JustWine in Hofheim: Our first wine event with a DJ…

Lately, I’ve been following some local Facebook wine groups, besides the one I run. Thanks to events like the Wiesbaden Wine Festival, I’ve found a few local wines that I really enjoy. When I noticed that the Barth Winery was going to be attending this weekend’s JustWine wine tasting event at the StadtHalle in Hofheim, I told Bill we should pay a visit. I enjoy tasting wines, and I already knew I liked the products by at least one of the attendees.

The JustWine event is continuing today, starting at 1:00pm, and running until 6:00pm. Yesterday, it started at 2:00pm, and ran until 9. I had wanted to go early and maybe have lunch or dinner in Hofheim. Unfortunately, we got held up waiting for an Amazon delivery. I bought Bill an Alexa Echo for his side of the bedroom. I was hoping to pair it with the one on my side, and create stereo sound. I’m still working on making that happen. 🙁 It’s not as easy as it should be.

Because we were waiting for the delivery, we didn’t leave for the wine event until it had been going on for a couple of hours. One nice thing about this event is that it was at the Chinon Center, which has a huge parking garage. That made it much easier to get the wine to the car. We bought fourteen bottles, six of which will be shipped to us. Last May, we went to an event at the Kurhaus in Wiesbaden, and Bill almost killed himself getting the wine to the car, which was parked in a distant garage. Yes… the parking was the best part of the JustWine event. The rest of it impressed me somewhat less.

The entry fee for the JustWine tasting is 8 euros. For that, you get unlimited entry until the event ends for the day. You can taste wines by vendors from France, Italy, and Germany, as well as purchase gourmet food items from the SudTyrol and Hofheim. There was also a D.J. That was a first. I’ve never seen a D.J. at a wine tasting. The music was okay– sort of techno trance instrumentals– but it was turned up kind of loud, which made it hard to hear and be heard. There were also a LOT of people there, so it was hard to actually access the booths. We ended up only going to three before we finally decided to give up and see if we could find dinner in town.

Before we ventured into Hofheim searching for food, we stopped at the Edeka in the mall so I could get some hair conditioner. The guy running the register, Herr Rocky, looked pretty much over it as he asked Bill to put his “Geschlossen” sign on his conveyor belt. It must have been break time… or maybe it was time for him to go home.

Then, after we bought my hair product, we stopped at a couple of restaurants, both of which were totally full. We didn’t make any reservations, because we weren’t expecting to go to the event as late as we did. It looked like everybody was out in Hofheim last night, which is understandable. Less than year ago, things were still pretty locked down in Germany. Since I already had indigestion, I told Bill that we should just go home.

So that’s what we did… and I was soon confronted again with Alexa, and her reluctance to pair properly in our bedroom. Bill has to go away this week, so hopefully I’ll figure out how to get the speakers doing my bidding before he comes back Friday– temporarily– until he has to go away again for another three days. On the plus side, Arran and Noyzi were overjoyed to see us. Arran, in particular, was running around with unbridled joy. He has that big tumor on his side, and it seems to hurt when we touch it. Yet he still has the ability and the will to greet us with so much enthusiasm. He amazes me every day.

I might have enjoyed the JustWine event more if we had gotten there sooner, when it was probably much less crowded. We probably would have found food, too. There was food at the event, but nowhere to really sit, or even stand, because there were so many people there. Personally, I think they should have scrapped the disc jockey and put in a few more tables.

I did at least get to buy some sparkling Rieslings from the Barth Winery and introduced myself to Axel, the guy who represented the Barth Winery and alerted me to the event in the first place. He’s very active on Facebook and speaks perfect English.

I got a kick out of Axel, because as we approached his table, he was dealing with a very petite young Asian lady who seemed to be putting him through his paces. She also seemed to be a little bit “lit”. She ended up buying a bottle of sparkling rose before she stumbled off, looking a little bit cross. Maybe it’s because she understands Armenian or Spanish, as I used words from both languages to describe her rather familiar demeanor to Bill. I know… shame on me. But she was kind of hogging Axel’s attention, and it looked like maybe he could use an assist.

Anyway, I’m not sorry we got out of the house and went to the JustWine event. It was a little too loud and crowded for my tastes, but it was definitely a unique affair. And we did pick up some wines, which I will be avoiding during Bill’s TDY. I like to temporarily get off the sauce when he’s not home.

Below are some photos…

Hebridean Island Cruises

Tasting whisky at Ardnamurchan Distillery, hitting the wall at Tobermory, and wanting to hit a guide…

Monday morning, we visited Ardnamurch Distillery, Scotland’s westernmost distiller located on the Glenmore River. This distillery was founded in 2012, so like many of the others on this cruise, it’s very new. I have to admit that by the time we reached this distillery, I was a bit whiskyed out. I didn’t even drink a lot of it on the ship. However, I am glad I visited this distillery if only because it’s located in such a beautiful place. We took the tenders to a floating pier, where we were met by a man with a thick Scottish brogue who came up from Glasgow because he liked the island life. Can’t say I blame him.

Here are some pictures from Ardnamurch Distillery, whose parent company is Adelphi Distillery. I found it very interesting when the guide told us the casks from Jack Daniels in Tennessee were “rubbish”. This distillery gets them from Woodford Reserve instead. I noticed Jack Daniels casks at other distilleries. He told us that the focus was on perfection, since they are not able to produce as much whisky as the really big distillers.

After our tour, we went back to the ship for lunch, then sailed to Tobermory, Isle of Mull. Lunch on Sunday was the cold ham buffet, which also has always happened on every Hebridean cruise I’ve ever taken. It’s basically a buffet with the beautifully carved ham, oysters, smoked salmon, and lots of fresh vegetables.

I confess, although Tobermory looked like a very charming town and the Tobermory Distillery was very close to the ship, it was raining horizontally and I didn’t feel like going out in it. Bill visited Tobermory Distillery, which turned out to be just a tasting… the man doing the tasting was a former police officer turned whisky hawker. He was also a singer-songwriter and he performed a few songs. Dammit… I missed another musical experience. Oh well. I came home inspired to make my own music!

It was just as well that I missed the tasting, since I caught rainbows. I’d been waiting for them all week. Scotland and Ireland have never not delivered on rainbows. Here are a few photos.

Monday night was also the evening of our farewell gala. This is where, unfortunately, things went a little south. I apologize to anyone reading this and thinking I shouldn’t mention it. I like to be truthful as much as possible and, I have to admit, we were let down in a big way on the last night. We had a wonderful dinner after the last champagne reception. I wore a somewhat less matronly purple velvet dress… I know, weird in August, but it was chilly and beat the alternative. Bill wore his kilt again. Right before dinner, a passenger commented on Bill’s tendency to sit with his legs slightly apart. He’s a guy, after all, and doesn’t often wear skirts. But, bucking the tradition of not wearing underwear under the kilt, he did wear thigh length underwear. It was kind of embarrassing that someone commented on the way he was sitting, but he shrugged it off. Practice makes perfect.

We had our haggis, neeps, and tatties. I had turbot filet and Bill had lamb. After we ate, we visited the galley and thanked the kitchen staff. Some readers might remember that I didn’t visit them in 2017 because in 2016, I was a bit traumatized by a fellow passenger who barged in as I was talking to the staff. I had suddenly felt really intrusive, even though I knew I wasn’t being intrusive. I just happen to be very sensitive to certain things and I noticed annoyance on the faces of some of the staff, though it probably wasn’t necessarily because of me. In fact, one kitchen staffer in 2016 remembered me from 2012.

Anyway, this time, we did go in and thank the staff and the same dude who remembered me in 2016 said it was nice to see me aboard again. That really delighted me, so I was in a great mood when we went to the Tiree lounge. We were at the bar enjoying our last evening on the ship. Bill and I were in fine spirits. At that point, one of the guides came up to Bill and started talking about his kilt. I didn’t immediately notice it at the time, but the guide seemed like he might have been a wee bit drunk. Or, at least that’s how he appeared to me. It’s the only way I can explain his behavior.

He leaned over and whispered to Bill about his tendency to sit with his legs apart. That was embarrassing enough, but would have been easy to shrug off. But then the guide seemed more emboldened, and suddenly went off on a strange tirade about how he didn’t want to see anyone’s “knickers” or “balls”. He wasn’t whispering, and I could tell that Bill was humiliated by his comments, especially since he’d already gotten the point and Bill was wearing knit boxers that reached to his mid thighs. I can assure everyone that no one saw anything private. Bill is a sensitive man, and he’s easily embarrassed, yet much too polite to tell anyone who deserves it to go take a flying leap. Besides, the guide’s very nice wife was sitting nearby and Bill would never swear in front of a lady. I’m no lady; I’m his wife, so he does swear in front of me.

I told the guide that he was doing his best to ensure that Bill never wore his kilt again, which would be a real shame. I worked hard to get him in that kilt, and he looks gorgeous in it. Or, at least I think so… and my opinion is the only one, besides Bill’s, that really matters. In retrospect, maybe I should have snarled at the guy… but then, too many people already seem to think I’m a bitch when I stand up for myself.

Bill was visibly upset when the guide finally went away. I was also a bit pissed… both in terms of annoyance and drunkenness, since my bartender friend Louis had kept me in Armagnac and Calvados. I was trying to talk Bill down, reminding him that the guy had seemed pretty intoxicated to me (which he may not have been). I have a feeling one of the staffers heard me and clued in the excellent purser, who did ask Bill if he was alright the next morning. There wasn’t time to really address the issue. I’m wondering if maybe they should get one of my trademark letters… but maybe it’s best to just let the incident go.

We did end the night on a good note, though. The Danish guy came to the bar and we had a nice chat. At the Danish guy’s suggestion, I ended up singing to Bill, which may not have been as beautiful as it could have been, since I’d been drinking. He does love it when I sing to him, though.

Last post is up next.


A full moon over Wiesbaden… our first taste of Fasching.

I have a confession to make.  Although I have, at this writing, spent six full years in Germany, today was the first time we experienced a Fasching celebration.  And we experienced it quite by accident.  I didn’t know this was going to be going on today, probably because I’m not very religious.  Wiesbaden, to my knowledge, is less religious than Stuttgart is.  Actually, what I do remember of Baden-Württemberg at this time of year is that people dress in costumes, as an American celebrating Halloween might, but the costumes are kind of scary and macabre.  Or… at least that’s what our parsimonious ex landlady told us before she started hating us.  I had heard that in other parts of Germany, such as Bavaria, the costumes are more funny and lighthearted.  Since I haven’t really hung out in any Fasching celebrations before today, I can’t say for certain.

A nice first picture for the display.  Most of the others are a lot raunchier.

To be honest, Bill and I usually do other things when Fasching is going on.  I do remember seeing the tail end of celebrations, as people walked by in their costumes.  It looked like fun… but until today, I never experienced it firsthand.  I’ve also never been to New Orleans, let alone Carnival.  This tradition is a mystery to me.  I have led such a sheltered life.

We went to downtown Wiesbaden for lunch, before a trip to the commissary to stock up on junk food before Bill goes TDY next weekend.  I got a first inkling that it was time to Fasch when I saw a little kid in a dragon costume.  Then I noticed all kinds of other costumes, worn by people of all ages, but especially the young.  I got loads of pictures.  Feast your eyes.

The first costume I saw.  It was relatively tame.  The main drag was shut down for the parade, which was pretty epic.


We saw lots of flamingos.  This was the first.


I felt like I’d run into the characters from the Wizard of Oz.


I still haven’t stopped in this store, where the world’s biggest cuckoo clock supposedly is.  I thought the biggest one was near Triberg.  I’m sure only the Americans care.

It seemed somewhat sedate… just lots of people in costumes milling around.


Yeah… not so exciting… yet.


Except for this music shop… I need to explore it on a day that isn’t Sunday.


Things were heating up here.

It had started to rain and it was getting close to the witching hour of 2:00pm, which is when many restaurants shut down lunch.  There was a lot of street food available and plenty of booze, but I wasn’t really wanting sausages and shots.  I suddenly remembered a really nice Thai restaurant we tried in October, when we came to Wiesbaden looking for housing.  Chookdee Thai is right downtown, next to the Wiesbaden Town Hotel, where we stayed the first time we visited Wiesbaden.  When we visited then, we sat outside, because we had our dogs.  Since it was raining today, we went inside.  That was a good thing to do for many reasons.

Chookdee Thai was mostly booked today.  It has a small, but very beautifully decorated dining room. We had to sit in the area where you have to shed your shoes.  That meant climbing over a platform like area.  It was kind of cool, if not awkward.  We had to inconvenience the people sitting next to us, since Bill couldn’t get to his seat without climbing over the ladies at the next table.

You take off your shoes if you sit at one of the traditional tables.  They have slippers, but we didn’t bother with them.


The walls were covered with this.  It was beautiful.


Bill decides on lunch.  He had shrimp pad Thai.  I think I might have even seen our new landlord in costume while we were eating.  He has a very distinctive expression on his face.  He usually looks amused, which is a relief to me.


Really… a very nice place.  This was taken just before 3:00, which is when they pause until dinner.


Of course, Fasching is a time when people go a little nuts.  There’s a lot of drinking and dancing, especially among the young.  They had live music and I saw lots of kids with homemade potions in big plastic bottles, no doubt loaded with cheap alcohol.  And a whole bunch of them decided to congregate at the outside table in front of our Thai restaurant.  This place is actually kind of in an alcove/alley way.  I wouldn’t say it’s in the thick of Wiesbaden’s main square.  But it seemed like every high spirited hooligan decided to party in front of Chookdee Thai, much to the chagrin of the restaurant’s proprietor, who looked a bit pissed as young man after young man pissed in the corner between a parked van and a wall, in full view of the patrons.

The dude in the hat was dressed as a cow.  He encountered another cow while we were having lunch and the two of them started “milking” each other’s udders.

The sly looking pirate was the first guy who whizzed in front of us.  He looks devious, doesn’t he?

And these two aliens cracked me up.  I saw another impressive guy in a Spiderman costume that left nothing to the imagination.  I was impressed by how well he wore it.


Lunch came.  I had fried shrimp with green beans, garlic, rice, and garlic sauce.  It was all served family style and delicious.  I must admit, the show outside made our meal all the better.

Yummy rice…

Shrimp pad Thai.

Fried shrimp with green beans and steaming hot garlic sauce with cilantro.  Tasty and filling.


I kept watching the kids outside and took photos, because I’m tacky… and the cow dude apparently noticed.  He got on top of the table outside and mooned us.  I got several photos of his bare ass, which was surprisingly hairless and zitless.

Yeah… a little “courage”…

Mounting the table.

Getting in position…

I always seem to be at the right place at the right time, don’t I?

Wow.  I actually got a few pictures of this, but these were the best of the lot.  After he mooned us, the guy got down and basically took a bow.  Most everyone in the restaurant was dying laughing.  The German lady sitting behind me was quite amused that I got photos.  She showed them to her family, which included a couple of young kids.  Germans can be remarkably uptight about some things… but when it comes to nudity, they let it all hang out.


Anyway… that was about the end of lunch, so we finished up and split.  I do like Chookdee Thai under the best of circumstances.  Today was just an unusually entertaining day to eat there.  I walked around a bit more and got a few more pictures before we headed to the commissary.

Gonna have to check this out.

Love was in the air…

Especially brotherly love.

These folks had the right idea.

So did they.

I’ve heard the parade in Mainz is tomorrow and it’s supposedly even wilder than Wiesbaden’s is.  I don’t how I managed to miss this every year.  It’s quite the shitshow.  I do enjoy German style fun.  I don’t enjoy German style anal retentiveness.  But this goes to show that Germans can let their hair down, too.

And it was reassuring to know that they were very well prepared if someone had an “Unfall”.  Germans are serious about their fun… and if you get into trouble, they’ll help you out.  And then they’ll probably lecture you.

I got a kick out of this classic Mini Cooper parked near our new fangled (10 year old) one.

As for the commissary, it was its usual self, complete with the remnants of someone’s dump on the ladies’ room floor.  Why do we keep going there?  Because I’m an American and I need my Cheetos… and not just the one sitting in the White House.


Stuttgarter Frühlingsfest 2018

Full disclosure.  Although Bill and I have lived in the Stuttgart for over five years of our married life (07-09 and 14-?), today was our first time ever visiting the spring fest in Stuttgart.  To be honest, I think we were taken aback by our very first “fest” experience in 2007.  It took us another 9 years to do another.

I think we’ve found that we like going on Sunday afternoons.  I think Bill figures that’s going to be less busy… however, when we’ve gone on Sundays, there has been ample entertainment.  I mainly like to go for the beer, the fabulous chicken, and watching all the drunk people.  Although I am not averse to getting drunk myself, I don’t generally get as messed up as some of the young folks do.  And today, we wound up in the young folks’ tent.

Actually, our trip started out a little bit stressful. I noticed on the train in Herrenberg that, unlike a lot of other people the previous fall, I was wearing Trachten and no one else was.  Add in the very obnoxious Middle Eastern looking lady who appeared to be taking pictures and texting, and you might realize how paranoid I was.  And then I saw on Facebook that one of the tents supposedly didn’t open until 5:00pm.  I needn’t have worried, though.  Plenty of people were wearing dirndls and lederhosen… and it was not hard to find a tent in the afternoon.

We got to the Dinkelacker tent at about 1:30pm or so… Honestly, I don’t know.  We sat at an empty bench, fanned ourselves a bit (it’s warmer in the spring), and ordered a couple of Maß Krugs of beer.  Then we had our traditional chicken and rolls…  Below are some photos from the festivities, which continue until May 13th this year.  We actually decided to go today because next weekend, we will be in France.  Now I see we could have postponed!

Goofy photo… and the nicest one of me today.  

Always good to know.  There is a WC very close to the train station.  

A few rides.  I used to like rides.


It wasn’t too busy when we arrived.

That chicken is so good! 

We found seats near the stage, although signs warned us that the benches were reserved from 5pm.  Honestly, I would rather party in the afternoon.  You have plenty of time to recover until it’s time to work again.

As time wore on, things got a little wilder…

But it was still pretty calm at this point.

Uh oh… people are busting loose!  By this point, I was becoming less pissy myself.

Hip bumping!

The lady in the blue dirndl was making eyes at the guy playing guitar…


Every time I think I might want a mini-dirndl, it occurs to me that maybe I’d rather not have my gams on display… but this lady had nice thighs.


One last shot before we left…

And a few shots of the crowd before we made our way to the train…


And the ride back to Herrenberg from Bad Cannstatt was not too bad… and no one took pictures and texted.  If I write a strange short story on my main blog in the next month or so, you’ll know why.


If you want to get a feel for the fest, watch the video.  It’s totally unedited, recorded on an iPhone (because my purse won’t accommodate my big camera), and will give you an idea of what happens from about 12:30 or 1:00 until about 5:00pm.  If you’re bringing kids, it may be especially valuable viewing.  If I’d had my camera, the film would be better.  But I have ordered a new purse, which means fewer iPhone films.



Ten shocking, funny, strange, amazing, and annoying things I have encountered on small cruises…

Last night over dinner, Bill and I were talking about some of the things we’ve seen on any of the seven cruises we’ve been on so far.  Cruising is a lot of fun, but if you’re on a small vessel, you can end up rubbing elbows with fellow passengers more often than you would on a larger ship.  Sometimes, that extra contact leads to making new friends.  Sometimes it ends up being way too close for comfort.

I write this, knowing that I have probably inspired a few blog posts or Facebook rants myself.  Indeed, on our first Hebridean cruise, I faceplanted in the dining room right next to the buffet on a formal night.  I bet a few people who were cruising with us remember that incident.

This post may or may not be for the faint of heart.  I just thought it would make for a funny blog topic.  All of these stories are true, though I have tried not to be too specific in the interest of not embarrassing anyone (too much).  If anyone else wants to share an anecdote, feel free in the comments section.

10. A man with a mustache resembling an overgrown caterpillar. 

On our second SeaDream cruise, Bill and I were mingling among the newly embarking guests and happened to sit down with a British couple we ended up hanging out with all week.  As we were checking out the new folks and making small talk, a man walked by with his very large group of family members.  He had a very unusual black mustache that pretty much demanded that you look at him.  Our new British friends were commenting on the way the facial hair was styled and the wife quipped, “It looks like an overgrown caterpillar!”  Leave it to the Brits to come up with such a hilarious and truthful assessment!

9.  A woman with an electric fan in her cleavage.

On our very first SeaDream cruise in 2010, there was a woman from California running around with a tiny electric fan clipped to her tank top.  It blew breezes toward her face.  We were in Puerto Rico and it was very hot.  I had to applaud her genius!

Wow!  Such ingenuity!  


8.  Some German guy’s balls…

While cruising in Italy a few years ago, I happened to be sitting on the pool deck, trying to catch a few chilly mid May rays of Italian sun off the coast of Amalfi.  While I was sitting there sipping prosecco, a young German guy, who had just been using some of the ship’s water sports equipment, casually changed out of his bathing suit while he was on deck.  I noticed he was trying to be somewhat discreet, but I still ended up with an eyeful of his family jewels.  Later, I was talking to a woman from Northern Ireland who confessed that she’d also gotten an unsolicited look at this guy’s junk.  While nudity is definitely not a big deal in most of continental Europe, I sure got more than I was bargaining for as I gazed at Amalfi’s famous coast.

7.  Brawl in the piano bar.


One night, while singing hits from the 70s and 80s in SeaDream 1’s piano bar, I witnessed a drunk and belligerent man calling out a bunch of partying Norwegians because he thought they were being too loud while he was trying to sing.  There we were, singing “Just The Two of Us”, and this guy suddenly got pissed off and demanded that the Norwegians “step outside”.  Fortunately, the Norwegians had cool heads and declined.  For a minute, I thought a couple of people were going to have to walk the plank!

6.  Liquor theft in the piano bar.

On the same evening of the same cruise, the cagey drunk guy and another guy decided to slip behind the bar and help themselves to scotch.  Most of the liquor was actually included in the price of the fare, but I had to admit being surprised at their moxie.  Fortunately, they were not busted by the very competent Portuguese bartender who brooked no nonsense and made a mean mojito.

5.  Fractured facts and annoying anecdotes about America…

On a recent cruise, Bill and I were two of only four Americans on a very small ship.  One of the other Americans happened to have a voice that carried and a mouth that rarely stopped running.  While sitting on a bus, waiting to go on an excursion, she regaled fellow passengers with strange stories about poor people in Appalachia force feeding their babies Mountain Dew, *fish* (not shrimp) and grits in the South, and tales of her parents forcing her to drink warm powdered milk when she was a child.  I kind of wished I’d brought along my noise canceling headphones, but we kept hearing snippets of fractured facts throughout the week, no matter where we were.

4.  Raging paranoia…

We met one couple from Texas on a cruise.  They were pretty nice to talk to, though the husband was a little bit on the odd side.  Once the cruise was finished, we went back to our homes in North Carolina and Texas respectively (this was before our year in San Antonio).  After our trip, I somehow ended up getting uninvited correspondence from the husband, who was first upset that SeaDream had sent us a cookbook as a gift and he and his wife didn’t get one.  Then he said he’d made a film of the cruise and posted it unlisted on YouTube.  He offered to send us the parts of the film he had taken of us, but there were many strings attached.  He said we weren’t to share the links with anyone and had a whole list of other rules designed to protect his privacy.  Apparently, it never occurred to him that perhaps Bill and I value our own privacy.  Neither Bill nor I like to see ourselves on camera, though Bill patiently puts up with me photographing him all the time (because I love him and mostly manage to get good shots).   Since I didn’t actually want to see the video, I tried to politely explain that we weren’t interested.  He wrote back that he didn’t understand, so I found myself forced to be blunt.  Naturally, that didn’t go over well, but at least he quit emailing me.  Not that I mind being in people’s videos or photos.  That’s going to happen when a person goes on vacation.  I just don’t necessarily want to see the photos or videos unless they happen to be flattering.  ðŸ˜‰

*Speaking of unsolicited photos…

Here are a couple of unsolicited photos the aforementioned partying Norwegians took of me with my camera while I was singing to Bill…

I think I look pretty horrible in these photos.  I had a terrible blistering sunburn; my hair was all messed up from the humidity; and I felt as big as a beached whale.  But I kept the pictures because I love the way Bill is looking at me and the night itself was a lot of fun.  I guess I should appreciate the unsolicited pictures, even if they do make me feel kind of icky about my appearance.  Damned narcissism!

3.  Bolt ons galore!


I confess that before I took a small ship cruise, I had never heard of the term “bolt ons” to describe breast implants.  But on our first SeaDream cruise, a Canadian lady used that expression to describe the apparently perfectly perky breasts of a very attractive trophy wife type woman who was on the ship.  Whether or not that particular woman actually had bolt ons, I don’t know.  But since that cruise, I have seen a lot of obvious bolt ons.


2.  Celebrities!


On our first SeaDream cruise, we ran into a couple of celebrities, neither of whom I initially recognized.  One was a star of a then popular reality show that I couldn’t watch because we lived out in the boonies and didn’t get TV.  The other couple had discovered and launched the music career of a very popular female rock star.  I ended up becoming Facebook friends with the rock star couple, which has been a source of a lot of fun for me, mainly because I am a music geek.  We struck up a conversation after attending the worst karaoke show I’ve ever been to!  On another SeaDream cruise, a German guy surprised everyone by taking over the piano player’s piano and delighting everyone with a live performance.  I can’t be sure, but I have a feeling he, too, was in the music business.  He came over and gave me a big hug when he was finished!  Sometimes music can lead to unexpected bonding!

1. Hand job at the dinner table… 

While cruising through Scotland on the tiny Hebridean Princess, Bill and I were two of four Americans onboard.  The other American couple happened to be sitting within my line of sight, next to a wall in the ship’s dining room.  She was a brilliant but extremely introverted medical doctor who also had a PhD.  He was a much more outgoing professor of literature from an Ivy League university.  As we were eating, I happened to glance over their way and noticed the female half gazing intently into her husband’s eyes.  He was doing his best to keep a straight face.  I looked down and saw her hand kneading his package while the rest of us dined on Sunday roast.  I must say, Hebridean Princess is the last place I would have expected to see something like that!

I’m not sure when our next cruise will be, but it will probably be on a small ship.  And if it is, I am certain I can add to this list of misadventures.