Friday, April 24, 2015

Onward to Puerto Rico!

Continuing on, our next stop was San Juan, Puerto Rico!


We were greeted at the dock by this wonderful seahorse sculpture on a pink plaza !

Lauren said it best!  We were exhilarated to be here!  


Our taxi driver guide took us to see the Plaza of Democracy.  
He was proud to show us this government building.
I have several fun photos for Shadow Shot Sunday2 this week.
The police on the steps did not move aside as we ascended the steps.  

Here our guide is explaining about how many different types of marble were used.

This photo was taken from in front of the steps, facing the sea.

We drove past old forts

And many sculptures.

We went down side streets in Old Town

The buildings were centuries old.


Here, our guide stopped and we got out as he showed us the famous blue cobblestones that pave
many streets of Old Town.

 The yellow house is the narrowest house in the country.  It is not much wider than
the front door!  Our driver was puzzled as to why someone would want to live there, but the current resident has for many years.

 Outside the walled part of Old Town

Now into the modern side of Puerto Rico.

The convention center in San Juan

Exclusive shops


 A big supermarket advertising the sales

Colorful 
local fast food joints!


 A view of the watching dog rock formation.
We heard the backstory from our taxi driver.  

 The beach for the locals inside the modern city area


 We had a full day in Puerto Rico and this was the initial two hour tour we took with a hired taxi driver.  I will continue  Puerto Rico as a part II where we explored ourselves later on foot,
next post! 





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Saturday, April 18, 2015

The Virgin Islands

Our next port was St.Thomas, The Virgin Islands. 

The sail into port was beautiful!
It's hard to imagine anything bluer!


Turquoise blue waters and the hills starred with cottages. 

We did a bit of shopping, (Dianne's hat was purchased!) at the port shops.



.  We were all in high spirits in the taxi we hired to take us swimming at Magens Bay!

 The taxis were large and cumbersome and passing each other at top speed up and down over the curvy mountain road... making the drive crazy.  


 It was a beautiful drive and quite steep going over the mountain to the other side of the Island.  

 It was worth it though, the bay was beautiful!
It was nice to find trees casting shadows on the beach.


 We had a lovely afternoon in the soft sand and beautiful water!

 I gathered everyone together, after changing back for the return trip, for one last photo of this beautiful place, one of the top ten beaches in the world according to National Geographic.  

Well, maybe two photos! 
Then back into the taxi..

On the way back, looking over the hills with pink roofs, we could see our ship along with two others at the docks.   While rocking and rolling in the taxi careening downhill, I snapped this quickly, capturing the taxi roof as well!


 Everything was interesting as we drove along.    Stairways with bright pink railings...  
and 
Interesting stores like this Diamond International store with these beautiful doors.


It was good though after the long day out to get back to the ship, tired and hungry!  A nap was needed first however, with a full evening of activities ahead!


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Saturday, April 11, 2015

The Bahamas! First Port

Nassau!  

One destination point was the casino and the beaches beside it.



The ride through the city was so colorful! Blues abound!  


 Just outside the casino was the lobby of the hotel

A large sculpture at the entrance to the casino was beautifully
lit with blue lights through the crystals.


A Chihuly was brilliantly lit by the skylight! 


 The man on the street!
Nice Shadows!  For more great shadows see
Shadow Shot Sunday 2


 At the straw market!

 It was gorgeous!

 My daughter and her children were loving every minute of the visit!

Father and son sharing Conch Fritters! 



The walk  back to the ship from the straw market was beautiful!


 The ship itself was breathtaking.  We boarded the Carnival Splendor, it was next 
bound for The Virgin Islands!


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Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Crusin' Again

Spring break and my annual visit from my eldest daughter and her family took a new twist as we cruised together for a seven day trip to the Eastern Caribbean.

We have, by no means exhausted the places to explore around Tampa but this year we had an opportunity to go with my brother in law and his wife on a cruise.   He worked for Norwegian Cruise Lines and gets a killer employee rate for himself and all who cruise with him.    We had a cruise lined up with the Norwegian Epic and seven days before we left, there was a massive shake up as NCL merged with another company and my brother in law lost his job along with more than 63 others.

There was a mad scramble to find another cruise in the same time frame during Spring break!  Yes, the ships were sold out everywhere.  We paid almost three times the price but landed the last two cabins in the Carnival Splendor.  Since my brother in law was now looking for a job he and his wife decided not to cruise this time and it ended up just the five of us.

We scored an additional port, visiting four countries instead of thee and better news, three of them were new to all of us.  We went to the Bahamas, The Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and Grand Turk.  It was a wonderful trip.

Here we all are!  The traditional start of the cruise photo! 
My grandchildren, Lauren and Ryan, me and my daughter, Dianne and her husband Chris






Outside waiting for the sailaway!  Above Ryan and Lauren and Chris on the deck above
Dianne and I below, loving every minute!  



It was quite a surprise to see the Norwegian Epic just ahead of us!  The ship we almost sailed on!




I stayed with the grandchildren so our cabin was in a different area.  We were the first arrivals for the lifeboat instructions, so it was a long wait.  We were not underway yet so the phone was still on. Once underway we all enjoyed seven blissful days of no phone service! 


The sailaway toast!  




It's a beautiful ride out of the harbor past all of Miami.   A great shot for Wow us Wednesday!


When we walked inside the ship the inside was so...so...bubbly it was a bit of a shock.  Everywhere the ship was very PINK all over!  This photo was every floor all all three elevators per floor!    

Perfect for sharing at PINK SATURDAY!


Even the pool area was bedecked with pink flowers and pink accents! 





 The inside cabin wasn't all that pink though.  It was pretty nice and plenty roomy for the three of us, with twin beds and a bunk that folded down over this bed. 

It was a great start and for the next few posts I'll take you along with us on our fun family cruise!

Next...the Bahamas! 


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