Thursday, November 5, 2015

San Diego to Home

Finale - San Diego to home

After leaving Cabo San Lucas we set our sights for our final port of call and disembarkation point of San Diego. 

Today is November 4th and it's our last day at sea. I've been on board since October 17th, embarking in Boston. According to our captain we have sailed over 5,000 nautical miles from Boston. For those passengers that started earlier in Quebec, Canada, they have sailed over 7,000 nautical miles!

Along the way, we've enjoyed 9 sea days, 8 ports of call, and spent a full day going through the famed and awe inspiring Panama Canal. I'm told we were very fortunate to have enjoyed spectacular weather on the day of our crossing. It was clear and sunny and not terribly hot, although the sun was brutal if you were out there unprotected. Not counting the U.S. we visited five countries - Colombia, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Guatemala, and Mexico.  

God willing, I will be repeating much of this same itinerary in January 2017 when I embark on my long awaited dream of a world cruise. It will be fun to go through the Canal for a second time and especially interesting to either pass through the new expanded set of locks that are set to open in 2016, which will make transit through the Canal a possibility for even larger ships, or at least watch the bigger ships go through the locks parallel to us. I will also look forward to exploring new areas and excursions in these countries that I have missed this first time around. 

This cruise was either my 15th or 16th - after awhile you lose count - but it is the first one where I have ever been sick.  This cruise I've experienced that dreaded "gastrointestinal" bug, a cold (but thankfully just a mild one), heartburn, and overall general blahness. Unless I'm feeling particularly lazy (and I confess to that here and there) I like to walk around the outside promenade deck every morning, trying to do at least two miles and sometimes three. This cruise I managed only two days.  One day I struggled to complete one mile. Today I accomplished three miles. I'm so tired of feeling physically crappy that I thought if I walked a brisk pace for a good length of time that I could sweat out whatever nasty toxins have taken up residence in my body and I'd feel better.  

I've learned new things on this trip. I've learned beginning Bridge, Mah Jongg (and I won my first hand a few days ago!) and  I've also attended culinary demonstrations and learned how to make a few new cool vegetarian dishes. I brought along two books to read and finished them both. I've done 20 daily sudoku puzzles. I've met some wonderful and fascinating people on board, from as close as Reno to as far away as New Zealand and Australia. Some of these people have shared their insights about their own travel experiences as well as interesting new homeopathic remedies for jet lag and muscle cramping. One woman was also kind enough to give me wonderful tips on working on my family tree, a project I started a few years ago. 

Our ship's departure process got delayed for over an hour this morning so I missed my flight home. Had to rebook a later flight. Sigh. However, while sitting at the gate waiting to board I heard that the entire San Diego airport got shut down yesterday afternoon due to a sniper shooting at incoming planes. Yikes. Good thing I came back today......

Traveling is so much more than
packing your suitcase and visiting someplace new. I guess, for me, it's about opening my mind and heart to all of the blessings that are before me. I always come back home changed in some way. Kind of like a tree that grows a new branch. Still a tree, but fuller somehow. 

I guess on that note, I'll say goodbye for now. Stay tuned for January 2016 when I'm off to South America and Antarctica on another adventure!

Some final photos:

The Veendam's mystery box cooking comp - between Food Services Manager (left) and Jeremy, our Cruise Director.

Esteban and Alexis - culinary demos

 My cabin.

Enjoying the many gorgeous sunsets

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