Cruises, Theme Parks, and Masks: Shall You? (#Covid19)

To borrow a phrase from Adam the Woo – lol!

Like us, you’ve probably been watching all the videos about the opening of Disney Springs, Universal Florida, and, perhaps Disney.

Masks are the norm now, especially with the news that the “Bob” isn’t really caught by touching surfaces but through cough, sneeze, and speech. David of FreshBaked seems to think this will be the new normal for the unforseeable future. I disagree. I don’t believe this is the “new normal” but the normal now – the in-between normal.

Soooo, will I retract my statement about avoiding places where masks are required unless absolutely necessary?

The Disney Springs video showed the CMs making it seem like fun, as I’m sure all of Disney will, and even the guests having fun does make me ask myself if it’s worth it, wearing a mask, that is, for the sake of fun? Even if the masks are tolerable, will it still be fun if you have to wear one? That’s the question Disney and other theme park fans are asking themselves, even if they’re willing to take the “risk.”

I will say I’m quite pleased by the positive approach from Disney Springs, Universal, and Carnival Cruise Lines. I’d much prefer to hear of potential openings, not cancellations and closures like most cruise lines and Disneyland.

We’ll be watching Carnival to see what happens with cruising changes and how it’s all handled. Will we still want to cruise? Right now we have 3 cruises booked with Princess. The first is the end of November, but since final payment is due September, their silence about their plans is a bit disconcerting. Not sure we will move forward with it (assuming it will still sail), if we haven’t had a chance to see how they’re handling it. We don’t plan on being the guinea pigs.

As for Disney World, I read that they submitted their plans for reopening but without a date. But I’ve heard nothing on the Disneyland front. Not sure Napa Rose will be open on my birthday, which is before Disneyland’s birthday on the 17th, which some are suggesting might be the reopening date. So many of us probably won’t really know what we will do until it’s time to do it.

Two4Disney on YouTube:

Btw, our Oasis of the Seas video is still climbing with almost 55,000 views as of today. Our subscribers are growing, too. Please join us by subscribing to our YouTube Channel.

PS – The top 3 YouTube channels we like for Disney and Cruising:

Disneyland (sometimes Disney World):

The Daily Woo

FreshBaked

MrCheezyPop

Cruising:

CruiseTipsTV

ScottSingerCruises

SharonatSea

Novels set on cruise ships:

Real Women Wear Red Book 1 and Book 2

We’ve Got Laundry

After a long-awaited delay, the washer and dryer were delivered first thing this morning! Woo hoo! (We got a free upgrade for the delay). And, yes, masks were worn (Cox/Century Link – why can’t you do that?). The washer is going through a test cycle. The dryer light is working. The instruction manuals for the appliances (including wifi) are sitting on top. Lots to do. Yes, I’ll be busy catching up with laundry today. Yay!

Washer and Dryer and How Long is a “State of Emergency?” (#Covid19 Rant)

Two more days until our washer and dryer is scheduled to be delivered after being delayed due to supply issues during the “Bob.” It will be over 3 weeks since we moved here, living without these essential appliances. When towels got low, we ordered new ones, both kitchen and bathroom. We’re just now getting to washing out our underwear – lol!

We need CenturyLink and/or Cox to come back when they can actually move our internet from the garage to inside the house where it belongs.

And, finally, praise be to God, we’re seeing results of states being sued over this lengthy #stayhome order. Not only Wisconsin, but Oregon and several other states. I imagine all states are in the process of legal push back. Here’s the link to the Oregon case.

Basically, it ruled that you can’t call a state of emergency for longer than 30 days without going through the Legislature. Recently I railed against stupid people asking the Oregon governor stupid questions such as “Can I go to another county to get my hair cut.” “No,” she said, to name one.

But the churches are really getting me hot under the collar. I’ve been stomping around the house, jumping up and down, hitting my head on the ceiling in fury, ready to burst into flames – lol. Well, not really, but you get the idea. I guess you can see my position on the “obedience vs fight back” response issue. I’d like my church to at least do something. Take steps. I’m tired of livestreaming. Worship is something you do – not watch.

A group of 190 pastors in Nevada went to the Democratic governor to plead their case that church openings be part of Phase 1 and he pretty much said, “Absolutely not.” When the news of what businesses were included in Phase 1, a local Orthodox priest said he was disheartened that “churches were in the same category as brothels” – lol! In digging up some info on the Governor (we weren’t here when he was voted in), we discovered he’s a Catholic.

But being Catholic doesn’t necessarily define your governorship, as I’ve discovered. The Arizona governor has recently allowed church openings and he’s Catholic but a Republican Catholic. That doesn’t mean much to me in itself, as an Independent, but it is interesting how it plays out. Yep, this whole pandemic has been political from the start.

At least the Orthodox (OCA) and Greek churches in Las Vegas, I think I mentioned before, are opening up slowly, according to their Bishop’s plans and the priests are staying connected to their flocks. I don’t see the Catholic Churches doing much in that regard. Very enlightening.

As an Orthodox convert turned Eastern Catholic Convert, I’ve had many opportunities to run like Hell from the Catholic Church, but I love my Eastern Catholic Church. As some say, it’s “Orthodoxy in Communion” with Rome. It’s what Orthodoxy in America should look like, a church for Americans. Not Russian. Not Greek. Etcetera. Etcetera.

And that’s the story for today.

Pool Shopping and First Restaurant Dining In Experience (#Covid19 #LasVegasOpen)

With restaurants dining in service opening up throughout the Las Vegas Valley, we first thought we’d drive out to the winery and heat lunch there. But with the temps heading for the 90s, we decided we’d rather go pool shopping. With a dirt backyard, we need to figure out what it is we’d like to do back there. So we donned our masks and headed for one of the fiberglass pool people out in Henderson, to check out their showroom and to get the details on pricing, etc.

The pools looked soooo appealing, especially on a hot day, but we were a bit put off by the pricing. We thought they’d be less expensive than a gunite, but, still, it seemed a bit out of our reach if we hoped to continue traveling when we can travel. That’s the thing, with the world shutting down, did we really want to depend on it for travel and recreation or depend on ourselves, although limited to our backyard and places nearby going forward?

But I have to tell you, if I could do it again, I wouldn’t wear a mask when we’re just interacting with one business owner and a cat. He wasn’t wearing a mask, and I almost fainted wearing mine. I just can’t breathe in these things. And it was awkward wearing when when the owner wasn’t. While Rich was wrapping things up, I went out to the car so I could take this thing off.

Then, being close to Lake Las Vegas, we wondered if our favorite Mexican restaurant was open so we called them. “Yes, come on down,” they said.

We parked in the garage like normal and it was busy. We took the elevator to avoid people on the stairs, and Rich cleaned his finger after pushing the buttons. Families were all over, although I think we all kept our space from each other. We then hiked down a long set of stairs to the restaurant area and I avoided using the handrail.

There was a sign indicating social distancing. We were seated in our favorite row of tables, but the middle table was taken out in our row to offer up that space. Yay! This is the way dining should have always been. I’m liking this social distancing.

Our waitress was wearing a mask, we got out our hand sanitizer (as we’ve been doing for decades), to use after we put our menus down and gave our order. I tell you, first thing up: a Margarita to recover from that whole mask experiences. Chips and salsa were delivered by another waiter wearing a mask.

Lunch was soon on the tables and I totally enjoyed my tacos and Rich loved his enchiladas. It felt soooo good to eat out again, one of our favorite ways to celebrate life.

Later, we stopped by Target to buy some rugs for the new house – there’s always something new to buy with a new house. The supply was quite low and, wearing that stupid mask, I just couldn’t think straight. We ended up not getting what I wanted for the master, but, instead, used it to decorate the kitty’s room – lol!

Summary: it was awesome to be dining out again, but I may try to avoid places that require a mask. Themed masks are kinda cute but still claustrophobic.

I’m loving social distancing – it’s the way it should have been anyway. I’ve never been a fan of close-in dining, overcrowded theme parks or cruise ships that keep getting bigger and bigger. But I am so waiting to see if Napa Rose opens by my birthday in July, It’s become my annual tradition. So sad if it doesn’t. I’ve had enough of the world being shut down. It’s way too depressing. Even if I’m not going places, I like to think other people are.

Btw, we found the rugs we were looking for online, but, as keeps happening, they wouldn’t accept our address. Our neighborhood is too new and they rejected it as not being legit. Believe me, we’ve been through this too many times to mention.

The Las Vegas Strip: Before and After #Covid19

We’d posted a video we’d taken before the Covid-19 shutdown, which you can see here. (Btw, the music playing is my original Screamie Birds music.)

But we also wanted to capture what the Strip looks like after shut down but before it opens up again so we drove down the Strip started from the North end near Encore and Wynn, making our way South to Mandalay Bay. You can find that video here.

I have to say, seeing the Strip this way was one of the saddest things I’ve ever seen. You might remember the story of the first time I saw Las Vegas. We’d driven in from our home in Southern California because my step dad was trying to quit smoking and he thought playing craps would keep his hands busy – lol!

There we were parked on Fremont Street back when you could, and my brother and I were sitting in the car while our mother either sat with us or watched us from the slot machines just inside the doorway of a casino. Remember those days when people left their kids in the car and it was considered perfectly okay? Whoa! Right?

Anyway, I remember doing my homework when Vegas Vic caught my eye and I was completely mesmerized by the neon and thought “bright lights, big city–that’s for me!”

My life in Las Vegas has also inspired two novels set in Las Vegas:

LUCKY’S LAST CHANCE (previously published as THE TOM JONES CLUB)

“I can tell what kind of man he is by the wine he drinks.” – Lucky

International wine director Lucky Stryker, the “Lucky Lady,” is lucky in the boardroom, but unlucky in love. But when Lady Luck spins the wheel of love, Lucky cashes in on a red hot sizzling romance. But when her past catches up with her, she is forced to answer these questions, “Can her heart keep the promises her body has been making?” and “Is this her last chance to finally get lucky in love?”

Breaking News: I finally got publishing rights reversal from my publisher and this book will be released with a new cover and title – Lucky’s Last Chance – publishing date TBA.

DEJA VU AT THE BLUE DIAMOND SALOON/FRENCH MARTINI

Nikki Durrance escaped the worst nightmare of her life when she fled Las Vegas for San Francisco, leaving her husband behind at the Blue Diamond Saloon to build a new life. So when the perfect Dr. Mike Fischer proposes, she accepts. But when her new Mr. Right begins to transform into a guy just like her ex-husband, she begins to question everything, including her sanity.

Nikki longs to trust Mike, but with an overwhelming feeling of déjà vu, Nikki’s fear propels her into discoveries of betrayals and underworld connections that will send her running for her life again.

(Released as Deja Vu at the Blue Diamond Saloon and French Martini)

BUY NOW on Amazon.com in Kindle and Paperback.

 

What to Do When You Can’t Cruise (#cruising #cruise #lovers #cruisers #fiction #amwriting #cruisehour)

My cruising friends are really anxious to get out on the high seas again, granted all is as safe as can reasonably be expected. So when I can’t cruise, what do I do? I write or read about cruising. Check out my cruising novels now published with more on their way.

NOVELS:

REAL WOMEN WEAR RED

rwwr_cover_flops_150.jpg“I may dye my hair blonde, I may drink pink drinks, but I am not doing pink toe polish. Red, that’s my color. After all, real women wear red.” – Cyn

When 40-something Kate “Cyn” Francis changes her name, her hair color, and her age in order to snag a younger man on a Caribbean cruise, the last thing she expects is to fall overboard for a Cary Grant look-alike. But this is not your ordinary cruise.

Sandy Brown, 20-something and eager to get over a broken heart, is also looking for love.

Millie Evans, having recently sold her publishing empire, is on a succession of one-week cruises, looking to reconnect with a past love. But this is no ordinary love boat.

Three women, three generations, all connected in an unexpected way. And it’s more than sharing the same motto that “real women wear red.”

AVAILABLE NOW on Kindle and in Paperback.

 

REAL WOMEN GO HAWAIIAN/REAL WOMEN SING THE BLUES (Published under both names)

RWSB_new_cover_125

“In that moment, I knew I could no longer be a Wall Street monkey, and somewhere out there Blue Hawaii was calling my name.” – Robin from Real Women Sing the Blues

When the women of Real Women Wear Red return from their Caribbean cruise, each woman must deal with the consequences of secrets shared onboard ship.

Millie’s secret sends Robin reeling all the way to Blue Hawaii, and she finds herself chasing Moondoggie and singing the Blues. This sets off the “Millie Domino Effect.”

Millie chases after Robin and Monterey Jack chases after Millie.

Cyn joins Robin and Millie on the cruise when her “Cary Grant” gets too serious too fast. And Sandy runs to Cyn for motherly comfort when her shipboard romance blows up.

Four women, four islands, and a seven-night cruise to Paradise. Is there life after they go Hawaiian or will they end up singing the Blues?

AVAILABLE NOW on Amazon.com for Kindle and NEW for Paperback.

Knotts, Disney Springs, and Las Vegas (#Covid19)

Fresh Baked, the Woo, and BLAB got a lot of crap for how they met up the day Knott’s Berry Farm Marketplace opened with social distancing guidelines in place. Wrongly so in my opinion – the crap, not the gathering.

Disney Shanghai is getting ready to open with social distancing guidelines in place. You can watch a video that David of FreshBaked shared here.

Disney Springs is opening on May 20 with just a few non-Disney restaurants like Wine Bar George. (Why Tim Tracker will not be going).

Las Vegas sit-down restaurants with safety measures in place are starting to open today, May 9, 2020.

Everybody reacts differently to being sequestered at home for an extended period of time. Extroverts need people – that’s what energizes them. Introverts tend to stay home more anyway so it may not be as obviously painful. But, for me, as an introvert, I’ve struggled mentally with the lack of freedom to move around. For me and the world at large. I need other people to be out and about, even if I’m not.

So how do I feel about these openings? Will I be among the first to get out and about? Well, I must say I’m happy to see things starting to open, that people have more freedom moving around, that people are getting back to work and small businesses will be coming operational.

But as a people-watcher, sitting in the car while Rich shopped for groceries, watching people wearing masks, I began to feel like I was watching a horror movie and I’m so not into that. I realized then that as long as masks are required, I won’t be there. That’s what I’m thinking right now.

I might not mind CMs, servers, and clerks, etc. wearing them. It could seem like part of their uniform. I’d hoped I could imagine masks on guests (especially themed masks) as part of a masquerade party. We’ve ordered both Dodgers and Angels masks (the Disney masks on ShopDisney aren’t available until July) to wear out instead of our usual generic white masks. But watching the shoppers wearing their generic masks? Like they’d escaped some hospital or something worse? That’s not magic. That’s a horror film.