Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Drama Ship Sailed at 4PM

So, I went on this cruise.

It totally was not what I thought it was going to be.

I am slightly bitter about it.

The premise was that two of my sisters and four of our friends were going to go on a cruise....a girl's cruise. The opportunity of a lifetime, right? Well, depends on which opportunity you mean. I prayed constantly the week before we left. I prayed like a mad woman that all these women would get along and not kill each other after spending 6 days in the same room. I also prayed that my sister T would keep it in her pants metaphorically speaking for just one week so we could all have fun without too much drama. To qualify the previous sentence I need to tell you a little about T. She has been married to and divorced from the same man twice. They currently live together as married people. They wear rings, called each other hubby and wife, share bills, etc. They aren't technically married anymore because brother-in-law says he's paid for two weddings to this woman and he's not doing it again. Whatever. They are in a committed relationship. Period. But, T has an unusual flaw. She cannot, for any reason, pass up the attention of a man. Ever.
Back to the cruise: Before we even got on the ship, when asked which of our group was single her hand shot straight up in the air. Cause you know, what happens on the ship..blah, blah, blah. I knew then what a long week it was going to be. I might mention that in order to keep myself sane and respectable I brought along a friend from church. My apologies dear friend for exposing you to my dysfunctional family. After men started showing up at our room less than 2 hrs after we boarded, my friend and I made ourselves scarce to other parts of the ship. That's pretty much the story of the whole cruise. Thank God for my friend or I would have had to tag along with the debauchery in order to stay with my group! 3 am the first night my sister E is dragging T, drunk and kicking and screaming, out of some guys room. This was the first night. She spent the rest of the vacation either with this guy or looking for this guy, who I might add was the loudest most obnoxious drunk guy I'd ever seen. We had absolutely no desire to hang out with men. In fact, I specifically came on this trip to get away from men! My friend and I went our way and they went theirs.
That being said, it wasn't the fact that everyone was drunk within the first 3 hrs on the ship and stayed drunk (sloppy drunk) the rest of the trip. I mean, they did, but it's not about the drinking. I came to have fun too. I don't care if we all sat at the pool all day and got wasted. The point of the cruise was to be know "Girls Cruise". Well, since arriving home the story is that T isn't speaking to us because we ruined her vacation. I guess reminding your sister that she's married while she's otherwise engaged is rude or something. Whatever. I didn't have to make up a story when I got home. We didn't see her again cause my little friend and I didn't want to witness nothing we might have to testify to one day so we split. But, she and I had a great time together! We went to karaoke every night, shows, the pool. We had drinks, went zip-lining and snorkeling and got to see some ruins!
It wasn't that the trip wasn't fun. It's that it totally was not a girl's cruise. It had potential, but no. I didn't see T most of the trip unless I went back to the room to change during the day since she was an "up all night, sleep all day" kinda girl and I got yelled at for interrupting her little schedule. I honestly didn't see much of E either because she spent most of the trip making sure T didn't go overboard...literally.
I don't wanna make it sound like it sucked. I mean the situation sucked, I got my feelings hurt because I felt like we just turned out to be her alibi for a week of whatever & whoever, but I did have fun. I got to see and do things I'd never seen and done before and that's what it's all about. I spent an entire week without laundry, a cell phone or a purse! I got to eat escargot and lobster and have cappuchino with Kahlua! Every meal was served to me by a guy in a tux! I can't wait to go back...with Hubby...maybe early next year if Christmas doesn't kill us first. I'll try to get some pictures up soon.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Just Stopped by to Complain a Little

The following is a rant of frustration, desperation, aggravation, and many, many other unpleasant emotions:

Ok, so here's the real deal Holyfield. My life is kinda falling apart right now. I haven't intentionally abandoned you I promise. I began classes the day I returned from Savannah and I haven't had my head above water since then.
Seriously...I thought this was going to be totally different. I have no idea what I'm doing.
We'll start off by saying that at no point on their website or in email communication from my "advisors" did anyone ever mention accelerated terms. What that basically means is that you have nine weeks to do what the other students are doing in a whole semester. I did my midterms last week. I have three weeks left to go.
I think I'm dying.

Another thing about it is that, as described in the wonderful advertisement material, you have to log in so many times a week to get your attendance credit. Well, that's not really how it works. you have to post something to that class' discussion board 3-5 times a week. Sounds simple right? That's what I thought. Turns out that you have to post a response to the weekly question...which up until now has been a compare and contrast or a an opinion (in which the teacher will then correct your opinion, so what was the point?)...and respond to someone else's post. Here's the rub - you're not allowed to use 'I agree or I disagree' or it doesn't count. You're also not allowed to go back to a previous week's discussion. Also, your response must be a paragraph...each one.

I found out yesterday that like *none* of my responses are getting full credit. Apparently, I'm not wordy enough?? What. The. Hell?? Plus, if I don't get credit for attendance I will have to pay back my Pell Grant.

I want to quit.

I have never quit anything before. I had a child in the 10th grade and never quit school for Pete's sake!! This whole thing just isn't working for me. I don't have any interaction with my teachers (I have emailed before but realize now that urgent questions aren't going to be answered because the response always come 2-3 days later) or fellow students other than the required discussion. In fact I emailed my midterm to one of my teachers early to be critiqued (at her request) and still haven't heard from her...I just had to turn it in and hope that I had gotten at least some of it right.

All of this is in addition to the hell I went through trying to get enrolled, registered and get my textbooks. I found out 2 weeks into class that I wasn't going to get a textbook voucher from financial aid because the registration had taken to long and I had missed the deadline so I had to shell out $400 for three textbooks. Textbooks are a whole other complaint. As much money as I spent on them....I have barely touched them! Most of my work is research work that is accomplished with the fact for my current research paper I am NOT ALLOWED to use my text as a reference or it's an automatic zero! So what the freak did I buy them for??

Ok, so I'm doing a lot of complaining today. It's just that being a student was always something I did exceedingly well. I was Valedictorian in both high school and nursing floundering is something I have no experience with at all. I have never wanted to quit anything before this. If I thought that I could physically make it to class 1-2 days a week I would think about transferring to the local community college. I mean, I already have financial aid...I guess that would transfer. I just don't see how I could get it done. I am already working full time, homeschooling, keeping a home and all the things a Mom does.

I don't know what I'm going to do. All I know is that I am busting my butt trying to keep my head above water but the pace is so fast I feel like I'm drowning and if I'm not even getting credit for what I am doing, I don't see the point in trying! I just have to try to finish this term and then decide from there.

Thanks for letting me rant and rave. I needed that.

Oh, I the cruise was definitely a once in a lifetime thing...good and bad...and that is a whole other post :) Pictures soon, I promise!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Random Savannah #1

Here are some random pics... too many for one post again so more to come. I told ya'll you'd be sick of Savannah when I was done ;)

This is my most favorite picture of Savannah. This sums up the whole city for me.
The Harbor Light.
Olympic Torch Monument.
The Waving Girl of Savannah, waving at all the ships passing through the channel to the harbor. True story of a lady who spent her entire life waving at passing ships in hopes of finding the sailor who said he was coming back for her...he never came.
The riverboat.
View of the Harbor.

They call this a "true Savannah rose". The homeless give them away for donation. It's made out of stripped up palm leaves.

I thought it was wonderful~

Our room at the B&B.I thought that this headboard was gorgeous. Antique of course.

This is the tedious little stairway we had to navigate with all of our luggage. You would think that we wouldn't have much luggage for a 4 day trip. You would be wrong.

A view down the sidewalk at our B&B. Not to be a broken record, but I cannot express how beautiful Savannah is.

Deserted little courtyard.
Jasper Monument...this poor fellow died saving his regimental colors during the Seige of Savannah. I thought it was pretty all lit up.

There are horse drawn carriages every where you look! Sounds reality the whole downtown area smelled like manure. You do get used to it...kinda.
All the gutters downtown have these Dolphin Fish spouts. Some old sailor's lucky charm having to do with flooding or hurricanes or something. They were cute.
One of the squares at night.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Long Lost Savannah Post: BuildingsPart #2

As promised, here is the second post about the beautiful buildings we saw in Savannah. Some of these are blurry. I apologize. I do have to say that pictures just cannot describe the beauty of that city... I am fully in love.

This is the interior of the Wesley Monumental Methodist Church that we attended while there. Going to church is not something we've ever done on vacation, but it just seemed like the thing to do and besides there were at least 5 historical churches in as many blocks. This picture show the Sanctuary at Christmas...that's because I ripped it off their website. They did not allow flash photography. Funny that they had to make that rule, but it's probably because of stupid tourists like me :)
Exterior of the Wesley Monumental. I couldn't get a close up of the stained glass windows but it's worth mentioning that they are in Louis Tiffany himself came from New York to install them with his own hands.
This is the Pink House. It is a converted Civil War mansion that is now a pricey, reservation-only restaurant. We ate here on my birthday. Sadly, cannot give it a good rating at all. Our meal cost almost $100, we couldn't hear ourselves think for the noise and Hubby couldn't cut his $40 steak WITH the steak knife! I think we know how the can get away with it...I order a cute little fruity cocktail, drank only half of it and I don't remember the ride home. At. All.

This and the next few pictures are interior shots of the St. John's Catholic Church. I cannot say enough how breathtaking it was to stand in this church. This is the pipe organ, which is so large it sits in the loft above the sanctuary. Over 200 pipes. Just wish I could have gotten a non-blurry picture!

This is the best shot I could get, trying to show the scale of this place.

The stained glass was exquisite.

Tried again for a pic of the pipe organ...notice all the little people on the mail level. This place was gigantic.

The prayer altar...ummm, I don't know the official name of it. I've never been in a catholic church before this trip.

Prayer candles.

More stained glass.

This city is absolutely choking with wrought iron. It was all beautiful. This was just a good example.
This is the Mercer House. If you've ever seen Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, this is the house. It was beautiful. Named the Mercer House because it belonged to the Mercer Family since the Civil War but the last Mercer to live there was the famous songwriter Johnny Mercer. You can tour it, but we didn't have time.

Beautiful building on the block we stayed on. Used to be a single family home if you can believe it, but now its a law office. Side note: The lawyer that works here breeds the bulldogs for the University Of Georgia.

Grand old home next to the Mercer Home.
Well, this is all the buildings. The next post will just be random things. Hope you are enjoying my pictures!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Long Lost Savannah Post: Buildings Part 1

So....I fell off the face of the earth.
I know that's what you thought, right?
Very, very long story short, I started classes the day after we got back from Savannah and have had my head buried in a book ever since. Suffice it to say that some papers didn't get processed in time, financial aid was delayed and I got my books 3 weeks late and had to make up some major lost time. Anyway, I am leaving for my cruise in the morning and thought that I'd get these pictures posted so that I will be able to post new ones when I get back!! After busting my rump catching up on schoolwork enough to actually work ahead for the week that I'm gone, while simultaneously working 40 weeks and homeschooling my kids I am in desperate need of this vacation. Don't worry, if there's really safety in numbers I'll be fine cause we are taking 7 girls with us! Anyway, this post is one of (I think) 2 posts strictly about the beautiful buildings we saw in Savannah. Since there are so many I will try to just put a sentence or two as a caption. Hope you enjoy them!!

Distant view of the steeple at the St. John Catholic Church, built in the 1700's when Georgia was a colony.

St. John's from across the street.

St. John's up close.

St. John's....the next post will have all the breathtaking interior pictures.

The front face of the Cotton Exchange...side note: any pics of Red Brick buildings are pre-civil war which means that each and every brick was hand made and fired by slaves. Each completely unique. Some still bear fingerprints.

The back of the Cotton Exchange....the front was the only part the public could see so it was the only part that mattered :)

The Gold-leafed Dome on the Savannah City Hall.

Savannah City Hall

St. John's Episcopal Church, pre-civil war.

We called this the half-building...we're pretty sure it is all that's left of a whole building since one side is rounded and the other is not.

Mikve Israel Synagogue...we stayed on the same block as this 1700's Jewish synagogue. Not only is it extremely beautiful, they do daily call to prayer. We could hear the rabbi on the steps giving the call in Hebrew Chant every morning. Beautiful.

Not a very good shot, but it's the steeple for the Wesleyan Methodist Church..started in the late 1600's by John Wesley when he was driving out of England during the Reformation. We attended this church the Sunday we were another post I will show the interior pic.

Six Pence Pub...great pub food. Side Note: A scene from 'Something to Talk About' with Julia Roberts and Dennis Quaid was filmed here.

The most beautiful building in Savannah! Now apart of the SCAD campus (there are like 15 buildings downtown), it was once the Armory for the Confederacy, hence the enormous cannons at the door front.

A bas-relief of a woman and children on the front of the Board of Education...I thought it was beautiful.

First Presbyterian Church Steeple. Side Note: The opening scene of 'Forest Gump' was filmed here...the feather floating around.

Random sculpture...I couldn't possibly take pictures of every beautiful sculpture or art we found in Savannah. The city is teeming with it.

Well, that is just a small taste of it. It really is too much for one post. I will try to schedule one or two if I can get them loaded before I leave in the morning :) If not (cause I'm really tired and I have to get up up really early), I promise to post the rest before I start unloading all of the Mexico pics!!
Hasta luego~


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