Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The sound of snow

Yes, snow does make a sound in N. Michigan. I awoke this morning a little before 5 to the sound of the snowplow. The first thing you hear is the big sound of the dropping of the plow blade right next to the house. Then there is the sound of scraping across the driveway. This sound is repeated several times until you are sure that you are awake. I tried to get back to sleep but the day ahead of me kept coming into my conscious so I decided that must be a message to get up. The house is silent and the coffee is good. It does feel good to be back in our own space. BUT when Bud and I climbed into bed last night it did seem strange too. We have been gone for more than a month and it seems like we were in another world for that time. It is a strange feeling, kind of like we lost some time. In a way we did lose some "Michigan time" but gained "world time". I'm not sure that makes much sense but we have this experience that we share with each other and a bunch of other people from all around the U.S. It is a bit like having "another life" for a short time. I like the feeling of being back in my 'Michigan life' but am a little nostalgic for that other life. Confusing?

We had perfect connections from Miami yesterday. We had a long layover in Detroit and an on time connection to TC. Walt picked us up and OUR LUGGAGE ARRIVED WITH US. I am always excited when my luggage arrives with me. It's the little things in life that make me happy.

On the way home from the airport I was struck by the CHRISTMAS decorations. We didn't see very many decorations in S. America. Now, they did have some out but not like here where everyone decorates their houses and the shopping need is obvious. I am kind of glad that we missed that. I did most of my shopping before I left but will need to get the last minute things in the next few days.

Like I said we have snow on the ground here. I guess they had quite a storm last week. I will need to get in the winter driving groove. We have snow in the forecast for the next few days and the temps are cold.

I left my "fall/Thanksgiving" decorations out here at the house. I'm not sure that I will put out many Christmas decorations this year. It will depend on how much time I have and how inspired I become. We will get our tree up as soon as possible but that will take a bit of time. Christmas will just be low key for us this year.

It was great to hear voices the past few days. I have been catching up slowly and will continue to make contact. Thanks for following along with our adventure. It sure beats working.

Monday, December 14, 2009


We landed in Miami yesterday morning (Sunday) and all of our luggage came with us. That is always a good sign. Our plane laned about 6 and we made it though customs and all that stuff at the airport quite quickly. We said good-by once more to the last of the people that flew with us to Miami and headed off for our hotel. We had an early checkin so we brushed our teeth and were in bed by about 9:30. We slept until about 2 and then decided it was time to get up. That was when we started calling family. It was good to talk to some of you and catch up on things going on in the family. We have really enjoyed this blogging thing. I haven't decided if I will continue or not but am thinking about it. It was kind of difficult to make postings on the ship because we had to pay a LOT for a connection so I didn't get very poetic or have time to look over my spelling very well. It was so great to get comments from many of you from time to time. I felt a little isolated away from family that long.

We decided that we needed to take a short walk so we walked along this road that the hotel is on, looking for a place to eat, The place we were looking for was closed so we walked back to the hotel and their shuttle bus took us to another place to eat. We then came back to the hotel and watched a little Suday evening TV. I was asleep by 9 and we are both well rested this morning.

We have come to a couple of conclusiions regarding long term traveling. I'm not too sure that we will do another trip that is this long. We won't do another ocean crossing either. We will need to spend some time talking to Sara and Leo regarding how to travel for longer periods and not get 'travel weary'.

Our plane leaves around 1 this afternoon. We have a layover in Detroit and will be home aboout 8 tonight. We have LOTS of dirty laundry and I am sure that will keep me busy for a few days. I am looking forward to doing some 'ordinary' things but will miss having my bed made and then turned down in the evening. I don't think that Bud is planning to put chocolates on my pillow every night. I also don't think that I will cook such great meals and serve Bud like they did on the ship. A little culture shock may be in order for the two of is.

We had a terrific time. I am excited to share other parts of our trip with many of you at Christmas. Others of you I think that I will put more on the blog when I settle in at home.


Friday, December 11, 2009

Falkland island pictures

This is called the King Penguin. I think they look the cutest.
I enjoyed trying to get a picture of this lone King Penguin

This kind of penguin is called the Rock Hopper Penguin (I think but am not sure.) It has an interesting little 'topknot' hairdo. This kind were sitting on eggs and some had little chicks already hatched.

Cute penguins??? First of all I wanted to let you know that Bud is much better this morning. He slept very well and had breakfast. His temp is down to normal and he is 'resting' today. We have a slow day for our last day so he will watch a movie in the room and nap. The seas are MUCH more rough today so I may use some drugs to help with that myself. We are heading for the Begal Channel which will take us to our final destination tomorrow.
Yesterday we saw LOTS of penguins. Our hike in the morning took us past 4 kinds of penguins.
We are flying out some time in the afternoon tomorrow. We will arrive in Miami Sunday morning quite early and then we are spending the night there and flying out Monday morning. I hope the Michigan weather allows us to get home. I have been following the news a little bit and am aware that there has been quite a storm/blizzared in the mid-west. I am ready to be home but not quite ready for the snow. I think this will be my last post since we will be very busy tomorrow.
I have really enjoyed posting these messages and picking up your comments. I will sort through our pictures and share some of them with you when we get home.
I am looking forward to seeing many of you soon.
Much love

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Penguins, Penguins, Penguins

We saw 4 different kinds of penguins this morning. Our ship was at anchor in a small harbor and we took small boats into shore. Then we hiked a bit of a ways, past several kinds of penguins. I got a lot of good pictures but didn't get them ready to upload just yet. This afternoon our ship moved to a different small cove and we went ashore again. This hike was much farther and there weren't as many penguins. I went alone on the afternoon trip. Bud is feeling a little under the weather. I put him to bed with some tylonal and some Tamaflu that we brought along. He had a slightly elevated temp. and is tired. We have day at sea tomorrow and leave on Saturday. I'm not sure how much time I have left on this internet card and probably won't buy another one so this may be my last post. We continue to have a great time ( except for Bud now) but are looking forward to being home.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Falkland Islands

Well, we are in the Falkland Islands this morning. Bud got up about 5 and watched us come into port. We are VERY lucky because the seas are fairly calm. We are tied up at a pier so we will go into the town of Stanley this morning. We have two choices of tours this morning, a city tour or a nature walk. We decided to go on the city tour even though it is a very small city. We want to hear the history of the city and the islands. We have the afternoon free so we will stay in for lunch and then go on a walk by ourselves without a guide. Tomorrow we go to 2 different islands for bird and penguin watching. According to our guides the penguins come right up to the people so we should have some great pictures to pass on tomorrow night or the next day.
Thank you for the news from home. It was a nice surprise about Josh getting married. I am a happy aunt. We have just 3 more nights on the boat before the end of our trip. It sure has been a wonderful experience. We took lots of pictures so we will edit them before showing them. We both have cameras and since they are digital we just snap away.
I am making my post early this morning while Bud is taking his shower after his early morning time on deck. The weather is much cooler here, I think it is in the 40s or so. The sun was shining earlier but it is cloudy now. I hope it comes back out.
More pictures to come.

Monday, December 7, 2009

another whale picture

We were on a smaller boat than the one in the picture but had a good time watching the whales.

wildlife in patgonia

Yesterday we went out to see the wildlife in Patagonia. We docked at a city called Puerto Madryn and took a bus to a game reserve on the Valdes Peninsula. On the way we saw Guanaco which look like a lama. I don't have time to look up a picture on google for you so you have to do it yourself. We also saw Darwin's Rhea which look like an ostrich. We went whale watching for about 2 hours. We were blessed with wonderful sightings of whales right near our boat. This area is a whale breeding and calfing area so we saw mother whales with their year old calfs. They will be leaving for Antarctica soon. We also saw similiar whales (Right Whales) right off our boat this morning. We probably saw about 6 whales, some of them were really quite close to the boat. We are a small enought ship that the captain can slow down and circle around the whales which he did for about a half of an hour. A great way to wake up in the morning.

After whale watching yesterday we ate at a local diner. It was an OK meal but not our usual quality that we have here on our ship. We stayed in that city until about 11 last night and then took off for the Falkland Islands. We have 2 days at sea to the Falklands and then 2 days on the islands. We have been blessed with wonderful weather and the captain says that we should continue to have good weather so our stay at the Falklands should be nice.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

words from home

Thank you, thank you for the news from home. I am getting over my temporary homesickness. I am also excited about Erik being home for Christmas and the fact that it sounds like Matt and Diana are getting slowly closer to having their own home. I hope they have some pictures at Christmas. I also hope that everyone is feeling better. I feel in touch with many of you again.

Today we are at sea again, on our way to Puerto Madryn to see penguins and right whales. It seems that they were named right whales because they were the 'right whales' to kill by the early whalers. Yesterday we spent the afternoon in Mar Del Plata Argentina. It was a nice little resort town with the largest seashell museum possible. Last night we did some star gazing after dinner. We were able to see the Southern Cross. The nights are getting shorter and so it was the best night for star gazing. We also saw a whale a couple of days ago at sea. We should be seeing more animal and bird life as we move south. I am anxious to see penguins tomorrow. That should be fun. We have been whale watching before but this is the first time for penguins outside of a zoo. The weather has turned cooler but kind of like June in Michigan. I am getting to wear my long pants and sweaters now.

Well, that is about all for now. We have a lecture coming up soon. Love you all.

Friday, December 4, 2009

home stretch

Well, we are on the home stretch of our journey. The weather has cooled off. We have a stop in Argentina this afternoon and then two days at sea to the Fulkland Islands. I am unsure of the spellings of those two places. I usually look them up but this is an 'impulse' posting. We have been gone a long time and I am getting a little 'homesick' but I am sure that it will pass. After the 2 days at sea the weather will get more exciting and we should see more wildlife. We just have 8 more days on the ship and a couple of traveling days. We have really enjoyed ever aspect of this trip and are looking forward to unusual wildlife and countryside of the more remote parts of the remaining of the trip.
Leave me a message or a reminder of home and I will bless you with more pictures.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

I'm moving to Uruguay

Yesterday we had a wonderful trip to Punta Del Este Urugurary. I think that it is a city that I could live in. We went ouot tin the morning to visit the Sea Lions. A bumpy ride but great rewards at the end.
In the afternoon we went on a city tour and then to visit the house of a local artist. His house was very unusual.
Today we came int Montevideo in the morning. We did a city tour and I did a little shopping when we returned for lunch. Maybe some Christmas presents?????? It depends on what I am willing to give up. This afternoon we went wine tasting. Life is so tough for us.

Isn't this just a fun picture??? I couldn't resist sending it along.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

back at sea

Sunday we arrived in Santos which is a port city. We took the day tour up into Sao Paulo. Sao Paulo is an industrial city. We wanted to see this city and spend a bit of time inland. The bus trip was nice up through the mountains. It is interesting to see the country side. It was a rainy and overcast day and a Sunday so we didn't get out a lot. We ate lunch at a traditional BBQ. They have a large hot and cold buffett and then they come around with many different kinds of meat on a stick. They carve the meat off for you right at the table. It is a meat lovers heaven. This is the second time that we have indulged in this kind of dining but the newcomers to the boat needed a chance to experience the BBQ.
Monday we left Santos and are now on our way to Punta Del Este. We are spending 2 days traveling there. This stopping point wasn't in our plans but they added it when they canceled a couple of other stops. We will be going out in a little boat to a place caled Sea Wolf Island. We won't get off there but will be able to see the island. We will also explore the town.
Last night the waters became more bumpy. We really have been lucky with pretty calm seas. This morning we woke up to waves and the pounding of the ship against the waves. However, we were still able to eat breakfast outside on the deck. The temp. is a little cooler. Maybe we will start wearing our long pants soon.
We have only 11 more days left. That is hard to believe. We are still enjoying ourselves very much. I am also enjoying the time at sea a bit more. We won't have any long stretches at sea from now on, 2 days is our longest stretch. The lectures continue to be very interesting. I have managed to do a little 'trinket' shopping and managed to buy a few items for myself and others. Both of us are keeping busy at sea by reading. Bud continues to hold the record for the most massages on this trip. The fellow passengers are interesting and we have good mealtime conversations. Today we will be at sea and then on land tomorrow. I will try to continue to update you with pictures and maybe a bit more wildlife as we go south.