Tuesday, May 10, 2011

I'm writing this on Tuesday, May 10th, early afternoon. I just received the following update from Karma about our grandson, Antonio:

The surgeon just came to where I was waiting and said that he was all done with Antonio's surgery. He said that he did not have to cut out the bone, but was able to correct it! Which meant- shorter time (in surgery) and less blood loss!! Tonio is in recovery and doing good!! Tomorrow he starts walking!

We are obviously rejoicing that this part of Antonio's journey is over. Now, on to recuperating and healing.

Sunday, May 08, 2011

He just celebrated his 14th birthday this past Friday, 5/6....it hardly seems possible! He was such an adorable little guy (see photo above, taken when he was three) for a long time.......but somehow, our beloved oldest grandchild, Antonio Felipé Pina, is now taller than his Grandma White!

He was very embarrassed when his female cousin decided she wanted to kiss him....

He loved diving into Grandpa's ice cream cones....

...but today, he is facing back surgery. The orthopedic surgeon will work to correct three hemi-vertebrae Tuesday, May 10th, in a 7-hour surgery session beginning at 7:30 AM Pacific time. We would greatly appreciate your prayers for Antonio, for the doctors who will be performing the surgery, as well as for Karma, Antonio's mother, during the time that Antonio is in the surgery suite as well as the days following during which time she will constantly be at his side.

Thank you for being someone very special to us, and for praying for this precious child of ours!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

It's been quite some time since I added to my blog, but after having dinner with two of our good friends/neighbors this past Wednesday evening, I was convinced I needed to do an update. So, here goes, Debra! :-)

Phil and I flew to Orlando Thursday evening, April 7, and spent last weekend, April 8 - 11, on a cruise to the Bahamas with my younger sister, Teresa (Teecie) Wells, her husband, Phil (Teecie and I have *my* Phil and *her* Phil), and Tee's son, Christopher Harvey. We had a great time just being together for those few shorts days. Our ship, Royal Caribbean's Monarch of the Seas, left Port Canaveral, Florida, at 5 PM Friday, 4/8 (coincidentally, the 7th birthday of our granddaughter, Julia Jo). We had boarded about 1:15 PM, and made our way to the top deck of the ship where we had a wonderful leisurely lunch and also waited for our staterooms to be ready (all staterooms ready for access at 1:30 PM). The five of us enjoyed the time, the food, the view, and a chance to call and sing "Happy Birthday" to Julia Jo. The rest of the afternoon was spent relaxing and exploring with camera in hand.

Soon after our departure from port at 5 PM, we enjoyed a marvelous dinner. (Our seating each evening was at 5:45 PM, and Teecie had arranged ahead of time for the five of us to sit together.) Our ship made its way overnight while we slept to Coco Cay, an island off which the ships from all the major cruise lines anchor for a day and the passengers are "shuttled" back and forth between the ship and dry land. Passengers can take advantage of all the water sports and activities as well as shopping on the island during the day before having to return to the ship for "anchor up" time.

Cruising overnight again landed us in port at Nassau, Bahamas. We decided to exit the ship and join the throngs (from FOUR ships in the port all at the same time). We went on a horse-drawn carriage ride through Nassau, then got into a taxi which drove us to Paradise Island (previously called Hog Island) where the Hotel Atlantis is located. We strolled about the hotel, had lunch outside one of its restaurants, then made our way via taxi back to the ship for the 3:00 PM "anchor up" time. One more night on the ship and we were docked at Port Canaveral. Teecie, Phil and Chris drove us back to the vicinity of the Orlando Airport where we had lunch together prior to our flight back to Chicago.

Well, take a look at the following photos which I was able to take. Some are self-explanatory; others will have a bit of info about who or what is in the picture. (Remember: click on a photo and it will enlarge for better viewing. Then click the BACK arrow in the upper left of your screen to return to the blog.)
The main "lobby" of the Monarch of the Seas

Below: our stateroom with bright orange life vests (which we put in the closet).

We were on the top deck and at the front of the ship as it left port. I was intrigued by the pelicans that followed the small boat in the photo above. I gathered that the boat must have "stirred up" the fish in the water, therefore, bringing food to the surface for the pelicans. That's my theory, and I'm sticking to it! :-)

These three pelicans acted as escorts. :-)

We're all enjoying our ship's departure as it moves along the channel to the Atlantic. Phil, Teecie and Christopher are in the center of photo. (Have no idea who the gentleman in the right of the photo is. He looks sorta like he's already "three sheets to the wind," doesn't he?)

Island of Coco Cay off which the cruise ships anchor. (By the way, Bill Gates had made arrangements to rent this *entire* island the next day, Sunday, 4/10, so all the cruise lines had to rearrange their itineraries to accommodate this bit of interesting detail.)

Teecie, Chris and Phil (#2) relaxing on deck while anchored off Coco Cay.

Bolero Lounge. Music and dancing in the evenings, but a very nice place to sit, relax, read or chat during the day. Comfy seating on the starboard and port sides of the ship.

Two other cruise ships also anchored off Coco Cay, with passengers enjoying parasailing (they "boarded" those boats at Coco Cay).

*My* Phil on deck, intently reading his (evidently, intense) mystery novel. :-) (He doesn't get to relax "with abandon" much, so I love to see him with a book in hand.)

Stateroom attendants are readily available to meet every need of a passenger. We were surprised and delighted, upon returning to our cabins each evening, to find cute monkeys or elephants created from our bath towels.

Four cruise ships in their berths (slips?) in Nassau, waiting for their passengers to return from a day about town.

What was once a church, now a colorfully painted delicatessen.

Someone's *multi*-million dollar "baby" anchored in the waterway outside the Hotel Atlantis.

We had lunch of sandwiches from Murray's Delicatessen (part of the Atlantis) that cost $20 each (!), and Christopher had to pay $11.50 for a bottle of water to drink!!

Christopher, still smiling, after drinking that expensive water! ha

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That potato chip Teecie decided to share with the birds cost about 75 cents (ha!)...and that sea gull was the loudest, squawkiest (is that a word?), fussiest thing I've ever seen! (But he only fussed at the other seagulls and NOT at the pigeons all around him.)

Phil (in the distance in the orange shirt) standing in front of our ship, Monarch of the Seas.

Once we returned from Paradise Island and were back on our deck (7), I took this picture of the huge Hotel Atlantis.

Passengers in line to re-board the ship after evidently having all sorts of fun in Nassau.

After the ship had sailed away from Nassau, all settled in the Bolero Lounge with feet up and books in hand. Ahhhhh! :-)

Teecie and I spent a good part of the afternoon sitting on the deck enjoying the breeze and the quiet ocean "voyage." Wonderfully relaxing, and great to have time to talk and catch up with my little sister. :-)

At dinner Saturday evening, Apr 9, 2011

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