Friday, December 26, 2014

Seasons Greetings and Emails from

Seasons Greetings to all from Kristi and Al.

I am prompted to post this as I noted again there are Emails    
being sent out under Viking Star's name with a simple 'click    
 here' link.  
THESE ARE DANGEROUS EMAILS AND                                  

A spammer has been sending out a blast of Emails almost each month forging Viking Star as the 'sender'; they often contain only a single URL link to some web site and nothing else.  Those who know me know there is no way I could create such a simple Email - just too hard to not use lots of words.  These Emails are forged, are not sent via Viking Star, and are dangerous.  Hopefully your SPAM trap will remove them, but if not:

               DO NOT CLICK ON ANY EMAIL WHICH                
                        CONTAINS AN ODD URL IN IT!                                   

There is nothing we can do about these, sorry.  One of the facts of the Internet is it is so simple to spoof things.  I only know about them as I get some 'address undeliverable' messages returned back to me.   And looking at the real sender, they very from Romania, Africa, with the latest being from the UK - bouncing around the world, so no way to shut them down via their internet service provider.

Going into the new year, we wish you a bug free existence, do hope you do not block ALL emails from us, but also hope you take appropriate precautions in the Digital World...

Saturday, December 20, 2014


Evan met his 'GreatPapa' in August when his mama, brother and sister came to Minnesota.  His GreatGrammie had just moved into a nursing home and we were on the way to meet her too.  At the entrance, GreatPapa asked if anyone would like a ride.  Madalyn and Milo were too shy, but Evan loves EVERYone and was just the right size for GreatPapa's lap.

Oh what joy, for Dad to meet some of 'The Little Ones' he never failed to ask about. 

But GreatPapa lived only six weeks beyond this time.  And GreatGrammie only four weeks beyond that.  

When Al and I arrived at Evan's house nearly two weeks ago, Evan had just had his 6th birthday. There were still cupcakes left over from his family party and he was very eager that we each have one, which we did.  He had especially asked for mini cupcakes, and his mom is a good baker and had piped on a thick bloom of frosting.  They were very good.

After a short visit it was time to go, and Evan very lovingly and generously asked 'Do you want to take one to GreatPapa?'

Oh my heart.

Not knowing if he had been told of GreatPapa's death or not, I merely said 'He's not here anymore'.  I managed not to cry until Al and I were in the car and I asked Al if he had heard, and I told the story.

I asked my daughter later if she had told the kids -- she had come to MN again for the funeral -- and she said that she had told 7-year-old Madalyn, who got very upset, so she hadn't said anything to the boys.

On my next visit to their house, Evan was very concerned.  He asked 'Is GreatPapa all alone?'  Of course he would be worried that, since Al and I were back in the Northwest, GreatPapa would be all alone in his house.  No, GreatGrammie is with him.

Oh how I love this boy, and his love of family.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Cost to not cruise - November 2014

And here we are, November.  Kristi and I are out of Minnesota (but still talking with the folks about the -3 and -11 temperatures - not to worry, it did get over 20 for a few days..), and making our way back to Washington and Viking Star.  The Cost to Not-Cruise for November looks like this:

(Click for larger view)

November was 'Move Month' for us, and this is reflected in almost all the line items:
  • Groceries are low - we eat out a lot while traveling across country.
  • Dining Out is high - we eat out a lot while traveling across country.
  • Personal is high - we spent 4 days in San Fransisco!
  • Transportation reflects the gas for the car to drive cross country
  • Misc reflect costs for Hotels, as well as $135 or so for shipping of our items back to Washington.
  • Misc also contained the Utility bills while we were in Storden.

What can I glean from the above?
  • Well, 1st - the categories selected for life afloat do not align well with life on land.  (Utilities, hotel, etc all in Misc). 
  • Dining Out, despite being costly, is not THAT much more so vs. purchasing groceries for each day??
  • Access to Shopping is a BAD THING!  (But then we already knew this, as we noted a spike in our costs when ever we anchored near a city)
 We will do one more month of Cost to Not Cruise; and start the new year back in the Blue so to speak. And at that point will do some thoughts around the whole "How do costs on land vs. what it costs to cruise full time" - well, at least for us.


And now here is the standard explanation: If this is your 1st time looking at costs on our blog, and want some more background on why we are reporting what it costs to not-cruise on a cruising blog - well, we took a break by moving back to Minnesota to help out Kristi's folks January of 2014.  And we thought it would be interesting to be able to compare our costs on Land vs. on Sea., see more here:

For reference here is a summary of what it did cost us to cruise last year:

For Reference, Costs for Cruising in 2013
Again, following the link above will give you access to more details, or you can click on the Costs label to the right for even more cost data.