Saturday, March 12, 2011

Now we Cruise

We didn't have to hurry next morning as check out time was noon and we could start boarding the ship at noon. We just had coffee and a sweet roll as when we board the ship they'll have a full buffet brunch for us. We got a cab without any problem and headed for the ship. I had pre done a fun pass so it made it a breeze and before we knew it we were on the ship.
This ship had the biggest screen TV right on the deck where we had the buffet. They showed movies and concerts on it.
After we had a bite to eat we walked around the ship. It's not the biggest or most elegant ship I've been on but pretty nice. We then relaxed on the deck.
We couldn't get into our rooms till 2pm so we just hung out on the deck and walked around. The ship was docked right under this bridge that went over the mississippi river. I had taken this earlier this week we were too close to it to get a good picture of it when we were on the ship.
We spent the first couple days just relaxing on the ship as it took 2 days to get to Belize. They won't let you take pictures of the shows on the ship but they were excellent. Variety shows and comedy shows. Not much luck in the ships casino. We got seated for dinners with some really neat people from Michigan named Mike and Dianne. We had alot in common and talked almost non stop through our dinners together. We really hit it off with them, and plan to stay in touch.
Our second night on the ship was formal night. We dressed up really nice went to a reception to meet the caption but never saw him. I did try chocolate martinis and wow they were good. I could be in big trouble.
Don't we look so nice? I really should of taken a picture of my shoes. 3" heels and I did wear them all evening. I admire those women whom wear them all the time.
I just love the little towel animals the cabin boy makes and leaves each night when he turns our bed down and leaves us a chocolate. I just had to take their pics.
Our first stop was Belize. We booked a city tour and I wasn't really impressed with it. They took us to a museum but no pictures were allowed only at the entrance. Alot of artifacts and old stuff. It was quite interesting.
Then they took us to a really old church. I've seen much more beautiful old churches but this is a poor country and it was very well preserved.
Other than these two places we just rode on a bus and they pointed out schools, fire department, hospitals ect. We had a little time to shop and Brent got a hat and I got a little change purse and a bottle cozy. I really wish we would have booked a snorkel tour here I heard it was amazing. We'll just have to do a repeat.
Our next stop was Honduras. We booked a nature park and the beach here and both were absolutly amazing.
The iguanas and mckaws were great, but these monkeys were oh so fun.
OOPS Brent almost lost his hat. They had told us they would try to steal things they liked and to not wear your sunglasses jewelry or hats and have your purses zipped up.
After visiting the monkeys we went walking on an old fashioned rope bridge. We saw swimming turtles in the water.
Now the beach. It's a beautiful day and nice and warm.
What a neat day. We stayed under a palm but still got a little sunburn. The water was clear and wonderful. We could see lots of different kinds of fish in the water just walking in it, especially over by the rocks where people were snorkeling. I wanted to get snorkel gear but they wanted $15 each and Brent thought that was too much. Next time bulky or not I'm packing at least my mask and snorkel. You could do without fins when you go from the shore. We played around in the water alot today and my arms are a little sore from swimming so much. Oh well it's good for me.
Here's a couple more of the fun towel animals. I need to learn to do this.
The next day was Cozemel Mexico. We've been here before when we took Jenna and Brian on Jenna's graduation trip. The water here is very blue and clear too, but the all inclusive beach stay wasn't as neat a beach as we went to before but it was still a great day. The cabana boys waited on you hand and foot keeping you supplied with drinks. I like miami vices. They are part pina coloda and part strawberry daquri. We also got a mexician buffet that was really tasty. There was also a swimming pool if you wanted and all kinds of beach games to play. All non motorized toys were available like kayaks, water bikes but we just relaxed on the beach most of the day. The wind came up and you could see maybe a storm was coming but just windy while we were there.
After this nice day on the beach it was our last night on the ship and another dress up night. I wore the dressy pants outfit Lorna helped me pick out when we stayed with them during our motorhome trouble last fall. I had a portrait picture taken on ship but I didn't like the way it turned out so I just took one in our cabin. It turned out OK but I should have had the little light turned off.
There was alot of rocking and rolling of the ship tonight as the seas were a little rough. One more towel animal....tomorrow we get off the ship. We have booked a New Orleans city tour and airport transfer as our flight back to Phoenix doen't leave till around 4pm.

Friday, March 11, 2011

New Orleans and Mardi Gras

Our flight to New Orleans was early in the morning so I had made arrangements at a hotel near the airport to stay the night before. They also let us store the tracker there and shuttled us to and from the airport for no extra charge. We got into New Orleans at about 2 pm and got checked in. We stayed in the garden district and the trolly stops right in front of it and takes you to the french quarter. Ruth, Randy, Dave and Lynett were not due to arrive till later in the afternoon, so Brent and I got checked in and unpacked. We went and saw the view from the rooftop patio. Then just relaxed till we heard from them.
When they got here we hurried so we could go see the first parade of the mardi gras celebration. It was in the french quarter so we got on the trolly and rallied for a good spot to watch. I was surprised how many people there were for being so early into mardi gras. Then I found out it was a popoular one cause it was a sexy one. It was to celebrate ones sexuality, so not g rated but not that bad.
We then walked around the french quarter where a musician asked Lynette for some help playinf his horn then we went for a bite to eat. Then back so they could get unpacked and to bed.
Next morning we wanted to go on a swamp and plantation tour but they were already doing pick ups so we booked it for the next day and headed into the french quarter.
You must try beinets ( a french donut) in the the french quarter.
Then some yummy southern food.
Then to bed to get rested for our tour next morning.
I thought we were pretty close to the swamp but it took us a half hours drive to get there. Our guide was pretty smart about the swamp, It was pretty cool.
The swamps have some really interesting scenery. Our guide says there are alot of wildlife that lives in the swamps, like wild oars, deer, lots of different snakes and many birds. He warned us when we started to watch the trees cause the snakes will be up in the branches and sometimes we were right under the trees.
We were going through a pretty narrow part of the swamp with the trees over us. We saw a few snakes but they were on the ground. Our guide warned us again about the snakes could be in the trees. Then here comes flying a snake right up by Lynett and she screams bloody murder and about crawls right on top of David. I look up and see the snake..... it's a plastic one that the guide threw up there. She was so upset and told him she would get back at him. We all laughed but it had truly shook her up. We saw a huge alligator back in the bush. Our guide estimated it to be 12 feet long. We couldn't get a good picture of it and he would not let Randy get off the boat to walk in a ways to get one either. Don't blame him but I think Randy would have if he would have let him.
Now on to the plantation. It was a big one but no longer a working one. We toured the home that had some original and some reproduced furnishings. I loved the surroundings. I really think that I could of lived in the old south in a previous life.
This is one of the slave homes.
I just love this one showing all the spanish moss in the trees. If you look real close that's Brent walking toward me.
After getting back from the tours we grabbed a bite to eat and just relaxed on the veranda that faced St Charles Avenue and visited till time for bed.
Next day Dave and Lynette had booked a City and graveyard tour. We slept in as did Ruth and Randy. We had coffee and donuts and then decided to go to the casino for a bit. Dave and Lynette were going to call when they got done and we were to met them on frenchman street. This street we heard had alot of blues bands playing and we wanted to hear some. None of us did good at the casino but for signing up they gave us some great big mardi gras bead necklaces that were hollow so you could fill them with your favorite drink. I filled mine with water but it was heavy so I soon emptied it out and just wore the necklace. Soon Dave called and we walked to frenchman street, but it was pretty empty, maybe they only have the bands on the weekends and it felt kinda scary not in the heart of the french quarter so we soon found Dave and Lynette and headed toward the inner part of the quarter and searched for something to eat. We settled on Pat O'Brians for lunch and a hurricane.
We pretty much spent the rest of the afternoon and evening in the french quarter. Seeing the fun things having some fun listened to some music, danced some and went to dinner. These people are so much fun.
This guy was awsome. he played empty buckets for drums and did it well.
All in all we've had alot of fun so far. At least I have and I hope everyone else has too. The next day we moved from the garden district to the french quarter. I had booked 2 nights at the hotel Montelone on Royal street and Randy had booked them at one on Barricks Street. We got moved and decided to take the ferry across the mississippi river and check it out. It doesn't cost anything to ride the ferry and we thought it would be cool. We walked around and stopped in a cafe/bar for a drink then rode back. Got a neat picture of the jackson square area of the french quarter with the church.
When we got back to the french quarter we walked around. Lynette and I considered getting a boyfriend (haha) but decided against it. Went and wandered around Jackson square and the marketplace.
Next day after breakfast we went and got ready for the 2 parades today. One in the french quarter and then one on canal street. We wanted to wear our mardi gras get ups.
We've had a ball this week with these guys but they are leaving to fly home tomorrow and we get on the cruise boat. So after a fun evening listening to a couple other bands we said our goodbyes and went to get packed.


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I'm a wife and been married for 31 years. I'm a mom of 6 kids 4 boys and two girls and a grandma to 11, grandkids. My favorite thing in the whole wide world is to spend time with them. We have a monthly family dinners where we all get together and have dinner. We take turns whose house it's at and then if it's at your house you fix the main dish and everyone else brings what they are assigned to bring. We have a wheel that tells us what we bring. You turn it to the one whose house it's at and then it shows you what you are to bring. It works great and I look forward to it very much. We also take a family trip, usually camping somewhere. It's always great fun. I'm a huge Utah JAZZ fan and like going to and watching the games. I like traveling and making jewelry and doing crafts.