Last day of cruise was a rainy one in Newport, Rhode Island

What a day!  I awoke early this morning and thought, “It is so dark”.  I stepped out onto the balcony around 5:45am to dark skies and thick black clouds that seemed so close they would touch the water.

I stayed on the balcony for over an hour marveling at the cloud formations even though it was wet, damp and cold.  Today we drop anchor in Newport, Rhode Island.

The skies remained gloomy until the time the ship made its way into the harbor.  We were in no hurry today since the forecast for the day was off and on rain.  We made our way up to the concierge lounge for a light breakfast and talked about what we would like to do.

The rain finally started and was on again, off again throughout the morning.  We spent our time doing a little packing, spending a little time on the internet and trying to make a decision about going ashore.  I spent a good deal of time watching all the sail boats that were in the harbor.

We finally made up our minds to remain on the ship and do some reading.  We were on our way up to the concierge lounge to settle in for the day when we ran in Frank and Judy.  We met Frank and Judy in while visiting Portland, Maine and had a great time.  Evidently, they were grappling with the same decision about going on shore.  After talking with them for a while, we made the decision to go ashore together and find a nice restaurant to have lunch then return to the ship.

We caught a tender over to the pier and walked over to Thames Street and thought we would like to have lunch at the Brick Alley Pub but there was a half hour wait and we were all a little worried about the rain.  There was another restaurant upstairs owned by the same company called Plumbey’s Upstairs Burger Bar with no wait.

We decided to go upstairs and look over the menu.  Satisfied, we placed our orders and found a table.  We had a great time just talking, laughing and enjoying our choices for lunch.  Of course, I ordered a bacon cheeseburger.  The burger was served with Applewood bacon and cheddar cheese and it was absolutely delicious.

Finished, we started to make our way back to the pier and catch a tender back to the ship.  As we turned onto the Long Wharf, Judy mentioned that she needed to stop to buy a postcard.  While we waited, Randy and Frank talked a bit and I people watched.  Just as Judy came out of the store, little spits of rain started to fall.

We hurried along and made it to the tender before the skies opened up.  Oh my, the rain fell in earnest as we motored our way back to the ship.  Our tender was a lifeboat from the ship.  The entrances to the boat were open and everyone that was sitting close to the doors was getting pelted by the rain.  A crew member worked diligently to zipper the openings only to become soaked himself.

By the time we made it to our cabin it was raining harder and lightning could be seen everywhere.  We were glad to be back on board.

We spent the rest of the afternoon finishing our packing, buying our souvenier photos and dropping coins into the slot machines in the casino.

Before we knew it, it was time to prepare for the evening activities.  The last night on the ship is always a fun time.  The dining room staff puts on a show for the passengers singing songs of thanks for spending time on the ship and in the dining room.

Great dinner companions–Fred, Gayle, Larry, Sue, Joe, Cindy, Craig and Maryann. Lovely, lovely people!

Our wonderful servers-Vasyl and Anil

It is also a time of goodbyes to our wonderful servers and dinner companions.  Trust me when I say, having good servers and dinner companions make all the difference in the world on your cruise experience.  This cruise our dining experience was exceptional.

We opted not to go to the Farewell show returning instead to our cabin for a little relaxation and a good night’s sleep.

Tomorrow we dock at Cape Liberty, New Jersey early in the morning.  After a quick breakfast we will board a bus for the transfer to the airport and fly back home.

The 42 days we cruised on the Vision of the seas was just wonderful.  We enjoyed all the activities on board, we enjoyed all the beautiful places we visited and most of all we enjoyed all the new friends we made along the way.

Until next time,

Enjoy,

Mary

 

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Sightseeing around beautiful, historical Boston, Massachusetts

Boston Public Gardens

I woke up to the lovely sounds and sights of being moored off the beautiful New England city of Boston, Massachusetts.  Boston is the capital and largest city in Massachusetts.  The city was founded in 1630.

The sky was clear, air was warm, there was a gentle breeze and the ripples in the water were barely moving.  Today was going to be a wonderful day to see the sights around Boston.

Randy was very excited because we are going to be in port for two days.  He wants to show me around to the many places he ate, slept and visited during his days working for the IRS.

The TEAMMATES ( Ted Williams, Bobby Doerr, Dom DiMaggio and Johnny Pesky )

 

 

We signed up for the Old Town Trolley Tour of Boston.  The fully narrated 90 minute tour would take us to, among other historical sites, Beacon Hill, Fenway Park, Cambridge, Old North Church, Bunker Hill, the Public Gardens, CHEERS, Faneuil Hall, the Old State House, Boston Commons and more.

 

 

Old South Church

CHEERS

 

The bus tour was wonderful.  Our tour conductor was a font of historical knowledge and very funny and kept our interest throughout the tour.  While we were on the tour, I made a mental note of several sights that I would like to see up close and personal.

 

Old State House

Massachusetts State House

 

 

Once the tour was over we left the trolley at the Old State House and started our walk around town.  I was fascinated how this historical area of small buildings seemed so wonderfully nestled between so many steel and glass skyscrapers.

 

 

Fanueuil Hall — Statue of Samuel Adams

We spent hours walking around as Randy reminisced and told stories about his time in Boston.

 

We walked through Faneuil Hall, Quincy Market and strolled down a lovely pedestrian walk lined with sidewalk cafes and shops.

 

We then turned our attention to a small street that was undergoing major construction to stop at a restaurant Randy had visited many times over the years, Ye Olde Oyster House.   I loved it!  We walked around inside a section of the restaurant called ‘Freedom Hill Trail’ with many wooden plaques depicting the history of our country’s revolutionary past.

It was too early for lunch so we continued our walk.  On the trolley tour I had noticed a glass structure and wondered what it was.  As it turned out the structure was just across the street from the restaurant.

Holocaust Memorial

We walked over to take a look and discovered a beautiful, monument to holocaust victims.  The New England Holocaust Memorial was built as, “A beacon of memory and hope, inviting all visitors to reflect on the impact of bigotry and to resolve to combat all forms of oppression”.

We walked slowly on the path through the six structures and were moved by the tattooed numbers etched and quotes made by survivors etched into the glass.

 

With map in hand we continued our walk past the Old South  Meeting House along the Freedom Trail to the Granary Burying Ground and spent a good deal of time reading the headstones.  We found the grave sites of Sam Adams, Paul Revere, Ben Franklin’s family and many more.

 

 

One tombstone Randy wanted to show me was the the grave site of Mother Goose.

King’s Chapel

 

 

Our next stop was the King’s Chapel and burying ground.  The graveyard was at one time in history the only burial ground in Boston’s for 30 years.  Historical figures buried here include John Winthrop, the colony governor, Mary Chilton, the first woman off the Mayflower and William Dawes, who rode with Paul Revere on the Midnight Ride.

 

 

After walking among the rows of tombstones, we decided to spend a few moments visiting the church.  The church was built in 1688 and was originally an Anglican Church.  The interior of the church was lovely.  I especially liked the boxed pews with the red velvet cushions.

 

We eventually made it back to Faneuil Hall in search of a place to have lunch.  I wanted to go to the Oyster House but on our way Randy spotted a sign outside a pub called, Paddy O’s advertising a luncheon special that included a burger and a beer for $7.00.  Well, that is all it took for us to change direction.

The bartender rimmed the glass with pumpkin pie spice. The beer was yummy!

We sat at the bar and struck up a very nice conversation with the bartender.  When he learned that we had been traveling up and down the New England and Canadian shoreline he asked if we had enjoyed any interesting beers.

We shared all the different flavored beers we had enjoyed and that we really loved the Sea Dog Blueberry beer the best.  He asked if we had ever had pumpkin beer.  We said, “No”.  He gave us a sample of Shipyard Pumpkinhead beer.  We loved it so we ordered a pint to share.  We both loved the spicy flavor of the beer; It was so good.

We walked back to the street where we could pick up a ride on the tour bus back to the ship.  By the time we returned to the ship we had just enough time to shower and prepare for the evening activities.

Pictured: Fred, Gayle, Larry, Sue, Joe, Cindy, Craig, Maryann, Randy and Mary

As I have mentioned before, we have great dinner companions and enjoy every minute of time we spend with these wonderful people sharing our various experiences.

The second day in port we made the decision to stay on the ship instead of going on shore.  We had a wonderfully relaxed day reading, having lunch with an officer.  I also managed to enjoy a luxurious mani-pedi.

Tomorrow we are in Newport, Rhode Island.

Enjoy,

Mary

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Lovely day cruising around Casco Bay in Portland, Maine

As I slowly awoke from a very restful sleep, I saw a sliver of light coming through the curtain and jumped out of bed and grabbed my camera.

The air was heavy with mist as I stepped out onto the balcony and caught sight of a beautiful lighthouse and beautiful homes scattered along the coastline.

What is it that we find so beautiful about lighthouses?  Is it the different shapes, the colors or is it that when we see one off in the distance with its light shining we all filled with a sense of well-being and safety?  I think they are beautiful.

The rising sun cast a glow on the city a we approached the pier.

Today we dock in Portland, Maine. Portland has a population of just over 67,000 and is Maine’s second largest cruise port.

We visited Portland on the second leg of our cruise but did not get the opportunity to do much as we were on a mission to find a pharmacy to get me some medication for a very bad cough.

We did not schedule a tour today opting instead to check out the tours available outside the pier.

First things first, we went up to the concierge lounge for a quick breakfast of coffee, fruit and pastries.  Then back to the cabin for a quick look at our email and check in with friends then off the ship to start our day in the city.

After seeing what tours were available, we decided to take a trolley tour around the city and were given instructions to the ticket booth.  The ‘short’ walk to the book was a little longer but was very pleasant as the temperatures had already reached into the mid-70s and were going up.

When we arrived we learned that the next trolley tour would be quite a wait so we decided to take the ‘Lighthouse Lovers Cruise’ that would be taking off in just a little bit.  The tour was a, “Narrated 60-minute scenic cruise through busy Casco Bay and its innermost islands to see lighthouses, forts, lobster boats, seals and seabirds”.

Our tour boat.

While we waited for our tour to start we walked along the dock and came across a piece of history.  There on the Old Port near DiMillo’s Floating Restaurant was a piece of the Berlin Wall.  Very interesting!

The captain of the tour boat and our narrator were just wonderful  As we cruised through the bay the captain would alert us whenever he spotted a seal and periodically slow down the craft to allow us a steady hand to take pictures of the lighthouses.

Bug Light

Spring Point Light

 

 

The narrator imparted all that he knew, and his knowledge was considerable, about the history of Portland, the bay, lighthouses and islands.

 

Portland Head Light

Ram Island Light

 

We passed the Portland Harbor Breakwater Light (Bug Light), the Spring Point Ledge Light, the Portland Head Light and the Ram Island Ledge Light.  According to our narrator, the Portland Head Light is Maine’s oldest and most photographed lighthouse.  Interesting sights included the Indian Head on Cushing Island, Fort Georges, and a number of other islands.

Indian Head on Cushing Island

Fort Georges

While on the tour, we recognized a couple from the ship.  After we returned to the pier we introduced ourselves and asked if they would like to go get some lunch.  Frank and Judy said, “Yes” and off we went.

From the pier we could see an outdoor restaurant that looked interesting.  The Portland Lobster Company actually had an indoor restaurant.  Outside was the bar and patio.  We opted to go to the patio.  We had to wait a bit for a table to come available but it was worth the wait.

Randy ordered a cup of New England clam chowder and I ordered (now do not laugh) Chicken tenders off the children’s menu.   But the best thing on the menu was Sea Dog Blueberry Ale.  This blueberry beer is so good!

We sat back enjoying the beautiful weather, fun background music and set about getting to know our new found friends.  We had a delightful time and looked forward to seeing them again on the ship.  After lunch, Frank and Judy left to do a bit of shopping.  We took a very slow walk back to the pier and the ship.

We returned to the cabin for a short rest before preparing for cocktails and dinner.  Dinner was wonderful as always.  Fred, Gayle, Larry, Sue, Joe, Cindy, Craig and Maryann are so much fun to be with.

As usual, we all lingered for a long time after dinner before going our separate ways for the evening.

Taken on first leg of our cruise

The headliner entertainment for the evening was a group called Rookie.  We first saw this fun group of entertainers on the trans-Atlantic portion of the 3-leg cruise.  Actually, we saw their performance twice and both times they were just wonderful.  The group is a Canadian rock and roll cover band performing songs from the 50’s and 60’s.

We finally retired to our cabin for a good night’s sleep.

Tomorrow we dock in Boston, Massachusetts.

Enjoy,

Mary

 

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A lovely, lazy day in Rockland, Maine

 

I woke up this morning to a very foggy morning.  By 8:00am the fog had lifted promising a beautiful day in Rockland, Maine.  Rockland is the lobster capital of the world and home of the annual Maine Lobster Festival.

While eating a light breakfast in the concierge lounge, we enjoyed watching the sun slowly rising in to the morning sky and the beautiful shoreline passing by.

There was no rush to go ashore today as we had not signed up for an excursion.  We were here just over a week ago and took an excursion to the beautiful Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens and loved it.

But today we needed to do a little administrative work on the internet to straighten out our flight arrangements and secure transportation to the airport.  Randy was able to get our flight changed to a later time making it possible for us to get a transfer from the ship to the airport.  Next on his list was changing our arrival time for our transportation from the airport to the house.

Once all the arrangements had been taken care of we prepared to catch a tender to the pier.  Our original thought for the day was just to have a nice lunch at the restaurant on the hill overlooking the waterfront.  However, when we arrived at Hill’s Seafood Co there was not a table to be had.  So, we decided to walk downtown in search of another restaurant.

The streets of this small town of just under 8,000 residents are lined with coffee shops, book stores, organic markets, restaurants, museums and art galleries.  Rockland is the home of the Farnsworth Art Museum,  a world-famous art gallery containing paintings by Andrew Wyeth.

Farnsworth Art Museum

We walked down one side of the street crossed over and walked back up the other side stopping here and there to look in the shop windows.  There were two ships in port today and I believe everyone on board those two ships came ashore.  Every shop and restaurant was filled to capacity.

We have a friend back home that loves wall art and shares pictures of everyone one she sees.  We came upon a piece of wall art on the side of one of the buildings we passed so, of course, I had to take a picture.  The artwork was so large I had to take two photographs.  It was a fun piece that included all the symbols of the area; seashells, fish, lobster floats, and seabirds.

 

We eventually walked all the way back to our starting point, the Hills Seafood Co.  This time there was a table available in the courtyard overlooking the harbor.  “Wonderful,” I thought.

 

 

First things first, we looked over the beer menu.  We both love trying new, local beers wherever we travel.  I found a beer called Sea Dog Blueberry and could not resist.  Randy ordered the Geaghan Bros. Honey Blonde.  I loved my blueberry beer.  The beer was infused with the flavor of Maine wild blueberries.  It was so refreshing!

 

 

 

We both loved our choices of beer.  However, when it came time to order another beer Randy wanted to try the blueberry.  We ordered one glass to share.  The waitress came out carrying a plastic glass that was filled with more foam than beer.  Our server explained that the keg had run out and gave us the glass with her compliments.  We both loved the blueberry beer.

 

While we enjoyed our beer and watching the comings and goings in and around the harbor area from our perch we ordered lunch.  Randy ordered the Fish and Chips and I ordered a dish called Pop Pop Popcorn Chicken.  Both choices were deep fried and came with seasoned fries and coleslaw.  Everything was delicious.

We sat for a long time just enjoying the day before making our way back to the pier to catch a tender back to the ship.

On the way back to the ship we got a bird’s eye view of the Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse.  The light house sits at the end of a 7/8 mile long breakwater.

The rest of our day was quiet as we both decided to hang out in the cabin until it was time to prepare for the evening.

Cocktails and dinner were, as usual, fun.

There was a headliner show scheduled for this evening but we decided to return to the cabin and sit quietly on the balcony and enjoy each other and the night air.

Tomorrow we dock in Portland, Maine

Enjoy,

Mary

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Beautiful day on land and sea – Bar Harbor, Maine

View from our balcony of Frenchman Bay early in the morning

After a long night of listening to the ship’s fog horn it was so nice to wake up and see the skies clearing and the promise of a beautiful day ahead.

Today we drop anchor in Bar Harbor, Maine.  Bar Harbor is a town on Mount Desert Island along Maine’s Frenchman Bay.

Over the years Randy and I have visited Bar Harbor and the local points of interest including Acadia National Park and Cadillac Mountain and enjoyed each visit.  So, today we decided that we would tender over to the island, walk around a bit and find an interesting place to have lunch.

 

Bar Harbor is a lovely place to walk.  The streets are lined with many lovely small shops offering a large variety of souvenirs and collectibles and restaurants offering a variety of yummy sounding dishes.

We passed by several of our favorite stores and shops like the ice cream store with the giant ice cream-holding red lobster and the Christmas Spirit Shop.  The last time we were here I bought a lovely box of Christmas cards with scenes of life on the New England shore.  We stopped in one shop and bought Bar Harbor tee shirts for family members back home.

We spent about an hour walking along reading the menus displayed in front of many restaurants.  We passed one restaurant that was tucked back away from the street that looked very interesting. We made note of it but continued our walk.   Well, it was time to choose a restaurant.

We decided to return to the restaurant called Route 66.  “What a fun place“, I thought as we entered the restaurant.  Everywhere you looked there was something old and unique that brought back so many wonderful memories.

The server asked us where we would like to sit and we said, “Upstairs”.  What a great choice.  From our perch on the balcony we could see everything that was going on in the restaurant and all the fun memorabilia that adorned the walls.

The first thing that caught my eye was the stained-glass windows.  “Could they be from a church?” I wondered.  Well, in fact, they were.  On the back of the menu was the history of the restaurant.

Evidently, the first building burned down in 1986 and the owner started looking for a ‘new building and theme’.  An old church in East Vassalboro, Maine was purchased and the best parts were transported to Bar Harbor and used in the construction of this building.

 

The owner then started to collect 50’s memorabilia and toys.  I looked around the restaurant and spotted the 1954 Seeburg Juke Box, 50’s drive-in speakers in some of the booths and the 1930’s gas station and country store.

There was also a collection of Lionel Trains around the restaurant.   One was constantly running just below where we were sitting.

 

It was hard to focus on the menu but finally I did.  It was not hard to make a choice.  I ordered the 6oz. Black Angus burger on a handmade roll with lettuce and tomato and a side of fresh hand-cut fries which, by the way, was yummy.

 

Now, doesn’t that look yummy??

I noticed that the menu also listed milkshakes.  I asked our server if they were ‘real’ milkshakes.  She said, “Yes, the shakes are made with real ice cream and topped with real whipped cream”.  Well, that was just perfect!  The shake was thick, creamy and delicious!

Randy ordered the clam chowder and he declared that it was, “Delicious”.

I had to laugh when I spotted lobster on the menu but then I had to remind myself that we were after all cruising along the New England coast.  While enjoying our lunch I noticed a group of people at a table below. They all ordered whole lobsters.  What was funny was watching them try to eat them.  It was a challenge for some.

Sated we walked back down to the marina to board a tender and returned to the ship.  We returned early enough to spend a bit of time at the Solarium pool and take a dip.

All too soon, it was time to make ready for the evening activities of cocktails, dinner and attend the headliner show in the theater.

Tonight’s headliner featured entertainer Greg Bonham.  What a multi-talented entertainer!  Bonham sang and played the trumpet with such high energy that everyone was on their feet at the end of the show.  Randy and I both hope to see him again on another cruise.

It had been such a beautiful day but by the time we returned from the evening’s entertainment we realized that our ship had, once again, been swallowed up by the fog.  Shortly we heard the mournful sound of the ship’s fog horn fill the night air.

Tomorrow we drop anchor at Rockland, Maine.

Enjoy,

Mary

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Visiting pubs and discovering new and delicious beers in Halifax, Nova Scotia

Halifax Harbor Lighthouse

Today we are revisiting the city of Halifax, Nova Scotia.  When we were here just about a week ago we took a wonderful tour of the “Top 10 Best of Halifax” stopping at beautiful Peggy’s Cove, the Acadian Maple store, the colorful Public Gardens, historic Citadel Hill and the cemetery where lay the bodies of the ill-fated Titanic and more.

We saw so many wonderful things in Halifax that we thought we needed to do something different.  We looked over the offerings in the tour booklet and came across what we thought would be a perfect activity for us.

The tour called “Hop on for Hops” was touted as, “A unique Hop-On, Hop-Off tour with stops at four different pubs.  Savor a wide range of sights, smells and tastes from vibrant wines to a flourishing craft beer culture, plus enjoy a steaming cup of seafood chowder”.  Oh my, this tour was meant for us so we signed up.

One of the many Halifax streets we rode through

After a quick breakfast, we prepared to go ashore and pick up our tickets.  The tickets gave us an all-day pass giving us access to a fully guided city tour aboard a double-decker bus.

It was such a nice day with temperatures in the low-seventies that we decided to take the city tour first then on the second go-round get off at the furthest point of our pub hop and walk back to the pier stopping at the other three pubs along the way.

The ride around the city was actually very nice again.  Our first pub stop was on Green Spring Road called the Rock Bottom Brew Pub.  We walked into the building and noticed that there were two flights of stairs, one going down and one going up each leading to a pub.  The Rock Bottom was downstairs.  Unfortunately, it did not open until later that after we would have already returned to the ship.

 

Not to be disappointed, we walked upstairs to Your Father’s Mustache and spoke to a very lovely woman.  We explained our predicament and asked if we would use the ticket there.  She said she would check.  When she returned she said we could absolutely have a beer complements of the pub.

The bar tender was very nice and handed us a beer menu.  I explained that I preferred light and refreshing beers.  He recommended that I try the Nine Locks Dirty Blonde a North American style Weizen brewed with Canadian wheat and barley.   I did and it was delicious.

For Randy, the bartender recommended the Irish Red.  Randy loved his choice too and commented on the beer’s sweet caramel taste.  We sat at the bar and had a good deal of fun reading the glasses.  Each glass had funny sayings and were very entertaining. Before we left we thanked the bartender and hostess for being so king and accommodating honoring our ticket.

We left the pub and started our walk to the next stop.  On the way we noticed a lot of activity on the street.  Workers were setting up an event called “Switch Open Street Sunday”.  I learned that this event is to promote the ‘switching” off of cars and “switching on” street entertainment, markets, recreation and activities.  “What a cool idea,” I thought as we watched workers set up giant checker and Jenga games in the middle of the street.

We continued our walk and stopped in Saint Mary’s Cathedral Basilica.  I do love to spend time admiring architecturally beautiful churches.  We spent a few moments walking around the interior admiring the stained glass windows and the beautiful Georgian style pillars.

Our next stop found us at Maxwell’s Plum on Grafton Street.  The interior of the pub was rich in dark wood tones.  I was fascinated with the beautiful windows.  After looking over the beer menu, I ordered the Garrison Raspberry Wheat and loved the light flavor. Randy ordered the Garrison Irish Red Ale and enjoyed its smooth malt flavor. Both beers were delicious!

We continued our walk down to The Lower Deck on Upper Water Street.  We were a little taken aback when we noticed that there was no one around.  It was obvious that the pub was just opening for business.  We would be their first customers of the day.  We walked in and waited a few moments and finally the bartender came into the pub.  We produced our tickets and he promptly gave us each a glass of Alexander Keith’s India Pale Ale.  We both thought the beer was both light and refreshing.  We spent some talking to the bartender before making our way to the next stop on our pub tour.

By now we were a little hungry and glad to be stopping at the Red Stag Tavern on Lower Water Street.  This was our stop to receive a free bowl of seafood chowder.  Randy loves chowder but I do not.  I asked the waitress if there was another soup I could choose.  She said the chef had prepared a lovely tomato soup.  That sounded great to me so I ordered a bowl.  Randy enjoyed the Alexander Keith’s so much at our last stop that he ordered a bottle of Alexander Keith’s light ale again.  Me, I decided to enjoy a glass of lemonade this stop.  The chowder and soup were delicious!

The entire way back to the ship, we talked about our wonderful day.  The walk was wonderful, the pubs were fun, the bartenders and servers were very friendly, the beers were wonderfully delicious, and we both loved our soups.  We both agreed that it was a good decision to walk from pub-to-pub instead of taking the bus.  The walk afforded us an opportunity to see more of the city and walk off the beer we consumed.

We returned to our cabin for an afternoon of reading before preparing for the evening activities.  Dinner, as usual, was wonderful.  We have found that we enjoy very much the companionship of these wonderful people so much so that we all linger well beyond our dinner time watching as the servers clear off the tables around us.    This group of people has been so much fun to be with.

After all the walking we did today, we decided to return to the cabin for a relaxing evening. We returned to the cabin and noticed that, once again, we were completely enveloped in pea soup fog.  It was going to be a long night of the mournful sound of the ship’s fog horn.

Tomorrow we dock in Bar Harbor, Maine.

Enjoy,

Mary

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Seeing what we could see in Sydney, Nova Scotia

“7:00 am and it is going to be another beautiful day,” I thought when I stepped onto the balcony and saw bright blue skies.  By 7:25am as we entered the harbor however, we were enveloped in a blanket of fog.  At around 8:40 the skies, like magic, the skies cleared again.

Today we dock in Sydney, Nova Scotia.  Sydney is the harbor town on Cape Breton Island, in Nova Scotia, Canada and is within walking distance of the city center.

We visited Cape Breton Island in 2010 while on a motorcycle trip and traveled around Cabot Trail with friends and found it to be a lovely, lovely place.  The ride was just wonderful, the views were spectacular and the food was delicious.

Our more recent trip to Sydney was just a week ago and had taken an excursion to a lovely outdoor living history museum that tells the story of Gaelic settlement in Nova Scotia.  The trip was very interesting and educational.

But today, we decided to take a leisurely stroll around town and see what we could see.  I am so glad we did!

The first stop on our stroll was at the Anglican Church.  We were drawn at first by a classic car on the street outside the church.  Randy loves old cars and wanted to check it out.  The classic car, a 1950 Canadian Mercury Meteor was in mint condition.  Randy had a great time talking to the owner.

I was drawn to the open doors of St. George’s Anglican Church.  Standing in the doorway was a lovely woman dressed in period costuming from the 1900’s.  I remarked that I loved her hat.  She smiled and shared that her friend had fashioned the hat for her.  It was lovely.

Randy joined me and we walked quietly into the church.  The church was built between 1785 and 1791.  The interior of the church was simple but elegant with its memorial tablets and stained-glass windows and Casavant organ, dark wooden pews and beamed ceiling. I loved the rich wood ceiling and pews.

We were invited to visit a craft fair that was being held in another church building just around the corner.  We walked around looking at all the handicrafts and were amazed at the variety.  I always buy my daughter Kristine magnets wherever we travel and found one that I liked a great deal.  This magnet had all the symbols representing the local area.

Continuing on we came across a beautiful cross in front of the Canadian Legion #12 building.  The cross was constructed, “In memory of our comrades who died that we might be free”.  Around the bottom stone base were the dates of major wars.  The sculpture was lovely.

Very abstract!

 

Along our walk we came upon a great deal of wall art painted on the sides of buildings.  My favorite wall art was the one with the octopus.  It was colorful and seemed very appropriate for a harbor town.

 

 

We reached the end of the city center and turned back towards the port and came upon City Hall.  It was a Sunday so I knew the building would be closed.  But what caught my eye were the Adirondack chairs across the courtyard of the building.

 

We hurried over and discovered these lovely chairs grouped in fours had all been painted by local artists depicting scenes from around Nova Scotia, local and Canadian symbols, cartoon characters, and more.

I just had to look at each one and sat in a few.  I found this beautiful display of artistry to be wonderful and whimsical and was so glad we decided to just walk around the town today.

After spending, what was a great deal of time having fun with the chairs, we finally pulled ourselves away and headed back to the port area and a nice lunch at Governor’s Pub and Eatery.

We decided to sit upstairs on the balcony and found it to be a bit chilly.  When the server approached I asked if I could have a café latte.  She looked at me with a little smile and said, “We are a bar we don’t have café lattes”.  I laughed and asked, “Well then, could I please have an Irish coffee?”  “Absolutely,” she replied.  I found the exchange to be very funny.

Randy was not hungry so passed on ordering a meal so I just ordered the potato skins deluxe from the pub menu.   Well, when these potato skins came to the table all of a sudden Randy was hungry.  I surprised at the way they were prepared and presented so unlike potato skins back home.  But let me tell you, they were delicious!

The last time we were here we had explored all that was around the harbor but on our way back to the ship Randy noticed an amazingly funny car on display so we stopped.

We walked around this funny car and tried to read each and every word, saying, name but it was a dizzying task.

We finally returned to the ship and made ready for the evening.  After cocktails and dinner we attended the Top Tier Event sponsored by the Crown and Anchor Society and listened to a welcome and thank you from the Captain for our loyalty to the cruise lines.

Then we were off to the theater for the headliner show.  Tonight’s headliner is ventriloquist Brad Cummings.  Oh my, what a funny man!  What a wonderful ventriloquist.  I tried very hard and could not see his lips move.

At one point he asked for a volunteer from the audience.  Brad had this man sit on his knee and used him as one of his characters.  To his credit, the volunteer did an amazing job moving his lips and facial expressions to a tee to match Brad’s words.  This show was just so funny.

Excursions are fun, interesting and often educational but sometimes so can just taking a leisurely stroll around the towns we visit.  Today was just one of those wonderful and fun days.  We returned to our cabin to rest a bit before turning in.

Tomorrow we dock in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Enjoy,

Mary

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