Today is a typical fall day, blustery winds, drizzle rain and a mild temperature but with a bite of cold in the wind.
This past Spring and summer have been fairly busy with enjoyable accomplishments and chores.
The last week in March and the first week in April saw Wendy and I on a 21 day back-to-back cruise with Royal Caribbean to the Southern Caribbean. Through a mix-up on my part the first leg had us in an ocean view cabin but on the second leg we had been upgraded to a balcony. Now it might be a bit of a chore to get Wendy into something less than a balcony. We also decided to take a chance on flying rather than driving. The flights went well and I had booked us at premium economy which gave a few extra perks.
The first leg departing from Fort Lauderdale (18 March - 28 March) of the cruise took us to; Labadee. Haiti which is a private island owned by Royal Caribbean, San Juan Puerto Rico, Philipsburg St. Maarten, Castries St. Lucia, St. Johns Antigua, Basseterre St Kits & Nevis then back to Fort Lauderdale.
The second leg (28 March - 08 April) of the trip took us to; Puerto Limon Costa Rica, Colon Panama, yes we saw the canal, Cartagena Columbian no we did not see the emerald in Romancing the Stone, Oranjestad Aruba, Willemstad Curacao, and back to Fort Lauderdale.
While we fully enjoyed the cruises and the tours that we did we found that one island seemed to blend into ‘just another island’.
Because of the dates of the cruises I was late in getting my tomato seeds started. In the end it did not seem to matter because I had a bumper crop. I keep track of the types and number of seeds that I start (12 different heritage types from seeds that I have been saving), the number sprouted and where they all went. In the end I gave away almost half of the number of plants that sprouted. My summer was pretty much taking up looking after the allotment garden and the small garden that I have at home.
Of course just when the majority of the tomatoes are coming ripe we are off on another cruise. Luckily our daughter Heather and her husband ‘volunteered’ to harvest the tomatoes while we were gone.
This cruise was with Viking which specializes in river cruise but this was classed as an ocean cruise from Bergen, Norway to Stockholm, Sweden. We had originally booked it for 2021 which would have been our 50th Wedding Anniversary. As it would happen we would have been in Tallinn, Estonia on our anniversary, this was a place that Wendy has wanted to go to for many years. Because of the continuing Covid restrictions this trip was cancelled and we rebooked the same one with the same dates for this year. Then lo and behold did Mr. Putin put his oar in the mix and two of the ports were cancelled, one being St. Petersburg Russia and the other Tallinn. Rather than cancel this trip and rebook for next year we decided to take it. We flew to Bergen and then visited, Bergen, Eidfjord Norway, Stavanger Norway, Oslo, Norway, Arhus Denmark, Copenhagen Denmark, Berlin Germany (one of the substitute ports) where we saw the remainder of the Berlin Wall, Bornholm Denmark, Gdansk Poland where we did a tour of a WWII concentration camp, Karlskrona Sweden to Stockholm where we flew home from.
On the Viking cruises there is one free local tour in each of the ports which we took advantage of, also wine or beer with lunch and supper. I thought it would be one glass of wine per meal but oh no the waiters kept pouring as long as you were sitting there. Two other ‘free’ perks were wifi and laundry. Viking says there are laundry facilities on the ships and we thought it would be pay as you go but no, it was free! There were 4 washers and dries on each of the accommodation decks which meant you don’t have to bring as many every day clothes. NO casinos but not the same type of evening entertainment. I could go on but this is going to be long as it is.
I must say that visiting the old Scandinavian cities is much more interesting than the Caribbean port towns. They were beautiful and even more impressive when you know that most of them had been completely demolished during WWII and have been rebuilt to the old standard.
On coming home it was back to the garden to harvest the remaining tomatoes. Now it is time to put the garlic in and then the garden to bed for the winter.