Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Sunset Photos For Tonight 7/30/2013

I almost missed taking these photos. Luckily I looked out our 3rd floor window, grabbed my camera and car keys and headed out the door. Made it just in time before the colors faded and the darkness took over.








Below is a photo that I missed uploading at the time it was taken, 7/17/2013. I thought it was nice enough to share now

Just Another Small Bump In The Road

I have been keeping a low profile on this blog for bit now. I felt the time had come for a brief update.
We are just a little over 3 weeks away from our fishing adventure to Stanley's Resort on Eagle Lake in Ontario Canada. It has been 2 years since we were last up there. It will be great to be able to see a couple of our friends up their and hopefully luck into catching a couple of trophy fish while we are there.
We will be fishing for walleye, northern pike and for me...my trophy musky.
It will be great spending time with Veronica fishing and enjoying nature.
We also have approximately 71 days until we head out for the start of our international adventure, which will start in Venice and end in Rome.
Besides all of the exciting things coming up, we have had to deal with a minor distraction.
About 6 weeks ago I started developing some pain in my tongue...mainly on the left side. Approximately 2 weeks after the pain started, I noticed a sore developing on the underneath/side portion of my tongue where the pain had originated from.
After waiting for a week or so to see if the sore would go away, I decided to get it checked out at a local oral surgeon that I had previously used for general oral checkups.
Ever since I had leukoplakia on my tongue several years ago, and had it removed, I have been very paranoid anytime I see anything that I think is out of the ordinary on my tongue and/or in my mouth.
The oral surgeon could not tell me what the sore was or what caused it. He suggested that I give it a couple of weeks to see if it would go away on its own and if it didn't he would do a biopsy on it.
Below is a photo of the sore

After waiting two weeks and noticing that the sore appeared to got a little bigger, I decided to not only return to the oral surgeon for a biopsy but also go to an Ears, Nose and Throat doctor because I had also developed a sore throat and some discomfort in my ear...both on the same side as my sore.
Below is a photo of the sore two weeks after the first photo was taken

Yesterday morning I went to see the ENT doctor and he gave me the once over. He could not find any signs of leukoplakia in my mouth. My glands and lymph nodes seemed normal. He did notice some redness and irritation in my throat. He felt that the biopsy was the route to take and that it would give us the answers that we needed to what was going on.
So yesterday afternoon I had a biopsy done on the sore. The pain and swelling along with the tongue being black/blue will go away in a few days but it will all be worth it to find out once and for all what is going on so that we can treat whatever it is.
We should get the lab results back in about a week or maybe a little longer. After the results are in, I have followup appointments with both the oral surgeon and the ENT doctor too. 
Then we can address a treatment plan whether it be just meds to know out this "ulcerated" sore or whatever else might be needed.
The nice thing is that everything will be healed up before we head out for Canada.
The best thing about this about this medical bump in the road is that Veronica was with me every step of the way and I love her so very much for being there and for all of her support.  

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Beautiful Sunset Photos for Saturday night 7/20/2013

Tonight there was some beautiful sunset photos to be taken and I made sure not to miss them. Sunsets always seem to be better when there are some clouds involved and tonight did not disappoint. I also got a few extra photos of some boats on the water:







  


Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Countdown Continues

The countdown for our upcoming vacations continues. Veronica and I have only 36 days until we fly out of Norfolk and head up to Minneapolis, at which time we will pick up our rental car and then drive approximately 6 hours to International Falls, MN.
We will spend the night in International Falls and get up early the next morning, get some groceries, pass through customs and enter Canada. Once in Canada we will drive approximately 3 hours to Dryden. In Dryden we will get the rest of our provisions for our weeks stay. From Dryden we will drive approximately 30-40 minutes to Stanley's Resort on beautiful Eagle Lake.
One fun filled week spent in nature, fishing and quality time with Veronica. Who could ask for anything more. And this trip is kind of like a warm up vacation for our "real" vacation.....
Our big vacation for the year starts in 83 days with the first 3 days in Venice, Italy and then boarding the NCL Jade for a 14 day cruise which will first take us to several Greek Islands such as Corfu, Santorini, Mykonos and then to the mainland to Olympia. From there we go back to Venice where we will have the day to discover the small venetian lagoon islands of Burano...where the famous lace is made and Murano...where the famous glass is made. After spending the day in Venice, we return to the ship and once again board for our next 7 day departure. The next 7 days of this journey will be spent visiting Slovenia, 2 locations in Croatia, Messina, Naples and then we dock in Rome where we will be shuttled to the airport for our return flight home.
While we are in Naples, Veronica and I decided to take an excursion that will take us up the Amalfi Coast to Solerno and Sorrento...this excursion actually includes a boat ride off of the Amalfi Coast too.
Unfortunately we won't have any time to spend discovering the splendors of Rome on this trip because of the time our flight leaves. This will give us an excuse to have to return to Italy sometime in the future...like we really will need any excuse.


Cruise Ship - Ticker
 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Sunset Photos For 7/17/2013

Here are a few of tonight's sunset photos. Just enough clouds to make it interesting:










Thursday, July 11, 2013

Beware of Economy Rent- A- Car At The Ramada Inn Near The Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport

With our fishing vacation coming up in about 6 weeks, about the only thing left for Veronica and I to do is to get a rental vehicle in the Minneapolis area.
We are planning on flying into the Minneapolis/St.Paul Airport, picking up our rental car and then driving up to International Falls for the night. The following morning we would do our grocery shopping and then drive the remainder of the way to Stanley's Resort on Eagle Lake at Vermilion Bay Ontario Canada.
It has been a very long time since the last time that I have rented a rental vehicle and based on my last experience it appears that things sure have changed in the car rental arena.
After doing some basic shopping around at various web sites on the internet, I settled in on Priceline. I attempted to get a vehicle via their bidding process but unfortunately had no luck at the price level that initially interested in.
I then moved onto another site that I found doing a Google search...AirportRentalCars.com.
This site was a brokerage web site that handles rental vehicles from several different companies.
I found a couple of vehicles from Economy Rent-A-Car that met the budgetary criteria and the size of vehicle that we would need. I narrowed my focus on one vehicle and size in particular...
A Mid Sized Car...Toyota Corolla...automatic....4 door...a/c...the usual stuff. Price at this web site was $190.00 per week/about $377.00 total with everything included..taxes and all fees
The other possibility was a Compact car...Nissan Versa...same basic features as the Corolla but the price of this one was listed as $180.00 per week about about $350.00 total with all of the taxes and fees figured in.
I decided to give the Minneapolis Economy Rent-A-Car office a call at 651-788-0808.
I spoke to a male who I will call Micky for the sake of this blog entry. I had several questions for Micky which he politely answered. Micky told me that the Economy Rent A Car works out of a Ramada Inn about 2 miles from MSP airport.
I told Micky that I was online at a web site and was looking at a couple of specific vehicles to rent. I gave Micky the pickup and drop off dates and ask him if he could do any better than the rates shown on the web site.
Due to Micky having some customers that he was helping out at the time of my telephone call, he said that he would call me back in about 10-15 minutes.
After more that 1 1/2 hours had passed, Micky finally returned my call and told me that they did not have Toyota Corollas nor Nissan Versas but that they did carry VW Jettas that he could rent to me for a price that he gave me...which was the exact same price as on the web site or that I could rent a Dodge Caliber instead of the Nissan Versa for a price that he gave me....which just happened to be the same exact price that was on the web site.
Micky even quoted me the dates and times of pick up and drop off to make sure he had the correct info...which he did.
I thanked Micky for the info and told him that I would talk to my wife about the vehicles and price and get back with him.
After talking to Veronica, we decided that we would go with the Dodge Caliber because if had a hatchback and the back seats folded down flush to make a nice sized flat cargo area in the rear of the vehicle and the price was fairly decent compared to other prices that we had seen out there.
I placed a call back to Economy Rent-A-Car at the number previously mentioned and spoke to a young female who told me that Micky had just stepped out for a minute and she offered to help me.
I gave her the pickup and drop off dates and times along with the vehicles that Micky told me about and I quoted back to this female the prices that Micky had given me.
All of a sudden, within a couple of hour time period, the prices had somehow jumped up drastically.
This female quoted me the prices for the VW Jetta as now being $240.00 a week and 469.18 total with all taxes and fees added in.
And as you expect, the Dodge Caliber price had also gone up. I was quoted a new price as being $200.00 per week and $403.44 total with all taxes and fees figured in.
I told this female that these prices were not even close to what Micky had quoted me. She told me that the prices always change and that they have the lowest prices around. I requested that she have Micky give me a call when he gets back in and this female told me that Micky will quote me the same prices that she had.
A little while later I received a call from Micky. He went over the pick up and drop off dates and times to make sure he had the correct information...which he did...and then he promptly quoted me the price that the female quoted me.
I asked him what happened in a couple of hours that would cause the prices to change from what he had quoted me earlier. He said that he must have put in the wrong dates and times for pickup and drop off information. Micky claim that it was caused by....and I quote..."human error".
I told Micky that i was on this web site at this exact moment and they were showing the previously quoted rate that he had given me and that because there was such a huge  difference in the price he had quoted me versus the one he was quoting me now and what was being shown on the AirportRentalCars.com web site, that I was taking my business elsewhere. I thanked him for his time and told him to have a great day before hanging up on him.
After having this experience with a really questionable rental car company, we ended up doing Priceline again and ended up with a Nissan Versa through Hertz for a little more money than what we would have paid at Economy but I will tell you this much, we feel much more at ease and comfortable with our rental car contract through Hertz than we did with our short encounter with a very questionable rental car company called Economy. I guess that there is a reason that they chose that name. My recommendation for anyone looking to rent a vehicle, do a lot of research and shopping but first and foremost...stay away from Economy Rent A Car ( Economy Rent-A-Car ) .

Another Round Of Storms Passing Through

This is the beginning of some stormy weather that will be passing through this afternoon thru tomorrow. Veronica and I love a good storm.`Bring on the thunder and lightning.








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