• Crossing the Line!

    Crossing the Equator at Sea…early this morning we sailed right past the Equator’s line into the southern Hemisphere! Crossing this line is commemorated by an age old tradition known as the King Neptune Ceremony.

    This initiation rite originally celebrated by the Dutch Merchant Navy was meant to boost morale on long ocean voyages and mark a sailors first crossing of the Equator. Pollywogs are the sailors new to the equator crossing and Shellbacks are the experienced ones. This is not a silly cruise ship gimmick, but a sailing tradition performed by even the U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard, as well as passenger cruise ships!

    King Neptune presides over the festivities with pirates, mermaids, sea urchins, you name it! Historically these ships were all male vessels, so men were dressed up as women for the ceremony…nothing like a sailor in drag!

    The idea is to embarrass the virgin sailors and put them through some form of public torture…kissing a smelly fish, being locked up in a cage, abused and soiled with spoiled food, and being dunked in water or left to bake in the hot sun.

    Held under an extremely brutal equatorial sun on the open deck, it’s a lot of fun but also serious sea faring tradition for the normally superstitious officers and sailors! Luckily for me, I could participate as an onlooker escaping the messy torture…but I woulda gladly done a little drag for the cause if needed!

    The oceans hold many age old myths and centuries old tales…what fun being initiated into this special club of those who have “crossed the line”!





  • Nautical Family History

    At Sea…when I was visiting my parents recently in Chicago, my mother was telling me stories about her 1954 immigration journey to the United States aboard the cruise ship Rotterdam.

    The rough seas, her sister’s sea sickness, and their eventual arrival in the then seedy port of Hoboken make for an interesting story. I think the bravery of leaving a familiar small home town and arriving in a big unknown country whose language you don’t speak as a young naive 20 year old is really awe inspiring!

    I walked down the hall of the ship I am sailing and realize the walls feature a photo documentary of the exact ship my mother sailed from that same era! The m/s Rotterdam is a historic vessel in the fleet of the sailing company that has grown over the years into the cruise-line, Holland America.



  • Sketching on the High Seas!

    At Sea…I am finding something much more valuable besides just plain relaxing. These several days as we make our way to the South Pacific are allowing me to reconnect with my own passions!

    As a fashion designer for a large label, I rarely had time to do one of the things I loved so much about the fashion business that I have been in for almost 25 years: drawing & sketching! There were illustrators or other staff to do that…I spent my days conceptualizing big ideas, working on colors, picking fabrics, monitoring the design flow, pitching ideas, fitting, and setting the direction. I love all those things as well, but the thing I have done since I was a kid was draw! It was that innate ability to draw that drove me to my career as a fashion designer! I have no idea why at the age of 5, I was able to lie for hours on the floor sketching, while other kids played games and such!

    I am grateful for my talent; it has been this talent that I have relied on my whole life to get by…winning art contests in grammar school, being the artsy kid in high school, and setting myself apart in fashion design school! Getting this uninterrupted time to just sit and doodle, sketch, illustrate, etc. has really reminded me of the gift I have been given! No pressure to create anything that will sell, no pressure to get accolades, and no pressure to impress my fashion peers…just me escaping to my own world of creativity to reconnect with my own self and my craft and skill!

    I love living in fast paced NYC, but being able to check out and get to be somewhere where no one can find me is a another part of this journey to reclaim myself!20121007-145423.jpg20121007-145437.jpg


  • Totally Relaxing!

    Somewhere in the Pacific Ocean…we departed the dock in Honolulu around 11 pm last night after a great long day in Oahu’s city on the beach!

    The ship will now take 5 days to navigate its way to Pago Pago in the American Samoa, somewhere in the depths of the South Pacific. These upcoming ports are spots I doubt I would ever go to if it weren’t for this Pacific crossing!

    5 days at sea sounds daunting at first, but with blue skies, calm seas, and a hot tropical sun I settle into this first day easily. It is amazing to look in every direction and know its just water for thousands of miles!

    Relaxing like I never truly have before…I am cut off from my iPhone due to a lack of a constant Internet signal, no hundred channel cable tv loaded with mindless programs, and no reliance on telephone chatter for hours of pointless gossip! Without sights to discover, the only thing I have to think about is when to eat next!

    It is great to really shut down by soaking in the endless sea air…I think a few agenda-less days are gonna really cleanse my mind… I am also enjoying the “me-time” reminiscing back over the last three and a half months of adventures, discoveries, and pure fun I have had!

    This voyage has two more weeks remaining before I get to Sydney…I think I am understanding more each day why people swear by this age old tradition of long ocean voyages over quick port intensive cruises!





  • Friends at Sea!

    Somewhere in the Pacific Ocean…3 sea days down and 1 more to go and we will be arriving in Hawaii! Being out in the middle of the ocean really cuts you off from the world, the tv reception works sporadically and the Internet is snail slow at best.

    I have had some unusual company…the zoo animals that appear every night on my bed! After 21 days, I will literally have a jungle full of towel animals…but they put a smile on my face every night!




  • Out to Sea!

    Somewhere in the North Pacific…I have to admit I was extremely apprehensive about this cruise…I always wanted to do an true Ocean crossing, but 21 days with over half of it spent at sea had me worried!

    After departing from the Queen Mary port in Long Beach on Saturday, the ship started its 4 sea days sailing towards Hilo, Hawaii! I have never spent that many days at sea…Sunday was a cool day and the ship rolled side to side all day and night! Monday was a beautiful day of sunshine and much calmer seas…

    I had a hard time adjusting to doing nothing…luckily, I attended Bingo and won 2 games..chi ching…$200! Yippie! The casino on the other hand was less kind to me!

    Most importantly, after months of traveling, this relaxation is a gift! I realize how indulgent time can be…the indulgence is the luxury of time without appointments, schedules, having to be anywhere, etc! What I thought may be lonely or boring is perfect “me” time! Working out, eating, laying in the sun, and reading. I understand why people are addicted to long sea going cruises; this is true down time set to a gentle calming roll of the sea!

    For now I will relish being out in the middle of nowhere, after Hawaii, I face another 5 sea days that I will use to start to ignite my creativity by sketching and thinking of my return to reality in November!

  • Here I Go!

    Long Beach, California…I am setting sail on my most ambitious part of my trip so far! 21 days crossing the Pacific Ocean aboard Holland America’s Volendam…

    Multiple sea days on an old style crossing that will bring me to Hawaii, Fiji, and the South Pacific before reaching the glorious Sydney Harbor!

    I have a lot of magazines, my iPad is loaded, and empty sketchbooks to keep me busy!

    It will be a total shock signing off the “grid”for awhile as I am in the middle of the ocean for days…



  • The Party is Over!

    Civitavecchia, Italy…everything must come to an end and my cruise is over! 10 days on board this Celebrity Cruise line went fast…

    Dancing, partying, and hanging out with 2800 men all set on having a memorable vacation as we sailed through the Mediterranean! What a blast we had! Maybe a bit too much of a good thing as I managed to loose my voice for 2 whole days…

    It’s incredible how all these people from all over the world can come together and put everything aside with one goal: HAVING FUN!

    The lack of gay marriage equality, the prevalence of bullying, the debate in political views, race or cultural discrimination, ageism, and snobbery doesn’t exist on this vessel…it’s like a safe haven for all of us in this large community to come together and have a great time free of what whatever we may face back home!

    Thanks to Atlantis Events for producing these one of a kind trips for us! Thanks to my co-passengers for being so sexy and completely fun!


  • A Day in Malta!

    Valletta, Malta…today we arrived at the walled city of Valletta on the small island country of Malta! Close to Sicily, the harbor approach into and out of the fortress of a city is magnificent. Yellow hued limestone rises from the Mediterranean setting a striking scene.

    Famous for it’s Maltese cross and a major part if the Crusades, Malta retains it’s historic feel and charm. I am drawn to the building facades with their ornate balconies and porches. These buildings look like utterly unique to this country and the whole place is a mix of Italian and French styles.

    The uniformed guards look very handsome as they patrol the palace. So much of the architecture has a military tone with canons and protective details. The best view is from the Saluting Battery where you can literally have a Birdseye view of the entire harbor enclosed within the fortress walls.

    For now I am just enjoying the view of this gem of a country.



  • Cruising in a New Way!

    Civitavecchia, Italy…today I boarded the Celebrity Equinox…this is my first time aboard a Celebrity ship. This Solstice class of ships by Celebrity set a new standard in mainstream cruising with a totally modern vibe when they were first introduced.

    The ship is surprising chic for a boat of this size. Cool futuristic details such as an Ice Bar with molecular drinks, a spaceship looking dining room, and of course the signature lawn on the top deck.

    Walking around, I feel as if I walked into a South Beach nightclub or an interior design editorial from Wallpaper magazine! Multiple restaurants, indoor and outdoor pools, bars galore, cutting edge art collection, and many entertainment venues will keep me busy for the duration of this cruise…

    I look forward to the next 10 nights in my lux digs at sea…setting sail from deck 14 on the m/s Equinox! 20120824-163949.jpg20120824-163904.jpg20120824-164028.jpg20120824-164451.jpg