17 September 2011

Gijon y Vigo

I wonder if there is a way to politely find out whether your tour guide sings. Here we are a captive audience in the bus heading back to the ship when the tour guide announces over the loud speaker that he will now sing for us. Singing without music on a good microphone is difficult at best... I can assure you that soloing on a bus PA system really sucks.

The entire day in Gijon seemed to be for the pleasure of the guide... He would look around and decide; we will go in this direction... I think there was no direction in mind other than "I have this sigh for people to follow and I will tell them if they do not keep up (I will sing) and they will be lost for eternity. But then, I am probably being harsh, after all he gave us 10 whole minutes to look inside a church... We walked through (or we were paraded through) the open market "twice". With his little sign raised high, for all those lowly market people to see his power.

Thank god our tour was canceled in Vigo... We walked and shopped and asked for directions; had hot chocolate at a street cafe. Vigo is hilly so our legs got a great workout.

If you plan to stop along the atlantic coast of Spain... Bilboa and Vigo were great to visit... Gijon could be skipped.

Sailing off to Lisbon this evening; I'm looking forward to Portugal.

15 September 2011

Bilboa, Spain

I have never thought about placing a town in a certain location to help defend it from pirates.

I'm impressed that a city has so many buildings from various architects from around the world... Wow. Just hosting the Guggenheim museum is extraordinary; especially since the city constructed the building in addition paying the Guggenheim foundation for locating a museum here...

I guess I'm not learned in the art world... I just don't understand modern art; but I'm damn glad I went. I feel so refined now ;)

Cherbourg France

Utah Beach & Saint Mere Eglise

To experience these places that are so memorialized from World War II... 21 bunkers spread along the area overlooking Utah Beach... Huge canon; concrete reinforced bunkers... Unbelievable open spaces to land at and fight across. One can only imagine how difficult it must have been.

13 September 2011

Florence and Jack

Many of you know by now that Florence passed on 9/12/2011 @ 8:38 AM

It was just Florence and I in the room the day my dad died.

Dad was laying there in hospice in Cheyenne. I had read or someone told me that sometimes people need to know it is ok to go. Dad had made it his purpose to take care of Florence and seemed to be hanging on to the threads of life for some reason. I got close to the bed; not knowing if he could hear me and told him that it was ok to go, that I would take care of Florence. He opened his eyes for a moment as if understanding what I had just said and then he died.

I have since that day tried my hardest to be true to my word and today, being half way around the world is very difficult. I know that Dennis an Carol will take care of the arrangements, but it's still hard to be away.

I'm glad she is finally at peace with the world and gone to a better place

Getting to England from Phoenix,Arizona

Have you ever run through an airport to an empty boarding area; the gate agent yelling "what's your last name?"... Another agent running down the jetway to hold the plane...damn that was fun!!

We were on time (ahead of time) for our Delta Airlines flight out of Phoenix heading to Atlanta on 9/11/2011... The plane was 50 minutes late arriving; not to worry, we had a 3 hour layover in Atlanta... We board the plane, close the doors and there is a mechanical problem... The ground crew fixed the problem as people with close connections were reassured. We close the doors and back out of the gate; stop; another failure- so we return to the gate and the ground crew works some more... This time the ticket agents for Delta board the plane and talk to individuals about hotel rooms, etc as they will now miss their flights. We are getting down to a 30 min layover and are reassured that all is well connecting to our flight to Heathrow... The pilot made up some useable time in the air and we are cautiously optimistic; land in Atlanta and guess what? A plane is in our gate... The clock is ticking... We race off the plane in terminal A find our way to the tram that takes us to terminal E... Yes stoping at B, C, and D along the way... We race to catch our plane and the boarding area is empty. Fun time Delta!!!

We get to England hours later and find the ship greeters from Holland America cruise lines and we wait at the airport for an hour and a half while others clear customs... Finally board the ship fir a relaxing cruise... What's next?

11 September 2011

Travel on 9/11

We had just started traveling before 2001. 9/11 certainly changed the routine. The cautions and observations have evolved over the past ten years.

One thing that has not changed is my desire to travel. I figure if I quit traveling or change plans due to the tragedy of 9/11 then the terrorists have won.

They haven't won; I'm flying on 9/11

02 September 2011

Magic Rope

Getting ready to head out for a long cruise. One of the items we always pack is Magic Rope!  Shock Cord is the elastic cord that makes tent poles stay together.

Its kind of like taking along Duct Tape... we use it to keep doors shut and keep doors open and to secure gear... it can be a clothes line... while on the Bark Europa we tied the fan up so it wasn't pointing permanently at the floor.  It can be used a shoe laces; braided into a belt or web net; we have kept bags from sliding all over the place.  I'm sure we will find new uses on this next adventure.

do you use Magic Rope? how do you use it (please keep comments family friendly)