Monthly Archives: July 2017

BERMUDA CRUISE AND MORE

July 19, 2017

 

Greetings everyone. ¬†We returned from our 9-night Bermuda Cruise on Sunday, July 16th. ¬†What a wonderful time we had. ¬†In case you’re wondering who is this “we” I speak of, it’s these two lovely ladies pictured right below for your viewing pleasure.

That’s me on the left, and Joyce on the right. ¬†Being cousins, we’ve known each other since the day I was born – just a little plug to let you know I’m a little younger (sorry Joyce, lol), but not by much. ¬†We even lived in the same town for many years, on perpendicular streets – as did the rest of our huge Italian family.

We’ve been traveling together for a very long time. ¬†In the late 60’s, I believe, we took a road trip from New Jersey to San Diego, CA. ¬†There used to be a company called AAACon, where you could transport other peoples’ cars for them. They didn’t pay us, but nor did we pay them. ¬†For us it meant free transportation to California. ¬†We picked up a brand new Mustang convertible, and were to drop it off in Fort Hood, Texas. ¬†It was only when we arrived in Cherry Hill that we discovered it was a stick shift. ¬†I certainly didn’t know how to drive it, but Joyce told me she had somewhat of an idea how to drive a manual. ¬†We said our goodbyes to the owners of the Mustang, and proceeded down the highway, literally jolting and hopping along, Joyce frantically trying to get out of first gear. ¬†I looked in the rearview and saw the owners running after us. ¬†I told Joyce to step on it, and drive away before they could catch us. ¬† After the drop off in Fort Hood, we picked up the second car in Texarcana, and made it to San Diego. ¬†Suffice it to say there were many laughs and “bumps in the road” – stories for another day. ¬†About 15 years later, we tried to recreate that trip in our own vehicle, making it as far as Albuquerque, New Mexico and the Albuquerque Balloon Festival. ¬†Another wild ride. ¬†So this cruise is the third, and hopefully not the last of our adventures.

We embarked on the Celebrity Summit, an older but lovely ship. ¬†Our departure port was Bayonne, New Jersey. ¬†So very easy folks – no plane to get there. ¬†If anyone dislikes ¬†flying as much as I do, this is the way to go. ¬†Below is a photo of ¬†the Summit –

Our cabin was on the 8th floor, just aft of mid-ship, with a veranda. ¬†Trust me, I’ve been in an inside cabin, and one with an ocean view, but once you’ve had a veranda, it’s the only way to sail.

This is the view from the veranda on “days at sea”, my favorite!

As we pulled out of Bayonne, we had a good look at the Statue of Liberty and the Manhattan skyline.

 

First stop was Newport, Rhode Island. ¬†There are a lot of things to do in Newport, but we had to be back on the ship by 2pm. ¬†Not enough time to do much of anything. ¬†But we did take a tender to shore, and walked around town a little bit. ¬†As I’m sure you know, it’s a very nautical town.

 

The second stop was Boston, Massachusetts. ¬†We were able to see a bit of Boston because we didn’t have to be back on the ship until 6pm. ¬†We took a Hop-On – Hop-Off Bus Tour that lasted about 3 hours. ¬†We did get to see quite ¬†a few places, although we did not¬†hop on or off. ¬†At each stop, people were irate because they had been waiting in the hot sun, without benches to sit on, for 45 minutes, ¬†for a bus to come. ¬†After the third group of complainers, we decided it was best to stay on for the entire tour. ¬†We didn’t want to be late getting back to the ship – that would have been a disaster. ¬†The ship will leave without you- unless you purchased the tour through the cruise line – which we had not. ¬†Three highlights for us on the tour ¬†were Fenway Park, ¬†“Swan Lake” and ¬† the entrance to the bar “Cheers” from the TV show.

Fenway Park is located right in downtown Boston. ¬†It looks quite small compared to other venues I’ve seen.

 

 

Boston Common is a 50-acre public park in downtown Boston. ¬†It is sometimes incorrectly referred to as the “Boston Commons”. ¬†it is the oldest city park in the United States, dating from 1684. ¬†The ¬†Swan Boats operate in the same pond in the Public Garden in which they have operated for over 140 years, and are a cultural icon.

 

 

After some people got off the bus to enter Cheers for a drink and pictures, the driver/tour guide told us that the people were going to be very disappointed once they entered. ¬†The TV show only used the outside of the building for the the production. ¬†The inside was a Hollywood set. ¬†Hmmm – perhaps she should have mentioned that before the people got off…

 

 

Two days at sea were next on the itinerary before arriving in Bermuda. ¬†They are my favorite days. ¬†So beautiful and so relaxing. ¬†I managed to finish two excellent books on this cruise, The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty¬†and The Art of Hearing Heartbeats, by Jan-Philipp Sendker. You must read them if you have time, especially the Sendker book.

 

For our first day in Bermuda, we took a ferry to Hamilton, the capital.  We just walked around looking at shops and sights. (Photo of Hamilton from the blog of Slone Raner).

 

Business men wear jackets, ties, Bermuda shorts (of course), knee highs, and dress shoes. ¬†It looks kind of peculiar if you aren’t used to it.

 

I had to have a picture of this mailbox – isn’t it neat?

 

We then hired a taxi to take us on a 2 1/2 hour tour around the island. ¬†It was perfect because it was just the two us, the driver, and air conditioning -yahoo ! ¬†We determined the driver to be about ¬†85 years old, ¬†if he was a day. ¬†He was third generation Bermudian with a Portuguese background. ¬†He drove just slow enough for us to see everything we wanted to see and more. ¬†We even drove by Michael Bloomberg’s house (below), which is powered completely by solar panels.

 

Very cool.

 

We next stopped in St. George, also known as the Town of St. George which is the main town at the eastern end of Bermuda. The town is steeped with history and is a designated UNESCO world heritage site. This is where the founder of Bermuda, Sir George Somers, and his men landed in 1609 after their ship Sea Venture was wrecked on a nearby reef.  Mr. Somers and his men built a replica of the Sea Venture, and named it Deliverance.  That replica still stands today.
 We stopped  for a drink at the White Horse Bar and Restaurant.

 

Then back to the ship.

 

The second day we took a shuttle to ¬†famous Horseshoe Bay ¬†with it’s pink sand each. ¬†It’s a beautiful place with blue, clear water.

 

 

 

On our last day in Bermuda, Joyce went to do a little shopping in King’s Wharf. ¬†I spent most of the day in or near the pool. ¬†I just love it. ¬†Below is a shot of King’s Wharf, where the Summit docked.

 

 

 

Our last day on board was a day at sea.  We both spent the day relaxing and enjoying the ship.  The entertainment on the ship was very good, and sometimes fabulous.  If you have the time, go to YouTube and check out a comedian named Rich Aronovitch.  He had everyone laughing out loud.  Another great show was Lou Gazzara, who was on American Idol, Season 2. He did a rendition of Nessun Dorma that had the entire audience give him a standing ovation.  You can check him out on You Tube as well.

 

When we returned to the cabin on the last night, this was waiting for us on Joyce’s bed

 

 

isn’t he great ???!!!

 

If you’ve never been on a cruise, what are you waiting for? ¬†Great value for the money, comfortable accommodations, excellent food, wonderful service, some fun people to meet, relaxing, and entertaining. ¬†You can do as much or as little as you want. ¬†I just loved it, and I believe Joyce did too. ¬†If you have any questions, ¬†I’d be more than happy to try to help.

Keep posted. ¬†That long awaited¬†Casita trip may finally be happening, and you won’t want to miss it.

 

 

BUDDHA SEES BUDDHA – PART 2

July 4, 2017

I found another quote that illustrates a way in which  we see in people what we are.

The liar’s punishment is not in the least that he is not believed, but that he cannot believe anyone else.”

This quote is attributed to George Bernard Shaw, an Irish playwright, critic and polemicist ( a person who engages in controversial debate).  Mr Shaw had a keen eye indeed.

Such a handsome man…

Another great quote of Mr. Shaw’s is –

We don’t stop playing because we get old, we get old because we stop playing.”

I especially am glad that I found this particular quote because it is an excellent segue to my next topic РCRUISING TO BERMUDA.  This is the actual ship, the Celebrity Summit.

 

That’s right folks, Joyce and I will be leaving on Friday, July 7th for Bermuda ( ( 3 more days). ¬†I must admit it is a rather strange route – Boston -Newport – Bermuda – but it’s ok. ¬†Any time I’¬†m on the sea, I am at peace with the world. We will return on Sunday, July 16th. ¬†I’ll give you the blow-by-blow lowdown of our trip when we get back. ¬†I predict it will be much more than you’d ever want to know…

So I’ll say bye for now, until we return from Bermuda. ¬†But first –