Monday, February 24, 2014

Florida 2014, Carnival Paradise Cruise

FL 2014 - Photo Stream:

Sitting on our balcony at the Lani Kai in Fort Meyers Beach Florida trying to capture a bit of our 2014 "spring break".

We left Rochester and West Bend last Friday, Feb 14 with Marla's mother Evie along. I had a rough day driving through sketchy road conditions with a Buick with not so good summer tires. We saw a semi and a number of cars and trucks in the ditch or worse, but we made it through to about 70mi N of St Louis where Marla took over on better roads. We made it to Cape Girardeau Missouri. When we got up in the AM it was 16 degrees, and we still saw some snow until about 70 miles N of Memphis. 

We stopped in Memphis for some killer BBQ at Tom's ... ribs, brisket, pork, the works. Very solid, featured on DDD. We made it all the way to Tallahassee Sat night and I was glad we didn't have to do the trip down in 2 days. Had a nice seafood meal at Barnacle Bills. 

Made the easy run to Tampa Sunday. Had a great PM meal at Bahama Breeze sitting on the deck in 72+ degrees -- third time I've eaten there. Business to Verizon at Temple Terrace, stayed across the road on a previous winter retreat. I love their plantain. 

Hopped on the Paradise Monday and had an easy and fun ride to Grand Cayman ... mostly 80s, sunny, just soaking it up. Picked up some Glenrothes scotch for $45 a bottle ... $90+ in Rochester. We ended up getting 4 liters of alcohol on the trip, declared it (along with a cuban cigar), but customs just put the declaration on a spindle and said "Welcome Home". We must not have that smuggler look!

We did a tour of the Mayan ruins in Cozumel with a driver that made Mexico sound like a socialist paradise while we were driving through neighborhoods that reminded me of the Bronx in the early '80s ... they looked like there was a war and Mexico lost. Guess there was. The Socialists won!! He also had an infinite respect for the Mayans -- did his best to make human sacrifice and killing any kids born that were less than perfect as "culturally advanced". Perhaps Hillary will bring him in to head HEW. 

Marla then let me retire to the "Owl Sanctuary" (Hooters) since even she was put off by getting accosted by the hawkers at the Mexican restaurants nearby. The girls didn't speak english very well, but they seemed to have sort of a universal communication capability -- plus free wi fi, which for old guys is about as important as anything. Marla stopped by a couple times to dump more items, and when the table collapsed it was time to head for the ship. 

Nice run back to Tampa, slow port entry due to fog in the AM, but no big deal since we were not catching a plane. Picked up the rental and headed down here to our Lani Kai. 

The hotel is sort of stuck in the 1950s ... not fancy at all, but reasonably clean. 40 yds to the beach on sand that is like talcum powder. The sun can beat on it but your feet don't burn. $2.50 Bloodys from 8 - noon, killer rum runners for $5 during happy hour 4-6. Great wings, shrimp, crab omlet, etc up on the swinging hammock dining deck on the 6th floor. Lots of laid back live and XM oldies rock and Jimmy Buffet ... with a little Chili Peppers, Cheryl Crow, etc thrown in. 

Marla is working this week ... and I'm DEFINITELY NOT! One of the benefits of IBM remote work these days. 

Three more days in Paradise and then it is back to the reality of sub-zero nights. Oh well, we DO miss the kitties, and no doubt there will be some level of excitement to get back home!
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1 comment:

  1. Don't let the cold and dry air get to that cigar. Should be kept at room temp. You can pick up resealable pouches at cigar stores that will keep at the proper humidity level. Now I'm hungry for BBQ.....