Posts Tagged With: Panama Canal

canal day

Canal day!
That’s what I called it even when we first discussed this trip.
For us canal day was Thanksgiving. And though I was disappointed I missed the Macy’s Parade, spending the day on the balcony with YBW was the loveliest way to participate in Thanksgiving day!
YBW decided all along that he would spend canal day on the balcony with his cameras and drink wine. And y’all, he absolutely did. He never left the balcony until we were safely through Gatun locks and into the Atlantic.
Then he had a quick nap before we went to dinner.

We started with mimosas and breakfast on the balcony.

We remained on the balcony through both of the Miraflores locks. But we were at the front of the ship when we got to Pedro Miguel locks.

It’s actually hard to see anything because the ship is up so high.

A stormy sail through Gatun lake drove me indoors, but YBW managed to stay out of the rain with his wine and his camera all day long.

At Gatun locks we had a much better view of the lock systems.

At one point a huge container ship and three tugs moved together into the lock next to us. The tug shown entering the lock did donuts in the canal waiting its turn to join the container ship. I’m not ashamed to admit how much joy I had watching that!

I adore tug boats! They’re the James Brown of the shipping industry. You know, ‘the hardest working boat in ship-biz’.
It really is the little things that bring me the most joy!

For some, moving though the Panama Canal is a once in a lifetime experience, for other’s it’s simply all in a day’s work. While we were in the canal, I thought, this is cool! I’ve done it and can check it off my list, but don’t think I’ll want to do it again. But now, after going through the photos, and talking about the trip with friends and family, and writing a little about it now, I find myself with a willingness to return. I wonder what more I’ll learn? Will I notice anything I missed? What new experiences await another trip?

Here’s a profile of the canal system provided by the Panama Canal Commission in case you’re curious.

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

three weeks in November

YBW and I decided to celebrate 10 years of us by going on a three week trip.
We’re doing a full-transit Panama Canal cruise.
We’ll spend three days in San Francisco before board the ship.
Over fifteen days we’ll visit five ports of call and spend Thanksgiving day going through the canal.
On day three, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
Four days later, San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua
The next day, Puntarenas, Costa Rica
Two days later, Fuerte Amador, Panama
Canal day
The next day, Cartagena, Colombia
Three days later, we disembark in Florida.

We were delighted when we realized this trip was on each of our lists for years. I think it’s fun we get to do together what we’ve each wanted to do before we even knew each other.
I’m most excited about exploring Cartagena!

Actually, this trip came about quite by accident. One sunny afternoon about 18 months ago, YBW got it in him that he wanted to stop into a travel shop on the way to the grocery store. He was like, let’s just see what’s up. I was game, so in we went.
Turns out Princess Cruise Lines was having a fantastic deal and we were able to capitalize on it. Our room got upgraded to a club level mini suite, we each got a full drinks package, all our gratuities are being taken care of, and there’s a laundry list of other amenities I can’t even think of at the moment.
For so long, it felt like the trip was so far away, but in writing this I just realized we leave in nine days!

YBW is already making lists…I need to get it together! I haven’t even begun to make a list.
I have an idea about what I’m going to pack, but no real organization as of yet. I’ll spend the next couple of days creating a list and getting pre-organized.

We decided to embrace the opportunity to be ‘unplugged’ and made the choice not to purchase wifi access on the ship. We know this will be tricky when it comes to keeping up with the news in the world, and with our family and friends, but I’m actually kind of excited to shut out the world and just be with my Sweetheart for fifteen days.
We travel well together.
YBW gets a bit of travel anxiety about getting to the mode of transportation in a timely manner. I get a bit of travel anxiety if we don’t have enough of a plan.
But we know this, so we know how to plan for and accommodate to ease each other’s anxieties. In all honesty, I’d much rather sit at the gate for an hour with a book than be running to board a plane at the last minute anyway.

Speaking of books, YBW has loaded up all his books from his kindle to his ipad so he has his music and books all in one place.
On the other hand, I only read ‘real’ books so I’m having to be mindful about packing. Only paperbacks so they won’t be too heavy. I’ve planned ahead as I read my TBRs, trying to knock out all the hardback books first and saving the paperbacks to pack.
Perhaps I’m a teeny bit organized.
Not at all as organized as I normally am, or would be.
I’ve been distracted by the girls and baby being here, and Halloween.
But they left yesterday, so I’m giving my all my attention to getting organized and packed.
I’m actually going to create my first list as soon as I finish writing this.
Then call my doctor for some scopolamine patches…just in case.

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

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