Thursday, June 25, 2015

Winter 2014 – April 2015

Left Lakefield on Saturday, November 1, 2014 to attend the wedding of Brynn Kennedy and Bradley Wiffen at 5 PM in the Storys Building on Duncan Street in Downtown Toronto. We stayed overnight at  by Marriott on Wellington Street and parked the car at the local Firehall.

Moving on November 2, 2014 we stopped for lunch with Katie and David Whitehead in Winona and then a quick stop at Ellie and Jan Lech to pick up a package for Tom and Diana Marsden in Virginia. Crossed the Canada-USA border and spent the night at the Fairfield Inn and Suites by Marriott in Dubois, PA.
Arrived at Tom and Diana’s on November 3, 2014 and had fun with Jacob, Hannah and Ben before a 2 hour flight from Norfolk to Miami, Florida on November 5. C:\Users\Mary Marsden\Pictures\Kennedy wedding,\DSC06122.JPG
We stayed at the Residence Inn near the Miami Airport for the night.

C:\Users\Mary Marsden\Pictures\Kennedy wedding,\DSC06124.JPG
November 6/14  We had breakfast at the hotel and a morning walk before taking the Shuttle (complimentary since it was 45 minutes late) to Terminal J at the Miami port to board the SS Navigator from Regent Seven Seas Cruises. Time for Lunch on Deck 10. Luggage arrived and we had an emergency drill at 5:35 PM. Sailed out of Miami port at 6 PM. 6:30 PM dinner in Prime 7 – Seafood and Steak Specialty Restaurant. We had shrimp cocktail, seafood chowder, I had Seafood Cobb Salad and Don had a 10 oz Filet Mignon – best he had ever had! Berries and Chocolate Cake for dessert. Felt like we were ready to explode already. Don had a bath and I went to the Comedy Show in the big Seven Seas Lounge – New York Comic “Tony Dani”.

November 7/14  Cruise Yucatan Channel and Florida Straits – Day at Sea
To Stretch Class at 8 AM followed by breakfast on the Pool Deck. Went to Talk on Belize – excursions. At 10 AM went to lecture by Historian on Cozumel, Roatan and Belize – Mayan civilization. Don took in a Fitness talk on Fat Burning. We played Bingo at 11:45 - $30 for 4 cards and played 4 games but lost.
Lunch at 12:30 in the main Dining Room – Compass Rose. In afternoon played Bean Bag and Bocce for points to cash in for t-shirts. I attended a lecture in the Spa on Hairstyles for Face Shape. There was a block party in the hallway at 5:15 and meeting at 6 PM in the Lounge to introduce top staff followed by a Captain’s Reception. Dinner at 6:30 in the Setti Mari (Italian Restaurant). 9:30 PM Broadway Musicals for Entertainment in the Seven Seas Lounge.
November 8/14  Cozumel, Mexico
Don did the Scuba Adventure and enjoyed it. I did the “Cozumel Highlights and Shopping Tour”. First stop was a Mexican Museum with an outdoor garden of Mexican Mayan Temples and Spanish Cathedrals. We watched 5 Mexicans do a pole ceremony. Then on to the Oldest Village on the island which had a church and temple and lots of little shops – Black Coral. I bought 2 pairs of earrings bargained down from $65 to ext a tequila factory and Gift Shop. Back to the ship for a late lunch, some Regent Point Games and tea Time Trivia. Dinner in the main Dining room. Margaret Lynn (Cruise Director) did Country and Western Songs at 6 PM and listened to the Piano Player at 9:30 PM.
November 9/14   Roatan (Honduras Island)
Slept in till 8 AM. Had breakfast and got ready for Snuba Adventure for Don and I did the Dolphin Encounter. These tours had bus and boat rides included.
Late lunch then shuffleboard and Tea Time Trivia. Did some laundry and had delicious supper in Compass Rose (Main Dining Room) of Scallops with Crème Brulee for dessert. Watched the Cirque Navigator show in the Seven Seas Lounge at 9:30 PM.
November 10/14   Belize City
Breakfast in room. Don off to Barrier Reef Snorkel and Island Getaway for 3 ½ hours. I went to Lamanai Mayan Ruins and New River Cruise for 7 ½ hour tour. We drove through Belize City and then one hour to boat cruise – saw spider and howler monkeys but no fresh water crocodiles. Long windy fast boat ride to ruins. Good guide – BMW – better me walk. Gas is $6 USD/gallon. Driver has PHD – professional hole dodger. Climbed Mask Temple – but not other 2 – scary and steep. River cruise was more like a race – top speed about 30 to 35 miles per hour. Tender port of Belize City. (Even Mennonites and Amish communities are in Belize). Back to ship for Tea Time Trivia at 4:30 PM and 6 PM Yoga class. Sailed at 5:30 PM. Delicious dinner in the Main Dining Room – Compass Rose. “Age of Aquarius” Show at 9:30 PM. Clocks moved an hour ahead this night.
November 11/14  Cruise Yucatan Channel and Florida Straits – Day at Sea
Up at 8 AM. Yoga class and ½ mile deck walk before breakfast. Went to 2 lectures – “Caribbean Civilizations and Sea Explorers” and upcoming Regent Cruises. Had pedicure. Don played Regent Point Games. Attended Remembrance Day Ceremony. Dinner in Compass Rose and show of Piano Man.
November 12/14   Key West, Florida USA
Breakfast in room. Had to clear USA customs. Don did the Catamarran Ride and Snorkel Adventure and I did the Key Lime Bike Tour of town of Key West. Even had a slice of Key Lime Pie at the end of our tour. Had lunch on ship and went out to explore the town in the afternoon. I saw the Truman Whitehouse, toured Ernest Hemingway’s house (6 toed cats) and walked Whitehead Street. Back to ship at 4 PM in time for Tea Time Trivia. Watched staff show at 6 PM and then dinner in Compass Rose. Quiet evening and went to bed early. Redeemed Regent Points.  
November 13/14  Miami, Florida
Change over day. Breakfast in Room. All guests must leave ship and clear Customs. Our adventure today was the Hop On / Hop Off double decker bus tour of Miami. We toured South Beach, the Art Deco area and Miami Beach area. We experienced a bus problem – smoke coming up last seat on the top of the bus. Had to change buses and see rest of Miami Beach loop and then changed bus again to see Miami highlights route – Coral Springs, Little Havana, Biltmore Hotel. Back to ship for lunch. Had to repeat the Emergency Drill for new passengers. Supper in Prime 7 and went to Galileo Lounge for Margaret singing Blues.
Friday, November 14/14   Nassau, Bahamas
Breakfast in room. Off via boat to Dolphin Adventure at Blue Lagoon. Danced with, hugged and kissed dolphin. Rainstorm on return boat trip. Shared table for dinner with Harlingen couple – retired pharmacist Bob and his wife Lil. I went to Magician / Comedy act at 9:30 PM.
Saturday, November 15/14  Cruise the Old Panama Channel   At Sea
Yoga at 8 AM. Did needlepoint and cooking class in AM. Quiet afternoon and evening. Broadway musical show at 9:30 PM.
Sunday, November 16/14  San Juan, Puerto Rico
Stretch class at 8 AM. Quiet morning doing needlepoint on back deck. Lunch on ship and then docked in San Juan. Did El Yungue Rainforest Walk – saw LaCoca Falls and Yokahu Tower.( a one hour drive from San Juan). Didn’t rain on us.
Visited CVS pharmacy before getting back on board. Had massage / reflexology session in Spa. Late dinner and did not go to show.
Monday, November 17/14    Gustavia, St Barts
Stretch class at 8 AM. Quiet morning of needlepoint and reading.  Arrived to St Barts at noon. Tender port. All excursions were on a wait list but we got on stanby for the Catamarran Sailing Trip on the Leeward Coast with Captain Matt. We stopped for a swim but I did not go in. Back to ship before 6. Had dinner in Compass Rose but there was a barbecue on Deck. Piano Man Performance again.
Tuesday, November 18/14   St John’s Antiqua
Don and I did the kayak, hike and snorkel adventure. Docked at St John’s Harbour from 8 to 5 PM.


Wednesday, November 19/14     Castries, St Lucia
Up for self exercise, breakfast and left for Snuba Adventure at 10:30 AM – minibus ride to Pigeon Island National Park (30 Minutes). Hike to hilltop. Had long wait to get to Snuba – combination of scuba and snorkeling – you are connected to oxygen tank on surface via air hose. Back to ship at 2:30 PM. Late lunch and did laundry, tea time trivia and then supper.
Thursday, November 20/14     St Maarten, Phillipsburg
Went on the 12 metre Sailing Regatta Race in Phillipsburg harbour. 3 sailing ships – Stars and Stripes, True North and Canada 2 . We were on the Stars and Stripes with Captain Morgan. I was a Rear Winch and Don was the Grinder – it was hard work but very exciting too. We had a bartender and an iceberg watcher aboard too. Our ship’s staff captain from Estonia took part as well in our team of 14. We won! Don went back to the ship but I wandered the streets of Phillipsburg. There were many jewellery shops for diamonds, a shop with alcohol and cheese and Little Switzerland too. Quiet evening.
Friday, November 21/14  and  Saturday, November 22/14     At Sea on the Atlantic Ocean
Did needlepoint and played games. Packed up. Handed in Regent Points for t-shirts and things. Saturday was rainy and rocky on the boat – worst weather on trip.
Sunday, November 23 and 24/14   Miami, Florida
Arrived in port at 7 AM. Through USA Customs again. Taxi to the JW Marriott Marquis Miami for one night. Had very spacious modern suite. Hotel had large outdoor stainless steel bottomed swimming pool and gymnasium for visiting basketball teams to practice in. Simon Cowell (American Idol) and Mark Cuban (Shark Tank) had their yachts parked in harbour below. We walked around harbour area and downtown Miami and took free above ground subway around – and free trolley. Had bellboy knocking on the door at 3:30 Am to deliver luggage of visiting basketball team – got all Marriott points back for this night due to this rude interruption.  
Second night we were back at the Airport Marriott Hotel. Visited nearby casino – rather rundown area.
Tuesday, November 25/14   Flight back to Norfolk Virginia to celebrate American Thanksgiving with Tom and Diana and family. Stayed a few days and on November 30th we moved on to Hilton Head Island, South Carolina and stayed at Coral Reef Resort. Did lots of walking and biking and did 3 day modified Dr Oz Detox Diet. Tom and family joined us there on the 4th of December for a night before we moved on to Silver Lake Resort in Kissimmee Florida. Enjoyed Disney again and this time with the Holdenmeyers – who stayed on Disney. Tom and Diana and family went back home via the Orlando-Washington Train on December 12. Don and I moved on to Tampa and I flew to Buffalo to be with Katie and Dave in Winona to await the birth of Davis Frederick Theodore Whitehead. Little Davis was born on December 19th – 8 lb 4oz – beautiful little boy. Don explored Clearwater area and stayed with Brian and Thery King in their Pinellas Park mobile home. He connected with a friend Paul Fice from Peterborough and even played slow pitch baseball with his team. He checked out the On Top of the World Resort (OTOW) for a possible move from Texas to Florida for us.
December 21/14 – Tampa. I flew back to Tampa from Buffalo and Don met me at the Airport and we started our trip to Texas which took us 2 nights and we arrived at Trophy Gardens on December 23/14. I spent 2 nights in our trailer and had to fly back to Toronto because Katie was not doing well. I stayed in Winona helping with Baby Davis till February 10th when I flew back to McAllen Texas. Don had sold the Trailer for $13,500 to Linda from Calgary and purchased a 8 x 5 cargo trailer to carry our bikes, golf clubs and things to a new location. We had 2 weeks to pack and say goodbye to Texas – no more being Winter Texans – which I will miss but Florida is closer to home.
March 2015 – Stayed with Brian and Thery King again in Pinellas Park Florida and visited Diana and Dave Twiner in Bradenton for a few days and looked for a place in Florida. Settled on a 2 bedroom / 2 bathroom condo on the First floor of the Viking Building - #88 – unfurnished. I had fun going with Thery to garage sales and bought a few pieces of furniture for our new place. We closed the deal on March 31st and moved in what we had. We slept in our new place for 2 nights and then left for Tom and Diana’s on April 2 to celebrate Easter with them and headed home to Ontario on April 6th, 2015.