Saturday, October 24, 2009

Vacation Part I

With all the photos that I took on our fabulous trip I am going to have to break this journal into sections. If not, you will all be asleep before you get to the end of it.

First off.......I would like to introduce you to our newest granddaughter who made her arrival into the world on October 11th. We received news of her birth while we were on board the QM2 and we are just thrilled and looking forward to meeting her in person. Our son and his family live about 2 1/2 hours away from us so we will make the trip up to visit soon. Right now my DIL's mother is there with them so we will give them time with the baby before we start pounding on the door.

Our fabulous vacation started off with a business meeting in Orlando, Florida. Despite the fact that we once lived in Florida, I am still amazed at how totally flat the landscape is there. We have hills and mountains here wherever you look and there you are able to see forever. I must say that I do love the Florida skies with the wonderful clouds. The temperatures were setting record highs while we were there and the humidity only added to the heat. It is amazing the difference the humidity has on the "feel" of the temperatures.

From Orlando, we caught a plane to Newark and headed for New York before boarding the ship. Would you be nervous about signing in at this gate? After hearing about a flight that overshot an airport by 150 miles, I might give more serious thought to it.

We able to spend the afternoon and night in New York city and enjoyed a few brisk walks and taking in the sights. I love N.Y. for the vitality one experiences, but I would not want to live there. The traffic is a nightmare and that is coming from someone who drives in L.A.

We enjoyed Rockefeller Center where they had just frozen the skating rink for the winter......

and Times Square......................

and......the jewelry district. Don't you love the street lights made to look like giant diamonds?

Friday afternoon we were picked up by the Cunard bus to take us to the Brooklyn terminal to board the Queen Mary 2. Our excitement on the bus was a minor traffic collision with the bus of the Minnesota Twins baseball team in N.Y. to play the Yankees in the playoffs. May I repeat, the traffic is a nightmare there?
After passing through heavy security, we were shown to our staterooms. What an incredible experience that was. The staff is simply amazing and the vessel itself is indescribable. Here we are up on the top deck with fabulous views of the cities of New York and New Jersey, Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty.

Sailing occurs just at sunset. We were escorted from the harbor by armed Coast Guard boats.

Departure time is determined by the tides as there is a narrow window of time for the huge ocean liner to pass under the bridge without hitting it. It truly is just a matter of a few feet when it goes under it.

This is the entrance that one walks into when one steps on board. It is the grand lobby and soars several stories high. There are all sort of comfortable chairs, a grand piano and fresh flowers everywhere.

The picture does not do this metal sculpture justice, but it was spectacular - as though the ship was coming right out of the wall.

There was so much to do on board with live theatre, a planetarium, eating, lectures, eating, computer and photography classes or simple relaxing. Did I mention eating too???? The seventh floor is the walking/jogging deck and that was busy all of the time. The crossing follows the Gulf stream so the weather and the water are at a pretty constant 70* for the whole trip. We passed within 50 miles of where the Titanic went down so many years ago.
Here we are out walking on the deck on the coolest day with gale force winds.

There are numerous restaurants on the ship and each one is fabulous. The food in the main room is always served in the most elegant of ways, much like a fine restaurant. Four of our nights were formal wear with tuxedos and formals. It is so nice to get dressed up like that and to see everyone else dressed so elegantly as well.

We arrived in Southampton, England around 6 a.m. and it was still dark. We were both awake at 4 a.m. when we first noticed the appearance of lights on the shore. We got dressed and went out and sat on our deck while the pilot captain boarded the ship to bring it into port.

The sun had started to come up in Southampton and cast a stunning reddish color to the town when we disembarked. We both hated to leave the elegance that we had so enjoyed over the last six days. The first few days on solid ground was an unusual sensation after so many days at sea. This was such an easy way to adjust to the time difference as you set your clocks ahead one hour each day. That was much easier than flying home and being eight hours ahead all at once. I'm still awakening at 2 a.m. each day.

England to follow. Stay tuned.

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Obe's said...

Congratulations on your new grandaughter !!!!!!!
She is as cute as a button!!!!
What a wonderful trip you had I really enjoyed all the pics.I never saw the statue of liberty but one day I will be there too!

nancygrayce said...

Your new granddaughter is just precious! Lots of hair!

I've never been on a cruise, but that sounds wonderful and is beautiful!

Thanks for going by to read Mercy Uganda! This is a brand new ministry, although our church has had a ministry there for about 18 years.

Pat said...

Your new granddaughter is beautiful. What is her name?? Your cruise looks spectacular. I've been on cruises but never a trans-Atlantic one! What a ship!!!

Maria said...

Congratulations on the arrival of your precious little grandaughter.
Thank you for sharing your wonderful trip with us. I really love looking at your pics.

Dawn said...

What a wonderful head of hair!!

Wow, what a ship! I would love to go to Europe this way. Can't wait to see the next episode!

Valerie said...

Congratulations on the new grandbaby. She is beautiful. Oh I love going along with you on your trip. This is wonderful. It is just like being there with you.

Linds said...

Congratulations on the arrival of the newest little granddaughter! What a wonderful coming home present!
Your trip on the QM2 looks fabulous, and I can't think of a nicer way to travel. I am looking forward to hearing - it would have been lovely to meet sometime but maybe next time!

Linds said...

Oh good grief. My brain works faster than my fingers. I am looking forward to hearing all about your visit here in the UK!

Carole said...

Congratulations! What great news! What a wonderful trip you had! Thanks for sharing! Cheers!

Barb said...

Loved all the pictures but especially loved the little one, congrats!!

G'G'ma said...

Your new granddaughter is just beautiful and I'm sure you are anxiously waiting to give her that first hug and kiss.

What an elegant way to travel!! I'll be looking forward to the photos from the rest of the trip.

Midlife Mom said...

What a lovely grand daughter to come home to! She is just beautiful! Congratulations to all of you. :o)

Your trip sounds just spectacular, can't wait to see all of the pictures!

We are still here in Florida but go home tomorrow morning. It's been so much fun but it's time to get home into the real world.

Miss T is waiting for this computer so I will write more later! xoxoxox

Baba's Special Babies said...

Your granddaughter was born on my granddaughter's birthday...Lily turned 4 years old on 10/11/09 and we helped her celebrate at her home in Atlanta with a princess party and Snow White was the guest of honor..

Your grand is precious and I love her hair and cute face...have fun with her.. they grow up too fast!!

You and your hubby were so lucky to take a cruise on this great ship..I am enjoying all of your pictures.. hugs, Baba

Alice Grace said...

Oh how gorgeous the new baby is! What a joy!
Your trip sounds wonderful! I love to travel to other countries like that, altho I have not ever gone to England, your cruise sounds wonderful and luxurious! Welcome back home, you have been missed!

SmilingSally said...

Congratulations on that beautiful granddaughter!

I so appreciate you sharing those pictures of your time aboard the QEII. It allowed me to peek at something I've never experienced. What luxury!

I see a good bit of blue. (hint, hint)

Barbara said...

Congrats. on your new grandchild, of course you are an old hadn at all this I know.

Here was I thinking I would be looking at some pics from your part of the world and you were on a Cunard liner on your way to England.

How exciting for you. To be on one of those liners would be just like heaven, and totally opposite to the cargo ship I sailed on with hubby in 1960. Took us 3 weeks to get cross in the most apalling weather.

Enjoy i will look forward to your take on England.

Sharon said...

Congrats on the new granddaughter,she is a cutie and so much dark hair.
Thanks for taking us on your trip I can't wait to read more and see such beautiful photo.
Have a blessed day.

Susie said...

Congratulations on your beautiful new granddaughter :)
Your trip sounds amazing and I so enjoyed seeing all the great photos. What a fabulous way to celebrate 40 years together.

Tonya's Sewing Room said...

I can't believe I wasn't following your blog. What was I thinking. I'm so sorry. Looks like you guys had a great vacation. I love that award on your sidebar, the green and purple one. cute

palmtreefanatic said...

wow wow wow! always some great stuff on your blog, but so much excitement!
your new grandaughter is beautiful! CONGRATS!!!

The cruize sounds wonderful! I have only been on 1 and so ready to do it again!!!

love the pics! and the trip! I can't wait to hear more!;)

PEA said...

Oh my goodness, a brand new little granddaughter to love and cherish...congratulations:-) She is simply adorable and no doubt you are very anxious to meet her in person!!

I've never been on a cruise so it truly was fascinating looking at your pictures of the ship, so very elegant! I can also see that one could gain quite a bit of weight with all that scrumptious food! lol It must have been an eerie feeling going by so near where the Titanic had sank.

Before you got on the ship, how exciting that you were able to be in New York. You couldn't pay me to live in a place where the traffic is that bad, though, I'm used to rural roads! lol

Will now go read your second part of the trip:-) xoxo

Caryn said...

Congrats on your new granddaughter - she is beautiful, and she was born on MY birthday! Sounds like you had the vacation of a lifetime!

Kerri said...

Congratulations Granny and Grampa! She's a cutie :)
I love NY! It's such an interesting city, but I agree...I wouldn't want to live there.
What a way to go! That cruise sounds so wonderful. There was certainly plenty to keep you busy.
I could really enjoy all that relaxation and good food :) Glad you had such a great time.

The Penny-Pinching Mama said...

Wow - what a trip! I love the Christmas stocking too!