October 2019
  • Day21

    The End......for now

    October 28, 2019 in Canada ⋅ ☁️ 0 °C

    Hamilton Airport is very small and, although classified as an international airport, it appeared to be mainly a cargo airport. We had to walk onto the tarmac to board our Swoop plane, which departed about a half hour late. The flight was smooth and on approach to the city we could see a lot of water in the fields and the floodway from the recent snowstorm. It was a pleasant 14 degrees and sunny when we left Hamilton but cloudy and 0 on arrival in Winnipeg. We took a taxi home and had the bad luck of encountering a train with 117 cars (JS counted them while I watched the taxi meter go up and up....$42 by the time we got home :(

    It was another great holiday with a variety of experiences. But I must admit that I’m looking forward to sleeping in my own bed tonight!

    P.S. Fitness trackers work.....despite the decadent meals on the cruise, I still lost 1 pound and JS only gained 2.
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  • Day19

    Guelph

    October 26, 2019 in Canada ⋅ ⛅ 8 °C

    The usual checkout time of 10 am meant we were up early and on our way to the airport by taxi well in advance of our 2 pm and 3:30 pm departures. Janet & Ed were on a Delta flight through MSP while we opted to go via Hamilton so that we could have a weekend visit with the Coutts in Guelph. There was a lot of turbulence on all of our flights, likely due to the latest tropical storm Olga (the 3rd tropical storm we encountered on this trip). Once in Guelph we got to meet Tanya and Ange’s 5 month old Manny. He was the happiest baby and made us miss our little Leila and Fiona all the more. The next day we had a visit with Auntie Donna at her seniors retirement home. Donna remembered us but at age 94 some dementia was evident. As expected, sparks flew between George and his Mom making the visit uncomfortable for me. Their family story is very complex on many levels and that’s all I will say about that.Read more

  • Day18

    Fort Lauderdale V

    October 25, 2019 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 29 °C

    For the last day of our holiday we all decided to go the mall for some last minute bargain shopping. It was only a block to the bus stop but once we got there a black cloud suddenly appeared and dumped buckets of rain on us, drenching us through to our undies. This was the rain that had been forecasted all week but didn’t materialize until we were standing at the roadside with no protection. We ran for cover and soon after missed our bus. We had to wait 40 minutes for the next one and got off to catch a connecting bus, which didn’t come for another 45 minutes. So although the mall was only 3.3 miles away according to Google Maps, it took us 1 1/2 hours to get there! Winnipeg Transit riders would be furious over this quality of service but the locals here seemed to take it in stride. Janet and I shopped while JS and Ed found some comfy chairs where JS read a book and Ed surfed the net on his phone. Getting back to our condo was also a nightmare. The first bus came within a few minutes but we waited an hour for the second bus. Just after boarding, another rain cloud released a downpour so we escaped a second drenching but still got wet when we got off the bus. And all of this fun only cost us $5 for an all-day pass plus the few items purchased. We picked up a delicious pizza at the corner restaurant and had our dinner at 10:30! We finished off the remaining bottle of wine and some beer laughing at our misadventures.Read more

  • Day17

    Fort Lauderdale IV

    October 24, 2019 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 28 °C

    We continue to enjoy sunny, hot and humid weather conditions. It was 30 degrees today but with a light breeze which made it more tolerable. At 11 pm the temperature was still 28! We’ve been taking long walks along the beach every day but today we finally decided to go in the ocean. The water temperature was a warm 28 degrees and the large waves were fun. No sharks or jelly fish were spotted but we all got slightly sunburned. After lunch 3 of us ( - JS) took the Sun Trolley to a nearby shopping mall. We only had an hour to shop because the trolley stopped running at 4:30. More shopping planned for tomorrow as we all need a break from the sun.Read more

  • Day15

    Fort Lauderdale III

    October 22, 2019 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 29 °C

    It is another sunny, scorching hot day so we decided to enjoy the day on the Water Taxi. The dock was a 10 minute walk from our condo. It was still hot but there was a bit of a breeze on the boat. Fort Lauderdale is preparing for their annual boat show next week so the huge yachts are starting to arrive. We had lunch at the award winning burger restaurant called BSquare where the burgers were enormous and delicious. I had the vege burger of course. After a hot day spent on the waterway the old guys came back to the condo for a beer and rest while Janet & I went shopping at the Galleria Mall just down the street.Read more

  • Day14

    Fort Lauderdale II

    October 21, 2019 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 30 °C

    We walked to Hugh Taylor Birch State Park, a 5 minute walk from our condo. The plan was to do one of the hiking trails. JS picked a trail but soon discovered mosquitoes and a flooded trail. Three of us chose to turn back to the main road but JS foolishly carried on. A volunteer driving a golf cart picked the 3 of us up along the main road and gave us a guided tour of the park. Lucky us! We were back at the condo having lunch before JS showed up red-faced and dripping with sweat!Read more

  • Day13

    Fort Lauderdale I

    October 20, 2019 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 30 °C

    We selected the latest time for disembarking the ship, 9 am, as this allowed us to have one last breakfast at the buffet. After a 15 minute taxi ride we were at our new home for the next week, Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort. We stayed here last year and enjoyed the location....one block to the beach, a 10 minute walk to Publix grocery store and the Galleria Mall. We have a large 2 bedroom/2 bathroom condo that only cost $415 USD for the week, obviously off-season rates. We arrived to a record breaking heat wave. The temperature is 32 (37 with the humidity factored in) and the sun is hot. The ocean temperature is 28. We’re all looking forward to a relaxing week.Read more

  • Day12

    Two Days at Sea II

    October 19, 2019, North Atlantic Ocean ⋅ 🌧 23 °C

    We only had two episodes of rough seas that lasted a few hours from late evening to early morning and were a result of tropical storms Melissa and Nestor. Returning to our cabin from the lounge was a challenge as the ship listed from side to side making it impossible to walk in a straight line, and this had nothing to do with the small amount of liquor consumed. According to the Captain the waves were only 12-14 feet but on the second rough night the winds were 90 knots per hour while a level 1 hurricane is only 64 knots! Overall we had lower than seasonal temperatures everywhere we went. In New York the wind speed was 48 kmh gusting to 75 kmh and the temperature was only 13 Celsius....much cooler and windier than normal. We’re blaming it on climate change just like the early October snowstorm that we missed at home.

    We had a great cruise with interesting ports and were happy to have the company of Janet and Ed.
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  • Day11

    Two Days at Sea I

    October 18, 2019, North Atlantic Ocean ⋅ ⛅ 17 °C

    We departed NYC at 6 pm and would now be cruising the Atlantic Ocean before arriving in Fort Lauderdale. During the day we kept busy with America Test Kitchen shows where we learned how to make everything from tomato soup to shu mai (Chinese dumplings). We also attended Microsoft computer labs where we were taught how to use the many features of Microsoft 10. I didn’t win Bingo this cruise and we didn’t go to the casino because it was cashless, which means you put your room key into the slot machine and then play away. That’s too dangerous as your gambling addiction will be billed to you at the end of the cruise! I attended the Captain’s lecture and slide show on his role and how the ship was managed (more interesting than it sounds). And of course we made time for 3 meals a day and had very few complaints about the food. We developed a routine almost from day one....dinner at 8; followed by the main stage show where we saw a comedian, dancers, and musicians (a multi-instrumentalist and a pianist who will be performing at Carnegie Hall next month); then we ended the evening with drinks at the piano lounge with dueling pianos which was always fun.Read more

  • Day10

    New York, New York III

    October 17, 2019 in the United States ⋅ ☁️ 13 °C

    It was over 5 km from Midtown Manhattan where our ship was docked to Lower Manhattan where the 911 Museum was located. It took two subway trains to get there and the senior fare for a return ticket was only $2.75. Good deal. Parking in Manhattan was $10.00 for 1/2 an hour! I had hoped to try New York style pizza but there wasn’t time to eat.Read more