Our Trip to Roatan, Costa Maya, & Cozumel….Part 2

Finally we were heading to sea.  We had went to the Heliport to watch our casting off and now we were moving.  As much as I would have liked to have stayed outside and watched us move out through the channel, it was to cold and windy.  So time to go inside and EXPLORE our ship.  Dinner was at 5:30.  Tonite would be dress casual in the formal dinning room.  We had our luggage, but many people did not.  They said it could take up to 7 pm for the late arrivals to get their delivered to their stateroom.  It pays to be one of the first to board.  So therefore that is why dinner was casual.  Everyone has the option to eat in the formal dinning room assigned or just eat at the Windjammer Café Buffet.  We were assigned to the Michelangelo Restaurant on Deck 3 at table #424.  Their are 3 Formal dining rooms, The Botticelli on Deck 5, The Michelangelo on Deck 4, and The Rembrandt on Deck 3.

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This is the interior of our dinning room on Deck 3.  It is so elegant.  The center of the room is open to display all three floors.  In the center is a Beautiful, Stunning Elegant Chandelier.  It is surrounded by beautiful gold columns extending from the bottom to the top.  Beautiful lights and decorations make you feel like your in an Italian Palace.

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At the far end is an elegant circular staircase joining all 3 dinning rooms together.  At the end of our cruise the cooks and waiters filled the stairways and sang several songs and paraded through all 3 dinning rooms…..It was pretty awesome.  So we found our table and were seated.  Linen table clothes and silverware placed for every course.  We were presented with the Menu.  It was clipped to a board and was changed every meal.  We had choices of Appetizer, Main course and Dessert.  You could choose as many as you wanted.  The waiter brought each course and then as we ate, they would take the finished dish and the proper silverware would be taken and the new silverware arranged appropriately.  We had a head waiter as well as his assistant.  They worked in unison together as they took care of their assigned 4 tables.  So that was 32 people.

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By the 2nd nite they not only new your name, but they also remembered what you drank.  Our favorite was Oral C.  The assistant on the right of the photo.  He was so nice, friendly and did his job meticulously.  He always was ready for a joke or small talk if he had time.  They loved their job obviously.  Finally it was time to explore the ship.

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This is one of the 14 elevators on the ship.  They went from Deck 1 to Deck 14.  It was so cool to ride and look out at the Promenade Deck as you rode up.  20180408_163836.jpg

This is the walkway to the Promenade Area, the main street of the ship on Deck 5 This area is full of shopping from clothes, purses, alcohol, to Fine Watches and Diamonds.  It also had many Pubs, Ben and Jerrys Ice Cream, Sorrentos Pizza, A Cupcake shop and tables and chairs set out to sit, converse and just people watch.  20180408_162729.jpg

On the other end is the Platinum Theater.  The stairways were cascading white marble steps with Brass Handrails…So Elegant…They held a program for us newbies in the Theater to Welcome us to the ship and tell as about upcoming events.20180408_142828.jpg

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This is a beautiful Theater.  It also had a balcony and held 1,300 people.  Every nite they held a fabulous show.  They also had bar service and you could order at your seat.  20180408_201030.jpg

This is another view of the Promenade area from the end areas.  Every floor had a crossover to the other side that was open to the Promenade.  Notice Shrek in the foreground.  This is also a “DreamWorks” Cruise.  Many of the characters were out and about everyday.  20180408_201108.jpg

Another view from the end looking down to the entrance of the Platinum Theater.  I am actually standing on Deck 6 and the bottom of the stairs is Deck 3…..20180408_162818.jpg

Another one of the Characters with Ron on the right.  So now down to Deck 3.  20180408_142531.jpg

We walked through the Casino.  Yes if you were a gambler, you could surely enjoy your time here.  Everything available to you in every type of game.  Their is almost 300 slot machines and 19 gaming tables.  We choose not to enjoy this area of the boat.  I would have a hard time stopping, so better not to play.  Their was a number of bars on this level, including a Piano Bar.  They were small and intimate.  A place to relax.  It had been a long day, so time to head back up to Deck 6 and our new home for a week.  We entered and found that the room steward had been their, Turned down our bed, closed the curtains and left us with the new addition of The Cruise Compass.

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It is the daily schedule of everything going on.  All the dinner schedules, entertainment schedules, time we dock if going into port, or anything we needed to know.  Every evening he brought a new one when he turned down the bed.  Every afternoon while at lunch, he would make our bed and change our linens.  We were so pampered.FB_IMG_1524226692181.jpg

This is our Room Steward, Barrington.  He had knocked at our door the first day and introduced himself.  He is from Jamaica and has worked for Royal Caribbean for 19 years.  They work for 10 months and then have 2 months off.  Difficult way to live I think.  Barrington was just Awesome He was so friendly.  His goal to make sure we had fun and enjoyed everyday.  I mentioned to him one afternoon that my shower was leaking at the bottom.  He said he would take care of it.  The next morning during my shower, I noticed it was fixed.  …..Amazing…..I couldn’t believe it was already fixed, and we didn’t even see anyone.  Barrington knew all our names immediately and made us all feel special.  He always seemed to know when we left so that he could do his duties.  20180411_211939.jpg

Many times during the week, we would come into our room to find an animal made out of towels.  This was my favorite.  He put my sunglasses on the BAT.  So as we got ready for bed, we sat their and realized we could feel the gently rocking of the boat.  It wasn’t much, but Rich could feel it.  He had taken a Dramamine that afternoon, just in case it might bother him.  We could hear the Hang tag in the bathroom gently rocking back and forth.  We slept pretty good, in fact I slept longer than normal.  Their was no daylight to tell you what time it was…..lol…In the morning, we explored the TV channels.  Their was very little outside channels.  Just a couple old movie channels.  They had their own RC TV.  You could watch and see what was happening today.  How to shop for Diamonds and Precious Gems on board as well as when you were in Port.  They showed you different Ships they had and the Trips they had available.  Down stairs you could book you Next Cruise with a discount at a considerable savings.  Also, the most important thing on the TV was you could watch your account daily.  Any credits you might have attained on purchasing your tickets were added on as a credit.  Anytime you purchased on board with your Seapass Card were their immediately, and the Daily Gratuity’s of $14.50 each person were also added.  These tips would be divided between the Room Steward and the Dinning room waiters.  Possibly others but not sure.  So it was your option to give extra if you thought they deserved it.  As I mentioned before, this account is either set up as a cash account before hand, or attached to a card of your choice.  In the morning  we slowly got up and headed for the Windjammer for Breakfast.  What an AWESOME selection.  Anything you could imagine.  20180411_105815.jpgWe found a table by the window and enjoyed watching the sea…..The endless water, the swell of the waves flowing up and down.  They said they were about 6 ft, but it sure didn’t look like it.  We were on Deck 11 looking down.  Their were just small white caps.  Nothing was in the distance except for the sea ending in a haze as it met the sky……So this was our next 2 days.  We would be at sea till Wed.  when we docked at Roatan Honduras, our farthest point…..(Or so we thought)….So now time to explore the top decks…..11-14….Ill start at the front of the ship.  Well not really the front but behind the heliport and the Captains Bridge.  We entered the Solarium.  It is the pool area for the over 18 year olds….Now that would be our area.  20180409_131453.jpgIt was a small but beautiful pool…plenty of lounge chairs all around in the sun or shade.  A bar of course.  Adults always have to have a bar near by…..Or you could order by the pool also.  It also had an easy step entrance.  Love it when you don’t have to climb the ladder to get out.   On either side of the ship were 2 huge beautiful half moon spas, lined with windows.  The sun shinned through from all the glass on top.  20180423_104351.jpg1d46326ca12af59e3a011354e359d4fc--royal-caribbean-cruise-royal-caribbean-ships.jpgThey stuck out 12 over the edge of the boat.  The view was just breath taking.  The strangest part was knowing that their was nothing under you for 11 decks down till the sea at the bottom.  One evening I was in the spa when the jets were off.  As you sat their and enjoyed, you would feel the rocking of the boat.  It would rock to one side and the water would fall into the gutters, and then it would rock the other way and fall away….Back and Forth….Back and Forth…. What a strange sensation.  Now behind this bar are several more pools for family’s.  aox7yq.jpgSeveral hot tubs are also in this area.  You can get poolside service here also for drinks of your choice.  Many of the activities took place in this pool.  Sexiest man competition,   Adult Belly Flop Competition, Concerts and Movies on the Big Screen.20180411_194015.jpgOne nite we went up and watched Star Wars.  This area was always busy….Behind this area is the Childrens Area….20180411_154853.jpgThis is the H2O Zone and Kids Pool.  This is a great place for the little kids to have fun.  If you look at the area above with all the windows, This is on Deck 14.20180411_150739.jpgThere is a very nice bar up their.  This is the view from the windows.  You can see the kids area, past the wall is the regular pools and the Solarium pools more up front.

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Now were on the back of the ship.  Their is a rock climbing wall and a basket ball court.

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On the very back is the water slides.   Their are 2 water slides on the left and 1 on the right.  The one on the right is a 2 man raft.  In the center is the Flow Rider, the surfing simulator.  We sat their for a while and watched.  The were giving lessons.  Some people did well, but many wiped out, fell and washed up to the top of the slide.  It looked like fun, but I wouldn’t want everyone watching me make a fool of myself…lol….Also a Mini Golf Course is back here somewhere.  That was something we never came across.  How can something like that be hidden.  There was so many things we really never did see.  It is amazing that all these things are on the top of the ship.  So by Tue. we were excited to be getting close to Roatan Honduras.  We were suppose to dock Wed morning and have all day in town.   Ron had planned trips for all of us.  It was going to be so exciting, some shopping, beach, and tour in the jungle.  Late  that afternoon the Captain made an announcement.  A ship had come into the dock to fast.  Something went wrong and it ran into the dock and destroyed it.  It was the MSC Armonia.  maxresdefault.jpg

It didn’t take long for a video to be on U Tube.  By that evening I think everyone on board had seen the video.  The captain had tried to find another port like maybe Belize.  It just wasn’t going to happen, seems they didn’t have tenders for us.  I believe that is transportation for us from the ship to the village.  So he decided we would just do another day at sea.  We were so disappointed.  So now we would be doing a huge circle until it was time to go to Costa Maya.  Wed evening finally came.  We were going to arrive in the dock at Costa Maya around 7 am Thur. morning and bebark around 8.  Then another announcement.  We suddenly had a medical emergency.  We had to head to Cozumel.  Someone was very ill and they would be taken off the ship.  We would head back north to Cozemel arrive around 2 am. Then head back south to Costa Maya.  So now we will arrive 2 hours late.FB_IMG_1523969851489.jpg

Here is a picture of our tv screen.  We could also always see where we were, how fast we were going and our position.  As you see we were heading to Cozumel after a big circle at sea.  We were traveling over 21 knots which was top speed for the ship.  Our first stop should have been, Roatan Honduras on Wed.  Costa Maya Thur. and Cozumel Fri.  But things change don’t they.  We had another day at sea to enjoy all the activities.  Their was always something to do.  No reason to be bored, just disappointed. We did stop at Cozumel around 2am on Thur. morning, but unless you were awake, you would not have noticed.  We arrived at Costa Maya later Thur morning around 9am.   Ohhhhhh now this will be the best  part of this story….lol….Just a Clue……..“Not everyone Remembers All That Happened This Day”.…..But many of us will NEVER FORGET…..

 

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Our Cruise to Roatan, Costa Maya, & Cozumel….Part 1

We have just returned from our “Cruise of a Lifetime” We went on a 7 day Royal Caribbean cruise, aboard “Liberty of The Seas”  to Roatan Honduras, (well, maybe not), Costa Maya Mexico, and Cozumel.  It was absolutely beautiful, and so much fun.  Definitely a experience to never be forgotten.   So how did this all happen……

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A little over a year ago our friends Ron and Theresa were telling us of this cruise.  Ron has a Travel Agency on the side, “Get Out Their Vacations”, Check out the FB site.  He is always looking for good deals.  This trip was a very good deal.  Better if we all booked early.  He was also signing up friends and family back in his home town in Nebraska.  Rich has always wanted to go on a cruise, so we decided this was the time.  We would be with Ron and Theresa and others, so they could guide us through all the steps.  Ron ended up with 6 couples counting them.  That is 12 people, 8 who were first timers.  So how did we meet Ron and Theresa……

2 years ago we workamped at Adventureland in Des Moines.  Ron was also workamping and worked Rides with Rich.  Theresa works from home for a Computer Company.  We became friends their and I gave them info on Eastgate, and all the fun things to do in the Rio Grande Valley in the winter.  They decided to come down last year and spend the winter.  We’ve become good friends.  Then they came back this year as a Workamper.

So finally after waiting for a year, the time had come.  We all waited patiently for the winter season here at Eastgate to be over.  On Sat. April 7th, Rich and I, Theresa and Ron, packed our car, very tightly I might add, and headed to Galveston.  The day before, 2 cars also packed to the hilt, left Nebraska with 4 couples.  We were all headed for a motel for Saturday nite. Fortunately our trip was only around 7 hours.  We arrived first, and several hours later the other 4 couples arrived.  Now they had left bitter cold and snow.  Ron had promised them sunshine and warm weather……It was cloudy, overcast, and chilly.  Jacket weather.  Darn…..Its gonna get better, I’m sure…..20180408_094809.jpg

We met the couples and alot of visiting was done.  It was like an old friends and family reunion.  We all ate out, did our last shopping for forgotten things and hit the sack.  In the morning, the last minute repacking was done, and then repacked the cars and headed into Galveston.  Ron had also arranged parking, which also supplied the Shuttle to the Ship.  After we unpacked the cars, we practically filled the bus with luggage and people.  We only had 2 medium bags and 1 carry on…..OMG….Some of them had huge bags and many more than us.  But we made it.  20180408_111424.jpg

This was one of our first views of the ship.  It was nice to be with people who had done this before.  We waited for the porter to load up our bags to be checked.  Ron had supplied us with our baggage tags.  20180408_112808.jpg

We then entered the building and were herded like cattle through the maze of paths to the check in area and then the Customs area where all bags are scanned.  Finally we walked up the enclosed walkways and entered the ship.  20180408_121255.jpg

By that time, our luggage had been checked.  Our carryon’s had been x-rayed.  Our Passports had been checked and our Sea Pass cards had been issued.  These look like credit cards.  You buy a lanyard and wear them around your neck.  This is your life line for the rest of the cruise.  This supply’s your name, room number, dinning room and table number, account number and allows you to purchase anything on board.  It is attached to an account that you have set up using a credit card or cash.  You will also have taken a photo that is attached to your account.  Every time you scan that card, your photo will show for identification.  It also has your area to assemble for a life boat drill on the outside deck.  Heaven forbid that is ever needed.  Late in the cruise, we were given some facts about the ship which I’ll share now.  The ship can actually hold almost 4,000 passengers.  The crew amounts to over 1,300 representing over 50 countries around the world.  At the beginning of a 7 day cruise, they load 496,000 lbs. of food on board.  Every day they cook 26,000 meals.  It is amazing.20180413_084329.jpg

Our rooms weren’t ready till 1pm so we went to lunch.  We found the Windjammer Café which has the buffet.  As we entered we met the Washy Washy man.  There were several Purell dispensers.  They are encouraging everyone to Washy Washy your hands so you don’t get Sicky Sicky. He would sing his little jingle over and over.  Everyone loved him, especially the kids.006_Windjammer

We walked past tables and areas of food.  Their were several other resturants on our way to the Windjammer.  Once we arrived, their were islands and islands and so many stations of food to choose.  All the tables in the dinning area were around the outside lining the wall to wall windows.  What a view.  Right now we were still in the Port overlooking Galveston, but I just couldn’t imagine what it is going to look like once at sea.20180408_131400.jpg

We choose our food and drink and sat down to eat.  We watched as a window washer attachment with a worker washed the windows one by one.   We found out they are constantly cleaning on this ship.  Never a dull moment.  Cleanliness and  trying to be germ free are so important to Royal Caribbean. They were constantly cleaning and disinfecting the miles of handrails on the stairways, cleaning all the glass, as well as even the dust that accumulates in the corners.  They are an amazing crew.  Purell dispensers are everywhere.  Finally while eating, the announcement came, our rooms were all ready.  Windjammer Café is on Deck 11 and our rooms were on Deck 6 on the inside.  We have a window overlooking the Promenade. 20180408_132651.jpg

So Ron and Theresa herded us all to the elevators.  They said to expect the elevators to be so busy the first day, and they were right.  Finally we got one, arrived at our floor and walked down the hallway.  Ron had positioned all our rooms together near the center of the ship.  He said it is the best for first timers to see how the movement of the ship might affect them.  I was anxious to see our room, as I had always heard rooms were so small.  I was impressed.  I really was laid out very nice.  King Size bed with rounded corners, a nice L shaped sitting area with coffee table, and a desk area.  20180408_132737.jpg

The window was overlooking the Promenade Deck which is Deck 5.  What an awesome view out the window.  We would be able to watch all the people walking and shopping down below.  So many shop, restaurants, bars and entertainment will be going on in this area.  You can see the other rooms across from us.  So now what about the bathroom.

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It was very close but also very efficient…Plenty of room for all your essentioals, and the shower was just a capsule,  lol,  but it was fine also.  We had brought 2 medium sized suitcases, so we unpacked quickly, hung up everything we could, and placed everything else on the shelves in the closet.  Just enough space for us.  I really don’t know how the others with their huge suitcases did it.  We had everything in our closet.  They also had a safe for valuables, and of course a TV.  Now we had the announcement that at 3:30, we all had to go to our designated spot on Deck 4 on the outside for Safety training.  Another words…...If an Emergency and the ship is sinking….How to save yourself in a Life Boat…..lol….TITANIC???  lol  That’s what came to my mind…..  We all gathered in our designated areas.  Everyone had to check in by our Sea Pass cards being scanned.  It would begin after all had arrived.  Training was quick and easy.  Finally it was approaching 4pm.  That was the time to leave.  Ron and Theresa lead us up to the Heliport in the front of the ship.  It was a great place to watch our departure.  It was freezing and so windy.  Also in the dock was a Carnival ship that was leaving at the same time.  FB_IMG_1524147818568.jpg

He had told us about the Port Webcams.  I sent the link to the kids.  Tammy was watching as we left the dock area.  We were on the deck right below the little white windows.  After Carnival left, we cast off our lines and we started our adventure.

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Also in the Port was the TALL SHIPS.  They were so small compared to us, but so impressive.  They were so beautiful with their tall sails and many flags waving in the wind.  20180408_155025.jpg

So here we sat on the benches around the front of the ship.  The wind was blowing, we were freezing.  Remember we just came from the Rio Grande Valley, 80 and 90 degrees.  It was only in the 50s.  I guess we are wimps now.  We were now embarking on an Adventure.  We were a floating ship as big as a city.  Everything was aboard that we would need for the next 7 days.  So as we were leaving Ron knew where the different cameras were in the distance.  He was watching the camera feed on the website also.  He told us when to wave….20180419_082814.png

AND WE DID…….Tammy caught this shot of us on the Web Cam……I’m of course the short one, Rich is next to me.  Ron I believe is on the edge of the Photo…….Pretty amazing isn’t it…….So this is the beginning of our Adventure for the 7 days.  So much to learn now about the ship, so much to see, ……SO MUCH UNKNOWN YET……For many of you, I’m sure you’ve been on cruises, but for us its a “CRUISE OF A LIFETIME”  This is actually Ron’s Quote, and he’s so Right.  This is Just the Beginning…..

 

Tour of CBS Channel 4 and other Things

The local CBS TV Station is located in Harlingen.  I have tried to contact them for a tour but I could never seem to connect.  The Red Hats managed to get a date and I was invited.  I was so excited.  I’ve always wanted to see the inside of a TV Station.  When we arrived they first took us into the room where they make commercials.

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They showed us how they make commercials by layering different ribbons of information.  They started with the basic video and added telephone numbers and pictures and anything that keeps the attention of the audience.  They are working with seconds of time on a graph, adding where to stop and start.  It was very interesting.

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Next they took us in a room where the main feed comes in from the network.  All the local cameras either in the building or out in the community are fed into this room.  All the timing and switching the feed between cameras to the online network, are done in this room.

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Then we entered the last room.  This was the studio where all the newscasts take place.  As you looked around, you seen all the different sets that you see on tv, all in one room.  This was March Madness Week.  So no news at noon.  The room was empty so were able to wander around and try out all the sets.

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This is the monitor that they read from.  It is sitting right by the camera in front of the staging area.  We all gathered around the Lifestyles set.

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The lighting was bright but so perfect.  We were all so colorful in our red and purple.

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Next we went to the weather screen.  lol  I was pretending to do the weather.  As you see the back wall is green, but looking in the monitor, the blue background and Channel 4 logo has been applied.  When they do the weather, they have to watch these monitors to be able to point at the map.  Their is the one by the screen as well as in front of them near the camera.  Quit interesting.  FB_IMG_1522972708827.jpg

We moved over to the News Center.  You can see the monitor in the table.  We took turns taking our group pictures 20180316_121518.jpg

Our guide was right next door at the Storm tracker Center.  You see all the monitors in the back ground.  This was really a fun trip.  I talked to the guide to set up a tour for next fall.  Today the station was empty, but generally they would have been busier at this time.  We would have been able to see the news cast.  So next fall I will set up a tour and well see what happens that day.  I was so grateful for the Red Hats for inviting me and lending me a Red Hat to wear.  FB_IMG_1521899879641.jpg

Last Friday, we had our Farewell Potato Bake that is supplied by the owner.  We had over 150 people sign up.  We ordered huge Texas size potatoes from the Veggie Man.  We supplied sour cream and butter, and everyone brought a condiment to share at their table.  20180323_172707.jpg

From the Super Bowl, we had left over Pulled Pork for a potato topper, and Nachos and Cheese.  I prepared Veggies and dip for Happy Hour.  Rich and his crew started cooking and preparing the potatoes in the morning and by 4pm Happy Hour began.  5 pm we Ate.  After the potato, we served Ice Cream from the Activity Board.  Finally I showed my Seasonal Video.  I take all the pictures of the season and put them together and make a slide show to music.  This year I had 157 pictures, a number of short videos that we took at some occasions, and added 4 songs, making it 20 minutes long.  The evening was finished off with drawings.  The prizes were restaurant cards that can be used for their trip home. Applebees, I-Hop, Burger King, etc.  6 cards totaling $100. Finally it has come time to say good bye.  So many are pulling out and heading back north.  The park is empting out.  But……..The weather is bad up their.  They are all giving up 80 degree weather for snow and 30s.  They are also having an unusual winter.  More snow is forecast.  But away they go…………..

Since April was on the 1st, I pulled rank and said I would not be handling Easter this year.  My contract is technically done the end of March.  We needed a break.   They had to figure out who was going to cook hams for Easter.  They did succeed and around 60 people signed up.  We went to Padre with several friends.  It ended up being 9 of us. 20180401_132055.jpg

After dinner Theresa and Ron and us, went to the beach.  It was beautiful down by the beach.  The water was chilly, as it was only around 74, but it is warming up every day.20180401_202842.jpg

I went wading in the waves on the beach.  It was a little cold, but you grew accustomed to it.  Their were so many families enjoying the weather and the water.

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Kids making sand castles, and kids playing ball in the water.  It was a perfect relaxing way to spend Easter.  Finally time to do a little shopping, and then DQ, and head home.  So nice that this whole atmosphere is only 45 minutes away.   Anytime we desire, we can just hop in the car and drive to the beach.  Everyday can be a Vacation…..Retirement is Grand….20180401_210229.jpg

Next week is going to be an Exciting Week.  We are doing something that we have never done before.   Its another 1st……….Another bucket list check off…..Stay Tuned for the next Blog……

Catching Up on This Seasons Events

The Winter Season is now over as of April 1st.  What a fast year.  This blog will contain some of the activities we did in Feb and March.  Time for catch up.  We took a wonderful trip from South Padre Island by boat down to the Port of Brownsville.

1553_1518750428081.jpeg I was surprised at the amount of people.  We had over 40 people sign up and we all carpooled to the Island.  It was a Beautiful day.  We were in for a 4 hour ride with all the free beer you could drink.  I sure don’t know why they never ran out.  A few of our guys, (not mentioning any names)….lol…drank their share and many many more.  In fact coolers went home fuller than they were before.  The weather was perfect.  When we went down into the port, we entered the Shrimp Basin where many shrimp boats were docked.  20180215_141650.jpgThese shrimp boats were dry docked for repairs.  Down farther we entered the actual Port of Brownsville that is protected by Home Land Security.  These are the ship yards were ships are dismantled and sold for scrap.  It takes up to 2 years to scrap a ship.

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This is what remains of the USS Constitution.  So sad to see these great ships that served and protected our country, being torn apart.  Also the USS Forrester is still their.  This is a very large Port containing 4 different Scrap Companys.  20180215_132120.jpg

We finally turned around and headed back.  It was a gorgeous day to be out on the water.  This was the upper deck of the boat.  It held around 100 people.  Most of the people were our Eastgate folks, but they also had some others on board.

Our friend Glen also had his Birthday.  Now he is just a spoiled little boy at heart.  He kept waiting for a birthday cake every day, starting the 1st of they month.  He would post on FB….”NO CAKE TODAY”.….Kathy was going to have a small surprise party for him, but surprises never seem to work out.  Last year our good friends Cathy and Bud were here from Canada.  20170219_175548.jpg

We had bought this pretty confetti cake.  We were at my camper just around the corner from Glen and Kathy, trying to light the candles and surprise him.  Cathy turned around and the cake flew off the board....OMG....We laughed till our sides hurt.  Finally we scrapped it up, put it back on the board and delivered it to Glen singing Happy Birthday.

20170219_181233.jpg Oh what a riot it was.  Everyone just cracked up laughing.  He had plenty other cakes but everyone even ate that one.  No one cared.  Well this year, Cathy and Bud couldn’t make it, so Cathy wanted me to get a cupcake, smash it upside down and give it to him…..20180217_172427.jpg

So here it is.  I put a sparkler in it and some ribbons.  We all had a good laugh, but sure missed Cathy and Bud.  Its something how people come for a season and you all become fast friends.  Cathy and Bud was one of those.  Somebody who was such fun and such good friends.

The Rotary Club of Harlingen has adopted us this year.  They bought the Veterans in our park breakfast last year and this year for Veterans Day.  They want to give back and show appreciation for all the Winter Texans do in the Community.  The have also started a flag program.  On the appropriate holidays of the year, flags will be placed in front of the park for the day.  Each flag is a donation of $50 for the year.  It will be assigned to a certain Veteran to Commemorate their service.  When Landon, the president of the Rotary explained the program, we had the service men start to challenge each other to purchase a flag.  By the time we were done, we had 20 flags purchase (even 1 Canadian Flag) to fly the first time on Flag Day.  20180219_103804.jpg

The local paper came and wrote an article for their paper and took pictures.  This is Landon and his 2 girls, who each sang a solo for our Veterans.  Also a few of our VeteransIt was a proud day.  Seeing those flags fly and hear the breeze blow was so inspiring.  20180219_082818.jpg

Next we had our first Luau.  One of the lady’s went to a Luau at another park and wanted to have one.  We set the date and away she went with planning.

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By the time she was done.  Her and her committee put on a fabulous Luau.  We had a regular sit down dinner serving pork or chicken cooked with authentic Hawaiian recipes.  At the beginning a Pigs Head was placed on a cart and pushed around the room.  Steve was dressed in a Hula skirt, while the Emcee and him exchanged a dialog about the pigs head.20180304_172816.jpg

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They called him …”HENRY”……He was surrounded in flowers with an apple in his mouth.  It was a riot.  People were roaring in laughter.  We also found some authentic Hula Girls over in McAllen.  20180304_181628.jpg

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They were just awesome.   They had several changes of costume.  The performance lasted around 45 minutes.  Then they had some men come up.  …….So so Funny……

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The men good naturedly, took their place on stage and was dressed in coconut shells and hula skirts.  They were a riot.  They were taught a dance and had to perform it.  It was a fabulous evening.  It was well planned, the Committee did a Wonderful Job…..

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We also went to Gladys Porter Zoo in Brownsville.  It is a wonderful zoo that has their animals all in natural settings.  We got the VIP Behind the Scenes Tour.  We were taken in some of the back areas to see how the animals are feed and taken care of.  We walked the first half of the zoo and passed by many animals.  We seen so many different monkeys, birds, rhinoceros, etc.

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We were taken into the Galapagos Turtle area.  They love celery like we like candy.  Everyone got to feed them.  20180308_111931.jpg

This guy is around 50 years old.  He is huge and weighs a lot.  We were told to watch our toes, cause if they stepped on our toes it would hurt….lol….We then went inside a building to where the Kangaroos were.  20180308_104843.jpg

We were take down in small groups to where there inside house was.  They like to eat certain tree branches and bushes.  She told us how far they can jump.  If they had a larger area, they could run and jump up easily to where I was taking this picture.  She also said to move slowly, no sudden moves, as they can really punch and kick.  You could be injured.  20180308_110448.jpg

As we left they all lined up.  Now it almost looked scary as if they were plotting a massacre.  Finally after more walking we boarded the train.

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We were able to ride to the Giraffes.  This was a cool little train that went through the park passing so many animals.  Tigers, Lions, Camels, Gazelles, Zebras, Elephants, etc.

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Finally we made it to the giraffes.  They also ate the leaves on branches.  They would bend their head down to us to take the branch.  They finished the tour by giving us a nice lunch.  They brought in a Parrot and a little turtle to touch and hold after we ate.  It was really a great tour.  So this is just a few more things we did with more to come.  Ill finish with a cute picture…….Remember our “Beautiful Pot Hole Tree”?   On Valentines Day a Beautiful Heart showed up in the Pot Hole…..

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Such a Beautiful Remembrance……lol..   It too, did not last…..Someone took it away…..