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Last week, I did my 4-day Cruise on the Carnival Miracle from Los Angeles. There were 8 of us and we had so much fun. The weather was perfect on Catalina Island and cool in Ensenada. I had so much fun, I'm doing this same cruise again in 3 weeks with 5 others. You should join us. Leaving Dec 12-16, 2021 on Carnival Miracle out of Long Beach.

On Catalina, we rented a golf cart and careened all over the Island, from the top to the bottom. It was fun, but scary! Our driver and my friend Larry would always drive right on the edge of the cliff.

Above are our dining companions, minus Larry who taking the picture.

In Ensenada, I ended up taking a tour, I wasn't planning on it this time, but most of us decided to go. We a did tour of the La Bufadora (The Buffalo Snort), a natural blowhole. Wine Tasting, Margarita Tasting and a tour of a beautiful hotel from the 1920's, which is now the Convention Center. I got a little shopping in with my pharmacy run too.

As far as the cruise went, we all kept very busy. The nightly stage shows were very well done. Had to hit the comedy club every night too! No one went swimming, a little chilly this time of year. There were daily first run movies, trivia and so much more. The food for the most part was excellent. I don't know if you know this, but on Sea Days with Carnival, the brunch offers filet mignon and eggs.

The only issues we had on this cruise were some technology issues with the dining room. Every morning we would all meet for breakfast and they wanted us to check in on our phones. The first morning we all did this and they gave us 6 different tables. There is a glitch in their system with this. After this, they just gave us our table and then attempted to put us in the system (it failed each day).

Maria and I had purchased the beverage package and we certainly got our moneys worth. You have to have 5 alcoholic drinks per day to make the package pay for itself, but I also liked that I could have Diet Pepsi's and bottled water whenever I wanted.

All in all a great cruise. My next travel adventure is a Princess Cruise in 5 days. I normally wouldn't have put these so close together, but the Princess Cruise was a free one and if I didn't use it by the end of December, I would lose it. And today! So excited, I was upgraded to a Suite! 7 days from Los Angeles to Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan and Cabo San Lucas. I will be alone on this, but I need a good rest anyhow after all this traveling in the last few months.


The photo below, I wanted to show you was taken from the airplane window. There are 110 container ships off the Long Beach and San Pedro harbor, waiting to be unloaded. Not enough help! Hope your Christmas presents aren't on one of those.


Experience the Love Boat Along with the TV Cast in February 2022

Princess Cruises is bringing back "The Love Boat" and reuniting the iconic show's cast for a very special celebration next year.

The cruise line's newest "Love Boat"-themed sailing, onboard the Majestic Princess, is scheduled to depart for the Mexican Riviera on Feb. 26 and sail the same itinerary that was featured on the iconic TV show, the cruise line recently announced.

Guests can expect themed menus and cocktails, a Q&A with cast members, and the chance to watch their favorite "Love Boat" episodes under the stars on the ship's deck. There's also a disco party and renewal of the vows ceremony on the itinerary. Booking costs start at $499 a person.

Love Boat" cast members Cynthia Lauren Tewes, Bernie Kopell, Fred Grandy, and Ted Lange also are expected to be on board. Gavin MacLeod, who played Captain Stubing, died last year at the age of 90. Onboard, Princess is planning a birthday celebration in honor of MacLeod, whose 91st birthday would have been Feb. 28.

This will be at least the third time "Love Boat" cast members have reunited onboard a Princess ship, and it's a place where cast members should feel at home. Princess was often a co-star on the show, which was frequently set on the cruise line's Pacific Princess.

The show's 1977 pilot was shot onboard the Sun Princess in Mexico.

I wish I could go, but I will be in Europe during that cruise.


A Blood Moon Lunar Eclipse is Coming to North America this week!

If you're in North America, you're going to want to rise early on Friday, Nov. 19, to see the peak of the longest partial lunar eclipse of the 21st century.

During the event, November's full Beaver Moon will begin to turn a reddish-copper color as it enters Earth's massive shadow in space. At the peak of the event, it will be 97% colored, with only a silvery slither at the bottom lit up. After that, the eclipse will wane, gradually returning to normal over 104 minutes.

Here's everything you need to know about seeing the Blood Moon partial lunar eclipse.

A global event, this eclipse will be visible to everyone on the night side of Earth. For the Americas, that means early on Friday, Nov. 19, and for Hawaii, Australia, and eastern Asia, it's the day before on Thursday, Nov. 18. Here are some sample times to watch for the peak, when the moon will be 97% a reddish hue, but you can find the exact schedule for your location here.

4:02 a.m. EST (Friday, Nov. 19)

  • 3:02 a.m. CST (Friday, Nov. 19)

  • 2:02 a.m. MST (Friday, Nov. 19)

  • 1:02 a.m. PST (Friday, Nov. 19)

  • 12:02 a.m. AKST (Friday, Nov. 19)

  • 11:02 p.m. HST (Thursday, Nov. 18


14 Strongest Liquors in the World!

Many of the world's strongest liquors are banned by the TSA for their high alcohol content.

With 95% alcohol by volume, Everclear, a grain alcohol made in the U.S.A., is shockingly strong, but it's not the strongest liquor in the world. Across the globe, distillers amp up the alcohol content of rums, vodkas, absinthes, whiskeys, and more to create eye-watering, high-proof bottles.

What kind of alcohol levels are we talking about? While your everyday Absoluts and Macallans average between 80 and 100 proof, some specialty liquors come with proofs as high as 196, or 98% alcohol. But drinking them is not about getting blasted: Some higher-proof alcohols, especially whiskeys, can in fact be more flavorful at a higher proof because they're not cut with water. Of course, most of these liquors aren't meant for sipping — they need to be mixed or diluted. Others can be used to make your own liqueurs or spirits. For example, to make limoncello, you'll want a high-proof grain alcohol.

You won't find many of these spirits in your local liquor store. Many of these overproof liquors are not even sold in the U.S., so you'd have to find them abroad — but don't try to bring them back home with you. In fact, liquors over 140 proof are banned from carry-ons and checked luggage, according to the TSA, so check those labels before packing a boozy souvenir on your next trip. Plus, some of these spirits have been discontinued, making them even harder to find, with the rare bottle or two still available to purchase.

1. Spirytus Vodka

Proof: 192 (96% alcohol by volume)

Made In: Poland

2. Everclear 190

Proof: 190 (95% alcohol by volume)

Made In: United States

3. Golden Grain 190

Proof: 190 (95% alcohol by volume)

Made In: United States

4. Bruichladdich X4 Quadrupled Whiskey

Proof: 184 (92% alcohol by volume)

Made In: Scotland

5. Hapsburg Absinthe X.C

Proof: 179 (89.9% alcohol by volume)

Made In: Italy

6. Pincer Shanghai Strength

Proof: 177 (88.8% alcohol by volume)

Made In: Scotland

7. Balkan 176 Vodka

Proof: 176 (88% alcohol by volume)

Made In: Bulgaria

8. Sunset Very Strong Rum

Proof: 169 (84.5% alcohol by volume)

Made In: Saint Vincent

9. Stroh 160 Rum

Proof: 160 (80% alcohol by volume)

Made In: Austria

10. Devil's Springs Vodka 160

Proof: 160 (80% alcohol by volume)

Made In: United States

11. Bacardi 151

Proof: 151 (75.5% alcohol by volume)

Made In: Puerto Rico

12. King of Spirits Absinthe

Proof: 140 (70% alcohol by volume)

Made In: Czech Republic

13. Clarke's Court Pure White Rum

Proof: 138 (69% alcohol by volume)

Made In: Grenada

14. Rivers Royale Grenadian Rum

Proof: 138 (69% alcohol by volume)

Made In: Grenada




Portugal might be on its way to becoming the premier destination on Earth for work-life balance.

In November, lawmakers in Portugal passed new labor laws meant to protect people from working overtime and during their off hours, including one law that bans managers from texting employees in their personal time.

According to the Associated Press, the new laws came in response to the growing population of people who work from home following the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of the legislation, companies that have more than 10 workers could face fines for disturbing their employees during their downtime unless it's under exceptional circumstances, and will now have to compensate their staff for any work-related expenses they incur at home.

The only measure that didn't pass was one that would have granted workers the right to turn off any work-related communication systems while offline.

Remote working has great advantages provided we control the disadvantages," Ana Mendes Godinho, Portugal's labor minister, told Lisbon's Web Summit in November. "The pandemic accelerated the need to regulate what already needed to be regulated."

As part of the new law, companies are also prohibited from monitoring workers at home, and workers and their employer must have a written agreement outlining the set working hours and their location of the work. Additionally, parents or caregivers looking after children up to eight years old now also have the right to work at home without the need for their employer's approval, the Financial Times reported. (Again, employers with fewer than 10 workers are exempt.)

While the law does not cover digital nomads working for businesses based outside of Portugal, officials are planning to add to its existing tax breaks meant to attract tech entrepreneurs and potential investors, the Financial Times Explained.

That sounds like something we need here in the US!


That's all for today! Have a great Thanksgiving! Val

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