Tag Archives: cruise

What’s in a name?

The Hotel Macabre has officially been changed to The Macabre Inn. The first impression of almost anything begins to take shape at the mention of the name. So Catherine has put much thought into naming her Halloween 2013 creation. As you know, she finally landed on the word macabre. That’s just one of those words… no one knows quite how to pronounce it. Does it have two syllables or three? Do you actually say the e on the end or don’t you? What do you do with the r? And even with all that confusion, practically everyone knows what it means. Macabre conjures up vivid images of all things gruesome, creepy, odd, and scary… Perfect for Halloween.

The uncertainty was with the “hotel” part of the name. Catherine’s creation will be an old, dilapidated, once-elegant, but now collapsing building that holds all kinds of untoward secrets. And “hotel” didn’t quite fit. So after batting around ideas for a couple of hours (while enjoying pina coladas poolside overlooking the Caribbean Sea on our cruise), when Catherine’s husband suggested “inn” rather than “hotel,” we all took it in with the moment of silence it deserved, then decided…. perfect! (the moment of silence may have been due to one too many pina coladas, rather than in reverence of the new name. I’m just sayin’…).

The beautiful thing about the word “inn” is that it can mean any number of things – a sophisticated cluster of elegant cottages overlooking the ocean…. a quaint cabin-type property tucked back in the woods, a flea bag motel on the side of the road… or an old, broken down, once-spectacular, but time-worn, small abode that is hanging on by its hinges. And that’s why The Macabre Inn is perfect!

A funny thing thing happened on the way to dinner after our ah-ha Macabre Inn name moment on that cruise… When we went back to our rooms to get fancied up for dinner, we had a very formal invitation neatly placed on our bed. “The Captain has requested your presence at his table for dinner this evening.” What?? With three thousand guests on board, the four of us were among eight invited to dine with the captain on the one and only night he dined with guests?? How did that happenCruise 2013

And once again, a name played a huge part in first impressions. Captain Yngvar Knutsen. Now, I don’t know about you, but to me Yngvar Knutsen conjures up ideas of tall, stoic, fair-haired, fair-skinned Norwegians. Bingo! So the night was filled with the eight of us guests trying to desperately to make sense of the thick-accented English, as the Captain told fascinating stories of his past, his career, and his travels. Thankfully, his beautiful British wife was there to translate and clarify when necessary. They were a lovely couple, as were the other two couples who joined us that evening. While it is true – almost cliche in fact – that Captain Knutsen was exactly what you would expect when you hear that name, we did manage to get a few smiles, a couple of chuckles, and even a guffaw or two out of him. So don’t let a name fool you…. You truly never know what you’re going to get. Such is the case with The Macabre Inn – there will be hidden secrets and surprises around every corner.

P.S. We still have no idea why we were selected to dine with the Captain; we’re just glad we were. It was a fantastic, once in a lifetime experience. One we’ll never forget.

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It’s 5:00 Somewhere… soon.

Werewolves, witches, and even writers need a vacation. It seems as though the only way my sister, her husband, my husband and I ever get a true break from our hectic and crazy lives is to get away. Really get away. So the four of us are packing our bags and getting out of dodge. We’re leaving for a much-needed, week-long cruise where we’ll all be treated to fabulous food, endless views of the Caribbean from our balconies, fantastic on-board entertainment, warm weather, and – most importantly – rest and relaxation.

While there will be lots of reading, snorkeling on excursions, river tubing, and exercise, I imagine there will also be a fair amount of Halloween planning, writing, and even a small amount of work. No matter how far away or how isolated we get, those aspects of our life follow us everywhere. It’s what makes life interesting, fun, and challenging for all of us. We wouldn’t change it for anything in the world. Life is good!!

But when I think of our trip that commences less than 48 hours, as we’re planning our wardrobe, swimsuits (Catherine swears she won’t let hers see the light of day… we’ll see about that!), and leisure reading material, the predominant thing running through my mind is that Alan Jackson/Jimmy Buffett song… So here’s to some margaritas, pina coladas, rum and Cokes, and who knows what else! 5:00… here we come!

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