Monthly Archives: February 2017

Day 6 and There’s Something In The Mist…..

Morning Day 6 and I got up way too early, it’s good though because it’s an At Sea day so a nap may be in order…yesterday was the most amazing day ever, so blessed that we were able to experience it and share it with good friends, freaking awesome!!….our balcony is on the shady side of the ship this morning since we’ve changed direction, which is great for this pale skinned blonde, but will likely be smoking hot this afternoon….as I sit here looking out to sea through the mist, I feel like we are not moving as fast as we have been, and I feel the ship going from side to side a little bit more than on the other ocean…we have seen many ships in the past six day, we’ve met lots and we’ve been passed by many, but this morning there is a ship a ways away from us, going the same direction and at the same speed, because I have been watching it for a while and…..do you think it could be pirates? I don’t actually see a pirate flag on it but it is quite misty, it doesn’t seem to be getting any closer but you know me, I’m a horrible judge of distance….I should go and get the binoculars out and have a closer look with getting any closer, but He Who Enjoys His Sleep, is snoozing and I’m not sure where they are….there was a second ship behind but it appears to be gone now, just hoping they aren’t working together and it hasn’t gone around to the other side….the wifi is a bit sketchy this morning, could be because the pirates are blocking the signal somehow, now I don’t know for sure that they can, I’m just saying that they could….I’m going to get another cup of coffee, because I think I want to be well caffinated if pirates attack, and have a peak for the binoculars without turning on any lights or opening the curtains…..It’s Friday, it’s sunny, stay tuned for the pirate ship saga…..

After spending a few hours after breakfast in the lounge at the bow of the ship, playing movie trivia and partaking in a a few beverages, we have split up, Mrs. Meister is taking a painting class, Mr. Meister and He Who Likes A Red, are doing a wine tasting and I am sitting in the central Atrium at the Java Cafe, enjoying a vanilla latte: it’s not Starbucks but it will do, people watching: there are many to watch and writing…and thinking about pirates… I share the immportal words of Peter Par, “Come with me, where dreams are born, and time is never planned.”

The Reason For This Cruise….

Big day here, aboard this floating hotel! Day 5 otherwise known as Canal Day!!! I was going to say we have been up since the crack of dawn, but dawn is still a long ways away. It is now 6 am and we have been up since 5:30, we have the tv on channel 23 which is the view from the front of the ship, showing the crews deck, which they have opened up to the guests today…..for the time being we are not going to join the masses but sit on our balcony, enjoy room service, watch the sunrise as begin our journey through the Panama Canal….we have been planning and dreaming of this trip for years, I’m not sure when my intrigue with the canal first started, I’m thinking I may have read about it in a book at some point, perhaps in an Agatha Christie novel, because I’m sure Nancy Drew never went there, and then there was the movie Arsenic and Old Lace, with brother Teddy burying the “yellow fever victims” in the basment….He Who Loves History has always marveled at the inginuity and the sheer enormity of the Canal….this is an all day voyage, we meet the pilot boat this morning and the captain fills out the necessary paperwork, apparently they don’t let ships go through just willy-nilly, then we begin,  ascending 2 locks on this side of the lake and descending 3 on the other…I don’t know if you can appreciate my excitement, but this is freaking awesome….Sunrise is beautiful, breakfast should be here soon,…It’s Thursday, Canal Day, so always remember and never forget: “There comes a point in your life when you need to stop reading other people’s books and write your own.”~ Albert Einstei

Life is meant for spectacular adventures, let your feet wander, your eyes marvel and your soul ignite!

In Lock #2, we should start rising any minute now …and we are …then we go across Gaton Lake and by mid afternoon we will start going through the 3 descending locks….if anyone noticed my spelling error, thanks for not commenting…I thought the locks were ‘lochs’ like the Loch Ness Monster, I was wrong, too many days with an accent, it is a lock as in lock and key…I apologize if I confused anyone but myself….

 

Ok, so we popped on down to Deck 7 on the starboard side, and for those keeping track, that’s down 2 floors and on the other side of the ship, while we went through Lock 2…in the next lock was a big freighter, I was in awe, that is until I looked ahead and saw an even bigger one!! I can only imagine a 103 years ago when the built these locks, they likely thought they were huge, I doubt they ever imagined a ship  large enough to fill the canal…quiet and lovely going across the lake

 

We are here!! Going through the second set of locks, I think there are 3, He Who Begs to Differ says 2….we shall see..

2 locks down – 1 to go…and for those keeping score, that is also 1 for me and 0 for He Who Can’t Count As Good As Me….

Wow!! All I say is so happy to ccheck this off the bucket list!! It was evertything that I thought it would be….we took some more pics of the Panama City skyline, hit the buffet for an easy supper, got all showered up and then headed for the back of the ship to the outdoor deck for a Girls-Against-Boys-Best-Out-Of-Three crib tournamnet – and the girls are victorious, then off to bed…

 

Stopping and Cruising Day 4

Good Morning, from Cartagena, Columbia. Just pulling into the dock. Our first visit to South American! Uncle Matt was up early and is pretty pumped!!….always remember and never forget: The world is yours to explore.

 

And we’re back on board and sailing away, only a few hours in Cartagena but it was enough to take a tour of the old city on a horse drawn carriage, listen to our tour guide, Leon, tell us stories and the history of the city and area, including a stop at one of the most famous streets in town….the street he was born on in 1954…..everyone’s a comedian….and do a bit of shopping, and I decided in the blistering sun and 29′ heat, it was just enough time to check it out but not get fried…..last night we did a lovely dress up supper at the Tsars Palace, yes, that’s right a Palace, just for me…and a few hundred other people, but mostly for me, crowns and coat of arms everywhere….then we had some pics taken and off to a magician comedy show, a talented you guy from Montreal, and yes, we may have clapped just a little bit louder because of that, but he was awesome, an evening nightcap and then back to our cabins…..I seriously could get used to this….

Getting Closer to The Canal….

So this morning we get up, not too early and after enjoying my coffee on the balcony, we head off to the aft, which means back, of the boat to a lovely outdoor patio which has become our preference for breakfast, then into the Stardust Theater for a lovely presentation on the building of the Panama Canal….and this lovely movie starts off talking about what they had to overcome building the canal way back when, such things as yellow fever! malaria! And how 25,000 people died building it and all I could think of is, Call me a Drama Queen now, will ya!!!! And ok, so they go on to say that they mostly erradicated both of those, but the point is, that I don’t really want to get either, so quite thankful for painful shots and muscle cramping pills…then we decided to join the masses and sit poolside to catch some rays, yup that’s right, the red-head, a couple of blondes, and He Who Seldom Burns, read our books for an hour in the hot Carribean sun, before conceding that It’s damn hot out, and going back to our cabins….loving the afternoon naps, this is getting to be quite a habit, and a sunny-morning balcony means an shady-afternoon one, the couple on the next balcony is outside as well, and much to my pleasure, they have accents, I freaking kid you not, UK or perhaps Wales, but it is lovely, simply lovely…..I will sit quietly and listen and read and listen and….I will grow through the people I meet and the places I see.

Cruising Along Day 3

Today is Day Three and another full day on the ship, our cabin is on the left side, the port side for those in the know, also the sunny side in the morning, which is perfect because I am a sunny-side-morning-coffee-drinking person! We checked out the ships list of things to do today, which is very extensive, and we haven’t decided on anything just yet, except our promise to join Mr Sushi Chef at 10:30 this morning…painting class, Panama Canal documentary, and of course there’s always poolside or deckside lounging, the possibilites are endless….It’s Tuesday! Always remember and never forget: You miss out on 100% of the opportunities that you don’t take!!

Cruising Along Day 2

Day 2 on the ship, it’s the first full day and it’s a day at sea! Yesterday we did the poolside bbq and welcome party, then wandered and checked out the ship, enjoyed he Variety Show in the theatre which gave us a little taste of some of the onboard entertainment, and while making our way back to the cae for ice cream, we were advised by a nice lady in the elevator that they have a crepe station, which is very good, so off we went for ice cream and crepes, then back to our room to unpack….met our steward, lovely man, who also offered some great advice, “You’re here for 14 days, please my friends, pace yourselves”….then rocked to sleep by the movement of the ship….This morning, 3 out of 4 of us got up a little early, (you can likely guess who the 4th is that didn’t do the earliness) anyway, we got up early went to the walking track and did a few laps, awesome, now enjoying my morning coffee on the balcony,  the plan for today is, wander about some more,  listen for more accents, and  relax….It.s Monday, always remember and never forget: The only trip you will regret is the one you didn’t take.

We spent the day with more wandering and checking out the ship, an afternoon nap, sitting at a sushi bar for supper watching the chef slice with such precision, and seeing the look of horror on his face when we were all done, that one of us, yes, and it wasn’t one in our cabin, but one us in the other cabin, doesn’t like sushi and didn’t have any, but was patiently waiting and drinking, for us three to finish so she could go to the buffet….Mr Sushi was a tad mortififed, asked her a series of questions, told her he was making her his mission and sliced up some salmon and tuna, left the area, came back with cooked fish, gave us our own private lesson on cooking rice, rolling sushi, and voila, Sushi was enjoyed by ALL, true story, Melissa and Christopher, your mama ate sushi…oh, ya, and we promised Mr Sushi Chef that we would go to his Making Sushi Class this morning….then it was off to the Spinnaker Lounge for an evening of dancing and watching, there is nothing better than watching couples who know how to dance, dance…the salsa, chacha, and even just a lovely walltz, an older crowd here means some of these couples have danced together forover, and it shows….and the Drink of the Day: Rebellious Fish, smashing!!….

Sail Away!

We’ve had two full days in Miami. We were able to do our favorite Hop-On Hop-Off Bus tour of the city, do an amazing everglade airboat tour, experience some Cuban cuisine, South Beach is a great place to people watch, we just got a small taste of all that Miami has to offer. We loved it and are not checking it off our list just yet, another visit will be in our future.

This morning, enjoying my coffee from the 39th floor penthouse balcony that we’ve called home for the past 2 days, watching the pleasure boats leave the marina, and looking over at the 5 cruise ships docked, and wondering which one is ours. this trip has been a dream of our for a long time and to be able to experience it with 2 very dear friends, who share our passion for adventure iand quirkiness s such a blessing.

Uncle Matt is all packed, not that he needs to pack much, but black tie might be in order for this trip, passport, cruise ship pass, and ready to go.

I honestly cant wait to get on the ship and do some exploring, meet some new people and see where my mind takes me.Intrigue and adventure awaits!! Always remember and never forget:Blessed are the curious, for they shall have adventures!

The Jasch-Meister Panama Cruise 2017 Adventure

Our first adventure of 2017 started under cover darkness as we left home in the wee hours of the morning, made our way to the old neighbourhood to pick up our MI5 Agent, because really, don’t most of our holidays start with him. He got to ride shot-gun this morning and I don’t mind even a little bit, if it’s there’s one thing that Downton Abbey taught me, there is a place for everything and my place is in the back…A little bit ago I got to thinking that with all the traveling that we do, Uncle Travling Matt has never had a passport, until now. Not an easy feat getting a passport for a Fraggle, but with a little help from a friend we were able to get it together in time…boarding passes – check, cruise ticket – check, and passport check, and along with good friends, we are off to have fun and make memories.

Today will consist of 3 flights, a fair bit of sitting but checking our passes and flight times, we might be getting a cardio workout in between flights, running from gate to gate through the airports, not a lot of time allowed but we are up for the challenge.

And flight change over number one was very anticlimactic, plane lands, we go up the off ramp, walk across the terminal, wait in line for a couple minutes, say hi to the nice lady, walk down the on ramp, get on the plane, and …..that’s it, there was nothing else, we sat and visited and waited for the plane to fill up and then we took off. If change over number two goes as well, we’ll be laughing….

Flight number two was awesome, watched The Accountant, great movie, had a nap, had brunch, and really relaxed. We landed ahead of schedule and had a bit of a walkabout to get to our departing gate, which was much appreciated, and the 2 hours afforded us a chance to enjoy lunch and let He Who Nevers Stops Working and his side kick to check emails and return calls and texts….flight number three is a full one, everyone escaping the snow and cold, a few more hours…

Welcome to Miama and the views from the 3th floor Penthouse Suite are amazing, great final flight, an interesting cab rise to the condo, a stylishly late supper out, finished with a waterfront walk, cant think of a better way to end this day.

Always remember and never forget: Once a year you should go someplace you’ve never been. ~ Dalai Lama

I Have a Question…

I have a question, Is yellow fever contagious?…..the other day we looked at our immunization cards and noticed that a booster we were to have had 6 months after the initial shot was dangerously close to expiring, so we popped on down to see the Travel Nurse, yes, that is her title, it said so right on her door, and since I was the first to arrive, which usually never happens, I was the first to be shot, which sounds funny….as she was getting the needle ready, He Who Tries to Be Funny said, Wow, that’s a big needle!!! And before I could reply, Miss Travel Nurse quipped, Actually it’s very skinny! Got to love a nurse who is funny….One shot, a large amount, very cold right into the muscle and yes, I felt pressure, and yes, 2 days later my arm is still tender, whereas He Who Felt No Pressure or Pain, is fine, which leads me to the conclusion, I have bigger muscles than he does!…. next we went and had a chat with Mr. Snake Oil Salesman, who extolled his vast knowledge of travel and medicine with us, and sold us a Yellow Fever Elixir in the form of 4 pills for each of us, easy peasy right?…..2 pages of information, another page of Do’s and Don’t, which seems to be typical, until I read the box, which says, ‘Refrigerate. Live vaccine’…I will clarify for those reading this, ‘Live’ in this case is Alive, and not ‘Live’, as in Live in peace, clear? So what we have now is a Live vaccine Living in my fridge. I really don’t like the idea of things living in my fridge, usually if I find something living in my fridge I throw it out….so over the course of a week we need to take the 4 pills, and we started last night, the only side effect listed was nausea, and yet, that was the only thing I didn’t feel: fever, chills, achy neck, and headache, while He Who Is Just Fine, felt nothing which leads me to believe, he must be feelless, whereas I am very feelful and a little bit of a drama queen….Back to my question, and google doesn’t say anywhere that I am contagious, which is good, because I have stuff to do…Always remember and never forget: Better safe than sorry. Happy Saturday!!

This morning I said, I think I have yellow fever. I googled it and I have all the symptoms! He Who Has All the Answers said, That would be difficult since you were vaccinated 5 years ago for it. Ummm, then exactly what have I got?????…You’ve got typhoid. Oh. Em. Gee. I have typhoid! As in Typhoid Mary! As in I need to do a new google search STAT! This sounds way more serious than Yellow Fever, even though yellow really isn’t a colour I can wear, typhoid probably isn’t something I want either!!!…..Ok, so a search reveals that typhoid is slow, takes 4 weeks, with different nasty things happening every week, I only have 1 symptom of week 1 which is a headache, which could have been because I didn’t drink enough water yesterday, so that’s easy to remedy….Well, happy to know that I am cured of Yellow Fever and that typhoid fever is likely not in my future either, whew…..It’s Saturday and you know that means dance party with the vacuum! Always remember and never forget: Now pay attention this is very important!! Never ask Google for medical advice, I have gone from a mild headache to Clinically Dead in three clicks!!!