Tuesday, December 20, 2016

2016 Dec. 4-14 Koningsdam 10 nt cruise (Half moon cay, Grand Turk, Amber Cove, Bonaire, Curacao, Aruba):

On our last cruise (2015 Nov. cruise) we signed up for the future cruise bonus.  The Koningsdam is the newest ship in the HAL fleet and was going on a route we wanted to do.  Didn't know if we'd like being on such a big ship, but it turned out to be great.  We met a lot of interesting people, ate a lot of great food, visited several interesting ports, enjoyed the entertainment; everything would have been perfect----if it hadn't stormed all day in Bonaire.  Oh well, there's always next time!

We tend to base most of our cruises (and most of our land vacations) around beaches and snorkeling.  This one was no exception.  In fact I chose this specific itinerary because it went to Bonaire and Curacao again, plus a couple new ports for us---Amber Cove and Aruba.

Instead of making a ridiculously long blog, I'm supplying links to the ship, ports, and sea days individually---and the 4 days pre-cruise mini S. Florida vacation.  

11-30-16  back to our old stomping grounds in South Florida!
12-1-16  back to the beach!!!
12-2-16 Mounts gardens in West Palm Beach:
12-3-16  Wakodahatchee and Green Cay! 

Now---on to the cruise!

The Koningsdam

Dec. 4---embarkation day

Dec. 5---Half Moon Cay

Dec. 6---Grand Turk

Dec. 7---Amber Cove

Dec. 8---1st sea day

Dec. 9---Bonaire

Dec. 10---Curacao

Dec. 11---Aruba

Dec. 12-14---sea days and disembarkation

I'd read a lot of complaints about the Koningsdam---no library, walking was hard on the promenade deck, lines were bad in Lido, not enough elevators,  more places to nickel and dime you, and more that I can't think of right now, but none of that bothered us.  We loved the Koningsdam.  But then, we've loved every ship we've been on.  This one was different from the other HAL ships, but I kind of liked that.  Shows they're trying to grow with the times.  I especially loved the digital daily Navigators, the Lido movies, the New York Deli, and the World Stage.  I wouldn't hesitate to cruise on the Koningsdam again.

Friday, October 7, 2016

2016  Sept. 20-23 quickie trip to Margaritaville, St. Thomas!

What do you do after 4 weeks in Hawaii and about 18 hours of travel to get home?  Rest for a couple days then fly to St. Thomas for 3 nights!!! 

Click on the links to see our fun!

Where we stayed--- Wyndham Margaritaville

Sept. 20th--- travel day and settling in to our 3 bedroom Presidential Reserve unit!

Sept. 21st--- ferry to St. John for some fantastic snorkeling, then back to St Thomas for some more!

Sept. 22nd--- snorkeling Cowpet bay and Secret Beach

Sept. 23rd--- snorkeling Bolongo bay and time to go home--- again!

What a great time I had!!!  May have to do more of these little short trips, too!!!

Friday, August 19, 2016

2016---Aug. 18 - Sept. 14 Maui and Kauai trip

This was our 3rd time to Maui (my 5th, but Ken's and my 3rd together); followed by our 15th trip to Kauai.  Originally I booked award travel for the usual time we go to Hawaii---Feb.  It's a nice escape from the St. Louis winters.  But little did I know when I made the reservations that in Feb. 2016 we'd be living in South Florida!  No need to escape that weather!!!  So I paid the exchange fee and changed it to Aug/Sept out of Miami.  Again, little did I know that when Aug. 2016 rolled around, we would be living in Atlanta!  Another exchange fee and rebooking (loosing a day of our Maui vacation in order to get the award travel again)!  This time we left from Atlanta.  And this time we spent 2 weeks on Maui, then another 2 weeks on Kauai!

Saturday, January 16, 2016

2015 Oregon 3 week Christmas trip with the "kids"

 For awhile now the "kids" (son who's 37 and his wife, and our daughter who's 35 and her husband) have been talking about us all going somewhere for Christmas.  So on Thanksgiving of 2014, we decided in 2015 we would do it.   All we had to do was decide where and wait for over a year for the time to come.  After suggesting places like Grand Cayman, Grand Bahamas, Key West, and other assorted warm weather beach places, I mentioned the Oregon coast.  That was it, they didn't even hesitate!  That's where they wanted to go!  No warm beaches, no snorkeling, no t-shirts and shorts!  I've lived in Oregon many years ago and know that in winter it rains A LOT!  But I don't remember being in Oregon for Christmas since I was a kid, so I said, "Why not!?"  So at 13 months out  I went onto the Worldmark site and booked a 3 bedroom condo at Gleneden for 2 weeks. When it got closer to Christmas 2015, I refined our reservations by booking 3 nights at Depoe Bay before the Gleneden stay since Angie, Josh and we flew out earlier to get better airfare and cancelled the 2nd week of Gleneden when the kids had all flown home.  Ken and  I stayed an extra week to get the better airfare back, but my brother and sister-in-law offered us their empty house in nearby Dallas since they wouldn't be making it back for Christmas.  

Dec. 16, 2015---flying out of Ft. Lauderdale

Dec. 17, 2015 --- up to rainy Cannon Beach

Dec. 18, 2015---down the Oregon Coast to Cape Perpetua

Dec. 19, 2015---move to Gleneden Beach and Tim and Faith arrive

Dec. 20, 2015---walk along the beach and Mo's

Dec. 21, 2015---to Rogue distillery and brewery

Dec. 22, 2015---Tim's 37th birthday!

Dec. 23, 2015---heading south towards Newport and Seal Beach

Dec. 24, 2015---more sea foam and White Elephant gift exchange

Dec. 25, 2015---Christmas!

Dec. 26, 2015---sad day, the kids leave :(, but first--Multinomah Falls and Mcmenamins Kennedy school for dinner

Dec. 27, 2015---move inland to Dallas

Dec. 28, 2015---apparently there was nothing I wanted to remember about this day?!

Dec. 29, 2015---Silver Falls and Oregon Gardens

Dec. 30, 2015---riding around in the valley and search for Northern Lights

Dec. 31, 2015---Playing with my new lens, Rogue Farms, and into the coastal range by Falls City

Jan. 1, 2016---hanging around Dallas

Jan. 2, 2016---Senior pictures of my great nephew

Jan. 3, 2016---snow and ice storm and time to leave

After living 3 places in Oregon as a kid (Klamath Falls, Corvalis, and Dallas) for a total of 7 years and spending many years vacationing to Dallas as an adult after my parents retired and moved back there, it was nice going back to a place that felt like home.  A lot happened in the year from Thanksgiving 2014 and Christmas 2015---such as Tim and Faith moved to Knoxville and we moved to South Florida.  But we all still managed to come up with the time and money to make the trip.  Even with the cold and rain, it turned out to be a fun trip!