Good morning, everyone! (Or afternoon, evening, or night, wherever and whenever you are.) I hope you’ve all had an excellent week. It was a bit cool and gloomy around here for a while, but things seem to be looking up. Here’s hoping we finally get some lasting, nice spring weather!
(Friday morning edit: We’re back to rain. It was nice while it lasted.)
M has been out of town on business since Tuesday, and I spent the dark hours of the early morning on Wednesday and Thursday supporting an event being held in London, so it will be nice to make it to the weekend and get back to normal! To sweeten the deal, we’ve also got some fun plans with family on both sides and M is getting to play his first round of golf for the season.
Meanwhile, here’s what I’ve been loving lately!
I have always loved getting glimpses into the logistics behind massive operations and seeing how things are manufactured. The episode of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood that I remember most vividly from my childhood was when he took us to a crayon factory to show us how they were made, and I eat up videos from manufacturing plants or of artisans who are masters at their respective crafts. I love how all the pieces come together to create something amazing, and I love being awed by the scale and ingenuity behind large operations.
Although I’ve only taken two cruises in my life, I have long been fascinated by everything that goes into creating a great vacation for guests while miraculously keeping these massive vessels afloat. This article certainly scratched that itch. Symphony of the Seas is Royal Caribbean’s newest ship, and it raised the bar on seemingly everything on which a bar could be raised. This article is a fascinating dive into what it takes to design, engineer, source, build, and run such a mammoth ship, and it also contains great insight into how the cruise industry has and continues to evolve. For example, the article cites a revolutionary new design for staterooms on the upcoming Celebrity Edge that eliminates state rooms’ attractive but little-used balconies. Instead, Edge will boast a new design called the “Infinite Veranda:”
floor-to-ceiling windows, the upper half of which lowers entirely to create an indoor balcony. floor-to-ceiling windows, the upper half of which lowers entirely to create an indoor balcony. As a result, Edge’s entry-level state rooms are 23 per cent larger and bathrooms 20 per cent bigger than the previous standard.” (source)
Whether or not you’re a fan of cruising, the article is an great read for anyone who loves a behind the scenes look at how things work or is just ready to be impressed by an undertaking and product that is massive in scale.
In an interesting twist, while I would love to take a tour of the ship to admire its size and amenities, booking a vacation on Symphony actually holds little interest to me compared to other cruise liners out there. I personally tend to be more attracted to smaller vessels, even if they have fewer amenities and are less flashy or glamorous. The ship upon which M and I sailed for our honeymoon in 2014, Celebrity’s Summit, is about 76% smaller than Symphony with a passenger load of less than 2,200.
I like sharing space with few people, and smaller ships can often access ports that are off-limits to their behemoth brethren. It’s all a matter of personal choice, though. Especially if your cruise itinerary includes multiple full days at sea, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with being attracted to ship with that boasts
more than 40 restaurants and bars; 23 pools, jacuzzis and water slides; two West End-sized theatres; an ice rink; a surf simulator; two climbing walls; a zip line; a fairground carousel; a mini-golf course; a ten-storey fun slide; laser tag; a spa; a gym; a casino; plus dozens more shopping and entertainment opportunities. (source)
Can you even imagine? Guess it’s time to start looking at itineraries!
I have been following Romanian photographer Mihaela Noroc’s global photo project for a number of years and still get excited when I see updates cross my various feeds. Noroc has spent the past four years capturing portraits of women across the globe on a mission to show that beauty comes in all shapes, sizes, colors, creeds, ages, backgrounds, and levels of income. Every photo is accompanied by a brief caption or description of the subject in Noroc’s signature warm, optimistic tone.
The Atlas of Beauty is a lovely, heartfelt look into our shared humanity and a celebration of the female experience around the world. Noroc has a unique gift for sharing the hopes, dreams, heartaches, wisdom, grace, and strength of these women in a way that makes you proud to be a part of a global community. I strongly recommend giving her a follow on your favorite RSS feed, Instagram (@the.atlas.of.beauty), Twitter (@mihaela_noroc), or Facebook.
If you prefer something more tangible and sharable, Noroc recently published five hundred portraits and stories into a gorgeous hardcover book. I took a glance through at a Barnes & Noble just before Christmas and was very impressed.
(All images credited to The Atlas of Beauty.)
3.) Watching Frasier
As I’ve mentioned before, I tend to throw on Netflix to give myself a bit of company while I’m eating breakfast or lunch or doing the dishes. Lately, I’ve been working my way through NBC’s Cheers spinoff, Frasier. (Cheers was a 2017 undertaking that I also really enjoyed.) It’s one of those shows that I remember my parents watching while I was growing up, but I had never given it a chance until now. I have to say, it’s been a great ride thus far. The cast is excellent, the writing is sharp, it’s fun to try to guess the identity of the callers seeking help on Frasier’s radio show (they’re almost always played by celebrities, ranging from Macaulay Culkin to Eddie Van Halen), and David Hyde Pierce is an absolute treasure.
Furthermore, any time Bebe Neuwirth guest stars it’s reason for some serious praise hands emojis. Lilith Sternin is probably one of my top ten favorite TV characters, and the episode of Cheers where she is pregnant and overwhelmed by the power of motherhood can still make me laugh out loud.
That’s all for me this week! I wish you all a fabulous weekend and look forward to seeing you again next week! Thanks for joining me.
What have you been loving lately?
Have you ever taken a cruise?
Is there a older show that you’re currently watching or re-watching?
Did you miss Week 10? Check out what I was loving last week!
10 Reasons Why You Should Visit a Working Sheepdog Farm in Scotland
A Week in Belize, Part I