Monday, January 22, 2018

(Backup) Day 18 Sunday January 21, 2018

Avatoru, Rangiroa French Polynesia 🇵🇫 weather 85 F. This is a very interesting place. It is a large atoll, you can’t see from one side to the other, and there is only one inlet that a ship can get in the center where she needs to anchor. There is not a lot to do here other then scuba and snorkel, or go to the pearl farm. We skipped all that and just walked around in the warm sunshine. Again the sun was very hot, so after taking the tender over, we shopped a bit, and split a beer. I will post some picture to give you the 

 
Here we are coming in, and the nex shot is a picture of a picture of the Atoll. 


Even on Sunday the local people treated us. 
 
Looking back at the ship. 

Tomorrow we are in Tahiti and we have an all day tour of the island, so I best close and go to bed, as it is 11:30 pm here. Good night. 💤 

(Backup) Day 18 Sunday January 21, 2018

Avatoru, Rangiroa French Polynesia 🇵🇫 weather 85 F. This is a very interesting place. It is a large atoll, you can’t see from one side to the other, and there is only one inlet that a ship can get in the center where she needs to anchor. There is not a lot to do here other then scuba and snorkel, or go to the pearl farm. We skipped all that and just walked around in the warm sunshine. Again the sun was very hot, so after taking the tender over, we shopped a bit, and split a beer. I will post some picture to give you the 

 
Here we are coming in, and the nex shot is a picture of a picture of the Atoll. 


Even on Sunday the local people treated us. 
 
Looking back at the ship. 

Tomorrow we are in Tahiti and we have an all day tour of the island, so I best close and go to bed, as it is 11:30 pm here. Good night. 💤 

Saturday, January 20, 2018

January 19, 2018 Nuku Hiva, French Polynesia

Today we finally landed at Taiohae, Nuku Hiva , after 8 days at sea. Now mind you the sea days went fast for us as we were just too busy. But it was fun to see land again. This is a very small island, and we tender in. Well we almost didn’t, not because of the weather, but because off the tenders, had a problem. We went upstairs to the pool on the Lido deck to get tender tickets, and there was a line all the way around the pool. So much for being early, and we got our tickets, blue 8. We figured that might make the second tender. Ok so we sit down to wait, they call the first tender, through 4, so we will be next, well we were, but that was 2 half hours later. Seems two tenders had mechanical problems, and they had to be fixed. 

It was a beautiful day, 75 degrees and mostly sunny and there was a breeze, thank God as the sun was very intense, so it felt like about 95!  This was why we wanted to go over earlier. So much for plans. At our sail-in they opened the bow, and served juice, coffee, and Polynesian rolls/ Panama rolls! I don’t care what they call them there good. So we went to deck three, and made our way there to get them, mind you we were there at 6:45 am, those of you that know me, know I don’t do early mornings, but I’m learning too! 
This area is not normally open. 

 
We arrived to druming, and pipeing-in from the natives, so cool!

So now we were off for a walk, hot, dry, muggy, we headed to see the church. Then we headed back, ed claimed almost up to the church, but the first big hill to get there whipped me out. It was noon and the intensity of the sun was getting to me.  So we headed back the mile to the gift and restaurant area, to get a coke. 
  
Ed standing in the shade on the way back with the Amsterdam in the back. And  I bought a pretty lai for my head, to wear tomorrow night to Polynesian night Dinner. 

  
 
Making head lai.                       The people are very good carvers. 

So now it was time to head backstory the ship and a late lunch, and a cool drink so we did just that. 










Wednesday, January 17, 2018

January 17,2018 7th sea day

Good morning, it is a bright and sunny day here, 77 * and 7:39 in the morning. We are now on Anchorage time as we gained another hour last night. These 25 hour days are starting to be enjoyable.  And it appears we will gain another hour tonight. 

What’s happening around the ship? Yesterday we crossed the equator on Monday for the first time, we will do that 4 more times. So they had a ceremony for all the kids that are getting off in Sydney, we missed seeing it, but if you go to the captins blog,,, captinjonathan.com   he posted lots of pictures. He is up late. LOL

We have been asked for pictures of the cabin so I will try to do that now. 
Looking from the balcony 


Lookin the other way


Our desk area, and Aka Cindy’s make-up area, and a pice of the balcony, it’s pretty big but hard to photograph. 

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

January 16, 2018 6th sea day

Good morning, I just returned from my watercolor class, and decided, I better try to catch up a bit, or it will never happen. As I said before there is sooooo much to do it is hard to find time to do it all. Even with gaining time. We are now on California time. We gained another hour last night, so this is another 25 hour day. So I decided I better put it to good use and catch you up on what’s happening on the ship. 

We had our second Galla/Formal night last night. It was the black and silver ball, and it was very nice. The dinning room was decorated spectacularly. Every one revived a mask, the chairs were all covered in eaither black or white coverslips.  And the menu was special too. We once again had a ships officer sit at the empty place we have at the table, and that proved to be very informative. She is the HR officer, and is from Blackpool, UK. And our table mate Kathie had been there! She was really surprised that some knew where it was, let alone been there!  So it mad for lively conversation. So we got to the ball a bit late, but that was okay, we weren’t going to stay long anyway. 
When we returned we had another pillow gift. A game called Grandventure, it’s a takeoff on monopoly, only it has our map and the ports we are stopping at! Really cool, amazes me that they were able to make a game for us all, that is so specialized. 

So as I said, I have finished my first ever watercolor painting, and I have a photo of it below. 


Tucan

Ed is still doing tie-chee every day, and it really makes him feel good, so I think he will keep it up. Now we will have to find out if they have a Wee program he can use when we get home. 

I will try to publish this and see what luck we have. 

Saturday, January 13, 2018

(Backup) Hats



Hats



January 12, 2018

Good evening, somewhere out in the South Pacific, we just returned from a wonderful show with Helen Wilding, she has done theater, opera, television and film. She looks about 30 but has been a pro for over 20 years. She was wonderful.. 
it has been a very busy few days. People asked before we left, what would we do on all the sea days? Wouldn’t we get board, well so far we are both so busy we don’t have time to even go to one of the movies, in the afternoon. 
Ed is going to tie-chee  every morning at 9 and yesterday because I awoke early, because of the time change, he went early and found, there was another one that started at 8. So he had two hours of exercise!  I go to watercolor classes at 9, and you have to get there early or you don’t get a decent seat. Then I go to the arts and crafts at two thirty and that sounds like we would have lots of time, but in reality, there was a Port lecture in between and lunch. Luckily the arts and crafts was in the lunch area, so I was able to secure a seat, way ahead, as they had over 100 people show up! People were turned away, as they only had kits for 100. Nancy the teacher was told by the cruise line to plan for 50, and she made up a 100! And now Ed has gone to the afternoon lecture, and we get back in the room at around four. I am still trying to fit in the Americas Test Kitchen! Maybe later. 
Then it is time to shower, and have a chat, and get ready for dinner, thank God we have 8 o’clock seating. It was Dutch day, so at Dinner we’re each given a hat Ed’s was a black hat that was a bit like a baseball hat and mine was a traditional white hat that has little wings, we’ll put them on in the morning and take a selfie. 

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

January 9, 2018 Panama

Well here I am two days behind again, but T-Mobile has come through again. We have full usage for free, so I will try to catch up, again. 

I left off with getting ready to go to the first formal/ Galla night, it as the Black & Gold night and there was a captain's cocktail party. It was wonderful, best we have ever attended. No running for seats, plenty of hor'dourves and drinks flowed like water, and they were good. Best G&T so far. 
The other thing I liked was there was no introducing the most traveled, etc. they did introduce the heads of each department, and that was nice, to put faces to thease people.  All and all very classy. 
Then we went to dinner, and I would say 90% of the men were in a tux. And the women were very dressy. The dinner was the best, surf and turf for me, and I think Ed had the veal. He thought the lobster tail would be, like the past, but it was really, really good, and the steak was so tender, and cooked just like I asked. 
We then called it a night as the show was a comedian and we didn't think that was the way to end the evening, and heard later, it was a good choice. 

Next day we were in Puerto Limon Costa Rica, not much there, and we had done the tours in the past, so we chose, to walk around, which mention we could sleep in. It got very warm by the end of the day, but that was kind of nice.  I got a little sun, even with spf 50. 
So now it was once again, get ready for dinner. Dinner was great again, fried chicken fo me and liver for Ed. 
Then on to the show, it was a dance theme, and it was really good, we very much enjoyed it. 
When we returned we were both given a real Panama hat, wow these pillow gifts are really going over the top. And it was really timely as I had not packed Ed's right and it needed to be replaced, figured I'd do it tomorrow, while on our tour to Eumbara people's village, but now we don't have to. 

So now we are transiting the Panama Canal, it is hot and muggy, that is to be expected. They have two Panamains selling Han woven Mola, known as Los Cayos, I will try to sen a picture. 


Sunday, January 7, 2018

January 6, 2018 Grand Cayman

I am not sure where the last two days have gone, I did have a wonderful birthday. It was busy, Ed went to a lecturer, and I signed up for water color, and craft classes.  So sea days will be busy. I learned to tie a slip knot (not) at the craft class, but maybe with a bit of practice I will. She said once you get it you will never forget. 

Today we are tendering to George Town, Grand Cayman. The weather doesn’t look to promising, but after the crowd subsides we will go over to the island and see what has changed, since the last time we were here. They just announced there is liquid sunshine going on,,, so we shall see how this goes.  So much for needing to do my hair. 
We walked around a bit, I looked for an aperon, to use for a smok at the water color classes but didn’t find one. So we went to the Hard Rock Cafe and had huge hamburgers, and a local beer. We also had some huge chocolate brownie, ice cream concoction, that we sheared, and couldn’t eat it all. We were both hungry as we had skipped breakfast, we weren’t hungry any longer,,, good thing dinner isn’t until eight. 
It started raining again, so now it was time to catch the tender back to the ship. 

Back on the ship, I started on trying to find room for the last bag of stuff. Which just happened to be mostly Ed’s clothes, he needed something to wear to dinner, don’t ya know. I think every crack and cranny is full. But we got it done!  As time goes on, and a few sea days I’ll make more order out of everything, I hope. 
Ed went to sail away and I worked on the unpacking I was determined to get it all done.  Ed said I didn’t miss anything there we not many people, and even the cruise director didn’t come. So we dressed for dinner. 

We have an interesting dinner table. We are at a table for eight, but there is only seven of us, a couple from Seattle, and a couple from Tulsa Oklahoma, and Cathy from Ashland, Virginia! We met Cathy on a tour, when we were on the Westerdam, and she has been in charge of the role-call, on cruise critic.    She did a great job. 

We have seen two great shows since we boarded the ship, the first one was ABBA FAB, they sounded so much like ABBA that it was uncanny. They sang many of there hits, and of coarse Mama Mia!  Then last night we saw the most amazing show I have ever seen,,, David Meyer, played a Xylosynthesis, it’s a combination of a xylophone and a synthesizer, and his energy for playing it was unmatched by any thing I have ever seen. But he wasn’t finished impressing us..... he then played an instrument he envented.. he played laser beams!! Unbelievable!  Then his beautiful wife how was and is a pro dancer danced to the music he played on the laser and she had laser wands, that when twirled made the most beautiful patterns. Then she danced to Carman. It was wonderful, it really rounded out the day. Then we got to sleep in a bit as we moved to central time.   And we got our second pillow gift, each of us have revived a very nice messenger bag, and last night we go moleskin travel books. I’m going to need to find things to leave behind, if this keeps up. LOL

Today. Has been busy. Ed worked out our internet glitches, with a most accommodating young woman at the Internet cafe Courtney, she is very familiar with Apple products, so that really helps. So now I think we have it all worked out. 
Meanwhile I went to the first water color class, and I think I might like it, and after brunch, more on that later, I went to arts and crafts class. The woman teaching that, Nancy, is amazing, the amount of work she has infested in the class, and classes, to come, is over the top. So I will attend all I can.  I learned how to make a slip knot and attach a cute little zipped pouch, so you can carry your cruise card, a wee bit of money and hide it under your shirt. 
Now on to Sunday brunch, which was excellent it was a preset menu of small bites, in three courses. So no Buffett, but better, as you could have all you wanted, they would bring you more. I hadn’t eaten breakfast so I was starved, but was really filled up before desert, but still managed to eat most of it. LOL

So now we are getting getting ready for the first Gala Night, Black & Gold, it is the Captins Party, more on that later. 

 

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

January 3, 2018

We arrived Ft Lauderdale, yesterday about 4:30 pm, we were supposed to arrive much earlier, but between the rain and the idiots, driving crazy, and having accidents it added about an hour and a half to our ETA. we did arrive safe and that’s really all that matters. 

Last night we partook of the club room, and eat there hors d’oeuvres, well something didn’t fair well in my body, so I was not well most of the night.  But hay it could get worse......  any way this morning I was better, and even managed to eat breakfast from the club room, and all was fine. 
It again started rainy about the time we wanted to go out, so the ideal a of walking was out of the question and it was cold so we got the car and drove the very walkable distance to Total Wine, TjMax, (for a backpack to carry the wine)then Publics, all next door to each other, and then to Walgreens. After that, Ed took me back to the hotel, and he went almost next door,,, to the Hilton to return the car to Enterprise. Oh and for future reference there is a Buget Rental right here beside the Renaissance Cruise port Hotel.  Cool this is a good place to stay. 

Now we are going to have dinner at the Boat Yard restaurant and that too is walkable. So until later. 




Sunday, December 31, 2017

New Year’s Eve

This is our First World Cruise, so right now trepidation is setting in,,, have I done everything,,,, will I get back in one pice,,,, do I really want to be gone for 4 months???  We have grand kids, we will miss, very much,,, what were we thinking when we booked this cruise?
We have been on long cruises, 59 days going around South America, and we just did the Fire & Ice Cruise this summer, that was 36 days and then a week in UK, and 7 days on the Queen Mary,, but now 113 days,,,,, oh my. 

We will celebrate the new year with our neighbors, but will probably not make midnight as we have a five AM get up in the morning. 

Saturday, December 30, 2017

(Backup) (Backup) We are almost ready,,,,Not

This is the begging of our longest travel yet, except for the year I spent in Southeast Asia.  

I had intended to take a photo of the bags we shipped, all six of them, but failed in all the excitement of yesterday. They said Fedx would pick up the bags between 12 and 4, and they we’re here at 12:30!  And were they nice, didn’t complain at all about the number of bags or the weight. LOL 

So now we can get on with the celebration of Christmas. 


Well,,,,,, Christmas is over, it’s now the day befor New Year’s Eve, and we are getting last minute things put together.  Our oldest son and daughter in law, will be here later today to take away food stuff that won’t keep well over the next four months.  They will be watching the house, and taking care of the mail, sending us notifications if we need to deal with any of it. Our next door neighbors will take it in every day, God bless them. 

So now we have to go pick up the car tomorrow afternoon, and we will drive out on New Year’s Day for FLL, hopefully catching the 7am ferry.  
We will drive to GA the first day and FLL the second. Then, rest up and chill out for a day, and go buy anything we forgot, can’t imagine that we have forgotten a thing, if any thing we have WAY too much!


Monday, July 24, 2017

July 22, 2017 first sea day

Well we made it, we are on the Queen, I am not sure when we will ge internet, we haven't figured tha out yet but as soon as we do I'll send this out. So on to our saga. 
The taxi came on time, or I should say two taxis came, the first to arrive was way too small, and I think he was trying to steal the other guys ride. Of corse our trusty inn keeper was on his side,,,, oh well the other guy with the big cab had our name, so we went with him. We got to the ship early, but no problem. The bags were off loaded by a nice young man,  the handle baggage here very proficiently. They had three slots the bags went in one slot was for three floors, our bags, all six beat us to the room! We walked inside, they gave us the usual health form and a big plastic letter, we were I, so we sat down to sit to be called to Q up, when they did, we waited in line for a bit, and checked in. This was our first time on Cunard, so no special treatment. We then went through a very throe bag check, and walking around the waiting area, were two guys, BIG guys, with more armor on then I have ever seen, wish I could have taken a picture, but I was afraid too. Any on the bag check, the people had questions for us. In the computer bag there were wires that caused alarm,,,,, etc the lady was so apolitic, but when we reasured her it was fine and we sure didn't mind, she was so appreciative that we understood. Seems they had an alert of some sort. 
Then it was on to board, this big ship, we had heard so much about. 

Ok I'm back, and we now have internet so I will try to get this out today. It is July 24, it's our third sea day. We have had two formal nights one was the black and white ball and last night was the Captins party, we met the Captin, he is young and good looking, and would you be leave he is British? LOL
Any way he through a good party, the drinks, good champagne, wine, flowed like water. It wasn't long, but fun. The black and white ball was amazing, it was in a big ballroom that reminded me of the old supper clubs, back in the day, except no food. But everyone was dressed for the occasion, properly. We watched loads of people ballroom danceing. It was really fun. The drinks on this ship are a lot more expensive. It is more like staying in a Weston with food.
We are sitting in the Goldon Lion Pub, they serve a pub lunch everyday, it is very popular, and getting more so everyday, tomorrow we'll have to come after breakfast to get a seat by the window!  Yesterday we watched a good part of the Open Fineal here, cool seeing Jorden  Spieth do so well. Ed watched the end while I got my nails done, and he almost forgot to get ready, as we are in early seating, so, we have to dress early. Not my favorite, but it is what it is. 

Fish and Chips. 

Friday, July 21, 2017

July 21, 2017 Southampton

I am going to skip to today, I will try to catch up with the past days, today later. Right now I am sitting in the B&B we have been at for the last three days, it has been a real lit down from the last one, in Dover. Dover we had such a marvelous time at the Stratmore house....... But I will try to catch up on that later. 
Our taxi will be here about 12 pm to take us to the turminal we are not suppose to be there before 1:30, so it will be interesting what happens. The stay here has been a chalange, as there was no safe in the place, and I didn't want to walk around with my jewelry, and cash money so we pretty much stayed in the room. We did quickly walk a couple blocks to the Pig and Whistle Pub for dinner, it was cute. I'm sure they wouldn't appreciate that description. LOL. The food was pretty good and they were nice, even the locals. The first night we got take-in as they call it here, Chinese as it was really raining hard. 
The reason we're sittin in the lounge waiting for the taxi, is they wouldn't let us stay in the room. It is one of many things that was misrepresented here. We told them months ago we would need, a late chick out, but the chose to ignore our emails, and also asked if they had rooms down on the ground floor, as we would be traveling heavy, but no one responded, and they only had one on ground, and they gave it to someone else!  And not a person that needed it more then us, but a workman, that does landscaping, and needed to be able to go out and smoke a lot, I guess. That is all I could observe. 

Hopefully we will have a good experance on the Queen Mary. 

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Lofoten part 3

Now Ellen drove us to her home, and it was also very beautiful, and she had a big beautiful dog named Sissy, 



Reindeer stew, sweet potato and mushroom, yummy



Yummy cake and what a wonderful day we had. 

(Backup) Lofoten continued

So as we were going around the beautiful island, Ellen asked if we remembered Liv, she was also an exchanged student, but while Ellen was with us she was in virgina beach, well we did, and she said Liv said we had to come to her house too, or she would be soooooo disappointed, well we didn't want to diapoint, and it would be fun to see how she grew up. She was a very happy and vivacious young woman. 
So off we went seeing a bit more of the island, and then on to Liv's house. A beautiful house, and a beautiful woman, she had not changed, she was still that happy, vivacious girl we knew from the past. And now she had a husband, who was the builder of there home. We did not get to meet him but did meet one of there three boys. Liv made Norwegian pancakes, for us, with cheese and cream, and jam, and tea. And what a view, from her home you could see our ship. 

Liv, Ed, Ellen and me

Liv and her son. 

July 9 and 10, 2017 at sea and Gravadl/Lofoten

Today was a VERY special day for us, we were going to see our Norwegian daughter Ellen. We were so excited, I had a hard time sleeping. 
We had a sea day before, so we could be sure not to forget anything, we were ready to get off the ship right at 8:45 so we were off and waiting for Ellen. 
She came right at nine. The port is very small, and manageable, but you can't walk to town and there was no shuttle that we saw. So it was great we had Ellen, in so many ways. 
Ellen picked us up at nine, and drove us first to her favorite beach, where she walks her dog, it was beautiful. 
Ellen

The beach at I think, Leknes
We then had a bit of a picnic, she brought cookies and hot water for tea, it was so nice to have time to just relax, and catch up about the last 18 years. 
After this time it was time to go and do a wee bit of sightseeing. 
The island is very beautiful and I wish we had more time to see more of it. To be continued.....

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

(Backup) July 8, 2017 Honningsvag, Norway

Today we went to the North Cape, Gjesvaer, which is a small fishing village, we boarded a boat to visit the Stappen Islands, for bird watching. It was a beautiful day, and we were all grateful for that. The trip was amazing. There were so many Puffins in the water, and many other sea birds we have not seen before. One was a huge brown eagle, I didn't get a picture, but I will once again try to post a foto I took in the museum of one. 
It was a great day. 
Now I am trying to catch up this blog, so bare with me.  No eagel it was on Ed's phone. So I'll try something else. 

there in there but hard to see
There are two, but well hidden

Not good foto, but maybe you can tell something he is huge. 

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

July 7, 2017 our 55 Wedding Anniversary, Murmansk, Russia

Murmansk , Russia's located on Kola Bay, Murmansk is Russia's only ice-free port and also the only Russian city found north of the Arctic Circle. We really enjoyed this port, more then we thought we would. First it isn't really pretty at  the port, lots of coal and trains. And in the town a lot is leftover from the communist, so gray and not structures, that were very attractive.  
The guide was Tatyana and she was really good.  Not politically correct, told it like it was, and is. So first stop was a huge monument to all the fallen soldiers, it was up on a very high hill, the tallest in the town. It was very moving, very well done, but I have to admit, not the style I prefer, very much in the Art Deco style. 
Then they took us to a Greek Orthodox Church, only one of three left in Murmansk, the communist destroyed the rest of them. And the people of Murmansk are very religious and almost every one is Christian. So on holidays the three churches are overflowing. 
Then we went for pancakes, with cream and jam, in a Radisson hotel, would you believe?  It was wonderful, and two of the servers were wearing traditional costumes, they were so pretty.  We were able to do a wee bit of shopping and then back to the ship. 
When we got back to the ship we didn't realize that the ship parked next to us was the nuclear ice breaker we could have toured, wops! 
It was our 55th  anniversary so it wasn't too early to start getting ready fo a very special evening. 

The dinning room staff and our friends Karen and Pat had planed out something very special and it was, at the end of dinner, one of the waters from another part of the DR, with a wonderful voice sang "Through the years" to us, which made us both tear up, and then they gave us a bottle of champaign!  
From there we went to the casino bar and listen to Austin Ray sing "Moon River" to us as hat was our song 55 years ago, and they played it at our wedding. 

We got back to the room, and Dominic had mad us two swans one with a red beak, they were in the middle of the bed and he put chocolate harts all around them! All and  all it was a wonderful day