April 17, 2014

A Full Circle

April 1, 2014: Fort Lauderdale

Atlanta heading to Florida.

We are home.  We had a grand time, we slept well, we ate well, and most of us are intact if not larger.  It’s time now to process some of the 600 plus photos we took a day and tell you all about our trip through the Panama Canal by sharing some of the images.

Yes, flying first class was a great gift of comfort.  I could relax and there was room for both our legs in the space allotted. We fit into the seats.  An additional gift was food.  They fed us meals and snacks all the way to Florida. 

Bil, Mage, and Rik. Spring 2014.

Seeing old friends was another gift.  It’s been years since Rik and I shared time together.  He was my roommate at almost the lowest point in my life.  Now he and his partner Bil are growing wider together, and I just wished we lived closer.  Dinner then breakfast with more conversation and hugs, then Rik was off northward and we to the port.

Often this trip I found that food was my real focus.  Usually I got distracted by my pants falling off or my shirt falling open at the most inopportune moments.  There’s also the “food down the front” gig too.  Who knew that when I tried all my clothes on weeks before leaving on this trip, that what I really needed was to put them on just before we left.

I devolved into two croissants with butter sometimes with three slices of bacon….just a heavenly breakfast.  Lunch was often half a sandwich and a salad with cookies.  I’m keeping a close watch on how much goes in.  At this rate, all my clothes will fit again by the time I get home.

Lunch on board.  That’s a whole sandwich.  I discovered half sandwiches across the lido.

The onboard entertainment and the lectures have been great.  Unfortunately, I find myself constantly pulling my pants up or rolling the tops to make sure they don’t fall all the way off right in the middle of something.  At least my bathing suit still fits, and until we hit our first port stop, I will work out in the warm pool first thing after a light breakfast.  These sea days give me time to read a bit before lunch too.  G does the laundry.  Later we found the hamburger place way up on the top of the sports deck.  Not bad at all.

G’s dinner.

Before dinner, we attended an interesting Cartagena lecture in the big theater.  Still later we found ourselves part of a team at one of those trivia games before we joined a small meeting in the Wedding Chapel.  The meetings have been a great gift.  Our days begin to pick up a certain rhythm.

My desert:  A tiny chocolate mousse heart.

I’m over dinnered tonight, but that’s ok.  He’s off to the tables and I’m nursing my too full tummy in a swaying boat.  Good stuff indeed.

April 4, 2014: Aruba

Scientology’s cruise ship the Freewinds tied up across the dock from us in Aruba.

Up very early.  Very.  And with humor we staggered through the Lido Dining room and down to deck five for a tour of Aruba.  Our guide took us through the neighborhoods .  I got pictures of brightly colored walls everywhere.  More pictures of the wonderfully over saturated, colored houses.  Screaming reds, blues, yellows surrounded us as we headed to the ocean side of the island.    Out by the beach, we saw a giant collapsed Land bridge, 1880’s lighthouse, Ostrich farm…a learning circus all on its own.

Pink house.

Yellow and gold house.

Blue and green.

Later we went through the poorer neighborhoods and saw trash piles everywhere, collapsing walls, the places in the countryside has been burned back.  We drove by miles of perfect beaches, and an equal amount of stunning dunes.

We has taken a banana each and I made up PB&J sandwiches to take with us.  Only later did we learn that taking food off the ship was illegal.

The first formal night.  My shirt fit, but it wouldn’t stay closed.

We had a good visit to Aruba, and we were back on board in plenty of time.  The ship pulled out at 1230 just as we finished augmenting our lunches.  Check back in and out on shipboard is just like airport security now.  Afternoon tea today, oh guilt.  For dinner I had only soup and salad.  I track the food every day but find not one day with the right number of points.


  1. That prime rib looks delectable. I am one borderline anemic with low iron. What the TV advertisers call iron deficiency anemia. Inner prime rib I think.

  2. Missed you but knew you were having an exceptional time. Aruba was hot and dry when I was there and the people were poor. But the general feel of the island was lovely and the windward side was vastly different than the beachie side. Dressing formally for one dinner? I didn't know they still did that.

  3. What a lovely and colourful time you had. You both looks so wonderful all dressed up.

  4. Welcome home. Looking forward to your pix.

  5. You both look elegant. I am enjoying your photo record of the trip.

  6. Marvelous houses, I love all the color. I'd have licked the dessert plate.

  7. First class? Woo hoo! That's fabulous. Wow you guys looked great for your formal night.

  8. I'm enjoying your photo journal and captions.

    I went to Aruba about 21 years ago. While there, I got mild sunburns on my shoulders; one of the rare times that this has happened to my dark skin.


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