Friday, April 19, 2013

Our 115 day World Cruise, day 104, at sea!

Today we finally did it.  We walked to coffee!  It is an interesting walk...we walk through a very nice neighborhood...our neighborhood lol!  On our way we cross over a bridge with wonderful views of the canyons.  There a lot of canyons in San Diego and a lot of them are inhabited by homeless people!
                                                       This is like being in Hawaii!
                                           I don't remember what these are called!
                        You know this really does scare me....this bridge is older than either of us!                                                
                                            Don't look is really scary!

   These canyons are pretty but I have always been afraid in them...I heard a rattle snake in one canyon!
We made it across and the bridge did not collapse!  I am so grateful that we made it!  lol!
                                                  I have always loved this house!

                                                            Just looking down the street!
It is a tradition for the west facing door of the church to be painted red.  This is St. Paul's Episcopal Cathedral!
                                        Bougainvilleas grow everywhere and are so colorful                                                                                                                                                              
                These Birds of Paradise grow like wild flowers in our neighborhood!

I need to go home now.....I am hot and I want my lunch...I know the condo is right behind me!  lol! 
                                                      Shoes by Kween!

Where we did not go todayllllbut the Amsterdam did!
At Sea!

Postcards from Paradise!
 Day at Sea 
This afternoon we found that we are too far out of range for the internet, and they will not change satellites while we are in Brazil. It is possible that we may not have any service until we leave South America. So if the reports are late in coming, we are sorry. It's out of our control.

Today was a special one for HAL, because it happened to be the 140th anniversary of the company's start. Founded in 1873 in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, the company began with cargo and passenger ships. The official name was Nederlandsch-Amerikaanche Stoomvaart Maatschappij, or NASM, or Netherlands-American Steamship Company. Later, it was known as Holland America Line. Nearly one million immigrants traveled on their ships from 1880 to 1920. And today with a fleet of 15 ships, and with a new one on the way, HAL sails to thousands of ports of call around the world. And they look forward to bringing us all a once in a lifetime experience......every time.

It was a blistering hot day outside as we travel northwest towards Brazil. One of us did not last very long walking the promenade deck after breakfast this morning. The humidity is back, and with following winds, there was hardly a hint of a breeze on any outside deck. We had no problem finishing the large bottle of water we brought to the pool. We fill our thermoses with the water and ice from our room, and it usually lasts all afternoon. Good thing that deck steward Manny comes around frequently with more glasses of ice water. Cooling off in the pool helped, but lots of folks were doing the same thing. We lasted until 3pm, then headed back to the room to cool off.

We had forgotten that a special celebration was happening in the Queens Lounge at that time. It was called a Tea Dasant, which sounded like a dance to us. We heard that they had champagne, birthday cake, prizes and fun. Little did we know that Bill, who shares his birthday with todays special HAL day, would be called to the stage for a special gift presentation. One other lady was also gifted for her birthday today as well. So it came as quite a surprise when at 5pm, our room steward handed us a gift wrapped in nice paper with a card. Who could that be from? Opening the card, Bill discovered it was from Captain Mercer, Henk Mensink, Bruce Scudder, and Char, the future cruise consultant. They had all personally signed the card. The gift was a ceramic replica of the Amsterdam. So now he can say that very special people gave him a ship. How thoughtful was that? Always wishing to keep a low profile on his birthday, it probably would have taken a team of horses to drag him up on any stage anyway.

Barbara H. gave a presentation of our first Brazilian port of Fortaleza. Our stop will be on Sunday, which is never a good day to visit any port. Most places will be closed early or not at all. The Captain mentioned that it may be raining when we are there too. That would be a first for us, as it has always been hot and dry when we were there. But Carol and Van said on their South American Grand Voyage, it rained cats and dogs, so who knows. It is what it is.

Only one speaker, Mr. Walker, gave a lecture on the rise of China, India, and regional powers in the 21st century. He sure deals with heavy subjects. 

Hosts Henk and Lucia joined us this evening for a fun birthday celebration dinner. Everyone enjoyed the lemon cheesecake with lots of candles. Van pulled out a package containing birthday napkins with cupcakes on them, bubbles to blow, and a gazoo to play happy birthday with the waiters and us all singing. It was absolutely a hoot, as it sounded like he was calling ducks. What fun we have............

The entertainers could not top our evening, but they were a combo of Anne Rayner and a classical guitar man called Declan Zapala.

Two more days at sea before Brazil.

Mary Ann & Bill

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