Tuesday, April 30, 2013


Today we're in Hualtulco. It's one of our favorite places because a few years ago we found a small, cute hotel that has a gorgeous swimming pool and great I internet.

We took Kelsey and Brett there.

In other news, our stage manager for our shows sneezed and coughed all over us Saturday night. Now, we're all sick.

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Our ship is repositioning.

We're moving from Miami to Seattle. Along the way, we get to stop off at all the places we used to visit when we were working on the Star 2 years ago with Jo Feldman. How can you go to Cartagena without Jo?

Our first stop was in Columbia. We went to a mud volcano.

It's a natural forming mud volcano. Going in to the warm mud is supposed to have healing qualities and add 5 years to your life.

It was a very fun time.
After relaxing in the mud, you walk down to the river and a woman cleans you off.
It was all quite an experience.

When we were done we headed to the Old City of Cartagena.
It was great walking around that great city.
 Jeannie was excited that the cab driver was wearing a shirt that said "taxi" all over it.
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Wednesday, April 17, 2013


On Friday, Jeannie and I went downstate to see my family.  We were there a little early, so we stopped at the mall so Jeannie could buy a coat for when we go to Alaska on the ship.  When I found her though, she wasn't looking at raincoats.
She was looking at prom dresses.

I found this gem at the sporting goods store.  This was in the clearance rack.
Marked down from $25.00 to $24.97.  A whole 3 cent sale.  

On Saturday, we stopped in Springfield.  I'm working on a writing project and I needed to visit Lincoln's tomb.  

Such a grand, powerful memorial.

I've worked on this project off and on for several years and have visited the Lincoln tomb at least a dozen times.  It's so majestic.  Every time I go, I find something new.  This visit was especially helpful. It gave me everything I needed to get it wrapped up.  

After visiting Springfield, we headed back to Chicago.  Along the way though, we stopped at one of Jeannie's new favorite roadside restaurants, Steak 'n Shake.
I took her there for the first time last fall and she's now a convert.  

This one is in Lincoln Illinois and I have fond memories of taking Basic 8 there a few years ago when they went down to perform with me at Lincoln College.

Next to the Steak 'n Shake is a Russell Stover store.  

Jeannie lost her mind in there.

They have a "bloopers" section full of discounted chocolate when they've made too much.

  This box looked especially great.

It was a fun visit and it's always great to see my family.

Thursday, April 11, 2013


The day after we arrived home, our friends from Finland came over for a BBQ.
They were in town for the Chicago Improv Festival and we were lucky enough to be able to spend at least one day with them.

We had a blast talking, laughing and eating with them.

After we ate, we took them up to the roof to see the view.

Then, we went down and played Telestrations.

It was quite a game.  I haven't laughed that hard in a long time.

It was great seeing them and spending time with them.  I wish they all lived in Chicago.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013


We're back in Chicago.

It took a lot to get here.

The ship is on Dry Dock, so we get 2 weeks off.

That's the ship being lifted out of the water. Crazy!

We left the ship at 5:00am on Sunday and headed to the airport.

Sadly, we stayed there for awhile. Our flight was delayed because of electrical issues. So, we sat.

We sat so long that we missed our connecting flight. Luckily, I harkened back to my days of traveling across the country doing corporate improv and training and knew that we needed to be aggressive. You can't sit back and hope the airline finds a seat for you after they miss your connecting flight. If it looks like you're not going to make your connection, you have to go to the desk and tell them to keep you booked on the original flight and also book you on the next flight as well.

It saved us. When we landed in D.C., I went to the gate and they informed us we had miss our connection and there were no seats open on any flights going to Chicago for the rest of the day. She said we'd have to fly standby all day. I told her I'd had the gate attendant in Miami book us on the 5:30 flight and she arched her eyebrow and smiled. "Well done," she said. "If you hadn't done that, you probably wouldn't have gotten back to Chicago until tomorrow."

My next issue was to make sure our bags got onto our new flight. I asked her to send a tag order to make sure the bags went to our new flight and she said to not worry, they'd automatically go to our next booked ticket. I started to insist that she make a new tag order, but I didn't want to be "that guy".

I should have been that guy. Our bags didn't make it to Chicago.

We waited for a long time, but they never arrived.

We finally arrived at our apartment at 9:30. It was a full day of traveling that had started at 5:00am.

On the bright side, as soon as we got home, D'agostino's pizza arrived.

It's good to be home.

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Friday, April 5, 2013

My Birthday...

For my birthday yesterday, we went to the beach.  I've never been to the beach on my birthday before.

 We had a great day.

The water was warm and the beach was smooth and clean.

Afterward, we had a great lunch and then walked around Grand Cayman.

We found a great candy store that had all kinds of cool sweets.

Back on the ship, Jeannie arranged to get me a great birthday cake.

She had to sign 4 different forms to get permission to have a cake made for me.  She had to speak to the captain, cruise director and several officers just to get approval for it.

Brett insisted that the cake was only "so-so", but he had 2 slices.
After the cake, we played Space Team on our phones and iPads.
It was a great birthday!