Monday, March 31, 2014
Today we are in San Diego, getting ready to board The Legend of the Seas tomorrow to start 32 days of cruising. The first cruise is down the coast and through the Panama Canal to Ft. Lauderdale, FL We have been to most of the ports before, because of RVing in Central America, but are excited about the last port, Cartagena, Columbia. It has lots of history and an old walled city to explore. April 16 we leave Ft. Lauderdale on the transatlantic cruise ending in Copenhagen on May 2. That cruise has lots of great ports, such as Le Havre, France, Cork, Ireland, Brugges, Belgium, and Amsterdam, Netherlands. Also, many of our cruise friends will be on it. Since Saturday we have been having a nice visit with Darran and Marielle. Mission Bay is very close to where they live and we enjoy walking the paths near the water. It is sunny and nice today so we will try to get in a long one. Saturday night Marielle's sister, Maegan, and her husband, Ben, and son, Charlie all came over for dinner. Here is a picture of the 2 young families:
Friday, March 14, 2014
This blog describes the trip we took to Ecuador starting January 14 and ending on Feb. 18. We were going there mainly to see the Galapagos Islands. But we decided to spend some time seeing the rest of the country because round trip airfare was fairly expensive, so we wanted more “bang for our buck”. Groupon had an 8 day Ecuador trip for $1299 (offered by Gate 1 Travel) and it included airfare, so we thought that was a good deal and we bought it. Then we had to pay extra because we were flying from California. They allowed us to delay our return flight until after our Galapagos cruise, so our 8 day tour turned into a 35 day trip. Our flight landed in Quito at 11:45PM, and we were met by a representative from Gate 1 Travel. This was very good, because the new Quito airport is about an hour away from the main part of Quito. He took us in a very nice van to the Hilton Colon, one of the best hotels in Quito. It was a relief to arrive in Quito and not feel any effects of the high elevation, except that we could feel it when we tried to pull our suitcases up an incline. Quito is at about 9300 feet in the Andes. We would recommend going a day or 2 before a tour starts to get used to the elevation. The next morning we met our tour leader, Isabel, and the other 22 people in our group. Usually when we take a tour, we go with companies which offer groups of 12-16. This larger group turned out to be just fine, with friendly people who were of varied ages and many had traveled extensively. Quito has outstanding churches, convents, museums, plazas, and historic buildings which were the key to it being named as the first world heritage city by UNESCO. Our first excursion was by bus to visit the Old Colonial section. We stopped at The Cathedral of the National Vote, the tallest church in Ecuador.