Sunday, May 31, 2009
Some of this day was very much like the 'Gilligan Island' 3 hour tour. Dick went into Plymouth before I did, and when I attempted to board a tender about two hours later, there was a lot of going round in circles out in the bay. Every day a new experience! but isn't that what travel is all about.
I am so sorry not to be writing more but even writing off line and posting has taken a great deal of time that is usually spent out and about. I hope the pictures give you a good taste of this trip and I will say that they have given me a lot of Photoshop (Elements 7) practice which has been great fun.
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Sunday, May 24, 2009
Back to the Cathedral we went where we learned that Basilica is an honorary title bestowed by the Pope. I don’t know what percentage of the population is Roman Catholic but the church looks very well supported. Just beyond the church, I had noted a very large sign for The Rooms. (I hadn’t taken time to talk to the Tourist Information people on the dock as I was dashing to catch up with dh.) When we walked over past the church we saw that The Rooms were the archives and museum. The gift shop wasn’t open yet as they are still on Winter Hours (!) but I left dh on a comfortable bench while I went off to Scobeys, a huge supermarket to look for some tea. With a packet of local decaf tea in hand, I came back to The Rooms and looked around the really lovely gift shop but didn’t buy. We were considering eating at the top floor restaurant/café but after taking some wonderful pictures from the observation deck in Full Sun, we decided to go back to Hungry Heart.
We had seen the staff setting up for a large group in the morning, and when we got back the tables were full. With all the chatter, I whispered to dh “I hope they’re leaving soon.”
Rather than leaving, the group was about to hear a talk by the folklorist of Newfoundland which turned out to be absolutely fascinating. We had a marvelous lunch of quiche for me and soup and sandwich for dh AND a wonderful chance to hear all about the work to preserve heritage crafts and stories in NFL. It was pure serendipity.
With our slickers in our bag, we headed back down towards the harbor and the main shopping areas. We walked from shop to shop and while the woolens were wonderful and hand made, we really had no need for that kind of good for our normally mild winters. DH and I then parted ways as he went back to the ship for a nap and I forged on to see the rest of Water Street. By mid afternoon, the clouds had come in and the temperature was dropping. A shop keeper said the previous Victoria Day weekend had been the nicest in 30 years. I ended up contributing a bit to the NFL economy with a fleece pullover and a wool hat. (The hat I had planned to buy turned out to have raw fleece inside and as the clerk said, was the warmest hat they had. Hmmm, not what I needed I’m afraid.)
Finally I said goodbye to NFL, and after dinner on board we time to see Slumdog Millionaire, and a welcome climb into bed. A sunny day in NFL was a real treat so much so that dh is willing to come back, By Car!!
Saturday, May 23, 2009
Friday, May 22, 2009
After a lie in for me with a cabin bit of breakfast and a much earlier start to the day for dh who prepared himself with a full breakfast, we headed down the gangplank and decided on the Gray line On and Off bus. It didn’t seem like a good idea to try to hike up to The Citadel with dh’s feet not up to par. There are three routes the buses take and they truly take in all the sites to see in downtown Halifax. There was only one fly in the ointment. It was Victoria Day so many things were closed and the downtown seemed almost deserted for a Monday morning.
We rode thru town and got off the bus at the entrance to The Citadel. We paid to go into the site and while touring it, the rain really came down at times, but that’s why we pack good slickers. We cut the tour a bit short and walked down the hill to the main part of town. Again, it felt so strange to be one of the few people walking about near noon. I did regret that we missed the 21 gun salute given to Queen Victoria (!) but figured we’d hear some of it down below in town. Walking towards Spring Garden Street, we wanted to get back to a bookstore we’d spotted on the bust trip up to the Citadel. But low and behold, I spied with my little eye another book store, so we veered off onto Doyle Street. Alas the shop was closed but the little Italian coffee shop was open. Instead of coffee, we ended up sharing a bowl of seafood chowder and a cheese scone. Hot, tasty and with small fish quenelles in it, it was just the thing to take the edge off of our hunger and the chill of the rain.
We then went back on the main drag of Spring Garden and did a lot of window shopping and a stroll through Jenners which had a lot of handcrafted items from Nova Scotia. There is a lot of beautiful silver and pewter jewelry here but as I wear gold, I saved my money. Dick is always happy to support a local independent bookstore but I had to pass since I am seriously working at reducing the stockpile of books I have at home.
We continued up Spring Garden to the actual city gardens which were gorgeous but then the rains came down again. Fortunately there is a refreshment building where we shared a hot and luscious hot chocolate. I never think about hot chocolate but dh has suggested it at times and it’s really a nice change from tea. Then back on our On-Off bus to the ship and lunch aboard. DH decided it was time for a nap but I headed back into town on another of the bus’s routes which took me back to the Old Burying Grounds and a walk thru the once again rain to a tea merchant. I had an ok cuppa Lapsong Souchong but got dear gd a packet of Lady Hannah tea. I think it will be a thrill to get tea with her own name on it.
Now it was time to start heading back to the ship lest it sail without me but I did dash into a huge SuperStore to check on powdered laundry detergent. What caught my eye as I entered were whole cooked lobsters at under $6. Canadian. Oh I was tempted but we have access to so much food I couldn’t justify it. I wanted to. DH met me but there really wasn’t time for more walking so Water Street would wait for another trip.
Some computer time, and then I was off to my massage, facial and pedicure. Oh how nice that was…a real treat and of course it left me absolutely ready for bed with one more time change.
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Mid morning we met up with the Cruise Critic group and were grateful that Fran – our serendipitous meeting at the train station – had told us where and when the group was meeting. Amazingly enough there was another couple named Maureen and Richard, and they were on the same deck. Talking to the assorted other members about 40 people in all, we found many interests shared and many had many enjoyable conversations. Because the online group has been in existence since last year, a lot of work has been done on booking tours and setting up plans at prices much more reasonable than HAL’s prices. That was a real blessing.
Suddenly – it seemed – it was lunchtime and back to the
A bit more exploring, some computer time off line and then we had a 12 step meeting. It’s always nice to make that connection with Friends of Bill at sea. Amazingly, it was time for dinner again! Neither of us was terribly hungry but we made a valiant effort and of course managed to eat!
After dinner, there was some computer time and then a movie. We saw Nixon/Frost which both of us really enjoyed and I highly recommend it to people of all political persuasions. I found it very poignant and even if you feel you know that history you may get some insights into the personalities of both men.
Monday, May 18, 2009
Upon arrival at the ship, we turned over our luggage and then went thru the security and health checks. Finally, we boarded the ship, and went to our cabin. My suitcase was already in there and dh’s arrived while we went out exploring the internet site. Then came the requisite lifeboat drill which always involves a lot of ‘stooging around’ but then we were done. Time to use the net a bit while we still had free access thru the WAN on dh’s Mac, then farewell to NYC, the Statue of Liberty and our first dinner.
We decided to stick to the casual Lido buffet which had the same menu as the main dining room for the first night especially as I was really feeling the movement of the ship. I was glad to have the Dramamine from a prior cruise and after a walk about outside – just one lap to be sure dh’s feet didn’t get blistered up again – we were ready for an early night. We did go back to the Lido for an ice cream cone tho – chocolate and cinnamon scoops for me and vanilla and orange sherbet for dh.
A Dramamine for me and about 5 pages of reading and I was out like a light while being rocked to sleep by the ship.
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
At least I am going with a laptop of my own this time (well at least a hand-me-down from dh) and a chance to do some of my own computer work, and not have to share on line time with dh. DH's computer time makes $$ so it was always hard to compete with that!
Ok, I have to get back to some serious planning of the packing! See me back here on Saturday.