Monday, December 5, 2011
Here in Rochester, there were events all over the place....we had a luncheon at work and there was a large community reception and ceremony on Friday the 2nd at which one of my employees was honored with an award for HIV Prevention Educator of the year (an esteemed award named after a colleague of mine who passed away a few years ago....and an award of which I was the first ever recipient a few years back).
In addition there was a benefit concert with local musicians, singers, poets and dancers performing to commemorate the day and to raise money for a great program called "Safe Sex Inc." that is co-led by my organization and that empowers urban youth to educate and advocate around health and safety issues. It's an annual benefit show, actually, that chooses a different youth-oriented program or agency to support every year. I haven't been to the show in several years, but this year I was encouraged to attend by some friends and colleagues. The event was a very nice evening out (Jason came with, of course---and we were able to connect with some of my coworkers there)....and it also included a surprise: I was honored by the organizers. with the "Embrace Life" Award for excellence in the field of HIV prevention. It was a really touching honor on a professionally & personally significant day!
Monday, November 28, 2011
Friday, September 2, 2011
...but there's one other thing that many people have been waiting on, as well....
...a Merlin update!! And so, before I start posting blogs about our time in Florida at Walt DisneyWorld and our first trip on Disney's newest and biggest ship, the Dream, here is a little update for all you Merlin fans....
Sunday, August 14, 2011
Yes, that's right----it's heinously overdue...but finally a new post on our blog. I know I've once again gone into terrible delinquency in posting to this blog lately (it's been over a month since our last post was about our July 4th trip!!)
Anyhow...it's been a busy time here the past weeks....work has been crazy, our summer schedules have been very busy, Gay Pride was in mid-July (which is a lot of time and effort through my full time job), we've been doing work in our house and yard while the weather is nice (bought a new bathroom sink/counter/vanity top---which is now installed----and ordered new storm door and sliding doors for our deck...anxiously awaiting their arrival), Merlin has started obedience classes (post to come on that later---I promise)....and, of course, there's also the teensy little fact that WE ARE FINALLY LEGALLY MARRIED!!!
So here is the (belated) story of how same sex marriage came to the Libey household here in Rochester...
Saturday, July 9, 2011
So this past weekend was quite an eventful one for our little family! We celebrated the 4th of July weekend by visiting Jason's family and so there was lots of fun for everyone....including Merlin who got to go on his first big boy road trip.....AND visit with quite a few puppies---most of whom are part of Merlin's extended family!!
We were leaving on Saturday evening to head to Jason's parents' house in Central NY (about an hour and a half south of Syracuse...so about a 2.5 hour drive from home). This was going to be the first time that everyone except Jason's step-sister, Bridget, had met Merlin-----AND his parents live in a rural area with lots of trees and tall grass----so we decided we wanted to make him look spiffy by giving him a bath and then also giving him his first flea/tick treatment before we headed up there......
Monday, June 27, 2011
|Merlin in one of his new little doggy Tshirts.|
Merlin has had a pretty eventful couple of weeks since he moved in......
Friday, June 24, 2011
However, right now Jason and I have something even more exciting to celebrate than our new puppy (although I know that's probably hard to believe *wink*)-----and that is that tonight in the late hours before the NY State Senate closed its session....we won same-sex marriage in NY State by a 33-29 vote (we only needed 32 votes to win)!!
I certainly don't presume to believe that everyone who reads this blog because they love our Disney trips or our stories about our new puppy necessarily supports the cause of same-sex marriage....but I do hope that no matter who you are, if you have gotten to know me and Jason (either personally or through our blogs) that you know what an important issue this is for us. I was literally in tears as watched the senate session vote live on TV and it became clear the vote would go in our direction. Words really can't express how profoundly this moves us.
So.....anyways....for those of you waiting for more Merlin-related posts, yes they are coming....soon I promise. BUT....there will also be other adventures to blog about in the near future, as well----like our September trip to Disney and Cruise on the Disney Dream.....AND A BIG GAY WEDDING SOON, TOO!!!!
Thursday, June 16, 2011
|Me & Merlin on the drive home from picking him up|
I'm sorry, I can't help it. MERLIN IS JUST TOO CUTE!!! *smile*
So anyway....Merlin finally, after months of waiting, came home for good this past Saturday. I would have posted about it earlier except I seriously could not pull myself away from him long enough really to even check emails...much less write posts on this blog!! *LOL*
So anyway...he came home on Saturday and it's been great so far.....
Monday, June 6, 2011
Of course that means that we have to kick the preparations for Merlin to come home into high gear! We have already done quite a bit....
Sunday, May 22, 2011
I had a rare weekend off from the gym and coaching this weekend (because the gym was closed for a tournament) and so I was able to spend all weekend at home with Jason....like a mini "staycation"!!
On Friday night when we got out of work we decided to go see the new Pirates movie (opening weekend) in 3-D. I have to say that I liked it quite a bit----I'm not an avid fan of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise...but this was probably one of my favorites of the films. I'm pretty sure it's because mermaids were a big part of the story and film and I love mermaids...but whatever...it was a nice way to spend a Friday night.
After that relaxing evening out....it was time to knuckle down and get some work done...
So here goes....a few of the things that we got to remember this trip by:
Friday, May 20, 2011
Sunday, May 15, 2011
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
- First, and most importantly, a huge THANKS (& hug) goes out to my dear friend (and fellow Disney cruise enthusiast) Hadley. I haven't mentioned it previous to this post, but the only reason any of you were able to read this blog during our trip was because when I realized that the ship's internet service was going to block my ability to blog, Hadley stepped right in and volunteered to post our blogs for us. So every day I would write out the blog in an email and send it to her and then send her a separate email with a compressed file with all the necessary pictures. She would then log in for us, piece it all together, do the necessary edits and post it. Without her not only would there not have been a blog up to this point, really---but I'm not sure I would have had the energy to come home and try to catch it all up now!
Nonetheless----the vacation had to end.....
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
The seas were not entirely smooth, but they were decidedly smoother than they had been on the way North-----I'm assuming that has something to do with being in a slightly more land-locked waterway rather than open sea….but I may be wrong. Also, the shore line (on either or both sides) along the way was much closer and so lent itself to more great views.
This was a unique day because it was a port day for us...but it was a late port day. We're used to waking up and the ship is either already in the port or is pulling in shortly and you get off the boat first thing in the morning. We weren't due to arrive in Ketchikan until around noon, however...so that gave everyone on the ship all morning to sleep in or find something to do.
Saturday morning found us arriving in the capital of Alaska, Juneau. Juneau is a much bigger city than Skagway was----but was still had a very Alaska feel---especially because the city of Juneau apparently has no roads into or out of it. There are roads within and throughout Juneau (I think our tour guide told us there are less than 200 miles of paved roads in the entire city)----but all of those roads dead end at the edge of the city or just beyond it. So it is impossible to drive to or from this city. You must get there by boat or plane. It's a little odd to think about as a "lower 48-er" where it feels like every city is connected to every other city in some way....but Juneau is kind of an island on land!
As was becoming the norm in Alaska, the views were picturesque. As you can see from the picture here, taken out the window of our cabin, this city (and the entire state of Alaska it would seem) is one giant postcard----and it's AMAZING! You can't really tell it from this picture either (it was taken pretty early)....
Monday, May 9, 2011
Friday morning found us pulling into Skagway, Alaska. This Alaskan port gave us another opportunity to bust out a new custom door magnet (pictured here). This one is particularly fun because all the components except the lettering and the background are 3-dimensional (they're cut-outs for scrap-booking) that blend the great outdoors and Disney as themes-----so we thought they made for a great Disney Alaskan magnet!
So, we knew that our good luck with the weather couldn't last forever. We've had some blustery days and some rough seas and some gray skies....but not very many that were really kinda nasty. Unfortunately, Skagway welcomed us with rain in the morning and it was not very warm either. THIS is the Alaska weather that everyone had warned us about. Still, Jason and I weren't freezing (we're from Upstate NY after all and it was snowing the week we LEFT for this vacation----and rumor has it that it snowed in Syracuse while we were here at least once, too!).....but even still----gray skies, rain and wind are never a welcome sight on vacation!
Even still, however, we soldiered on.....
Sunday, May 8, 2011
Well it's 8:30am on Sunday morning, May 8th here and for those of us from the USA it's Mother's Day-----we're off the coast of Alaska in the Pacific where we don't have any cell service. That means we can't call our moms to wish them a Happy Mother's Day or tell them we love them (although I did send an email).....
....so we thought we'd do a quick departure from our trip report blog and send out a blog message (since we hope our mothers are reading this blog)....
As I mentioned in the last blog, our Thursday was technically a day at sea because we were not getting off the boat. We did have some sights to see, however, because it was the day we were scheduled to go through Tracy Arm. I'll warn you now that this is a very picture-heavy blog (some of you will likely love that, others will be bored with all the pictures of scenery! LOL)
Because Tracy Arm is technically in Alaskan waters (we think), we considered this our first day IN Alaska....and so we put out our first of two Alaska door magnets (our main picture on this blog today)----which we also made over 50 copies of and shared with all our DISBoard fish extender friends, as well! :) Even though Tracy Arm was the highlight of the day...we had several other things on the agenda....so I'll talk a bit about some of those before we get to the scenic view(s).....
Saturday, May 7, 2011
Well, on May 4th we were at sea making our way from Canada up to Alaska! The route we are taking is called the "outside pass" (or at least that's what WE are all calling it because we're not taking the INSIDE pass! LOL). We have a day at sea, then a second day at sea although that second day is technically a day in Tracy Arm (a fjord in Alaskan waters----more on that in the next blog) then our 3 ports (Skagway, Juneau & Ketchikan) before a final sea day and then we get off the ship in Vancouver (BOOOOO!!! lol). Here is an illustration/map of the Alaskan portion of our voyage:
Days at sea are lovely because they are relaxing.....and today fell squarely into that category....
Wednesday, May 4, 2011
Greetings from Vancouver---where we spent Tuesday....the last day of our first cruise and first day of our second cruise! This picture is again going to be credited to our friend Sandi who emailed it to us----it's a picture of the Wonder in the port of Vancouver. Doesn't she look pretty?!?!
So, Vancouver day had arrived. We had a full morning and day planned because we planned on doing a Disney shore excursion in the port, then re-board the ship and get ready for another "first day" of cruising----Sail Away Party, fun with friends, dinner.....ah...this is the life!! When we awoke, this is the view from our balcony:
This picture makes it look a little dreary/cloudy...but really it wasn't...it was just early. I think this photo was taken at about 7:00am. We got up that early because we had an early excursion and we needed to eat breakfast first....
Tuesday, May 3, 2011
Also....we are on our way to Alaska...we had a great day in Vancouver (which I will post soon...once I've had a chance to sort through our pictures and rest a bit and write)......but in the meantime I thought I'd post some portraits/pictures from the past several days of our trip.....
So anyway----Victoria, Canada. We were able to sleep in a bit this morning, which was nice. We had our traditional character breakfast with a chance to meet some of the world-famous Disney Characters, but it wasn't until 9:30am and our excursion was not actually until 11:45am (because we weren't even scheduled to pull into port until after 10:30 and I think we were still running a little bit late from the appendicitis incident from a couple nights ago----although I also think that the captain hauled some serious butt to pick up lost time and keep us as close to on schedule as possible! LOL).
Monday, May 2, 2011
Our Sunday was a day at sea---which means a day of relaxing and just enjoying the ship and each other and our friends on the ship. There aren't a lot of pictures in today's post since we didn't do much.....but here goes....
We woke up kind of early for a day with nothing to do really....but there was an important reason. You'll recall that earlier on in this trip, we had the chance to meet up with a woman named Deb Wills, the founder of www.allears.net when she was at DisneyLand....well she is on both these cruises with us, as well----and she had a special event planned for this Sunday morning.
Well as I mentioned....San Francisco was an overnight port for us----so after a long day on Friday, we went to bed and were up bright and early Saturday morning. On Friday we did not do an official Disney Cruise excursion, as you'll recall---we just ventured out on our own. On Saturday, we didn't do an excursion through DCL either....but we didn't exactly venture out on our own either. A friend from a previous cruise (and a mutual friend through many of the wonderful DIS people that we've already mentioned in these blogs) named Michael actually organized a group adventure for a bunch of people for this second day in San Francisco and we were invited to join them.
Saturday, April 30, 2011
Now.....on to the adventure of sailing beneath the Golden Gate Bridge for the first time ever on a Disney ship.....
Friday, April 29, 2011
So the day started relatively early---7:30am---and we were greeted with a beautiful sunny morning. This picture was the view from our balcony....but don't be fooled. It was COLD! The wind was really whipping up and the boat was moving a bit (which Jason and I don't actually mind) and we needed windbreakers/sweaters to be out on open deck. We had gotten up so early because we needed to be down by the gift shop at 9am so we could get in line to get the collector's pin (which we will make into a collector's magnet) for this cruise....
So when we left off, we had just had lunch with some of our DIS Friends onboard which was awesome. Once lunch was over, we went down to talk to the dining managers with Deb & her mom because they weren't thrilled with their original dining assignment but were able to get themselves switched to be on the same rotation as us (so they'd be in the same restaurants as us every night) AND put at the table NEXT to ours (which was empty)----so they basically will get to eat with/near us each night which will be fun.
After getting them hooked up with a better dining arrangement, it was about time to get into our rooms, so we headed up to our cabin---#7622. The picture posted here is of our sad, lonely, undecorated door. If you have sailed Disney before or read our last blog, you'll know that we (and many others) decorate our cabin doors with magnets....so later during this trip we'll post pics of our door spruced up a bit-----and we'll post some pictures of some of the special magnets we have for this trip. (Note: On our last trip we had a new magnet for every day of the cruise, but for this trip we just didn't have the time to do that prep work....so we have brought back some of our themed magnets from previous cruises and we only made a few new magnets...but we'll be sure to share!)
Thursday, April 28, 2011
So if you read our blog from last year (erikandjason2010.blogspot.com) or noticed the post yesterday...we have had sketchy history with the internet on the ship in terms of whether we are able to post blogs or not. Well that has proven to be the case again now. The internet service here on the ship apparently blocks personal sites and blogging sites (probably because they use a high level of bandwidth---which is in scarce supply and already kind of slow when you're using satellite internet at sea). So there may be a momentary pause on our ability to post new posts-----or at least posts with pictures. I am pretty sure (I tested it before we left) that I can make TEXT posts by submitting emails to the blog (like this one) but they will not contain pictures. Jason and I are going to explore a work around and what we can do....but for the time being we will either not be posting at all or we will email in text only posts. If we have to do the latter, then we will go in and add the images and pictures later when we aren't blocked anymore (like in ports, etc.).
So in short-----keep your eye on the blog. We are still here....we're having a great time....we're just experiencing technical challenges....but watch the blog because it WILL be coming back!
Erik & Jason
(Note: You'll notice that this post now has a main image. I was able to log in just momentarily through the filter and add that picture....but I'm not certain how well that will work moving forward especially as I try to load larger images from our camera, etc.....but at least I see that the emailed messages load...so if nothing else you'll be able to log on and READ about our adventures....you'll just have to check back later to actually SEE any images from it!!)
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
It's amazing how, no matter how many times we board one of these Disney ships---every time is like the first time and every time I just about cry walking through the door!!
We were able to get on wel before the majority of the crowd because we got to the port early (and thank heavens, too, because they had major software problems with the check in shortly after we arrived that caused the check in process to be much slower than normal for Disney and so we were able to avoid that frustration). Once onboard we had some lunch at Parrot Cay (one of the restaurants for all you non-DCL folks) with Debbie and her mom Janette, Scott & Lynn (all DISBoard friends from previous trips) and another couple.
Now we're in the port building waiting to board the ship. Here are a few pictures taken here at the port....unfortunately the port is not as well designed as Port Canaveral so you don't get nice views of the ship....but you can tell it's there...and that's what matters!!! Here are some shots for our DCL friends who can't join us on this trip....just to hold you over til the next time you are on one of the ships:
For those of you who followed our last vacation blog, you may recall that we had a lot of problems keeping the blog up to date----both because we were so busy on the cruise AND because the internet on the ship is not always the most reliable. So I wanted to put a general warning out there to check back here often (or I think you can subscribe for updates, too). I am going to TRY to post updates at LEAST every other day (maybe more often if I have a good connection and time).....BUT if I end up with technical difficulties, I cannot promise I will be able to get online and make the posts. If that is the case then I will start to stockpile the posts and when I have internet service again (either during the cruise or after we get home) I will start posting all the updates at once----so you'll have lots of leisure time reading!! *SMILE*
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
In the parks, they have a great system called "PhotoPass" where they have Disney photographers posted throughout the park and you get a card you can scan that collects all your photos electronically and then you can review them and order prints or a CD with all the digital files----we LOVE this system and we always get lots of pictures taken and then buy the CD.
Well this past weekend with the girls, the four of us did PhotoPass to the hilt! In just over 3 full days, we were able to get over 250 pictures taken!!! Jason and I picked up the CD today and there are so many amazing pictures from our trip already that we are already able to look and see all our wonderful memories.
We thought we'd share an assortment of our favorite photos from this CD collection......
So I mentioned that we met another group of Disney fans this morning.....
Now, we're pretty certain that it wasn't intentional (and in some cases the items were even marked as "World of Color" themed), but we couldn't help but notice that all this rainbow Disney/Mickey merchandise had a certain GAY PRIDE kinda flair! LOL Every time one of us saw a new rainbow themed item, we'd say "Oh good...another gay mickey!" LOL
So we thought we'd do a little pictorial blog of some of our favorite Disney PRIDE items this season here at disneyland:
|Jason & I meet "the big cheese" himself Monday in the parks.|
Because we'd done about 90% of the rides and attractions that the two parks here have to offer....we were able to have a very casual and relaxed day. This was nice just because it's a pleasure to have a vacation where you're not constantly on the go....so being able to spend a more leisurely day was very nice. It was also nice because Monday was the nicest day we've had here in California yet. It was in the mid-70's most of the day (according to the weather updates on our smartphones) but the sun was out the entire day so it felt even warmer...
Monday, April 25, 2011
So, before I go too far into talking about night at Club 33, I should give a little background on what it is and how we came to be invited to eat there.......
(Note: I know some people have asked if there was anything extra special done because it was Easter and my answer is, sadly, no----not that we noticed at least. There was some Easter themed candy and food and our resort had an Easter Egg Hunt for the kids....but there was nothing like a special parade or anything like that....and we didn't even see any characters in special Easter garb, either.....but maybe we missed it!)
So on with our Easter at DisneyLand.....
Sunday, April 24, 2011
It's an unpleasant hour here in Anaheim, CA (6:45am to be exact) and we're up and about to get ready for our day.
For those who celebrate---however you celebrate---we thought we'd post a message of HAPPY EASTER!!!!
HAPPY PASSOVER as well!
Besides, it seemed a fitting picture to post for a blog about our first full day (with Kimmy & Johanna, of course) here at DisneyLand...even though we spent the day in the OTHER park here: California Adventure. (For all you non-Disney folk out there, California's DisneyLAND has two main parks---DisneyLand and California Adventure...as compared to Florida's DisneyWORLD which has 4 parks (Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom & Hollywood Studios) plus 2 water parks). So today was a California Adventure Day for us......
Saturday, April 23, 2011
Well our first night at DisneyLand has come and gone...and how lovely it was! Jason and I were the first in our group to arrive at DisneyLand so we checked in and unpacked a bit and then decided to venture out of our room to get some light breakfast groceries----juice, bagels, cream cheese, fruit, etc. The benefit of staying in the villas is you have a kitchen and so you could, in theory, cook and eat all your meals in your room----although we never do. We always get breakfast, at least, but we never feel like we want to lose time in the parks or anything by coming back to make food. Here in DisneyLand, however, everything is much smaller and closer together than it is in the resorts in Florida and so we've found that we can walk from both the parks and to our room in less than 15 minutes-----so if we ever decide to come out and spend a few days again...we may seriously consider doing some grocery shopping and just making meals to save a little money!
Anyhow......you don't want to do that on your first day in the park.......
Friday, April 22, 2011
|Jason with display welcoming us to the happiest place on earth!|