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Loreto, MX

February 2, 2023 Leave a comment

Loreto is a town of about 20,000 on the Baja peninsula. It is mainly a tourist town, with fishing being the main attraction. In the summer it is the Dorado fish, in the winter yellow tail. There are also several major desert dune buggy races, and of course some cruise ships.

The city has a nice waterfront walk way, and a very nice old town center. There you will find lots of bars and souvenir shops. Nice place to just enjoy a stroll and indoor shopping.

Now it’s back to the ship and on to our end port of San Diego.

Categories: Cruising, Traveling Tags: ,

La Paz

February 1, 2023 1 comment

When we were in Cabo, the weather forecast for our next stop – La Paz – was for rain. And, in fact, it rained hard. But as our ship drew closer the weather improved, with sun and temps in the high 60s. Lucky us!

The port is about 20 miles from the city, but the (free) bus service was very good. On the way in, the scenery reminded us of Arizona. But the city was typical Mexican.

We visited the local church (La Paz Cathedral), a popular tourist destination. Then we walked part of the Malecon, the seaside walkway which features interesting statues. Since the Malecon is some 13 miles long we only walked part of it. And only photographed a few statues. If we had more time we could have pictured more.

Then it was back to the ship, and continue on to our next port in Loreto. Another port we’ve never been to, more things to explore.

Categories: Cruising, Traveling Tags: ,

Snow day followup

January 31, 2023 Leave a comment

Before we left, we checked the weather forecasts. No big storms, no freezes so we decided to not shut off the water while we were on our cruise.

So imagine our surprise, while we are in the hot tub, to get an alert with this picture from our doorbell camera:

…….. and for forecasts about frozen pipes etc. Fortunately, we were in contact with Stacy, and she will check our house as soon as weather and traffic conditions permit. And shut off the water if there is a leak.

Guess we better never trust weather forecasts again…. We just survived the last big freeze and had to fix some major leaks. Hopefully our house survives this freeze with no damage

Categories: Cruising, Family, Traveling Tags:

On to Cabo San Lucas

January 31, 2023 Leave a comment

We walked to the terminal only to find a very long line. With nothing else to do, we made some new friends. Finally on board and into our cabin. A little faded ship design but quite roomy. This ship uses a chip in a medallion so the door unlocks when you get close. And you can order anything no contact. Technology at work!

There were a lot of activities to keep us busy. Trivia, bag toss, music, karaoke, and so on. And quite an artistic fruit and vegetable carving. The evening concerts have been entertaining s well.

We have found the food to be much better than many others. Not just the quality, but also the variety of dishes. And the service has been prompt and friendly.

We are now in Cabo, but we’re not getting off the ship. Been here before, and no crowds in the hot tub, so that’s our afternoon activity. Tonight we move to La Paz.

Another Mexico cruise

January 31, 2023 Leave a comment

Last month we did a Mexico cruise on Holland America, and while the itinerary was ok, we did not like the ship service. So when we saw a similar cruise out of San Diego on Princess, we decided to try Princess. Found reasonable air fares to San Diego too so we booked it.

We liked San Diego as cruise port, close to the airport and a nice hotel within yards of the terminal. And weather was supposed to be nice so we packed light.

The flight over was super easy, no crowds. The shuttle showed up on time and we booked into the hotel. They offered a free appetizer at a seafood restaurant we wanted to try out, so all was well.

We had an half hour wait and then they escorted us to our table… next to the ocean, on the deck. Maybe a nice place in a sunny day but this was cold! But dinner was very good, and we didn’t sit around very long.

Categories: Cruising, Traveling Tags: ,

Victoria, BC

May 14, 2022 1 comment

Our cruise was enjoyable, just 4 days of relaxing and of course eating. The ship has a passenger capacity of 1,900 but actual count was about 1,000 so no lines to worry about. There were no big production shows but there were some very good music performances to enjoy. Good weather and calm Seas didn’t hurt either.

We met up with my brother Anton and wife Ita, sister Anne with husband Dick, niece Cat, and nephew Louis in Victoria and had a nice visit. A good time to rehash some old family memories.

John, Anne and Anton. The last of this generation of Laningas.

Categories: Cruising, Family Tags: , , ,

Back to cruising

March 29, 2022 Leave a comment

COVID caused us to cancel two booked cruises, but it seemed safe to finally start cruising again. So we booked a simple cruise out of Galveston, along with our friends Naomi and Larry Shirey. Easy drive down, five day’s on board, and an easy drive home.

The ship was the Royal Caribbean Adventure of the Seas, a class of ships we were quite familiar with. The crew appeared very pleased to be back, and we were treated very well. The food was good, although we felt it was a little below what we were used to. But Romola and I each managed to gain 5 lbs, so it wasn’t all bad!

The entertainment was pretty basic, a mediocre comedian, a funny bolero gaucho, and the ship dancers and orchestra. This ship class has an ice rink on board, we rather enjoyed the ice show. We’ve seen them doing their routines in rough seas, and that is quite amazing.

We didn’t get off the ship, electing to go to the hot tub when everyone else was on shore. Good idea, we enjoyed the hot tub when we had it mostly all to ourselves. On sea days, the hot tubs looked like people stew. Wouldn’t want to go in them no matter how much chlorine they added to the water!

San Francisco,  CA

September 24, 2016 Leave a comment

Our ship docked at Pier 35, which was terrific.   Right on the major bus lines,  and a 15 minute walk to Fisherman’s Wharf, it was easy to get anywhere in the city.  We took a 2 day Hop on Hop off bus which gave us an excellent overview of the city. Although the delays in bus service was very aggravating!

Part of SFO’s  reputation is food,  and we had some of the best.   Far East Cafe for egg foo yong, and Soto Mare for its famous ciopino.   Both restaurants lived up to their fame!

I have been in SFO many times on business, and it was great fun to visit the many sights of the city with Romola from a tourist perspective.   It is a great city to visit.   Some random photos:

Nanaimo, BC

September 19, 2016 Leave a comment

Or first port of call was Nanaimo,  a city of some 80,000 on the west coast log Vancouver Island.  Originally founded as a coal mining city, there are still miles of inactive underground mine tunnels.  Today it is more known as a logging port, and, of course, Nanaimo bars. 

Right next to our berth a logging ship was being loaded.   Very interesting to watch,  the little tugboats reminded us of sheep dogs,  gathering up the herd.   But it sure looks like dangerous work, running around on those logs!

We had nice stroll around the shore line.   It is a pretty city, lots of parks and of course marinas.  And the people we met are some of the friendliest anywhere. 

We watched the cannon firing,  sure reminded me of our days at Fort Vancouver!

We visited the Old Quarter, admired some of the older buildings and of course had a Nanaimo bar at Bocca, winner of the best bar awards.  And it was delicious!  We also had some excellent fish and chips at Trolleys,  right on the dock.

Now on to San Francisco…

They really load the ships up high

Tugboats act like sheep dogs, gathering up the logs

But it’s the guys with hob nail boots that do the dangerous work

A wood Dungeness crab, carved with a chain saw

Spinning alpaca

Gay pride is evident here too

Loading the cannon

A flash in the pan….

The primer goes off….

BOOM!

Bank building

Old Quarter buildings

Old Quarter buildings

Pedestrian shopping

Bocca, winner of ” best Nanaimo bar” award

Cruising to Barcelona

May 3, 2016 2 comments

Our cruise left the Houston Cruise  Port Terminal on April 16.  It was the last cruise from this port, which is going to be converted to a container terminal. Our ship was the Norwegian Cruise Lines “Jade”, which was repositioning to Europe.  A seperate blog post details our extensive dining experience.

We made a quick stop in Miami to pick up more passengers.   Our first real port of call was St. Thomas,  VI where we got off for a walk before 6 days at sea.  A ride up the cable car gave some good views of the surroundings,  and our ship.

We joined with the cruisecritics.com crew and had a great time.   There were over 100 of us,  from around the world.   We even celebrated joint birthdays with Romola and Jennifer.   Special thanks to Viet for including us!

Our next stop was Funchal, Madeira where we had a nice excursion.   Our first stop was at the market,  with the usual collection of plants,  veggies, meat and seafood.   Always interesting to see what’s local!  Then, a short stop to taste the local Madeira wine. We even took a ride on their famous toboggan!

Then on to Barcelona.   I managed to get a picture of the Rock of Gibraltar,  even though it was late and I only had my small camera.   Then on to Barcelona,  where I’m sure new adventures await us.

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Serial in St Thomas

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Not all people that live here are poor

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Or ship on the left

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Or new friends Dan and Veronica

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Cliffs at Funchal

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Fishing village colors

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In the fish market

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Flower merchant in traditional clothes

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In the Madeira winery

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Living on the side of a hill

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Hang on!

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Vietnam and his new wife, who had a birthday

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Jennifer's birthday on the same day as romola

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Gibraltar at dusk