Category Archives: scenery

Spain

At 8 a.m. on April 17th, we left the Crown Princess ship and took a taxi to the Barcelona, Spain Train Station.  There we boarded our train to Valencia, Spain.  We had two nights there at a very nice Hostal, Venecia.  The location was centrally located and we were able to do some sightseeing, despite 4 hours at the Emergency room.  It’s a very beautiful city with Roman and Moorish influence on the architecture.

On Thursday, April 19, we had a busy day traveling by 2 high speed (AVE) trains to Malaga.  The trains were very modern, clean and comfortable.  Jim was able to buy food and drink, but I had to pack some supplies in order to continue on a semi-liquid diet.  We also had a very short window of time for change of trains in Madrid.  We walked over a mile with all our luggage and asked help 3 times to find the next train.  We made it with 6 minutes to spare!  Whew!

In Malaga, we caught a cab to our hotel for the night, Holiday Inn Express.  We made contact with sister JoAnn and John by WhatsApp and planned for checking into the apartment in Cariheula, the next day.  Something that you may not know about other countries is that it is hard to find ice for cocktails.  In Valencia, we had bought an ice tray at a 1 Euro store and had a freezer in our room.  At other hotels, you go to the bar and ask for a glass of ice.  They usually give you a couple of cubes, unless you beg for more.  Anyway, at Holiday Inn, we were able to get as much as we needed.

The next day, we met up with JoAnn and John and the Rincon Rental rep at our apartment.  All went well on the check-in and we settled in for our 2 week stay.

As  I said previously, we made several day trips while staying at the apartment.  The following are pictures from our travels.

Mijas

Malaga Centro

Battery Park, Carihuela

Weekend jaunts near our apartment

Ronda, by Train

Nerja, White Village on the Sea

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Florida and the Crown Princess Cruise

We were in Florida 4 days before the cruise and spent 2 of them with Aunt Amy and Cousin Jim.  She is 81 years old and has had major health problems, but is still a lot of fun.  Uncle Jim passed away less than a year ago, so we all talked about him and how much he is missed.

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Cheryl with Amy and Jim (cousin) by their pool in Tampa

Our cruise started on the 3rd of April, out of Fort Lauderdale, FL.  We had 7 days at sea, crossing the Atlantic Ocean.  Both of us really enjoy those sea days.  Also, we both were in the Pop Choir which rehearsed every day and performed on the 10th.  There were 20 men and 25 women, so a very nice size group.  We sounded good!

 

Our first port was Funchal, Madeira, Portugal.  We took a Princess tour (1st time ever!!) to see some of the countryside and scenery outside of town.  We stopped here once before and had walked the town.  Very lush, green and beautiful.

 

Our next port was Gibraltar, as in “Rock of G….”  It was cold, windy and raining, so we stayed on the ship.  We were there in 1989.   Had planned to walk off, but everyone was getting very wet when they left.

The next day, we docked at our third port, Cartagena, Spain.  We went on our second tour to Elche, the Palm Tree capital.  We had a very good guide, Pedro and learned a lot plus enjoyed seeing all the different palms and very old buildings in this UNESCO city.

Our last port before Barcelona was Palma de Mallorca, Spain.  We had been here 2 times before and taken the train and bus to Soller on the other side of the island.  This time, we took the city bus to Plaza de Espana and walked around.  We also had Paella for lunch.  We love that dish.

Our cruise ended in Barcelona.  We actually had one day there, prior to disembarking on the 17th.  We stepped off the ship briefly, but decided not to head into the city.  We had been there a few times before. It was a very enjoyable cruise, and we were glad we met Janet and Tom and hope to see them again.

Saying goodbye

Tom and Janet with us on deck

Arkansas Time Share

For six days, in between relative visits in Indiana and Louisiana, we had a timeshare condo in Fairfield Bay, Arkansas.  It is north of Little Rock and in the foothills of the Ozark Mountains.  The area was very beautiful with lakes, rivers, hills and woods.  Most of the fall colors were gone and the leaves were falling constantly, but it there were still plenty of trees with foliage.  Our condo was 2 BR/2BA and quite large and comfortable.  This was a nice leisurely time to relax with out driving very many miles and to be by ourselves.  We took day trips to the local towns; rented movies and played our instruments- ukulele and guitar.  We even found a makeshift Pickleball court for one day of play.  There was a fully equipped kitchen, so we did quite a bit of cooking, which we both enjoy.  Next we went to Louisiana to visit with nieces and grandnieces.

Anacortes, WA with Joe and Sheri

Joe and Sheri Rowe picked us up at the Cruise Terminal in Seattle on May 31.  They live part time in Corona, CA (our neighbors) and the rest in Anacortes, WA.   Their home is on a hill overlooking the Puget Sound and the house and views are beautiful.  We spent 3 days with them and, despite cold and some rain, had some fun touring Anacortes, the surrounding area, and Friday Harbor on San Juan Island, via ferry.  June was a little early for good weather, but one day we did get some sunshine and a pretty sunset!  Thanks to them for a great end to our travels; flew home June 3.

Alaska and B.C. Canada on the Sojourn

Our first port after crossing the Bering Sea was Kodiak, Alaska; our first time there.  The only Kodiak brown bear that we saw was in the National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center.  We did see many bald eagles, but didn’t see close enough to photograph.  We walked around the town and enjoyed being on terra ferma.

After a day at Sea, we docked in Juneau; our 3rd time to visit this city.  Again, it was cloudy and cold with some rain.  We were 1 of 3 cruise ships in port with Carnival Legend, HOL Vaandam.  We decided to visit the famous Red Dog Saloon; and were pleasantly surprised.  The interior is a throwback to the gold rush days with lots of memorabilia, saw dust on the floor, a piano player doing old songs and ladies in saloon girl costumes.  We tried their clam chowder which has smoked salmon in it and it was some of the best we have had.

Our last land day in Alaska was Skagway.  It was beautiful, sunny, but cold and windy.  Our plan was to take the tram to the top for views, but it was too foggy up there and didn’t like the wind; so just walked around.  I think the wind is what set off my cold, which started that night.  We also heard some sad news from home, one of our best and longest known friends was dying.  We thought about her, family and friends, all day and made many phone calls.  Wish we could have been in 2 places.

One of our favorite parts of our cruise in Alaska, in 2016 was Glacier Bay National park and it did not disappoint us this time.  The weather stayed clear and the Margerie Glacier calved for us.  We love the scenery, but were sad because we heard that JoAnn Brown had died.  Just as we learned that, we arrived at Margerie and champagne was handed out.  We toasted to her and dedicated that beautiful scene to her.

The next day was warm and sunny for our cruise through the Canadian Inside Passage.  In the afternoon, we were able to be on deck without coats and there was a fun Deck Party.  Good timing!  The next day, in Victoria, B.C., the cold and rain came back, but we had a nice visit with our snowbird friends, Don and Wanda.

The next day, the cruise ended in Seattle, Washington.  A fun 21 days!

Sedona and Rain in So CA

From December 16 to 22, we stayed in Sedona, AZ at Sedona Pines Resort.  It was really nice; actually had a Park Model trailer.  The weather was cool, but sunny, once we got there.  We drove around several days and took lots of pictures of the fantastic scenery.  One day, our friends, John and Suzanne came to visit with their daughter, Sophia.  We arrived in the rain and drove home in the rain, on the 22nd; bad traffic and visibility.  Since we have been home, we have had more rain.  Our rain gauge says we have had over 6 inches in 2 weeks.  It’s good, since we need it, but our snowbird friends are hating it.

Happy New Year to everyone.  Our best wishes for happiness, health and good times with friends and family.