Unbelievably this is the Blind Sightseers 7th cruse!
Unbelievably this is the Blind Sightseers 7th cruse!
As iReminisce…Facebook Memories says it’s been 4 years(wow, where did that time go?) since Sarah met her amazing new friend….I have copied the post below from a day on our first cruise as it gives a lovely story of the day. Hope you enjoy as you join us on our loving and warm memories. 😎
🌴 Day Navigator 🌴
Absorbing The Landscapes…
As we were at anchor during our visit to Road Town, with local ship’s tender boats transferring us to, and from the shore. We had a little time to take some photos before we left the ship. It was so calm and peaceful as we stood in front of this beautiful landscape.
⇧ Sorry…i couldn’t resist the overkill blue filter effect! 🙂 ⇧
⇧ The beautiful coastline of Road Town ⇧
⇧ I listened patiently until the boat that i couldn’t see was hopefully on the right of my shot! 🙂 ⇧
⇧ The rolling green hills of Road Town ⇧
After having a fun(bobbing up and down) tender boat ride, we were driven along the coastal road covered in vivid green trees which stroked the tops of brightly coloured bungalows.
The Dolphin Encounter…
We had now arrived at the Prospect Reef Resort where Sarah got into the water to splash around with dolphins that call this place home.
As Sarah’s eye had been closed to keep out infections, we thought it was best to choose the “Dolphin Encounter” instead of the fully immersed “Swim with Dolphins”. We just couldn’t risk it!
I booked the “Dolphin Observer” which didn’t turn out well. Sarah & i were separated and i had no way of knowing which pool she was entering, so i waited on the nearest seats i could find, quietly listening for her name to be called out. Then as i’d hear it, i’d whip out my camera and get some shots. I didn’t hear her name as i was sat at completely the wrong pool. 😦
But all is not lost…i bought the fantastic photos taken by their photographer. Yay! 🙂
⇧ Sarah stood in front of the surf board logo sign ⇧
Sarah had never done anything like this before, she was excited and apprehensive at the same time. But as soon as she got into the water and met her new friend, she was blown away! 🙂
Step 1: Meeting the dolphin…
⇧ Sarah’s first touch of the dolphin ⇧
Step 2: Dancing with the dolphin…
Sarah said as she took hold of both flippers, the dolphin started a funky wiggle dance! 🙂
⇧ Sarah dancing with her new friend ⇧
Step 3: The Kiss…
⇧ Sarah receiving a kiss on the cheek from the dolphin ⇧
⇧ Dolphin showing its excitement after meeting Sarah! 🙂 ⇧
Once Sarah was dried off and changed, and we collected the photo CD, it was time to catch the bus back and head for Road Towns pretty main street and market.
We had one place in mind(if we could find it) “Sunny Caribbee”. Everybody was talking about this place and the incredible local spices, sauces, coffee, artwork…everything! 🙂
We got off the bus and walked into town. We walked for a while longer, then we did(what we always did) when we got lost on our trip…listen for a broad northern accent! It was only seconds until we found some people from our ship who pointed us in the right direction! 🙂
⇧ Photo of the shop front of Sunny Caribbee ⇧
⇧ Bottled sauces with fantastic hats! 🙂 ⇧
Once inside the shop we were amazed by the variety and beauty of the products, and how lovely and helpful the ladies were, We just wanted to take everything! Once we saw the sauce bottles with the hats, we just had to get them as presents! 🙂
We were sad to leave Sunny Caribbee, but it was time to head off to the main street market as Sarah had seen some beautifully coloured dresses!
Sarah bought a lovely bright dress, but no photos yet. 😦
After getting lost again in the town, we managed to find directions (yes another northern couple) back to the tender boats. It was another bobbing boat ride back to the ship.
We then took our usual seats in the Coffee Port, while drinking our favourite double espresso macchiato’s, we watched the islands disappear as the ship sailed away.
Our Route 4 2day…
This afternoon Thomson Dream sails to Philipsburg, St Maarten. We’ll arrive tomorrow morning having travelled 92 nautical miles at an average speed of 8 knots.
🌴 Day Navigator 🌴
One of my first attempts at a Time-Lapse video…
Yay, Safe On The Dock….
Once we found and boarded our coach ready for our excursion to the Nutmeg factory, then on to the Chocolate factory..We settled in and Sarah took a lovely photo of the bay of Grenada. We came to the Nutmeg factory last year as it’s Sarah’s fave place, as the incredible smell of nutmeg fills her with warm memories of her Nan Peters when she used it in her cooking.
The Nutmeg Factory….
After Sarah stocked up on Aloe Vera oils etc…She had missed getting some of this last year when we had a similar tour…Our Tui tour guide showed us how the Cocoa bean is grown and how they produce it ready for the chocolate.
The Chocolate Factory…
Sorry but didn’t get any photos or videos of the factory. But the local Mango & Lemon punch was amazing and refreshing…But that was a shadow of the ginger & dark chocolate bar! I saved it until we were back in the UK but i now wished i’d bought about 10 of them instead of 1, i think we need to go back next year!! 😎
YAY…HAPPY BIRTHDAY SARAH!!!
Today was the birthday excursion for Sarah. It was a second choice as the first choice was sold out weeks before we’d even started our cruise. We were thinking about the 4×4 Land Rover trip we’d done in the Azores(see here) but couldn’t really get excited…As it was much hotter here and the thought of being crammed in the back of a Land Rover really wasn’t doing anything for us today. So what we thought was going to be an anticlimax…Turned out to be the best trip of the whole holiday! Oh and i’d just travelled in my best vehicle of all time! 😎
The 1961 Yellow Unimog…
Awww friends….Let me introduce you to this Yellow, 1961 Unimog…..have you seen the tires, lol! It threw us around like crazy and i still can’t believe that he didn’t slow down for anything. There is no way a vehicle can hit rocks, huge pot holes, climb cracked hills and go around tight bends whilst travelling at break neck speed, it would have destroyed anything else and left them in a pile of spare parts, lol. I’m not sure they issued these with brake pedals! 😎
Arawak Off-road Safari…
First, we climbed into the Subi Rincon hills, where the amazing yellow Unimog stopped at a set of time-worn Indian caves.
the beauty spot, Seru Largu. This cross-topped monument sits on a raised platform, setting Sarah up with panoramic views of the capital, Kralendijk.
🇨🇼 Welcome to Willemstad, Curacao!!!
After we boarded the coach and met our tour guide, we drove past the island’s salt flats and on to the Hato Caves that are full of stalagmites and stalactites.
Unfortunately as we arrived, and after climbing about 50 steep and uneven steps to the mouth of the cave…It was way too dark for Sarah & i, so we had to carefully go back down the steps on a tactical withdrawal. On the plus side, we had a coffee in a lovely yellow local coffee shop. 😎
Next up, we headed over to the Chobolo Liqueur Factory, passing the Queen Juliana Bridge on the way. At the factory, we got to see how the island’s famous Blue Curacao Liqueur is made. The drink is distilled from the dried peel of bitter oranges, and you’ll get to taste it for yourself.
Sarah was excited to see where this drink was from and how it was made, as she and her friend Caroline used to like this drink back in the day.
Lastly, we headed back to the ship via downtown Willemstad and had a look around.
The shop, houses and buildings here were Sarahs fave of all! Wow those colours! We really couldn’t decide on a few photos, so we posted them all. Hope you enjoy!
⇧ Yay i managed to find a new orange shirt! ⇧
Back onboard the Marella Explorer…
On our return to our centre front cabin we found our first towel art. Sarah thought is was a rabbit sniper…Please let us know what you think it is in the comments below?! 😎
⇧ Sarah saying goodbye to the best buildings ever from our cabin ⇧
And finally we were blessed with a beautiful sunset from our cabin window, wow what a day!
🇱🇨The Incredible Pitons At Saint Lucia!
Sarah & i booked a Catamaran cruise to the Pitons…What a stunning trip. Last year we had booked a trip through the multiple layers of the rain forest so we thought we would see Saint Lucia by sea this time….Wow, we were not disappointed.
Hi all! Thanks for joining Sarah & i on our Birthday celebration holiday, it’s great to have friends along for the ride.
Unbelievably this is the Blind Sightseers 6th cruse! We have never been on the Marella Explorer and Sarah had booked cabin 8001 which is dead centre and right at the front of the ship. She chose this cabin as she thought the views from the window would be fantastic….She’s right again! 😎
All it was missing is a steering wheel, lol.
⇧ View from our cabin Nø 8001 ⇧
Day at Sea…
Before getting to Aruba we had a day at sea. We were pleased with this as it gave us time to walk about 80,000 steps to find out where we could get Breakfast and the evening meal…But most of all find the Coffee Port to see if they made lovely strong coffee!
As usual we had booked an excursion for each of the 5 islands we were visiting and todays excursion is: De Palm Island – Full Day, Aruba.
De Palm Island has got it all. Set adrift off the Aruban coastline, this private reef offers up pristine waters and a huge variety of exotic marine life, it’s a first-class spot for an underwater exploration. Your day will start off with a short boat trip over to the island, where the friendly staff will be waiting to meet you. After a short safety briefing, you’re ready to slip on your mask and wade into the warm, clear waters. Expect to meet friendly blue parrotfish and angelfish. Back on dry land, there’ll be time to sprawl out on the sand, take your seat for a banana boat ride or visit the island’s small waterpark before heading back to the ship. Don’t forget that a full buffet lunch and refreshments throughout the day will be included.
⇧ My lovely Wife Sarah catching some long awaited sunshine ⇧
Yay…It was the first time in a while that i’d been able to wear the bright orange shirt i bought in Saint Kitts from our first cruise…Read all about it here.
Sarah & i had a great time wondering around this beautiful little island and we also found our fave place….The gift shop! We love to find some things that help us remember the amazing journeys/adventures we have conquered.
Back at the dock…
After a short boat ride back to the ship, we had enough time to get changed, leave our bags and have a well needed iced-coffee before heading out to explore as much as we can without getting lost before the ship leaves.
We walked up one street and turned right before Sarah stopped and said “Wow, she’s having her photo taken in front of that cool wall art/sign. Quick get one of me” “Ok my lovely, you’re wearing your new yellow Michael Kors t-shirt too, i hope i get everything in”. Sarah had bought this t-shirt for our holidays and couldn’t wait to put on the lovely bright colours and flowers.
This is one of my fave photos as it shows Sarah’s smile is as bright as her t-shirt.
We have started collecting Christmas Tree Baubles too since i started going abroad 5 years ago. We love unpacking them at Christmas and filling the tree with all of the places we visit. We think its a lovely idea to fill the tree with our lives journeys and give thanks to God for everything.
Walking back to the ship we finally found a local Bauble maker…Her daughter makes and paints them herself. We bought it(photo later when Sarah finds where we put them on our return home)
Our wonderful new friends…
Going back to our day at sea…Sarah & i like to share a table with other passengers, mainly to take this opportunity to try and be sociable( being blind and trapped in your very small world & not having any eye contact it’s almost impossible to be sociable. or start conversations). So asking someone to read the menu for you because we are blind is a great ice breaker, lol!
We met 2 lovely couples that night and you will hear about them throughout this trip!
Thanks once again for joining us on our adventure, i hope you’ll join us tomorrow for our trip around Curacao.
⇧ Whoopppooo….Freeddoooommmmm! ⇧
Hi all!! The Blind Sightseers(Sarah & i) are just back from an amazing holiday for the last 2 weeks. We celebrated our birthdays whilst we were away too. 😎
I hope you don’t mind?? But for a week or so i’ll be posting some of the photos from our time away. We really were blown away with the beauty of God’s creation!
Thanks for all of your patience & friendship….I hope you enjoy the photos as much as we enjoyed capturing them. 😎
Yay…..We did it!
With more than a week past….My knees are still scabbed and bruised…..But i’d like to give an Elephantine amount of thanks for everyone involved! 💪🏼
⇧From left: Adie, Vini, Me, Josie & Ashley ⇧
First, I’d like to give a stupendous amount of thanks to my lovely Wife Sarah….The amount of love and encouragement was/is mind-blowing! And the “Hard As Nails” team…..”“my muscles were fading but the sense of team work was overwhelming and no matter what…..We were getting over those obstacles”.💪🏼
Second, i’d like to give a monumental amount of thanks to the “Crazy Clappers” team. “When i’d finished an obstacle and was about to collapse……I’d hear the Cheering Team and you’d put a big grin on my face to remind me it was alright and to keep going! 😎
Third, i’d like to give a gargantuan amount of thanks to all of you guys for your donations to “World Cancer Research Fund” and encouraging me(& the team) every step of the way! “Intention isn’t Prevention……And you all have helped me spread the good news with everyone so we can all be aware and empowered to start fighting the cancers we can prevent.”
Fourth, A colossal amount of thanks to John & Sarah Atherton(from the Epsom Camera Club) for giving up your Saturday and taking the amazing photos of us all….We’ve got fantastic memories of the day!
Finally, I’ve already passed the whopping £1,000! The fundraising page is open for another 3 months…..So if you haven’t donated yet or you’d like to donate again(now you know i’ve managed it) it would be amazing to smash more obstacles and raise as much as i can! 😎 💪🏼
Tough Mudder 5K – Saturday 13th October…….Here Goes!
⇧ From left: Adie, Me & Josie ⇧
⇧ Me carrying Adie on the “Hero Carry” ⇧
It was amazing to have my friend of nearly 30 years Adie Monk join our “Hard As Nails” team. I thought we’d sit and catch up over a coffee….I didn’t have this in mind, lol!
Thanks John Atherton for taking another great photo. I can’t thank you and Sarah Atherton enough for giving us all these memories to cherish! 😎
After jogging a little, we came to this…….
“At over 2 stories high, this is one of the most impressive obstacles in the UK. It is a giant A-shaped cargo net that you and your team will have to scramble up and over it. Working together will be the only way to overcome”.
This is where my new trainers just hooked perfectly around the rope and it felt completely solid. Also my blindness helped me out for once as i couldn’t see how high i was, and didn’t freeze like a couple of people i heard up there!
Then….When getting to the bottom i hear “Yay, Whoop Whoop, Steve, Steve, Steve” and the sound of the plastic clapper hands were going crazy! What a feeling to know my lovely Wife Sarah and the Crazy Clappers team were cheering me all of the way, a great feeling! 😎
⇧ Me, Vini & Ashley biggin’ up the cheering team ⇧
More jogging….Adie and the team were excellent at guiding me when jogging. Moving low hanging branches, telling me of tree roots and pulling me in the right direction. Adie said “I tried running with my eyes closed for a few steps…And there is no way i’d try any of this if i couldn’t see”.
“We’ve taken the 10′ Hero Walls and tilted them right at you. By removing the ability for you to climb up and over this wall, you will have to form a strategy with your team, work together and boost each other to the other side”.
⇧ Ouch, my leg hasn’t bent that far in about 20 years, lol! ⇧
“This obstacle will have you crawling on the ground, pinned down by a giant cargo net. Working your way through this one will require lots of communication, teamwork and a strong will”.
You’ve guessed it…..More jogging and then….
“The aim of the game is to get your team up and over this stack of super-sized hay bales. There is no right or wrong way so boost, shove or yank every last team member over the other side”.
⇧ Ashley helping Josie in a display of team work ⇧
“Can’t go through it, can’t go round it, you’ll have to go over it. Work together to boost and shimmy your teammates up and over this 10′ Tough Mudder staple”.
Yep, more jogging…..
“Time to get swinging. Grab on, hold tight, feel the momentum and swing yourself from ring to ring like a regular Tarzan. This obstacle will test your strength, coordination and flow. Hang in there, you got this”.
Really didn’t do well on this one…And i can’t really blame my sight for lack of strength, lol!
After a little more jogging……
“One of the most teamwork-inducing obstacles in the Tough Mudder portfolio, this obstacle is difficult to complete alone. You’re going to have to work together to form a human pyramid and, like its namesake, climb up and over your fellow Mudders on the way to the top”.
As Vini was making everything look so easy…..It was great to look at the photos afterwards and see it wasn’t all too easy!! 💪🏼
AND NOW……MY NEMESIS!!!!
“A true Tough Mudder legend. Everest will challenge participants to run up a quarter pipe to reach the summit. Can’t do it alone? Not to worry – teammates are encouraged to hang over the top to pull their new friends up and over”.
I knew this was going to be more difficult for me as i needed to try it and get hands on before i could calculate what exactly i needed to do. Adie & Ashley explained the process….But i knew i just had to do it before i would really know….As running at a half pipe wall thingy when blind is going to be interesting!
Here Goes Nothing…..
I took 1 step too many….and before i knew it the wall was in my face! Ooooo i was so close to reaching the ledge.
After hitting the wall i dropped down on both knees, and as the obstacle was made of hardish tyre rubber, it simply burned and ripped the skin off both knees….Wow that stings, lol. Time to regroup and recalculate!
“Ok Steve, just do the same but with 1 step less”. Here i go again!
Yay….That’s better…..And once i had my talon trainers gripped to the ledge, i could just heave myself up. Wow i made it! 💪🏼
⇧ Ashley showing how it should be done! ⇧😎
The team were fantastic and we all made it up. No-one was being left behind and you could just feel the team growing closer with each obstacle, it was amazing.
Now the final obstacle was overcome, it was time for a short jog to the finish line,Yay!
The Finish Line & The Headbands……
WE DID IT……
⇧ When words fail to say how thankful you are!!! ⇧
⇧ Me, Adie & the headbands ⇧
⇧ Adie, Vini & Me for a final photo ⇧
WOW WHAT A JOURNEY……
I hope after getting this far…..You’ve enjoyed this journey with me and the team too? They are already talking about doing a longer and more muddier one with more obstacles for next year. What do you think? Should i go for it? Would you like to see the Blindman take on a greater challenge? Let me know in the comments section what you think!
I can’t thank everyone enough….
Oh no……With only 5 days left until “Tough Mudder”, Sarah and i went into the woods to try out my new trail shoes and also try and get some photos of me jogging/training for World Cancer Research Fund as they want some promotional shots.
Sarah did an amazing job getting me to run in a straight line…..She had to walk with me to get into position….Then walk away until she was in position. Then after Sarah shouts “GO!” I hopefully run in a straight line towards her(not through her) and she can get some shots.
I’m not sure how she did it…..But it looks like i’m jogging on my own and also looks like i’e been jogging for miles, lol…..Not just 50 feet at a time! 😎 💪🏼
With only 19 days to go until “Tough Mudder”, Sarah & i travelled to Fitstuff in Guildford to buy some new trainers that will act as my new eyes as i feel my way around the course. The lady in the shop was amazingly helpful and these ones fit better than anything i’ve ever tried in my whole life! She even gave me 10% off after we talked about World Cancer Research Fund UK and how prevention is better than cure…..Together we have the power to prevent Cancer for future generations! 💪🏼 😎
I’d really appreciate any support you can give, thanks.
Sarah & i love coffee and we love trying the different tastes especially whilst on holiday! 😎
⇧ Me drinking a nice cup of coffee in Florence, Italy ⇧
⇧ Sarah drinking a iced coffee in Sharkey’s, Barbados ⇧
For this weeks Photo Challenge Unlikely…..I was going to post about how unlikely it was for me to still take photos now that i’m blind…..But i thought i’d post one of my lovely Wife Sarah! 😀
This trip was such an Unlikely blessing, as Sarah had another “Charcot Foot” and was in an air-cast for the last 5 months…..She had it removed a few weeks ago and she’s been strengthening her leg for this cruise. I love this photo of Sarah on the original ancient start line in Olympia, it was so unlikely to happen!
Hi all, I’ve taken ages trying to figure out how i add my new photos to an existing gallery…..But now i’m ready and have added a few photos to my Caribbean gallery! I’m now in the process of adding lots of photos and finally updating all my galleries with new images.
I know i’ve only just started updating……But i’m excited to show you all my new photos! 😀 Please click any photo below to go through to the Caribbean gallery.
Also…..Please let me know what you think?! 😎
⇧ The view from our Hotel overlooking Dover Beach, Barbados. ⇧
⇧ Sunset over Dover Beach, Barbados ⇧
⇧ View from the restaurant at North Point, Barbados ⇧
View all Galleries HERE
As a “Blind Photographer” my sight is really blurry but i can just about frame a shot by the lines. I don’t often know what the lines of the objects are, lol. But it’s how i can get some good images now and then! 😀
As i could get my hands on this guitar….I knew exactly what the lines were! lol.
I thought this weeks Photo Challenge was an ideal opportunity to post a photo of my Taylor K22ce acoustic guitar, which is made from the exotic tropical wood Hawaiian Koa. I just love the lines of this beautiful wood and never get bored looking at them.
Hi all. It’s been quiet over here for a couple of weeks….As Sarah & i (the blindies) have been on holiday! 😀 We tried a cruise and stay this time and had a fantastic action & adventure trip as usual, lol. We have just arrived home and i’ve lots of photos to sort out which i’ll post on here as soon as i get the days sorted out etc.
I must be the slowest holiday blogger of all time….As i still have the last 2 cruises to post yet, lol But a huge thank you for all of your patience with me. I’ll post this holiday first and then work backwards for the other two!
Here a a few photo so far to give a little taste…..
Me walking along the Barbados beach
Sarah running along the Barbados beach
Me and my lovely Wife Sarah
Join us on our other adventures HERE
The Weekly Photo Challenge this week is Favorite Place. I think it’s easy to say that the Caribbean Islands are our fave place to visit that are a long way from home. I love to see my lovely Wife Sarah relaxing, as she works so hard in super busy London and it’s great to go away and be recharged! 😀 🌴☀️
Oh No……It’s happening!…
People who know me?! know that I’ve been struggling and fighting all kinds of obstacles for the past 18 years since being registered blind…..BUT I‘ve never faced obstacles such as these.
I was recently challenged to do the Tough Mudder 5K by Sarah’s nail tech/artist Ashley, who works at Ooh La La Hair & Beauty Salon. I chose the team name HARD AS NAILS and I’ll be competing and raising funds for one of my favourite charities –World Cancer Research Fund
World Cancer Research Fund…..
My lovely wife Sarah works for World Cancer Research Fund and I was stopped in my tracks by one of the statistics she showed me – That a third of all cancers can be prevented… that’s over 80,000 cases each year in the UK alone. This totally blew my mind!
“What??? There are Cancers that I can prevent? I thought Cancer was something that you just got!”
Cancer is a terifying disease and most, if not all of us, either know or have known someone who has had or been affected by cancer.
Many believe that getting cancer is down to your genes, fate or just bad luck, but there are so many things you can do to reduce your cancer risk.
What you eat and drink, how much you weigh and how physically active you are can all make a big difference.
With our support World Cancer Research Fund will be able to learn more about how to prevent cancer – keeping loved ones together for longer.
Please Sponsor Me and follow me on this huge challenge …..😀
I have added a JustGiving sponsor button below and this links directly to my fundraising page. Even if you don’t want to sponsor me….please take a look and have a read about World Cancer Research Fund and the great work they do. 😀
I will post regular updates with my progress on training etc…💪🏼 😀
Even when it rains…..Sarah brings the sun! 😀 ☀️
I thought i’d just share a couple of photos with you guys of my fun afternoon….Giving my lovely wife Sarah(Princess) a lift around our local common. I keep saying to Sarah “It’s great to finally give you a lift, as i haven’t driven a car since i was registered blind 18 years ago! lol. 😝
In case you’re wondering why……I’ve been challenge by Sarah’s nail tech/artist to do a Tough Mudder 5K on 13th October 2018 One of the activities(called Hero Carry) is to carry someone for a quarter of a mile.
Big thanks to our friend Sara for capturing these fun photos. 😝
Bruce THE Boxer
july 14th 2000 – Dec 3rd 2011
As iReminisce, i thought i’d do a little tribute to “Bruce” who died 6 years ago today. He managed to show many expressions throughout the years. We miss him lots! 🙂
For this weeks photo challenge “Experimental”, i thought i’d go back a year and a half when Sarah & i were being “Experimental” with the iPhone Panorama mode. I thought i’d try and look calm in the start of the shot….Then run around the back of Sarah to wave in the end of the shot! I managed it eventually, lol. 😎
The Ancient Olympic Games Original Stone Start Line.
This trip has been such an unexpected blessing, as Sarah had another “Charcot Foot” and was in an air-cast for the last 5 months…..She removed the air-cast a few weeks ago and she’s been strengthening her leg for this cruise.
I chose this photo for this weeks photo challenge: “Temporary” as it was a temporary moment in our lives(thankfully as it was so hot) and a special memory as we didn’t think we’d ever make it as Sarah’s foot was so bad. So seeing Sarah on the start line at the ancient Olympics was fantastic! 😎
Wow, i still can’t believe it’s been 10 years since our amazing wedding day!
An unexpected blessing…..
This trip has been such an unexpected blessing, as Sarah had another “Charcot Foot” and was in an air-cast for the last 5 months…..She had it removed a few weeks ago and she’s been strengthening her leg for this cruise. So we are amazed to be spending our 10th wedding anniversary visiting some fantastic places! 😎
We slept really well and caught up on the sleepless night we had yesterday. We thought we’d go to the Compass Rose (waiter service restaurant) for our 10th anniversary breakfast. It didn’t disappoint and we had porridge, fruit, nuts, seeds bacon and bananas (not all together,lol).
After looking around the ship and trying to familiarise ourselves with our fave places, we nipped back to our cabin to get our things ready for a couple of hours sunbathing and swimming. Sarah loves swimming (as you can tell in the photos below) and had an excellent time enjoying her anniversary in the pool! 😎
⬆ Sarah doing handstands in the pool ⬆
The Towel Swan Heart…..
After having lots of fun, we headed back to our cabin where we were surprised to find two towel swans placed in the shape of a heart, with flowers and our cards etc in a beautiful display. We rushed out to find the cabin stewards and thanked them profusely… whilst Sarah took lots of photos!
⬆ Towel folded Swan heart ⬆
Earlier this morning Sarah had found an invitation pushed under the cabin door. “This looks a bit fancy, it’s only an invitation to the formal evening. We have to sign it to say that we’re going, then hand it back to reception…..Seems like a lot of paper work to me.” “Oh right, iI suppose they need to know how many people will be in the restaurant for dinner this evening, it must be the policy for formal night on this ship. It was different on the Dream ship” i replied.
I hadn’t brought my tuxedo this time as it filled half my suitcase the time before and i didn’t want to waste that amount of space again. I did bring my trousers though as we like the waiter service meal in the evenings. “ i hope they don’t chuck me over-board for not dressing smart enough.” Sarah told me… “You’ll be fine, lol, it’s only for one evening and your new black shirt looks smart enough anyway”.
⬆ Me & my lovely Wife Sarah ⬆
⬆ My lovely Wife Sarah ⬆
After listening to the Captain introduce himself and some of his crew, we headed to the Compass Rose restaurant where we planned to have have a lovely four course meal.
We said we didn’t mind sharing, and the waiter sat us right next to a window (yay) on a four seater table. We introduced ourselves to Brian & Anne (more about our new friends in later posts) and they kindly read out the menu for us. After ordering from each section of the menu, we got to chatting.
A huge shadow, from an even bigger man darkened our whole table….. “Steve…..FOLLOW ME” said the man with a really deep transylvanian voice. I looked at Sarah, and then back at the man “FOLLOW ME” he said again. Sarah said “Can i come with him” “yES” he said as we started to stand. We said to Brian and Anne “I think we’ll see you later, we’ve only just ordered our food, and if we’re not back…..you’ll get double, lol”.
As sarah guided me behind this Behemoth of a man up a few flights of stairs, Sarah said “Where is he taking us?” “I think we’re going to the plank, or at least being court marshalled” was my apprehensive reply.
We finally entered a small bar area where Claudia (the social director) greeted us with a glass of Champagne and a smelly fish bite (i don’t like fish, if you’d not guessed, lol) and showed us to our seats. Claudia said “I thought you weren’t going to make it?” “To make what?” Sarah replied still looking bemused. “You got the invitation?”.Sarah said “Yes…..the one to the formal evening”. Claudia then said “No, that was an invitation to the Captains table and an evening with the Captain.” “Oooopps” i misread it as a general evening invitation (easily done as the iPhone magnifier isn’t as good as the large CCTV we have at home)”. Sarah whispered to me “The Captain and his other guests were waiting for us up here, as we were seeming to ignore them and eating our meal already with someone else, lol.
The Captains Table…..
Since Sarah & i already knew the menu (thanks Brian & Anne) this was our easiest food ordering to date. We had a lovely meal and a fantastic time chatting with everyone around the table. It was really interesting hearing everyones stories and experiences…..Sarah already has her next cruise planned in her mind after asking the Captain what place he liked best after 30 yrs of cruising the seas, lol.
Now it was time to leave again for the Show Lounge to watch possibly the worst show we have ever seen (heard for me, lol.). 😎
⬆ Photo of Sarah & i(on right) at the Captains Table ⬆
Wow, What a memorable 10th Wedding Anniversary….
Retiring back to our cabin (making sure we didn’t upset the swans), we talked about our memorable day and how we’d never forget our 10th Wedding Anniversary! Now it was time to sleep, as it’s an early start once we arrive in Corinth. It was also the start of 5 full days of excursions we’d booked and we were really excited, even though we knew the temperatures were going to reach up to 41℃ (ouch).
Sarah & i would like to thank you once again for celebrating our 10th Wedding Anniversary and for all of the lovely messages you sent us on “Praise, And Thanks Be To God……It’s Our 10th Amazing Anniversary!!!”
Please visit our other tours HERE
Wow, Wow, Wow…..Sarah & i have had a fantastic time away celebrating our 10th Wedding Anniversary in Croatia, Greece & Montenegro!
AND….. We’ve made it back in one piece to share all of our unforgettable memories and adventures with you all. 😎
Taxi,Train & The Thomson Plane…..
As the taxi was booked for 3:30am, we thought it would be a good idea not to go to sleep as it makes us more tired if we only sleep for an hour or 2 (we were wrong, lol).
There was a little scare as Sarah felt funny, so she did a blood test in the taxi and found it was going low. “Oh no, not already” i thought as Sarah was already sorting it out with a few dextrose. Sarah felt better as we arrived at the airport and with a small struggle to find the suitcase check-in desk, we were finally sorted and heading for the airport assistance.
The assistance took us through security which all went well, until Sarah showed them her insulin pump…..Then (as they think it’s a detonator) they told Sarah to take of her shoes etc. and carefully and slowly scanned her whole body for explosives.
Following the guide to our seats in the departure lounge, Sarah & i were looking forwards to a nice bacon roll and coffee. Her work colleague had told her to try this as we’d not had anything to eat since yesterday afternoon… we were ready for it! BUT the airport assistance were too efficient this time and before we had time to figure out the direction of the bacon, the guide took us on the “Fun Train” and straight onto the plane! 😎
As i sat down after being expertly guided to my seat, i said “Wait a minute”….. I was feeling underneath the window at the up & down dimmer switches whilst stretching my legs out testing the large leg room. “This isn’t an Airbus A320! It’s the 787 Dreamliner. Wow i didn’t think it was going to be this monster for a two and a half hour flight” Sarah said “Wow, you’re still getting excited about flying…. you must really love it” I said “Oh Yeah!”.
Time for a snack…..
Since we couldn’t have our fantastic bacon roll at the airport, we decided to share some chunky potatoe wedges on the plane. Sarah simply couldn’t eat them (and i even struggled)…. they tasted (and were as dry as) a sun dried bath sponge! 😦
Welcome to Dubrovnik airport…..
The airport assistance at Dubrovnik were fantastic and before we knew it, we were on a coach arriving at the dock ready to board the Thomson Spirit. We’d only been on the Thomson Dream which is bigger, so we were excited to explore this different ship.
We were fast-tracked again through all of the check-in procedures and were soon dropping our bags off in our cabin ready to go and explore! 😎
⬆ View of Dubrovnik bay from the Thomson Spirit ⬆
We managed to weave our way through the decks and up to the top which was lovely and quiet to take a look around, take some photos and soak in the view and the hot sun.
We were surrounded by a sea of blue, sky of blue, deck of blue and Sarah’s new “Hokusai” dress …of blue. 😎
⬆ Sarah wearing her new “Hokusai” dress! ⬆
⬆ My lovely Wife Sarah ⬆
⬆ Yay, we’ve made it, now let’s chill and enjoy the view ⬆
⬆ Our beautiful view of Dubrovnik from the top deck ⬆
Swapping sides for a moment, Sarah was taking photos of a unusual bridge she liked, i was also pretending i could see it, lol.
⬆ Me looking at the bridge and surrounding town ⬆
One more pic of my lovely Wife Sarah!
⬆ My lovely Wife Sarah and her beautiful dress ⬆
Now the moment you’ve all been waiting for…..
If you’ve travelled with us on our other tours click here to view, you will remember Sarah’s sublime Panoramas……Well she’s back with one (of many) to share with you. 😎
⬆ Sarah’s breathtaking Panorama of Dubrovnik bay ⬆
Coffee, Life Jackets & Dinner…..
After enjoying ourselves on the top deck, we looked around for a place to have a nice coffee. We knew this ship had no “Coffee Port” like on the Thomson Dream, so when we found “Raffles Bar” and ordered a Cappuccino (for me) and an Americano, we were even more excited as the coffee was well-nice and strong!
The assistance was fantastic again and the life jacket drill went really smoothly, i think we’re finally getting the hang of this. lol
We found the “Compass Rose” waiter service restaurant which was very similar to the “Orion” restaurant on the Thomson Dream, we said we didn’t mind sharing a table with others as we always need an unsuspecting guest to read the menu for us, which is always a laugh for all involved and it’s a great conversation starter! 😎
After a fantastic four course meal, it was time to take one last tour around the ship to see if we’d remembered where anything was before retiring to our cabin after a very long day!
I would just like to say a huge thank you(to you the reader and fellow traveller) for staying with us to the end of this day!
Oh did i mention it’s our 10th Wedding Anniversary” tomorrow!!
Please visit our other tours HERE
As ii’m registered blind, this weeks photo challenge “Focus” is very interesting as i don’t have any focus and need to use the camera’s autofocus!
I chose this photo as the lens was going crazy trying to focus on each of the birds, so in the end i pressed the shutter and got this shot! 🤣
While on holiday at the lighthouse Me, Sarah & Brother Ben took a day trip to Castle Rising castle. I gave Ben my big Nikon as Sarah & I were doing an audio described tour provided by the ticket office for £1. It was a fun tour as the audio description was dramatised!
I still managed to shoot the shots above with my little compact camera! 🤣
A few years ago for Sarah’s birthday present I booked a balloon flight as she has always wanted to go up in one. There were a lot of cancellations last minute due to poor weather but finally one weekend we got to go. The weather as you can see was not very clear, but it was amazing…..And great for “Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge”.
“Friend” is this weeks photo challenge…..So i thought i’d share a photo of my best friend and lovely Wife Sarah…..And our(The Late) best friend Bruce THE Boxer. I love this photo of the look of complete adoration in Bruce’s eyes for Sarah! 😊
Today iReminisce about this photo i took shortly before Sarah & i travelled on the London Eye. It rained on both times we’d been on it, so i thought i’d add a dramatic black and white effect to the once colour photo! 🙂
Shortly after i’d made it black and white…..It was chosen as one of the photos to be exhibited in Florence, Italy which totally stunned me! And which sparked the amazing “Tuscany Tour”. If you’ve not joined Sarah & i on this amazing trip, we’d love to meet you there! 🙂
I stumbled across an old comment yesterday which i never even knew was there! 😦 Asking if Bruce(Bruce THE Boxer) was aloud to run free on Old Hunstanton Beach? I said yes of course as it took me back to this photo of Bruce running at his favourite place! Then all the memories started flooding back of all our happy times on this beach and staying at the Old Hunstanton Lighthouse for many years(coming soon). 🙂
More from iReminisce
Yay, i’ve decided to try out “Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge” which is a weekly challenge. I have a new zeal for Photography again since my iMac has been repaired and supercharged lol. So sorry if you see a lot more photos here! 🤣
This weeks challenge is the Letters Y or Z. I chose Y(Yellow) and found this Colorsplash image i created a few years ago and thought it would shine out! 🙂
Wow!!! I can’t believe it’s been 9 years since Me, Sarah & Bruce THE Boxer stayed in this log cabin for a week in Acle, Norfolk.
I remember Sarah had bought me the Baby Taylor acoustic guitar a few months earlier for Christmas. I was so happy i couldn’t put it down…..So it came with us! 🙂
It was a lovely relaxing holiday. I played guitar on the porch while Sarah sat in the hot tub for most of the week. Bruce enjoyed long walks and pretending to be a guard dog! 🤣
This is one of my favourite photos of my lovely Wife Sarah, and it shows what happens when she smiles! 😎
My lovely Wife Sarah said that i should post a photo daily. I’ve taken so many over the years we often forget the memories these pictures evoke. So i’d like to share them with you too.
Please enjoy as “iReminisce”.
I will start with(probably not the most exciting photo in my archive) but to be stood in Pisa, and in front of the fantastic leaning bell tower was incredible! 🙂
Please read my full blog post for this day HERE
Wow, another “Photo Challenge” where i could post thousands of photos! 🤣
Here’s a few “Evanescent” moments of my(& Sarah’s) travels.
On a severely rocky train journey through “St Kitts”, i managed somehow to take this photo of one of my fave church buildings! ~ Read about our fantastic journey here!
Now a little about this bird…..🤣 Taken from my older post “In Flight”
“This photo brings back memories of patience for me. This is the longest i’d taken getting one shot. I spent 3 days going down to the local lake and sat patiently on a bench taking about 150 shots per day until finally got this one. I learnt that when you can’t see what’s in your viewfinder, don’t take photos of birds! lol” 😀
Sarah had just a few seconds to take this photo whilst doing a 2 day course at the “Institute of Legacy Management” building. She wanted to show me a cityscape of London as she wouldn’t get this chance again! 🙂
And of course i can’t do many photo challenges without a photo(or photos) of “Bruce THE Boxer”. Our lovely Boxer dog which we still miss loads! But i felt this period in time(14th July 2000 – 3rd Dec 2011) felt like it only lasted a short time and would suit this challenge. 🙂
This weeks “Photo Challenge” left me with so many options i didn’t know where to start!
The photo above is one of Sarah & i’s favourites and is on our side-board. I thought…..”Heritage” – It has the church building which was built way before our time. “Heritage” – The guitar i’m playing(and not worthy of holding, never mind owning) was built by a fantastic Luthier. “Heritage” – And more important than all of this is the Holy Covenant of Marriage that glues Sarah and i together in the power of His promises!
I could go on & on…..But i’ll stop here and go and check out your posts on the challenge! 🙂
Sorry for being away for so long…..i’ve missed you guys!
For this weeks “Photo Challenge“, i thought i’d look back on our horse ride across the beautiful beach of St John’s Antigua. As both Sarah * i are registered Blind this was a nerve-racking trip for us. It was a brave, DANGER filled trip but we stepped up to the challenge and had one of the best days of our lives! 🤣
Click HERE to read about the whole day(with more photos).
Day 1: Wow…..What a fantastic surprise 3 day visit by my Brother Paul! 😀
The Intricate Plan…..
I really had no idea that Ben(Brother in Christ) and Sarah(my lovely Wife) had planned this visit by my Brother Paul since November!!
“Paul had bariatric surgery(Sleeve gastrectomy) a year ago after spending 4 weeks in hospital and has progressed so much, he spent most of the past 5 years housebound and is starting to rebuild his life. i’m really proud of him. He has lost around 24 stone(150kg) since the start of this gruelling fight. And for his first trip out of Derby, he wanted to come and see Epsom. I’m so pleased he did as i can only imagine how much of a big deal this is for him!”
The Almost Upset…..
Ben had organised to meet me at my fave restaurant “Sicily” at 2pm, and as i got into town early i decided to take a detour and get more steps towards my Fitbit daily step goal. Little did i know my Brother was standing outside the train station waiting for Ben to pick him up to surprise me at Sicily. 😀
Paul said “I was standing outside the station just looking around, and suddenly he saw me walking up the other side of the road” “No way, what’s he doing here?….He’s not going to cross over as he is on his way to Sicily” Then just as he said it i was crossing the road towards him. He knows i can’t see enough to recognise anyone even if they are stood next to me. But he panicked and hid behind the nearest object and took a photo as he thought i’d figured out his plan, lol. 😀
⬆ Me on the phone to Sarah, crossing the road while Paul takes a stealth photo! ⬆
The Surprise Meet…..
As i arrived at Sicily i received the usual warm welcome from Grace and was seated at the table. I was thinking through some Bible verses as i expected a deep theological discussion on doctrines etc…..But as Ben arrived he was with his Wife Rosie and son Raffy. I was just getting up to move to a larger table when a FaceTime call came in from my brother Paul!
I usually switch to the back camera(as i can’t see the screen anyway) and try and show Paul around my current location and as i was in Sicily i thought he’d like to have a look. I first pointed it at Raffy and he was giggling into the camera. Then i wanted him to meet Grace and as i was about to point my phone at her…..”ey up bro” I heard in my right ear, i turned and there was my brother Paul standing right next to me!! 😀
After what seemed like minutes, my mind was just racing “How did he get here? Derby is over 150 miles away! I thought trains were too much for him right now? Did Ben pick him up? How is this possible?” i finally gave up and gave him a huge hug, i was stunned! Mission Accomplished Bro! 😀
We had a great time catching up on his adventure over a fantastic meal. 😀
Day 2: Epsom, Boyce Avenue & Celebration BBQ @ “Bens’ Burgers”…..
We first met Paul in town as we wanted to show him around Epsom, we knew this wouldn’t take long as it’s only a small town, lol. Paul bought a souvenir in the shape of a Raiders cap and we had a great time exploring Epsom.
Boyce Avenue are Paul’s favourite band. Their music has helped him through a lot of dark times. So when he said he’d love to see them in concert and mentioned they were playing at the Royal Albert Hall in November 2017, i just had to book tickets for Paul, Me & Sarah! 😀
Since i knew he like them, and he loves singing…..i’d learnt a few songs on guitar so that if i was ever in the same room as Paul with my guitar, it would be fantastic to play together. And since we’d finished in town and was back home…..That time was now. lol And after this very special moment which i’ll always remember, it was time for Ben to pick us up
Ben not only prepared the food, cooked the food…..He even picked us up and drove us to his home! Thank you so much Ben! 😀
Ben went all out for this celebration and cooked Steak, Chicken burger, Lamb Kofte & a lovely salad. Wow Thanks again Ben! 😀
⬆ Paul & Vini ⬆
⬆ Vini & Raffy playing football with ice-creams. ⬆
⬆ Luzia showing her skills and having lots of fun with Raffy! ⬆
⬆ Bens Wife Rosie with son Raffy ⬆
After filling up on all the amazing food, football and chasing Raffy we all headed inside for a rest! 🤣
⬆ From Left: Vini, Me, Raffy & Paul ⬆
From Left: Luzia, Rosie & Sarah ⬆
Football on Epsom Downs…..
Now it was time for Ben to try out his new 7 seater, he had never filled all 7 seats before so here goes!!!!
Yay! We are all in! 🤣
⬆ From Left: Ben, Rosie, Vini, Sarah, Raffy(hidden), Me, Luzia & Paul ⬆
As it was an open field, i had lots of room and could move around with a little more confidence knowing i wouldn’t hit anything, lol.
⬆ Raffy, Me, Paul & Ben ⬆
⬆ Raffy showing Vini some skills ⬆
⬆ Me, Raffy & Paul ⬆
⬆ Me & Raffy ⬆
⬆ Raffy with a crunching challenge! ⬆
Paul was loving the view right across London and could see Wembley Stadium all lit up too! We had a great evening and we were all tired from running around!
Day 3: The Cricketers…..
For a nice farewell, we treated Paul to a beautiful roast dinner at the fantastic Cricketers Inn. What a lovely view for a nice warm roast dinner, and of course it has to have a homemade Yorkshire Pudding! 😀
⬆ The Cricketers(one of my older photos) it wasn’t snowing, lol. ⬆
⬆ Me & Paul outside Epsom Train Station ⬆
Wow…..It was a fantastic few days and i’m so proud of how well Paul is doing. I still can’t believe i’d see him down here so soon! His surprise was overwhelming at times….. And since he arrived home safely…..he’s told me that he’s planned to visit agin in August! Yay! 😀
I hope you enjoyed Pauls visit too? And i’m pleased you got to meet my fantastic Brother!
Hi all….Please check out Debbie’s fantastic Photography blog, it is the first blog i goto each day where i am encouraged, uplifted and inspired with her amazing photography and custom images! 😀
1 Corinthians 13:1-3
⇧ Postcard taken and produced by Thomson Dream Photographers ⇧
Welcome to Trujillo:
Christopher Columbus landed in Trujillo on the 14th August 1502. During his fourth and final journeys to the Amercas. Since then they have been under the control of the Spanish, the Dutch, the English and even Pirates.
Sarah & i arrived on the shore, and after a coach trip with a friendly local tour guide telling us about this fantastic place(and the constant invasions by the pirates), we arrived at the beach resort! 🙂
“Wow” i said as we stepped onto the sand and selected a couple of sun loungers with a table shelter thingy with a free cold bottle of lager welcoming us!
“We’re going to enjoy this”. This was the most relaxing excursion out of the 4 we’d booked,
Sarah said “Yay, there is a trampoline in the sea”. I would have been more excited but my mind went straight to Sarah’s Charcot feet(diabetic problem again), and how she was going to manage?! But i should have known Sarah would win me over by taking every precaution, and before i could stand up, Sarah was in the sea! 🙂
I stood waiting and trying to calculate how long it would take Sarah to swim over and climb on before i’d start taking photos…then i heard “STEVE” i knew that was my cue to start taking photos and videos(thank you my lovely wife).
Sarah really enjoyed trampolining in the sea as she’d never done anything like this before. But in the photo below…Sarah looks very innocent , but i’m sure she has just shoved the man off the left hand side!! lol. 🙂
It was quite cloudy, and even spotted with rain for a minute or two, but it’s ok…it was only the fine stuff that soaks you through, so I took a couple of photos of the landscape…
Then Sarah gifted us with a Panorama!
After a fantastic inclusive meal where Sarah & i had the nicest Plantain ever, we found a swimming pool with no-one in, and we relaxed for half an hour! 🙂
We couldn’t believe how fast the time went and we reluctently headed back to the coach(well at least where we thought it was), but not before we stopped for one last photo at a beautiful fountain.
As Sarah & i were walking along the path, a Spanish speaking man with broken English held my arm and kept trying to tell us something. At first i thought he’d spotted the Grim Reaper tattoo on my leg(had it done 20 years ago when i thought i was tough in my pre Christian days) and thought i was a pirate, so i was in trouble! 🙂 But when my mind slowed down, we realised he was trying to say he was the driver and we were walking away from the coach. lol We thanked him profusely and followed him back to the coach.
Back on the ship…
After a lovely day on the beach, we headed to our usual viewing spot on deck 10.
Yay another Sarah Panorama…
As we will be on holiday for Sarah’s birthday, i treated her to a hand manicure. Well…the whole holiday is a celebration of birthday’s(we’ll be back home for mine), our amazing marriage and seeing more of God’s creation,
Afterwards Sarah said “Why don’t you get them to braid your hair as the wind’s been annoying you all day, and you won’t have to touch it for the rest of the holiday?! I was a little unsure about it, but after Sarah and the lady had decided to put 2 braids in, i went along with it.
Wow, Sarah’s right again, i didn’t have to touch it for the rest of the holiday, fantastic! 🙂
Well…the “2 Blindies” have managed to have an amazing day in Trujillo, and we can’t thank you enough for joining us as we discover new ground. 🙂
This evening Thomson Dream sails to Roatan, Honduras. We’ll arrive tomorrow morning having travelled 37 nautical miles at an average of 5 knots.
⬅ Previous Day 🌴 Next Day ➡(coming soon)
After reading this post on Nancy Loderick’s blog, about Nancy buying Mr Ken(her Husband) a Fitbit for his birthday…i got inspired!! I thought maybe i could do this as i’m good at walking, just not so good at seeing where i’m going, lol.
See if the app is accessible with Voiceover(screenreader) on my iPhone? Yes it is, fantastic…now for a little more research. As i take beta-blocker medication having a heart rate monitor was top on my list, and i found the Fitbit Charge HR(on sale too). When i showed Sarah she said”Excellent, let’s buy each other one as an early wedding anniversary present”.
Second…finding a walking route!
As i’m blind, i have to stick to routes like a racing car on a track, and If i veer of course i may crash! Thankfully Sarah & i live on the edges of a local nature reserve which has lots of walking paths. Once i’m shown a route i can normally remember, but i hadn’t walked along any of the paths for a long time…but here goes!! 🙂
When i said Sarah & i lived on the edge of the local nature reserve…it starts straight opposite our drive! This helps a lot.
I didn’t want to try the path directly through the woods onto the stew ponds, as i didn’t want to get lost on my first try. lol. So i decided to walk around the outside on the path i could still remember! 😉
⇧ I had no idea an Audi was in my photo when taking this!! 🙂 ⇧
I had to keep stopping as i couldn’t make out the path from the road, so i thought while i stopped i could take a photo! 🙂 It was further than i remembered(i really need to walk more) but finally i felt the bumps on the path indicating a road crossing. Yes i’ve made it this far, now to find the ponds!
After nearly walking into the first stew pond…i planted myself on the path! 🙂 It’s now starting to look familiar so i can enjoy the ponds.
I have no idea where this path leads but didn’t want to risk killing myself on my first outing! Maybe i’ll check it out next time…what do you think?
Afterr spending a little quiet time at the ponds, i decided to try heading back through the woods.
I found this path and i could hear the cars from the road on my left. I knew as long as i could hear the cars…i was going in the right direction. After i veered of track a few times and navigating some trees…i finally made it out! 🙂
I now could walk in the other direction from home and go to church for a coffee, which is another 2 miles towards my daily goal! 🙂
I walked over 8 miles in total and feel great, i like how i can track my now daily walk while monitoring my health. I think a lot more about eating already…as i know i have to walk for ages to burn it off! 🙂 I’ve been encouraged by reading posts by Ellie at New Creation Ministries, her posts convict me every time! 🙂
I often spend hours indoors daily studying the Bible and listening to sermons and teachings, but now i can be a lot more healthy whilst listening to the Bible on route! 🙂
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 New King James Version (NKJV)
19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.
Yay!!!! Were off to the Caribbean!! 🙂
I can’t believe we’re getting another chance to see some of God’s glorious creation! We were so blessed with our last cruise “Transatlantic Sunset Tour” even though we had a roller coaster of a ride! 🙂
We were up around 4:30am, packing the final items into our cases. I found out the hard way last year on how impossible it was to find my black suitcase on the carousel among hundreds of other black suitcases!! 😦 So this year i’ve treated myself to a dark purple one. Let’s see if this one is better to find?!
Kate, from the local taxis that Sarah uses for work, arrived and we set off for Gatwick. “Now we can relax” i said “As it’s too late to go back if we’ve forgotten anything”.
Kate was fantastic, and drove us right to the entrance and pointed us in the right direction “Just keep walking that way and you’ll be fine”. We checked in our cases and were given the fantastic airport assistance who guided us through customs and sat us in departures ready to catch the fun train.
The people at the desk said there was a 1 hour delay…”Oh yes!!” Sarah & i said at the same time “We have time to go shopping and have a coffee”. I think this was a new response for them as they looked a little bemused! 🙂
After finding the same italian coffee place from last year(it’s becoming another local), we found our way around a few shops and headed back to the pick up point. It wasn’t long before the handheld thing they give me started flashing and vibrating which meant it is our turn to get on-board the train!
After our fun ride on the train, we boarded the plane and i even got a window seat. The 787 Dreamliner didn’t disapoint as it gave it the beans down the runway!
During the 10½ hour flight, Sarah watched about 5 films(well 10 minutes of each, as she said they were horiffic, and saw firsthand why we didn’t have a TV lisence anymore). We enjoyed the in-flight meals though, and it made up for the poor entertainment.
As i can’t even see who is sat next to me(although i know it’s Sarah), i spent the time listening to the people around me. It helps me understand who is around, where they are, and i get to learn a little about the person by their words and character…as “what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart”. 🙂
Yay,we’re back in Jamaica! 🙂
The airport assistance escorted us through customs and to the queue for the coach transfer to the ship. As soon as they realised we couldn’t see, they took us and skipped straight passed the queue and onto the coach where we were shown to the 2 front seats! One advantage of being blind, lol.
Arriving at the ship, the coach driver said there were further delays and the queue for the ship check-in was long and it’s seriously hot out there! But when we left the coach, we met the assistance and again, they led us past the large queue straight to the check-in and onto the ship! I always feel a little guilty when this happens, but it’s a fantastic service for us. 🙂
Boarding the Thomson Dream again this year felt like we were coming home. It took us about a week to figure out where everything is, but this time we remembered and it made life a lot easier! 🙂
The Emergency Drill…
We were now almost experts at the life jackets(well Sarah was) and we needed no help this time putting them on. It was really hot and humid out on deck for the drill, but i handled the heat much better this time. 🙂
Finding our way back to the cabin with our life jackets on, we wanted to try and take a selfie to keep as a memory, as we probably wouldn’t have chance if we ever needed to use them again. It’s really hard to take a selfie when you can’t see the phone screen, but we took loads and managed to find one.
The Coffee Port…
After a full on day, Sarah & i were in need of a proper coffee…and guess what greeting we heard as we walked in??!! Yes it was Cecily! “No way” we both said “It’s so good to see you again”. Cecily then sat us down and said “2 espresso macchiatos?”….No way, she remembered! 🙂 This was really starting to feel like home.
We finished our coffees and headed back to our cabin. Our cases had arrived and we started unpacking as the ship set sail for Trujillo, Honduras…Wow what a day! 🙂
We spent day 2 exploring and seeing if anything had changed since we’d been gone. There were a few changes but nothing that tripped us up. Now it was time to check out the shore excursions for the next 4 islands!
Last year we didnt realise how quickly they sold out, so we got in early and booked an excursion for each of the 4 days, we were excited to have booked a few varied tours, but i was a little worried as we’d booked Kayaking on one tour and River tubing on another. Can blind people really do this without crippling themselves?? 🙂
Either way…back to the Coffee Port to celebrate with a latte! 🙂
Thanks for joining us, it’s great to see you on-board! 🙂
this evening Thomson Dream sails to Trujillo, Honduras. We’ll arrive on Thursday morning after the leisurely day at sea having travelled 515 nautical miles at an average speed of 15 knots.
🌴 Day Navigator 🌴
Leaving our room for the last time and hoping we’d not forgotten anything, we had a couple of hours on the ship before our coach arrived. We went out on deck first to say hello to Palma! 🙂
Wow, we’re really going to miss the sun when we arrive home!
We stayed out on deck for about half an hour reflecting on our crazy cruise and how we actually survived some of the situations that tried to knock us down. Then it was time to say goodbye to my favourite place “The Coffee Port”. 😦
Cecily and the Coffee Port…
I would like to say a huge thanks to Cecily and the Coffee Port. Every time without fail, as soon as Sarah and i would walk in, and before we’d seen Cecily, We’d here one of our names(depending who entered first) melodically sung which put a huge smile on our faces, what a welcome! 🙂
She was so supportive of us and made fantastic coffee! 🙂
Getting the coach…
After leaving the gangway for the last time, we boarded our coach and headed to the airport. It was a nice drive through Palma, but the mood on the coach was somber, as no-one wanted to go home. Although Sarah’s cough was almost constant and she was so tired from just coughing, she really wanted to be home so she can order a replacement insulin pump and get her blood under control.
We arrived at Palma airport and found the assisstance that helped us with our luggage, then escorted us to the gate where we sat waiting for the announcements. Sarah said “Let’s go and find you a coffee, then i can go and look around some shops as we will be here for about an hour” “Cool, sounds good to me, as long as we don’t venture off too far”.
Just then we heard our names called…
We were surprised to see one of the couples who befriended us at the Orion Restaurant in the evenings. They gave Sarah a card and said “Hope your new job goes well, and you find your feet quickly. We wish you all the best”. Sarah was in pleasant shock with this unexpected kindness, especially as we thought we’d never meet them again.
Yay, the plane…
I was excited to be travelling on an airplane again, and was totally surprised i managed to capture a piece of Palma upon take off! 🙂
Back in the UK…
We arrived in Gatwick airport on the Sunday before Bank Holiday Monday. The plan was to have the Bank Holiday as a rest day to try and recover from this rollercoaster of a cruise. But the drama hadn’t quite finished yet!!!
Sarah was suffering beyond even what she can take(that doesn’t happen often) and on Monday morning we had to go to A&E as her chest was now closing up really bad and she could hardly breathe. As it was a Bank Holiday it was quite busy, but we finally got in to see the doctor. He said she had a Respiratory Tract Infection which has now given her a secondary lung thingy(i can’t remember the exact diagnosis,lol). After picking up the antibiotics we made our way home.
Sarah’s new job…
I’m not sure if i’ve mentioned it yet, but just before we started this cruise, Sarah left her job at RNIB(Royal National Institute Of Blind People), where she’d worked for over 10 years, and was going to start her new job at WCRF(World Cancer Research Fund) tomorrow!! Yeah i know it seems mad, but don’t forget we’er dealing with my “Warrior Wife”!! 🙂
I can’t explain the emotions i’ve been through typing up this day to day account of our cruise. I’ve been smiling, laughing, crying and shocked to find some great photos that will serve as loving memories for us.
Thank You, Thank You & Thank You…
It’s been such a blessing to know you’ve joined us on our trip, but beyond that, encouraging us with your kind and loving comments along the way. So we both thank God for you, and thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Hopefully we’ll see you on our other tours too??!!
Please join us on more crazy adventures!!!
🌴 Day Navigator 🌴
🌴 Day Navigator 🌴
After about a week of sleepless nights, to say Sarah & i were tired is an understatement. Also Sarahs cough is a lot worse and her lungs feel like a boa constrictor has coiled around them. Her erratic blood sugars are making her sick too…but apart from that, we are excited to find out what our last shore excursion has in stall for us! 🙂
The coach was waiting for us from the bottom of the gangway(phew…at least we won’t get lost around the dock, lol) and we set off towards the castle. As we drove down narrow windy streets lined with vivid green palm trees, with cafes splashed with orange i said to Sarah “Wow, it’s like were driving through one of your fave tracks from Gran Turismo 4 on the Playstation 2!!” “Ok” she said ”Not sure i’d have thought of that, but now you’ve mentioned it, that is exactly what it looks like”. 🙂
Santa Barbara Castle…
As we stepped off the air conditioned coach onto the sandy/dusty car park, the first thing to hit me was the intense heat. The Caribbean was very hot but there was always a lovely cool breeze, but this heat seemed focused on burning me to a crisp! 🙂
I’m sure it was just a short walk to the castle and to my surprise i was already halfway down my bottle of water, so when we arrived to find a big climb to the top of the castle which included slanty slopes and invisible rough steps etc, it was time to start the thought process “I think we’ve done something stupid again, and taken on an excursion we should’ve never taken on”. But as usual my thoughts were quickly defeated as my Warrior Wife took my hand and relentlesly attacked the slopes! Sarah always leaves me speechless, as i know she is feeling much worse than me, yet she battles on and fights when most others would give up. This is one reason why i’m so proud of her and love her more than anything! 🙂
Once we reached to top and found the nearest wall, the view was fantastic and well worth risking our lives, lol 🙂
While stood admiring the view, i could hear a noisy flag flapping above my head. I thought “I havn’t tried taking a proper flag photo in motion before”. It took about 5 minutes to try and get my camera to focus, but i finally got my first! 🙂
The tour guide was great, telling us all about the gruesome, bloody history of the castle(history never changes) told us we had an hour of free time to have a look around the castle and we’d all meet up at the bottom.
Yay, we had more time to look around! 🙂
It really was stunning up here, and i was excited to find Sarah getting her phone ready for one of her breathtaking Panoramas! 🙂
Wow Sarah has treated us with 2 breathtaking Panoramas again!!! 😉
After Sarah “Top Trumped” me again with her amazing photos, we decided to begin our adventure down to the meeting place. We knew it was going to be much harder on the way down but we were going to enjoy it anyway!
As we still had about 30 minutes, we tried to look at everything we hadn’t seen on the way up.
When turning around, i thought Sarah had found a gift shop and was carrying a huge present for someone, lol. But thankfully it’s one of the statue things we found on the way.
We then found a cool little alley way.
This has to be one of my favorite photos!! I’m glad to see Sarah(The Greatest Warrior” parting some of her knowledge and instruction to an inferior ranked warrior on how to correctly throw a spear! 🙂
After many more laughs, we did eventually make it back to the meeting place, and then on to the coach, Ooooohh, air conditioning! 🙂
The Town Hall Square & Cathedral of Alicante…
Walking through the town was hard work as it was very busy, but Sarah did find a local craft store that were selling handmade daisy broaches out of wicker etc. So while she was looking, i thought i’d quickly snap a couple of photos.
The Cathedral of Alicante…
On leaving the Cathedral, the tour guide said we have 30 minutes free time, then could you please find your way back to the coach, i’ll be in the bar down this side alley getting a cold drink if anyone wants to join me? Sarah said “Come on quickly, we need to get to him before he gets swallowed by the crowds, as we don’t know our way back to the coach” “Okay, let’s go” i said as we zigzagged our way towards him. We caught up with him and he told us the easiest way back to the coach.
But before we headed back, Sarah had a chance to try the only Spanish phrase she could remember from her childhood holidays with her Dad.
“It worked!!! I must have said it right” Sarah said as she brought 2 bottles of Lager to the small corner table in the little bar we’d stumbled upon. 🙂
The Explanada, one of the most beautiful waterfront promenades in Spain…
On leaving the bar, Sarah saw this stunning pavement lined with palm trees. It reminded us of the incredible pavement in Horta, Azores.
Shortly before leaving the coach back at the dock, we had one final laugh when the tour guide told us he was from California, works in Alicante and is married to his Wife from Doncaster, South Yorkshire. “Wow” I said “That amazing, the guide yesterday was from Derby(my hometown) and Today the guide stays in Doncaster(Sarah’s hometown) a few months of the year, and when he finally said”I’ll be outside the French Gate in Doncaster in November, we all burst out laughing. 🙂
Back on the ship…
We had just enough time to capture the coastline of Alicante from the ship before Thomson Dream sailed away to Palma, Mallorca for us to get the plane home.
After getting changed for the evening meal, we knew it would be the last time we’d see our Orion Restaurant friends. We met them at our usual time and table and had a lovely evening talking about all the adventures of the day.
Who knows? We may bump into them again on a future cruise, which would be great! 🙂
Leaving the Orion Restaurant, we headed to the delo bar to enjoy our last cocktail with great music.
After a really long day, we arrived back at our cabin to find a new fantastic towel creature on our table. Sarah quickly moved it into an arty position ready for a humorous photo! 🙂
Just one more day to go before we head home, and Sarah and i spent the sleepless night talking about the highs and lows of our 1st cruise, and only my second time abroad! 🙂
Thanks once again for joining us, it’s a blessing to share with you.
🌴 Day Navigator 🌴
🌴 Day Navigator 🌴
⇧ Sarah welcomes you to Gibraltar! ⇧
After 2 days at sea, and finding out(by our new friends who met us for evening meals at Orion Restaurant) that on the excursion to the “Rock of Gibraltar” requires that we get a cable car to the top on the cliff! Wow…i love cable cars! It reminded me of the cable cars Sarah & i travelled on at “The Heights of Abraham” day trip.a couple of years ago! 🙂
So leaving the ship i was extra excited to travel on cable cars in Gibraltar! We found the coach that would take us to the beginning of the rock and got on-board.
The excursion guides so far have been amazing, and really proud of their country! So happy to share everything and anything about the local history and culture, always creating laughter and a friendly relaxed atmosphere. So when this guide stepped on-board complaining and quite angry we were quite taken aback! After complaint about everything she showed us, we pulled up at the bottom of the rock and waited for the cable cars.
Just a quick side note…As i’m registered blind(i know most of you will know this already) and don’t see people, just hear them. Whenever i’m out sat in a cafe, restaurant, at church or just around town, i often like to play one of my fave games using my ATS(accent targeting system). I love accents, and i like to try and locate their original area?! 🙂 Also its my only way of knowing who’s around me, and i’ve now trained myself so i can listen to 3 conversations at once! lol This can be good and bad depending. 🙂 Anyway enough rambling!
When i got near the guide i asked her where she was from originally? “Derby” she said! “No way, a Derby bird, i’m from Derby too. It’s crazy that we’d meet here in Gibraltar”. It makes sense now. lol. It’s sometimes hard to pin down a accent that’s the same as your own, but i’m getting better.
After fantastic views from the cable cars, we finally reached the top of The Rock of Gibraltar! 🙂
After taking shots of my beautiful wife Sarah(which i could do all day) the guide warned us about the monkeys that would steal anything and everything that wasn’t in your bag or not in the right place. By this i mean sunglasses on your head instead of over your eyes. The guide told us of one woman who had put her brand new £200 Rayban sunglasses on her head to take a photo, had them quickly snatched by a monkey and were never seen again! 😦
A kind person asked if Sarah & i would like a photo together? I said that would be lovely, thank you. But i think my face is wondering if the man was going to run off with my Big Nikon! lol. 🙂
The guide said we had about an hour free time before we all have to meet back together, so Sarah got her iPhone out ready to take one of her amazing Panoramas!
Not 1…but 2 of Sarah’s Breathtaking Panoramas!!! 🙂
It had been a fantastic day already and the views were simply stunning from up here. We now had to find one of those monkeys to try and get a photo before we go.
⇧ Sarah videoing one of the monkeys ⇧
After nipping into the gift shop to get a couple of presents we started heading back towards the cable cars.
We were just near the steps(walking 2 by 2 when we heard a loud “Oi!!” by the woman behind us, followed by a quiet couple of seconds, then lots of laughter??! We stopped and turned round to find out one of the monkeys had touched/stroked the ladies leg near her bum, and she thought it was the man behind her. But after the mix up they all started laughing! 🙂
Travelling back to the ship after more complaining by the excursion guide (mainly about her many ex husbands) we had time to take a few photos from the deck before Thomson Dream sailed overnight to Alicante…our last port before we head to Palma, Majorca for our flight home 😦
Sarah & i had a fantastic time in Gibraltar and it was great to have a guide from my home town to share her great accent with us.
Creating these blog posts documenting each day of our trip has been such a blessing for Sarah & i, especially knowing that you’ve been right here with us along the way! 🙂 They leave us with such lovely memories every time we read back through them.
🌴 Day Navigator 🌴
By Sandra Js Photography - Make the rest of your life the best of your life.
A blog about Apologetics, Philosophy, Theology, and anything else rattling in my mind.
This blog is about my walk with God and my love for photography. And just random things too.😜
Life is a balance of holding on and letting go. -Rumi
Thoughts On Lessons Learned
The Creative Work of Steven Colborne
A MOSAIC OF BITS AND PIECES ON TRAVEL, LIFE AND TIMES
The gentle art of balancing marriage, parenting, and triathlon
when Jesus meets me in the park
My recovery from obesity and mental illness
And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. (John 8:32)
Travel & Photography
Looking at life through writing and photography
Teaching the art of composition for photography.
Practical Daily Devotions for the Real World
My experiences in Italy and the world
Learning to forgive others as Jesus has done.
Sometimes faith. Sometimes life. Always whatever's in my head.
Writer/Poet/Christian Apologist /Creative
“Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.” — Maya Angelou