Monday, June 1, 2009

Keepsake Blog Award

My very favorite actor, Gina over at My Inner Monoblog bestowed the Keepsake Blog Award on me because she thinks I'm a keeper (which is good, since I gave birth to her and have been her biggest supporter and fan for the past 25 years.)

So the rules are:

1. Post a funny or sweet keepsake that tells something about you

2. Pass the award on to 10 other bloggers that you think are keepers.

So, here goes!

I think my Keepsake will be about the best vacation I ever took with someone who turned out to be my best friend.

Tina worked at the Curves where I was a member. I always called her the Entertainment Director of the place because she always had everyone laughing at the funny stories she told. That Curves had a good membership because of Tina. It sure wasn't because of the boring owner!

Tina helped me TREMENDOUSLY when my marriage fell apart. She'd drag my sorry ass out of the house for lunch on my day off or dinner and a movie. She kept me from becoming a hermit and got me laughing when all I wanted to do was cry and feel sorry for myself.

One day, Tina asked me if I wanted to go on a cruise with her. So I said, "uh... sure! Why not!" About a week later, she has a cruise book from the travel agency and wants to know if I can get away for a 10 night cruise. OK, I'll figure out what to do with my then 13 year old. So we save and save and save for a year and a half. Every week, I'd give Tina $20, more when I had it.

We booked a cabin with a balcony on the Celebrity Cruise ship, The Constellation. Finally, it was January 19, 2007 and we flew to Ft. Lauderdale and boarded the ship. We were standing on our balcony, waiting for the ship to set sail and I just screamed with delight that I was really on that ship, going on an adventure with my good buddy. Our ports of call were St. Maarten, St. Lucia, Barbados, St. Kitts (my favorite stop) and St. Thomas (Tina's favorite stop).

We wore silly flashing jewelry to dinner and the shows. We decorated our cabin door, which was a big hit because everyone knew where their cabins were by the door! We sipped strawberry daquiris with Captain Morgan by the pool every day. We danced in the night clubs at night. We weren't looking for men, we were just having fun.

Tina wasn't big on going on the excursions (which were really expensive and my funds were limited) so we mostly hit the beach and did a bit of shopping. We got aloe massages on the beach by a man on Barbados for $10 each, got sloshed on the strongest strawberry daquiris at a beach bar called The Firehouse on St. Maartens, Tina shopped for jewelry on St. Thomas and we bought my boss the biggest bottle of Crown Royal I have ever seen! I met a former classmate of Gina's on the beach at St. Kitts who happened to be a dancer on our ship!

This vacation turned out to be the best, most fun vacation I have ever taken in all my 51 years!
We laughed and laughed all the time! I'm surprised we didn't get complaints from the folks above, below and beside us, because we'd sit on that balcony every morning (early, like 8 am) with our coffee and talk and laugh and sometimes cry. It was the best therapy we ever had! We didn't even do anything special. We just hung out around the pool, saw the shows at night, went on all the islands. But it was the best time I ever had!

I wish I could go on a cruise with Tina every year. When I win the lottery, I'm going to do just that and it will be my treat!

Ok, so now I'm supposed to share this award with 10 of my very good friends who I think are real keepers. This is going to be a hard decision to make!

1. VodkaMom at I Need A Martini Mom because, like Tina, she makes me laugh every. single. day.

2. Alix at Casa Hice because she tells the best stories.

3. Captain Dumbass at Us and Them because he's so great with his boys.

4. Mary Ellen at Adopting M. E. because she thinks like me so often.

5. Heather Kathleen at a mouthy irish woman? ridiculous! because she's an Irish Lass with a smart mouth! LOL

6. Pseudo at Pseudonymous High School Teacher because she's brave.

7. Amy at Bitchin' Wives Club because her blog is just so funny.

8. Lilly at Lilly's Life because she's a has a wicked sense of humor.

9. Ryan at Pacing The Panic Room because his blog is so incredibly honest.

10. Ali at Cheaper Than Therapy because she's becoming a Drama Mama like me.


Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

Congrats Joanie and thank you much ; -)

And your daughter is adorable.

Lilly said...

Aww thank you for that. I appreciate it it Joanie. And how come I missed the fact your daughter has a blog too? You look so much alike by the way! I have seen those 70s photos of you!

What a great holiday you had with Tina - nothing like some girly fun and just cutting loose and enjoying yourself. Those kind of memories stay with your forever! And the good thing is when times get a little low you can just think about them and instantly you feel a little brighter.

Jim and Garret said...

Ummmm, you forgot to preface that entry with "Garret, this is a repeat story".


Joanna Jenkins said...

What a fun way to shout out to your friends! Thanks for introducing me to a lot of blogs I don't know. I'll check them all out and tell them you sent me :-)

Your cruise sounded fantastic!

Alix said...

Thank you my darling Joanie. I shall cherish my Keepsake Award forever, especially coming from you.

And I promise to do you proud at Casa Hice.

Captain Dumbass said...

Thank you, Joanie! Although if the boys could blog I'm sure their side of the story would be a little different.

Mary Ellen said...

Thanks - I'm thrilled to think like you!

That cruise sounds just fabulous. It's something I have wanted to do for a long time (and I'll get there eventually) but only with girlfriends. No men allowed!

Amy@Bitchin'WivesClub said...

Thank you so much, Joanie! Ten days away sounds so heavenly-- more so because it was with a girlfriend. :) My favorite vacations all center around doing as little as possible while laughing way too much!

Great story, I was happy to read the details about your cruise which I knew you had loved.

Have a great day!

Anonymous said...

What a great friend and wonderful time. Life is good. You've done an amazing job. :))

~Thought's By Dena~ said...

congrats on your award...and love the story!!!!!!!

Joanie M said...

glad everyone liked it!

Petra a.k.a The Wise (*Young*) Mommy said...

Awesome, that cruise sounds like it was so much fun!!

Lilly said...

Joanie I did my last post with a link to you - I dont normally do award posts but you deserve a shout out because you are the funnniest writer I know and just so damn down to earth and real!

Kat said...

I just got tears in my eyes reading that. Friends like that don't come around very often. Hang onto her, she's a keeper.

Anonymous said...

I can relate to that just divorced banner on the door...wait I had a batter one on mine..."Ex's make great speed bumps." lol. I was divorced 12 years before remarrying and loved every minute of the "me time".