Friday, October 7, 2011

FLORIDA to SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND

With Kevin in New York
After Colorado, it was back to Boca Raton for a week.  And a busy week it was -- in and out of our storage unit unpacking and repacking for the upcoming 3 month trip.  Plus I was reviewing and running off copies of the lectures I was scheduled to give on our upcoming cruise.  Once that was all behind us, we relaxed at the Riveside Hotel on Las Olas Blvd. in Fort Lauderdale, a charming hotel in a great locale -- another winner from skyauction.com.  (See earlier post about how skyauction works).  We took long walks along the New River and on A1A beside the pristine beach.  We spent a good part of one day on a water taxi meandering along all  the beautiful waterways lined with multi-million dollar mansions.  

Cunard's newest ship The Queen Elizabeth
On Sept. 19, we flew to New York to board the Queen Elizabeth.  It was docked in Manhattan overnight so we had the opportunity to see our nephew Conor, and our friend, Kevin.  On Sept. 20 we sailed out of New York harbor and arrived in Newport, Rhode Island the next day.  The weather was beautiful and the town was quiet following the busy, summer tourist season.  


College roommates 44 years after graduation
Unfortunately, the weather was not so great the next day in Boston, but that did not put a damper on my reunion with 3 college roommates.  All four of us had not been   together in over 20 years, but we talked and laughed as if we were back in the sorority house.   


The great thing about this trip was the opportunity it offered to see some special people along the way.  That continued with our stop in Portland, Maine.  Our friend Perry  met us at the pier and we spent the better part of the day talking, lunching and being shown the highlights of Portland. 

Quebec city, Canada
Last stop in the USA was Bar Harbor, Maine.  Then on to Canada where we spent one day in Nova Scotia and two in the charming city of Quebec.  The massive Hotel Fontenac dominates the city overlooking the restored buildings along the waterfront.  


Last chance to step on land was in Corner Brook, Newfoundland.  Finally, we saw a few trees turning color, but our cruise was just a bit early to enjoy the height of fall foliage.  


Fall colors in Newfoundland, Canada
Five sea days after Newfoundland delivered us to Southampton, England which happened to be my 65th birthday.  65 years old???  44 years out of college???  Can it be?  I like what Sophia Loren said about aging: "There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age."


We spent the day in Southampton.  The weather was damp and chilly as it often is in England.   Next morning, it was off to the  airport for our flight to Malaga where we will spend the next 7 weeks enjoying the Costa del Sol.  

TRAVEL TIPS:  If you are looking for a cruise, www.vacationstogo.com is a great site for checking the sailing dates and itineraries of all the major cruise lines.  No obligation to book your trip through them but their prices are competitive.