12 Sep 2015
It is quite a cultural shock coming off five weeks on the ultra exclusive Crystal Serenity to the 6,000 passenger Oasis of the Seas, but no way was I going to miss the annual Card Player Poker Tour event hosted at sea by Card Player Cruises.
As usual it was a blast. We had fun day and night in addition to the poker, and the poker was great. Can’t wait till next year. They are hoping for mid-September from Seattle.
Linda Johnson and Jan Fisher are the ultimate hostesses.
One especially great service is their “Luggage Valet”. They gave us boarding passes and baggage tags in our cabin. We then put our bags outside the door and did not have to see them or deal with them until we claimed them in Las Vegas.
We didn’t even need them for Customs.
01 Sep 2015
Long time JSW readers probably are tired of my saying how great London is, but it is.
We stopped by here just for two nights after the cruise to get our fix, to say nothing about our Virgin Upper Class flight using mileage.
We have been fortunate in staying in so many great hotels here, but we are set now. We are at the Covent Garden Hotel smack dab in the most fun part of town. It has all the plusses with none of the minuses. For example it is tiny hotel where they know everybody, yet they have a full gym and food 24/7. Our room, even though right on the street, is absolutely silent.
No stay in London is complete without theatre. Tonight was Gypsy. Imelda Staunton, who plays Rose, will win this year’s Olivier (London’s Tony) for Best Actress in a Musical. You heard it here first. I will report back, either way, in the spring when the official results come out.
29 Aug 2015
Most people left the ship for 12 hours or so to round trip Florence, a wonderful city. May others visited Pisa, also a fun day.
Since today was the last full day on the cruise anyway, and we have already done all that, we decided to hop on, hop off, around Livorno, which is always a good low-key way to get a city overview
The day way perfect for an open-air drive.
Beaches are scarce here. They do their best though.
They have a Venice canal thing going on here.
Jews thrived here in the 17th Century because the powerful Medici’s welcomed them, openly acknowledging how good they were for the community.
Unfortunately the old synagogue was destroyed during WW II. This new modern one was built in the 60s.
28 Aug 2015
After docking in Monaco this morning we headed to Saint-Paul-de-Vence, an old medieval town on the French Riviera, well known for its modern and contemporary art museums and galleries.
The drive itself along the Cote d’Azur alone makes the trip worthwhile. Here we are passing Eze Village.
We saw lots of weird stuff.
We saw fun stuff.
The highlight definitely was Marc Chagall’s Le Vie, an enormous canvass that recaps his life. It was painted in 1964 for the opening of the Maeght Gallery that we are visiting here.
27 Aug 2015
It’s official. I’m getting old. I have been to St. Tropez countless times and never before have I not gone to the beach.
But I sure had a great day with Allyn, my model. She shopped. I tagged along for a while.
Later we went back in for dinner at L’Escale.