Thursday, August 25, 2011

Not everything is about planning for the cruise next year

Not everything is about planning for the cruise next year. Although it sometimes seems that that is all I can think about—even though it is over eight months away.

Randy and I have spent the last week in Santa Fe. We’ve done this for at least 12 years and for the past few years we have made a point of coming during Indian Market. Yes, “Indian” not Native American. This year, the 90th Indian Market, there were over 1050 vendors, all and only Indians. This was the first year that the First Nation members (Canadian) were allowed to participate. It is a juried show and there are some truly spectacular pieces. The piece voted Best in Show was sold (price unknown) to someone who camped out in front of the seller’s booth from 11pm the night before—even though there was about an inch of rain overnight!
We took two days to wander around all the booths, finally buying a beautiful bola (not bolo!) tie of sterling silver and lapis and azurite and a couple of other stones.

The rest of the week we tried to find places we had not been to before. Pretty difficult! We did find Fort Union, a ruined military fort about 25 miles north of Las Vegas. The original Las Vegas, that is, in New Mexico. Although it was pretty warm and there wasn’t a lick of shade, it was fun walking around the adobe ruins and reading about life in Fort Union in the 1800s. 

Three forts were built, the first from wood that didn’t have the bark stripped before building so it started rotting within a year. The next fort was built from adobe bricks, but by the soldiers with no real experience in building, so that, too, has almost disappeared. The third and final fort was also built of adobe but with the engineering, design, and building done by professionals. That fort was abandoned in 1891 and although it has largely disintegrated, there still remains enough of the building to be able to see, for instance, the rooms in the officers’ quarters and the quartermaster’s buildings (none of the roofs have survived) and storage rooms.
It was warm, as I said, but otherwise the day was beautiful with a slight breeze and puffy clouds—and some far away thunderheads. 
Life outside the Fort was not so comfy!

The remains of the officers' quarters.
The commanding officer had the largest chimney.
The remaining walls of the supply building.
The parade grounds.
They had the science to get the elevation to three decimal points! 6885.428 above sea level (tidewater).
The brig survived so well because it was inside another wall, you can see the remains of the surrounding wall on the right of the brig..
Other days were not so beautiful. Yesterday (8/24) we drove to the Sandia Mountains east of Albuquerque to hike. We parked and walked to a lookout just steps from our car, came back to change into our hiking boots and it started to rain. We waited. And waited. And waited. Finally we decided that hiking Sandia Crest was not in the offing! The thunder and lightning and our being on the tallest mountain around made our decision even easier.

Driving down and back to I25 we stopped and hiked—well, we strolled—to Sandia Man cave, a small cave high on the side of the hill about three quarters of a mile from the parking lot. It is high enough of the cliff wall that a two-storey circular stair has been installed. Unfortunately for me, it hangs out over space a couple of hundred feet above the valley floor and the treads are open. I could not climb up it. I could only get up about eight steps and had to back down. Bummer.

Today, our last day, was rainy for most of the morning so we just veged out in the timeshare apartment until after lunch when we made a short foray to an outdoor art gallery that we always like to visit. Saw several things we liked, but decided that with the cruise coming up, we’d better save our nickels.

So now I’m back to thinking about the cruise. Checklists. That’s the most important thing! We didn’t use our checklists on this trip to Santa Fe and forgot so many things! Like raingear. And vests or jackets. Can you believe we didn’t bring raingear?

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Where we will spend 104 days next year

Our itinerary is at the top of the page, so you can see all the ports we will go to. At least we HOPE we will get to all those ports! This year's cruise missed one or two as did the cruise the year before. We hope that next year at this time we will be at sea, about to dock in Tahiti.

This is a view of the rear of the cruise ship, the Sun Princess and our cabin is on the left (I believe I should say the PORT) side of the ship, four openings up from the bottom. If you're REALLY curious you can go to and find C746, our home for 104 days.

And I love this photo of the Sun Princess leaving Sydney on an absolutely gorgeous day. Soon (273 days!) that will be us!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Time to start planning!

I know our cruise is not until next May, but it's never to early to start getting excited about it. Among other things, I'll need to learn more about blogging!