Larry & Maureen's Travel Adventures travel blog

Pat and Steve arrived for Thanksgiving and Maureen and Pat wasted no...

 

Chinese buffet

Some more help with the quilt

Flapper Pie for Thanksgiving dinner

Aaron's lunch one day

Hardie Shakes on the gable

The kitchen cabinets arrived on October 12.

Followed by the appliances.

Maureen finally got the quilt finished on October 21

Sailboats and anchors

And seagulls!

Fall colours

Maureen and Karen - visitors from Cochrane, AB who used to own...

The vinyl plank in the living room

Turquoise colour for the bedrooms

Vinyl sheet in the main bathroom

More vinyl sheet in the laundry room

The entry door has arrived!

Working on the ensuite shower

Sorting out the kitchen cabinets

And starting to install

Larry and Aaron bringing the appliances inside.

This is Motoko's new favourite place to sleep.

2016 Family Christmas photo

Starting to look like something!

Ensuite shower

Ensuite vanity

Main bathroom vanity and linen closet

Getting ready to board in Vancouver November 4

Pool and hot tub at Hampton Inn & Suites, San Juan Puerto...

Orchids attached to the palm trees

Ann Marie, Barry, Bob and Judy arrived late on the 4th.

On board the ship in San Juan harbour

Old San Juan from the ship

Arriving in St Croix on November 6

Fort Frederik at the cruise ship dock

Our city tour lead us past lots of rainforest and Senepol cows

Hanging vines

 

Beautiful view from the lookout

Salt River Basin

 

Either a box elder bug or a milkweed bug - all over...

 

Barry in the water at Carambola

 

Larry waiting for us to join him

We had some time to kill and met Shanika at the resort...

November 7 was our only sea day - and this was the...

Coming into Fort de France, Martinique on November 8

 

Our ship, the Celebrity Summit

Narrow streets

 

Church under repair

 

 

Fort de France

 

 

Building with ferns growing out of it

Tourist!

Coming into Roseau, Dominica November 9

 

Cemetery on our short city tour

Beautiful views

Bananas

Our ship from up the hill

Our first stop was an old Garrison

One of many baseball fields

 

Very narrow winding roads

Banyon tree at the Botanical Gardens

This tree crashed onto a school bus during a hurricane

Houses across from Mero Beach

$5 per lawn chair and $2 for shade

Big black clouds finally brought some rain

 

Nice sunset as we leave Dominica

Arriving in Basseterre, St. Kitts

The Norwegian Gem arrived just before us.

Did a walkabout with the scooter and found a park

 

 

A local resting in the shade

Ann Marie

Maureen

Larry having a one dollar beer at MaPau Casino near the dock

Maureen had a couple too!

Arriving in Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas November 11

Water fun

 

 

 

Found a two hour city tour to take

 

 

Iguana

Magens Bay

 

This is the terminal that we were at the last time we...

Maureen and Lady Gaga

Now her name is apparently Monica Lewinski

 

Another iguana

Former jail

Another iguana sunning at the shore

Gorgeous sunset!

Ann Marie and Barry

Judy and Bob

Short tour after the ship arrived. Maureen and Ann Marie deciding where...

We found the Blessed Cafe. Medallen beer were $1 each. We had...

Our arranged tour did not work out so we rented a car...

Maureen had her picture taken with Barack Obama. First president to visit...

Capitol Building, San Juan

 

Maureen and Larry went wandering out Hwy 187. The road kept getting...

And we found a lovely beach

Sadly lots of garbage left behind

After we picked Ann Marie and Barry up we came back out...

Seaweed on the rocks

 

 

 

What the locals do!

On the recommendation of another traveller, waiting in line for a table...

 

 

Amazing food - fish and chips!

Fish tacos

 

The next day we toured Castillo San Cristobal. Larry was unable to...

Three flags

Wear and tear

Sleeping quarters for the troops

Weaponry

A fountain below

A sentry house

View from one of the gun turrets.

Looking toward Castillo San Felipe

 

Castillo San Felipe

The following few was what Larry was able to get to -...

The dungeons

 

 

 

 

Totem de Lurico Statue was erected to commemorate the 500th anniversary of...

An old church in Old San Juan

Lunch at Senor Frog's

On the ceiling - butts in inner tubes

Incredible taco salad

Burger

Such concentration!

Welcome to the Bacardi Rum Tour!

Those are iguanas in the grass

Various kinds of rum

The oldest

The old way of distilling

Our guide, Raoldo, pulled out the lift for Larry's scooter everytime we...

 

Mixology class - Mojito, Daiquiri and a Cuba Libre (rum and coke)

A student

A couple more students

Our graduation certificates

 

On our way back to the hotel there was gridlock everywhere

 

 

The others left the morning of the 15th. We had a 6...

Live mantle and the fireplace. Just need the trim

Pantry door

LED lights under the kitchen cabinets

A surprise visit on Maureen's lap!


Work has continued on the house. Larry has been amazing at organizing everyone, sometimes two or more trades in one day.

The kitchen cabinets arrived and Kalven went about installing them. He found a few glitches, a few pieces missing and a few extra pieces. We discussed this with Kitchen Craft and Kalven kept track of the hours he put in fixing things and we have submitted that bill for reimbursement. He's done a beautiful job. On November 21 he installed the counter top in the laundry and the rest of the knobs and pulls.

It appears that most things will be done by the end of November - move-in date is November 29. We will be in before final inspection because it is not possible to have the concrete driveway in as it has not stopped raining.

And now for something completely different!!

We had planned a cruise a long time ago, thinking that we would be in the house by then. Oh well, couldn't change it so we went. It was a 7 day cruise with one night in San Juan, Puerto Rico on November 4 and 3 nights at the end of the cruise. Our flight times were quite a challenge. We left Sechelt on the 12:20 ferry on November 4. This gave us time to update our passport information for our NEXUS passes. There was a lot of lightning in the distance on the way to Mexico City - our first stop. We had been told when we checked in that our luggage would go all the way to San Juan. Then we found out that we had to pick up our luggage in Mexico City. To top it off we had to go to a different terminal for the next leg of our flight. We got our bag and dropped it at the conveyor for connecting flights, not expecting to see our luggage again. We only had 1 1/2 hours until our next flight. We found an information kiosk where she told us in broken English that we needed to find the Red Bus to Terminal 2. We eventually found that. A nice young man who was going to Toronto (and had less time than we did) asked about the Bus. It finally arrived. Then we found out we had to pay - no pesos - and they wouldn't take US dollars. A lovely young lady who was leaving the bus paid our way for us! We found our way to Copa Airlines and made the flight.

The next stop was Panama City, arriving about 6 am, where we had a six hour layover. It worked out ok as we went to the first class lounge as we were flying first class with Larry's VISA Aeroplan points. While we were waiting it rained so hard it was like a waterfall coming down the side of the building and there was a short delay. This was also a Copa flight. Maureen kept an eye on the luggage being loaded and saw ours make it on! The flights were all fairly uneventful and the food was good (first class is the way to go).

We were staying at the Hampton Inn & Suites. They have Happy Hour every evening except Sunday's and it also included breakfast every day. The room was great and right beside the ice machine and elevator. We had a decent night's sleep and met up with Barry and Ann Marie (from Lake Cowichan) and Bob and Judy (we know them from Swan Lake). We arranged a couple of tours for when we returned after the cruise. We were also part of a larger group of TravelOnly agents led by Pat and Mary who also organized the Bob Family Travel, the larger group of over 200 people. They worked very hard throughout the trip and organized a lot of things. We had lanyards to wear identifying us as part of the group.

We set sail at 8:30 pm. It was very hot and humid and this continued the whole trip. Larry had rented a scooter and it was in our room when we arrived. We arrived in St. Croix, US Virgin Islands the morning of November 6. We went on a brief tour of St Croix with the Bob Family group and spent the afternoon at the beach of the Carambola Resort. We had a great BBQ burger lunch. We still had some time to kill so stopped in at the Resort bar. Shanika was working - very hard - and was happy to serve us. Ann Marie even stopped her from throwing out a cocktail made by mistake! She was so cute - every so often she would look up at us, smile and say "Everything OK?". We then headed back to the ship. St. Croix is the largest of the islands in the US Virgin Islands at 84 square miles. We had the early seating in the dining room. Our wait staff were great. Agosthino was from India and was the Head Waiter. Bertta was his assistant. Anna was our Sommelier.

November 7 was our only sea day. Larry spent it in training with the other travel agents. Maureen went to the Top Chef Challenge and wandered around the ship. The entire group (agents and Bob Family) had a reservation for dinner at the Tuscan Grille. It was amazing. We were also given a private room for Barry and Ann Marie's anniversary.

November 8 we arrived in Fort de France, Martinique. Larry and Maureen went on a walkabout with Larry's scooter. We found some WiFi and some interesting shops. We walked as far as the fort but couldn't go in because it isn't accessible. The sidewalks are barely accessible!

November 9 was Dominica. Pat had organized a tour and beach visit at each port. We liked the sound of the one planned for here. They were going to a resort where you could spend time in the gardens, in the pool or at the beach. We thought great - take our suits and spend time at the pool. Not! After the city tour, we were dropped at Mero Beach. $5 each for a chair and $2 for shade to go with it. It rained while we were there. We had lunch but it wasn't great. Supposed to be a fish burger but more like a tuna bun (with bones in it). Larry had a hard time walking in the sand. This certainly was not a very good day and affected how we looked at the tours from that point on that Pat had arranged.

November 10 was Basseterre, St Kitts. This was a lovely place to walk around. There were supposed to be a lot of wild monkeys here but unless you ventured beyond the beautiful town square, there were only tame ones to have your picture taken with for a fee. After our walkabout we stopped a MaPau Casino - not for the casino but for the covered patio. We had some local beers that were only $1.00 each and then went back to the ship. This was our second formal night and there was lobster on the menu and Larry wore his tuxedo shirt which was areal hit with the waiters.

November 11 we docked in Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas. Here we thought we would go on the Skyride but we found when we got off the ship that we were at a different dock - 3.5 miles from the Skyride - too far to walk/scoot. We purchased a 2 hour city tour for $25, left the scooter behind and enjoyed a tour around the city. More narrow roads and sharp turns.

The cruise was wonderful and the food and service was excellent. Now on to explore San Juan. Our first tour was to be at 7:30 the morning of the 13th. They had assured us that a vehicle would come that could take the scooter. It was not to be. So the tour was cancelled and since the accessible van was in for repairs it would not be available the next day either. Bob and Judy got a taxi driver to tour them to the places they wanted to see. We rented a 7 passenger van that the scooter could fit in. Larry and Maureen dropped Barry and Ann Marie in Old San Juan and went for a drive. As usual we ended up in some sketchy areas but it worked out okay. We picked up Barry and Ann Marie and retraced our steps to a nice beach area where the locals frequent. Ann Marie had had a recommendation for a restaurant within walking distance of the hotel so we went there for dinner. Alhambique had a reputation for their fish tacos. There was a bit of a wait but it was worth it.

The 14th we did the Castillo San Cristobal then Barry and Ann Marie walked to the next Castillo where we picked them up. We went to Senor Frog's for lunch then on to the Bacardi Rum Distillery. We had a good tour and attended a mixology class where we were able to make and drink three classic cocktails - Mojito, Daiquiri and a Cuba Libre (rum and coke). That was a lot of fun and we didn't get back to the hotel until about 5:00. No one was hungry and they had to get up early in the morning for their flight. Our flight didn't leave until 6:00pm. We had the six hour layover in Mexico City this time but arriving at midnight we had to wait until 3:30am for the ticket agents to show up and then we went to the First Class Lounge until our flight. We requested a wheelchair and he was there waiting for us. He wheeled Larry to the baggage claim and right to the taxi stand where we paid $7 US to get to Terminal 1. No problems! Flights were great again and so was the food.

The electrician arrived on November 23 to complete his work. When we went down to the house, much to our surprise they were working on forming the driveway and sidewalks. They will pour next week - after we've moved! Looking forward to this final week in the rental.

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