Québec, Canada

June 21, 2017

Back to beautiful Québec.  What can I say.  Lots of walking, shopping, intermittent showers and sun and beauty all around.



Plants with pants!


And a meet up with Jessee!  Yay!


And more of the  casino usual suspects.  Maxine and Marilyn who work there and Lalo and Isaac who gamble!. And Jessee, we miss you.


Beautiful mural.  


Till next time.  Bye Québec.

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Montréal, Canada

June 20, 2017

We woke up this morning to a big storm and we wondered what kind of a day or would be.  Well the weather cleared and it was an absolutely beautiful day.  We started the day walking all around Old Montreal.


We have been here several times before and always enjoy the French influence, the shops and restaurants.

Today, though, we were meeting a coaching colleague, Claudine, for lunch. She took us to a wonderful restaurant, les enfants terribles which is the most elevated dining destination in Montreal.  Delicious, but the best part was sharing the day with Charlene.


They had these awesome chairs!


The views were terrific.


We did some more walking and shopping then back to the ship for our 14th lifeboat drill.  Yes, even if you are on for 6 months and have memorized it, you still have to go. New people came in today for the last leg of the around the world cruise.  Hard to believe we will be home in just over 2 weeks.

Then we had the first of two bagel challenges.  There is an ongoing rivalry between certain people on the ship as to whether the bagels are better in Montreal or in New York.  So we had the Montréal version today.  Charlene said these were the best in Montréal.


We even had to fill out a ballot!


Next one in NY.  Thanks Alan and Beverly for hosting in your suite  and Victor for your part in the feast.  Lots of fun during sail away.

Posted in Food, June, North America, Trip 2 | 1 Comment

Trois Rivieres, Canada

June 19, 2017

Trois Rivieres is located between Montreal and Quebec City.  We were here on our last trip and just loved this town. I  was looking forward to a shop that is an artist’s collective where I bought a very unique and lovely necklace, so that is where our walk took us first.  The sign on the door said ferme on lundi (closed on Monday) and I was so disappointed.  Anyway we continued our walk, visited the beautiful church and did some wifi in the library with its fast service.  We both thought it would be foolish for a shop in a small town like this to remain closed when a ship is in port so we went back to the shop and it was indeed open!

This is really a lovely town. It is North America’s second oldest city north of Mexico. It was destroyed in a fire in 1908 and there are only a few remaining historic buildings. The Ursuline Museum and convent is one of the most beautiful. There is a riverfront promenade and a lot of charming homes, public squares and gardens.  It is also one of the world’s largest producers of paper.

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We visited the beautiful Cathedral of the Assumption, built in Neo gothic style and built beginning in 1854,  The organ, inaugurated in 1992, has 70 stops, 101 rows and 5635 pipes! The stained glass windows are especially noteworthy here. There are 125 windows and are considered to be some of the most beautiful ones in North America since they are the originals.  Guido Nincheri was the renowned artist.

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We did a nice long walk and then went back to Ema, the shop with the work of 30 artisans.  As usual, many beautiful displays and especially jewelry.  I did purchase another necklace by the same artist as last time. They also had a display of unique sculptures made mostly of silverware and serving utensils.  Very interesting.

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There was a man playing an organ  outside on the street.  And we were very intrigued by these mini gardens on that street – mostly containing vegetables and herbs!

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We had a nice lunch at a sidewalk cafe, then went back to the ship to prepare for our evening’s outing.

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At about 6, we left for an evening at the Sugar Shack.  Our entertaining guide was Jean Pierre and he had lots of stories to tell.  One was about the French women that were sent over to marry the men of the region (they were called filles du roi).  France sent 700 women but only 3 ended up marrying men from Trois Rivieres – he said it was because the men weren’t the “marrying kind”!

We had a fun time at the Sugar Shack.  We learned that 80% of the world’s maple syrup and products comes from this region. We saw their tiny production facility and heard that it takes 40 gallons of sap to make one gallon of maple syrup and that the conditions must be just right temperature wise.  Also that there are many varieties of maple trees but only 3 produce the sap that is used.

We had an entertaining accordion player all through dinner and Toby and I even did a polka!  We had a traditional regional dinner – bean soup, ham, baked omelet, meat pie, beets, baked beans and pancakes.  We were told to add maple syrup to everything! And the maple syrup was delicious.

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Some people were in a sugar coma!  Fun evening.

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Before leaving, we had a taffy pull and sampled the maple sugar taffy.

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At Sea

June 18, 2017

Happy Father’s day to all the dads…nice day at sea including a gala tea. Oceania does this so well.  Here are some pictures. The Apgar dessert table comes close, but can’t beat this!


We ended the afternoon with a flute concert by Kat Epple.  She is an Emmy Award winning flutist. She performed on 20 flutes from around the world.  She’s traveling with our artist in residence – her sister in law, Suzanne.  Dinner with Cle, Dennis, Violet and Loc ended a perfect day!

Posted in At Sea, North America, Trip 2 | 4 Comments

Cornerbrook, Newfoundland 

June 17,  2017

Last night we  were invited to a dinner in honor of friends Toby and Bob’s 60th anniversary.  Lovely evening.


Last year while we were here in Cornerbrook we did a long hike into the beautiful mountains here.  As we arrived, we could see the mountains with snow at the top.


We did a walk around town (very small), and did a hike on one of the many trails.  They have a very large paper mill here, it was once the largest and is still a big part of the economy.

Norm fell in love with this Newfie!


They did have a sexual health store!! 


We found a cool bar, Starlings, and I was initiated as an honorary Newfoundlander in the order of the Screechers.



Nice to finally be on land after 5 sea days! 

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At sea

June 16, 2017

Off the coast of Newfoundland.  Icebergs spotted in the distance.

Posted in At Sea, June | 1 Comment

At sea

June 16, 2017

Off the coast of Newfoundland.  Icebergs spotted in the distance.

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At sea

June 15, 2017

Just got the word… Because mother nature caused us to  miss the next port, it is open bar tomorrow from 5-6:30!

Yay Insignia management team/senior officers.

Posted in At Sea, June, North America, Trip 2 | 3 Comments

At sea

June 15, 2017

As we predicted, due to the weather on the crossing, we can’t make it to our port of St. Pierre et Miquelon tomorrow.  Another sea day tomorrow and we will be in Cornerbrook Newfoundland on Saturday.  Seas have calmed a bit but the ship still can’t sail at full speed .

Had a lovely ATW  coffee this morning and having a relaxing sea day.


And the quilt is coming along nicely!

Posted in At Sea, Food, June, Trip 2 | 2 Comments

Atlantic crossing

June 14, 2017

We are on our third day of a 4 day crossing of the Atlantic to Canada and the US.  It is rainy and very rough so far.  Waves splashing  up to deck 10, Horizons lounge!  We are doing fine but many are seasick.  Art class, new Beauty and the Beast movie, casino, reading.  That is all.

Posted in At Sea, June, North America, Trip 2 | 4 Comments