Saturday, 25 May 2013

The holiday of a lifetime...

We've been back nearly two weeks and guiltily I haven't blogged anything about the simply AMAZING time we had...

Apologies now, this is serious photo overload!

And so we were on the Zuiderdam, having flown from Heathrow to Miami, transferred to Fort Lauderdale to set sail on our trip of a lifetime...

Exploring our cabin and balcony...

And we're off, surrounded by stunning Floridian beaches!

So our first couple of days were at sea, giving us time to explore the ship, meet new friends and relax...

We knew that we were likely to be amongst the youngest on this ship and we weren't wrong!

A nightclub to yourself... LOVE IT!

First port - Curacao, Caribbean...

Visit to a private beach club where we snorkelled and saw the most amazing fish and iguanas!

Curacao has a revolving Victorian bridge over the main river through, so we people watched and chilled.

Amazing architecture and predominantly Dutch!

Then on to Aruba, Caribbean where we sailed on a catamaran to an area perfect for another relaxing day snorkelling...

I've been totally in awe of the wildlife we've seen on this trip including two types of starfish on this day, along with dolphins, whales, turtles, a sea lion, iguanas, parrots and a five week old donkey!

Cartagena, Columbia was somewhere I wouldn't recommend - and our horse drawn carriage ride was eventful to say the least!

Sailing the Panama Canal was mind blowing - my parents watched the live web cam of us passing through!

Up at 5.30am for the start of the transition - I didn't want to miss a thing!

The ship you can see was about half the size of ours!

And we couldn't go through the rainforest without a bit of rain!

You might see the pilot boat behind us?

Basically a pilot boards the ship, travels for 7 miles with us to understand how the ship sails and then takes to the helm to steer us through the Panama Canal rather than the captain...

Cool huh?

Zip wiring in Puerto Caldera, Costa Rica - simply brilliant...

And hats off to all those people over 70 who were doing it - there was even an 85 year old lady doing in to celebrate her birthday!

Baby ones to begin with...

To some rather long and high up ones!

Proof Harvey was on the zip wire too!

And more iguanas...

Amazed to see one of these results in one cashew nut - no wonder they're so expensive!

Corinto, Nicaragua and we took a taxi to the capital Leon...

Don't think our heath and safety would allow you to climb on top of the main cathedral roof!

Local markets, where much to my upset, we could buy ready to roast iguanas, slight problem - they were still alive! I was tempted to buy them and set them free outside!

Turtles galore as we sailed the Pacific, basking in the afternoon sun!

Huatulco, Mexico and we visited a local school, gave out books and sweets - don't think they'd had Harribo's before but boy did they get a taste for them!

In turn, the children gave us pictures that they had drawn...

Newly found friend... xxx

Then on to a church where upon leaving, all the girls chose to give me their bouquets... I felt like a princess xxx

I'll never look at a banana in the same light!

Mountain biking in Puerto Chiapas, Mexico - OMG it was hard work and funnily enough only seven did the trip!

Puerto Vallarta, last stop in Mexico and we were horse riding in the countryside.

But as we got off the ship the most gorgeous five week old donkey was on the quay side so I got to have a cuddle - he was so fluffy and smelt so good - I could have stayed all day snuggling him!

Harvey didn't have a hold but it gives you a better idea of how tiny he was!

Mr Ball on a horse!

Swimming with horses - perfect!

Very proud of Harvey as to swim with the horse you were bare back and bridle-less... Fair do's!

And then I turned 40!

It nicely fell on a formal night and we had booked into one of the exclusive restaurants to eat...

The afterwards we went to the Captains Black and White Ball - we'd already joined Captain Christopher at his table, so was relatively at ease when he asked me to dance!

Newly made friends improvised and made cards and decorated balloons!

Before we knew it, we were in San Diego.

In the background you can see the Celebrity Solstice - we've been on her sister ship which has half an acre of lawn on the top deck - she is a beautiful vessel!

Leaving San Diego, and what a city that is...

Victoria, British Columbia and we met Mr Rob Benbow, whose great, great grandfather ironically came from Shrewsbury! Mr Benbow is campaigning for a statue to be erected in honour of him about 7 miles from where we live!

Small world...

The famous Empress hotel in Victoria - we did afternoon tea on the verandah.

Actually that's not entirely true - Harvey had his first pint in a pint glass!

Had to be taken, didn't it!

Our waiter and assistant waiter, Heru and Bayu.

Safe trip today Bayu as you return home xxx

Vancouver in its true glory.

Daring to cross the Capilano suspension bridge again although Harvey wasn't aware of what he was in for!

Since I was there about 15 years ago, they've added an attraction where you're on a glass floor over the river - not sure which is worse!

So two weeks back and we've some major changes going to have to happen - watch this space!

Saturday, 11 May 2013

22 days cruise and a further 3 nights away from home is by far the longest holiday I've ever had!

Whilst we've got through four memory cards and are now on our fifth, there will be many that are of 'me and him' and sometimes just of 'him!'

So, whilst I'm sitting in a bar, killing time, waiting for our flight check-in to open, I thought I'd blog some of the photos taken on my iPad over the last three weeks...

Bags packed, car loaded, last day at work, Wednesday 17th April....

First drink at Heathrow, way back on April 18th...

Kisses for my girlies, somewhere in the Carribean....

Another day at sea, somewhere around Mexico....

Starbucks, San Diego... Wifi heaven xxx

Only yesterday and we were in Victoria, capital of Vancouver Island... And finally he gets a pint!

And today, waiting and waiting at Vancouver Airport... Notice our trolleys in the background...

He wouldn't let me include the pint on the table!

So in five hours we will be boarding our plane and in 13 hours we'll be back in sunny England!

How time flies... Not!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Just the two of us...