Big News!

Happy Saturday morning my friends! It’s not Christmas, but on Saturday morning I felt just like it was! Hubby gifted me with a 9 day cruise in the Caribbean! We really only stop at Grand Turk, but we will have 9 days of relaxation, warm weather and no chores!

My usual Dog/House sitter is busy and couldn’t commit to it, but a young man I have known since he was a sophomore in High School (he is now a sophomore in college), will be stepping in, to move in and care for the brood!

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Here is where we are going:

Thu, 01/14 Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

Fri, 01/14 At Sea

Sat, 01/14 Princess Cays, Bahamas

Sun, 01/14 At Sea

Mon, 01/14 Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

Tue, 01/14 Princess Cays, Bahamas

Wed, 01/14 At Sea

Thu, 01/14 Grand Turk, Turks & Caicos

Fri, 01/14 At Sea

Sat, 01/14 Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

We are both pretty happy about this because after the year we have had, we are both simply exhausted! We both need a chance to have some extended rest and relaxation.

Our cabin is near one of the nice pools and hot tub areas. As well as near the 24 hour dining room, so if I get hungry at midnight, I can send Jack to get me some tea and crackers.

Now I need to start planning what we will bring and what to pack! Yes, this is one of the best early Christmas presents ever!

Good Morning!

Good Morning Everyone! Yesterday my wonderful cousin, Larry and his girlfriend, Cindy came over and wiped my trusty laptop hard drive and got XP reloaded onto her. She is up and running and I am in the process of deciding what to reload and what to leave on my external hard drive. I’m thinking the external hard drive is the way to go.

Anyway, I was awake until after 11 o’clock last night, which, for those who know me well, is way past my bedtime, so I slept until 9 AM!

I asked my other cousin, Janet if she’d been reading DP the last few days, and she said yes, but that I needed to move along. The vacation is over. Okay I will, but I have one more story to tell, and then I am done, and I haven’t told you this one!

When we got to Fort Lauderdale, we got a cab to the airport, and after checking in, headed to the gate. Usually Hubby has a tough time because of his artificial knees, but this time, it was me.

I had removed almost every piece of clothing possible, and gotten out the laptop, kindle and cell phone, when they told me to get inline for the x-ray machine. I told them I would but I did not want my computers going through, when I could not be on the other side to retrieve them. The TSA Agent told me to pipe down and get in line! I tried to explain and she told me again, be quiet and get in line! It was futile, so I shut up.

Well, I get to the other side of the full body scan machine, and another agent grabbed my arm, and pulls me aside and gave me a full body search! I mean, Hubby hasn’t touched me that much in years! I was furious, insulted, but yes, I guess I learned a lesson. Keep your mouth shut.

I had been targeted for hostile treatment because I didn’t show “them” proper “respect”! I’m still ticked off about it, but there was not a lot I could do. Live and learn. The next time I had to go through Security, I kept my mouth shut!

So, that is the end of my stories about my vacation.

Belize

The amazing part of going to Belize, was that we had to anchor out and then tender in. We used a boat with the name Safeway Maritime, and each time we got on or got off that boat, it was more than rocky! I just knew we were all going to die! I kid you not. It was scary!

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Again it was raining, but we hoped that we would spend most of the day in the bus. Of course the ruins were out in the woods, so off we went for our 6 hour tour! Yes the roads were not good, and yes, the tour was very long!
Here is our guide, whose name escapes me right now.

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It was election day in Belize and unlike the USA, they vote by taking polls on the corner of the roads in their  neighborhoods.

Our guide pulled into his neighborhood, and stopped long enough to get us freshly picked bananas. Unless you have had a banana, freshly ripened and picked off of a tree, you will not know how wonderful a banana can be! Yum!

As we drove along the road to the ruins, I was sad to see the conditions that most of the Belizians live in. There are plenty of “Have’s” who live in nice homes. But there are far more “Have-nots” who don’t have more than a lean-to shack to live in.

The dogs there are skinny, and near death, and run around with no one caring for them. It was so sad.

We arrived at the Ruins and of course it was raining even harder. We had to take this man powered ferry over to see the ruins.

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Then we were off to see the ruins.

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The Xunantunich Mayan Ruins were the better of the ruins that we saw, because we could climb right up on them and explore!

I did well climbing up, but going down was tricky! I forgot that I had a fear of heights!

The carvings were awesome, and I really was impressed.

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Soon they got us all together and brought us back, via the bus, to an open air restaurant where they served us rice, beans, plantains and chicken. Which was okay.

Since we were both pretty wet, we were happy to get to the ship. We dried off, changed our clothes and at 6 PM, went to dinner. We had a nice time with our table mates, and then returned to our suite to settle in and rest at about 8:15.

We had just opened the door of our room when I saw a bag on our bed, then Apolonio was there, and he said he had gone to the laundry and checked it out for Hubby’s swim suit. He was hoping that this was it.

I went to him and gave him a big hug and offered him my heartfelt thanks!!! For it surely was the lost suit!!!

Yay!!!

Roatan

Like the previous two days, we woke in Roatan to rain. It would stop briefly, and then start up again, but we were really in for it.

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Besides tossing Hubby’s bathing suit aside the day before, I had also forgotten to pack his rain jacket and an umbrella for him. So, let’s just say, he wasn’t terribly happy with me.

In the morning I had called the Front Desk, Lost and Found, and contacted our Cabin Steward to alert them to Hubby’s missing swim trunks. No one seemed to think they were retrievable, but everyone told me they would try.

Since the weather was still somewhat dicey, it took us a while to dock, before we could begin our tours.

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We met up with our tour guide, Miss Sheila and started the day. Our first segment had us in a small boat looking at mangroves and a ship that had washed up on a coral reef. It was in the middle of this tour that the skies opened and the rain poured down!

I gave Hubby my umbrella, but even with my rain jacket, I got soaked! Oh well, what is a girl to do?

Next we drove along the main road out to a small village where it showed us what the early settlers of Roatan did for dancing, food and how they lived.

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I am still totally in love with that little girl! She was so adorable and danced with a naturalness, that only a child can do.

We headed back to the ship, and finished off our day with a dinner in the main dining room and then back in our cabin, reading.

Still, no swim suit, but I was hoping. If we didn’t get it back by the time we got to Mexico, we’d go looking for one there in the shops.

To be continued…

Grand Cayman

This was probably my favorite port of call. After all, as you know we had arranged to swim with the dolphins, and it just doesn’t get any better than that!

We were up early, as the excitement was really driving me crazy! We had a nice breakfast at the buffet, and then we waited. You see, it was raining once again, and as we were were being tendered in to the Island, we had to wait until it was safe to do this.

So we sat drinking coffee, and we looked up and noticed a rainbow had started to glow. I ran down to our cabin and tried to get a shot. It’s not the best one I’ve ever taken of a rainbow, but here it is!

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Eventually they took us ashore so that we could begin our tours. We had chosen the Dolphin and Turtle Farm. You have all read about my joy swimming with the Dolphins! Really, it was the best trip ever, and I would do it again. Dolphins are the smartest creatures!

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If I could I would learn to be a trainer! Yes, this excursion was even better than I imagined!

The turtles were also interesting. The way their bodies are protected by the shell, amazing! I loved being able to climb in the tank and pick up one of the younger ones!

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Now here’s where things got dicey. I chose to stay in my bathing suit, but Hubby wanted to get into his dry shorts. So off he went to change, while I arranged to buy the pictures of me and Hubby with the Dolphins. He came back in time to get the bus back to the ship.

I was so excited, as we took the tender back to the ship. Here is a picture of the crewman driving us back.

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As we stepped on the ship, there were crew members taking our wet beach towels. I grabbed ours and tossed them into the bin.

We had our cards scanned and then off we went to our room to change and get ready for lunch.

One thing you do a lot of when you are on a cruise and it is raining is…eat!

We decided just to have the buffet that night as we seemed to be a bit over stuffed from a day of continuous nibbling.

But the next morning Hubby asked me the fateful question…”Where is my swim suit?”

I didn’t have any clue, until I realized he had wrapped it in the towel. Then I knew that there was a good chance his suit was gone.

To be continued…

First Day At Sea

I’m going to go back and recount the days of our cruise. It’s strange how quickly the days went by, after waiting for them to arrive.

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We went onto the Ship just after noon, found our cabin, and then off we went to have a little lunch. There was a nice variety of food, and we ended up sitting with Klaus and Nelly, from Canada. We would sit with them several times during the trip, and enjoyed getting to know them.

After lunch we went back to our cabin and found our suitcases had been delivered. We unpacked, and then settled in.

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Our Cabin Steward, Apolonio, brought two glasses of champagne to us and welcomed us onto the ship!

At 3:30 we had a Muster Drill to go through. Basically this has everyone go through a safety drill, so we all would know what to do in the event of an emergency. They also went through a drill telling us what to do is we see someone go overboard, or if there was an emergency.

After that, we all were free to watch our ship pull away from the dock in Fort Lauderdale and out to sea.

At 6 PM we dressed casually and off we went to dinner. Our table mates were a couple from New Hampshire and the other couple were British. but currently living in the USA while he trains.

The food was great, and the company was as well. The two hours we were there flew by and so we were up and off to watch a show.

Singing, dancing and lights flashing. A Broadway show, at sea!

After all the rushing around the day before, we both were somewhat tired. We climbed into bed a little early, wondering what we would do on our day at sea. Swim, sun, watch a movie by the pool?

Not exactly. You see when we woke up the next day, it was raining! Not only that, but the sea was rough. So rough that when Hubby and I were in one of the dining rooms, a wave heeled over the ship, hard to one side, and glassware fell and smashed on the floor!

Although I had my seasickness patch on, so that I wouldn’t be bothered by the ocean, this was a bit more than usual, and I found myself sipping ginger ale and nibbling on crackers.

By the time dinner rolled around, I was feeling better, and the rolling seas had calmed.

Sunshine!

Finally, on Thursday we woke to sunshine! Apparently the “Sun Gods” of Mexico were smiling on us. We gathered our totes for the day, and then off we went to take a ferry from our ship’s birth to the mainland of Mexico.

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We met up with our guide, Lily. She was a sweet young woman, who works hard to get ahead in this world.

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I admire her dedication to learning all the history of the Mayan’s, and be able to explain it.

Now we did stop off to visit some of her friends shops, but they were well laid out and the prices didn’t gouge a person. I bought nothing. I have decided that the last thing I really need is more kitch!

The Mayan Ruins were spectacular! We were not allowed to climb on them, as they are becoming additionally fragile.

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But the real surprise was when we went around the back and found the big secret to the Ruins. They have a sheer drop off to the beach below, making them nearly impossible to breach from that side.

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There were no trees or anywhere to escape, when the sun began to beat down so heavily on our heads! I thought I would simply dehydrate and perish on the spot You know, “New England Woman Dehydrates in Mexico and Perishes”!

I made my way back to the buses, and stopped to get the largest bottle of water I could find! I’m not a fan of water, but on Thursday, nothing tasted so good!
We were driven back to the ferry and off we went to board our ship. Somehow, after a week of rain, everyone showed up at the formal dinner, rather informally. Everyone, including me are just plain exhausted! So tomorrow it’s a good thing that we are having a full day to rest and relax!

Rain!!!!!

Dear Diary,
Today when Hubby and I woke up for a new, adventure on our cruise, we pulled open the curtains, and saw the one thing that has plagues us for the last 4 days. RAIN! Since most of our day was to be spent in a tour bus, we thought perhaps we could handle it.
I was wrong! We got off the bus quite a bit, and then when we visited the ruins, well, that soaking was nearly as significant as a full on shower!


The ruins.

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In this picture you can see a Howler Monkey and the rain!
I will say this, Belize is a complicated place. Mostly I saw terrible poverty, but then these people would be sitting on their steps laughing and joking, and two or three kids would be playing, unaware that they were missing anything at all.
Our guide stopped at his cousin’s fruit stand and they provided us all with freshly ripened bananas! Now that was a real treat!
The Island is loaded with dogs. Now I did see a few purebreds, but mostly they were Caribbean Mutts, skinny and almost to the point of falling over dear. This really impacted my view of the Island. As you know, I am a great dog lover, and would share my meal before I would allow my animal to be in this terrible condition.
However, I did find this a fascinating trip, even if it was in the rain!

Roatan

Both Hubby and I were tired last night so we were in bed by ten o’clock. Not too unusual for me, but definitely unusual for Hubby, who needs just 5 or 6 hours at night.

We have had our breakfast and now wait to dock in Roatan. The biggest problem today are slightly rocky seas, and although we were due in today at 9 AM, it’s looking like we will not make that, and perhaps not be able to get in to Roatan at all

Later:

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Well, the seas calmed and the sun came out here and there, so we got to go on our excursion. We docked, today and we were picked up by our bus. A nice tour guide, named Sheila, gave us a tour. My biggest impression is that there is a great deal of poverty, but also that the people work hard to get ahead. Our guide has children to feed and eight dogs!

Our tour left late so by the time we got back Hubby was ravenous, and wanted a big meal. We went up to the buffet and he filled his plate. I still wasn’t too hungry, so selected some cheese and crackers and was happy with that.

While we were touring the Island, however, there was a sweet little girl. She was probably no more that 2 or 3 years old.

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While her Mommy dances and Daddy played the bongos, she danced her little heart out in the back.

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I got out my camera with the telephoto lens can caught this shot. Isn’t she precious?

We also took a boat trip, and ended up getting soaked, and it was entirely my fault. You see, I packed my rain jacket and not his, and I forgot his umbrella.

I did check out a few shops on Roatan, but it is the same kitch that end up cluttering my house or some one else’s

Tomorrow we will be in Belize, and I am hoping for better weather. We have had nothing but rain on this trip and I am pretty tired of it

I would love just one whole day with no rain! Oh well, at least isn’t snow!

On to Belize tomorrow!