weekly photo challenge: grand

Hubby and I were very fortunate to cruise the British Isles a couple of years ago on the Grande Dame of vessels…the Queen Mary 2. Getting lost was always a definite possibility.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

…but discovering all the nooks and crannies…was well worth the adventure…



the world…a ship’s eye view

While others may have dreamed of traveling to the Far East, I have always been partial to the UK and Europe. A few years ago my husband, daughter and I were fortunate to sail through the Mediterranean with Holland America Cruises, while just a couple of years back my husband and I visited Venice and Croatia. Seeing the countryside of France and the British Isles was next on my list of must-dos. Sailing there on the Queen Mary did not disappoint.

Unique to cruising is seeing the coastline from the deck of a ship. I was totally enthralled with the breathtaking landscape that unfolded with each nautical mile traveled. The Scottish cliffs…majestic… …rugged…


The Irish landscape…picturesque…



I was equally captivated by the sunsets…

…and the cloud drifts…

…the man-made elements…

…and the ocean itself.

nothing compares to viewing the world from an ocean-liner…unless of course…one gazes down at earth…from the inside of a spaceship………hugmamma.

a long voyage…home

It’s been a couple of months since I’ve churned out posts on hugmamma’s mind, body, and soul. In part it was because of issues to do with the care of my 3 cats, but I was also on the brink of not blogging altogether. As others can attest, and as I’ve mentioned previously, this past-time can be highly addictive. So I stepped away to regain balance and live life. Coincidentally, my husband and I were set to cruise the British Isles on Cunard Line‘s Queen Mary.

In the habit of organizing hearth and home before leaving for vacation meant that blogging would take a backseat to our trip preparations. And as addicted as I was to writing for hugmamma’s mind, body, and soul, it felt good to close the lid on my laptop and turn my back on blogging for however long I wanted. While on vacation my passionate photo-taking attested to the fact that I would return to share them on my blog. I must admit that returning to writing isn’t easy. Especially since I took to reading voraciously during the interim. I’m on my 4th biography since just before leaving for vacation.

So what did I like most about cruising the UK? Time away with my workaholic husband, dining nightly with 2 fabulous couples, one from Scotland and another from South Carolina, setting foot on the picturesque shores of France, England, Ireland and Scotland, and sailing a magnificent vessel like the opulent Queen Mary. Last but definitely not least, getting away from the “same old, same old” is like hitting the “refresh” button. However unlike other trips which rejuvenated me physically, this sojourn was more mentally engaging. I found myself observing people, up close and from a distance. I wondered about their lives, having admiration for some and curiosity about others.

It seems that as I age, people figure more prominently in my world view than places and things. And in my estimation everyone, regardless of their physical trappings, is just trying to get on with the business of living the best they can. I discovered that like my fellow travelers and people whose lands I visited, I too awake to the dawning of each new day optimistic about life and determined to make the most of it.

…traveling to other countries…meeting other people…i found my way…back home………hugmamma.