a visit to Brooklyn

left my BIL’s in Ronkonkoma enroute to visit an older relative  who is still in a rehab/nursing home in Coney Island, Brooklyn after breaking her hip back in January.. we arrived there about 1230pm just as she was fishing her lunch.. boy has she done well with her rehab.. she is walking  with the help of a walker and is doing exceptionally well.. much better than we expected.. she still has close to a month to stay there to strenthen her legs before they’ll release her to go home… after spending a couple of hours with her we left and decided to go out to Fiorentino’s I-Tal-Yun restaurant in the ol’ neighborhood.. we’ve been there a number of times before.. and as for me.. I am very selective when I go to I-Tal-yun restaurants as most are not too good.. or at least not comparable to the food I grew up with made by my I-tal-yun Mother and Grandmother..with the place  nearly empty  we were there well before their nite time dinner hours started.. it was nice.. great food.. fried calamari… with dishes of linguini in clam sauce.. shrimp..clams..mussels.. calamari ..linguini marinara..and chicken marsala..  hats off to the chef..multi bene!.. unfortunately it was just before rush hour when we departed for the 50 mile trip back to Ronkonkoma.. traffic..traffic.. and more traffic.. I’ll just leave it at that..

northbound to Long Island

after picking up our Hertz car rental at 830am left the house for the drive north at 945am…where I thought the traffic problem would be in the NY area  it wasnt..we got backed up for construction at the NC VA border..stopped dead for nearly 45 minutes..arrrrggghhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!…arrived at BIL’s in Ronkonkoma at 1030pm..  BTW our rental car a KIA Optima got 32mpg..it was like a rollerskate for a ‘full size’ car…  not nice..I’ll stick to lower mileage and bigger..comfort rules..hay.. what a disappointment..NO SNOW.. booooo

another trip.. driving north to NY

will be heading northbound in a day or so depending on the weather and the impending snowstorm hitting the northeast today..some pics from the ol’ neighborhood–Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn taken just after Christmas .. and after Hurricane Sandy blew thru the area

enjoying the early mornings..wetting a line

had to go wet a line  by the local Golf course lake starting this past week   .. a couple of beautiful mid 70’s days in a row followed by chilly early mornings… a fish a day for 4 days.. not so bad…  a few pics from this past week

not too smart

and worse yet.. turns his back on the gator

who’s the ‘bird brain’.. this Woodstork is BEHIND the fence..  golfers are not so smart

Disembarkation–Ft Lauderdale

after 56 days at sea our cruise is over.. our missed-pickup luggage  was waiting for us in the terminal..thankfully… a delay with exiting the ship caused by the lack of the regular complement of Immigration/Customs agents not being manned due to cutbacks… then after a long 45 minute wait in line in the terminal we finally got thru it .usually takes 5 minutes….our Hertz shuttle bus picked us up and took us back to the Crown Plaza hotel to pick up our one way rental Chevy Traverse… we were finally on the road heading north on I-95 at 1015am.. an uneventful trip that got us back home after nearly 2 months at 915pm…  made good time..looking forward to our next cruise whenever that may be..no plans yet

almost home..Charleston

Charleston Bridge

Day 56–Day at Sea

this is our last cruising-day at sea before tomorrow’s arrival in Port Everglades-Ft Lauderdale for disembarkation and the end of our 56 day adventure…..a pretty sunrise this morning followed within the hour by a cold front that we sailed into  with clouds and a few rain squalls that subsided along with stronger 30 knot winds that continued thruout the day..  a day for packing …after dinner we went up to the Crows Nest and surprised our friend Linda with a cake for her birthday…it was then off to the Dancing with the Stars talent show in the showroom.. then on to the Piano Bar for some good listening with Heather and Aubray singing for us.. they were super good…  Heather is the ship’s Shopping Ambassador and hails from Eastham on Cape Cod.. Aubray is the ship’s Internet Manager and comes from South Africa… nice folks.. and great singing voices too.. it was back to the cabin just before midnite we set our luggage outside in the hallway…  guess what.. they missed picking it up..a few minutes before 5am I had to go down to the front office to get their behinds in gear!!!!!  within 5 minutes they picked it up…

Dancin with the Stars

water pipe burst in Lido restaurant

Sugi

Andi

Sugi and Andi
Asst DRMgr Andi

Vergel

Day 55–Day at Sea

after starting off the day with a very windy non-sunrise it  turned into a beautiful sunny calm day with the temperature rising to 80*… a quiet day sitting out on the Navigation Deck-aft..some games by the pool.. ring toss today…. tonite was the last formal nite in the dining room.. then it was off to a Captain’s cocktail party followed by Mega Trivia in the Crows Nest–which we won …  afterwards we went down to the Lido where the Dessert Extravaganza was set up…  only one more day to go.. hard to believe..

Sunset

Day 54–Cartegena

after a ‘bumpy ‘ride overnite we arrived in our next port–Categena, Colombia–at 9am.. it is a short port call leaving at 2pm..  one of the prettiest entrances in the Bay with the statue of Mary and Jesus standing alone in the middle of the bay…  since the stop was only half a day we decided to walk over to the cruise terminal and shops..  the birds were still there  with some improvements to the overall area since we were here last… very well done…  the Macaws …Toucans Parrots and of course Thumper the Bunny were now free to roam around the grounds along with newcomers the Pink Flamingos.. we did a little shopping then had a local beer before heading back to the ship at 2pm.. a very nice day with temps in the mid-80’s with clear sunny skies

Day 53–Panama Canal

we approached the Canal entrance about 530am… cloudy skies kept the temps down to 83* thruout the day with a few sprinkles mixed in.. it was the coolest we’ve done in this our 5th roundtrip transit of the Canal…it’s still one of our favorite cruises and places to visit..  the morning I stayed up on the outside Navigation Deck-aft… just before noon  the sun came out and cleared the skies…  we got to the Atlantic side about 230pm ..earlier than expected… a couple of Crocodiles welcomed us as we exited the last of the three Gatun locks on the banks in their regular places..  our next stop is in Categena Colombia tomorrow morning..  this is the second time on this cruise that we transited the Canal.. passage from Atlantic to pacific was back on January 23