Hello from the southern Caribbean, where we are having our first sea day. Tomorrow we will be in Curacao and the day after that, Aruba. The weather down here is warm and sunny and we have been enjoying it, especially after watching the snow storms in Europe and the heavy rain in CA on TV. Yesterday we were in Grenada and we did a shore excursion which involved a fairly convoluted drive on the island to a river where we had a river tubing adventure. It was interesting to see the homes and the topography of the island. In 1983 our government was invited here to drive out the Cuban communists who were taking over, and in 2004 this island was almost totally destroyed by Hurricane Ivan. It has taken a lot of work to get things going again, and there are not only a lot of houses still standing with missing roofs and walls, but lots of new and colorful homes which look much more substantial. I'm sure their building codes have improved. This island is called the Spice Island because they grow lots of things like nutmeg, mace, cinnamon, vanilla, ginger and cacao here.
The river tubing adventure was fun. The tubes had a rubber flooring tied into them which turned out to be a very good thing because there were lots of areas where we were scraping our butts on rocks and the flooring offered good protection. There were about 10 young men who were stationed in the river along the route who made sure that we did not end up on the big rocks, and who often spun us around and splashed us as they propelled us on our way. Because it was such a nice temperature out, we were never cold either. They have this type of excursion on some of the other islands as well, and there are also at least 3 islands where zip-line adventures in the canopy are available.
Today there was a delicious brunch offered in the dining room, so we have just waddled back from that. Later there is going to be a special gathering for Captain's Club members offering gourmet treats and cocktails, So sea days on this ship are seeming like gluttonous events. We do think that having a brunch like this is so much smarter than the usual midnight buffets, because so many more people attend and it is a much better time to be eating. There were even 2 chocolate fountains, one white and one dark.
Our usual holiday greeting e-mail will be late this year because we don't fly back to CA until Friday. Then we have to pick up our car at Darran's, in San Diego, and head back to our RV at Park Sierra. So look for our Holiday letter sometime between Christmas and New Year's. We are wishing you all a wonderful holiday season and a very Happy New Year.