Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Christmas done!

Happy Holidays to all who are still celebrating but for us it's over.  Haven't taken down the lights and tree yet but it won't be long. 

We were invited to Vegas to have Christmas dinner with our daughter and a friend so headed over there.  We were to bring a potato dish and the carving knife.  We set off in light traffic and had a pretty good drive until something unexpected happened.  We were going along on a four lane undivided road that enters Vegas.  There we found a car that was having trouble staying in his lane; sometimes over the line into the other travel direction and sometimes into the 'slow' lane in our direction.  At least he wasn't speeding, in fact he was doing about 10 mph under the limit so I waited until he was well over in the far side of his lane and passed him on the right. 

That went pretty easy and since he was going so slowly he was soon behind us by quite a distance; maybe a half mile or so.  Well, then we come up on a stop light that is turning red for us.  It's a new light and some people aren't used to it being there.  It is triggered when someone approaches from the side roads; we were on the main road.  So there should have been someone going through the intersection but there wasn't.  I've no idea whether someone got tired of waiting and ran the light or if it malfunctioned.  At any rate, we slow and come to a stop at the red light in the right lane.  I checked the mirror and the people behind us were slowing and the guy we'd passed was still coming but was still a ways back.  Then we stop at the light and about 5 seconds later this guy comes flying past us blowing through the light at his usual 55 mph!  Thank goodness that no one was turning onto our road and that he managed to stay in his lane for that maneuver!  It would have been a big crunch had he hit anyone.

Well, no harm done but you can be sure we'll remember that maneuver for a while.  Actually I don't know what else I could have done.  Aside from not passing him in the first place.  Anyway, the remainder of the trip was pretty quiet. 

Our daughter had borrowed an 'air fryer' to do a Christmas turkey.  I must say I'm not impressed.  The turkey looked ok but was not cooked through.  It took some time in the oven to get it to completely cooked.  It is only her second attempt at cooking turkey but I'm blaming the method not the cook.  The rest of the meal was excellent as was the company so what more can one ask.  It was dark by the time we arrived home but that's hardly unusual.  And we arrived safely for which I am very grateful.

Merry Christmas then and Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

You knew it couldn't last....

Us staying home that is.  No, back when we were on the Atlantic cruise in April (on the Viking Sea), we went to talk with the cruise salesperson that Viking wisely puts on every ship.  They told us that Viking was going to kill off a cruise we were hoping to go on someday.  The cruise in question, they use one whole ship for it, goes from Miami through the Panama Canal to Los Angeles - then it returns exactly the same way.  The main downfall is that it is 22 days.  But we are masochists so that didn't scare us.  The only downside was that the last two cruises were this fall.  It would leave Miami on November 22 (this year aka the US Thanksgiving Day) arriving in LA on December 13 then leaving LA on the evening of the 13th and sailing back to Miami by some time in January.  Hmmm... yep, we fell for it.

So we get home from Washington on October 4 and leave for Miami on November 21.  Well, we got our clothes washed but that was about it!  Sorry, I'm whining.  It was actually six weeks of semi-normal time and in an extremely good time of the year.  It's warm but not too warm and just generally nice.  The problem was that it really wasn't enough time to get all organized.  However, flying on the Thanksgiving holiday is always a stupid idea.  Flying anytime around the holiday is pretty lame but the weather gods were good to the US this year and there weren't tons of delayed flights, etc. 

So we hop on this ship, the Viking Star.  Viking built four ships from the same plan:  the Star, the Sea, the Sky and the Sun.  We were told that there are internal changes that make the later ships better than the first but from the passenger point of view they are identical.  It is so identical that we asked for, and received, the same table we'd had in the restaurant on the Sea!  The art work on the walls is different but that's about it!  What was different was where we were headed.

First we'd hit two ports in Cuba then one in Colombia.  After that we would do the canal then work our way up the Pacific coast:  Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Guatemala and Mexico.  Then, just for a change of pace, we'd stop in San Diego before finally landing in Los Angeles.  I must admit it was quite a trip.  It was different from what we'd expected but still good.  We've been home less than a week and I still don't have all the photos downloaded!  That should tell you something about my state of mind.

I'll write more after I have some photos to share.  Thanks for stopping by!  AND Happy Holidays if I'm that slow!