02.11.2018 - 18.12.2018
A lot of planning has been done up to this point. For one thing, the camera that I got for the trip to Africa just stopped working on the cruise I took to Bermuda in October with my sister. So I sent it off to Canon and they said the shutter mechanism was loose. Since I got the camera on eBay, I had to pay for the repairs
For the cruise, we submitted a copy of Bob's discharge papers for an OBC (On board credit). We made lists and revised the lists. And I communicated with other people who are going on this cruise to find out what kinds of things we would want to do at each port. I also made the hotel reservations going up and down the coast because while Bob likes to drive, he does not like to fly.
I managed to finish the travelogue of our journey in 2004-2005 this afternoon. 59 Segments going down the east coast OBX,Going down the East Coast flying to NOLA and then Touring around Florida (Titusville, Everglades, Key West) and then coming back north.
We are mostly packed. Bob got his suitcase and the scooter and all the miscellaneous bags in the trunk and just my suitcase for the cruise is in the back seat. The last thing I had to do today was print out the ticket for our tour in Martinique.
My goal for this trip is to visit four new island countries (Guadaloupe, Martinique, Tobago and Bequia), and document some cemeteries along the way. This is our schedule.
Driving down I-95 Dec 18-20 stopping in NC, SC and northern FL
Arriving Dec 21 - Quality Inn Miami South Dinner at our daughters
Saturday, December 22 Fort Lauderdale, FL -grandson to drop us at the ship - our car to be left at our daughters place. Ship leaves at 4:00pm
She is the Pacific Princess - length 594 feet, 9 passenger accessible decks, 688 passengers 373 crew We have a handicapped room.
Sunday, December 23 At Sea
Monday, December 24 At Sea
Tuesday, December 25 TENDER St. Barts 8:00am -6:00pm (Princess tour is full but maybe they will open a second one.) & taxi
Wednesday, December 26 Antigua 8:00am -6:00pm Taxi and do cemeteries
Thursday, December 27 TENDER ILES DES SAINTES- Terre de Haut Guadeloupe 8:00am -6:00pm - small island - go to visitor's center and get taxi.
Friday, December 28 Fort-de-France, Martinique 7:00am-5:00pm Best of Martinique tour 5 hours 8:30-1:30
Saturday, December 29 Tobago 8:00am -6:00pm 9-5 Island tour $80 each
Sunday, December 30 Barbados 8:00am -6:00pm - Taxi - visit St Nicholas Abbey if it is open-cemeteries
Monday, December 31 TENDER Bequia, Grenadines 8:00am -6:00pm taxi tour
Tuesday, January 1 Dominica 7:00am -4:00pm
Wednesday, January 2 TENDER Virgin Gorda, tender British Virgin Islands 9:00am 5:00pm I'd like to revisit the Baths but Bob does not think I can
Thursday, January 3 At Sea
Friday, January 4 At Sea
Saturday, January 5 Fort Lauderdale, FL - at our daughters
Sunday, Jan 6 St Augustine
Monday Jan 7 Summerville - Son's house
Tuesday Jan 8 - Rocky Mount
Weds Jan 9 - home
Deceber 18, 2018
We got off pretty early this morning - left about 9. I think that is earlier than we left when we left to go down to our granddaughter's wedding last year. I took photos of three of the cats - Gertie was worried in the hall.
Orange came over to have his back scratched,
and Crunch was behind the couch. Bob said Crunch was very upset as he knew something was up
Heidi was up in the donut. These are Bob's feral cats. Gertie is the only one that is still truly feral. We can pet and brush the others, and Orange will actually sit in Bob's lap. Bob said he thought the peacock was in the back yard. (He isn't our peacock really, but he hangs out in our yard sometimes.)
I couldn't get the car GPS to recognize a location out of Maryland right away, but eventually I got it to recognize Selma in NC. When I use my phone with Google maps, sometimes it wants to do Apple play (which I do not have any songs on the phone but it cuts off the CD that Bob is playing) and sometimes it behaves and just lets me use the internet without interfering.
We got to the Nice bridge about 5 after 10 (It has been renamed so that it is now the Governor Harry W Nice Memorial/Senator Thomas "Mac" Middleton Bridge-Our oldest daughter said that the current governor did it as a political move. I think it was fine with just one name.)
and used our EZ-Pass for the first time. But when we got up on the bridge, we stopped (right by a sign that said "NO STOPPING on bridge")
Since they were working on the bridge, we could only use only one lane because of construction. It was the turn of the northbound traffic. Every time a big truck went by going the other direction the bridge bounced noticeably. It made both of us a little nervous.
But after five minutes they let our side go.
When we came to Richmond, the car GPS said to go around it and the phone GPS and the AAA triptik said to go through. So we went around.
As soon as we got back to I-95, we stopped and had lunch at a Wendy's. They had what I assume was a video fireplace although I did not touch it to see if it was really warm.
Bob got a Dave single and I got a Son of Baconator, and we both drank water. He would usually have a Frosty, but he didn't have his lactaid pills with him.
We got to the Selma Smithfield Hampton Inn about 2:30 which was too early to check in as the room I had picked was not ready. I picked the room closest to the lobby. So we waited a bit in the lobby and I got email on my phone.
Finally they said that the room next to the one I picked was ready, so we took that one. About 5 we went out to get gas. Bob said I would not need the scooter but it was a long way to walk from the room to the car. Bob was annoyed by the gas prices near I-95 ($2.50/gal) so I looked it up on my phone and found a couple of stations over on 301 with prices about $2.04 to $2.06 (Marathon, Murphy, Speed and even BP). We got gas at Murphy -The car got 41 mpg. Bob thought it would be better.
Then we wanted to find a place to eat and I tried to get the directions to the Mexican restaurant (the phone kept giving me the time to walk to it (9 minutes) and then when I tried to pick a vehicle, I got a bus and it had a lot of trouble getting a schedule). But it involved too many turns so I decided that we should eat at the Pizza Inn which was just a half block up the street from the gas station. This is a southern chain that I have seen but we had not eaten there before.
This was a buffet, but they also had a menu. The senior price for the buffet was about $5.99 but I just couldn't do the buffet. Bob ordered his usual meatball sub, I had a beef and cheese calzone and they had Pizzerts (pizza desserts) and I wanted just one slice of a pineapple upsidedown cake Pizzert. But they didn't do just one slice. I had to have a small pie with four pieces pizzert. Well the Pizzert came out first (lots of pineapple, but not very upside-down-cakey - more of a pineapple pizza with cream cheese and some brown sugar sprinkled on top),
and then after a wait of another 15 minutes I got my calzone.
Bob didn't get his sub for another 10 minutes.
It was "Kids night" Children could get the buffet for $1.99. which is a pretty good deal. So there were a lot of them there including a cute pair of boys am am sure were twins.
We brought some of it back with us but this Hampton Inn doesn't have a fridge in the room. So Bob put the box back in the car where it will be cold.