Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Jume 26, 2017

What a wonderful day in Boston! Adam, Mark and Ramsay came on the ship and we got to show then our home for the past 6 months.  It was a beautiful day and we had lunch on the terrace, showed them around the ship and generally enjoyed catching up.  

Maybe we should have Adam organize all of our mail from now on.. What a job he did! And we got caught up on things that would have had to wait til we got home – great.  Looking forward to summer shore time with them.

Sailing in and out was beautiful. And tonight we will go through the Cape Cod canal.  Fresh lobster tonight in the terrace cafe too. Guess where we will be eating dinner?

Headed to NY for 2 days next.  Looking forward to seeing Hamilton tomorrow night on Broadway.  We also get to see cousin Abbe tomorrow, friends Alice and Tom (brunch  on Wednesday) and of course chapter 2 in the great bagel competition!

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Bar Harbor, Maine, USA

June 25, 2017

Well here we are back in the USA, and as the immigration official said this morning, ” welcome home”!

Last night we had the last ATW dinner and it was amazing! Here’s the memu and all the pictures.

We will miss all this delicious food for sure..

We love Bar Harbor, and set out to first buy our senior National Park passes.  Then we took the shuttle on the park loop road.

Beautiful day in an awe inspiring place.

Acadia national park is the second most visited park in the US with over 4 million visitors a year.  We have been here before but there is so much to see and do you never get tired of the splendor of the mountains, coastlines, forests and refreshing air. The Park Loop Road is a 27 mile road  that winds through the eastern half of Mount Desert Island .

We came back to town for lunch and of course had our lobster rolls. I also had their special June drink- strawberry rhubarb margarita.  Yum..

It was the most beautiful weather we have had in quite a while, perfect day.  Here are some shots from around the town of Bar Harbor which is quite charming.

Boston tomorrow.  So looking forward to seeing Adam, Mark and Ramsay.

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Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

Jume 24, 2017

Halifax is a thriving city of 400,000 and has one of the world’s largest harbors, 10 miles long. It was established in 1749 and the fortress was used to protect Boston. Now over 1 million ships come here each year, 179 are cruise ships.

We arrived and experienced the Scottish influence right away.  We were greeted by a bagpiper!

Our tour today was Historic Halifax and RMS Titanic, completing our third Titanic experience.

Donna was our guide and she is a specialist in Titanic history and she was a teacher for 31 years before retiring.

We started at the fabulous Maritime museum of the Atlantic, Canada’s oldest and largest maritime museum. There are many ship models, portraits and photographs here including the world’s largest collection of wooden artifacts from the Titanic which sank 700 nautical miles from here. Halifax sent 3 ships to recover victims.  209 bodies were brought back here for burial. 59 were shipped our by train to their families. 

The museum could absorb a whole day but we didn’t have that much time.  It will definitely be in our agenda for next time.

We traveled to the Fairview Lawn Cemetery  where most of the victims are buried. The bodies were numbered for identification purposes.  If there is no name on the stone, that victim was never identified and if the name is on the front instead of the top, the victim was identified later.  I was impressed with the diligence used to try to identify victims.

One of the most poignant stories was about the child who was not identified for many years but we now know was Sidney Leslie Goodwin.

The same numbering system was used when the city was devastated by the Halifax explosion that resulted from the collision of two ships in the harbor that nearly leveled the city in December 1917.  The memorial quilt was made to commemorate the 100th anniversary of that disaster.

After lunch I went for a long walk through the town and enjoyed the galleries, craft shops and other sights. The bicycle thief sculpture is outside of a restaurant with that name.

Enjoyed our day here! Glad the fog cleared and the rain ☔ stayed away.

Canada is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year and everywhere we went, cities and towns are gearing up for the celebrations coming up on Canada day, July 1, which we will also celebrate on the ship.

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Sept-Iles, Canada

June 22, 2017

Day 167!

Well, Marie was right, it’s no Fort Lauderdale! The town is located at the mouth of the Gulf of St. Lawrence and it is picturesque but tiny.

We were greeted by young Innu dancers and musicians.  This area has a rich history of trapping, fishing, forestry and mining.

We had a long walk in the cool fresh air.  Others opted to take a zodiac tour of the surrounding islands.  Good thing they got these warm coats!

A few local craft stores, restaurants, etc, but the most interesting was the variety of nets they use for fishing and shrimping.

One of the waterfront restaurants used them in their decor.  Like eating in a very large lobster trap.

Across the water is the largest aluminium plant in North America.

And they have a lot of things made from aluminum.

A very small town with very friendly people. Not much to see and do, but at least it wasn’t winter when they get 20 feet of snow and temps go down to 30 below zero. No cruise would call here then!

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More about Quebec

June 21, 2017

Québec is the only walled city in North America and a UNESCO world heritage site. 90% of the population speaks French and it does test my high school French.  I practice a bit with duolingo app, and can recognize many words and speak a few.  You need it here. The cafes and winding cobblestone streets can make you think you are in France! We had our croissants and coffee in the morning and lunch at a charming cafe.  Tres bien!

The Chateau Frontenac is the most famous landmark here and it is gorgeous.

I had a manicure here and Marie (who didn’t speak much English) asked where we are going next. I replied Sept-Iles and she started to laugh.  I thought she was laughing because I pronounced it wrong, but then she said, ” it’s no Fort Lauderdale” and we both cracked up.  Apparently there is not much there, so watch for my next post!

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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.

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

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.

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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.


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.


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.


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!


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


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.



Some people were in a sugar coma!  Fun evening.


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!

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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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