Category Archives: Sunset

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.

More Sebourn Cruise across the Bering Sea

From May 15 to May 23 we were at sea, including the International Dateline which meant we repeated Friday, 19th.  We changed our clocks 1 hour forward at 2 p.m. for 7 days.  Again, that messed with our internal clocks, so that we woke at odd hours.  We love the days at sea, so had no problems, but it was mostly cold and cloudy with some rain.  One day the sun peeked out and though still cold, several passengers took advantage  and sat on the open deck.

On Seabourn, you can request special dinners, so one night we requested Paella and invited 6 others.  It was good, but the rice was not crunchy on the bottom.  All enjoyed, but we could not finish it, hated to sent any back!

We did get to see a sunset and Jim photographed a sunrise, but mostly sea!

Thirteen days on the Crown Princess

On September 20, we boarded the Crown with Peggy and Craig in a heavy downpour.  US Customs was done right there in the Vancouver port.  Both couples had mini-suites, next to each other.  The men also paid for all-inclusive drink package for the 3 day cruise to LA.  They had done this also on the Coral Princess.  The ladies helped them a little (a few sips here and there!).  The package also included the fancy coffee drinks that Peggy enjoys.  Jim decided after these 10 days of being able to drink as much as he wanted, that it was not such a good thing.  Hee Hee.  Anyway, it was easier to get what you wanted and when you wanted it.

The three days to LA were nonstop and pretty relaxing.  Both Jim and I had mild colds (4 days and not really sick) on the Coral.  Unfortunately, Peggy got a worse case and had quite a cough on most of this trip.  Now that we are platinum on Princess, we get free wifi; even on this 3 days we had 150 minutes each, so plenty for that short period of time.  On the 10, that followed, we got 250 minutes.

In LA, Peggy and Craig left the ship, along with 4 other friends that we know from our home.  Since we had already done customs, we were able to stay on board.  We did change cabins, however and downsized to a balcony.  The cabin was quite a bit smaller, but the balcony was wider.

The September 23 to October 3 portion of the B2B cruises was the Mexican Riviera with a couple of new ports.  We first stopped in San Diego.  We got off the ship briefly to go to Rite Aid pharmacy.  Jim was not feeling well, so we paid a motorized pedicab $20 for the 1 mile round trip ride!  I thought his cold had come back, but it was more digestive problems.  He actually ate very little and did not drink that night.  The next day, he rested and we both ate very little; we even skipped the formal night.  This day was at sea.

On the 26th we anchored at Cabo San Lucas.  I did not feel well, so stayed on ship (been in Cabo many times).  Jim went ashore for a few beers with some new Cruise Critic friends: John and Suzanne and Jim and Debbie.

Senor Frogs in Cabo with friends

Senor Frogs in Cabo with friends

That day was mostly rest and very little food for me.  Jim was already better, so a quick “bug.”  It continued into that night and next day for me with worse symptoms, but no fever or nausea.  Anyway….. I was able to join the group briefly in La Paz on the 27th.  The extreme heat and humidity didn’t help!

La Paz cafe for beer and chips

La Paz cafe for beer and chips

I rested in the afternoon and felt pretty good in the evening.  So, just something quick.  Unfortunately the other Jim had a little bit of it later, but no one else.

Loreto was our next port and it was an anchor and tender in port.  Again, very hot and humid.  We paid a pedicab $5 to take us to center of town.  We are definitely not getting enough exercise during the last few days!!  Found our friends again for beers and chips!  We had been looking forward to experiencing La Paz and Loreto for the first time, but not such a great experience with illness and the extreme heat.  Maybe get another chance.

While at sea, the next day, we learned that John and Suzanne play Euchre, our favorite card game for 4 people.  We played several games during the next few days.  Also taught Jim and Debbie and found a 4th couple 2 days later.  That night, we joined John and Suzanne for the special dinner at Crab Shack; glad I was recovered enough to pig out on crab!

Crab Shack

Crab Shack

As with the last 2 visits to Puerta Vallarta, we had scheduled to do a tour with 8 others with our favorite taxi driver/tour guide, AZ.  At the Cruise Critic Meet ‘n Greet we found 10 others and emailed with AZ to get another van and driver.  We met up with the 2 of them at 10 am on the 30th and had a really fun day.  All 20 of us enjoyed the tour and our drivers (Manuel was AZ’s friends).  We visited a tequila factory, ate and drank at Chico’s paradise and had a tour of the city with viewpoints.

Our guide, AZ

Our guide, AZ

Our van friends at Los Arcos

Our van friends at Los Arcos

Tequila Factory, tasting time

Tequila Factory, tasting time

Chico's Paradise

Chico’s Paradise

After leaving PV, we had 2 days at sea, before returning to LA.  We played more Euchre and even taught some friends about LCR and got a few rounds going.  The Cruise Critic friends that we got to know and spent time with were really fun and hope to keep in contact.  As my footnote, I am posting another beautiful sunset.  Our best to all.

Sunset near La Paz

Sunset near La Paz

Last week in Spain by car

We decided to rent a car in Malaga and drop off in Madrid before our flight on May 7.  Our first day took us north towards Antequera to the small town of La Joya.  It was a beautiful ride with rolling hills and many flowers.  It was a good thing that we had excellent directions from the hotel (with pictures and labels), because it was “in the middle of nowhere.”  But a gorgeous nowhere.

Beautiful hills in La Joya

Beautiful hills in La Joya

Car to La Joya

Car to La Joya

Night view of the grand landscape

Night view of the grand landscape

The first night’s hotel was deluxe and well worth the price (only 118 Euros with breakfast), El Fuente del Sol.  The second night we went cheaper at Hotel Fabrica de Juan, but it was charming also.

Pool of El Fuente del Sp;

Pool of El Fuente del Sp;

Our very nice and large room at El Fuente del Sol

Our very nice and large room at El Fuente del Sol

Hotel.Fab.de.JuanEl Fabrica de Juan with full moon

We also visited El Torcal National Park which is very unique.  Learned a new term, karst, or water erosion.  Again beautiful valleys below.  Their national parks are free, but had to pay for a shuttle to get up the steep, long road.

More El Torcal

More El Torcal

El Torcal National Park

El Torcal National Park

After another beautiful drive, we arrived at Ciudad Real and stayed two nights.  The city is not as beautiful as some, but historical buildings and were able to walk to many stores, restaurants and sites.  We experienced their Mother’s Day on the 3rd, El Dia de Madre.  Many families with several generations were in the main square, Plaza Mayor, dressed in all their finery.  We had some more, very interesting Tapas and listened to the Carrillon bells.

Tapas at the Plaza Mayor

Tapas at the Plaza Mayor

Carrillon Bell figurines

Carrillon Bell figurines

I will have to finish my blog on our trip, including windmills, poppies and the wonderful city of Toledo, after we are home.  We fly home, tomorrow, a very long trip and nine hour time change.  We look forward to home and friends, but not to the travel!

Maui is still one of our favorites!

Our two weeks on the island of Maui, Hawaii, were great.  Jim’s cousin Dale and wife Diana are a lot of fun to travel with.  Also got together with good friends Dan and Kelley who have a home in Kihei, Maui.  We toured the island some, enjoyed the scenery; good eating out and in our condo; and the 2 of them and I, Cheryl did a lot of snorkeling.  Jim decided that he would sit on the beach and enjoy the views there (the last few times that he has tried snorkeling, it was not fun for him).  I guess we are still Beach people.

Our first week was in our timeshare at Ka’anapali Beach Club; with an ocean front condo.  Beautiful views, but only 2 whales spotted early in the week.  Dan and Kelley took us (not Jim) on their boat and we snorkeled by Red Hill (Pu’u Ola’i) in south Maui.  Saw many types of fish (tang, trigger, wrasse, butterfly, parrot, trumpet and more) and turtles.  We were out in the water about an hour and half and I am happy to say that my new “rash guard” shirt really helped with staying warm.  In addition, the mask and snorkel from Maui Dive Shop worked great.

We also joined Dan and Kelley for a lovely sunset dinner at Royal Lahaina Hotel, Ocean Terrace.  Their good friend, Ford, the wine steward took good care of us.  The four of us also went to Kobe Teppan Steakhouse, yummy.

The second week we were in a 2 bedroom, 2 bath condo that we rented in Kihei through Trip Adviser, Kihei Garden Estates.  It was really nice and we even had a little ocean view.  Every night we walked to the beach and enjoyed the sunset with an evening drink.

Dan and Kelley showed us all the best beaches for snorkeling which also had a grass area with shade for Jim.  We liked Keawakapu Beach (K’pu for short) so much that we went there 4 days in a row.  The coral was very colorful and many fish were seen, as well as turtles.  I had a close encounter with one turtle, had to scramble to get out of its way.  On the last day, Dale bought an underwater camera and the 2 of them got some good shots.  We also took an afternoon snorkel boat ride out of Maalaea Harbor, which included lunch and drinks.  I snorkeled only briefly because the water was really rough!  Also the mask and snorkel provided were not good (should have taken the ones I rented).  But on the way back into the harbor we saw a momma whale and her calf; their backs, fins and tales!  Awesome!

Maui is a beautiful place for scenery in and out of the water.  Our next trip should be in March or April of 2016.

Happy Birthday, Jim, for tomorrow!!

Splendid Carnival Splendor Cruise

Our 8 day cruise started on Oct. 24 with a fantastic exit from the Manhattan skyline (along the Hudson River), including the Freedom Tower. As we cruised along the Statue of Liberty was highlighted by sunset colors.

View from ship of Manhattan and Freedom Tower

View from ship of Manhattan and Freedom Tower

Statue of Liberty with sunset colored sky

Statue of Liberty with sunset colored sky

Wow!

Sky appeared to be painted!

Sky appeared to be painted!

The Cruise Critic group was fun. We had 74 at the Meet ‘N Greet that Jim organized and 24-29 at each of the LCR games.

Fun LCR game.

Fun LCR game.

We knew of few of them from previous cruises and got to know more; 4 new friends joined us for dinner every night: Joe and Lisa and Kriss and Robert.

Dinner on last night

Dinner on last night

At St. Kitts, one of our stops, we went on a tour set up by Kriss with Jim and Rosie’s taxi. The 3 hour tour was well worth the $20 each that we paid (plus tip).

Garden on St. Kitts

Garden on St. Kitts

On St. Thomas, we went with Dennis and Carolyn (met on the Spirit Cruise to Australia) for a short taxi tour. It included viewpoints (Megan’s Bay)

View of Megan's Bay, St. Thomas

View of Megan’s Bay, St. Thomas

and time spent at Coki Beach, very pretty but crowded. On the other 2 islands, St Maarteen and Antingua, we just walked around, had a beer or two and used the internet.

Beers with Friends, St. Maarten

Beers with Friends, St. Maarten

Splendor ship from Harborview Cafe, Antigua

Splendor ship from Harborview Cafe, Antigua

We’ve decided that we are no longer Beach people, except for a nice bar/restaurant with a view!
It was a fun cruise and we enjoyed our cabin steward, Semadi, and wait staff headed up by Beny (female). We flew home, the same day that cruise ended, Nov. 1 from Puerto Rico (first class).