Author Topic: Mixed Meanderings, CJ & Mary, Essie & Lizzie, 11 Apr-3 Jun 2013  (Read 12381 times)

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Carolyn Jane

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Mixed Meanderings
April 11 - June 3, 2013
11 April 2013.  The Journey Begins
We were up much too early this morning...The bieber bus was to leave Wescosville at 6:15, so we were to hopefully be there 15 min early.  I awoke at 4:15, and couldn't go backto sleep.  I was afraid the alarm wouldn't go off.  And as usual, my sister figured things to nearly the minute, and we nearly missed our bus.  Part of the problem was Erin, who needed to go with us to bring the dcar home.
We got to the terminal by 6am, and there were two buses there.  We got the stuff out of the car, and I started around the other side to where the buses were.  As I rounded the building, one pulled out.  I went up to the door of the other, and the driver opened it, I said 'Philadelphia?', and he said 'He just left".  It was still 10 minutes before he was supposed to leave.  But he had to drive around the building and across the rear of the remaining bus, who waved him back in.  the driver got out, opened the bay, but made no move to load our bags.  So I had to do it.  We made three stops before Philly, and when we got to the terminal, we went straight to the Club Acela, the lounge for Acela passengers, as well as those other Amtrak passengers with sleeper reservations (us).  Trouble is, we finbally figured out you have to have a redcap with a key to operate the elevator.  I didn't want to go looking for one, so we dragged our cases up to the second level and into the lounge. 
They have comfortable chairs, free beverages and snacks.  I decided we woudl get a redcap to help us to the train, which was nice.  We could have handled it, as I discovered that there was no stup up into the train.  He was very nice, but skipped out before I could tip him! 
The train was at least half an hour late, the redcap said they had to get another engine up the road.  We had two seats together, in an Amfleet I coach...they all appeared to be Amfleet I.  the ride was interesting, and really terrible neighborhoods in Baltimore.  Rows of tenements, some burned out, dome with the interiors all caved in, and then one on the end being lived in.  Stereets of this.  Ugly! 
We got a redcap with a 'truck' in WAS, and he loaded our bags and us, and drove us to the terminal.  We also picked up  another woman, with a toddler in a carrier, a carryon bag, and two huge duffels.  He took her into the terminal first, to get her bags checked, and she insisted she wasn't going to check any, because she was going to Iowa  couldn't check them to her destination.  the redcap couldn't make her understand that they were too hweaqvy to carry on. 
He finally came back to us, carted our bags and took us to the Club Acela again.  He then took our ticket and went to check the two bags we are checking.  Our coach on the NEC was warn, a short in the air not repairable until WAS.  Well, the WAS lounge was also hot.  We sat for a while, then took turns exploring the station.  Lots of shops and restaurants. 
The Capitol Limited (CL) was delayed with mechanical problems, so we were nearly an hour late leaving.  We did the kindergarten walk down to our car, and dragged our bags up the winding stairs.  Our bedroom is very compact, there is not really room for the carryon and backpack we each have.  There is a long couch the width of the room, and a chair facing it.  With the orientation of the car, our couch faces backward.  It was very cold, but when we returned from dinner, it seems just a bit more comfortable.
Nathan is our SCA, and ha is very personable.  He did not have much time to prep this car, so there was a full bag of trash under our sink, and coffee stains on the table.  He said to call him when we were ready for the beds to be made up.
We opted for the earliest dinner seating, as we had not had a meall all day, just some junk food.  We were seated with two ladies from coach, not together.  One was also going all the way to Chicago, and was complaining about all the children in the coach.  We both had the steak, which was good.  Green beans, baked potato, green salad, roll.  And we had cheesecake for dessert.  My only complaint about the meal was that none of it was hot.  just warm, and cooling fast. 
After eating, we walked forward to check out the observation car, and sat there until it started to get dark.  WE enjoyed watching the scenery.
Our bedroom has a tiny bathroom, think airline size, but the sink is outside in the room.  But on the wall of the bathroom is a hand held shower!  All the comforts of home...We have a GPS mounted on the window, and various cords snaking around to charge our various devices. 
12 April 2013.  Chicago Union Station
The first two legs of our rail journey are past.  We were an hour and 15 minutes late getting in.  Weather is chilly...We were pulling long sleeve things out of our bags.  WE have spent our time here in the Metropolitan Lounge, again enjoying free wifi and drinks.  Mary has been out exploring again and came back with half of a chicken wrap from MCDonald's.  It is a rainy day.  But the scenery is interesting.  While we were at dinner last night, the train stopped in Martinsburg, WV, next to an historic railroad building which Google/Wikipedia tells me was the B&O Railroad roundhouse. 
We actually slept pretty well, even with the rocking and shaking of the train, and rattles in the walls.  Our room had a connecting door to the next room, and it rattles the most.  It also is not insulated, so we could very clearly hear the man next door coughing.  And their toilet flushing.  We didn't hear anything from the room on our other side.
Nathan gave us a wakeup knock on the door at 6:30am, and we got up and went to breakfast.  We actually were already awake.  I had the omelet, and Mary had the corned beef hash.  Satisfying breakfast.  Nathan took our carryon bags down to the lower level, a really big help. 

Carolyn Jane

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Re: Mixed Meanderings, CJ & Mary, Essie & Lizzie, 11 Apr-3 Jun 2013
« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2013, 10:15:22 PM »
13 Apr 2013.  Onboard Southwest Chief in AZ
It has been an interesting two days.  We did the kindergarten walk out to our train, which left on time.  We have a very nice SCA named Cynthia, who is a California girl.  We have ice available this time, but I think our bathroom is a tad bit smaller.  WE did supper in the diner again last night, breakfast and lunch today.  they automatically give you a salad at dinner, and I had soup and salad for lunch, so we are stinking up the bathroom...had to have Cynthia clean it.    We each showered this afternoon...Mary used our shower, I went downstairs to the slightly lasrger shower.  We have gained another hour. 
The scenery has been outstanding, just glad we saw some of it from our car last summer.  Internet has bveen very spotty with TMobile.  Mary got off and looked around at Raton, and we both got off at Albuquerque, as the stop there was an hour.  I have managed to get a lot of crocheting done.  Nellie2 has been giving a good account of herself, giving us the route and altitude.  And speed.  She now has us driving west alongside the railroad. 
Breakfast starts at 5am tomorrow...The train will probably be early arriving in LAX. 

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Re: Mixed Meanderings, CJ & Mary, Essie & Lizzie, 11 Apr-3 Jun 2013
« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2013, 10:15:22 PM »

Carolyn Jane

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Re: Mixed Meanderings, CJ & Mary, Essie & Lizzie, 11 Apr-3 Jun 2013
« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2013, 01:32:43 AM »
15 April 2013.  San Diego
We were roused at 5:15 yesterday for early breakfast.  I couldn't face anything more than yoghurt.  Mary had oatmeal and fruit.  We had lost time getting into Flagstaff the night before...Freight traffic, and did not make it up, so we were on time into LAX.  there is a lot of padding built into the schedule...
Cynthia took our bags down to the lower level, and helped us of the train.  She earned her tip, as did Nathan on out previous leg.  Weather is grey, overcast.  We saw rain on the way in.  It's a long walk from the train to the station. 
We had over an hour to wait for our surfliner connection, so found a place to sit in the terminal.  It is very 30's, the seats need a bit of attention.  We tried to get into the first class lounge, but were told it was only for Coastal Starlight passenger.  It was onloy a few tables outside a bar, no ice/soda machine, so it was no loss.  Out in the main waiting area, security made continual sweeps, asking people where they were going and to see tickets.  Not us, of course, as we had luggage.  People who were lounging in the seats, no luggage.  I think vagrants and homeless may try to hand out there.  One lady went through, panhandling for quarters.  Got nothing from us. 
There was an earlier train we probably could have caught, 8:30am, but I worried that we would still have to wait for our luggage to arrive on our booked train.  turns out we could have taken it, as our luggage did!  When we got off in San Diego, the luggage cart did not have our two bags...they were already inside the station. 
The Surfliner is a two level train, coach and business class.  Turns out you have to have a separate arrangement/ticket for the lower level.  wish I had know that, and how to get it.  We stashed out bags in the bins on the lower level and went upstairs.  Of course, all of the seats together were taken by singles, so we sat in  four facing seats which were reserved for groups.  and they turned out to be facing backward.  bummer.  Another person sat across from us, so the attendant did not make us move.  Two girls across the aisle (sisters) spread themselves out across the four seats and the attendant made them move.  She found them a pair of seats together in the next car, but one refused to move, and ended up back in the snack bar area.  We ended up with a family of three there, a couple and her mother, 97 y/o white haired lady.  They had a wheelchair for her downstairs. 
The Pacific Surfliners are aptly named, as the last hour or so of the routs you can see the beach/surf.  People were surfing, probably in wetsuits.  California beaches are never as warm as the Caribbean/Florida. 
We got off here in San Diego, collected our bags, and called the hotel to come get us.  He was very prompt.  We had seen the hotel as we arrived.  Although we were here before checkin time, they found us a room tht was ready.  We have a view of the harbor, even though we are only on 2nd floor.  There is a construction site immediately across the street, and whatever they are building there will obstruct the view of the harbor.  Meanwhile, we had a good view of Zaandam, and watched her depart at 5pm, heard her horn.  When I went down to return the luggage cart, I signed us up for the 10:30 shuttle to the ship
Our room comes complete with two sets of earplugs.  It seems with the trains running behind the hotel, some people can't handle the noise of the bells on the crossing gates.  It is a quite zone, so the trains do not blow horns/whistles. 
We napped, then watched some TV and went out for dinner.  We stopped at a place called Indigo Grill, which looked like it was going to be a Mexican place (Mexican consulate is across the street) but turned out to be a Top chef trendy place with interesting menu items.  I had had a sandwich on the train, so opted for a cup oftaco soup and the stacked beet salad.  Mary had roasted squash soup, and arugula salad.  The cup size was really a bowl, and the salads were large.  when we watched the entrees come to other tables ($25-35pp) we were glad we hadn't ordered them - there was sooo much food.  I guess you get your money's worth.  The hotel clerk asked where we went to eat, and said that they send their vegetarian clients there. 
The weather isn't looking any better today.  Last night we layered up, as although it was probably around 60F., the breeze made it chilly.  There is lots of light rail transport here, and I am going to try to get to Fashion Valley Mall, as that is the only Apple Store in town, and my ipad mini is locked up.  It's not a necessary tool for me, I wanted it for two apps during the train trip, and since that is finished, I really don't need it.  Mary is thinking about doing laundry.
A lazy day here in San Diego.  We made it to the free breakfast, then Mary went down the street to the Residence Inn to do a load of laundry, and I braved the trolley to Fashion valley Mall.  I finally figured out how to get the ticket, but realize now I could have paid less for a senior fare.  The mall was a huge place, with the regular stores, and high end department stores.  I had to ask information where the Apple Store was, but it was really close.  And as soon as I walked in, the fellow directing traffic was able to solve my problem.  It seems that I never really turn off the ipad, just close the cover, which just puts it in sleep mode.  It needs to be turned off every few days to reset the ram.  All he did was hold down the front button and the power button for 30 seconds, and it reset.  Mission accomplished.
I circled the rest of the mall, there were a couple of nice jewelry stores nearby, selling Hawaii style jewelry.  I was sooo tempted, but resisted.  I got back on the trolley and rode it to the end of that route, and back to my point of origin.  Back at the hotel, Mary was just about to go out, but we settled for a nap instead.  Back up at 4pm, we headed out to explore the Gaslight Quarter (the original Red Light District of SD) and find a place to eat supper.  We settled for The Melting Pot, a fondue experience.  It is an experience much like a Japanese restaurant, where they cook it at on a hot pad at your table.  We started with fondue, we chose Fiesta cheese flavor, we got bread cubes, chips, apple wedges, veggies.  Next was salad.  Mary had spinach, and I had the house salad.  WE chose to share an entree, and had filet mignon, which came in cubes.  It was 'boiled' in a pot on the table, which had a coq au vin mixture.  We speared the cubes on fondue forks and put it into the boiling mixture until we had it done as well as we wanted.  t
There were also mushrooms, broccoli, potatoes to cook in the mixture.  And there were sauces to dip the items in:  a ranch dip, bleu cheese, teriyaki, ginger plum, and a creamy curry.  we enjoyed them all.  We then had a chocolate fondue for dessert...which we also shared.  Even with only one entree and dessert, it was a heft bill.  But it is an experience. 
We walked some more in the gaslight Quarter, made our way back to the trolley, and back to the hotel.  We have both now bathed in our last tub until our hotel in London.  When we wake up tomorrow, we will be able to see our ship from our window. 

Carolyn Jane

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Re: Mixed Meanderings, CJ & Mary, Essie & Lizzie, 11 Apr-3 Jun 2013
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2013, 06:01:21 PM »
17 April 2013.  At Sea
Yesterday was a long day.  We got up after 8am, went to breakfast, and gathered in the lobby shortly after 10am.  The hotel shuttle took us to the pier, where we gathered our luggage and queued in a long line to get inside the terminal.  We snaked along, showing boarding pass once, and finally gave our checked bags to the one person who seemed to be taking them.  Then atleast it was multiple lines to get through security, and we didn't have to take off jackets or take out laptops.
Finally to the check-in lines, there were lines for Suites, concierge, elite/select, and the hoi polloi.  I think there were actually fewer elites, but perhaps they were in the concierge and select lines.  the shore staff would send suite people to any line, as they paid for earlier checkin.  Checked in, we had about a half an hour wait to board, although we were in group 2.  We saw at least two tour groups escorted on before group one.  We were on the ship just after noon, and grabbed seats in the shore excursion area.  Shore excursions was busy!  Lots of folks haven't even thought about excursions. 
We had a big hiccup at check in.  They wanted to see the credit cards we planned to use to backup our onboard accounts, and Mary couldn't find hers.  she looked everywhere, getting more and more frustrated and upset.  Couldn't remember when she had last seen them, even on the trip.  So finally I used an extra card I had brought to back up her account.  We got to our cabin around 1pm, and she called home.  She thought they might be in the car, pretty sure they wern't in the house.  They were in a little wallet insert.  Her car will be driven by her daughter while we are gone, because it is newer and more fuel efficient.  Fortunately, that daughter was home, because her son had a psych eveluation, so daughter Erin was able to search the car, and found them.  So, now we have to find a way to get them sent to us and delivered to the ship in Fort Lauderdale.  We went to guest services, and asked for an address, but the girl was rather clueless, thinking that we wanted Celebrity to send us something, but she finally understood - we think.  she said whe would work on it and get back to us that evening, or today.  so far, we have not heard.  And Mary got a letter from Guest services to say that they did not have a card on file for her, so I went down and (again) took care of that. 
We sailed nearly an hour late, don't know what the hangup was, but the captain announced the late sailing.  I went up on deck to find the Cruise Critic group, and they were all gathered at the aft bar.  I happened to speak to one lady who, it turns out, was looking for me.  she recognized my username (Essiesmom) as being on the same cruise with her on Oosterdam in 2009. 
We went to dinner, and another hiccup.  Our request for a large table got us a two-top.  Yes, we have a lovely couple next to us, by the window, but on the other side is a self absorbed group of four.  Service was rather disorganized, and was slow.  But the food was good.  Mary had halibut and I had the prime rib. 
After dinner we stopped by the Captain's Club desk, because they checked Mary in as classic member, instead of Select.  I was ablt to go online while we were still in port, and discovered in My Celebrity that they do not have our Solstice TA in 2011 on her record.  Well, the rep could see that one, and one other, but not the Millie cruise in 2000 and one of her Zenith cruises.  We needed to get that fixed, so that she will turn Elite after the TA. 
We stopped by the photo gallery and I bought the embarkation photo, and we sat in Michael's Club through the end of Name That Tune (or Music Trivia) until we could take a seat in the theater.  the welcome show was good, they have a male acapella quartet, which has become standard on Celebrity, a guitarist, singer, and the production show team.  The first show is tonight, iBroadway.  tonight is also the first formal night. 
We came straight back to the cabin after the show and collapsed.  Set the clock ahead, and went to bed.  I got up several times, and the last time finally took some ibuprofen because my lower legs ached.  The beds are much more comfortable than our previous Celebrity beds, with the exception of Concierge class on Solstice. 
This morning I got us up at 9am, and we went to breakfast.  I found the poached eggs station and had my first Mexican Eggs Benedict.  English muffin, guacamole, salsa, egg, hollandaise sauce, paprika, parsley flakes.  Ummm. 
After breakfast, I located the venue for the CC Meet & Greet.  they provided coffee, tea, water and OJ, danish and croissants.  the cruise director greeted us and answered some questions.  Our group organizer didn't show, so another member took over and led a question session about the independent shore excursions. 
We were there in dwindling numbers until 11am when people started to trickle in for the next activity.  I came back to the cabin and gathered up my laptop, went to the iLounge and signed up for an internet package, and dropped my Elite ticket for free 90 minutes into the box.  I signed up for a large package, as I expect Mary to use some of the time.  They do offer some sessions on how to use your ipad, and I might take one of those. They cost $20.  A private session is $75!
I left there, and went up for some ice cream for lunch, then browsed the shops on the way back to the cabin, where Mary was already napping.  I also took a nap.  So now, we need to get ready for dinner.

Carolyn Jane

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Re: Mixed Meanderings, CJ & Mary, Essie & Lizzie, 11 Apr-3 Jun 2013
« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2013, 01:17:25 AM »
Dinner was another lengthy affair.  We had to wait ten minutes to get a menu.  Apparently our area is usually Select dining, so not everyone comes at one time.  but I guess more people wanted fixed, so they don't have enough menus when all come at once.  Our nice neighbors were doing a specialty restaurant tonight, but another nice couple were seated there, and we chatted with them.  The four-top on our other side had different people, German, although they speak English.  We can't really interact with that table as it is turned so that a corner points at us, so both on those sides of the table have their backs to us.  We didn't get to apeak with the Maitre 'd today.
The show tonight was to be at 8:30 and 10:30, with the Captain's welcome at 8:15.  We were not out of the dining room until after 8pm, so no seats left when we got there.  but we can see that show next cruise.  I know I saw it last year on Millie. 
We wandered the shops, then came back to the cabin, where we had to corral our steward for ice.  We have not had ice yet this cruise.  He asked if we wanted ice morning and evening, and we said yes.  We have out recyclable tote bags for tomorrow in Cabo, and there is a vase of flowers on the desk from the Captain's club.  We have priority tender tickets which we won't need.  We will not be going ashore with the first wave.  Arrival is to be 11am. 
18 April 2013.  Cabo San Lucas and at sea
It was a lovely day, breezy and perhaps in the low 80's.  Lots of sunshine.  We arrived on time, and could see lovely beaches and bright parasails.  We slept in and had a late breakfast, went topside to take some pictures and finally used our priority tender tickets to go ashore.  It was a bit rocky getting into the tender, but we made it.  there were several large yachts in harbor, one had an inflatable slide from it's top aft.  MY Lady Lola was a stunner, and I understand from Mr. Google that she can be chartered.  But these weren't really bigf players, because they did not have helipads.  No Octopus or Peloris here.
We stopped in the Diamonds International at the pier and got tickets for their free shuttle into town.  The shuttle was a pedicab.  He really worked hard to pedal us into town.  Wonder how they do it with two people over 200 pounds!  Of course, we had to browse DI, and Mary got what she had thought to pick up on this trip:  a good watch.  She picked out a Philip Stein dual face, in stainless and rose tone.  Not the smallest they make.  We bought it without the band, which saved about $100, as I have the same watch and have several bands for her to choose from (navy, silver and two shades of pink).  Bands for these start at $75, but you can get great bands for them in a plethora of colors on ebay for $14.95 or less.  She chose to put my navy band on it. 
We wandered a bit, stopped in a few more jewelry shops, and got a free can of coke.  In Milano jewelers she bought a white gold ring with a cluster of champagne diamonds.  I bought a silver necklace with black and white onyx beads, and matching bracelet.  the shops are in their last month of cruise ships and anxious to bargain.  DI wouldn't give us a free shuttle ride back to the pier, so we walked all the way.  At the end of the walk, we browsed in the Marina Mercado, but the only purchase was a pin for my hat.  But...I didn't bring a hat this trip, only visors.
We were back in our cabin by 3:30 and Mary took a shower.  We fussed around and then got ready for dinner.  Our neighbors were back, having eaten in SS United States restaurant last night.  They are on their honeymoon, and their children had given them a specialty restaurant package of three as wedding present.  I think they are well up into their 60's, if not more, knew each other in high school, married other people but the families kept in touch and vacationed together.  they are both widowed, so decided they didn't want to live on opposite coasts, so got married in Feb.  Each had previously been married for 47 years! 
Service was a little faster tonight, we were out by about 7:30p.  We wandered through the shops and ended up in Michael's club to hear the Neptunes, the acapella group do a set.  Now we are back in the cabin, I have reset my clock, as we lose another hour tonight.  Puerto Vallarta noon tomorrow.  We have a tour at 12:15. 
19 Apr 2013  Puerto Vallarta
Another lovely sunny day.  a little warmer than Cabo.  Still a nice breeze.  I got us up before 9am and showered, went to breakfast, and then to the lecture by a retired professor of geology on 'Six for the Price of One', talking about tectonic plates and how they operate and affect geography.  He was interesting, and I look forward to the next one on volcanoes.  There nshould also be lectures coming up on the Panama Canal...Mary needs to attend those.  She didn't make it through The Path Between the Seas.  There should be a Cliff Notes version...
We came back to our cabin and rested until we were docked, then queued in our hall until they announced we were clear to go ashore.  We clocked out and headed for a gathering area for our tour.  I had chosen Highlights of PV and Shopping.  We had a nice bus, and great guide, but the seats in the bus left much to be desired.  Many, including mine, were permanently reclined, and very uncomfortable for me, and the people behind me.  I managed to pull it up, but every bump and is sagged back some more.  They drove us around the newer parts with condo complexes and high end hotels, then to the older part of town, with a stop at the church of Our Lady of Guadeloupe.  There is a crown on the top of the bell tower.  it was a lovely little church, not Baroqued up.  There were young children trying to sell us chiclets and other trinkets...All pre-school ages.  the only difference from 50 years ago is that they were clean and well dressed.  I took a picture of one little girl as she was selling to someone else, and she came to me aqnd wanted me to pay for having taken her picture. 
From there, we walked to the Plaza, where we had free time to wander around and try to get to the second floor of city Hall to see the painting of QEII when she visited in 1983.  but I did not have any extra stairs in me.  I found a bench to sit on and rested.  Then they took us to the same shopping area for native crafts that I visited on Oosterdam.  Some more driving through the older parts of town and on out to the outskirts where we could get a glimpse of the rocks where they filmed Night of the Iguana.  we stopped at a resort/restaurant where there was time to purchase a drink or snack...if you could find a place to sit.  There was another bus there, and it was too full.  there was a nice view from upstairs, but still no place to sit, and I didn't have those steps in me either (It's the coming back down that sucks).  I finally found a place to sit and twiddled my thumbs until it was time to leave.  Getting out onto the road, the driver was so focused on making the left turn without damaging the front end, that he clipped a van parked in front of the place.  A few phone calls, and we were back on our way to the last stop, a flea market by the river.  We chose to stay on the bus while it went back to report the incident.  Then it was back to the ship.
I chose to board right away, but Mary went out for a little more shopping in the crafts market.  she has just come back with two pinky rings.  We never did see Diamonds International to get the (cheap) charms for our (cheap) bracelets.  Time now to change for supper.
I thought they should have skipped the stop at the restaurant and either driven to the rocks overlook for Night of the Iguana, or taken us to the pottery factory we visited on Oosterdam.  And I will tell Celebrity so. 
20 Apr 2013.  At Sea
We have had an enjoyable lazy day.  slept in until room service called and came at 8:30.  We postponed breakfast and went to the 10am lecture on volcanoes.  He talked about those in Mexico and Nicaragua, skipped to Costa Rica and Panama...but I had to point out to him in the question session after the talk that he didn't mention any in Guatemala, and we would see a smoking mountain on the way to and while in Antigua.  Maybe he will tuck a comment into tomorrow's lecture. 
WE then headed up to deck 10 to find a place to relax until noon, when the burger bar would open.  Mary has been craving french fries.  We found a couple of not terribly comfortable chairs near the Aqua Spa cafe and read and crocheted until time for brunch.  I did run down to the Captain's Cl;ub disk to see if the rep had got Mary's status fixed yet, but she waid whe was waiting for confirmation of something.  I grabbed the daily newspaper and read that they got the Boston bombers.  Good riddance.  I saw the cruise director, Patty, outside SS United States restaurant talking with a couple, and I went over to listen and make a comment.  I noted in the sheet that profiles the senior officers that the captain states he has captained the four Century class ships.  So far as I know, there were only three Century class:  Century, Galaxy, Mercury.  so I  mentioned it, and she started to enumerate and include Horizon, which I pointed out was a separate class, 30,000 tons lighter.  I suggested next time she talked with the captain to ask him which four he had sailed...
Back upstairs, I met Mary heading for the burgers and fries as I was returning to our chairs.  So now, I have had my burger and fries for this cruise.  I did remind Mary that she could order fries at dinner, as two years ago on Solstice, we had a Dutch couple who ordered a plate of fries each night at supper.
We made our way to our next lecture at 2pm.  It was in the theater, preceeded by the man talking about Major League Baseball, and he is very popular.  Most of the people there stayed for the Panama lecture, by Martin Harrington.  I think he is an America ex-pat living in Panama.  Speaks English without an accent.  He wanders all over the theater while speaking, so they kept the lights up.  He held a Q&A session in Michael's Club after the lecture, but we returned to the cabin for a nap. 
Another good supper, and we went up to the constellation Lounge to the Senior Officers reception for Select/Elite.  Got a glass of wine, but were too full for the canapes.  After half an hour we left, and made our way to the theater to get seats for tonights show, a vocalist from the West End, Emily Reed.  She is good, but I have heard/seen better.  I think the men were riveted, waiting to see if her assets were going to fall out of her dress. 
We left the show and went straight to Michaels club, where we got cokes and heard the Neptunes sing a 15 minute set.  Then it was time to head back to the cabin.  We gain an hour tonight, the only time on this trip (until the flight home).

Carolyn Jane

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Re: Mixed Meanderings, CJ & Mary, Essie & Lizzie, 11 Apr-3 Jun 2013
« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2013, 11:12:08 PM »
21 Apr 2013.  Sunday, at sea
A lazy day.  I* was up just after 8:30, Mary got up shortly and took a shower.  she was complaining of runny nose last evening, and this morning said her uvula was sore and swollen.  so maybe she is the first to come down with the cruise cold.  the last few, it has been me.  I have been taking immune boost pills to hopefully avoid this...
We went up to breakfast, and I finally found the cottage cheese.  in a small bowl by the fruit.  We parted, and I went down to the lobby for the daily newspaper, and then up to the ilounge to see about the ipod/ipad class.  But when I asked how long it would be, he said 45-60 min, and that would cut way into the second Panama canal lecture, so I left and went down to the theater to get good seats for the talk.  We require seats with good lighting, so I can crochet and she can read (although that's not so necessary with the Kindle paperwhite.).
After the talk, Mary came back to the cabin and I went up to the buffet to see if I could find anything for indigestion, probably from the pineapple at breakfast.  Couldn't have been the orange juice because they were out.  I settled for two scoops of chocolate chip ice cream, and then had some spinach salad.  then it was back to the room.  Mary was reading, but soon settled for a nap, as did I.  Now I have been up and showered.  We have another volcanoes talk at 4pm. 
The volcano talk was about myths and legends that might be explained by tectonic/seismic activity.  We came back to the cabin and got ready for dinner, which was another good one.  No bad meals thus far.
After dinner we wandered the shops, marveled at the huge watches for huge prices that they wanted us to buy.  We found seats in Michael's Club and a guitarist ws playing and singing.  He was pleasant and entertaining.  He had a time misunderstanding and ran over into the time that the Neptunes were supposed to perform, so their set was a bit short.  I had already heard all their songe before...I am beginning to think that the acapella groups have a limited repertoire.
Back in the cabin, I have assembled all things for tomorrow, which will be a very early morning.  We are to be in the theater by 7:30am, and out CC group would like to meet earlier to try to get on the same bus transfer to Antigua.  I have set the alarm for just before 6am. 

Carolyn Jane

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Re: Mixed Meanderings, CJ & Mary, Essie & Lizzie, 11 Apr-3 Jun 2013
« Reply #6 on: April 23, 2013, 12:04:57 AM »
22 Apr 2013.  Monday, Earth Day in Antigua Guatemala
Ugh.  A very long day.  We were up by 6am, made our way to breakfast by 6:30.  Too many people were up very early and they were out of things...like orange juice.  We met our CC group on deck outside the Celebrity theater at 7am, and trooped off the ship to meet again in the bus area.  We all managed to get on the same bus, taking the Antiqua On Your Own transfer to Antiqua.  Once there, we are taking the Elizabeth Bell walking tour.
Weather was pleasant but humid and hazy.  We really could not get a good view of the volcanoes until we were near Antigua.  Unfortunately, the most active one, Fuego, had done it's erupting in the morning before we could see it.  Four years ago, it was not as active but was smoking all of the time.
It is a 1.5 hour drive to Antigua, over pretty good roads that Nellie could not seem to be able to find.  She did give direction, elevation, and speed.  We shall see if she can do any better in Costa Rica.  Once we got into Antigua surrounds, things got a bit more dicey.  There is one stretch, crossing a bridge, and bordered by a 12 foot ditch, that is not really wide enough for two vehicles, particularly two buses.  We had to back up a bit to let a couple past.  coming home was worse...At that point, a truck broke down blocking everything until a group of men pushed it out of the way.  then we squeaked by a truck and another bus only because we all retracted our mirrors.  We were halted again on the way back, not far from the port, by some officials who required a bit of cash to let us pass. 
In Antigua, we were let off at a hotel/restaurant where we could use the restrooms, and then marched off to the jade museum/factory.  Our group leeled off and headed about three blocks down to the main square, where we found Elizabeth Bell waiting for us.  she directed us to the office where we were to buy our tickets, $20 each.  We regrouped in the square, and the tour started at 10am.
Today was Earth Day, and the square was full of school children with representations of 'green' things, such as flower hats.  there was a group of women herding some preschool aged children around with small brooms, plastic bags, wearing masks and oversized disposable gloves.  Picking up trash.  Plus, the usual vendors selling crafts and textiles.  Jade and hematite necklaces, table runners, chicken potholders, etc.  And boys/men selling wooden flutes.  Much as it was four years ago.  In fact, the only change I saw was that in the past four years, they have painted the front of the cathedral.  In 2009, it looked like a ruin and it didn't seem like anyone was going inside.
Our tour started in the square, and then moved to the City Hall, where we went upstairs for better views of the plaza/square and mountains, and then inside where we sat while Elizabeth talked about the gov't.  The chairs were in two groups, separated by an aisle, and there were a lot of city workers seated on one side.  Elizabeth said that Mondays and Thursdays, anyone can talk with the mayor. 
We went back outside and through the square to Gov't House, which is now going to be an exhibit hall.  Then to the Cathedral. 
The cathedral has an impressive facade, but inside it is not at all large.  That is because only the part that would have been forward of the nave is now in use.  Going back outside and around to the rear, you come into the huge ruins of the main part of the cathedral.  It was damaged in an 18th century earthquake and abandoned.  It had multiple domes and three bays.  It nis being stabilized, but not restored. 
Leaving the cathedral, we walked down a street and elizabeth talked about the homes in Antigua, and we reached one that is now a restaurant and had a free cold drink (with fre wifi if you had a device along).  From there, she took us to the jade factory.  We heard the talk on jade, watched the workers making pieces, and browsed the shop.  From there, the tour ws going to some museums, and to her office where she had some books available for sale.  We elected to drop out there and shop.
We purchased small jadite pendents with out Mayan calendar signs on them for ourselves and two nieces, and a different one for one of Mary's grandsons.  We each bout earrings, also.  Not a huge expenditure.  The prices were the same as four years ago.  I am a Woodpecker, Mary is a Crocodile.  One niece is a snake, the other a Quetzal bird. 
From there, we made our way back to the meeting point for the bus back to the port.  We had plenty of time for more shopping there.  I bought a bottle carrier, Mary bought three, some glasses cases and a tshirt. 
Back at the port, we browsed the retail establishments that had greatly proliferated in the last four years.  Mary found a magnet.  Back on the ship, I stopped off for the daily newspaper before going up to the cabin.  It was about time to change for supper. 
Another good meal, and we went to the show afterward.  A variety show, featuring the orchestra, the neptunes, the comedian, and the cruise director, Patti, singing.  she has a musical theater background.  Tomorrow is a sea day before Puntarenas.
 

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Re: Mixed Meanderings, CJ & Mary, Essie & Lizzie, 11 Apr-3 Jun 2013
« Reply #7 on: April 23, 2013, 11:33:27 PM »
 23 April 2013  At sea
Up at 9am with room service.  Not out of our cabin until after 10am.  Don't know where Mary went, but I went to the Captain's Club desk to straighten out Mary's status.  We had a message that the problem was two different birthdates.  Gave them the right one, and got her new coupons.  Picked up the daily newspaper, waited in line at Guest Relations.  They slid our halfway account under the door last night, and there was a bar charge I couldn't identify, so they took it off.  Then I sat in a chair by the window on deck 3 and crocheted, watched the water.
Shortly after noon, and the theater was already filling up for Uncle Marty's Panama canal lecture.  It is becoming like John Maxtone-Graham's talks on crossing...You have to get there an hour early to get a seat.  word is getting around.  Today it was on the actual construction of the canal.  this was at an odd time, 12:30, and it really emptied out afterward, so the following talk on volcanoes at 2pm was not well attended. 
Then it was back to the cabin for a nap and a shower.  Tonight is our second formal night. 
Our dining room neighbors were absent tonight, eating in the SS United States restaurant.  Their waiter had forgot, and already had their table set with iced tea and lemonade.  I waved him down and said they weren't coming.  we appropriated the drinks, so as not to have them go to waste.  Mary doesn't really like the iced tea on board, and the lemonade is a bit strong and sweet, so I diluted it to acceptable.  Chateaubriand was the entree of the night.  Halfway through our meal, a couple was seated at our neighbors table.  Nice people from Atlanta, we chatted quite a bit.  Our German neighbors were missing, and later they seated four people at that table speaking French. 
We were out before 8pm and cruised the shops before staking out seats in the theater.  the shows are popular, especially the later one, which we attend.  On Infinity, the show for late seating is at 7pm.  This was the first production show we have seen this trip, as we missed the first.  I had not seen reserved rows for Royal Suite passengers before.  They started out with one lady holding the rows, and ended up with three people chasing people off.  Four rows.  The seat police were not popular. 
The show was Boogie Wonderland, music from the 70's and I think I saw it on Millie.  Lots of action.  And the singers have to know how to dance, too.  Back in the cabin shortly after 10pm.  Not quite as early a day, meet for tour at 8:15.  But we lose an hour tomorrow night. 

Carolyn Jane

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Re: Mixed Meanderings, CJ & Mary, Essie & Lizzie, 11 Apr-3 Jun 2013
« Reply #8 on: April 25, 2013, 07:10:53 AM »
24 Apr 2013.  Puntarenas, Costa Rica
Another lovely day.  Mary wonders when our luck will run out, but I think it will not be until we get to Northern Europe.  My alarm went off just before 7am.  Up to breakfast, and then to the theater for our tour.  I had booked the Pacific Train, Boat and Bus tour.   We were on the bus at 8:30 and drove about 45 minutes over pretty good roads to a place on the Tarcoles River.    There we had a mandatory potty break, a little time to browse the souvenirs and listen to the two fellows playing marimba, and we boarded our boat.  It was just large enough to hold the complement of our bus.  All metal with roof, which held life vests. 
Our guide was Kenny, who spoke almost unaccented English, and our boatman was Jose.  Kenny had given out brochures with a double page of birds we might see, and their namesin English and French.  we started out with Great Egrets and cowbirds (Cattle Egrets).  Then we got down to business locating crocodiles.  The first was a large fellow, seemed to be sleeping with his chin on the mud.  He didn't budge when we got up next to him.  The next fellow was perhaps a regular, and Jose went ashore to tease him with a dangling piece of chicken.  He never got it.  A smaller one came along, and the larger one chased him away, but by then we were already moving on.
The next place was the same, Jose got out to attract the croc, and this time the croc got the bait, and Jose kept all his body parts.  After half and hour or so, we were back on shore getting a snack of pineapple, watermelon, and bananas, with free drinks.  And a bit more time to shop.  I bought a pin of a sea turtle, a sew-on patch of same, and a wood carving of a Leatherback sea turtle.  I did a volunteer project studying the Leatherback turtles up the coast above Tamarindo in Costa Rica in 2001. 
Back on the buses to retrace our steps to our train.  This consisted of an engine, tender, and two coaches.  Refurbished, but from 1910.  the first railroad was built in 1907 on the Caribbean side of the moutnains, and in 1910 they finished the Pacific side.  It was used primarily for freight until a strong warthquake in 1979 destroyed much of it, and it was never rebuilt.  This portion now is just used for tourism.  it is narrow guage, and as you drive along the main road through Puntarenas, you see a lot of track that is no longer operational.  Road crossings paved right over it.  The ride was slow and bumpy, and at the end was a short tunnel.  no signals at crossing, although the engineer did blow the whistle.  WE saw lots of cattle, and near the end, fields of cantaloupe. 
I/we were disappointed not to be able to get pictures of the train.  When we got off the buses, we were hustled right onto the train, and when we got off at the other end, they had the buses so close that we stepped right from the train steps onto the bus steps. By the time we pulled out on the bus, and turned so that I could see part of the train, the engine was already detached and gone.  I think half of the morning group - two buses worth - took the train first before the boat, and we did the boat first.  When we got back to the pier, they were loading afternoon groups of this same tour. 
We came back to our cabin, dumped our stuff, and headed up to the buffet for some french fries.  Mary craves them at times.  She also had a bowl of split pea soup, one of her favorites.  Then it was down to the cabin to chill and take a nap. 
Another enjoyable meal, although we were not quite so hungry tonight, after the fries.  We stopped in Cafe al Bacio to hear the guitarist/singer Rob Ondras, wandered through the shops, and returned to the cabin.  Have already turned the clocks forward. 

Carolyn Jane

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Re: Mixed Meanderings, CJ & Mary, Essie & Lizzie, 11 Apr-3 Jun 2013
« Reply #9 on: April 25, 2013, 11:47:43 PM »
25 April 2013  At sea
A lazy day.  We were up at 9am with room service, and to the theater by 10am for the geology lecture.  Then we sat out on the deck and read/crocheted for over an hour.  We went to the theater early, in the middle of the baseball lecture so that we could get our preferred seats for the Panama Canal lecture to follow.  This one was on the actual transit.  After that, we came back to the cabin for a nap. 
Supper tonight was not so good.  mary and I sometimes throw them a loop by ordering an appetizer, soup and salad, plus entree.  So far they have handled it, but tonight my third item was a salad, and it was ten minutes or more before the waitress came around to take the plates and discovered I had not eaten it because they never came with the dressing.  then the osso buco was too salty for me.  I just ate a little.  But I did have my chocolate ice cream for dessert.
After dinner, we went to El Bacio lounge and listened to the guitasr/singer, and then just sat and read until 10pm, when the show got out (It was the Argentinian Tango group).  They have the Nova program A Man, A Plan, A Canal and showed it at 5pm and again at 10:15.  I know I have seen it before, but it was still educational.   The ship making the trnsit was Royal Viking Sea, so you know how old it is.  Pre 1999, anyway, before Panama took over the canal.
Our transit is scheduled to start at Miraflores at 8am.  so we must be up before then!
Sent out our free bag of laundry tonight, managed to get 29 items in of the 30 allowed.

Carolyn Jane

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Re: Mixed Meanderings, CJ & Mary, Essie & Lizzie, 11 Apr-3 Jun 2013
« Reply #10 on: April 26, 2013, 09:38:24 PM »
26 April 2013   Panama Canal transit
Uncle Marty came on the PA at 7am with his first narration, so that got us up.  We were out of the cabin by 7:20, but Mary had to have a full breakfast.  We missed passing under the Bridge of the Americas.  And no pictures of the approach to the Miraflores locks.  by the time we got up forward, there were masses of people at all of the railings.  They opened the bow, but that's not a good place to be because you can't get near the railing...Getting Mary to move at a pace is like herding cats.  Things will thin out, though, with every lock and by the time we get to Gatun, everyone will be too busy treating their sunburn to care.  It has been overcast, but the sun is now coming out. 
Got us through the Pedro Miguel Locks, people standing on top of a bus to watch us pass.  We were on the west 'lane' for Miraflores, but switched places with out companion container ship for Pedro Miguel.  the crowds were much thinner.  I stayed on deck for the Centennial Bridge and Gaillard Cut, and some expension pictures.  Noted that when the chagres River meets the canal, it is black water, and there is a meeting of the waters that is easy to see from the ship.  Then I retired to a burger and fries, and bought two tshirts for $10 at the end of season sale.  They sold out early of the Panama canal stuff, but these say South America, and we have been there.   
Came back to the cabin, dumped the tshirts, and intended to take a little nap, but remembered the Zuiderdam was to come through, and turned on the TV to the bow cam, and there she was.  I rushed up top in time to get her passing by.  The trouble with the M class ships is that there is no place to go bow to stern and cross from port to starboard on one deck.  And no place for a clear view forward without tinted glass and railings. 
Back in the cabin, Mary was here, and we sort of napped, with the TV on, and Uncle Marty coming on to narrate stuff.  I got up when we were entering the last of the Gatun Locks and went up aft to get pictures of the locks as we emerged.  Our friend the container ship was again next to us.  I got some views of the expansion lock construction, but I am hoping we will see more tomorrow on our excursion.  Back in the cabin, we are relaxing before supper.  I have loaded my pictures and captioned, but not edited.  Our clean laundry has just been delivered.
Another passable supper.  Celebrity menus have symbols next to the menu items, listing them as lactose free, gluten free, sugar free, and vegetarian.  the other night I asked about a 'crispy chicken' item, what made it crispy, as it was listed as gluten free.  Our waitress said it was breaded, but several years ago they decided that all breaded items would be done with gluten free bread crumbs. 
We sat in a loubnge for an hour after dinner, then returned to the cabin.  It is an early morning, gather in the theater at 7:10am!

Carolyn Jane

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Re: Mixed Meanderings, CJ & Mary, Essie & Lizzie, 11 Apr-3 Jun 2013
« Reply #11 on: April 27, 2013, 09:42:52 PM »
27 April 2013   Colon, Panama
Ugh.  Hate it when the alarm goes off before 6am.  5pm now, and we are an hour late leaving.  the fuel barge just detached itself at 4:35pm.  But it's not a long run to Cartagena.
I was browsing our shipboard accounts on the TV last night, and noticed an odd $49+ credit on Mary's.  she now has a negative balance of $42+.  I asked today, and it is a refund of excess port taxes, to everyone. 
We had breakfast this morning, and made our way to the theater for our 7:10 call time.  tour was to leave at 7:30, but we were actually on the bus and rolling a few minutes before that.  We had a chatty escort, Elida.  We drove through Colon, not too great an area, lots of decaying buildings, then through a better area, and area of refurbished original canal building era buildings, another development of large houses owned by arabs, with a mosque...After an hour, we end up at the Gatun Locks.  the reason for the scenic drive was that the visitors center doesn't open that early.  I would have preferred a shorter tour and an extra hour of sleep...
The Gatun Locks venue is HC accessible...if you don't want to go up to the observation deck, which is up a lot of stairs.  Stayiing below would have you at the level of the lowest lock.  The expansion venue however, is totally accessible.
Outside of the visitor area are displayed examples of the original mules, and the second generation.  You can climb on them, sit in the cabs.  Those in use now are the third generation.  Around the other side of the building were restrooms, and the steps and stairs up to the observation area.  there was already a group there, so we had to work our way to the windows to get a good view.  There was a container ship in the near lock, giving us a good view. 
While we were there, it started to rain, this being near the beginning of the rainy season.  but it didn't last long.  By the time we had been there over an hour, the sun was shining.  We each bought a tshirt in the tiny gift/souvenir shop.  Mary is now up 4 shirts, I am up 2.
The ride to the expansion visitors center was not long.  There they have a double theater so that they can have two groups at a time view two short videos about the canal.  Then there is a small gift shop, and restrooms on the vay to the viewing area.  You can look out over Gatun Lake, the construction of the new Gatun Locks, and in the distance beyond the cosntruction area, you can see ships leaving the existing locks.  They also have a short nature walk.
Our guide told us the container ships are charged by container, large containers costing double the small containers, no matter if some are empty.  She didn't say how the passenger ships are charged, but the highest paid has been by NCL Pearl.  The containership in the locks when we arrived paid over $130,000.  Big ships have to pay in cash.  Only small pleasure boats can pay with credit cards. 
Our escort/guide gave us homemade (but not by her) banana muffins, and the tour included a bottle of water.  It was about half an hour back to the ship, and right outside, connected to the terminal, is a shopping are, duty free.  Also free wifi area.  There was a big electronics store where you could buy everything from an ipod to a stove.  And souvenir shops.  We browsed a couple, but saw nothing we needed, so went back to the ship.  Up an escalator, across a bridge to the pier, where there were people sitting with their laptops taking advantage of the wifi.  Down steps and onto the ship.
Back onboard, we dropped our stuff off in the cabin and headed for the Aqua Spa Cafe for some healthy lunch.  Then it was time for a nap.  Now we have showered and changed, and we are awaiting time to head for the MDR.
Another good but interminable meal.  I feel like we are the red-headed stepchildren.  the German couple next to us came in 10 minutes after we did, and we were in the dining room shortly after 6pm.  But she took their order first, they got their appetizer fast, and were eating dessert while we waited for our main course.  the couple next to us by the window was not there, eating in SS United States...But the people they seated there 35 min. after we did were served right away, and awaiting dessert as we left.  the only consolation is that several other tables around us were also still eating when we left - at 8pm.  Two hours for supper.  There will be no extra tips on this leg of the journey. 
Cartagena tomorrow, and we don't dock until 9am, call time for our tour is 10:15am.  I wish Mary could be on deck to see the sail-in for Cartagena, but I know that won't happen. 

Carolyn Jane

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Re: Mixed Meanderings, CJ & Mary, Essie & Lizzie, 11 Apr-3 Jun 2013
« Reply #12 on: April 28, 2013, 10:29:50 PM »
28 April 2013  Cartagena, Colombia
4am, and I was slightly awake when the 'Bing bong' went off.  I heard a voice, so I cracked the door to hear the captain saying 'Star Code cabin 11xx'.  I believe Star Code is a medical emergency.  I guess the person was either alright, or didn't make it, because there was not an ambulance waiting on the dock.  Noone else that I have asked has heard it. 
Set room service for 8am, and it got Mary up.  We lounged around until after 9am, watching the ship dock on the bow cam.  When we went to the elevators to go up to breakfast, the stairs were already lined with people waiting to get off.  We went to the theater to get our tour stickers and wait for our numbers to be called.  We were group 41, and I think all groups from 39-44 were the Medieval Cartagena by Horse Drawn Carriage tour.  We were soon off the ship and in our bus. 
Our guide was Luis, and he gave us a narration as we drove to the old city.  Pointing out points of interest and history.  Once in the old city, we debarked our buses and boarded four person horse drawn carriages.  One horse per carriage.  I think they took us down every street in the old town, which hasn't changed since I was there 4 years ago with Liz.  Lovely balconies with cascading flowers.  Colorful buildings.  Persistent street vendors selling hats, necklaces, etc.  Picture taking was a trick, as riding in a buggy is not smooth, and trying to hold the camera steady enough and holding it off to the left to avoid having the head and shoulder of the lady facing me in my picture was difficult. 
WE left the buggies and reboarded our bus for the ride to the dungeons, which are really the old barracks, not the souvenir market.  Plus emeralds.  I was not buying.  Mary might have, had we more time and she her cards.  I bought my emeralds years ago in Hong kong.  After the market, where Mary bought a magnet and a tshirt - she is now up 5, we reboarded the bus and had a photo stop by the fortress.  We did not get off, just took our pictures throught the windows of the bus.
There was a couple on the bus with just 3y/o twins.  (He is grey haired, I wonder if they are his second family).  He said they have used the kids club, and said there are 21 guests under 18 on the ship. 
Back onboard, we dumped our stuff and went up to the buffet for pizza and garlic bread.  they do pizza much better than HAL, although Princess does it well, too. 
We are watching a colorful, empty tanker leave.  Our guide told us that gas here costs about $5/gal. for regular, $7 for premium.  In neighboring Venezuela a gallon of premium is $0.26.  They don't have regular. 
Mary is back in the cabin, and we are trying to upload pictures.
Later.  Another good supper, and we attended the show, which was a male singer from the UK, Sam Kane.  He is very good, mixing in some comedy.  Back in the cabin, we have turned our clocks forward, but there is no need to get up early tomorrow.  Still more pictures to edit.  Had to stop earlier to feed the computer, and then myself. 

Carolyn Jane

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Re: Mixed Meanderings, CJ & Mary, Essie & Lizzie, 11 Apr-3 Jun 2013
« Reply #13 on: April 29, 2013, 09:56:29 PM »
29 April 2013.  Monday, at sea
Not much to report today.  I was up before 9am, even with the time change.  And we didn't go to bed until shortly before 2am.  The seas seem to have more movement today.  They hosed off our window early in the morning, and a wave splashed it in the afternoon.  I see several people wearing seabands.  Down in steerage, we are not feeling it.
I had one Mexican egg Benedict for breakfast.  Tried to find a place to sun my feet.  My sandal tan from last year had almost faded, but just with the trip in Cartagena it is coming back.  Mary is jealous.  She didn't get a good one last summer because she wore here Keens more than the sandals.  She complains I started with a better base tan. 
I sat up by the pool for a while, but I was by the windows and they block the ultraviolet...So I went downstairs to the lobby and sat by the windows.  A woman came by and saw me crocheting, and said she would be back.  when she came, we chatted for half and hour or so.  I got the daily newspaper, went up and had my hot dog for the cruise, then came back to the cabin and bought some more internet time.  Then it was time for a nap. 
Supper was okay, I really couldn't find anything I wanted on the menu, and already had indigestion, so had fruit, salad, steak.  Mary had cheese souffle, soup, salad, and double shrimp cocktail as her entree.  We skipped dessert.  Formal night, and there were a few tuxes in evidence, as well as some polo shirts.
Tonight was the last productions show, Celebrate the World.  One I had not seen before.  I had noted a couple in the cast during the last show, aerialists.  I thought I had seen them on Millie last year, but I spoke to the woman after the show and It must have been on Summit, because she said they have beenn on Connie and summit, Millie does not have the capability for the aerial stuff. 
Tomorrow we have to find out how much we have to pack for the move.  We are supposed to have got comment cards in our cabin, but none have appeared.    I spoke to Shore Excursions about a comment sheet for the tours...they had them on solstice.  the woman said they don't have any, but she would listen to my comments.  so I told her.  But as they have on input into the planning nd contracting of the tours, I doubt anyone will see it.  Perhaps I should write a snail mail letter...
Last night at the show, they asked for hands of people married over 40, 45, 50, 60 years.  There were a whole lot married over 50, and at least 3 over 60.  Does that tell you something about the demographic?  Actually not many scooters/chairs, though.  One lady in a wheelchair has no legs.  There is one youngish lady on a Pride Go go scooter that weighs well over 300, and her hips extends beyond the width of the seat at least 6" on each side.  Certainly that scooter wouldn't fit through a regular cabin door, and with her on it...

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Re: Mixed Meanderings, CJ & Mary, Essie & Lizzie, 11 Apr-3 Jun 2013
« Reply #14 on: April 30, 2013, 06:34:55 AM »
C.J. ARE YOU HAVING ANY FUN AT ALL, ON YOUR REMARKS IT DOESN'T SOUND LIKE IT.......C.C.13


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Re: Mixed Meanderings, CJ & Mary, Essie & Lizzie, 11 Apr-3 Jun 2013
« Reply #14 on: April 30, 2013, 06:34:55 AM »