It was a lovely day to catch up with Chris n Christina in Elizabeth bay today. The sun was hot when it came out from behind the clouds and proved winter is not here yet.
Mum and dad you will recognise the house.
I have to say my favourite song of all time and the one that nearly brings me to tears every time I listen is Groove Armadas Edge Hill. To quote a comment I read once and I couldn’t write it better myself:
“That mid-section keeps on reaching higher highs and renewing itself. And the acoustic guitar is like running water
One of the most classical pieces of electronica ever made. Been a favourite of mine for years”
and the original album version from 2001:
Our last day of our honeymoon, sad 🙁 and we had a 7 hour stopover in Los Angeles. We looked up on the net where is close to LAX airport to spend a few hours. We found Manhattan beach just 15 mins drive south of the airport.
It’s not a touristy beach like Santa Monica we visited before and had a real local feel. We got dropped off by the taxi and walked out to the pier end. Quite a few surfers and body boarders. Look at how many houses there are going off into the distance.
Manhattan beach turns out to be the home of beach volleyball. There were about 50 beach volleyball courts on the beach.
Hope the surfers don’t find a shark this big with them.
There are some lovely designed houses along the beach front and all are unique in their designs.
A lovely sunset to finish our last day on our honeymoon
So many countries we have been to. For me the highlight was the islands in the Caribbean. The waters were blue and warm, the people were friendly.
Where it was nicer over the amazon was it was less humid and people weren’t trying to sell things to you a lot of the time. Oh yeah no yellow fever mosquitoes either. It was a experience to say you’ve been to and seen the amazon though.
It’s our last full day of our honeymoon and we docked early at 7am at Fort Lauderdale. Welcome to the USA, the world of copy and paste, fast food and brands at every turn.
We got off the ship (it was sad to leave it behind) and picked up our hire car quickly. We planned to drive the length of Florida keys. From the beginning at the north east to Keys West down in the south west.
Sanna organised a Ford Mustang convertible for the drive which wasn’t expensive at all apparently. A white muscle car so I’m showing my muscles.
Mustangs are relatively cheap for a sports car in the USA so we saw a lot of them.
Driving on Florida keys, the roads are straight and over light blue water.
The water is shallow all around.
Some of the old bridges connecting the keys have fallen into a bad way so they replace with new bridges.
Lots of shipwrecks in the keys and lots of diving history about also.
We got to west key at the end of Florida keys and first thing was to find a car park. This is another monster of a car!
European convertible versus American convertible.
How about this for a parking solution. You put $15 in a envelope and put it in the post box and call a phone number to tell them your plate number.
Some of the houses in Keys West were quite old looking and quaint.
The main street in Keys West.
Sloppy Joe’s is a long time famous bar in Keys West. Live music all day, the warm smell of beer in the air
and sloppy food, didn’t think much of the food but it wasn’t expensive at all.
Look Ernest Hemingway’s house! I can’t remember what he was famous for? A poet? Answers on a post card please.
The Southernmost point of mainland USA!
This is the Southernmost beach of the USA. What a beautiful place to be married, shame we’ve done that now, this place would be beautiful!
Next stop a quick stopover in LA.
I woke up early to try and make the most of my final day on ship and to watch the sunrise
For lunchtime there was the ‘galley market’ where they open up the gallery to give you every gourmet food you could think of. It was a FEAST.
Sanna laying by the pool after the massive lunch, we both felt so full
That evening was a final dance party and Sanna danced off the lunch
A small post today as we have today and tomorrow our last days of the cruise at sea cruising to Fort Lauderdale in Florida USA. Its amazing when you look at the map just how far we’ve gone
Its been 3331 nautical miles covered when we reach Fort Lauderdale. The ships gallery has calculated 34,000 bread sticks have been eaten on the cruise.
Tonight we went to a short show where the captain and the staff paraded with flags from there country to say goodbye and we all clapped and cheered to say our thanks.
Then we had dinner with the captain and I got to ask some questions that have been on my mind like “what do you do if the anchor gets caught on a rock in the sea?” He’s been a captain of cruise ships for 25 years so of course he knew all the answers.
After dinner we went to the observation bar which is at the top at the front. This is our favourite evening bar on the ship as Claudio the bar man there is the fastest cocktail maker on the ship and he always gives us gossip of what’s happening on the ship.
We watched the ‘Hangover Part 2’ late at night then fell asleep.
Today is our last stop in the Caribbean and our last stop on our cruise which is sad. We are stopping on the tiny island of Jost van Dyke in the British virgin islands.
Here we are climbing onto the modern tender boat for the last time
It was nice to be on a beautiful Caribbean island again but this time everyone and everything was in English.
We went on a snorkeling trip to the island that was in the book ‘Treasure island’.
We did some snorkeling which had no turtles this time but lots of tropical fish to see. There were 3 caves you could snorkel into but they got a bit dark and scary inside so we didn’t go too far in.
I don’t have any photos of the snorkeling but here I am trying another of the local rums. Each island has at least one local rum and its not much more to buy than the cost of bottled water. This local rum was called ‘Paradise rum’.
After snorkeling we visited Pirates bight, Norman island for a rest.
After that stopover we returned by 45 minutes boat back to Jost van Dyke to explore the beach front. It was like paradise.
Now this is what you called beached
The famous Foxy’s bar who was a local musician who opened this bar and by the looks of some photos he was knighted.
This is a lucky monkey 🙂
Ah its paradise in a hammock
In the evening there was a small sailaway party on deck with some gourmet foods, parma ham from Italy, caviar etc. Danny the guitar player was walking around playing relaxing tunes also.
Tonights evening the staff of the ship asked to do something for our honeymoon. The restaurant manager asked what our favourite food was and cooked it just for us.
They asked us to goto the spa section at the back and top of the ship which is a private area. They laid a table just for 2 looking out the rear of the ship.
They made a bubble bath with flower petals in it and a rest bed.
And there was a balcony to overlook the rear of the ship and to watch the stars.
We had a bubble bath between the starter and the main which made my bad tummy feel better.
The dessert we asked for was a chocolate ganache pudding with vanilla ice cream, our favourite.
After dinner Sanna was a bit drunk from red wine and did a drunken chicken impression and then fell asleep.
We are at our 2nd to last stop on our cruise now and it is the very beautiful and very rich island of St Barts.
This is again a small island 7km by 4km in size and is the most expensive island in the Caribbean. Hotel rooms here start at several hundred Euro’s a night (as this is a French owned island) up to 20,000 a night for the top end.
It is the favourite short holiday destination for all the rich and famous with designer brands of clothes and other luxury items at every corner.
The cheapest smallest house on the island is about 2 million euros to buy. Even a coffee in a hotel is around 8 euros!
Everything is priced so high to keep it exclusive you cannot even stay 1 night on the island without a fair amount of money.
The water is so blue and the bays are so beautiful.
We took a minibus tour of the island. The air con broke down and there was no windows, we all felt so uncomfortable and I felt sick from the heat.
We had a free tour and lunch included. This is where we had lunch and the views from the pool were good.
How about this for a big bottle of rose wine.
We were hot!
I didn’t take any photos of the big name designer shops but there were every brand you could thing of. Nothing as low as Nike or sports brands allowed and not 1 fast food place on the island just restaurants only.
It was a beautiful stop today, a small island named Terre-de-Haut with lots of french culture, a small piece of France in the Caribbean.
As soon as you step ashore it is a real colourful place, it looks Caribbean but all the language and signs are french. Caribbean foods mixed with French things like crepes.
The main bay is particularly pretty with its different coloured houses.
Funny little car from the locals.
It started to rain very heavy so we looked into a couple of shops. These black babies made me laugh, made me think of the Little Britain sketch when the young council estate mum said “I wanna Black baby like the other mums” 🙂
I also found this food ‘Rape grated’ that can’t be good!
The houses are very pretty and looked after.
We explored the quieter side of the small island with a walk to a beach on the far side, which was deserted.
After the walk to the beach we stopped at a small beach front restaurant for lunch. The style of food was more Caribbean than French which was good.
They made a coconut rum punch and it was so laced with rum Sanna couldn’t drink it at all (she made the funniest dace when she drank it). It was even too strong for me. They said the locals run is 50% and is a bit strong for off islanders. I watered it down and then it was nice.
For lunch this is coconut chicken with a banana I think mild curry sauce and rice.
Sanna had Caribbean salad which had prawns and fish in it. They both tasted great.
On the way back we walked past the recycling plant, these crushed bottles and cans looked cool I though, the photos sent very sharp though.
Tonight just as we were leaving port I spotted this big traditional clipper boat sailing out to sea.