a ‘friendly’ New Years Eve dinner

New Year’s Eve dinner was at our house with our traditional Lobster Tail dinner… Fran and Bill  were driving on their way back from Philadelphia and stayed over for a couple of days on their trek back to their home in Kissimmee Florida.. Tom and Denise were back home after a couple of weeks at their daughters’  in Charlotte… a fun time with good friends.. great dinner prepared by Patricia..  a game of Mexican Train Dominoes somehow got in the mix after dinner—oh noooooo!  ..and before we watched the Ball drop in Times Square at Midnite…..

even the ‘fat man in the red suit’ stopped by for dinner.. guess all those donuts and adult beverages we left out for him on Christmas Eve brought him back

‘Fat-Man in Red Suit’ stopped by for Dinner


heading home…yippee

after a somewhat hectic but nice holiday yesterday it was time to leave and begin our near 700 mile drive south home.. we left Mary’s house in Sheepshead Bay at 830am trying to leave before the forecasted snow flurries started… guess what.. as we crossed over the Delaware Memorial Bridge leaving New Jersey we got to the Delaware side and snow flurries… came down pretty hard at times….before long the flurries stopped as  we crossed over into Maryland on Rt 301 heading toward the Annapolis Bay Bridge..  that was it as the temps started to get up into the low 50’s for the rest of the drive home..  arrived at the house just before 8pm so we did pretty good.. BTW it was nice to be home and away from that hectic pace with crowds and traffic  in NY


got up early on this very chilly 20* morning  then we all headed out to a 930am Christmas Mass at St Marks…. after Mass we picked up our bag of gigundo bagels along with a few crumb buns at our favorite bagel shop–Emmons Bagels down near the fishing docks in Sheepshead Bay….. we left for Long Island around 12 noon heading out to our nephew Thomas’ house for a super Christmas dinner with family  .. snow on the ground from an overnite dusting out in Holbrook added to the mix…  brrrrrr….

the ride back to Brooklyn at 930pm was better than I thought it would be traffic-wise with the usual bottlenecks on the Southern State Pkwy and where else..  the Belt Pkwy between JFK and Pennsylvania Ave…  a pretty good Christmas for all..

out to Long Island

the 50 mile 1+hour trek from Brooklyn out to Long Island in the heavy rain was just a delightful drive..suxxx…after arriving at my BIL’s in Ronkonkoma we all went shopping to Costco..a zoo
for dinner we had take-out at Momma Lombardi’s in Holbrook.. by 830pm we were heading on the long drive back to Sheepshead Bay
two more days to go

Ft Lauderdale.. the end

we arrived early this morning in Port Everglades, Fort Lauderdale, Florida.. we were off the ship and thru customs and immigration by 9am.. our Hertz pickup shuttle was at curbside.. we had so much luggage for the four of us had to wait for a second shuttle just to take us all ..  by 10am we were ‘on the road’ in our rental mini van loaded to the hilt and on our drive back home northbound on I-95..  after a couple of food stops along the way including an hilarious stop in Pawley’s Island KFC that was just wild… we were home just after 10pm dropping off Tom and Denise then on to our house..    a great cruise once again… can’t wait to go on our next one..always an adventure  🙂

Half Moon Cay, Bahamas

arrived at 8am on this one of a kind fantastically beautiful private island…we’ve been here over 36 times before but it never gets old… a beautiful pretty 82* day with sunny skies..two Holland America ships in port today..our ship, the Maasdam and the Noordam… looked up an old friend, Captain Jolly who I’ve charter fished with on many occasions before… HAL suddenly stopped all fishing here and the good Captain was doing guided tours of the island…  after eating at the BBQ  we walked back to our spot on the beach.. as I was walking along I  looked up and saw some old friends Peter and Margaret Oakley from Devon, England  who we’ve sailed with many times before and were also in port on the Noordam returning from a 20 day Caribbean cruise… what a surprise.. you just never know who’ll you meet and run into on this island…  after talking some good times with them we all went back in the water for a last dip before returning to the ship… the sailaway was magnificent as we made our way back to Ft Lauderdale and disembarkation–the end of a great cruise once again aboard the Maasdam

my friend Captain Jolly

approach to Half Moon Cay at Sunrise

Noordam was also in port


Half Moon Cay Rooster

looking out at the Maasdam

Day at Sea

day #7 on the Trans-Atlantic return crossing and we’re getting close to our next stopover at Half Moon Cay, Bahamas, Holland America’s private island.. a non-sunrise because of low-horizon clouds turned immediately into a pretty and  cloudless sunny sky day with 82* temps..a poolside day looking out over the stern on the Navigation Deck-aft once again.. doesn’t get any better..