San Juan

Today I awoke before the sun was up, just as we were pulling into the harbor in San Juan.  I love the way light plays across the water, don’t you?

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And today we visited a rain forest…

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And tonight another gorgeous sunset ended the day…

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May you also enjoy smooth sailing…

St Kitts and St Thomas

Yesterday we were in (at?) St Kitts.  We hired a taxi and had a great tour, seeing the sights and learning some interesting things about the history.  The Atlantic has breath-taking waves…

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But I think the most amazing sight was this spot, where the Atlantic was on the left and the Caribbean Sea on the right…

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Today was St Thomas, a true shopper’s heaven.  Since we were planning on looking for a camera for my friend I knew we wouldn’t be doing a lot of sight-seeing so I left my camera in the room.  It was such fun to look at the camera gear and to have someone else do the spending!

But this morning I awakened to this sight (can you see that the yacht furthest out actually has a helicopter on it too?)…

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And this evening, as we were about to depart amid darkening sky – this water plane made a landing!

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St Thomas was beautiful – as all of the islands have been so far.  But there is a TON of money in St Thomas!

St Vincent (Day??)

I have to tell you, I was beginning to have issues with this cruise.  Did you ever see that old film “If It’s Tuesday It Must Be Belgium”?  It’s about a bus tour in Europe that sees like 10 countries in 7 days (or something silly like that).  Well, that is how I was feeling and I was beginning to feel a bit of resentment.  When I would go ashore there was a ton of shopping – duty free is the flavor of the month.  Diamonds and other gems, not my cup of tea nor do I associate these types of goods with the Caribbean.  So, I was feeling very dissatisfied.

Yesterday I went ashore like the good little cruise-taker.  Walked through a spate of duty free shops and stood in line for the bus to downtown.  And I didn’t want to go.  I really didn’t want to see one more shop with a silk-screen print, another bottle of perfume, another bottle of booze, another designer purse.  And I thought to myself, “so, what do you want to do”?  And I decided what I really wanted was to go back on the boat and spend the day on my balcony watching the ocean, knitting and reading.  So I did – and it was one of the best days ever!

Last night the sun set was amazing…

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Today I’d booked a trip to the botanical garden on St Vincent.  It is the oldest botanical garden in the Caribbean and I love gardens.  So at 9am I was on the bus ready for the tour.  It was a small garden and as a flower lover I was disappointed since the majority of this garden is trees.  And it wasn’t what I was anticipating.  But our guide works full time for the forest ministry, and does tours on the weekends, and was full of information.  Not only about the trees and the plants but of the island history as well.  Then we set off for a second garden.

Traffic wasn’t bad, and it was interesting looking out at the sights…

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And after winding our way over some mountains we arrived at the second garden.  This one had been privately owned by a Welsh man who bought the disused land in 1991 and turned it into the tropical oasis of today – 7 1/2 acres of lush, tropical gardens.

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And tonight I shall sleep wonderfully!

Afternoon Tea on the High Seas (Day 2)

So in the wee hours of this morning I was awakened by a BIG thump.  When I became sufficiently awake I realized that the boat was really rolling – not only side-to-side, but up and down.  Figuring something had fallen off a table or the desk I turned on the light – but I couldn’t find anything out of place.  I wonder if one of my neighbors fell out of their bed?
So it was to be a quiet day.  I decided to attend “afternoon tea”.  According to the book in my room…
“Traditional Afternoon Tea with scones, tea sandwiches and white-gloved service is served daily in the Da Vinci Dining Room from 3:30 – 4:30pm.”
I called to make reservations, but no – not required.  I was reminded that the dress code was “smart casuual” which was to mean, for women, a pant suit or business attire and for men, trousers and a shirt.  No shorts or sports attire whatsoever.
So off I went for Afternoon Tea.  I think I was the only one there not in shorts or sports clothes.  They wanted to sit me with a bunch of strange people – I decided that Tea was not worth crowding into an already full table (one spare chair) so I’d just leave.  When the manager asked why I was leaving I replied I didn’t want to sit with others, so he arranged for me to be able to sit by myself.  I no sooner had my sat my seater down when tea was poured and waiters began to arrive with trays of food to offer me.  I settled for a small scone, a bit of jam and some cream.  While accordion music filled the air, with voices of those trying to have conversations rose ever louder, the wait staff discreetly twirled to the “beat” of the music.  And there was not a white glove to be seen.  However, while in no way even close to what I thought I would experience, it was entertainment.
Then tonight we went to see a comedian.  I was not expecting much and was so delighted to find myself laughing time and time again.
Today the seas have been very rough.  The swimming pools had to be closed, and the bar at the end of one of them was the recipient of a “rough swimming pool” wave – soaking everything.  Even the wait staff were looking a bit green this evening!
Tomorrow we have our first stop – Aruba.  I am looking forward to being on land for a few hours, although I have been warned that I’ll probably continue to stagger like a drunken fool.  Oh well.  No tour – we are just going to disembark and enjoy the day!

So in the wee hours of this morning I was awakened by a BIG thump.  When I became sufficiently awake I realized that the boat was really rolling – not only side-to-side, but up and down.  Figuring something had fallen off a table or the desk I turned on the light – but I couldn’t find anything out of place.  I wonder if one of my neighbors fell out of their bed?

So it was to be a quiet day.  I decided to attend “afternoon tea”.  According to the book in my room…

“Traditional Afternoon Tea with scones, tea sandwiches and white-gloved service is served daily in the Da Vinci Dining Room from 3:30 – 4:30pm.”

I called to make reservations, but no – not required.  I was reminded that the dress code was “smart casuual” which was to mean, for women, a pant suit or business attire and for men, trousers and a shirt.  No shorts or sports attire whatsoever.

So off I went for Afternoon Tea.  I think I was the only one there not in shorts or sports clothes.  They wanted to sit me with a bunch of strange people – I decided that Tea was not worth crowding into an already full table (one spare chair) so I’d just leave.  When the manager asked why I was leaving I replied I didn’t want to sit with others, so he arranged for me to be able to sit by myself.  I no sooner had my sat my seater down when tea was poured and waiters began to arrive with trays of food to offer me.  I settled for a small scone, a bit of jam and some cream.  While accordion music filled the air, with voices of those trying to have conversations rose ever louder, the wait staff discreetly twirled to the “beat” of the music.  And there was not a white glove to be seen.  However, while in no way even close to what I thought I would experience, it was entertainment.

Then tonight we went to see a comedian.  I was not expecting much and was so delighted to find myself laughing time and time again.

Today the seas have been very rough.  The swimming pools had to be closed, and the bar at the end of one of them was the recipient of a “rough swimming pool” wave – soaking everything.  Even the wait staff were looking a bit green this evening!

Tomorrow we have our first stop – Aruba.  I am looking forward to being on land for a few hours, although I have been warned that I’ll probably continue to stagger like a drunken fool.  Oh well.  No tour – we are just going to disembark and enjoy the day!

Day 1

Our first full day at sea!  The water is wonderful – and I love hearing the waves the boat makes as we glide across the ocean.  The air is damp with the humidity, it was a wonderful 77F today and the wind kept everything just perfect (temperature wise).

I began the day with a room service breakfast:

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I took advantage of my morning and walked lots of the ship – even went outside to walk along the deck there.  It was full of serious walkers so after one round I retreated to the safety of the indoor pathways!  I spent lots of time outside on the balcony, wave-watching.  It is SO relaxing!

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Add to all of this the company of great friends, and life doesn’t get much better.

Until tomorrow….