Panama Canal Cruise – Day Twelve

Shortly after we departed from Cartagena we hit rough seas again and they were very rough! A few of our group were down for the count 😦 

Both hubby and I were okay but we did spend most of our day relaxing in our cabin, which means I have no pictures to show you. Today’s blog is filled with flower pictures I took along the way … you must have known there would be some flower pictures coming 🙂

Some of our group sat out on the deck and read but I found I couldn’t do that without my stomach starting to turn. I was fine sitting up on the bed so that’s were I read and snoozed off and on because the rolling ship was making me sleepy.

Hubby and I along with Mrs. M had dinner in the dining room, which is at the back of the ship on deck two and three. It was pretty quiet in the dinning room because you could really feel the movement but we did enjoy our dinner.

And our day came to an end with the ship lulling us into sleep and dreams that tomorrow the seas would be kinder.

Until next time …

Panama Canal Cruise – Day Seven

Today was another day at sea and we spent part of it around the pool and then we moved down to our deck to read, relax, and get ready for our second formal night. Since I didn’t take any pictures today I’m going to share the rest of our time in Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala with you. I left off yesterday with the jade factory, after that tour we took a short walk through the streets to our lunch destination.

We had lunch at Casa Santo Domingo, a hotel, museum, and spa.

While we ate a delicious lunch of local foods we were entertained by a group of parrots.

After lunch we spent some time exploring the Convent of Santo Domingo, which was almost totally destroyed in the 1773 earthquake of Santa Marta.

In 1989 a project known as Casa Santo Domingo was developed to rescue the Convent and Temple, which were buried under tons of rubble.

These bells where originally houses in one of two towers in the church.

I could have spent a lot more time touring what was left of the church.

But it was time to move on to new sights. As we walked to our next destination I saw the Domino’s Pizza Delivery guy.

Much easier to ride a bike around these narrow streets rather than using a vehicle.

Our next stop was Parque Central, were we saw the Mermaid Fountain and the Antigua Guatemala Cathedral.

While we were looking around hubby asked our tour guide when we were going to visit the Ron Zacapa rum factory, which was going to be the highlight of his time in Guatemala. You can imagine how disappointed he was when he was told is wasn’t on the tour 😦 Not about to miss out on this opportunity he managed to convince our guide that he should be allowed to make the visit on his own while the rest of the tour were spending time in the plaza … and he can be very convincing! So with directions on how to get to the rum store, and how to get from there to the next church to meet up with the rest of the tour, our tour guide gave six of us permission to headed out on our own. We found the store and purchase a bottle of hubby’s favourite rum, a twenty three year old Zacapa rum. We also walked away with a much cheaper bottle of 18 year old Botran rum which is also made at the factory.

Hubby then led us through the streets to the church were we were to meet up with our group …

… and he got us there with no trouble but our group wasn’t there 😕  I guess another couple decided to follow us to the factory but didn’t tell the tour guide so he, and the rest of the group, were driving around the streets looking for them. When they all arrived back at the church our tour guide was very relieved to find his two missing people!

We had a quick visit at the Santuario San Francisco el Grande and then loaded back into the small bus.

We arrived in the middle of mass so we didn’t stay but I was very annoyed at the number of people who had no problem talking to each other and walking right up to the front of the church to take pictures … so very inconsiderate!

Our small bus took us back to a wide street where we rejoined the large bus and headed back to our ship.

Until next time …

Panama Canal Cruise – Day Five

Once again Mrs. M and I took our morning walk.

Today’s door decorations

By the time we reached the third deck the sun was already rising.

On the twelfth deck we saw the Mexican Coast Guard come up along the ship.

Once I arrived back at our room the pilot boat was riding alongside our balcony.

And we could see our first sighting of land after three days at sea.

Before breakfast we headed up to the front of the deck to watch the ship come into port.

After watching the ship come into port we joined Mr. & Mrs. M in the dining room for an early breakfast, because we wanted full bellies before we left the ship. We we joined up with the other two couples on the beach and had a great day!

At the end of the pier we made a left and were down on the beach where we spent the day!

Three of us ladies took a quick walk through town … it didn’t take long, it’s a small town :small:

You knew there had to be a flower picture 🙂

A pretty church. I didn’t take my camera because we were spending the day at the beach so I took these pics with my cell phone and they are not the best.

We ended up in a nice restaurant along the beach where some of our group had lunch and most of the rest of us had a few drinks.

Coconut Shrimp, I’m told it was very tasty … we had a huge breakfast so didn’t need any lunch.

By 2:30 we were all back on the ship and by 3:30 we were back out to sea. It was another great dinner and entertaining evening and then off to bed early cause we have another big day planned tomorrow.

Today’s towel animal

Until next time …

Just Chillin 🙂

Okay we are not chillin, we are warm but Just Warmin doesn’t have the same ring 😀

We spent Saturday night at the Eastern Sierra Fairgrounds in Bishop, CA. It is basically a parking lot with full hook-ups and we have stayed here three times. There are no signs stating what the cost is or were to pay, so we think it is like many small US towns where they allow you to camp for free. Campendium has a comment that the fee was $33.00 a night in May of 2018 so maybe they only collect during the summer or when there is an event on.

We saw this pretty grass when we were out walking in Bishop.

And wow did we have some wind early Sunday morning! It woke me up at 1:00 a.m. and kept me up most of the night, hubby on the other hand slept through it all until one particularly strong gust hit the bedroom slide around 4:00 a.m.. I guess I figured he was now awake to look after things so I fell back asleep for a few hours. The wind finally died down around 5:00 a.m. and when we left Bishop Sunday morning it was 15C (59F).

And it is just as soft as it looks!

An hour and a half later we arrived at our boondocking spot in Alabama Hills, where we will stay for the next little while. We are looking forward to the quiet and no hum of electricity 🙂

Dave of Our View From Here this is for you … our lowest diesel price so far was $3.059 (roughly $1.09 CND per litre) in Carson City, NV; our highest price so far was $3.879 (roughly $1.39 CND per litre) when we topped up in Bishop, CA. Fortunately for us we did not have to fill up in Bridgeport, CA or we may have had to give up travelling!

That works out to $1.96 CND per litre … we don’t even pay that at home … way to go Canada you are also redeeming yourself and I still love ya 🙂

Until next time …

Colours of Fall

This is our last weekend in Kelowna and we have been busy … but fun busy. We have spent the last week saying our final goodbyes to friends, doing all those last minute things that have to be done before you go, and spending time with family.

I say this every year but here it is again … I love getting back on the road and seeing new things, having new adventures, and heading to warmer climates … I hate leaving our family and friends and the great life we live in Kelowna. I know I will get over, it but it is always bittersweet when we leave.

It was sad to clean out all my flower baskets, they were still blooming and looking pretty!

We spent the first part of our week at the campground where it was very quiet because the park closed for the season last Monday. It is always so peaceful and nice to walk around in complete silence except for the animals and birds.

Tonight we will move to our daughter’s driveway, well actually their neighbours were kind enough to let us stay in their driveway since they were away, which meant our son-in-law didn’t have to move their RV out of their driveway. They are fortunate to have awesome neighbours who never complain when we live in the driveway … in fact they like it because we can hear if someone is trying to break into anything in the middle of the night. One time somebody did break into the neighbours truck … two nights after we headed south!

We have a few nights of hanging out with our daughter’s family, getting as many warm squeezy hugs as I can pry out of our grandson’s … they are getting older but still humour grandma 🙂 Our granddaughter has moved into her own place so we don’t get to see her as much but she is coming home for Sunday dinner before we leave on Monday.

I was very brave one morning and, armed with bear bells and bear spray, I walked across the bridge to the third loop of the campground and caught a beautiful sunrise. I thought it only fitting that I end our final blog from the park with some sunrise pictures 🙂

A great final memory of the park for 2019 🙂

Stay tune for more regular blogs as we begin our travels south.

Until next time …

Happy Anniversary Maxx

Six years ago today we moved into Maxx full time … that’s

  • 2191 days
  • 313 weeks
  • 52,584 hours
  • 3,155,040 minutes
  • 189,302,400 seconds

We are basically packed up and ready to leave for our daughter’s place on Saturday.

And it has been a lot of good times … we look forward to the next six years and the adventures they will bring 🙂

Hubby was slowly dumping the oil from our turkey fryer onto the fire … yes we had a hose standing by! It was the best way to get rid of it, most campers dumped their oil into the garbage cans and it made a real mess for park staff to clean up ☹

I have a question for you all, has anyone taken fresh eggs from Canada into the US? And if so did you have an agriculture inspection and where you allowed to keep your eggs? We always go with an empty fridge, but I miscalculated on our eggs and I still have three dozen left. I could give them to our daughter or boil them all but I’d really like to take them with us as they are but I don’t want to loose them at the border.

We will miss our backyard.

Until next time …

And That’s A Wrap

The leaves are falling around the park 🙂

 It was a busy Thanksgiving weekend at the park and we were almost full. For the most part the weather cooperated, although it was cold overnight and it did rain most of yesterday.

Yup there were a lot of people!

While there was definitely a real party mood and a lot of eating and drinking most people behaved reasonably well. We had lots of knocks on our door from people looking for wood, to move sites, to ask any number of dumb and not so dumb questions.

By noon Monday everyone had been chased out and the gates were locked! Wow what a difference 🙂

This is the same section of the park that the above photo with all the vehicles was taken.

After the gates were locked we cranked the music as we were working outside … because who are we going to bother 😀

I took a few walks, in between cleaning out the pamphlet rack and doing some packing up of our site, and it was nice to see nothing but trees and the lake.

We, along with the other park hosts, and the park managers, are here for the week and I’m sure we will all enjoy the slower pace.

You never see the sites, in these two pictures, empty from the May long weekend through Thanksgiving. The sites in the first picture have power and the sites in this picture are pull through, full service sites.

My sister and brother-in-law joined us for Thanksgiving dinner on Saturday and we had lots of leftovers, so on Monday the park manager and his family brought their tofurkey dinner over and, along with the other hosts, we finished off some of our leftovers and maybe a few … or more … bottles of wine. It was a perfect last day of the year.

Can you see Maxx at the far end of the lawn? This is our backyard and for the next week there will be nobody but us enjoying it 🙂

Until next time …

We Are Going To Be Movie Stars :-)

Okay maybe not stars, more like extras, and not on anything you will probably see … but we are going to be in a movie so I’m feeling a little famous and would be willing to give out autographs if asked 🙂 Well that’s probably not going to happen because our faces will never been seen, are you curious to know what the heck I’m talking about?

Well a friend of ours asked if we would be extras for a film the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association is doing to try and promote some our beautiful, but lesser known, tourist sites. The movie involves a grandfather and his granddaughter touring around and trying to deal with crowds and our role was to be part of the crowd. Hubby and I had to be the mean people who wouldn’t let the granddaughter push through to get to her granddad who was standing in front of us at the viewpoint :frown:

There were around ten of us, with many taking pictures and selfies just like you usually see at a view point

The film location was at the third viewpoint on the Canyon Rim trail at our park. The views really are beautiful, panoramic views of Okanagan Lake and downtown Kelowna. You can see the floating bridge running across the lake and looking the other way you can see Knox Mountain and the multi-million dollars houses that dot the lakeside

I didn’t take my camera with me so I had to make do with my cell phone which doesn’t show the views as well as my camera would have.

It took almost an hour to get all the takes from the various angles but it was a lot of fun. We were finished by 9:30, and the sun was making an appearance, so hubby and I decided to do the rest of the 2.5 km (1.5mi) hike around the canyon.

After a short walk through beautiful fall colours we climbed down a short staircase to a bridge that crosses the river.

At the bottom of the stairs you can see where the river carves its way through the canyon. Many fallen trees clog the river as it flows under the bridge and every spring when we walk up the trail we see more trees joining the pile from the strong spring runoff.

After you cross the bridge the trail skirts the edge of the river and this is a popular swimming hole during the heat of the summer.

 In the heat of summer it is good to cool down with a swim because the next adventure on the trail is a long set of stairs which help get you up back up to the top of the canyon.

Once at the top there are a few more viewpoints and the trail meanders through grassy, sparsely treed mountainside … this is the hottest part of the trail in the summer. In the early spring this section is covered with wildflowers, mostly the Arrowleaf Balsamroot which is Kelowna’s official flower.

From this section of the trail you also get a great view of the campground, which is looking really pretty right now with all the trees changing colour.

 The next viewpoint is of the waterfall, which looks nice in the fall but is way more spectacular in the spring.

And then we headed down the last set of stairs (149 stairs to be exact).

Well our morning started with a fun new adventure for us and finished with a hike around one of our favourite trails, and by noon we were back home 🙂

Until next time …

Okay How Did That Happen!

I have no idea how it became October all of the sudden 😯 The last I remember it was the September long weekend (labour day in British Columbia) and now all of the sudden it is October and fall is here. And of course for us, and many other snowbirds, it is now time to start heading south …yes folks this snuck up on me fast 😮

The other thing that caught me by surprise was the drop in temperature! One day I’m out walking in my flip flops and the next day …

Our daughter and her family came out to the campground for a few nights last weekend. It was cold but we were able to keep warm around the campfire and had a great time.

The temperatures have dropped down to the low teens but it wasn’t enough to stop this rose from blooming. Very weird, it is not wild rose season but two blossomed in the last week.

Hubby and I have walked along the creek most afternoons to check out the progress of the salmon during their spawning season.

It is a pretty place to walk and once we get going we warm up enough that the walk is enjoyable.

Even the ducks are starting to disappear.

So far we haven’t spotted the bears that are hanging out in the neighbourhood around the park, but I always take hubby along when I walk these trails cause I think he would make good bait … although he can run faster than me so this plan could backfire on me 🙂

Now if the snow will just hold off until we get south we will be happy snowbirds!

Until next time …

A Screen Saver Blog

Hubby has set up our TV so that all the pictures from my blog play on it when the screen saver comes on, and we love it because it brings back many great memories 🙂

Now I have a bunch of pictures that I really have nothing much to say about, but I would like them to come up on the TV so that means they have to make it into the blog.

So folks that is all today’s blog is about, leftover pictures 😀

The first set is … surprise … sunrise pictures from the park, but this will be the last of them for this year. There is a mother bear with three cubs in the neighbourhood surrounding the park so I’m not going out for my walk until other people are up and moving around … yup I’m letting them be the bait just in case the bears come into the park 😀

The second set is flower pictures I took around the pump house at the end of Blundell Road in Richmond, B.C.

Oh and two pictures from my sisters garden, the sunflowers were to pretty to leave out 🙂

Some of the above pictures have made it into the Best Picture of 2019 folder which is another reason they had to go onto the blog, although that folder is pretty big so they may cut left on the cutting room floor!

Until next time …