Seven months apart while she settled in to her new job and while I said my drawn-out bye to my newspaper career was difficult but no doubt the right choice for our goals.
Now that we have endured, we are fully under way in our lifestyle that will involve plenty of travel and other adventures.
I plan to document most of it here. You’re always welcome along as a way to keep in touch.
After a wonderful sendoff in Norfolk, I drove to Baltimore to meet with Colleen who Amtrakked down from Jersey. We consolidated our travel items over the weekend, caught up after a three-week period apart and got on Royal Caribbean’s Enchantment of the Seas on April 1, a Monday. After a bit of car trouble and a bout with the flu in Norfolk during my final two weeks there, I was ready for a relaxing warm-weather destination.
Bonus: Cuse made the Final Four, and we get to watch the Orange during the big event while onboard.
After three days sailing south, we would begin a run of six ports in six days.
The water was a little cloudy and the fish small, but the island provided a great chance to knock off some snorkeling rust after the long winter.
We hit six ports in six days. The itinerary kept us busy, but afternoon naps helped keep us refreshed. Add this to the growing list of signs that I realize I’m getting older: I really need a daily nap.
This big old city offered a great chance to get out and about for some exploring, as we had no firm plans for the day while we waited for former Utica Observer-Dispatch colleague Aaron Christiana to get off work from his shift at his new job, editing a paper here. We had not seen Aaron for more than 11 years, so this port of call was very fortuitous. While we waited, we explored the city, enjoyed some local beers and toured a castle. However, our time with Aaron and his son Isaiah – already 12, wow! – was far too brief. We were able to grab a quick snack and some more beers. We will be back in November for a longer stay, so we’ll have another chance soon to fully catch up.
This is the lone port where we had previously visited. This time, we ventured to a new (to us) beach (Sapphire Beach) and got in some more snorkeling. This was much better, with tons of fish. Vacation was fully under way, now. I know this because I completely forgot what day it was and let slip from my mind that Syracuse was playing in the Final Four that evening.
Oh, that. Yeah, we had a good time watching both games poolside on the big screen, and I wasn’t even that perturbed at how the refs mucked up the end of the loss to Michigan.
We blasted through both the Dutch and French sides of this island on a speed boat excursion that I forever will dub “The Spine Tingler.” Let’s just say the pace of the ride back to port after the snorkeling excursion was one helluva ride! What a fun day. We hit three snorkeling spots, had a great lunch and all the beers we could want. Saw hawksbill turtles, starfish and loads of other fish, including some extremely hungry and friendly little buggers that took a liking to a swimming CMac (see video). The island is great and now on the list of definite must-come-back-agains.
Port 5: Antigua
Snorkeling! Notice a theme? CMac loves her water time. Another great day, this time on a catamaran – with a canopy. Phew. My back needed a break from the bouncing and our skin a break from all the sun. Learned about a lot of the ecology of the island, swam out to Hell’s Gate for a hike up and over that bridge, surveyed a huge reef, visited a few beaches, had lunch and rum punch. What else could ya want?
This marks six days in a row of waking up in a new port, and after so much sun and water, we decided to take it easy in Tortola. CMac’s skin was a little burned and itchy in spots, and my bald dome also needed a break. A leisurely stroll around the town for some shopping netted a nice swimsuit cover-up for Colls. We also grabbed a few postcards and were set for the three days at sea for the return to Baltimore.
More trivia: We won quite a haul of prizes, some not too bad either, winning competitions focusing on topics ranging from 70s music to bar drinks to sports to a “Millionaire” style event.
Beer: Cozied up to the bar and met a whole lotta folks from all over the world and scored some free drinks from our super-cool bartenders, too.
Hit the gym daily: Had to earn the daily meals and desserts, ya know.
Nap time: See above. These daily snoozes are glorious, I tell ya.
Thanks for reading. Stay in touch. Next dispatches will be from our life together in Pennington.