The Love Boat meets Disney Magic

The Love Boat meets Disney Magic

Pluto greeting on Disney Magic

Minnie and the Chipmunks

Remember The Love Boat – the popular TV show from the 1980s? Well, I fell in love with cruising from watching that show. Several years back, I took a weekend  cruise to nowhere from a local marina in New Jersey. it was a great way to get my feet wet, pardon the pun. And did I have fun! Since then, Tom and I were on one other cruise to New Brunswick, Canada, until recently. A few weeks ago we took a cruise on the Disney Magic (with the official Disney cruise line) from Spain to New York. Yup, we crossed the Atlantic Ocean on a dream boat! Taking a cruise is like being in a mobile country whose economy is dedicated to enjoyment. With a wide range of entertainment, kids’ clubs, spacious staterooms and more, the Disney Cruise Line is a wonderful way for families to spend time together . . . and a little time apart. There are plenty of adults-only spaces as well. Broadway style shows, dancing, the latest movies, fitness center, personal trainer, spa and lots and lots and lots of food.

First sunrise on Disney Magic, what a greeting!

Me in the porthole

Ya gotta love Disney with all the fun characters wandering around. You never know when Pluto or Mickey will show up! A big bonus for us is that the entire ship was SMOKE FREE, except for one small deck that’s hidden away. And if you think it’s boring being “cooped up” on a boat for two weeks – think again. We were busy all the time. We actually had to MAKE time to swim and relax. I even managed to carve out some time to work on my next book, The Unforgettable Miss Baldwin. Disney is now our fav. Cruising is a great way to spend your vacation.

Nightly monkey made from towels

Between the rock, almost blown away, son Paul Ingis!

Holding on for dear life, me and Tom. It was a mite windy

Sailing into the sunset-through the Straits of Gibraltar

This ship did make some stops. One in Cadiz, another in Lisbon where we took a side trip to beautiful Sintra and charming Cascais, then a stop in the Azores, where my son  Paul and our daughter-in-law Joanne hailed a taxi and took a side adventure. Our final stop was supposed to be St. John’s in Newfoundland, but the Captain decided to head home early to New York, because of concerns about the Hurricane Maria at the time. We hope to visit Newfoundland in the future, since we’ve heard and read such beautiful things about Canada’s east coast.

One of my favorite and most exhilarating moments on board Disney Magic was having my Tom’s arms around me, and my arms wrapped around him, holding tight, up on the top deck, in a fifty-mile-an-hour wind, going through the Straits of Gibraltar at sunset. Behold nature’s beauty.

The fitness center and especially the personal trainers (we got to know a wonderful trainer named Olivia), were tops, as were the people in the spa. Laurabeth Fitzpatrick, an esthetician, was fun to talk with. I didn’t get a facial, but enjoyed discussing skin care and explained BeautyCounter‘s philosophy. (That’s the product line I use and it’s clean and free from more than 1,400 horrible chemicals.) Lots of people took advantage of the convenience of the spa, they offered a full range of face and body care, including a sauna and a beauty salon. I didn’t do any of that, but I did take advantage of the fitness center. Imagine exercising in an all glass facility overlooking the Atlantic ocean. Gorgeous! Talk about a view!

NY Sunset

Our dining room hosts and servers rotated with us for a different dining room experience each night. Animation Palette, Luminaries, and Carioca’s dining rooms and the buffet dining room, Cabana’s. The last night we dined in their famous upscale Palo dining room on the 10th deck, while we were docked in NY. So we got to see the gorgeous New York sunset and we can say we had a great Italian meal in an excellent restaurant on the Hudson River.

That’s us in Luminaires DR

 

 

 

 

 

Most important crew members. Lucio & Carolina, our excellent servers.

Cascais, Portugal

Sintra, Portugal

Paul&Joanne in Animation Palette

 

Mickey pop, our fav dessert

Time to go home, on our way to debark

 

 

 

Indigo Sky for the reader who enjoys historical romance! @AmazonKindle http://amzn.to/2nWqbcq Indigo Sky available on Amazon buy link: http://amzn.to/2j0LXLE
Author page: http://amzn.to/1K4GVQA

ANGEL ON MY SHOULDER, SUSAN KANE, CATERER

ANGEL ON MY SHOULDER, SUSAN KANE, CATERER

Ivan, the bartender

Ivan, the bartender

Party, Party, Party. That’s the invitation I sent out to my friends, family and followers to come and celebrate the release of, Indigo Sky, my first book.

Crudite

Crudite

 

 

 

 

 

 

Susan and crew

Susan and crew

After I sent the invitations, I realized that parties should be celebrations where guests can enjoy good food and drink. It’s great to talk about a party but how do I do this?

Pequot Library, Southport, CT held its most important fundraiser reception at the opening of their yearly art exhibition, with a mix of media to be sold. There was also a silent auction offering beach houses, design consultations, ballroom dance lessons, catering, and more from established local merchants. During the evening, food was ample and strategically placed with trays of cheeses, fruits, and crackers, all beautifully arranged. The open bar was stocked with your favorites and overflowing with tasty champagne cocktails. A staff of cordial servers appeared with appetizers, simple finger foods, elaborate and tasty, no mess, no bother. While enjoying the stuffed shrimp appetizer, Tom and I were reviewing the offers at the silent auction table when a woman next to us said, “That’s me.”

I turned to her and asked, “Who?”

Bob Bonitz, author and server Barbie

Bob Bonitz, author, and server Barbie

“Look at this offer for a catering service, that’s me, I’m the caterer, Susan Kane.”

“You’re the caterer? You did all this? I stared for not more than a moment, took a deep breath and said, “I’m having a party this Wednesday. Will you help me?” She said, “Yes.” We made a date for Monday, she told me not to worry, all would be fine.

Susan is a local in Fairfield, CT. She spent years learning the art of cooking in the Italian restaurants her grandparents and parents owned in Pennsylvania. Susan has worked in restaurants and estates, planning meals, cooking and serving. The Inn at Pound Ridge is only one of the places where she studied food preparation and service under the head chef.

Party people (that's Tom in front)

Party people

Susan is great at designing elaborate and elegant festivities. She sent me a menu, I chose, she did the rest. We had several appetizers and two desserts, chocolate mousse and fresh fruit, plus a stationary of delicious and fresh veggies, cheeses and crackers. NOT your average crudité station.

Stuffed figs

Stuffed figs

 

Susan cares about food source, high quality and serving aesthetics.

Kristan Higgins, author and me

Kristan Higgins, author, and me

My guests have touched base, with calls and emails about the good time they had, and how they thought the caterer made the party even more wonderful. Thank you, Susan Kane, for creating a beautiful setting for a momentous night for me as a debut author.

Me and Tom with our sons Rick & Paul

Me, Tom, and sons Rick & Paul Ingis

 

 

Chocolate Mousse Martini

Chocolate Mousse Martini

 

 

 

 

 

 

What’s your favorite finger food?

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