Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Friday, November 5, 2010
Sat Oct 16 - I loved Quebec. We walked through the “Old City”. I found myself being a leaf peeper. Can you find me looking for you? I loved the architecture found in the old part of the city and the government buildings. Many of the
roofs are made of copper and so are green. I really liked the angel mime holding his globe.
Sun Oct 17 - We had a day at sea with a cruise through the Saguenay Fjord. This fjord is the only area you can see Beluga whales other than Antarctica. We didn’t see any.
Tues Oct 19 - Our first stop was at the SMALL sleepy fishing village of Sept-Ils (set eel) meaning seven islands. It is the largest town on the North shore of the St Lawrence River and founded in 1531. The main industry is fishing and lumberjacks. It was not a very interesting stop and was very cold and windy but I did have my picture taken with the group out in front of a “Dive” that sells crab cakes. I don”t think the big lobster pot we are standing in front of is really used to cook lobsters. I did try finding some new friends by looking in the lobster traps.
I am so excited about the day. We get to eat lobster for lunch and go the “Green Gables”. The ship docked in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. Paul had a hard time letting me eat some of his lobster but I got a good close look. Green Gables was a place that felt like you just wanted to stroll down “lovers lane” or walk through the “haunted forest” of just sit and watch the people. We were told that Ann is very popular around the world, especially in Japan where her stories are required reading and many Japanese people come here to get married or vacation. It was just a pleasant, enjoyable place to be.
Wed Oct 20Another day at sea
Thurs Oct 21
Our port today is Halifax, Nova Scotia. We took a very delightful tour to Luenberg on the south shore. This small fishing and boat building town was a must for Paul. Back in the 1930’s his father happened to be on the Blue Nose I during a race. He worked for the
CBC in Canada and they were testing to seeing how well they could broadcast out at sea for radio. The Blue Nose I was used for fishing and in off season was used for racing. It never lost a race and is so important to the Canadians it is on their dime. We hoped to see the Blue Nose II but it is not sea worthy and so they are in the process of building the Blue Nose III. We did enjoy the fall colors and the rugged coast line. We got some good pictures here. As the message on the back of the bus says, Yes, we are having a good time. Can you tell”
Fri Oct 22
Here we are in Portland, Maine. The best fall colors for the entire trip were found here. The ship docked right in town. Had a great bus tour and stopped at a light house. What fun. We were happy to have a couple hours in town
to shop, take pictures and just enjoy the place before having to be back on board and off to Boston and home.
We have no idea how many miles we traveled this trip.
Army & Jennifer
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Thursday, June 17, 2010
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Friday, March 12, 2010
There are hundreds of little villages scattered over the hills of Northern France. Every village has a church, but we did not let Army out of the ‘bag’ inside of the churches. This church was built in the 1400’s. The insides are still quite decorative with gold leafing on the alters, etc. The French used to be very active in their Catholic religion, but they are now very apathetic about religion. It is a socialist country and their response to the missionaries is ‘we don’t practice religion’. There is a traveling priest who does hold mass in the chapels on a rotating basis.
Mont-Saint Michel: George would not let army go into the abbey, but he did enjoy the warmth of the car that day while we battled rain, wind, and cold weather. Here is some history of this amazing site. Before the construction of the first monastic establishment in the 8th century, the island was called "monte tombe". According to legend, St. Michael the Archangel appeared to St. Aubert, Bishop of Avranches, in 708 and instructed him to build a church on the rocky islet. Aubert repeatedly ignored the angel's instruction, until St. Michael burned a hole in the bishop's skull with his finger.The mount gained strategic significance in 933 when William "Long Sword", Duke of Normandy, annexed the Cotentin Peninsula, definitively placing the mount in Normandy. Ducal patronage financed the spectacular Norman architecture of the abbey in subsequent centuries, completed in 1496 (500 years under construciton). It was converted into a prison during the French Revolution, but the ‘prison’ closed in 1863. The mount was declared a historic monument in 1874.
Notre Dame: Army loved the crowds and was very tired of being photographed with me, so I approached this young woman from China and in my best Chinese dialect asked her if she would hold Army while I took a picture with this marvelous edifice in the background. Of course, she had no clue what I was saying and thought I actually was trying to sell Army to her. She backed away from me and waved her hands, no, no!! I grabbed the camera from George and pointed to it and said ‘photo’…which I am sure is Chinese. She finally understood….so voila!! But she refused to hold Army… do you think they were warned before their tour, not to accept packages from strangers?
Louvre: This museum is massive. You had to check packages before going in….therefore, Army was back in the bag. Plan on several days just visiting the Louvre if you go to France. It was so windy that I did not dare set him down to take a picture or he could have been blown into the Seine river!
Eiffel Tower: Army did not get to go to the top of the tower. This tower is like a giant erector set made of 12,000 iron pieces with 7 million nails holding them together. I have always pictured it in the lovely park-like setting, but it is just stuck there right off the sidewalk. I understand that at night it is fabulous to view. It was built for the World Exhibition in 1889 in celebration of the French Revolution in 1789.
Omaha Beach: Again, windy and cold, and raining! Omaha Beach is the code name for one of the main landing points of the Allied invasion of German-occupied France in the Normandy landings on 6 June, 1944, during World War II. It was one of the beaches of the D-day victory.
Napoleon Bonaparte: Army was excited to meet Napoleon who staged a coup d’etat and installed himself as Emperor of France in 1799.. and is remembered for being defeated at the Battle of Waterloo in June 1815. He spent the last 6 years of his life under British supervision but during his reign his policies laid the foundation of politics in Western Europe.
Where’s Army cemetery: Army got lost in this unique cemetery. Most of the flowers on the graves are glazed ceramic pottery pieces. The graves are covered as you see with stone plaques and various flowers… some of these graves were pretty current, so it is not an ‘old tradition’. The view in the back is Cherbourg harbor an important harbor during WW II where also Napoleon had built fortresses to guard the harbor.
Bread Shop: Army loved the baguettes in France. This was his favorite bread, purchased at a bar just around the corner from my brother’s apartment. I bought two loaves one day, left the bar, then went right back to buy another since I knew we would not be content w/ just two. My brother did not come so I had to communicate in French, “Encore! Un autre pain”. That did provide some humor for those in the bar.
Cows: We planned a picnic on one of our day trips. We stopped at a ‘boulangerie’(bakery) and purchased the sandwiches then drove through many quaint villages. This is the only ‘park’ we found and we were hosted by some French cows. Army loved having other ‘animals’ around.
Thursday, January 21, 2010
Jan 2,2010 to Jan 16, 2010
January 1 -Jennifer, her husband Paul and I flew to LA and took a shuttle to San Pedro for the night. Lots of Sail boats. I can’t wait to get on the water. Hey Pat, If this is what Group Therapy is like I am sure we would all like to sign up. Maybe this could be considered for our Division Retreat 2010.
Our stops along the way were Cabo San Lucas, Mexico where we went whale watching. Picture is for our favorite pirate, Phillip.
Acapulco, Mexico - where we watched the cliff divers. I tried playing the marimba and drums with my tail.
Huatulco, Mexico - where we saw Spanish folk dances. The local people loved me. I didn’t have the heart to eat my friends ( grasshoppers) a local delicacy.
Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala - where we visited the museum in the town of Baul to see Myan and Taltec artifacts. I found many new friends here. I also saw lots of sugar cane fields. We stopped in the town of La Democratia and saw several large stone carved heads called Olmec “fat heads”
Puntarenas, Costa Rica - where we took a taxi to church. Brother Gil and his wife from Portland were also at church. They were on another ship and I really felt small between the two ships. He served a mission in Puntarenas 30 plus years ago. First person he talked to as he came into the church was a man he baptized as a young elder. I found the Elders here.
Panama Canal, Panama - We were up about 5 AM as we did not want to miss anything.
Canal actually runs north and south. It connects the Pacific on the South, and to the Atlantic on the North. Panama City is on the Pacific side and has many high rise buildings. The temple can be seen nestled in the jungle foliage on the hill side just outside Panama City. There are a total of six locks, two locks together and then a small lake. One lock and then the Culebra Cut that was dug for the canal. Then we crossed a big lake. Three locks to the Atlantic. It took between 8-9 hours to go completely through. It takes about 26,000,000 gallons of water to move a ship our size through the Canal. Water flows by gravity through the locks. The canal employs over 9,000 people and is open 24 hrs a day 365 days a yr. The toll or fee for our ship to use the canal was about $360,000 paid in advance. As we passed through the Culebra Cut, we also crossed the Continental Divide. Each lock raises or lowers the ship 27 feet.
Cartayena, Columbia - South America we took a sight-seeing tour of the city. We were amazed to find a large city with high rise buildings next to the old city that was very clean and well kept.
We were told by the tour guide to ask for Coca Cola if we wanted a drink. Jennifer got her first Coca Cola here since leaving LA. Boy did it taste good. Ask for Coke and you may end up in jail. Columbia is a main producer of Emeralds in the world.
The Pacific was calm sailing with wavelets (0.5 ft to 3 ft) but the first day and a half on the Atlantic side was rough (7.5ft to 12 ft.)
Some of my experiences on the Norwegian Star:
Lots of food
Over 2,000 passengers
Over 1,200 crew. My favorite was Madi who left me a new towel animal every night.
It was nice to have a new friend to hang with.
Chris Archer - fantastic banjo player
Jon Stetson - Mentalist just like on TV. I personally did not like him
The Second City - Improve comedy show
Ken Groves -Ventriloquist with dummy George and then Howard on another night.
He also used people from the audience
Chris Riggins -great singer - does modern, opera & broad way kind of stuff
Bob Trumell- magician
Dr Scott Lewis - Hypnotist- couple shows and seminar on stress and weight loss
We had a show put on the ships crew and another one put on by the passengers
Live music several different places on ship every night
Miles traveled by water - 4554 nautical miles (1.15 miles) from LA to Miami. Miles flying - 3243 miles. Total - 7797 miles give or take. There are many more awesome pictures that I wasn't able to include in the Blog, so if you would like to see them, please go and talk with Jennifer about them.