Puerto Vallarta

January 18, 2023 Leave a comment

Porto Vallarta was our last stop. We had booked a city tour through our travel agent and were looking forward to it. They promised visits to local craftsmen and a tequila distillery. Well, they did, but we feel the leather shop and distillery were affiliated with the cruise, so instead of a discovery tour we went shopping with very specific stores. So we did see glimpses of PV, but not as we had hoped.

Nevertheless, we did get some walking time in at what we presume is the center of town. Well, at least for tourists. At least we can say we’ve been to Puerto Vallarta.

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January 18, 2023 Leave a comment

Our second stop was in Mazatlan. We’ve never been here before, so we booked a walking excursion to learn more. Unfortunately, the walking tour was cancelled, so we did our own walk around. It was assisted by excellent markings on the road (follow the blue line to and from downtown) and volunteers to answer any questions. This was very well done, appreciated.

We walked to town and visited their main church. Nice architecture, and as usual, beautiful appointments inside. Outside was nice too, with neighborhoods in colorful paint. We learned that shrimp dishes are local to this area, so we set out to find someplace that featured it. And we did, we found an upstairs restaurant on the beach that served some of the best shrimp ever.

After lunch we walked along the coast where we watched cliff divers defying death. Then we walked back to the boat. Along the way we saw several tributes to singing stars, like the Beatles Abby Road street crossing. There were police everywhere, including a pickup truck with heavily armed forces (and a truck mounted machine gun). But we felt secure, and Mazatlan was our favorite stop.

And to feature our food… the Sinafoense Restaurant and Bar serve the specialty of the area. That is a shrimp stuffed with cheese, wrapped in bacon, and baked. So good! We also had their Shrimp Diablo, shrimp, corn and potato in a fiery hot sauce.

Categories: Traveling

Cabo San Lucas

January 18, 2023 Leave a comment

Our first stop, after one sea day, was Cabo San Lucas. This is a shallow water port, so no dock, but useD life boats to tender to and from shore. It was also a short stay, we arrived at 11AM and left at 5PM. There were some pretty fancy yachts in the harbor, and traffic in the harbor entrance was heavy at dusk.

We were going to stay on board but after we waited a while, there were no crowds, so might as well. We just walked around but did find an obscure restaurant where we got a nice lunch. Then we found out this was one of Cabo’s favorite watering holes and night spots.

Categories: Traveling

Mexico cruise

January 17, 2023 Leave a comment

We keep our eyes open for any special deals in cruises. Our fall cruise was on Holland America, and they had a relatively new ship, the “Koningsdam”. It appears to be an up to date ship, with unique features, like a wraparound screen in the theater. We managed to find a relatively inexpensive cruise to Mexico out of San Diego.

We only had one other cruise out of San Diego, and never to Mexico, so that seemed like a good idea. And, we found a fairly low return air fare from Dallas, so it all came out. We booked it and flew out on December 4. We found a nice hotel, within easy walking distance from the cruise terminal. After a nice breakfast in San Diego we boarded the ship.

The ship was very nice, with new and modern features. We had a balcony to enjoy the sights and sounds. Our cruise went to Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta. The ports will b e detailed in future blogs.

We were seriously disappointed in the entertainment. There really wasn’t any, mostly movies, lectures and some dance numbers. And most of these were exactly the same as we had on the Zaandam, our fall cruise. I don’t think we will be on Holland America again.

Categories: Traveling

The Nutcracker music score

January 17, 2023 Leave a comment

We do like our concerts. Saw an interesting one happening at the Myerson Symphony Hall, featuring the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. This was the music of the Nutcracker, which even without the opera-etic stage work was most excellent.

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Splitting wood

January 17, 2023 Leave a comment

Stacy had a big oak tree in her back yard that was getting old and weak. So, she had it cut down. This left a lot of fire wood, but it had to be split first. Best thing was to rent a splitter and we (Romola, John and Stacy) made short work of it.

She also built a wood rack, so she has lots of work to do to move all the wood to the rack. But she’ll be ready for the winter…

And that’s only part of it
Categories: Traveling

Dallas Arboretum

January 17, 2023 Leave a comment

We always enjoy visiting the Dallas Arboretum, especially during the season change. They keep a remarkable range of plants growing there year round. Of course, this being October, pumpkins were the star of the show.

Wonder what they do with all the old pumpkins? Well, I heard the elephants in the Dallas Zoo consider them a real delicacy…

Categories: Traveling

Fall cruise, itinerary

January 17, 2023 Leave a comment

Well, after that slow start we boarded our cruise and prepared for a nice trip. Unfortunately, this cruise was right after hurricane Ian, and there was much damage in the ports. We had to skip one, but made up for it with an extra day in Quebec City.

Our itinerary was from Montreal, then to Quebec City (where our stay was extended from one day to two), Port aux Mueles, Boston and Fort Lauderdale. As stated, there are full photo albums on http://www.laninga.com, just go to 2022 then Cruises the Fall cruise. Here are a few pictures highlighting the trip.


Quebec City

Cap aux Mueles



Categories: Traveling

Fall cruise, a bad start

January 16, 2023 Leave a comment

We had booked a cruise on Holland America from Montreal to Fort Lauderdale. This would be an excellent fall trip, and we were looking forward to seeing fall colors along the Saint Lawrence Seaway. So, we flew to Montreal, where we had booked a nice hotel, had a nice dinner, and went to bed, anticipating boarding the ship the next day.

Unfortunately, Romola started feeling like something was not right in her chest. This was unexpected, and serious, so we called the hotel who called 911. The medics arrived and checked her out and were suspicious of a possible heart problem. So off we went to the McGill University Hospital. This is a huge place, we counted 54 ER rooms, and all were full. Like others, Romola was left on a gurney in the hall. But the ECG was still attached so we could monitor her heart.

The ER doctor thought it was aFib, a common condition, but decided to wait until the cardiology doctors arrived in the morning. They did, and confirmed that it was aFib, something to watch but it shouldn’t cause us to miss our cruise. They put her on some medication, but the ER can’t dispense drugs, so we walked over to the nearest pharmacy, got the meds, and ubered back to the hotel.

Well we didn’t get much sleep that night, but all is well and we made our cruise. There is a whole album on our cruise at our album site http://www.laninga.com. Just go to 2022, the cruises, then Montreal cruise.

After we got back, we met with our own cardiologist for a complete checkup. He pretty well agreed with the Montreal docs, adjusted her medication, and told us just to keep an eye out if this happens again but it shouldn’t change our life too much. So we are now aware of the issue and will live our life accordingly.

Categories: Traveling

September: sunrise, market, concert

January 16, 2023 Leave a comment

The month started with a great sunrise. Right across from our house is an open area, with a mile long walking path. We use it regularly for our walks. And, since it looks east, a good sunrise view.

When we traveled in our motor home, we liked visiting local farmers markets. Turns out there is a pretty large one in Dallas, so we finally decided to go and visit. It wasn’t fully open (the main hall was closed for a special event) but we did find some fresh veggies (and some local balsamic vinegar, which we have yet to use).

You may know Romola (as is my entire family) are pet lovers. So, when we saw a pretty white dog with no collar, we wanted to catch her and at least find some place that would care for her. But she was very skittish, never allowing us to get close. We tried several days but never got anywhere near her. Romola left food and water out but no luck. We never saw the dog again.

We (Romola, Stacy and I) went to a free concert at the Dallas arboretum. The band was a cover band for Queen, and lived up to the price we paid. But the evening was a success, with lots of families coming out with picnic baskets, food and drink. And there were several food trucks, too. And we now know how early Texans learn to drink :)….

Categories: Traveling