Pumpkin Update

Pumpkin had a rather crappy June.  First, his parents were away for two weeks. Though, he may actually have liked that since our neighbor came by regularly to play with Him and Pi.  We will never really know.

Shortly after vacation, we had an evening in where Mr.PnP was working at the computer and I was watching The Bachelorette, or something equally worthy.  I could have sworn I heard a crazy cat distressed noise coming from the kitchen (like cry/meow/snarl all in one).  I jumped up from the couch to see what was going on.  Mr.PnP was printing something at the computer, so I thought that maybe I was just hearing things, but I soon discovered that Pumpkin was favoring his right paw.  :(

Cats obviously can't tell you what is wrong, and rather often down-play their injury or weakness.  The first vet we took him to said it was probably just a strain and it would heal on it's own.  That made me feel a little better, but watching him limp was so sad.  A few days later, he was still limping. We did some investigation and found a big scab on Pumpkin's right paw.  His paw pad was also pretty inflamed. :( 

The following day I took Pumpkin to a different vet and she was great.  She cleaned out his paw/scab area, gave him an antibiotic shot for the probable abscess or infection and another to ease the inflammation and pain.  She also bestowed upon him a collar of shame to stop him from licking and re-infecting his paw.  Poor guy had to wear it for almost a week! 

Sulking on the first day.

Being extra cuddly.  Really guilt-tripping it.

Thankfully, the treatment worked and he was back in playing shape in about two weeks.  Since then, He's been up to normal mischief like peeing in the bathroom sink, climbing ladders and being a supper cutie pie.

Helping helper who helps.

I mean, who sleeps.  Doubles as a heated wrist rest.

Must find way into the attic.

Awe $#^!...busted.

Maybe if I look away, she will just leave me alone.

Do not look her in the eyes...she's not really there.

What's the worst mischief your pet has been into?  



Flying to Europe

I travel semi-regularly for work around the US, but this Mediterranean cruise required my first flight over seas.  I really wasn't sure what to expect.  Mr.PnP found found us an awesome flight directly from Houston to our cruise departure city, Istanbul.  We made it to the airport plenty early, and because there was practically no line at Houston's TSA, we had ample time for our first vacation drinks and dinner at the airport.  Once on the plane, it was so nice to finally get to our seats and just relax…let the vacation begin!!!

On a domestic flight, usually every little thing costs extra, be it food, drink or entertainment (for economy at least).  To our delight, not only was this all included on our Turkish Air flight, but we also found other goodies at our seat.  Each person received a complimentary travel pack (eye mask, tooth brush, lip balm, etc), pillow, blanket and slippers.  Shortly after take-off, the flight attendant passed out menus.  There were multiple courses listed and even drinks, but no prices.  I felt kind of dumb, but asked the nice lady next to me if all of the food and drinks were complimentary.  She was like, "Yeah!  Isn't it great?!"  Of course! 

Hazelnuts with mint lemonade and whiskey on the rocks.

Water and red wine for me.

We had pre-dinner drinks and hazelnuts.  Then it was time for dinner and a movie.  There were a lot of movie options, from new releases to oldies.  You'll probably never guess what I picked...The Godfather.  We were stopping in Sicily one day of the cruise, and while researching the port I found a number of Godfather tours.  It's a movie I had never seen and the flight seemed like the perfect time to remedy that.  It worked out great because it was a drama that I could fall asleep to and pick up in the “morning.”

Touch screen and pop-out controller for playing games! 

After dinner we settled down to sleep for about 6 hours until breakfast came through.  Sleeping was surprisingly easy in coach seats.  I wore a t-shirt and athletic shorts (practically pajamas), and took my shoes off to maximize my comfort level.  It wasn't until we were about to land that I tried putting my shoes back on, and much to my dismay, my feet had swelled up like sausages.  My shoelaces required significant loosening to get the shoes back on.  It was crazy and scared me a little since something that drastic has never really happened to me before.  Fortunately, my kankles righted themselves in the next 12 hours, so nothing was for the worse, just really odd!

We landed in Istanbul around 4PM on Saturday and went through customs, found a cab and made our way to the port just in time for (another) dinner.  At this point our schedules were completely messed up...two dinners, a breakfast and seven hour time difference with a nice long nap thrown in there.  To keep it simple, we had dinner at the buffet.  It was the best buffet I have ever had (and I'm not just saying that because we had been on a plane for so long).  They had uber fresh sushi and sashimi, and appetizers…I can’t recall it all, but it was good.

We made it!  Still in my travel clothes and looking a little sleepy.

We flew back on United with one connection in D.C.  The long flight on that segment was pleasant as well.  There was a free lunch and entertainment and the seats were roomier in coach (than Turkish Air).  I don't think the alcohol was free, but after 14 days of over eating and drinking that wasn't a perk we were looking for.  This time I watched Safe Haven and silently balled at the end hoping no one would notice.  It was a good fluffy movie for a plane ride...and one I would never ask Mr.PnP to consider watching.  Win-win-win if you ask me.

Overall, I found international flying to be much easier than expected.  I love new experiences, and these flights would definitely count as a new one fore me.  I'm not sure when out next trip will be, but I am already excited for it. 

Have  you ever flown over seas? 

Did you have a good experience, or bad?


The Cruise

It was sa-weeetttt!  Seriously, we had so many cool experience in two Mediterranean weeks.  It was an amazing 12 day Cruise from Istanbul to Rome, with a few extra days added on in Rome. As this was our Honeymoon, we wanted to splurge a little and upgraded to a semi-luxury liner.  Cruises can get expensive really fast when you go beyond the main lines.  Luckily, Mr. PnP found Oceania, a cruise line designed for people looking for great food and destinations without all the other flashy stuff.  It was the best combination for us to maximize our sightseeing, and enjoy the excellent food and laid-back cruising. As I post about each destination, I'll link back here.

Oceania Riviera - Treasures & Monuments (May/June 2013)

Istanbul, Turkey
Kusadasi, Turkey (Ephesus)
Rhodes, Greece
Santorini, Greece
Crete, Greece
Kefalonia, Greece
Taormina, Sicily, Italy
Amalfi Coast, Italy (rough seas had us reroute to Trapani, Sicily, Italy)
Sardinia, Italy
Livorno, Italy (Florence)
Civitevecchia, Italy (Rome)


It was perfect; sunny and beautiful the entire time.  Even the detour didn't cause a bad day, just one rainy evening...by which time we were enjoying a four course steakhouse dinner and sailing through the boot and football of Italy.


5 Stars...so much good food!!!  There were four specialty restaurants on board:  Jacques (Jacques Pepin's French Restaurant), Toscana (Italian), Polo Grill (American Steakhouse) and Red Ginger (Asian Fusion).  We were able to make one dinner reservation at each prior to sailing.  A few days into the Cruise, we found out that it was possible to make extra reservations the same day upon availability.  I started calling first thing in the morning and that got us three more reservations.


Spacious and comfy.  We upgraded at the last minute to a balcony and it was worth every penny.  It was a nice way to relax at sail-away and get one last glimpse of the beautiful island or city we had just experienced.


NA free!  Wine was free to bring on board too.  They had an awesome Captain's happy hour one of the first evenings where almost everything was free.  The rest of the evenings had 2-for-1 happy hours from 4-6 that we occasionally took part in.  Alcohol is definitely one way to quickly rack-up your account charges, but all-in-all we did a pretty good job of enjoying ourselves without breaking the bank.

Fellow Cruisers

We met some really nice folks.  The crowd was definitely on the older side (i.e. more than one couple asked our opinion of sailing with an "older crowd.")


Good.  The theater shows were pretty good (for Cruise standards) and the lounge had a nice piano player.  The pool band could have been a little more lively and the late night entertainment was as expected...low key for most evenings.  Though, the cruise director staff (the people who try to get people to let loose and have fun) were successful for one fun Deck Party night.  They even had the dance floor full for the electric slide and a few other line dances.