Sabina Shalom

We got up early, and kevin brought me tea in bed.  Nice!  We went to the breakfast buffet at about 7:30, and because it was so early it wasn’t crowded at all.   also nice.  i loved that they had fresh figs.


nobody was out walking, either.


it was a cold and windy morning, and we watched a little TV in the room, and then i got us some delicious sweet rolls to make up for all the healthy food earlier.  i decided to go for a walk, initially wearing my stocking cap because it was so chilly.  i started running instead, just to keep warm.  i went six times around, 2.2 miles, so at least i got a little exercise.

then lunch, another lecture by Charles Barclay the astronomer, but i wrote that i fought to stay awake.

it wasn’t a busy day, but a nice one.

here’s us going to dinner, me in my six dollar ralph lauren dress i got at a thrift shop.


we went to the winter garden to listen to a pianist, and i had a drink called a “Cunard Cobbler,” with sherry, contreau and orange juice, and wrote that it was very weak.  i had gotten dressed up because i thought we were going back to the dining room for dinner, but kevin had thought we were going to the buffet.




this is the last post you’ll ever see of the Winter Garden, because they retrofitted the ship and it’s now called the Carinthia Lounge.  Here’s what it say about it online:

Named in honour of the line’s former Carinthia ships, the new venue has been designed to offer a ‘serene and cheery’ lounge space serving light breakfast and lunch. Guests will be able to enjoy a dedicated patisserie and an afternoon tea service, including the option of a Veuve Cliquot Champagne Afternoon Tea experience. At night, the Carinthia Lounge will offer ‘premium wine, small plates and relaxed entertainment’.

so, hmm about that.  it looks nice, but i also thought there was nothing wrong with the Winter Garden, but change is always changing.


we decided the buffet would be better, so we had a lovely meal, plus we ran into Sabina Shalom, the delightful woman we’d met on the way over.  she’s the one who wrote the book A Marriage Sabbatical, about her adventures travelling alone around the world in her middle age with just a backpack and $1,500.  she had been so charming and lovely when we’d met her, so we were so happy to see her again.

while we were doing all that travelling and hiking around Wales and Ireland, she’d been in london visiting nieces and nephews, i’m pretty sure.  and she had two mini strokes while there!  worrying…she seemed to very tiny and frail.


we also struck up a conversation with a nice English couple.  they were very, very active.  they’ve hiked and biked a whole lot, and they live Bavaria and Germany the best.  he was retried from the fire department.  the funny thing is, after we saw them at dinner, we always spotted them working out furiously whenever we passed the gym while strolling the deck.

here’s my light and lucious dessert.  we went to the buffet at night more than once, and they always had some ice creamy booze deliciousness as a dessert option.  plus really nice cheese for dessert.

the english couple had to eat in the buffet because they hadn’t brought any dress clothes.  hmm, that’s an option for another trip – we’d save a lot of luggage space that way.


we went back to the room and watched the movie “mortecai,” which was pretty terrible.  i ate one of the many candy bars i’d bought in maidstone.  good grief!  i wrote that i could easily gain 5 pounds during the crossing if i didn’t quit eating so much chocolate.

look at this beautiful sky!  we should have spent the whole evening sitting out enjoying it.  maybe it was too chilly?




there’s a faint rainbow right in the middle.  lovely.


and that’s it for our second full day of sailing.  i believe i don’t have so many photos of the rest of the trip, but we’ll have to see.

ok then,

mrs. almost done posting the pictures cause we were almost home hughes.



Sunday, August 9th – our 5th day at sea…

by grace on October 29, 2015

…as we got closer and closer to southampton!  still pretty far out.  this was always my favorite channel on the TV, because it listed the temperature outside, the water temperature, all the weather stuff, plus it pinpointed where we were out in the middle of the ocean.

i loved watching this channel

i loved watching this channel


i went on a galley tour – i did this the last time we were on the queen mary, and it was interesting because i got to see all the people busily at work prepping so much food.  unfortunately, i still haven’t edited together the video of that experience!  that was in 2011, which proves how sadly and horribly slow i’ve become about actually accomplishing many different things.

and talk about sad – this time, not one person was making one thing in the galley!  no chopping, no rolling up sushi, where were they?  i know that people were always prepping food, so they must have been in some other part that they didn’t want us to see, but then why have a tour of the galley at all, when it was just walking through a vast and empty kitchen???

instead, when we filed back through the dining room, they had a few people set up doing some work.










later in the day we walked around the deck 18 times, 3.3 miles, and i’d been having a weird pain above my ankle since july and today all the walking made it worse so i had to worry about being able to walk 12 miles on our wales hike!

i forgot about it at the fancy afternoon tea.


fancy tea

fancy tea



besides all the deliciousness of the tea, more importantly, we met this amazing woman, Sabina Shalom.  we were sitting by herself, when this tiny and very stylish older woman asked if it would be all right if she joined us.  she was happy to be at tea; she said she’d wanted to go every day, but “hadn’t been up to it.”  she’d spent a lot of time in her room because she had many health issues.  i’m pretty sure she’s 91?  94?  she wrote a book called “A Marriage Sabbatical;” it was an account of her trip around the world when she was middle-aged – she needed a break from her marriage, and travelled 50,000 miles, with only a few hundred dollars and a backpack!  remarkable.

she was so charming, sweet, and engaging, full of interesting stories, and it was astounding that she was now travelling to england all by herself despite her frailness.  she was going to visit a couple of nieces, and then journey back to the US on the Queen Mary again – and we realized that she’d be taking the same crossing back as us!  we hoped that we’d run into her again.

we looked up the book on amazon, and ordered a copy, and i haven’t started reading it yet.  i’ll start today!  unless i somehow run out of time.  as usual.

meanwhile,the kitties were continuing to be cute, across the ocean.  amy took this photo of lester, inspecting the fruits of the garden.  i’m glad somebody was able to enjoy them!

inspecting the bounty of the garden

inspecting the bounty of the garden


cutest kitty ever!

cutest kitty ever!

later in the afternoon, i was excited to spot a ship out there.  when there’s nothing but the ocean and a few random birds, it was neat to see another sign of life.



This was kevin’s favorite thing to do on the ship, reading and relaxing.



here’s our bathroom, in case you wanted to know what they look like.  pretty big, really.  but the entire ship is going to be refurbished next summer, so maybe the bathrooms will also be new?  i’ve seen some photos of the cabins, which will have different stuff in them.


here’s my bedside table, stacked with so many things…

my messy side

my messy side

…and kevin’s, neat and organized.

kevin's neat side of the bed

kevin’s neat side of the bed

we decided to skip the formal dinner, and instead went to the evening buffet, which was a step up from the fare at lunch.  i had freshly-cooked shrimp, scallops and lobster tail, and it was a truly delicious meal.

delicious fancy evening buffet

delicious fancy evening buffet

and the dessert…oh my…apricots cooked in coivoisier, schnapps and butter, and served with a dollop of delicious ice cream. mmmm. plus an extra-fancy selection of cheeses.

best dessert ever!

best dessert ever!

after dinner i stopped in to watch the singers and dancers for a few minutes; they were fine.  but not worth hanging around too long to see.


ok then, only ONE MORE FULL DAY of crossing, which was going to involve lots and lots of packing and re-packing and slight panic on my part with the packing.

ok ok ok,

mrs. almost there hughes.