Our Canada – New England Cruise Part Three

Oh goodness it’s been a while since I sat down to work on finishing this series of posts about our recent cruise to Canada and New England.  We were saying goodbye to Halifax at the end of my last post, and today we say a brief hello to Bar Harbor Maine.  I had never been to Maine before, but had always dreamed of going.  In particular, I’d always wanted to see Acadia National Park.   Bar Harbor is situated on an Island called Mount Desert Island. Our ship had to anchor out in the harbor/bay because the town is not set up to accommodate cruise ships of our size. Today’s tour was arranged by me, and not the cruise line.  I know I’ve said it before, but it’s so typical that with a little bit of research you can find great tours on your own that are much more reasonably priced than booking with the cruise line.  In this case, I booked with a company who has a fabulous reputation on Trip Advisor, called “Oli’s Trolleys”.  Once on shore, we had a short walk to where the Trolley pick up was. It was a grey, drippy day, but we were determined to make the best of it.  Here’s a pic I quickly snapped on our walk to the trolley –


It’s true, everything is about the Lobster in Maine!!!  I know this may sound crazy, but neither one of us are lobster lovers, so nope, we never ate any.  People did say it was delicious!     After boarding the trolley, we headed into Acadia National Park. My photos from there were not spectacular – mostly because of the weather, but I will share a couple. One of the reasons I chose Oli’s Trolleys is because if the weather cooperates, they WILL drive you up to the top of Cadillac Mountain. Many other tours do not. In fact, I’m not sure any of the the ship sponsored tours went up there! We were very lucky…. while it was wet and grey, it wasn’t foggy, so our driver took us up the mountain!  Here is a view from the top, looking down. You can see three cruise ships and the bay is called Frenchman’s Bay. The islands are called the Porcupine Islands. Apropos, I think!!


It really was a stunning view in person, and OH… if it had been sunny!!!  Well anyway, we quickly realized how lucky we were to have had this view at all!  Just as we were beginning our walk back to the trolley, the fog started to roll in. In less than 5 minutes, this view was TOTALLY obscured. Here’s how it looked as we approached the trolley:


Crazy weather, eh?  We came on down the mountain and made a circular drive around Mt Desert Island, nearly all of which is in Acadia National Park. Some famous people live on the Island according to our tour guide – the most famous I think is Martha Stewart who has a summer home there.  Here is a snap I took during one of our stops…


Ahh, the Atlantic sea breeze… It really is lovely there and we sure enjoyed finally getting to Maine!  One thing I am fascinated with is the poem, Evangeline by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.   I read this as a teenager and never forgot it. It’s about how the Acadian people were rounded up and marched south from Maine to Louisiana. It’s well worth a read and heart-wrenching the way Evangeline is separated from and searching for her love, Gabriel.

The next day we woke to sunshine and another “new-to-us” place, Gloucester Massachusetts. Gloucester is not too far from Boston (about 40 miles) and is mainly known for two things: Fishing and the movie “The Perfect Storm”.  This tour was booked through the cruise line and whoa baby, did we tell the cruise about it later….. anyway, our first bus stop was at the iconic “Fisherman” statue (the Gloucester Fisherman’s Memorial).  I don’t really know why, but I had always wanted to see this. Here is a view from behind the fisherman, looking out to sea…


This is a memorial (built in the 1920’s) to all the fishermen who have lost their lives at sea. There are plaques with  the name of every unfortunate soul who died while fishing. Here’s a view of the front of the statue –


Oops, hubby is blocking the inscription. It says, “They That Go Down To The Sea In Ships  1623-1923”. Funny thing, I found what I think may be one of my distant relatives on one of the plaques of fallen seamen. I’ll have to do some research on that!  Anyway, here’s one of me –


Oh, and that’s our cruise ship, the Holland America Zuiderdam way off in the background. Gloucester was another “tender” port.   We went around a lot of Gloucester with our tour guide telling us stuff like, “there’s the beach I swim at every day of the year… yes every single day”…. or “there’s my family home — it’s for sale but we will keep it in the family” (what? that didn’t even make sense, but it’s just what she said!)…. or “over there is the pole they grease every year.. oh, well, we’ve gone past that now…..”  You get the drift, she was useless as a tour guide. A nice woman and clearly a local, but being a tour guide was NOT her forte.  Then there was the bus driver…. he kept driving into parking lots and other tight areas where it was nearly impossible to turn around. This guy was really struggling! John and I felt somewhat unsafe, but what could we do? We wanted to see the area, so on to Rockport Massachusetts we went!  Rockport is a really cute, tiny, touristy coastal village. We had an hour and a half on our own, and really enjoyed exploring the small area.  I guess the area is called “Bear Skin Neck” and I had to take a photo of this sign:


I was so caught up by the sign that I didn’t even notice (’til now!) that I walked right past a Pewter Shop! Hmmm, would have loved to have gone in there!  We wandered down the streets and struggled to find a place that served fish and chips! Since we’re not lobster fans, we were rather put off by all the Lobster and Chips establishments, but did finally did find what we were craving – and it was so delicious!  After our meal, it was time to wander through the little town that is truly so picturesque!



Our tour guide told us that the little red boat house (above) is “the most photographed building in America”. While it’s quite quaint and all that, I highly, highly doubt her words are factual. Oh well, we sure did enjoy Rockport.

As we approached our bus, we noticed another bus in the road, trying to pass our bus which was parked. We watched as the moving bus hit our bus and damaged the side mirror. Within 5 minutes another bus tried to pass by, but this time our bus driver started up the bus and moved it closer to the curb (where it should have been all along….) and avoided another bus to bus confrontation! Oh my.  Needless to say, we did mention the less than adequate tour guide and the less than competent bus driver in the survey sent to us by Holland America after we returned home.

Our final port of call was Newport, Rhode Island.  Again, a new place for both of us… 🙂  I’d always wanted to see “the mansions” along the water in Newport and so we arranged (for less than half the price!) a local tour that drove us all around Newport and then included a tour of one mansion.  We had a small bus with only about 6 people onboard and a great guide. The walk from where the tender boat dropped us, to where we connected with our tour was about a block. The day was stunningly gorgeous with clear blue skies and bright sunshine.

Here are some mansions we drove past…


This one, fondly known to locals as the “Hurricane Hut”


Don’t know the name of this one, but love how close it is to the water!


Then we arrived at “The Breakers” the mansion we would tour. It was owned by the Vanderbilt family.



How’s this for a back yard???   Check out the sailboat in the distance. Wow. Just Wow.


We were allowed to take photographs inside the mansion, but without flash. My camera did the best it could in low light… which isn’t great. Here’s one that hubby snapped of me… this home of the Vanderbilt’s was quite opulent. For the self guided tour, we were given headsets that worked perfectly. By pressing a button as we entered each room, we could hear a description of the room, the pieces in it, and how it was used by the Vanderbilt family. Fascinating stuff.


Here’s one of the Music Room.


In a way, The Breakers reminded me of Hearst Castle. An ‘over the top’ home near the ocean, lived in and loved by it’s owners.  Well folks, that wraps up our photos for the cruise.  The day after Newport we were “at sea” and then the next day arrived at 6 am in Manhattan, New York City. We rode a pre-arranged Holland America bus from the cruise terminal through Manhattan over to JFK Airport. It’s about 20 miles of driving, but oh my, it took well over an hour! It was a VERY long day of traveling to get home, but we made it, safe and sound.  Cruising is a lot of fun, and there’s a chance we’ll do one more – someday…. maybe. It’s just too soon to say.  I do love traveling and seeing new places SO MUCH, but coming home… well, that’s pure sweet heaven to me.

Our cruise to Canada & New England – part two

On this post we’ll cover days four and five of our cruise. Day four finds us in Northern Nova Scotia, Sydney to be exact, on Cape Breton Island.  Because many are not familiar with this region of the world (including me), I’ll insert a map.



Because I tend to research a thing to death, I read quite a few reviews of the port of Sydney saying that “there’s nothing to see or do here”. Hmmmmm.  One of the excursions that was actually offered by Holland America was a taste of the local music.  Scottish and Irish music, as well as Scottish dancing are common here.  Here’s what we saw upon reaching the port of Sydney…..


There you have it folks, the world’s largest fiddle!  Just seeing this thing let me know we were in for a musical treat! This was the view from the deck of the ship, zoomed in a bit.   Looking another direction we saw what is a very pretty little harbor town.


Here is a short, three minute video I made showing a few clips that I took from the music show. It starts with a bagpiper and then we go inside to hear the local musicians. If you are a fan of Irish or Scottish music, you’ll love this. We sure did!!!!!  I hope you’ll take a peek. Just click on the pic below and the video will start. Be sure and have your speakers turned on!

Talk about a delightful afternoon!! Not only were they talented, they were super friendly too.  Homemade Oatcakes were on every table, as well as coffee or tea to go with them.  I sat there and silently wished I’d been born on Cape Breton Island – I love when people are SO proud of their heritage!

Day five was another sunny one, and we were SO pleased!  Our port of call today was Halifax, Nova Scotia. This is the only port that was not new to us.  Back in 2009 we did a cruise that took us to Halifax.  We remember thoroughly enjoying the port, taking a tour out to Peggy’s Cove (stunningly beautiful) and around the town. This time around we decided to forego an organized tour and take a short walk down the street from the cruise port to visit the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic.  We sure enjoyed it!   We particularly enjoyed watching the Bluenose II come in to dock after taking a group of school children out on a morning cruise. The Bluenose II is an exact replica of the Bluenose which was a celebrated racing ship and fishing vessel. Interesting facts: The Bluenose is featured on the Canadian dime and was one of the first ships involved in the now famous America’s Cup sailing race!zz5

Hubby, lover of America’s Cup and sailing ships in general was thrilled when we got to go aboard the Bluenose II and he got to grab the wheel!


After enjoying the Maritime Museum, we meandered our way back to the ship. The walk was less than a mile and so pleasant on a sunny day.  Here’s a pic of our ship, docked in Halifax.


On our walk back, we noticed a fishing boat come in to a small public dock. We watched in astonishment as they pulled up this MASSIVE fish!  People say that it was a blue fin tuna, probably headed to Japan or China as sushi or shasimi for BIG bucks.


Farewell beautiful Halifax!  The view below is looking back to the city.


Our cruise is now leaving Canadian waters and moving south towards the USA.  The third and final cruise blog will take us to Maine, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island.  I hope you’ll stay tuned!

Our cruise to Canada and New England – part one

Time to put up a blog post on our lovely cruise to (mostly) new places in Canada and New England!  I could probably do an entire post on how much we despised our red-eye flight out of Seattle to New Jersey… and then the long lay over in NJ, before finally reaching our destination of Quebec City at 2 pm Eastern time, the next day. All in all it was 19 hours from door-to-door, so to speak.  We were unable to sleep on that overnight flight so we arrived totally exhausted.  Oh heck, we knew that red-eye was going to kill us, but in the end it was SO worth it.  We left home on Friday September 16th, arriving in Quebec on Saturday the 17th. The cruise lasted until September 27th.

Here is photo of our ship, Holland America’s Zuiderdam.  The view is from the top of the “old town” in Quebec City.


This was our third cruise with Holland America and our second cruise on this particular ship. In regards to our cruiseline, we really like HAL. The service is always fabulous, the food quite good, and the other cruisers, nice. To be honest, HAL is not a popular line for folks with kids. Carnival, Disney, and Royal Caribbean have lots of kids on their cruises, and lots of activities catered towards kids. Let’s face it, we kind of like the “no-kids” feel.  Having said that, there were a handful of young children on our cruise and they are certainly allowed to cruise with Holland America, but you just don’t see that many – this is our observation from having done three cruises with them.

Next, I’ll say a word or two about our cabin. In past cruises (we’ve been on 7 now), we’ve always had either an ocean view cabin or a verandah (balcony) cabin. On this cruise we chose an inside cabin, mostly to save money, plus, we’d never had an inside room, so why not give it a try – we thought.  We were surprised at how small the cabin was and we took to calling it our “cubicle”. After a few days, we found we really missed being able to look out and see where we were or what the weather was like. We really missed the verandah for our own little “happy hour”. On past trips, we’ve enjoyed sitting on the verandah, sipping a glass of wine, and watching the world go by. Obviously that was not possible in “the cubicle”.  Take away from this: the extra $$ is worth it, get a verandah cabin!  Here’s a snap of our little room –


I’ve got to say, our cabin steward was wonderful, in there cleaning the place twice a day and leaving us cute towel animals at night. The bed was extremely comfortable. The bathroom was perfectly adequate. We just wished we had sprung for a larger room with a balcony, in hindsight.

Day two on the ship was our second day in Quebec City. What a gorgeous place! So clean you could eat off the sidewalks! We took a 2.5 hour walking tour that was billed as a “leisurely walk from the top of the old town, down to the lower old town”. Hmmmmm. It didn’t actually turn out that way. We walked up lots of hills and stairs to be able to see everything, there was no time to rest, go potty, or run in somewhere and buy a bottle of water (it was a warm, humid day). We still thoroughly enjoyed seeing all the sights that QC has – so much history here, as well as the stunning Hotel Frontenac which looks down upon the St Lawrence River from high on a cliff.  It is rumored that this is the place where Churchill, Eisenhower, and FDR made the decision to do Operation Overlord, AKA, “D-Day”.


Our guide was fabulous, and even made me want to come back and visit in the wintertime when everything is frozen over, including the St Lawrence River.

Next is just a random photo of some historic buildings I thought were pretty –


I can just imagine this with snow everywhere and all decorated for Christmas…. 🙂

After our lovely tour of Quebec City, we meandered back to the ship (pretty darn hot and tired) and went up to the Crow’s Nest Lounge. It’s nearly at the top and at the front of the ship, with huge windows everywhere. A great place to be comfortable and watch the sailaway. It was here we got in on the 4-5pm Happy Hour special. You can buy one libation at the normal price and get the 2nd for $1. On a cruise ship, that’s a pretty good deal. What we found out though, is…. I couldn’t have a glass of white wine and hubby a glass of red, even if they were the same price! Nope, you have to get two of the EXACT same thing to get the deal. Oh well, we worked through that, but thought that rule was a bit silly.

We wandered around the ship a bit after we got going and went up really high to the area where they rent out the “private cabanas”. I think these cabanas are only in use on Caribbean cruises. No one was using them that day, so we did!  Here’s a photo of me, hanging out in the private cabana, shortly before sunset. There wasn’t a soul around!


We stayed out there quite a while, admiring the gorgeous, and I DO mean gorgeous Quebec countryside. Talk about peaceful and pastoral! We loved it!


Sorry it’s a bit blurry… this was a big zoom-in photo and I don’t have a fancy camera. But you get the idea. Peaceful.

Day two was an “at sea” day, which had us going the length of the St Lawrence seaway and up around the top of Prince Edward Island. This was the only day that the boat really started rocking. We had “gale force winds up to 60mph” according to our ship’s captain!

Day three found us on Prince Edward Island. Unfortunately, the day dawned cloudy with the threat of rain, but we were still thrilled to be here. We took a tour called the Island Drive and Anne of Green Gables House. I didn’t remember ever reading Anne of Green Gables as a child, so made sure I read it just before we left on the trip. I’m so glad I did 🙂  Next two photos show us at Cavendish beach, not far from Anne’s house.zpei1


The beautiful red earth is everywhere on the island!   We then hopped back in the bus and carried on to the Green Gables house. Obviously, Anne is a fictional character, but the author of all the Anne books, Lucy Maud Montgomery, lived on PEI as a child and this farm was owned by one of her family members. She visited the farm and apparently based the books on this lovely place.


Here’s a pic of the woods surrounding the farm. Just gorgeous, even on a cloudy early-Fall day.


I couldn’t resist this next one. I had to join the rest of the tourists and put on the “Anne with braids” hat and stand by the buggy.  It wasn’t all that much of a stretch really….. only a few decades back, I was a little girl with long red braids. No buggy though! 🙂  PS, I still have the braids, wrapped in plastic, in my garage. Don’t ask me why because I don’t know. Strange, eh?


After a lovely visit to Anne’s house, we hopped on the bus and the rain started in earnest. I tried to get some shots through the bus windows showing the stunning beauty of this Island, but the weather made it difficult.  I loved this place so much that I told hubby I wanted to pack up and move there. Forget about this crazy upcoming election and terrorists, and just live out our lives in such peace. Hubby’s a Canadian, so we actually COULD do this. Then the tour guide said that it’s typical for the Island to get up to 10 feet of snow a year. My friend Karen, who actually lives on PEI has since told me that that number is really a bit of an exaggeration, that they only get that much snow on the worst of the worst winters.  Well, it scared hubby (the 12 feet of snow scenario), so I guess we won’t be moving there.  It’s ever so tempting, though.


Okay, I can see now that this cruise blog is going to be a long one.  So, I’ll go ahead and publish this part now, and work on the rest of it in the days to come.  So far we’ve done 4 of the 10 days.  Many more ports of call ahead!! Hope you enjoy this as much as I enjoy remembering the fun on our recent trip.

Home Sweet Home

Britain trip 2009 083We recently arrived home from our 18 day trip to hubby’s homeland, Great Britain.  To be perfectly honest, we were ready to hop that plane and come home about a week before our scheduled flight, but in the end we were very glad we stayed and got to see and do all that we did.

This photo is of our guest house in Penzance, Cornwall (the house with the green sign).  It’s called the Dunedin and was a great place to stay!

Just for fun, here are a few general thoughts about life in England and Wales.  Obviously these observations are from this American’s viewpoint only.

Bathrooms:  Bathtubs are skinny!  They’re about 2/3 the width of our typical tub but significantly longer.  Showers are S.M.A.L.L.   Many have the “instant” hot water system that actually works quite well – only once did I end up having half my shower in cold water, and I’m pretty sure that was user error.  The toilets, well… I found that the majority (but not ALL) just didn’t flush very efficiently.  The ones that did flush well used massive amounts of water.  I was pleasantly surprised that  the toilet paper (called “loo roll” over there) was two-ply and soft.  The biggest inconvenience I experienced was the fact that there are virtually NO plug-in’s in any bathroom for your hair dryer.  I had to find an outlet somewhere else, and only twice was it close to a mirror.  So, HOW do English women blow dry their hair????????

The B&B’s were great for the most part.  We really enjoyed staying in most of them, but…. if you travel around Britain for a couple of weeks or so, and plan to stay in B&B’s, also plan to be served essentially the SAME breakfast at each and every one.  Now hubby loved the traditional “Full English Breakfast”, but me, I hate eating early in the morning anyway, so there is no way I could have choked down the beans, tomatoes, mushrooms, black pudding, sausage, bacon, and eggs every day.  I had toast, sometimes an egg, a few times some bacon with it, or cereal.  Some places offered fruit.  Some, like the place we stayed in York said on their “menu” that they offered fruit and yogurt – but we never saw any the two days we were there.  Guess I will admit that I REALLY missed a bagel.  Or a pancake.  Or a proper hashbrown.  Or an omelet.  Or a donut.  Or a muffin.

Also on the subject of food, there were some odd (to me and probably most Americans) foods listed on menus at both pubs and restaurants.  I just cannot imagine eating:  Roast Wood Pigeon; Gammon; Mackerel; Bream.  I’m not saying these things are bad, I’m just saying they sure seemed odd.     It’s the custom “over there” for the dinner hour to start much later than here.  There were more than a time or two when we entered a pub for an evening meal at 6:30pm and the place was deserted!

Beds:  I will fully admit that I am spoiled rotten when it comes to my bed.  We’ve had our king-sized bed now for three years and I LOVE IT!  I knew it would take some adjustment for us at bedtime.  Guess what?  I was SO wrong!  At the end of each day, we were so very tired that it truly didn’t matter that we fell into a regular double bed at night.  I slept soooo well, and again, it didn’t matter what size it was!!  The largest bed we snagged was a queen size and honestly, it felt huge. Most folks don’t use sheets and blankets on the bed, they use a duvet with a cover, and no top sheet at all.  That’s fine.  I just hope they clean the duvet covers between guests!  (I’m sure they do)

When entering a store, or taking your purchase to the checkout counter, you hear:  “HeyYa”, “Allright”, of “YouAllright”.  They don’t really want to know if you are okay.  It’s just a greeting I guess.

Unlike here in America, newspapers and magazines are alive and well in Britain.  There were “newsagents” everywhere.  I think it’s kind of sad that so many of our daily papers have gone by the wayside, or are going.

Cars:  I was surprised to see quite a few SUV’s in England.  I expected everyone to be driving sub compact cars.  The price of petrol is high however … about 1.08 pound per liter.  There are 3.8 liters to the gallon, so converting the pound to dollars and the liters to gallons, it is well over $4.00 a gallon in US dollars.  However  it seems like there is no crazy push to get car manufacturers to stretch the miles per gallon — they already have!  The car we drove got 47mpg!  That was an average between city and highway driving and it was NOT a hybrid!  To get mileage like that here, you have to have a hybrid.  This makes absolutely NO SENSE at all to me.   It makes me think is that car manufacturers  here in the USA (or even Canada) have some sort of “deal” with oil companies.  Otherwise, why the heck don’t we have cars that routinely get great gas mileage over here?  I think there is a lot of stuff we, the general public, don’t know.

Clothes:  They tell you not to wear white tennis shoes (“runners” over there) or you will be spotted instantly as a tourist.  Shoot, you pretty much see it all in the way of clothing… but the big fashion trend right now is leggings or very tight jeans/pants.  Now that may be all the rage here too, but I sure didn’t notice it like I did in London.  Heck, I remember not so long ago (back in the early 90’s) wearing leggings and then long sweaters or tunics.  Well, the leggings are back, but make them black, and wear boots – knee high boots, and make it all black.  Black, black, black.  You can’t go wrong if you go to London and wear black.  You’ll blend right in.

I think I’ve rambled on enough about my perception of life in England.  We had a fantastic visit, but like I always say, there is NO place like Home Sweet Home.

Across the pond

Britain & Ireland Sept 2004 195Tomorrow is finally “the day” we fly to London and begin our travels around Britain.  Today is full of last minute packing… emptying the fridge… setting up kitty supplies for our wonderful cat-sitter (thanks Karen!),  moving the fish to our fish-sitter’s home (thanks Susan!), checking and re-checking our lists of what to take.  Tomorrow will be a VERY long day, but somehow we’ll survive it.  It will all be worth it – I hope!  Yes, of course it will!!

For those who may be interested, we did start a travel blog that we hope to keep fairly current while we are in Britain.  If you’d like, go check it out at www.buzzingaroundbritain.blogspot.com

The above picture is one I took back in September 2004, of Warwick Castle.  What a great place!  We won’t be going there this time, we’re off to find new sights and new adventures 🙂

I’ll be back to this blog when we get home!  See you soon!!

We’re going to Britain

York Minster, York, UK    One of the places we hope to visit!

York Minster, York, UK One of the places we hope to visit!

In just a little over two weeks, we are headed “across the pond” to visit my dear hubby’s homeland, Great Britain.  Five years ago we took a forever memorable trip to parts of England, Ireland, and then did a tour (bus tour through Insight Vacations) of Europe.  This time it’s just Britain, and for the most part, England.   We are heavily in the planning stage of this trip (yes, I know it’s kind of late to still be planning!) and are finally beginning to get excited about going.  🙂   With that in mind, we decided to keep a blog, strictly devoted to our journey – so we started one over at Blogspot.com.

So, if you don’t see much on here for a while, it’s because we are:    A) away   and   B) blogging on a different site!  Please check it out and follow along with us on our trip at:  www.buzzingaroundbritain.blogspot.com

Of course I’ll be back here after the trip – this blog is NOT going away.   There will be more to come… and if you know me (like I know myself) I will be SO ready to come home by the time our 2+ weeks in England has come to an end.   I do love to travel, but I also LOVE the comfort of home.

Home again, home again…………….

amish-home.jpgDidn’t I say that coming home was just as much fun (if not more) than going??? 🙂  Well, we had a wonderful trip to New York City, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Boston, and Martha’s Vineyard… and I will share some pictures and tales about the trip … next time.  I haven’t even downloaded the photos yet.  This time, I just want to revel in the beauty of being home.  Sometimes after you have been away for even a short period of time, you appreciate the little things about your life, your home.  

Here’s a list of great things about being home:            

  • My own bed  (the cruise ship bed felt like a marble tabletop, and the pillow- a rock)
  • Charmin Ultra toilet paper! 
  • Not having to eat breakfast the moment I get up – being able to sit and savor a cup of coffee…. and later on, having a bite to eat.
  • My sweet kitty is here!  (I sure missed him and worried about him)
  • My own cooking.  Not to brag, but honestly, my home-cooked meals are without a doubt better than 90% of the food we got on the cruise.  Plus, I know what’s in it!
  • Lounging in the evening in sweats with my sweetie, watching our favorite shows on TV.  (there were “events” going on every evening on the ship – events you could NOT wear comfy and casual clothes to)
  • It’s quiet here, really quiet.
  • I don’t have to wear the same pair of socks/pants/underwear (___ you fill in the blank) more than one day if I don’t want to 🙂 

   Shoot, I could go on, but I think you get the drift.  One afternoon while hubby and I were strolling around NYC (which actually means dodging crazy honking taxi cabs and milling around with a million or so of our closest acquaintances in Manhattan) I looked up at him and said, “you know what sweetie…… There’s NO PLACE like home.”