a look round the courtyard, while Jens told us a bit about it, then it was back on the coach.Next we drove past the Freedom column and managed to get a quick photo from the coach as we stopped in traffic.

We drove a bit further and got off the coach at the Reichstag.After Jens had talked about that for a while we walked to the Brandenburg Gate. It’s a shame that it was partly blocked off but we saw the Quadriga at the top.

From there we walked across Pariser Platz and round past the US and British embassies. We ended up at the Holocaust monument which was lovely, but quite sobering. Jens talked to us about it for a while and explained that the small car park that we could see to the side was the site of Hitler’s bunker. The local authorities had filled it in and made it into a car park. He told us there are no signs installed as there is nothing worth commemorating.

Back on the coach and then we went for lunch. We went to a place called Maximillians and had a traditional Bavarian lunch of Pigs knuckle with sauerkraut and mashed potatoes. It was really nice, and filling, and was followed by a lovely apfelstrudel. We had the choice of beer or water with it and we had plenty of time to enjoy it before getting back on the coach.

We had another short drive before being dropped at the wall with instructions on how to walk to Checkpoint Charlie and what time to meet up with the coach. We had about an hour to ourselves so had plenty of time to have a good look at the wall, which was what I’d really wanted to see, and read all the information there. It was quite a long stretch of wall and there was a lot to read and to look at. It was brilliant to see it, but also very emotional.

After lots of photos we walked down a block to see Checkpoint Charlie. There wasn’t much to see there but it was good to see the place that features in so many of the spy novels that I’ve read. We had time to pick up a few souvenirs before getting back on the coach for the drive back to the ship. We had another comfort stop on the way back, and most of us got ice creams to eat in the lovely sunshine before we carried on with our journey.

I think Jens had got the time wrong that we were meant to be back as he said a couple of times that we’d be back in plenty of time. In fact we got back just a few minutes before 7pm and we should have been back for 6.30 for a 7pm sail away. We were the last ones on board and went straight up to our balcony to watch them packing everything away prior to sailing off. Our neighbours were out on their balcony too and we had a good natter while we were watching. We stayed there for a while, watching the sail out from Rostock.

We went up to Islands for dinner and just had a small meal. It’d been really hot, in the 30s at one point, and we were a bit drained, especially after the long drive back. We had a lovely chat with the couple at the next table. She’d just had her 82ndbirthday. I want to be cruising and exploring at that age too 🙂

Back to the cabin where Stephen watched the England match while I typed up some notes on the laptop. If I didn’t make notes of what we did each day, I’d forget as all the days would blur into one.

Next is Copenhagen.

 

 

 


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Baltic cruise – Latvia, part 2

We’d been seeing groups of people in lovely costumes as we’d been walking round Riga, and had wondered what was going on. Apparently it was for the song and dance festival which is on for one week every five years. What brilliant timing for us to be there while it was on. Everyone that we asked was happy for us to take photos of them too.

So, continuing with our day in Riga. When I left off in part one, we were headed for the Freedom monument. It was one of the things on my To Do List. It was quite spectacular. Lots of detail at the bottom and it was really tall.

After we’d had a good look at it, and admired some of the costumed people, we went into the park which borders the monument and had a lovely walk round. It was really pretty in there.

There was an area of the park that you had to climb up to get to a viewpoint and we saw an interesting building from up there. We went for a closer look.That round building is the Powder tower, which houses the Latvian war museum.

We walked back through the park, taking a few more photos as we went.

After leaving the park we bought a few souvenirs in one of the shops and asked for directions to the House of the black cats. It was only a couple of streets away so we found it easily. It has an interesting history. The story tells of the Latvian owner who was denied membership in the Great Guild. To show his displeasure, he built two cat sculptures on his roof with their backsides facing the guild, and their tails straight up to finish the insult.

We decided to head back in the direction of the ship as we’d seen everything that we wanted to and we were getting peckish. We had thought that we’d have lunch out but as it was getting close to 3pm, we decided to head back and have afternoon tea on the ship. We took a few more photos on the way. More costumed people for the festival.And Stephen was very taken with this.

We got back fairly quickly although we had to detour a couple of times to go around all the people who were getting ready for a parade, we think.

We dropped our bags & jackets in the cabin and headed up to deck nine for food. The afternoon tea was lovely again.

We took mugs of coffee back to our cabin and put the tv on to Sky sports news to get updates on the grand prix and have a relax before going back out in the evening.

Our cabin was facing away from Riga Old Town but we could see the National library from our balcony.There was another lovely modern building. I think it’s a bank. Stephen took several photos of it.We did have one more bit of excitement. We watched the pilot boat come out to us again and this time caught the pilot stepping over from our ship to the little pilot boat. One photo taken just before and the other just as he’d stepped over. How cool is that!

We were late going back out in search of more food. We’ve done a lot of exploring over the past five days and just wanted to rest for a while. We went for a snack in the Glasshouse at about 10pm and then headed over to the Broadway lounge where we caught most of the second showing of Starry Starry Night. It was a Van Gogh/Moulin Rouge show and wasn’t bad, although probably not something we’d have gone to normally. What we did want to see was Sebby Mercury, which followed Starry starry night at 11.15.

Sebby is one of the show team and has his own show that’s a Queen & Freddy Mercury tribute. It was brilliant. He’s a great singer and was great on stage. He got the audience singing along and talked a bit about how much he admired Freddy Mercury. He said how he knew he didn’t sound like him or look like him, although he did dress the part, but that he loved singing the songs. Everyone was singing along, especially with Bohemian Rhapsody and we had a great time.

It was well gone midnight when we got back to our cabin but as the next day was a sea day, we planned to have a lie in and a lazy day. Coming soon, Germany and our visit to Berlin.


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Baltic cruise – Latvia, part 1

A few weeks ago we went on a Baltic adventure. I’m going to do a few posts of our days ashore, along with lots of photos. Our fifth port was Riga, in Latvia.

We had a bit of a lazy morning and didn’t head up for breakfast until 9am. We did watch the sail in from our cabin though and it was quite interesting. We could see land getting closer and then we headed up a river to the port.

Islands was rammed so it seems that we weren’t the only people having a slow start to the day. We were struggling to find a table so we walked along deck nine to the Snack shack and got breakfast from there to take back to our cabin. We didn’t lose out as we got exactly the same as we’d planned to get in Islands.

The captain had given us a bit of an update about the expected weather last night on one of his announcements. He said that it’d be cloudy but dry in the morning but pants in the afternoon. I love that he just says it how he wants! It did look cloudy and quite breezy but wasn’t too cold once we got out there. We were fine with our jackets on.

We were docked a five-minute walk from the old city, even closer than we were in Tallin. We didn’t follow a particular route but just ambled along, taking photos and going up any of the lovely cobbled streets that appealed. The first interesting building we came across had an armed soldier walking about outside it and two sentries. I couldn’t find it in my guide book but once home, I Googled it and I’m pretty sure it’s Riga Castle. We saw lots of lovely buildings so took various random photos. I loved all the colours! At one point, we spotted a lovely cat posing on the steps of a church. We weren’t the only ones snapping photos of the cat rather than the church either.And some more lovely buildings. These are in Dome Square, which was full of open air restaurants. We carried on walking, taking streets at random and found an armadillo. A bit further on we came out in another square. This one was the Town Hall Square and had a gorgeous building called The House of Blackheads.

In the centre of the square was the statue of St. Roland.From there we walked a little further and found The Latvian Riflemen monument.

By that point we’d lost our bearings a bit and weren’t sure which way to go next. We spotted a Costa so we went in there to get a drink to warm up a bit and while we were drinking our coffees, I used Google to figure out where we were and which way to go to get to the Freedom monument.

I still have loads of photos from Riga that I want to share so I’m going to stop here and put the rest in another post.

 


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Baltic cruise – Finland

A few weeks ago we went on a Baltic adventure. I’m going to do a few posts of our days ashore, along with lots of photos. Our fourth port was Helsinki, in Finland.

We were still sailing when we woke but we were docked in Helsinki by the time we left our cabin for breakfast at 7.30am. We ate in Islands and after nipping back to our cabin to pick up the backpack and jackets, we headed down to deck one to leave the ship.

Getting on and off the ship was really well-organized. They had tables on the gangway deck where you could buy water or snacks to take with you, if you’d forgotten to pick them up beforehand. As you left the ship, your ship card was scanned and then you just walked down the gangway to the port. There was always someone there to point you to your tour bus, shuttle bus etc.

When rejoining the ship, you just sterilised your hands, got scanned back on and put your bag and any metal items from your pockets into the x-ray machine. No queues or delays. It was all very efficient.

Our plan for the day was a ship’s tour to Seurasaari. We could have done another DIY as it’s very walkable, but we wanted to go a bit further afield and get a bit of fresh air rather than another city tour. Plus, we only had 5 hours in port so didn’t want to be constantly checking the time and worrying about getting back.

Our tour started off by driving us to Senate square where we had 30 minutes to have a wander round and take photos. We had a look at the square and then walked down a cobbled street to the dock front where we looked round the outdoor market. There were some lovely Finnish handicrafts for sale but we weren’t tempted by anything.

Once back on the coach, we were driven to the dock to catch a boat to Seurasaari, which translates as Courting island. 

It was a nice boat, and we opted to sit upstairs on the open deck so we could take photos and enjoy the breeze. Below were tables where you could sit and have a drink, out of the sun and wind.

It was a 45 minute trip and although the sun was shining, it wasn’t as warm as we’d thought. It was quite windy and once we were out on the open water it got too chilly so we went inside. We did stay on deck for about 30 minutes though and took some nice photos. We went past our ship at one point. I did love that ship.

This was our view of Seurasaari as we docked. It looked very pretty and peaceful.

We took some photos of our boat as we walked down the jetty.

Then we had a lovely walk through the woods, looking at the old buildings which had been transported to the island and rebuilt to form a museum. Our guide was informative and interesting, and we enjoyed the walk a lot. It wasn’t too chilly and it was sheltered in the trees. It was really pleasant.

There was a little gift shop, which had some lovely things in it. They were quite pricey though so we didn’t get any souvenirs, although I was quite tempted by this.

Our visit to the island ended at a long bridge, which we walked over to meet our coach on the other side. On the way over the bridge, we stopped to take photos and admire the view. We saw lots of birds, so took photos of those too. It was very scenic but very breezy. At least the sun was shining though so it still felt like a nice day.

We were next driven to the Rock church (Temppeliaukio), where we had time to look around inside with instructions to be back at the coach by 13.10. It was quite impressive in its way, but I think we were slightly underwhelmed as our guide had been really enthusiastic about it and we’d expected something more.

We had time to visit a souvenir shop which was nearby and I got a couple of postcards as I didn’t think we’d have time to go to the one at the port. We also had a photo-op outside it.

From there we drove back to the ship, via the design district which our guide talked us through and we arrived back at 1.30, which was our onboard time. A couple of people went to go via the gift shop but were quickly detoured back to the ship by the crew as they were waiting to prepare the ship for sailing. It’s a fair way to our next port, and we needed to be away by 2pm.

We were getting quite hungry when we got back so opted to go for lunch at the sit down restaurant, 47°. We had a lovely meal in there and the portion sizes were just right for us. Small enough that we could eat three courses and not feel stuffed.

I had Crab cakes, Fajitas and almond cake with ice-cream. Stephen had White bean soup, Bacon-wrapped chicken and a Mille Feuille.

We picked up coffees from the coffee port on the way back to our cabin and Stephen had his afternoon nap while I read my book. We had the curtains open so I could watch Finland disappearing into the distance. We’d definitely have a balcony cabin if (when) we cruise again. The inside cabin last time was fine, but this is so much nicer. It’s lovely to be able to sit out there and relax, or even watch the world go by from inside. I’ve been propping the door open a bit when we’ve been in the cabin in the afternoon to let some fresh air in and so we can hear the water. It’s very relaxing.

We went to Gallery 47° for dinner, which is the restaurant upstairs from 47º and which serves Italian food. I had chicken pâté followed by swordfish. I’ve never had swordfish before and it was lovely. Stephen had calamari followed by a beef dish. All the meals were beautifully presented and tasted delicious.

From there we went to the 8.30 show in the Broadway lounge. We’d really been looking forward to this one, called Radio Gaga. It was all eighties songs covered by the show team and it was excellent. The singers were really good and there was a brilliant mix of songs.

We’d had a good day but it suffered a bit in comparison to Alla tours in Russia. Our Alla tour was only 14 people and today there were 36 but it seemed like a lot more. It felt really crowded everywhere we went. In Russia, we were using headsets so we heard every word that Anna said, even while we were wandering off to take photos. On Seurasaari, unless you were right behind the guide, you couldn’t really hear him and if you wanted to know what he was saying, you had to pay close attention to him and not to the surroundings. Don’t get me wrong, we did enjoy it, but after the two fantastic days in SPB, it was never going to compare well.

Next up is Latvia!

 


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Scrapping – Universal Studios and IOA

Woo hoo! These are the final layouts for 2017’s Florida scrapbooks. I’ve filled two books, and I mean filled, so I’m chuffed to bits that it’s done. By doing the layouts using Shimelle’s class prompts, I’ve done more journalling than in any other album. Not all the layouts have journalling, as on some I just didn’t have much to say, but I’m happy that I’ve captured so many memories.

These layouts are all from the Universal parks and I really had fun with them. Lots of colours, lots of Basic Grey. The first one is from the Simpsons ride.

Next is from Islands of Adventure. You know me and books. I had to have my photo taken there.

These are some random pics from IOA. We didn’t take as many photos there as we did in Universal Studios this time. We loved the Halloween decorations in Universal and took lots of photos.Another one from Universal Studios. I did a lot of journalling on this one, and that sort of covered several of the layouts from that park.One of our favourite attractions closed while we were there. We managed to get one last go on it before it went and I wanted to record that on a layout. I didn’t get a good enough photo of it so nicked this one from the internet.Another ride that we love in Universal is Men In Black.The final ones are two of my favourites. Partly because of Stephen’s silly poses and partly because I went to town with the colours. Both in Springfield, first is the Duff beer one.And finally, Stephen trying to nick a donut. (I’m trying very hard to use the US spelling, as in the photos, but I really want to change it all to Doughnuts.)And that’s it. Disney 2017 is finished. I’ve loved using Shimelle’s prompts and I feel the class has really helped me get my scrapping mojo back. I’m going to scrap some photos of the cats next and maybe some random photos from other holidays. I’ve got the rest of the class ‘Clear the desk’ to do and I’m also going to do another class by Shimelle on layering.

I’ve got loads of Cruise photos to edit and print so it’ll be a while before I’m ready to start those. I do have plenty of supplies for that. I’ve got three albums ready to fill. Did I mention that I took loads of photos? I’ve been buying travel papers and embellishments for a few months and have some lovely stash to use. I even found an old Basic Grey collection pack called Adrift which will be perfect. I’m really looking forward to getting stuck into that.

I was surprised how much Basic Grey is still available online, to be honest. I’ve had to restrain myself from buying it all LOL