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Exploring the awesome in your life

BY HAPPY FRAZIER Modified: February 4, 2013 at 11:33 am •  Published: February 8, 2013

Midmorning, I participated in an Italian culinary class taught be German Chef Ralf Kappel.  He taught us how to make homemade tortellini with a pesto marinara sauce and Gnocchi alla Giordano.  We learned how to cut the tortellini, wrap them and cook them, too.  It was fun and oh so delicioso!

Shane Michaels, the Noordam’s cruise director, and I sat down together after lunch and Shane shared with me the inner and outer workings of making this grande dam a joy to sail on.  I’ll share more about my interview with the ever-entertaining Mr. Michaels later.

I had dinner in the evening with Herman Lentman, manager of culinary operations.  Herman was born and raised in Holland and now, when he’s not on board, he calls his home Germany, where he has a lovely wife and two small children.

I found out that Herman and I have something in common as he also has a Chocolate lab -- named Moya.  At that point, I whipped out my phone to show him the pictures of my own "kids" (aka dogs), Simba, Thunder and Rocky.  Poor guy, that took up about an hour of dinner conversation. 

It so happens Herman met his wife onboard the cruise ship eight years ago. That’s pretty romantic.  So, all of you single ladies looking for love may indeed find it on a real love boat. This is also Herman’s 20th anniversary with Holland America.

 One of the things Herman oversees is ordering all of the food they serve on ship and supervising the 120 people who work in the galley preparing the delicious dishes we all get to enjoy.

Herman speaks Dutch, German, English, French and Spanish. I enjoyed our visit and our dinner immensely.  Herman also gave me a sneak peek of the busy galley and, boy, what a kitchen!

After dinner, I met with Mark Sardelis again and we swung by the Vista Lounge where comedienne Julie Barr was hilariously entertaining. 

It was time to turn in for me though. Tomorrow I have a busy day in St. Maarten, the first island stop on this terrific cruise.  For tonight, I’ve got to get my R&R as I’m looking forward to a dip in the ocean and some great shore excursions, tomorrow.


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