Here, there and everywhere – March

Morning breaks on day 2 of our Caribbean cruise on the Rhapsody of the seas

March was a very interesting month.  One minute I am cruising the translucent blue-green waters of the Caribbean and the next, I am in the middle of the fourth Nor’easter to hit the east coast, Winter Storm Toby, while visiting my daughter in Virginia.

The last week of February found us on the Rhapsody of the seas on a cruise to the Caribbean with our friends Doug and Sue.  This week we stayed on while Doug and Sue disembarked to travel to other corners of the world.

We were so busy on the first of our back-to-back cruises that we decided to spend our time this week just kicking back and enjoying the ship.  We did not attend any shows opting instead to spend a good deal of time on our balcony catching up on rest and relaxation.

The highlight of this cruise was was being honored at the Top Tier event sponsored by the Crown and Anchor Society for hitting a milestone.  We had reached 425 nights spent cruising on Royal Caribbean ships.  We were presented with a lovely crystal block etched with visage of the Rhapsody of the seas and a certificate.  This was our first time to be recognized.  I must admit it felt very nice indeed.

We also decided this cruise to only get off the ship in only one port.  We love Cozumel and we love Ernesto’s Fajita Factory and so that was port-of-call where we got off the ship.  Ernesto’s is only a few streets beyond the port.  Ernesto’s is a small restaurant on the water with a view of the ships in port.  Our favorite waiter, Jose, is always on hand with a winning smile to greet us when we come to visit.

As always we enjoyed a bottle or two of our favorite beer, SOL, fresh salsa, a combination plate called the Plato Mexicano and, as a delicious finale, a slice of Cozumel pie.  If you ever get to Cozumel and dock at the International Pier stop in at Ernesto’s; you will not be disappointed.

 

Three days after we arrived home I was off again flying up to Virginia for my annual “Bad food, beer & basketball” weekend with daughter Kristine.   As always, Kristine left me a ‘welcome’ tray of treats to enjoy while I waited for her to come home from work and, of course, they were all my favorites!

Miss Paige all dressed up for the start of the 2018 Men’s NCAA Basketball Tournament

 

Miss Elle all decked out in her pick bow.

This year marked the 11th year that daughter Kristine and I have gotten together to spend the first and second rounds of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament together.  It is a weekend of non-stop basketball games, enjoying a beer or two, and interesting food choices.

This year was a little different.  In the past, we would visit a local sports bar to enjoy the first few games, go out to dinner several times and make at least one stop at a shopping mall.  This year we decided to enjoy a quieter weekend at home.

 

Of course, the other highlight of this wonderful weekend each year is celebrating granddaughter Maddy’s birthday.  This year she turned 21.

Over the years we have engaged in different activities to celebrate Maddy’s birthday.  This year Maddy decided that she wanted to go to lunch at the Ichiban Sushi & Ramen restaurant and. so we did.

 

What a lovely restaurant.  The atmosphere was lovely, the service wonderful and the food delicious.  I do not eat sushi so I ordered the Teriyaki Chicken and it was delicious.

 

 

I was so glad we had decided to celebrate over the weekend because all of a sudden the weather forecast was calling for a winter storm later in the week with predictions of 4-6” of snow.  I was so excited!

The good news about the storm was I would get to spend another day with Kristine as work had been cancelled and I would see snow again.  I do so miss seeing everything in view covered with a blanket of white.  I spent the entire day sitting on the couch watching the snow fall and loving every minute.  Every once in a while I would make my way to the window and watch as the snow slowly covered everything in sight and taking an endless amount of pictures.  “Oh my, I thought, how wonderful.”

What a busy, wonderful, lovely month.

Birthday selfie of Maddy and her beautiful mom, Jennifer!

Enjoy,

Mary

 

 

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Here, there and everywhere – February

Rhapsody of the Seas

If it is February, we are on a cruise.

We booked a cruise on one of our favorite ships the Rhapsody of the seas.  Our week-long cruise took us to Grand Cayman, Belize, Cozumel and Costa Maya.  A bonus this trip is we would be cruising with our wonderful friends, Doug and Sue.

Doug, Sue, Mary and Randy

So many times over the years friends have asked why we keep going back to the Caribbean over and over again.  My answer is always the same, “I love the crystal clear turquoise waters, the friendly people, delicious food, cold Caribbean been and the many new adventures awaiting us”.

Life on the ship is always filled with fun from the first stop in the concierge lounge for cocktails, meeting the captain at the Captain’s Reception, watching and/or participating in the many activities onboard, attending the Top Tier event honoring loyal members of the Crown and Anchor Society and enjoying a meal with an officer as the end of the cruise approaches.

Sunrise on our first day at sea

But what I love most is the ports-of-call we stop at along the way.  When we first started cruising we participated in many shore excursions and made note of favorite spots we enjoyed just hanging out enjoying a good meal and cold beer.

We decided this time to mix it up a bit and go on excursions on Grand Cayman and Belize City.  Of course, we would also stop at one of our special restaurants on each island if we had the time.

One evening at cocktail time Sue learned that we had never gone to Stingray City while visiting Grand Cayman and so off we went to buy excursion tickets.  We signed up for an excursion called Stingray City Sandbar Swim.

The sky was blue with a few clouds and the temperature was in the mid-80s when we left the dock for the sandbar.  The waters were a little choppy making it very prudent to hold on tightly as we made our way through the waves.  The ride took about 25 minutes.

I jumped back on the boat to catch a picture of Randy, Doug and Sue

I was surprised and yet not when we arrived to see many other tour boats anchored on the sandbar.  We stepped off the boat into beautiful cool water and in no time were being tickled by stingrays, large and small, swimming by.  Our guide caught one and invited everyone to touch this beautiful creature.  The stingray felt so slick.  It was fun to watch as tourist tried to catch these very quick creatures as they swam by.

Walking and swimming on the Stingray Sand Bar

After the tour boat guide gave us a short lesson on stingrays he invited those who wanted their pictures taken to form a line.  He told everyone that he would make the pictures available to those who wanted them after the tour was over.  Well, of course, I got in line. Randy and I posed and were very excited about taking home a wonderful remembrance of this exciting day.  We never did get our pictures.  Well I thought, “We will just have to go again!”

“Blue Dragon” Iguana

 

We then headed off to a small part of the island and stopped for a beach break.  There were chairs, hammocks, and restaurant.  We had already made plans to eat at our favorite place on our way back to the ship so decided to settle down in beach chairs and take advantage of the beautiful day.

All of a sudden as the tour boat made its way back to the pier someone fell/jumped from the upper deck.  As it turned out it was one of the tour guides.  He had jumped into the water to see if he could find some star fish for us to see.  He did!  He brought up three and they were beautiful.  By the time we made it back to town it was time for us to catch a tender back to the ship so no lunch on shore today.

Valentine’s Day was just the week before and as we walked through the shopping center near the port we came upon this fun LOVE photo opportunity. Well, of course, we had to take a photo of Doug and Sue kissing!

Our next stop was in Cozumel, Mexico.  We were not sure whether we would dock downtown or at the International Pier.  After talking it over we all decided that if we docked downtown we would just walk around and stop at restaurant along the main street.  If we stopped at the International Pier we would go to Ernesto’s Fajita Factory.

Well, we docked downtown so off we went in search of a restaurant for lunch.  There are so many restaurants and we have been to many.  Doug and Sue wanted to go to someplace new.  After walking for quite a while we decided to stop at Toro’s Place.  Toro’s is a small restaurant that is on the second floor overlooking the bay.

Interesting sights as you walk down main street in Cozumel

 

 

It was not hard for us to choose a meal that we could share.  We found a perfect chose that included chicken enchiladas, beef tacos, cheese quesadillas, beans and rice.  Add a bowl of salsa, some chips and cold beer and voilá, a great Mexican meal.  We ate, laughed, took in the view and just enjoyed the afternoon.

Our next port-of-call was Belize City.  We have been to Belize many times and have taken part in excursions around the town, to a resort on the other side of the island and Mayan ruins.  This trip we decided to take a trip called Manatees & Mangrove River Tour.  I love the gentle Manatees and welcome an opportunity to see these beautiful creatures in the wild.

A crocodile hiding along the shore

 

The boat took us on a course along the Belize City coast to the manatee feeding grounds and mangroves.  The skies were sunny that day but there was a threat of intermittent rain later in the day.

 

As we cruised along we did have small glimpses of manatees, birds and a crocodile.  The ride along the coastline forest was a wonderful break from the hectic life on the ship.  As we went along our tour guide gave us a history of Belize and its ecosystem.  By the time we started our return trip the waters had become a bit choppier and little spits of rain were hitting the boat.

Pulled pork sliders. YUMMY!

When we returned to shore, we met Doug and Sue and made our way to our favorite restaurant The Wet Lizard.  Randy and I love this place and are so happy that our friends love it too.  We enjoyed delicious dishes from the menu and bottles of cold beer.  “What a lovely way to spend the day,“ I thought as we walked back to catch the tender back to the ship.

Our last port-of-call was Costa Maya, Mexico.

Doug, Sue, Randy and I all agreed that we would make our way to our favorite restaurant the Krazy Lobster; and so we did.  We sat under palm trees, kicked of our shoes, watched the surf rushing up to the shore and ordered some of our favorite foods and buckets of cold Caribbean beer.  Just sitting there and looking out at the ship in the distance all I could think of was, “Could life get any better than this?”

The last day of any trip is a hub bub of activity as you pack up your things, say your

Sue, Doug, Mary, Randy, Anita and Tom. Wonderful tablemates!

goodbyes to all the wonderful people you have been during the week, purchase your photo memories and attend the last night’s entertainment.

Each cruise to the Caribbean has created a treasure trove of memories that I will cherish forever.  So for all those who wonderful why we keep going back I would ask, “Why not!”

Enjoy,

Mary

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Here, there and everywhere – January

Joshua Tree at Joshua Tree National Park

Oh my word, it happened again.  One moment we were celebrating the new year, the next thing I knew we were celebrating Mother’s Day.  I had to ask myself, “What happened to make time pass so quickly?”

So, I took some time to look at the calendar and pictures we took over that span of time and realized we were doing exactly what everyone should do in retirement; live life to the fullest!

Of course, we started our visit to Randy’s favorite place for beer–Garage Kitchen & Bar in downtown San Diego. Look at the size of that beer and it was happy hour!

We started the year with a wonderful visit with our friends Jim and Vilma in San Diego.  As always when visiting with Jim and Vilma, the days flew by packed with fun activities.  We visited some of our favorite restaurants and discovered a new one.

Taking a stroll through the Encinitas Gardens of Self Realization Fellowship Hermitage. On this walk we had a wonderful view of the Pacific.

Found some rocks piled up along one of the garden walls.

We visited the gardens of the Encinitas Gardens of Self Realization Fellowship Hermitage.  No one talked above a whisper in this lovely place filled with beautiful flowers, trees and Coy ponds.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We spent a lovely morning walking around the Hillcrest section San Diego and stopped for a wonderful breakfast at the Fig Tree Café.  Without a doubt I enjoyed one of the best huevos rancheros meals ever.

 

Stopped along the road for a few moments to take in a lovely view of the Pacific Ocean and surrounding beach.

 

 

 

 

Everywhere we went, everything we did was just wonderful.  But, I have to tell you that my very favorite memory of our visit was the day trip we took to visit Joshua Tree National Park.

We started our day meeting Vilma’s friend Cheryl at the IHOP in La Quinta, California.  We met Cheryl earlier in the year.  As we walked to our car I mentioned to Cheryl that she reminded me so much of my dear friend Lois back in Virginia.  They could be sisters.  They are both lovely, lovely ladies.

I must admit that I hear the word desert and immediately have a vision of a never ending landscape of sand.  Nothing could be further from the truth at Joshua Tree National Park.

We stopped at the visitor’s center picking up a map and guide to the wonderful things we would see as we drove through the park.  We saw vegetation and rock formations that, for me, seemed as though they leaped out of the screen of a Star Wars movie.

We learned that a Joshua tree is not a tree but a species of yucca.  The Joshua Tree is an important part of the Mojave Desert ecosystem, providing habitat for numerous birds, mammals, insects and lizards.

Cholla Cactus

 

 

We learned that the park was actually made up of two deserts; the Colorado Desert on the eastern half and the Mojave Desert on the western part of the park.

 

 

Mojave Yucca Plant

According to the information we found at the visitor’s center community activist and desert lover Minerva Hoyt persuaded President Franklin D. Roosevelt to proclaim Joshua Tree National Monument in 1936.  In 1994, as part of the California Desert Protection Act, Congress renamed the area Joshua Tree National Park.  More than 80 percent of the park is managed as a wilderness – where the Mojave and Colorado desert converge.

Beautiful boulders

 

 

We drove along stopping here and there to read information plaques explaining what lay before our eyes.  What lay before our eyes were beautiful Joshua trees, Mojave Yucca plants, California fan palms, Ocotillo, massive boulders and the Cholla Cactus Garden.

 

Jim and Vilma at Keys View

Our last stop was at Keys View.  At an elevation of 5,185 feet, we were able to see a beautiful view of the valley, mountains and the desert.   At one location you could see a hint of the San Andreas fault and far in the distance Mexico.

What a day!  The sun was starting its descent as we exited the park.  As we drove along I thought, “Today I visited a place that was touched by the hand of God”.

Thank you Jim and Vilma for taking us to this amazing place!

Our visited ended with a lovely dinner at Vilma and Jim’s with some of their friends.  I think we got a little goofy after dinner.

Enjoy,

Mary

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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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