Back On Terra Firma *Open Thread*

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I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving and Hanukkah, the latter of which is not yet over. I enjoyed seeing your comments at that post, as well as at Cuz’n Cindy’s and HonestLawyerMostly’s in my absence. I want to thank Cindy and HLM again for sharing their recollections of JFK on that fateful day…

Like all good things, our cruise has come to an end. We are now back home, getting things back in order, and trying to get our land legs back after being on a ship for eleven MAGNIFICENT days. It was truly a phenomenal trip, seeing sights we had never seen before, meeting new and interesting people, including some outstanding crew members. We had the same butler this time as we did in Alaska – he is just outstanding and very nice. The cruise was also relaxing, truly relaxing. Our cabin was amazing (a suite at the stern with a large balcony), and we were already familiar with the ship we were on (NCL Sun). It is a smaller ship we like very much. Oh, and it was warm where we went, with gorgeous water all different shades of blue.

I know, I know, why am I talking about it instead of showing you some photos of the trip? And I will get to that in just a moment, but I have to mention one political story about which I heard while on vacation. That would be the indefinite leave of Lara Logan from CBS. I cannot begin to tell you how infuriating this news was after all Logan has endured, and all she has done to bring truly stellar reporting to the MSM. No doubt that is precisely why she finds herself on leave now after reporting information on Benghazi the White House did not want revealed, or which conflicted with their fictional version of events.

And there is little doubt that a speech Logan gave back in October of 2012 has something to do with this leave after her Benghazi report appeared on “60 Minutes” recently. In case you are not familiar with what Logan said, here is a snippet of her October 7, 2012 speech from the Sun Times:

[…] Her ominous and frightening message was gleaned from years of covering our wars in the Middle East. She arrived in Chicago on the heels of her Sept. 30 report, “The Longest War.” It examined the Afghanistan conflict and exposed the perils that still confront America, 11 years after 9/11.

Eleven years later, “they” still hate us, now more than ever, Logan told the crowd. The Taliban and al-Qaida have not been vanquished, she added. They’re coming back.

“I chose this subject because, one, I can’t stand, that there is a major lie being propagated . . .” Logan declared in her native South African accent.

The lie is that America’s military might has tamed the Taliban.

“There is this narrative coming out of Washington for the last two years,” Logan said. It is driven in part by “Taliban apologists,” who claim “they are just the poor moderate, gentler, kinder Taliban,” she added sarcastically. “It’s such nonsense!” […] (Click here to read the rest.)

Uh, yeah. That was last year. Kinda funny that this wasn’t really highlighted until AFTER she was forced to take a leave (along with her producer). While it does seem that seem that her main source ended up being a tad questionable, there was much in her report that had already been substantiated. This is apparently where we are with the media these days…

Enough of that. Now on to something much more pleasurable: photos of the Southern Caribbean. Again, our ports of call were: Cartegena, Columbia; Oranjestad, Aruba; Willemstad, Curacao; Philipsburg, St. Maarten; and St. Thomas, Virgin Islands. Because there were so many outstanding ports, I will be breaking this up into a couple of different posts.

No place to start but at the beginning, right? And the beginning would be our cabin, and the view from our balcony:

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So that was our beautiful suite. They are very accommodating to us at NCL. Since we don’t drink, they switched out the champagne they had waiting for us for several bottles of San Pellegrino sparkling water instead. Oh, and every afternoon, our butler brought us different treats, like chocolate covered strawberries, or hor dourves of one variety or another. Yum!

Of course, there were the requisite towel animals, and I might just have to do another post just with those photos. They were just too stinkin’ cute those animals! Amazing what they can do…

So, the first port of call, as noted, was Cartegena. We went on a tour that included an old monastery on top of a large hill (or small mountain), as well as an old fort, and the original walled Old Town.

The first shots are of the old monastery:

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It was a beautiful place from the interior to the lush exterior. It also included an incredible view of the harbor and out ship:

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Cartegena is a very old city, as well as being a walled city for protection from invading forces and pirates. Its fort is massive. The photos below give you an idea of just how large it is:

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It was just massive, and this is just from one side of the fort.

The next photos are to give you an idea of the Old Town. My partner took these since it included too much walking (I sat on the van and read), though I did get to see some of it as we drove past to park:

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Naturally, there is much, much more, but hopefully this will give you an idea of what it looks like. Of course, many of those on our tour would say to get a full appreciation of what it was like there, you may want to turn the thermostat up to 88 or so, turn the shower on as hot as it can go, and sit in the bathroom letting the humidity pour over you. In other words, it was hot and humid, not what most of the people were used to dealing with on a regular basis. Oh, and I would be remiss if I did not mention out tour guide, Dora. She was just fantastic, very knowledgeable and informative.

Okay – that’s it for today. Feel free to comment on any of the above, or whatever else is on your minds. This is an Open Thread!

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10 Responses to “Back On Terra Firma *Open Thread*”

  1. Cindyindie Says:

    WELCOME BACK!! We missed you….
    And it was Honestlawyer’s and my pleasure to help out…We appreciated the opportunity.

    What gorgeous pics of your suite on the ship…..and of Cartegena!

    it must have been a thrilling trip, all around.

    And yes…you are so right about Lara logan….esp. after all she’s endured!

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      Thanks so much, Cuz! I missed y’all, too!

      I have to say, the suite was, um, uh, SWEET! It was very spacious. Oh, and they brought in an espresso machine for us, too (they have them in all the suites on newer ships, but for the older ones, you have to ask). Our butler kept us plied with a sufficient number of espresso pods for it, too. The ship itself is so beautiful – just love all the highly varnished wood on it – beautiful!

      And thanks – I could have bored y’all with more photos of Cartegena, believe me! I tried to control myself some!

      It is just so disturbing that some “news outlets” keep people who make the most offensive comments abt people, yet because Logan dared to point out what Fox had been reporting for months, and which the Administration had ACKNOWLEDGED to be true, she got in trouble. Infuriating, that…

      Well, I surely do appreciate y’all being willing to write something. Feel free to do so whenever you wish! 🙂

  2. helenk3 Says:

    Just beautiful. Glad you had the chance to see and enjoy. I remember reading about how when you retire you should just go on constant cruises. same price as a retirement home and much more interesting. sounds like a plan.

    the network made a mistake in putting Lara Logan and her producer on leave. It will not be forgotten and I doubt if it will be forgiven. The lady is one of the few reporters not a steno in today’s msm the broadcast had to have been viewed and oked by the network before it aired. so they are involved

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      Thanks so much, Helen. Believe you me, I’ll have more photos for you all soon of our journey! 😀

      And YES – it is a great idea. We heard abt a woman who does that on NCL. It is much cheaper than a retirement home, she gets to meet people all the time, has entertainment, a doctor, and all her meals prepared for her. Plus the crew adopted her as a mascot of sorts, and gave her all the different uniforms they wear for different events.

      We met a number of people this past trip through cruisecritic.com who cruise a good bit. One woman said she and her husband got a room on our ship for around $319 AND got an onboard credit to boot. They cruise quite a bit like that. There are some great deals to be had out there, that’s for sure!

      I hope you are right abt Logan and CBS making a mistake. You are spot on that she is NOT a steno like so many of those other people…

  3. SSDD Says:

    So glad to have you back Rev Amy!! The cabin on the ship you had was beautiful. I know somebody else who just came back from a cruise and she raved about all of it. I bet the food was amazing too. Those ships are like floating cities. The pics of Cartagena are wonderful too…thanks for posting them for us.

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      Thank you, SSDD! Nice to be back and respond here without worrying abt the minutes I’m using! Boy, talk abt a “back in the day” kind of thing before we could use the internet as much as we wanted without fear of the meter! 🙂

      So glad your friend was able to go on a cruise recently, too! The ships really are like floating cities, no doubt. And yes, the food was AMAZING!!!! One of the great perks NCL has for people in suites is that we get to eat breakfast and lunch in one of their specialty restaurants that are only open for dinner at night. On this ship, it was the Italian restaurant, and it runs alongside the ship, so there are tables all along the way at the big windows. So nice to look out and see the water. We didn’t always eat there – especially on sea days when I could get sushi for lunch, or when we had an early morning and just had breakfast delivered to the cabin, but oh, my – what good food they have there!

      The crew really is outstanding, too. We made friends with a number of them. I always check to see if they are happy with how they are treated since this is the main cruise line we use (we might do a Viking cruise at some point). They respond with, “I have been with NCL for 10 yrs (or however many years it’s been), and yes, they treat us very well!”

      Anyway – glad you liked the photos. There will be more to come! 🙂

  4. SSDD Says:

    Oh…I forgot…something I came across the other day…Obamacare rap: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kodcKUkd2Rg

  5. Connie Says:

    Love the pictures. More please.

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