Welcome to our travels and adventures


Welcome to our travels and adventures

A Little Behind…

Wow, I have lost all track of time and stuff since we have been back at the Plantation after our cruise. I kept procrastinating about updating here but as one day leads into another, one activity then another and then of course the lunches and dinners with friends.

When we arrived back, we hit the road running the next day. Barb has been working with some of the ladies on next years 1302010 Feb 05 Close Up Of Carved Swordfishraffle quilt so spending time at the clubhouse. And of course, shopping for fabric which means a road trip to Ocean Springs and Biloxi. Biloxi was one of the communities hard hit by tornados and took out many trees. These carvings are part of the restoration projects using the broken trees to beautify the devastated area. Barb & I are hosting a digital photography session so we all can learn tips and tricks to improve our photos. And of course, our Mardis Gras celebrations are looming less than 2 weeks after our return. Spring has sprung and we want the yard tuned up to look nice so Barb plants a few blooms.

1302078 Feb 08 Barb Taking Video

This years MG theme was the Roaring Twenty’s so we scoured the used clothing shops for possible 1302062 Feb 08 Barb Doing Videocostume materials. Barb along with several other ladies made their own flapper dresses and many of the men found gangster looking suits. The Friday night dinner is where we crown the king and queen that rule over the festivities for the 5 days of MG. Well over 150 people were served dinner. The process is the man and woman that find a small baby doll in their cupcakes are the chosen ones, Linda Payne and Darrell Patterson, are this year’s Royalty. That’s when the party and craziness begins. Barb was asked to be the unofficial videographer for this years event.

1302105 Feb 09 A Colorful FloatSaturday, after breakfast with the King and Queen, sees us going to the MG parade in Pensacola with other SKPs from the Plantation. Naturally as with all other activities, SKPs like to arrive early, being sure not to miss anything like the tailgate party that we took with us! We traveled with Dick & Mary – they have been going to this parade for more years than they can remember and have the perfect place to park – that’s one of the reasons why we have to go early so we get that spot! Dick backs into the space and we drop the tailgate and the food and beverages over flow! The only thing missing is a grill but it is not required as there is more food and drink that we can consume. The parade lasted about 2 hours of non stop floats, music and the air was filled with trinkets and beads being thrown from the floats. After the last float went by, we were off to the famous Joe Patti’s fish market – it is an experience just to go there. Wow, I’ve never seen that much fish in one place. Yes, John, they do serve ice cream and after our shopping spree, we sat on their deck and relaxed with a cone!

1302117 Feb 10 Girls Get Prettier At Closing Time TerrySunday, we are in anticipation of the arrival of Larry & Judy to stay with us for a few days. Judy is my cousin from London. They arrived in late afternoon, in time to have a chat and beverage to clear out the road dust then we’re off to the ice cream social and skits. The skits have been good this year. I’m sure, due to my stage and acting skills, was asked to be in one – I’m sure it had nothing to do with me being an unattractive woman but you be the judge by clicking here!

Monday we expected to watch our own MG parade then 1302129 FEb 11 Pelican On The Railingan early evening dinner (we are seniors you know) then more skits. The inclement weather caused a cancellation of our parade so under gray skies, we show Judy and Larry around the neighbourhood, taking in Fairhope and the pier. These Pelicans were very tame – there was a fisherman nearby that fed them with a few morsels.

 1302130 Feb 11 Judy Gets Pelican Eating Fish

 

Tuesday`s schedule included the caned chair auction that men and women have been working on to raise funds for the CARE Center at the Escapee head quarters in Livingston, Texas. And the evening was filled with dinner – do you see a theme here – and more skits and finally the resignation of our King and Queen for 2013. Several folks were dressed in the era attire and Barb & I were no different.1302153 Feb 12 Barb In Roaring 20s Dress1302154 Feb 12 Terry With Beer Sandwich Board The evening ended with the introduction of next years MG theme – Flower Power!

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m still a long way behind and will really try to do more catch up soon. Y├áll come back for more…..

Cruise’n Home

Another par! It’s our last day at sea and we’re head’n back to New Orleans. There are fewer activities but we manage to keep ourselves busy and entertained. We had breakfast in the dining roomBarb Makes Towel Dog today and heard some of the comedy act so looks like we’ll take in that show tonight. We meet up with Jerry and Dianne and had a round of miniature golf. The mini golf ‘course’ is on the top deck and it was windy. Too funny, sometimes the ball would roll off on its own with the wind pushing it along. There was also a towel folding lesson so we could learn how to create those nifty little critters that met us in the room each night.

Of course, there was always the meals. Wow, we were certainly well fed. Also, we had to do our last minute shopping on board the ship for souvenirs and wait a minute, the dreaded duty free Diane Barb At Tea - raise those pinkys ladies! shop! It was touch and go but I did manage to find something there. Barb & Dianne went to a tea in the dining room and I hung out at the pool bar, people watching….

This was our last 5 o’clock gathering before dinner Elegance for us and everyone was in anticipation of our last night and arrival home. Our last dinner in the dining room was a celebration of sorts. The menu was head lined with steak and lobster with an equally decadent dessert – correct, I can’t remember but it was very nice. After, many Spencer Barb At Happy Hour having too much fun of us gathered in the comedy club for lots of laughs. The first set was for a family audience and the second set was for an adult audience – yes, I had to show my ID to be admitted! Of course, we ordered a beverage between sets and were surprised that we found Louisiana state sales tax on the bill – we were insideOur Evening Dinner Companions the 12 mile limit now. And yes, we had our last midnight pizza and ice cream with a stroll around the deck before turning in. We were surprised to see we were already out of the Gulf and in the mouth of the Mississippi river.

Getting off the boat was as well organized as getting on. We had to have our luggage Our Last Evening Critter out side our room the night before and were to pick it up in the terminal just before we went through customs. We were all staged in the theatre and as our zone was called, we exited via the lobby and headed down the gang plank to the terminal. We hired a porter to help make life easy since this was our first cruise experience and that was one of our best decisions. We breezed through customs and out to the bus for our ride back to the ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ - nuf said! plantation. As with most excursions, the chatter was much less than our departure – must be less excitement. Anyway, it’s funny how we all get to the same seats we had coming to New Orleans. We were across from Jerry and Dianne and as you can see, we must have been a bit tired!

All on loaded from the bus and starting the short walk back to our site but Spencer insists that he drive us so we weaken and rode home. What a great trip.

Hope all is well there.

Our Last Port of Call

Before we get any further, I have to make amends. During our 3rd day at sea, we received a gift basket from our friends back home in Ontario, John & Di. Some of you might remember them, John is the one that’s a little rough around the edges and Dianne is the cute one! Anyway, we called them as soon as we were ashore to thank them but somehow I missed adding it to the blog. On the Tuesday of our cruise, Barb & I went back to the room to dress for dinner and there in the room was a beautiful fruit basket awaiting us. The basket contained fruit, cheese, crackers and wine! Needless to say, we were a little late for the 5 PM social before dinner! Thanks John & Di….

 Barb getting to know the natives! Back to Thursday, we had a nice time in Grand Cayman and the boat has set sail for our next stop – Cozumel, Mexico. This is our shore excursion that we have been anticipating the most, we swim and ride with the dolphins! Barb is a little anxious, she normally does not do this type of an adventure – touching fish.

The walk from the ship to the tour group forces us to walk We were caught by Natives through the liquor, beer, smoke and jewelry shop that must be about 1/2 a foot ball field long. The crowds make the going slow but we survived to the end only to line up for the dolphin tour. The whole pier is a shopping mall of touristy stuff and a couple of bars so while we wait, we wander around window shopping and my other favorite Olympic sport, people watching. There was a couple groups of historical Mexican warriors in complete dress posing with anyone for  Music In The Plaza pictures. We took a couple of pictures of others then one of the ‘warriors’ stepped up and took our picture – it was a fun moment. Soon enough, our tour guide was gathering us all up and we were off to the dolphin swim. The other tours we have taken load us onto buses but here, we were put in a cab and sent on our way. Different from the other tours in Montego Bay or Grand Cayman, we did not get a running dialog on the area Dolphin Statue at entrance.or other information to entertain us – just a cab ride! The ticket price included a cab ride back to the terminal building, again no dialog. I tried making a crack about the drivers but the cabbie no compendia!

We pull up to the dolphin building  and after some ewes and awes, we get a locker key and change into our bathing suits and gather for our water safety training with the dolphins. We’re The Dolphin Lagoons given PFDs and goggles and follow the trainer down to the enclosure. As soon as the trainer is in the water, his/her dolphin comes right over for a snack. We get further instructions from the trainer about what we will be doing with the dolphin and where we should keep our hands and where not to touch the critter. There is about a dozen of us in the water with the trainer and he starts sending us out into the deeper part and sends the dolphin out to us to start our awesome experience. I’m not going to go into the details here because the pictures tell it all.

Barb only a little nervous here Barb Gets A Dolphin Kiss Barb And Dolphin Dance

 So smooth Awe, somebody loves me! Terry Dolphin Dancing but Terry is out of step!

 H a n g  On! I think we need a bigger Dolphin for  Terry.

After our fun time, we select our pictures that they have of us with the dolphin – oh, I neglected to mention that we were not allowed to take our camera with us and we understand why. Not only because we then have to buy theirs but it would really slow the event down if everyone was taking pictures while standing waist deep. So, here we are standing in their ‘photo lab’ viewing our pictures on a computer and trying to be economical by selecting the best ones. A sales guys supposedly gave us a great deal so we bought the complete package – all the pictures on a CD and a DVD movie of our entire group with the dolphin – what the hell, it’s only money! And it was an exciting event. We made the deal and were given our ‘ticket’ and our photos would be ready after we changed. Oppsss….. Houston, we have a problem! After being advised that we should NOT take our credit cards ashore, we locked them up in the room safe and took cash everywhere with us. I had cash but not enough to cover the ‘ticket’ and the ship was too far away to get there and back in time. There was a couple of gals from the Plantation that were visiting their Mom & Dad and were on the cruise. The four of us were on this excursion tThree Amigos Barb, Sherry and Pamogether and we were to have lunch with them. So, with hat in hand and the saddest eyes we could muster, we sought them out to borrow enough cash to pay for our picture package. Between them they had enough to add to our stash and all was good. After lunch, we took a cab back to the pier where I virtually ran back to the ship and our stateroom to pick up more cash we had there and hustled back to these very generous ladies to repay them so they could do some shopping! Whew, getting through the gauntlet of booze and jewelry was touch and Terry Barb Enjoying B4 Dinner Cocktail go but I made it and all were happy.  We were going to hit The Three Amigos bar for a beverage after all that but the lines were forming so we thought we’d be better off to get aboard and have that beverage on the boat. What a day. It looked like a neat place – and that was before we saw some of the pictures on Facebook – but we were warned by the cruise director that some people have been known to over indulge and were last seen on the pier taking a picture of the ship as it sailed out of the bay! Anyway, we made it aboard and found a nice spot for a beverage without fear of being left behind!

There was a party on board that night and of course, we couldn’t stay away…. here are some candid shots of us having fun!

 Sync Line Dancing and Barb and Diane are almost in sync! What a partay - Barb Pole Dancing

 Our New Room Guest The next day we are at sea as we make our return to New Orleans to end our first cruising adventure. It was great and we can’t wait to do the Hawaii cruise in January 2014. Hope all is well there and come on back to read about our Mardi Gras fun here at the Plantation.

Grand Cayman

Welcome to Grand Cayman When we pull into the bay at Grand Cayman, we have to assemble in the auditorium so we can be ‘herded’ down to the shuttle boats to deliver us to shore. When our tour time is called, we make our way down to the boats – they carry up to 200 people. We get ashore and then have to wait for the tour operator to arrive to get us board the bus. Wait, wait and lets wait some more seems to Turtle Peeks Out Of Water be the trend of cruising but we’re still having fun. When you are cruis’in, people watching could be ruled an Olympic sport!

We’re finally on our way out to the turtle farm. The ride was more pleasant than back at Montego Bay, the surroundings were cleaner, properties better groomed and the homes and hotels look more inviting. I wonder, is this what Jamaica would have looked like if Britain still had control of the local government? We arrive at the turtle farm in short order and wander around the small lake and tanks where the turtles are kept. If you follow the link, you can learn much more than I can tell you here. It was and interesting little tour at our leisure. After we viewed the various turtle tanks that Barb Holds A Turtle - now that's outside of her box! housed the different ages, we came upon the turtle petting tanks – now this is taking Barb outside her box. After we sanitized out hands, we move up to the tank edge to gently gather one of the small critters into our hands. After this, we again washed our hands and entered the grill area to try a turtle burger for lunch. Unfortunately, they were out of turtle meat but did have a conch burger on their menu – why not, it’s not as if…. Anyway, it Iquana On The Move was quite tasty but wow, the bill was over the top so we’re really glad we were a little conservative and split the burger. There was other wildlife there – we saw a couple of iguanas as we were walking back to the gift centre and exit.

Welcome To Hell After a short wander through the gift shop, we loaded back on the bus and we went to Hell! This very small village was built around some lava rock formations. The post office and shops all sell merchandize ‘from Hell’! Kinda neat and everyone goes here to send post cards ‘from Hell’.

Soon, we were on our next tour, the glass bottomed boat. The narrow turning steps took us down below deck to an area that was lined with bench seats across the deck, Can you see the diver? from front to back. It kinda reminded me of the slave boats that have been depicted in movies where slaves all sit together with their hands on the oars. The bottom of the boat was not glass but there was windows all under the water line so customers could view the coral and fish on the bottom of the bay. As we sailed around the bay, they put a diver into the water – 1301477 Jan 24 Barb Finds Her Own Pirate with some feed – and he was totally covered with fish. Can you see the diver in our picture? We’re back ashore and loaded into the bus again and off to the rum cake shop – hummm.

We did have a chance while waiting for the 1301484 Jan 24 Margaritaville boat shuttle, to take in a few of the sights on the town of Grand Cayman.

 

On the pier

 

 

 

Our tours were short and we were back on We're pulling out the Bay board in time to play bean bag toss. Then time to gather in the lobby for our 5 o’clock beverage before we go to dinner. Our evening after dinner was consumed with comedy, karaoke and more comedy. After our midnight pizza and ice cream, a tour around the upper deck, we turned in for the night.

This game can be addictive

 

 

 

Hope all is well out there where you are…. Mr Frog Offers Chocolate