03 Sep 2013

Southampton, England

We started the cruise segment of our European summer leaving Southampton (south of London) last night on Regent’s Voyager.

Shortly after leaving we lost steering, the ship swerved, and it looked like we were heading for land. There was a lurch when they did something corrective with the anchors and we waited for a while learning that things were going to be fine.

The captain did a good job of updating us several times over the next couple hours and today.

There have been way too many cruise ship issues the last couple of years. I know nothing for sure but figure the reason has to do with some of the following:

1 .Maintenance cutbacks
2. More ships in the ocean
3. Statistical variance
4. Technology is ahead of the game and things take time to work out kinks.

I think it is the last item. Costs are too high for those type cutbacks. The passenger counts are way up but much of that is due to much bigger ships. Variance is too simple of an answer.

The newer ships have lots of high tech items. Whether it is sophisticated propulsion or just electric it is generally new and it takes thousands of iterations to work out all of the bugs.

Anyway, that is my theory.

29 Aug 2013

Barcelona, Spain


Love Barcelona. More than anything its architecture sets it apart, (JetSetWay, Aug 10, 2011) thanks to Antoni Gaudi, the famous Catalan architect.

This is the last of our five Mediterranean Sea resort cities, which wraps up the August portion of our 2013 summer trip. September brings a couple cruises and then October some serious poker events.

We had an outstanding dinner tonight at El Cangrejo Loco on the beautiful port exactly where the 1992 Olympic Village was located.

Why the picture of a wine bottle and bucket? Well I like my white wine extra cold. The waiter poured about a quart of rock salt into the ice water. That somehow slows down water molecules, which in turn lowers the freezing point. Note the ice that accumulated on the outside of the bucket. Those of you who make ice cream probably already know all about this phenomenon.

27 Aug 2013

Sitges, Spain (post 2)

It’s just so charming here.

Even the older folks dance in the streets – right under my balcony

24 Aug 2013

Sitges, Spain (near Barcelona)


Years ago (over 45), I spent some time here with my cousin, Earl Shulman, and friend, Jeff Brotman, as we traveled around Europe during the summer. We had just come from Pamplona viewing the Running of the Bulls.


It is still just as quaint.

It wasn’t until decades later that I learned when I was here the first time that it was one of the major gay enclaves in Europe. Now it is mixed a bit more. Who knew? (As Seinfeld says) “Not that there is anything wrong with that.”


We got stuck in a fun fiesta this evening.

23 Aug 2013

Picturesque Marbella, Spain



Marbella is loaded with pretty parks, walks and squares. Avenida del Mar has about a dozen original large bronze statues made by Salvador Dali.



Some blogs work better with pretty pictures and fewer words.