Thursday, January 31, 2013

San Juan, Puerto Rico

In San Juan


 we decided to let Bill be tour guide.

  It was up the hill or MOUNTAIN for we flatlanders...

to Fort Cristobal.


It always astounds me at the ability of mankind to create such monumental achievements.


The Fort makes our ship look like a yacht.


It is crazy to think that my 'ride' is sitting in port while I explore the day away.


How can one country be so advanced when one just down the way is still 2nd or 3rd world?


For a moment,
 I thought I was in Scotland looking through the cannon slots.




Either people were skinnier back then or this is a one way street!


Can you imagine trying to load one of these balls?


Such grand structures and great detail.



Again... the COLORS!!


Loved all the wrought iron rails...could be France for all I know!!


This was the back alley and it was still beautiful!!


Even the Coke truck was colorful.


Why is white the acceptable color in Saskatchewan?

We have 6 months of snow...

Do we really need to make our houses blend in too?
Even the streets of  cobblestone were a beautiful grey-blue color.



We sat at an outdoor cafe for some re hydration where these pigeons were looking for some treats.


Next thing you know....along come a 'white' guy!!

This is kind of how we felt in all of these countries.


It was farewell to Puerto Rico.


I think we will be back someday.


It was an amazing place!!

Next stop....Grand Turk!!
Christa

Ps.
Visit Scrap Squad today!!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Dominican Republic


Cueva de las Maravillas
(Cave of Miracles)


was our first stop in La Romana,Dominican.

We were not allowed to take pictures inside so this is all I got on our way out.


I don't think my sister-in-law was so impressed when we told her that the drops of 'water' 
were probably coming from the bats we saw hanging in all the little cavities.

But a little gueno never hurt anyone!!



The water has washed away the sand to reveal fossils of shells.


I am not sure why we think it is such a wonderful idea
 to go down into a hole that normally houses snakes, bats, rats,
and other biting poisinous creatures but we did.

It was interesting but I could not get my mind off of that little fact.

Taino Indians had painted drawings on the walls and many artifacts were found and on display.


One of the their beliefs was to cut your head off to let out your spirit when you died.

If you were a Cacique(chief),
 the custom was to bury his favorite wife ALIVE beside him.


No worries for me...
I probably would have been murdered or sacrificed long before then!

The only words in Spanish I knew before this trip were 'no comprendo'

but I quickly picked up on this one!!


My first reaction was...

What?? no lid?

but then realized it was better than that bucket....



or backing up to one of these little bushes!!



Our guide's name was Miguel and said we were his family for the day.

But when the bus started rolling away from the caves I noticed Bill was not on.

Bill was still in the Banos and we almost left 'family' behind!!

We went to a bartering market where this iron bull 


and horse were made from scraps of metal.


An artisan was carving these parrots out of wood and painted them.



They looked so real.

I loved the colors of their paintings.

The man said 80US$ but I didn't want to haul it home so I said no.


He asked how much WOULD I pay....

so I said 30US$??

Next thing you know, he tore it off the frame and rolled it up for me.



I bought one with the ladies in white, red and black.

It was another fun day!!

Christa


 




Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Bahamas... Mama!!

From flying high...


to cruising the open seas!!


It was off to our ship, Carnival Valour after sending the kids home to do chores!!


The weather was AMAZING....

80-90 Degrees every day!!

Every evening,
 there was a towel animal on our bed and itinerary for the next day.

From this cute bear or cat...


To this strong little elephant.



I was impressed
( it doesn't take much for me)

 so I went over to my sister-in-law's room to see what they made her...


A stingray....Really??
She was clearly not tipping Dave,our Room Steward enough!!

Some delicious drinks and games of cards were enjoyed...


Some Bingo was played
 (in support of my sister-in-law, Anita)


I am not much of dabber myself.

If you won any of the contests on the ship


You were awarded a piece of "Ship on a Stick"

We dined in style with the Captain but never did see the man!!

No...

this is not the Captain...

though he could pass as one!!

This is Bill and Anita(Arnold's Sister).


Anita(Arnold's Sister) and her husband,Bill

Arnold and Christa

Our first port was Bahamas.

 We hired a man named Quincy who took us to the Queen's Staircase.



This is where slaves spent 16 years carving out blocks of stone out of the rock...


in order to make Fort Fincastle.


It was a remarkable feat.


 I can't even imagine what hard labour it was!!



This tree was growing down the side of the wall.

The jungle grows anywhere!

Fort Fincastle....1793


Not a bad look on Arnold....


Quincy picked us up at the bottom of the staircase and we toured Nassau, Bahamas.

This was one of the Governor's Estate.


All the government building were pink and white.

Next it was off to the Atlantis Hotel.

There are only two in the world and the other one is in Dubai.

I remember when Oprah did her show from this Hotel and how incredible it was.



Everything was big and extravagant.


When I saw this creature I thought of one person...



Jaynie Himsl....your rendition is spot on!!




Pegusus was flying everywhere!!


There were huge glass spheres on top of the walk ways.


The colors were stunning.



Yachts everywhere....


At the end of the day, Arnold tipped our driver, Quincy


Yup...
 that says 1 Million Bucks!!


Arnold was tricked out of 20$ by the ship's magician in exchange for this bill.

What to do with a 1,000,000??

Ooooooh..... the possibilities!!

It was back to our ship for some refreshments.


It is highly recommended to stay hydrated on such a hot and humid vacation.

We did our best!!

After all it was 2 for 1 and who can resist a margarita?

Dominican tomorrow

I think some socks and a quilt have my name on them!!

My toes are freezing!

Christa

ps.
 Thanks to Justin for keeping you entertained while I was not able to blog.

He may have to do some guest appearances every now and again!