Saturday, October 29, 2011

Less than 200 days to go!

It’s hard to believe that we will be on our great adventure in just over six months! I am calling it our great adventure, but really it’s not the first we’ve had. 

Our first great adventure, in 2002, was a cruise from Ft. Lauderdale to San Francisco followed by driving our RV to Alaska for two months. We put 17,000 miles on the motorhome plus 7,000 miles on the Trailblazer SUV we pulled behind the RV. That was my first experience in trying to keep an online journal. In those days that meant writing it on my computer and trying to find a modem connection to email the journal to our children and a few friends. Many times that meant cajoling the RV Park owners into letting me use their only phone line. I had to promise not to take more than a few minutes, so I sent very few pictures!

Our second great adventure was actually two back-to-back cruises in 2006 on the Holland America Prinsendam from Ft. Lauderdale to South America and back and from Ft. Lauderdale to Amsterdam (60 days total) followed by an RV trip to Canada. At the time, that seemed like a really long cruisebut we haven’t yet found a cruise that was too long. We were the only two who went back-to-back so we had a really great time time with the staff on the second half of that cruise. They seemed to enjoy knowing at least two passengers and we enjoyed being the “old hands.” I had better luck at sending my deathless prose, but still couldn’t send many photos as it took too many of the precious “internet minutes” we had paid dearly for.

Our third great adventure, in 2008, was an almost three-month trip around Australia. Well, it was mostly Western Australia as we had already spent a lot of time in the eastern half of the country. One trip was for almost 2 months (in 1997) of flying to many of the biggest cities—Hobart, Adelaide, Melbourne, Alice, and Darwin and then using a campervan as our home base. Several other trips were for a couple of weeks at a time. Can you tell we love Australia? Too bad it takes so darn long to get there! By this trip I had sort-of mastered the ability to upload my electronic journal. If you’re interested it’s on another page on my blog ( or

So I guess this cruise will be GA4. We are SO looking forward to it and to the approximately 27 of the 41 ports we’ve never been to! Half the fun is figuring out what we want to do in each port.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A hike and some questions

Columbus was a traveler so I think it’s appropriate that I add a bit to my blog on Columbus Day. Nevermind that it was celebrated the day before yesterday, Oct 12 is, to me, Columbus Day.
Randy and I went on a four mile hike today, up Marshall Gulch Trail (on Mt. Lemmon, Arizona, where we have a small cabin) and back on the Aspen Trail. This was the site of the origination of the Aspen Fire of 2003 that burned 84,750 acres (343 km2) and destroyed 340 homes and businesses in Summerhaven, the town at the top of Mt. Lemmon.
I don't know what these are, but I love them, they flower at my cabin every year, all summer long.
The forest is recovering, and it is encouraging to see all the new growth. Some of the pine tree seedlings are four feet tall, which is pretty good for eight years! New oak trees, new aspen trees, and several species of pine and fir (I get my coniferous trees mixed up).

And I couldn't resist this group of mushrooms (probably not edible by humans) being devoured by some unknown insect.
So what does this have to do with our cruise, you may well ask. Randy and I talk a lot when we hike; the longer the hike, the more we converse! So we were talking about the cruise, which is coming up in only 216 days, one hour and 43 minutes (as I write this). We’re stopping in a lot of places (41), by far the majority(27) are places we’ve never been before. So we’re hoping for help! Do you have any ideas for what we absolutely can’t miss in any of the following cities? The ones with asterisks are places we have been before, but that doesn’t mean we know the absolute most wonderful things to see and do in those cities.

Kuala Lumpur* (but it’s been 45 years since I’ve been here)
Salalah (Oman)
Luxor/Karnak (Safaga)
Aqaba (Jordan)
Suez Canal
Anzac Cove
Venice (2 nights)
Dubrovnik (Croatia)
Shetland Island
NY (2 nights)* (we’ll at least go see a play here)
St Thomas*
Panama Canal*
Los Angeles*
Pago Pago
Bay of Islands*

So please think about it, and email me (if you don’t know my email, use with ideas or add a comment on this blog. We’d love to hear any and all ideas, remarks, comments, observations, thoughts, opinions, views, feelings, sentiments, prospects, or viewpoints on any and/or all of the cities above.