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Old December 29th, 2006, 10:37 PM
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Default DEC 29 Pre Cruise

Virtual Cruise
Pre Cruise Dec. 29

While the cruise hasn’t begun quite yet, the pre-cruise activities have. Mrs. Kuki and I were fortunate to have the time, so we arrived in Miami for a couple of days to recover from the jet lag, and enjoy some Miami time. Being holiday season we got really lucky getting the beautiful InterContinental Hotel, just blocks from Bayside Market Place, for $100 bidding on ( bidding their Miami, downtown zone, 4 Stars).

On our final day in Miami, other’s from the CruiseMates group started arriving into town as well, including Nancy Bogert, the Travel Agent who’s handled the bookings for this group.

Mrs. Kuki and I met up with Nancy this morning, and dragged her along to spend part of the day with us. In our rental car we drove up to the Village of Merrick Park, in Coconut Grove - it’s an upscale shopping center, built in an “village? theme, with lots of outdoor gardens and cafes where the non shoppers (husbands), can relax in some pleasant surroundings while the shoppers (ladies) do their thing.

After a short but somewhat deadly shopping spree, I decided to head all the way up to North Miami Beach to take the ladies for some deli, and one of Miami’s originals, the Rascal House, way north on Collins Ave. Even though we arrived at 2 P.M the place was still lined up. The piled high Pastrami on Rye sandwich was a good deli fix, but honestly made me want to head to New York and the Carnegie Deli for more of the “real deal?.

From there it was back to the hotel, for an afternoon siesta to refresh before heading to Bayside Market Place for the first CruiseMates party at Lombardi’s.

Close to 50 showed up, and everyone spent time hugging and kissing old friends, and introducing new friends, and a few of the “who are you really? looks? when meeting online friends for the first time. And of course, as we met people through the evening, different spouses explaining it was the “other spouse? who spent time on the Internet, and booked the trip… and they were just told to show up J

We did have a fairly small section of the restaurant, and everyone seemed a bit travel weary, and hungry, but most did get a chance to move around and socialize a bit, and start the “party? ball rolling. A few gifts were revealed… Donna bringing Mike a book, Carole bringing me some “moose wine? and a special gift of a hand made New Year’s Thong from Trip for your truly. Though you’ll have to wait for the pictures of my modeling debut, the tone is being set early on.

We’re all eager to board tomorrow! See you ALL onboard!
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