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07 Feb 2020

French Polynesia 2020 Part II

When most of us speak of Tahiti, we really mean French Polynesia. Actually Papeete is the largest city and capital of French Polynesia. It is located on the island of Tahiti.
Many of our group ate dinner off the ship in Papeete. Right next to the port, Place Vai’ete fills with roulottes, or food carts, in the evenings. It's always a fun experience.
All over the world it is enjoyable to visit the local markets. 
Our fifth, and final, French Polynesia island stop this year is Raiatea.
The migration of Polynesians throughout the Pacific began on Raiatea as it was central and the most sacred area. From here, original settlers offered blessings and then ventured north to Hawaii and west to New Zealand. 
Like other similar small ports of call, in Raiatea one can ride around the island, enjoy the local village or do something on the water.
I just walked around as both the dock area and the local people were quite pleasant.
Allyn kayaked.








06 Feb 2020

French Polynesia 2020 Part I

The first stop on our 2020 World Cruise was Nuku Niva in French Polynesia. It is pretty, but not much was happening. It was nice to be on land after a week though.
Their claim to fame may be that their time zone is 30 minutes different than neighboring time zones.
They are known for their outstanding wood carvings.
Here is a shot of Allyn as part of the entertainment when we were here in 2010.
Stop two was Bora Bora where, unfortunately, we got rained out this year.
Our next island visit was Moorea. It is a feast for the eyes.  
It's hard to beat soaking up the sun on a 60' catamaran heading towards the snorkel area.
Some of us snorkeled.








19 Jan 2020

Cabo San Lucas, Mexico 2020

We were fortunate to have Cabo as an overnight in that it is a very fun city. We took advantage by having dinner off the ship with family and friends at The Sand Bar located right on the beach. I highly recommend. 
We even could see our beautiful ship in the background.
Until last night, I was under the mistaken impression that Cabo San Lucas was the same city as Los Cabos. So wrong. The Cabo I know and have visited is the vibrant party town. Twenty minutes away is San Jose del Cabo which combined make up Los Cabos. That is Mexico's fasted growing resort area and home to the rich and famous.
Names like Montage, Four Seasons, One&Only, Nobu, Aman, St. Regis, Caesars Palace and Ritz-Carlton Reserve are just a few that dot the Peninsula or are under construction. Warm, dry air combined by proximity to the U.S. makes this a wonderful international getaway.
I had to skip daytime activities due to a cold, but the fam had a wonderful day.
They said the camel riding was a blast. I couldn't figure out what they are doing in Baja Mexico though. It seems that they are descendants of U.S. camels that were used experimentally during the Civil War. The latitude and climate here is quite similar the Sahara.
Michael was even able to get a shot of a whale blowing from shore. Because the water is deep, the whales can come close to shore.
Here he captures Cabo on a picture-perfect evening as we depart to Los Angeles. We are passing The Arch of Cabo San Lucas, where the Pacific Ocean becomes the Gulf of California. Sea lions as well as tourists love visiting here.
 
 








17 Jan 2020

Huatulco, Mexico

As you can see today's port was Huatulco, Mexico.
Enroute we were invited to the Captain's quarters for a cocktail party. As usual that was quite special.
Today we spent our morning in Huatulco river-rafting down the Copalita River. It was pleasant, peaceful, and easy as the rapids were only Class I to Class II.
Michael opted for a cooking class during his stay.
Allyn had a belated 32nd birthday party for daughter, Jessica. They felt terrible because it was the first time that they were not able to be together on her actual birthday.
It was highlight of our trip so far was with an elegant private meal in The Vintage Room. Here Crystal marries the food, wine, service, and ambiance competing well with any high-end restaurant.








11 Jan 2020

Cartagena, Colombia 2020

The thing to do in the Old Town of Cartagenis is to walk around and enjoy its color and flavor.

Jess loved her first time in South America.
 Barry and number 1 son, Michael.
One street is more interesting than the next.
Even the bicycle repair shop is colorful.
However, the absolute highlight of the day was meeting the brand new mayor William Dau. He ran a tough campaign on political reform (they really need it) and was just installed five days ago. We just walked up and asked for a quick photo and he engaged us for several minutes speaking about his country, city and plans. Very cool.
I even found a street poker game.
I have never met a flamingo who wasn't a beauty.