Key West Florida

The forth and final port of call… Key West, Florida. It is on the very tip of the Florida Keys. Key West is a US Island city and home to a naval base. It is part of the Florida keys archipelago. It is Florida’s southernmost point, lying 90 miles north of Cuba. Famed for it’s pastel-hued conch-style houses. ( and key lime pie and roosters)

This is a new port for us, we have never been to Key West even in our childhood travels to Florida. The first thing the list of “what to do” for this port was…I’ve got to have Key Lime Pie!!!! Definitely!!

But, did you know … Hailed as “the Conch Republic,” Key West has the distinction of having one of the lowest rates of depression in the United States. -And what does that have to do with conch? Just about everything! Conch is part of the local diet attributed to this population’s overall low “non-depressive mode.” You’ll find conch in fritters and in salads, and on the local high school’s marquee…The football team is the “Fighting Conchs. BUT honestly, with sunshine and warm weather like this, how could anyone be depressed?

So…a walking tour of Key west to make sure we see the  Southernmost point in the Continental USA

 

and enjoy some key lime pie and conch…just so we don’t get depressed. After all, today is our last day and it’s back to Miami in the morning and home. We also enjoyed a Butterfly Sanctuary and seeing all the roosters that make Key West their home…they are everywhere!!!!!

Good Morning Key West!

Meet Petar from Macedonia. He was always at breakfast each morning with a smile. We enjoyed our conversations with him.

Transportation off the pier by trolly. No walking allowed because the pier belongs to the US Navy and is a restricted area.

The Navy is celebrating their 150th Anniversary this year, so this statue was placed in front of the Customs house.

Chocolate covered frozen key lime pie!!! YUMMY!!!!

Butterfly Sanctuary

Southernmost Point in USA

Can you see Cuba? lol

“The Little White House”

About 25 years ago, Kermit Carpenter began selling smoothies from a small stand in front of Papa’s Restaurant in Key West during his tenure as Papa’s bookkeeper. When the head chef suddenly drove off into the proverbial sunset one night, Kermit was left looking for a new adventure. Having been brainstorming with his sister Anita and her husband John, they decided that whatever they decided to do, it needed to be high quality and say “Key West”… gourmet food and Key Lime fit the bill, and so began Kermit’s Key West Key Lime Shoppe.

Meet Kermit 🙂

One piece just wouldn’t do…YES we bought a whole pie and YES we finished it!!!!

The starting point!!!

Roosters EVERYWHERE!!!!

I just had to have conch! ( to fight the depression that our cruise week is just about over)

Farewell Key West! It was a lovely day…


The last port of call and the last night on board the beautiful pearl. The sunset tonight was gorgeous!!!! How I will miss this!

Our last dinner…

And the show tonight was a mix of the week’s entertainment. No pics except for the tribute to the crew which we were allowed to film.

Our room steward Abel from the Philippines did an awesome job all week keeping everything in order in our stateroom. We had fresh towels all the time and each night he made a new towel animal. Very cool!

 

 

Mexico …

Cozumel, Mexico! This is such a crazy busy Port of Call for cruise ships! Cozumel is Mexico’s largest island, nestled 12 miles off the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula. Cozumel measures 28 miles long and 10 miles wide and is renowned for it’s dazzling white sandy beaches and the clarity of the “multi-hued” azure Caribbean ocean. The climate is subtropical and the people native to Cozumel are of Mayan descent.

We have been to this Port of Call 4 times!!!

Today’s excursion was to rent scooters and tour the island!!

The wind was crazy today!! Many of the natural beaches were closed due to the high surf. It was beautiful though!!

What a wonderful day exploring and swimming in the warm water.

Tonight as we were sailing the winds were pretty crazy again. This is the first cruise we’ve done that there has been lots of rain and high winds…gale force winds …

 

HELLO Mom & Dad 

A couple days in Miami before our cruise means it’s opportunity to visit Mom & Dad Goode. They have been spending their winters in Cortez, Bradenton Beach area of Florida for the past few years.

We headed to the coast through the Everglades on the Tamiami highway. We saw lots of alligators and interesting birds but because we were short on time we didn’t stop for pictures. We decided to meet halfway on the west coast of Florida in a quaint little town called Matlacha (pronounced “mat-la-SHAY”)

Matlacha is one of five communities on Pine Island in the Cape Coral area.  It is an “Old Florida” fishing village, home to many brightly colored art galleries, island boutiques, seafood restaurants, and traditional Floridian cottages. We ate at a wonderful spot the “Blue Dog” The shrimp tacos and key lime pie were delish! We spent the afternoon browsing the shops and catching up with Mom & Dad.

After a bit more food we headed back to Miami to get a good night’s sleep!

A HUGE South American Party

*** Make sure you press PLAY on the audio file to get the full effect as you read this post. lol

It’s that time of year in Brazil!

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It’s Carnaval! It falls on February 24-28 this year. It is the biggest celebration of the year in Brazil. We had so much fun experiencing this when we lived there, and just to break up the wintery snow month of February and help me think about warm, sun and beaches…I just had to break out my Havaianas ( have to pack them for my cruise next week anyway)

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AND for dinner tonight I just had to make some delicious Brazilian food … shrimp with heart of palm and rice topped with toasted almonds and lime…lime pie and coffee… and caipirinha’s of course!

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Have a great Carnaval our dear Brazilian friends!

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And maybe I will watch Rio…love that movie and the music.

Mi’kmaq… Heritage Day 2017

Today is Nova Scotia Heritage Day!

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This year’s Honoree is The Mi’kmaq and their ancestors.  The Mi’kmaq and their ancestors have lived in this land for at least 11,000 years. Mi’kma’ki, their traditional territory, includes Nova Scotia, P.E.I., and much of New Brunswick and the Gaspe Peninsula.

In the world of hockey, it is well known that Mi’kmaq craftsmanship resulted in some of the best made hockey sticks in history. This year, Nova Scotia Heritage Day will honour Mi’kmaq Heritage by celebrating the important accomplishments of the Mi’kmaq community, including its contribution to Canada’s favorite past time, hockey.

The Mi’kmaq community will host a two-game hockey challenge called The Mi’kmaq Heritage Hockey Classic – Bury the Hatchet. The theme, Bury the Hatchet, was selected to honour a ceremony held in 1761 that saw the signing of the Halifax Treaties. The treaty ceremony marked the end of more than 75 years of hostility between the Mi’kmaq and the British, and celebrated the beginning of a peaceful and friendly relationship between the two nations.

Canada’s native population did not record in ‘hard-copy’ the history of their nations. Rather, they had appointed ‘story tellers’ who passed on knowledge of their culture from generation to generation in the form of ‘oral history’.  The early Ice Hockey sticks were carved from Hornbeam trees, which are native to Nova Scotia and provide a very durable hardwood. One of the tools used in the carving of Hockey sticks was known as a “Crooked Knife”. As a result of the huge numbers of Ice Hockey sticks made using these methods by Mi’kmaq, local supplies of Hornbeam were largely depleted and the Mi’kmaq then turned to the yellow birch, another hard wood which possesses the same characteristics. In the early years of the development of the game, sticks were simply called after the name of the game. Thus boys played with “Hurleys” and later with “Hockeys”, rather than with “hurley sticks” and “hockey sticks” as they do today.

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It is always nice to enjoy a “day off” in mid February but it’s also a great way to learn about your country’s heritage. Sadly my husband worked a LONG day ( 13 hours) and it was just me at home. So no family day adventure. BUT I took advantage of it by just having a RELAX day.

IN honour of heritage day … we had  fish for dinner ( no we didn’t catch them ourselves) and berries for dessert!

Is there anything more Nova Scotia than smelts, trout and blueberry grunt?

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Hope you enjoyed your long weekend! Back to work tomorrow.

All things new… Jan 1, 2017

January 1, 2017…

The people you love… The places you’re a part of… The memories you hold onto… …and those unforgettable moments when you close your eyes and breathe in life with a smile… A new year is a reminder to celebrate and give thanks for all the things that are good in your world… 💙

With an annual walk on the beach this afternoon after the rain cleared a bit ( yes we went yesterday because it was such a nice day BUT January 1st Beach walk is a tradition and a MUST) …a reflection of what was ( yesterday)… and what is to come (today) And a delicious seafood chowder to warm us up ( FULL of shrimp, haddock, scallops, lobster, crab and a little potato)

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We are READY! It’s time to begin…

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