Zandvoort

One of the things we wanted to do in The Netherlands is go to a beach, and we easily found our way to Zandvoort by bus.  It was a great experience.  We found a great restaurant and a lot of interesting activities on the beach, as you will see below.

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A Drive Across Costa Rica

We had a chance to see the countryside of Costa Rica — some of the beautiful little homes, churches, livestock and shops.  What a beautiful country it is!

 

For the Children

Our guide in Costa Rica took us to a banana plantation, which was very impressive to see.  We were not allowed to take photos of many of the areas, but we took those that we could.

My favorite moment was when Oscar asked to take some bananas to the  children in poverty at his church.  I loved this, and we willingly helped carry them to the trunk of his car.

Then we had another beautiful drive along the beach!

Jamaican Cuisine

Our next stop in Jamaica was on a beach where we awaited our boat to go snorkeling.  It was certainly a beautiful area, and this is Paul sitting with our wonderful driver, Ainsworth.  We booked him and all our excursions each day–snorkeling, touring the Blue Hole, etc.–on our own, not through the cruise packages.  It was much cheaper this way and provided more variety.  It really isn’t terribly expensive to hire a driver or boat for the day or half a day if you prefer.

Our boat arrived and off we went for another fun snorkeling adventure!

Then Ainsworth took us to a special place for the best Jamaican lunch ever–jerk chicken, pak festival (similar to a hush puppy), fried plantains.  Delicious!

We also had an opportunity to sample various flavors of Jamaican rum.

This was my favorite.  They call it “BTB” — “Better Than Bailey’s.”

We also wandered about town a little and saw the colors of Jamaica.

Then we headed back to the ship.

Another great meal!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Island Life

After our snorkeling adventure on Grand Cayman we had some time to explore the island a bit.  We walked along the beautiful beaches and enjoyed the scenery.

At lunchtime we stopped at a resort for lunch.

Soon it was time to head back to the ship, which can be seen in the distance.  The Crystal Symphony is the smaller one.

There were lots of fishermen along the wharf cleaning their catch of the day.

I love some of the older homes on these islands.

Then it was back on the tender for return to the ship.

Here’s another peek at the excellent cuisine of the Symphony!

First Stop

Miami–the first stop on a cruise my husband and I took a couple of years ago in honor of our 40th anniversary.  I recently discovered that I had never posted about the cruise, so I’ll share the event now in hopes of encouraging some of you to do the same.  It was a wonderful cruise!

Sarah joined us in Miami for a few days before Paul and I departed on the ship.

How we loved the beach and all the crazy sights!

We enjoyed cuban sandwiches with plantain chips & mojito aioli.  Delicious!

The lobby and pool of our hotel was very inviting.

But what caught my eye was all the hilarious painted fish around town.

Ocean Sunset

We certainly wanted to see the ocean while visiting friends in Oviedo, Spain, so we went there late in the afternoon.  The views did not disappoint.

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We went for a short hike along the water to some rocky cliffs.

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We ended up on this beautiful site right at sunset.

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Here is the panorama Chris took of us.

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We then returned to the little village for a great dinner beside the sea.  Photos from that dinner will be shown later, but here are a couple of photos after dark.

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