Sixth Cruise Part One

Have you ever just wanted to do something so bad that you think about it a lot but you also thank in back of your mind this will never happen? Most all my life when seeing a movie are watching TV I would see a ship or a boat or even an air plane go past the Statue of Liberty I would think to myself I would like to do and see that. Charlotte and I have been talking about how we would like to go up the east coast and see the leaves changing, we had been to Middletown CT when our daughter moved there and we loved the area and we thought then we need to come during the leaf changing time. Beverly our next door neighbor had come over and was talking with Charlotte about this cruise leaving out of New York City, Beverly sisters church which is north of Dallas was getting a cruise together and wanted to know if she wanted to go so Beverly came over to ask if we would like to go also.  We had talked about how we need to stop going on cruises for they are a little pricey and then you usually have to fly some place to catch the ship and flights do not come cheap either. Well this cruise came up and the price was not too bad, anyway Charlotte was telling me about it and that we would be sailing out of New York harbor, I immediately thought that it will go right pass the Statue of Liberty, (one of my phrases ever since the show Hawaii 5-O has been on so instead of book him Dano I say book it Dano.) so I that is what I told her. This was around November 2010 when Charlotte was telling me about this and the cruise was not until the end of September of 2011 so this would give us some time to save for the trip and for us to figure out how and what we were going to do.

We had thought about driving to the town where the church was at and ride the bus with this group to the airport but we would have to leave early and drive all night to get there so we decided to drive to Dallas instead, we drove and stayed at a motel near the airport in Dallas. The people at the motel said if we would stay two nights with them that we could leave or car at the motel and they would take us and pick us up from the airport so that is what we did. We had driven the 5 hours that it takes to get from home to Dallas and found our motel, we checked in and then we went to get something to eat. Charlotte noticed a 5 Guy’s Burgers and said she would like to try it for she had heard a friend talk about them. So I pulled in and went inside it was great you could order your burger with several condiments to choose from plus when you ordered fries they will cut the potatoes into fries and then fry them up for you, also while you are waiting on your food they have boxes of peanuts in their shells that you can eat for free.

The next morning we got up early and caught the shuttle to the airport, I have had my left knee replaced so when I fly I try to always wear shorts bP001 20110924  Ready to fly to New Yorkecause when I go through a metal detector I will set it off. I will tell them before I go through that I have a knee implant so they will have me go to the side and wand me and since I have shorts on they can see the scar where the knee was put in and this usually makes it easier for the TSA agent and me. So when Charlotte and I go somewhere we try to get there early for we both have to be wand because she has a pace maker and she is not able to go through any machine that has magnets.

We did not have breakfast and we were not sure how long the flight would be, or if we would have time to eat anything once we reached New York so we decided to get something to eat at the airport while we waited for our flight. It came time to board the plane and we were excited for we were going to the Big Apple. The flight was smooth and we had no problems, we landed at LaGuardia Airport, and found the bus to take us to the ship. Now the fun starts we boarded the bus and we were off we looked out the windows trying to see what we could on the way to the ship but the driver was making hard stop and go;s through town. I think the driver had one foot on the fuel pedal and the other foot on the brake because the whole ride our heads were bouncing forward and backwards there was no way to take any pictures USS Intrepidbecause you could not hold the camera steady enough. The ship was to leave at 5:00 and I thank it was like 4:30 or so when we got to the ship, we still had to check in and board but at least we made it. The USS Intrepid air museum is next to the pier where the cruise ship was tied up.


Fifth Cruise Part Two

Our first full day out in the gulf was proving to be a good day, the waters were fairly calm and we were all having a great time walking about the ship relaxing, watching people dance, swim, play miniature golf, and just Play some Golfsunbathe, if you did not want to do that you could set out on your balcony and take a nap, our go and get ice cream and watch the water go by. Our first port was Montego Ba Jamaica, and as a group we all got off the ship and took a bus down town where, oh yes the girls shopped and we guys just followed along like little puppies. While the girls were shopping around some of us guys went into a little café and got something to drink and Jamiacn Bob Sledder and Robertwhile we were in there a man from the Jamaican Bob Sled team was in there giving out autogrMontego Bay Jamaica by the dockaphs to the locals, there was also a model of the bob sled they use for training. It was a lot better experience here than it was when we were in Ocho Rios a few years back, the people seemed a lot friendlier. We all had to get back on board it was time to leave and head for George Town Grand Cayman. The ship Walking for the curewas supposed to have a walk for the cure but do to the whether they had canceled it for it was to be heled up on the walking deck out side. The girls took it up on them selfs to go ahead and have it on the inside of the ship where it was open enough for them to get a good walk in.

The next morning the ship dropped anchor off of George Town and we had to catch a shuttle boat to the pier. After eating breakfast we all headed dJim and Gleen settingown to catch thDon& Janey welcom to Georg Towne shuttle and off we went, I bet you will never guess where we headed, yep you guessed it again, shopping of course we manly men did not mind and we were just along to give them money and carry packages. After a little bit we kind of split up and the ones that had not been here before went sightseeing. After We are tired of waitingeveryone was back on board the ship raised anchor and we headed for Cozumel Gleen Wanda, Olin Carioln, Jim & Charlotte shuttle back to the shipMexico. We pulled in to Cozumel and tied up at the pier, most of the group wanted to go into town, the rest of us just went to the shops right at the end of the pier. This was the last day before heading back to Galveston so the group stayeUs at the mall in Cozumeld out as long as they could in Cozumel before coming back to the ship. There was a storm brewing as the ship was heading back to the states and the waves were a good size this made the ship rock back and forth so bad that the water in the swimming pool was sloshing out of the pool. The three of us x navy guys slept like babies that night but some of the others were getting sea sick. The next day most of us had met up on the Lido deck to eat, Robert  and Sharion was not Roberts Birthdayfeeling good, we had gotten our food and just set down and we were wondering where Loni was. Robert told us later when got to feeling better that he was ln bed next to Sharion when he got a phone call saying his wife was skick and need him to come and get her. It was Loni the woman who came with us she was trying to find us and had gotten sick and was unable to make it back to her room and since her room was close to Robert and Sharion she asked for Robert and the crew thought that she was his wife. We have been having a blast this whole cruise and we did not let the storm All 6 Girls with Shipruin our cruise we would laugh about it every time it would come up after we were home.  Janie has passed on and we all miss her and her husband Don still comes to our get together once a month and the Christmas party we have every year.

Fifth Cruise Part One

Jim and CharlotteOne of our close friends had been diagnosed with stage four breast cancers and was doing well. TherDon and Janeye are five couples that have been together ever since our kids had started kindergarten back in the mid 1970’s. When we first got together was for a Halloween carnival where we were to help set up the school for this carnival. We would meet together as parents during the school year once a month to help plan different activates for our kids at Robert and ShariontCarlon and Olinhe school. This group was called the PTA (Parents, Teacher, Association,) and this same group of parents stayed together as our kids went from kindergarten to ninth grade. After this we decided to stay in touch and we started meeting once a month to eat and visit, catch up onWanda and Glenn what our kids and grandkids were doing. Ok I know you or asking what does this has to do with a cruise.Loni

I also mentioned Janey in one of my earlier blogs (The kids at Lamar elementary School). Our friend Janey as I said had stage four breast cancers and she has fought it for several years beating it at least three different times. It had been over eight years since she was first diagnosed; we were at one of our monthly get together and the subject of some of the cruises that Olin, Carolyn, and Charlotte and I had been on came up. Janey said that she would like to go on a cruise and so we started talking about that, her husband Don said he was not sure if he wanted to for he had been in the navy and did not know if he would like going on a ship again, Glenn said the same thing for he was x navy also. I told them hay come on, look at it this way you would be on that ship and you would not have to do any of the work like we had to in the navy. Olin had just won a cruise and said they were getting ready to go at the end of the next year and why don’t we all save up and go so we all said we would think about it. Charlotte and I had already had the Alaska cruise set up to go with our daughter but we thought that we just did not know if we would ever get another chance to go with them and after all Janey had said that she would love to go on a cruise. Every one agreed to go so we all signed up for a Caribbean cruise to Mexico, we had even called another lady who used to be in the group and had moved to South Carolina to seUSS Texas in Galveston harbore if she would like to join us and she jumped at the chance.

Time had come for us to go on the cruise and we Dolphin swiming around Galveston bayhad left early so that we could of course see the kids down in Houston seeing as how the cruise ship was to leave out of Galveston. We met up with the group at the motel where we were all staying and as usual had a great time visiting. The next day we all made it to Galveston, drove around looking the beaches over and then headed to board the ship. We who had sailed before really enjoyed watching the faces of the group who had not sailed before. Janey was having a great time and We had told them about the 24 hour ice cream machine and that was one of the first things that Don and Janey headed for once we were aboard ship. After the abandon ship drill we all manned the rails to watch the ship disembark and sail around the bay and out into the Gulf of Mexico.

Fourth Cruise Part Three

After leaving port in Seattle we headed for Alaska, this is the first time that we had three in a cabin, so after being out for dinner and walking around on the ship we went back to the cabin. When we walked in our room was set up for sleeping, usually the beds or scooted together for Charlotte and me but this time they could not do that for they had to drop a bed out of the ceiling in theThe Caben with the pull down bed room and it hung down over one of the beds, that was neat for it gave us three separate beds which I know made my daughter happy for she did not have to see her mom and dad in bed together. We sailed all that night and all the next day to reach Ketchikan for our first port. We went shopping and I took it as long as I could but as usual those girls could out walk me so I told them to have a good time but I was going to head back to the ship where I could get off my feet. They stayed out for quite a while so I knew they were having a great day.

After leaving Ketchikan the ship headed north and we were supposed to go Sis looking at the Fjords from our roomthrough Tracy Arm Fjords but there was too much ice floating through it so we went through anotherFloating Ice one next to Tracy Arm. I do not remember which arm we went up but the of the glacier is Dawes and it was beautiful and there were several big chunks of ice floating with a few seals resting on them, when the ship would get close to ice the seals would go back into the water. The ship had to leave the same way it came in so we could stay in our cabin and go out Mommy and Baby sealon the balcony to see all the beauty, that way when you got to cold slip back in your room get warm and then right back out to see some more.Sister ship this is what the ship we are on lookes like

Next stop was Juneau, after we docked Charlotte and Sis took a bus into town, I stayed back on board ship because of my feet and back wereYep this a street in Junaeu killing me and I did not thank I could walk very much longer. I had been there before and I would just hold those two women back because once they set Glaciertheir mind on sightseeing and shopping there was no holding them back. I had written in my second cruise about how even the steps were called streets here so I thought I would show a picture of them. I enjoyed relaxing on board ship watching the eagles, sea planes and just whatever was going on around the ship. The girls made it back to the ship and was telling me all about what they call fun shopping so I just shook my head and said glade you enjoyed it.

We pulled out of Juneau and headed for Skagway where we pulled in the next morning. We went up to eat breakfast and while we were eating an Eagle flew iWhale blowingn next to the pear and had a fish he had caught so he was eating breakfast with us until some seagulls started bugging him wanting him to share his catch so finely he Whalejust took his fish and flew away. Where we docked at we had to take a shuttle into town and it was a beautiful day to walk around. While Charlotte and I walked around by the shops our daughter went on an excursion to see a waterfall and some whales. She said as they were hiking they kept hearing several sounds that she was not sure what it was, everyone went up over this little mound and they spotted several whales out in the bay. Sis was so excited when she told us about it and she had some pictures but all we could see was the blow of water when they came up for air.

Two Ships and a SubWe sailed again that night and sailed all the next day and night. It was overcast the next morning in fact the clouds were very low but just as we were approaching Salish Sea which is the water way between Victoria BC Island and the State of Washington in the United States the sky’s cleared and we could see land on both sides of the ship again. I saw an US Coast guard ship and then two other ships but I noticed something between the other two ships, and as we got closer I saw another Coast Guard ship trailing them. I went in and got my binoculars and when I went back out on the balcony and looked there was a submarine between the two unknown ships. In fact the only ships that I could tell belonged to the United States was the two Coast Guard ships, so I guess they were escorting the other three ships. My wife and daughter wanted to see it so I gave them the binocularsCamera and Binoculars, we were trying to take a picture so they came up with an idea, sis held the binoculars while Charlotte held the camera up to the one of the sights on the binoculars and took a pictureStare case in the Empress hotel in Victoria BC and they actually got a picture of it. When we were leaving for Alaska I had seen a submarine heading toward Seattle and it was by itself. We reached Victoria around 7:00pm and where the ship docked it was good ways from town, here again I had seen it and so I just stated on board for the ship would be pulling out in 5 short hours and I did not want to slow the girls down.

We set sail at midnight for Seattle which meant the cruise was over. When we docked at Seattle we met up with the rest of the group and took a shuttle to Sea Tack Air Port. We said good-bye to sis and then the motel we were staying at picked us up for our plane was not leaving until the next day.

Fourth Cruise Part Two

After leaving Port Angeles we headed back South enjoying the beauty of the drive for everywhere you look or every turn in the road you make is just beautiful to behold. I guess living all our life in the wide open spaces of the Texas Panhandle leads us to appreciate Gods handy work. Our daughter’s flight was coming in this afternoon so we headed down driving around all the fingers of Puget Sound for in this area there were no bridgeWashington State Captials or ferry’s to go across them. We came to the town of Olympia and that is where the State Capital of Washington is located, you know we had to stop in there and see the capital building. We have killed enough time itA seal stamped out Of George Washington in side Washington Stte Captital. was time to get to the airport to pick up our daughter. We had made reservations at the same Motel where we stayed the first night the wife and I had got here so we headed toward down town Seattle to catch a ferry over to Bremerton. There was enough day light left so we drove around Bremerton to show CeAnne where she lived while she was in her mommies tummy for she has heard us talk about this place all her life. She told us that she now understands why we love it so. It was getting dark so I headed to Silverdale where we spent the night. We called Jeff and then met them for an Ice cream and talked about where we might get together Down Town Poulsbo Washingtonthe next day for lunch, I told him that we were going to show her around Poulsbo because we had told her about that town also and sheInside JJ's Fish House Poulsbo wanted to see it so we agreed to meet at J J’s Fish house around noon. We spent most of the next day just driving around looking over the area picking out places we might like to live if we ever decided to move up here and of course the girls found all kind of places to shop. Finley it was time to meet up with Jeff and his family Poulsbo harber across the parking lot from out side JJ'sso to Poulsbo we went. We all had a great lunch and then we walked down by the water and just visited a while for Ce, and Jeff had not seen each other in years and they wanted to catch up Seattle taken from Bainbridge Island accross Puget Soundwith what all that has been going on in their lives. Plus the two young girls wanted to play and they loved hearing our Texas accents, their dad had been away from Texas so long that his accent was not as strong of course we had a little trouble understanding them also for they have been growing up in Japan so they mostly spoke In that language but they were also learning English due to their dad speaking English.

After looking over Silverdale and the surrounding area CeAnne wWinery in Woosinville Washingtonanted to go to a winery just north of Seattle in a Town called Woodinville Washington, Mom and I had never been to a winery so this was and experience for us. The winery plantitionSis which is another name I called her sometimes used to travel all the time with one of the companies she worked for and so she has collected some free night stays with Marriott so we stayed at the Renaissance Seattle, we checked in and then I turned the rental car back in. The girls had fun with all the shops right down town Seattle I would meet them to eat and we rode the monorail to the Space Needle and back then we rode the hop on hop off bus around down town and the water front where the girls enjoyed the Public Market. They liked to watch the men who work there Public Market Down Tonwn Seattlebecause when someone ordered a whole fish the one worker would throw it to the other one to wrap it up. We had a wonderful time in Seattle and the surrounding country side but it was time to catch a shuttle to the cruise ship where we met up with the groupFamous fish market where they throw the fish to the cashier from work. We all boarded the ship, waited for the abandon ship drill and then relaxed and were ready to set sail. Sailing out of the Puget Sound area brought back memories of the navy when we sailed in to Bremerton some 40 years ago.

Fourth Cruise Part one

We had the opportunity to go on an Alaska cruise again and we could get a cabin with a balcony, also we could add an extra person for I am thinking 300 dollars. So we asked our daughter if she would like to go. Charlotte and I went early for the cruise is out of Seattle Washington which is located across Puget Sound from Bremerton and Poulsbo the area where we would like to live. We landed at SeaTac Airport caught a shuttle down town where we had arranged to rent a car. The rental agency said they would pick us up at a certain motel down town and take us back to pick up the car, but when we got to the place and called them they said that they could not pick us up and for us to get a cab and they would pay for it. So we called a cab and they picked us verily fast and the ride was a whole two blocks if we had known that we most likely could have walked, any way it cost the rental place about 7 dollars. They were out of the size car that we had agreed on so they gave us a brand new Toyota Prius it had 25 miles on it. We loaded our luggage in it and I had brought our GPS so I hooked it up then typed in our motel address and headed out. We got on the ferry toSeattle while wating on the ferry. take us over to Bremerton Washington, it was a beautifuSeattle from the ferryMt Bakerl day and we could see Mt Baker. We drove around Bremerton to bring back some memories and then headed to Silverton where are Motel was. Our nephew  moved here after he retired from the Navy so we gave him a call and asked if he and his family would like to meet us for dinner. He has a sweet little wife that he met while in Japan and they now have two beautiful daughters, they love Mexican food and so Jeff told us how to get to their favorite Mexican food place, It was so good to see them for we haven’t seen them in years there oldest girl was a baby when they came to Amarillo one year for Christmas.

The next day we wanted to go to Port Angeles so we put it into the GPS, It wanted us to go north to a bridge that crosses over to that part of the sound but the bridge was closed for repairs. Thank goodness there were signs posted to let us know before we drove all that way, instead we had to drive south and then around to get to the road where we wanted to go it added a couple hours to the trip but it was well worth it. When we arrived at Port Angeles we Lake Dawn 1found a motel for the night. We got a bite to eat and then drove up the mountain to a lake called Lake Dawn; it was a beautiful drive and a beautLake Dawniful lake and then headed back to the motel. We talked about how we had not gone to Victoria the last time when we were at Vancouver so I said let’s just take the ferry over in the morning. We got up the next morning had Comming in to Victoria from the ferrybreakfast checked out of the motel and drove dowThe Empress Hotel Vectorian to where we could catch the ferry, we decided instead of paying to take the car over we would park the car and walk on board it took about an hour and a half to get there. We walked around tButchart Gardensown sightseeing then caught a bus to Butchart Gardens which is beautiful. We spent most of the day there for it is a big garden we even had lunch in a beautiful Where we had lunch in the Gardensrestaurant right there in the gardens. After leaving the garden we took the bus back down tIn Butchart Gardensown, my feet and knees were killing me so I found a park bench set down and watched Charlotte as she walked around going in and out of shops alsoJust some of the gardens she went into the capital of the Province there in Victoria, when she was through with all that we had dinner and then Capital of British ColumbiaLawn Bowlingheaded back to the ferry to go back to Port Angeles and decided to spend the night there again.

Renewing Wedding Vows

our weddingIt has now been three months since or cruise where I had popped the question again to my wife. I think she had more fun planning this than she did for our wedding back in August 1965 for it has been 40 Renewing vowsyears and now she was a lot more relaxed. We were young kids of 19 years old when we first tied the knot and we were deep in love with each other. I wanted to be with her all the time and to this very day some 47 ySaying I Doears later I still feel that way. We called to see if it would be ok if we renewed our vows at the same church building where we were married, back then it was called Buchanan Street Baptist Church but The churchnow it is Buchanan Street Chapel. We received permission and then next we talked with our pastor at our church if he would do the ceremony and would be willing to do it where we were married. Charlotte had picked out some music that she would like to have played but instead of having someone play it on a piano we took a boom box with the CD’s that had the songs she wanted. Some of our children were able to come and they helped give a reception at our house for we had only invited a few close friends and family to the renewal ceremony and Recepationreception. Charlotte lived right across the street from the church where we were married, in fact that is the church where she gave her life to our Lord Where she livedJesus Christ when she was 15 years old. It was a beautiful day and the sun was out and it was not too hot for being in August. The day we were married back in 1965 there was a terrible rain storm in fact her house was struck by lightning just before the reception, thank goodness there was no fire but it did knock out the electric cook stove. And it was raining so hard the guys could not shoe polish my 65 Mustang fastback that we took on our honeymoon. One little bit of advice to you men if you want to stay out of the dog house for not remembering your anniversary is every month on the day you were married tell her happy anniversary and thin all you have to remember is the month. All I know is it has kept me out of the dog house and we kind of make it a game on who can tell the other one happy anniversary first on the 22nd of every month.

Third Cruise and a Proposal

The same people at work that had planned the first cruise are getting another one together, and I asked the people at church again and we all decided to go. We had a year to save up the money and we could pay it out in increments. I had some time and so I was thinking to myself that I would really like to do something neat for our 40th wedding anniversary that was coming up in August, ant this cruise was going to be in May. I took one of her rings that she does not wear very often and while she was at symphony I went to a jewelry store, found a ring that I thought she would like, it had a little bigger diamond than her original wedding band for when we were married 40 years ago she would not let me spend too much on a ring. I explained to the people at the jewelry store that I need to open an account for if I paid for it or charged it my wife would find out before I could give it to her on the ship. I bought the ring and had them size it with the ring I had brought. The wife and I were both on weight watchers and she has lost 150 pounds and I had lost 75 pounds. I told my wife I would like a suit to wear on the ship for the dress up night, (the ship has one night where you dress up for dinner), I did not have a suit in fact I haven’t had a suit since the wedding 40 years ago. The night of her concert I dropped her off as I usually do but instead of going home I went to the Jewelry store and picked up her ring and I also told them to please send the bill to my sons address so that my wife would not see it, I brought the ring home and hid it where she would never find it and luckily she had not missed the one I had taken.

It came time for the cruise and we all did pretty much the same as we did last time we drove down. This was a different cruise line so it was nice to see a different ship, I have to admit this was back in 2005 and I am trying not to get some of this information mixed up with the 2003 cruise we went on May Cruse Asking My to marry me aginwith the same group. The ship left port around 17:00 and we sailed all night plus all the next day. We dressed up for dinner that night and I hid the ring in my pocket and headed for the restaurant. We were seated and they came and took our orders and while they were busy turning them in I took advantage of them being gone so I got up went around on the other side of my wife and bent down, she knew something was up for I have bad knees and it is hard for me to get up and down, any way I pulled out the ring and asked her to marry me again and praise the Lord she said yeMay Cruse Boat to take us to the piers. I thank we went to Ocho Rios Jamaica first and my wife and I stayed on board and relaxed. Next we headed for George Town Grand Cayman and this is the cruise where we kissed the stingray thMay Cruse Grand caymon from our roomat I had mentioned on our first cruise. And then off to Cozumel Mexico again so here we just got off and went to the shops down by the pier, they have aMay Cruse Cazomel Mexiaco lot of shops and places to get something to eat if you want to. We figured we would eat on ship since it was already paid for. We did not set up to renew our vows until we got home and it was closer to our anniversary.

Second Cruise

This one came about thanks to the Amarillo Symphony. My wife has played Cello for the Amarillo Symphony ever since she was a junior in high school which now has been 50 years, any way ever year the symphony sponsors throw a party for all the players and they give away door prizes at this party. My wife has won a few little prizes now and then but this night at the end of the season 2005 we were at the party and it came time for the drawing we were setting in back visiting with some friends when we heard a commotion coming from the front of the room, finally we heard someone say where is Charlotte, we looked up and Charlotte said what is going on and some shouted you have won two airline tickets to anywhere in the lower 48 states or Canada. We were so excited and I made the comment after working for the symphony for 40 something years she finally gets a bonus. We have been trying to decide where we wanted to go and we had been looking all over the map in the states and even thought about Canada, I came home from work one day and my wife said guess what? I said what and she said guess where we are going, I said were you going to keep me guessing, she said I have booked us a cruise to Alaska. We will use the free tickets to fly into Vancouver BC catch the ship for a seven-day cruise through the inside passage and back to Vancouver then fly home, she was so excited and I could not believe she did this on her own, usually I have to talk her into this type of thing. Well it came time to go on our trip and we packed up headed for the airport, Charlotte had to have a pacemaker and this was the first time we traveled where we had to worry about going through a metal detector which she is supposed to avoid. She was nervous when we got to the airport but when she told them that she had a pace maker they had a woman take her aside and they wand her and patted her down we loaded into the plane and we were off. It does not matter where you are going from Amarillo you have to go either to Dallas or Houston first. So we flew to Dallas changed planes flew back over Amarillo to Vancouver Canada.

We had a cabin with a balcony and this was great we could set out and watch Pictures of Cruze to Alaska Our cabinthe land go by and watch for whales, seals, eagles, and whatever else came by. That first Pictures of Cruze to Alaska Our Balconynight out we walked around looking the ship over, later I picked up some coffee and Charlotte fixed her some hot tea and we went down to our cabin, set out on the balcony and just enjoyed the sound of the waves and we were just so amazed how God had blessed us again with the opportunity to be on another cruise. The next day we were up early and went to breakfast, we decided to go down to the restaurant where they have what was called open seating. Pictures of Cruze to Alaska First morning BreakfastNormally at the restaurants you are assigned seats but that is only at dinner, it was so neat talking with the other people, they were from all different parts of the globe, some we had difficulty understanding but we would figure out some way to communicate. This day we could see land but it was on the horizon, we spent most of the day looking for whales but most of the tPictures of Cruze to Alaska Whaleime we could see where they would come up and blow water as they were taking a breath, we did learn though if you spot one blowing and if you count how many time they would do this that after the third time is when you would see their tail come up out of the water for they were fixing to dive deep.

We pulled intoPictures of Cruze to Alaska Hubbard Glacer as the ship turns around Hubbard Glacier It was beautiful and cold, the sky was a little Pictures of Cruze to Alaska Hubbard Glacerovercast which made the ice a beautiful blue color, it was called blue thunder because you would hear a pop and a big cPictures of Cruze to Alaska Hubbard Glacer out of our cabinhunk would fall off and when it did it would sound just like thunder. After the ship left the glacier we went to our first port which was Skagway Alaska it was a beautiful littPictures of Cruze to Alaska Skagwayle town nestled between two mountains. We took a train Pictures of Cruze to Alaska Taken from the train Skagwayride up on top of the mountain until we reached the Canadian border where we got off the train while they turned the locomotive around we could not cross the border unless we had our passport with us, then we headed back down to Skagway this was a beautiful train ride and I would recommend it to anybody. The ship left that night and we headed for Juneau AK, the next morning you could see land from both sides of the ship in fact if you had a rock I think you could hit land. We were walking around Juneau and we noticed that to get to some areas you would have to go up some steep steps and I mean a bunch of steps. We were told by some locals that those steps are called streets and the city takes care of them just like streets. We stopped at a local Pizza shop and had lunch, while we were in there I asked one of the men, what was the easiest way to get to the Pictures of Cruze to Alaska Capitol in Juneaucapital building? He said see that tall building across the street, he said go in there take the elevator up to the third floor and when you exit the building the capital will be across the street. It was neat to see the capital building; after we left there we headed back toward the ship and enjoyed the sightseeing. Our next port of call is Ketchikan AK the only way you can get here is by boat or plane in fact the only way you can build a building is either blow away some of the mountain to get a flat place to build or build out over the water most of the town is built on wooden decks. If Pictures of Cruze to Alaska Dolly's Houseyou look at the green building you will notice it is built on pier & beams also this building back in its time was a whore house and the men could come in underneath so they would not be noticed. We were also told that their trash is their biggest export; they have to send it on a barge to Seattle Washington because the bears kept getting in to it. No matter what they did, they even tried capturing the bears and then took them to other islands but the bears kept swimming back. After leaving Ketchikan we went down thru some Fjords then headed for Vancouver.

We had dinner with the other two couples that were assigned to our table and while we were eating one of the couples said that they watched the Northern Lights last night, we said we did not know you could see it this far south and we also did not know when to even look for it. She said that they had looked it up on the internet and that they were supposed to be visible last night and again tonight. So we stayed up and found a good dark spot where the lights on the cruise ship would not bother us. It was cold where we were at but we could

Aurora near Yellowknife, NWT, Canada.

Aurora near Yellowknife, NWT, Canada. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

see the stars great, I guess it was about 10 or 10:30 and Charlotte said is that the lights of a city or maybe the sun set, I told her the sun had set the other direction and we are to far from any cities so we started looking a little harder sure enough after a bit we could see the lights dancing in the sky it was wonderful we got to see the Northern Lights thanks to our new friends telling us about it. The next morning Pictures of Cruze to Alaska Vancouver from Stanley Parkearly we pulled back in to Vancouver, when the ship docked we rented a car for our plane was not to leave for a couple more days, we got to drive around and see a little more of Vancouver before we had to fly out.

First Cruise on a Cruise Ship

Years ago I had seen pictures of people getting on cruise ships, and I would wonder what that was like, and where were those people going, what all were they going to be seeing. I often wondered what it was like for those people and even my ancestors getting on a ship and coming to America. After I was married the wife and I would watch the show the Love Boat, and as the people would board the ship and go to their cabins, and thin the ship would pull away from the pier and head out to see, and both of us would say I wonder what that would be like, for we both knew we would never find out for we would never be able to afford it. Who Mom on shipwould have ever guessed that after the Lord had blessed me with a wonderful wife who knew how to take care of finances and then God worked it out for me to get a wonderful job, and with all the kids raised and through Collage, and  then bang the opportunity came up for us to go on a cruise. Where I worked a group of people got a group rate set up to go on a one week Carnival cruise out of Galveston Texas to Jamaica, Georg Town Grand Cayman, Cozumel Mexico and Tulum Mexico so I talked it over with Charlotte and thin I set us up to go. In fact I mentioned it to our Sunday school class at church and five couples singed up also so we had some good friends going with us. My cousin and his wife road with us. Galveston was about 13 hours from where we lived by car and instead of spending money on airline tickets we split the cost of gas for the car. We left on Saturday because it was so far down there and our whole group stayed in a motel in Houston, we could not board the ship until noon on Sunday. My son lives by Houston so we were heading to his home when the car just started spinning we went backwards between two poles; thank goodness we did not get hurt and no damage to the car. It was a little misty outside and maybe I was going too fast, I don’t know what caused it but the main thing now is they had something to tease me about. We had a good time visiting with our kids and grandkids but we needed to get to Galveston unload the lugged find the parking lot to park the car and get loaded on the ship.

The time had finely come for us to board the ship and I was remembering back when I saw those pictures and that show the Love Boat, it was exciting and we were having a great time for we had met up with our friends from church and some from my work we had a blast acting like school kids going on a field trip. We got on ship went and found our room; we had gotten a room with a window so we could see out while traveling across the water. My cousin and his wife had a room next door to ours so when we put our carry on luggage up we knocked on the state-room door to see if they wanted to explore a little so we did. We went up to the Lido deck which was on deck 9 and there they had all kinds of food to eat in fact a person could not ever go hungry. The ship was due to leave port around 5:00 and we were to have a life boat drill before we could leave so everyone had to go to their staterooms and wait for the drill, then they were to take thir life jackets with them to the assigned lifeboat station where they would explain how to put on the life jacket if needed and which boat to get on. After the drill we all went back to our rooms and thin lined the outside decks to watch the ship leave port just like in the movies. We had picked early dinning and so after the ship got underway from the pier we went to our restraint for dinner.

We spent the next day out at sea and it brought back memories from when I was in the navy but the best part is I did not have to work like I did in the navy. The next morning we pulled in to Montego Bay Jamaica, my wife and I was looking forward to being in Jamaica again for we had been here when we flew in for our son’s wedding which was in Negril. We remember when we were in Negril we were at an all exclusive resort and we loved it we had no problems with the Jamaican people. When we got off the ship at Montego Bay we were surrounded by people wanting money, or to sell us something, so we just did not feel comfortable and we went back on board ship. There wereCruise Ships in Port just a few shops about three blocks from the pier where the ship was docked so we got our courage up and walked to them so the misses could do a little souvenir shopping. We got underway that night and set sail for George Town Grand Cayman, we arrived there the next morning and it was beautiful, we had signed up for swimming with the stingrays and that was great. We took a bus to a small boat on the other side of the island, we got onboard the boat and away we went what looked like out in the middle of the ocean for you could barely see land in two different direGeorgetown Harborctions. When we came up in what was shallow water, in fact when you got out of the boat it was about waist deep. As the boat was pulling up to anchor you could see these stingrays swimming around, we werOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAe told that once we get into the water do not walk just drag your feet for if you step on a stingray it will react just like a dog he will either bite you or run the stingray will either sting you or run. They felt so smooth when they rubbed against you, and they would eat squid out of your hand with their mouth on the bottom side of their head. One of the tour guide asked if I wanted a message with one of the larger stingrays and I said sure so he turned the stingray around and rubbed his wing up and down my back and that really felt good, also the wife and I got to kiss a stingray, needless to say this was one of the highlights of our cruise.

The next day we were in Cozumel Mexico the ship tied up at the dock and thin we could walk into town which was about a mile and half from the docks. We walked in town and shopped around. Some of the group went snorkeling, some wanted to eat in town but my wife and I went back to the ship. I don’t thank the ship was leaving until 10:00 and we set sail to Playa del Carmon which was just across the bay. The next morning we got up and loaded on a bus and went to Tulum where the Mayan Ruins are located, there is a spot  where you look over and there is a beautiful beach where you can walk down and wade in the beautiful light blue water. We spent most of the day there and thin went back to the ship, when all was aboard we set sail back to Galveston and our first cruse was over.