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Monday, December 21, 2009

Last Day Asea

It's the day for packing, for good-bye, for remembering those last-moment things one wants to do before closing out an adventure. One of those things is getting in on the last laughs and fun things that help to make one's time memorable.

Take bidding old Harry a pleasant journey back to his Colorado. And there's cheering on Wendy and Jared during their 'scrapheap' boat race at the swimming pool. Then there's my final question: What good is an 'automatic' telephone that must have directions printed all over it?

Yep. A fun trip.

Sunday, December 20, 2009


The final formal evening of this trip is behind us. Well, some will stay uppity until late, but we've doffed the duds and settled in. We will gain back one of the hours stolen from us during the voyage - going to Eastern Time Zone during the night.

Above are shots of some new acquaintances. At top is (r. to l.) wistful Wendy, her son Jared and her father Aubrey. Wendy has been a real and memorable kick throughout. Next is (l. to r.) Marcelino, Angela and Richard. There are two others whose photos didn't turn out at all. I'll try to locate them tomorrow.

At moment we're slipping somewhere between Cuba and Haiti. Of course, everyone's watching for news of weather in Ft. Lauderdale for Tuesday. So far we've heard only sour news.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Stateroom Statement

First must report: Danny did make it back to the ship. Yeah, sure -- in time for cocktail hour.  (Let's just say he didn't do too badly during his 2-1/2 hours at the Orangestad casino.)

So - it's bedtime for him, and my time to play myself tired. Decided to try to photograph the stateroom interior from outside our window. Not too good a shot. (Notice Dan, all naked and comfy, in lower right.)

While I was out on the deck I enjoyed viewing a crystal sky, with my hunter friend as directly overhead as I've ever seen him. Of course, I've never looked while this far south. Perhaps I'll now take a stroll to the highest deck to get an even better look.

Meantime: this may be the last entry for this trip. We have only the transit to Ft. Lauderdale now, to be marred only by the third Formal Night tomorrow evening. Ughh! Come to think of it, that may be a good opportunity to upload a photo or two of our table mates in their silly regalia (as well as to bother everyone with more parenthetic interruptions).

Aruba with Champagne Sunday

Every bit the delight we expected. Orangestad's shops begged us to drop in, and we dropped all over the place. Of course, we dropped some money here and there, but who's counting? The stores are so uppity, who could resist?

Weather is nearly perfect -- about 90 degrees and windy when we left the ship. It warmed up as the breeze settled down, so it was nice to get back to the ship.

One problem though: Danny didn't get back. He was last seen entering the town's casino. Sure hope he makes it in time so I don't have to find another Team Trivia partner tomorrow.

Following this stop, we won't be traveling with Champagne Sunday again until about April. Wishing them well ...

Friday, December 18, 2009

Oh. By the Way ...

Our stateroom is one of only two on Coral's Deck 8 at the extreme aft of the ship. In this shot, Danny's waving from the nearly private deck just outside our room's window.

G'Bye, Cartegena. Next update will be tomorrow - from Aruba.

Cartegena Brief(ly)

Not yet at the equator, Cartegena is far enough. Really warm and humid air kept our land visit short. We did enjoy a shady spot where we located a guy who had several beautiful macaws. That made the trip for me. Has to ... with refrigerator magnets selling for $20-upward. Playing with the parrots, priceless.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Canal

During previous transits we ran about our ships, grabbing photos of every detail to provide slide shows for back home. This time it seemed we should play the parts of 'old hats', and sit out the snapshot bit.

So, we are now about half-way through the Canal and, after making nearly 60 new photos today, only four are selected to share. (Probably no photos at other end - they'd just look like the first.)

Oh. Lookit!

Oh. Lookit!
It just burst into periphery
This early morning. At first
I thought it was a little bird
Bobbing 'round the bright lamp

Then, no. Not a bird.
But the biggest bug of its size
I'd ever seen. In two, three swipes
I held it it in my hand.
Oh. Lookit! I caught a moth today.
-- Donn Coon

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Panama City

It's quite an ordeal to visit Panama City from a cruise ship. One must use tenders from ship to Puerto Amador, a man-made clustering of islands off one side of a huge bay, then taxi around that bay to reach the city. There's lots to do and see, though. We enjoyed a shopping mall that, fortunately for us, was well air conditioned.

Before returning to the ship we took a stroll through a wooded jungle-ish area and were delighted to find many varieties of local birds. Upon watching one group of canaries, these words of William Blake came to mind:
To see the world in a grain of sand,
And heaven in a flower;
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Photo Ops

Since we had to use bibs and tuckers this evening, photos seemed in order. We tried numerous perspectives, shooting one another with relative glee, before heading off to the stateroom.

At Sea, Pacifically

Whether through miscalculation or misunderstanding, we erred in announcing a visit today at Panama City. We've an entire day to consume whilst sliding past the upper portion of Panama. That means that one sad event is in store for this evening ... a Captain's Circle cocktail party before a second Formal Night in the dining room.

The daytime, though, can be dedicated to some otherwise under-reported yet significant goings on. From the top, those events involve finishing our morning coffee, then updating this blog before breakfasting. Throughout the day hours will be spent tackling more pages of respective reading materials. Dan's doing a recent Grisham ho-hum and I'm working at Monty Python and Philosophy: Nudge Nudge, Think Think!.

Here's an opportunity to be among the first to wish everyone, Merry Isthmus!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Champagne Sunday Monday

Our group joined us to re-visit this tired and HOT portlet, a happy time only because we coaxed a great smile from Danny.  Who couldn't smile after checking out Fruity Monkey Poop from the Costa Rica Cashew Company.

Only one hour of the heat chased us back to the ship, though we needed to return early for a brief meeting with Al Katz, a comedian acquaintance who is leaving the ship at this port. He's flying to Ft. Lauderdale to board another Princess ship that's headed back this way.

Champagne Sunday will also join us tomorrow in Panama City.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Into the Night ...

There's perspective in what's taken place in the last 24 hours. Nothing worthy of a photo, but that's not to say happenings aren't noteworthy.

D&D Shuffleboard Tourney 09: Requiring two evenings (approx. 1 hour, 23 minutes total) to complete the first game set, late night shuffleboard has never been more fun. Sea spray and winds did not deter either player. At the end of the first evening, D was out in front, 62-21. Night two saw several setbacks, and D was loosing points rapidly until luck changed. By end of play, D won out, leaving tournament score at 1-0. Of course, D feels undeterred, and was heard warning that things will change around rapidly. We'll let you know.

Today's sea state turned blustery and bumpy. We've passed from Mexican waters into and through El Salvador's Pacific side and now are in Costa Rican water. No one has been on deck since late afternoon, winds picking up sea spray and drenching everything.

We opted to attend a show during the evening that prevented our joining our dining room table mates for dinner. After a show of Frank Sinatra's Best, we wolfed down God Knows What at the Horizon Court buffet. Of course, I've snatched a supply of chocolate-chocolate chip cookies to see me through the night. For now, it's a bit of reading then beddy-bye. Tomorrow and a visit to Puntarenas will be coming all too early.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Great Day

We bird watched, bird listened, and bird photographed. Had a Margarita, bought trinkets. Melted. Great visit to Huatulco, albeit too short, as always.


This southern port in the Mexican Rivera archipelago is one of our favorites. We concern ourselves that commercialism will spoil this town, as well may happen it time. For now, it's Old Mexico, frozen for us to enjoy. My favorite spot is a town park where one can see dozens of varieties of birds, or at least hear them if they cannot be spotted.

Always inviting. Which, by the way, is happening now. We haven't much time left here, so - off we go.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Behind Us

Possibly the best thing about Acapulco is leaving.

No, truly. For today, it's leaving the tremendous heat for the cool of the sea. On other visits our ships have left shortly before midnight, when this city offers as spectacular a light display as any we've seen.

Acapulco Friday

Arriving Acapulco approx. 8:00 AM, no matter which way it's viewed. Already, the temperature is 98-degrees, and humidity is unbearable. That factor, plus our distaste for the hustling hawker gauntlet on shore, we are pleased to remain on board the ship throughout the day.

(no subject)

No matter our prejudices, Acapulco remains a gem for viewing from many perspectives.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Anchored at Cabo

The trip to Cabo San Lucas has been as pleasant as we can have made it for ourselves. Still have no winning streaks at Trivia or Shuffleboard. Dan did do well in the casino on the first night out.

Now the hoard has gone ashore and we're enjoying a restful several hours at anchor here in the harbor of Los Arcos.