Retire in Uruguay?

LOCATION:  In an great AirB&B in Punta del Este, Uruguay
WEATHER:  Perfect.  High 73

Several years ago, when we started thinking about retirement, we thought we might want to retire in Uruguay.  It is the most stable democracy in South America, has a nice temperate climate (think South Carolina), good healthcare, and a relatively low cost of living. 

So, when we decided to take the cruise, we thought we should visit Uruguay during the same visit.  Hence, we are in Punta del Este, checking it out.

It is a small city devoted to tourism.  Wealthy people from Montevideo, Uruguay and from various parts of Argentina come here in the summer (which we are now finishing up) for their summer holidays.  The skyline is lined with high-rise apartments, giving in a mini-Miami look.  Yachts line the harbor.

The people look wealthy, slim, and fit, and you see lots of joggers/walkers along the waterfront.  Besides the high-rises, there are some elegant homes. 

We are staying here about a week, in a cute apartment through AirB&B.  We have two walls that are entirely windows – one looking out to the Atlantic and one toward the Punta del Este bay.

We had a lovely day today, getting to know the area bit.  First we went to to the harbor, about 2 blocks from our apartment.  We watched the greedy sea lions beg for food from the fishermen cleaning the fish from their fresch catch.

Then, to one of the stalls in the harbor to buy our dinner. 

Once our (inexpensive) purchase was in the refrigerator at home, we took off for the afternoon.  We had a chivito for lunch, a very popular Uruguayan dish  made famous by Anthony Bourdain.  It is a sandwich with a special kind of bun with meat, ham, bacon, cheese, mayonnaise, and a fried egg.  We went to a chiviteria to eat it.  We like the fact that there are not many English-speaking people here.  The waiter/owner was patient as I placed the order.  We paired it with a small carafe of local wine. 

We walked along the popular seafront.  Today the waves were pretty high, and surfers were out.  We saw lots of tiny thong bikinis on the beach!

Our destination was “La Mano” – “The Hand” – a statue made by a famous Uruguayan artist.

From there, we headed inland, and walked down the city’s most popular street – with a lot of chic shops, restaurants, and beach stores.  We are glad that we are a bit far from this part of town – full of tourists.

On our way home, we stopped at the grocery store.  I was proud that I figured out the produce section (by watching a little child do it).  You put your items in a plastic bag, weigh them, and hit a button to create a price tag.  In the deli section, this lady was making a huge pan of paella.

Back home, we watched the sun set from our apartment’s top floor – with a pool, exercise room, and party/kitchen room equipped with a huge BBQ pit.

In Uruguay, people don’t eat dinner until about 10:00.   We are trying to eat a bit later than we normally do, to follow the custom here.  So, while I was cooking dinner, George went to the brewpub across the street (how convenient!) to try a craft beer.  The brewpub doesn’t open until 7:00, and George said he was the only customer.  It only starts hopping about 11:00 PM. 

DINNER:  Arugula/ lettuce salad to start.  The main course was steamed mussels that we bought this morning.  I sauteed onion and garlic in a pan, then added the mussels, white wine, and chicken broth.  I steamed them for just about 3 minutes until the shells popped open and revealed their plump mussels inside.  I stirred in lots of chopped parsley, and served with a baguette to sop up the juice.  Yum! 

And life goes on….cruising along Brazil’s coast

LOCATION:  Punta del Este, Uruguay in a great AirB&B
WEATHER:  Very nice.  High 73

I’ve decided to re-start the blog.  Alexis was my best blog follower, giving me suggestions, editing grammar mistakes, etc., and would have wanted me to continue, so here goes……

Since the last post (before we learned of her death), we continued on our Azamara cruise.  It had started in Buenos Aires, and we sailed up the Brazilian coast toward Rio de Janeiro.  We stopped in several beach towns and an island on our way. 

The landscape was magnificent – so green and lush.  Many of these islands are homes of billionaires who own the entire island, complete with a helicopter pad.  I snorkeled at the beach in front of this island. 

At another stop, we just wandered around the town and beach on our own, sipping on Brazil’s national drink – caipirinha.

One of the towns where we stopped – Parati – is a UNESCO world historical site and not much has changed since it was discovered in the 1800s.  .  The streets are all cobblestone, and no vehicles, except horse and carriages, are allowed.  They were preparing for Carnaval.  After we walked around a bit, we noticed that the tide was coming in and  the streets were starting to flood, almost an everyday occurence.

Another stop was Buzios, a ritzy beach town called “The St. Tropez of the South” and was made famous when Bridget Bardot came to town. 

Ilhabela, an island along the coast where we stopped, had a quaint town with fishermen cleaning their fish and squid.

After the beach towns, we had two sea days to get to Rio de Janeiro.  Visiting Rio during Carnaval had been on my bucket list, so this was the main reason we took this cruise.  On board, we kept busy during the day, exercising, playing trivia games, and enjoying excellent entertainment such as tango dancers, vocalists, and musicians.  On each cruise, Azamara does a “White Night” celebration with lots of food and music around the pool.  Everyone is supposed to wear white.  It is quite something.

Then….Rio.  It did not disappoint!  We stayed 2.5 days in port there, so that people could enjoy nightly entertainment rather than rush back to the ship.  On our first night there, we took one of the ship’s planned “excursions” to Rio’s huge Sambadome.  Along with 90,000 other spectators, we watched hours of parades go by.  The people who live in the flavelas (slums) spend the entire year preparing for this event.  Each group is called a school.  They create a theme, design floats, sew costumes, practice singing and dancing, then parade in the Sambadome from one end to another.  Each school has about 5000 members, and it takes at least an hour for them to arrive at the end of the stadium.

At the end of the stadium is this monument – built to look like a woman’s butt wearing a thong bikini – which we see a lot of in all shapes and sizes – small, medium, large and extra large sizes!

The parade/contest started at 10:00 PM.  We left after two of the schools went by, at about 1:00 AM.  There were a total of 6 schools that night, so the last school finished at about 7:00 AM.  The schools are judged based on lots of criteria.  It is a fierce competition.   There are four nights of this, culminating in one school winner.  They receive a significant cash price, which they use for the next year’s Carnaval’s parade.

No rest for the weary….the next day we got up early to do a city tour.  We saw the iconic Christ the Redeemer statue.  We were lucky that it was a sunny day; sometimes it is cloudy and Christ is covered up by fog. 

Then, we drove by the packed, famous beaches of Copacabana and Ipanema, arriving at Sugar Loaf Mountain.  We took a cable car up to the top and enjoyed beautiful views of the city below and of Christ the Redeemer on another hill.

On our way home, we drove by one of the many flavelas (slums) that line Rio’s landscape.

Then, a bit of a scare…..Brazilians are especially celebrating Carnaval this year, as Covid has prevented the celebration for the last 3 years.  Young people gather for impromtu street parties.  Bicycles with coolers selling beer and bottles of liquor  clog the streets.  Most of the people are in a state of undress, and are pretty drunk.  Unfortunately, as our shuttle was nearing the harbor, the revelers moved to the street that we had to go down.  We had to plow through a crowd of about 10,000.  They wouldn’t move, either just wanting to party there, or oblivious to a van coming through.  This is the view from inside the van…

People were screaming at us and pounding on the van, but we made it through.  When we got on board the ship, we took this photo of the crowd that we had just gone through…

It was a crazy, but fun, visit.  I can now check it off the Bucket List.  Our ship sailed the following day, back south toward Buenos Aires. 

We disembarked one day early from the ship as we had plans to stay in Punta del Este for about a week.  The ship was very accomodating and helped us with immigration forms, etc so we could get off in Uruguay, rather than Buenos Aires, Argentina, where it will end tomorrow.

I will post again with photos and an account of our adventures here in Punta del Este.  More to come…..

Memories of Alexis

I’ve decided to re-start the blog of ReidsontheRoadwithJoy, as Alexis would have wanted us to. I’ve attached a few photos that popped up recently. The narrative that follows is from Hannah, one of Alexis’s best friends. A real tribute.

Here we are when she was a little girl

We were honored that she liked to travel with us. This was taken in Loreto, Baja California, Mexico where we spent a great week together

This was taken in a restaurant in Rochester, Minnesota where she lived.

She inherited a love of craft beers from her father….

And a love for sushi, just like her parents

Another oldie – from my 40th birthday at a Mexican restaurant….

She loved animals, and volunteered at Rochester’s Paws and Claws animal shelter….

This was taken on a cold day in Rochester – Alexis with her good friend Hannah, who wrote this narrative below about her memories with our darling girl….

One of my oldest and best friends, Alexis Reid, passed away on February 12/13th.  She took her own life after struggling with severe pain and symptoms from progressive neuropathy that she was diagnosed with a few months ago.  She said she couldn’t imagine living without being able to walk or to enjoy the things she loved. She never disclosed the extent of her suffering to those close to her until after she was gone.  I am filled with grief over losing her and to know that she bore such a burden alone.

I met Alexis in high school.  As I’ve heard it, she was coming off her dark and angsty preteen years when she fell in with my crowd of friends, a group of lovable misfits. Alexis was an honor-roll student, but she could’ve cared less about many of the typical accomplishments that other peers were focused on.  Above all, she wanted to help animals.  She was selective with human friends, but really, deeply loved all animals.  She was vegan before it was trendy, or nearly as easy as they make it now with all of the substitute foods and options available.  She went on to earn a degree in Animal Behavior and Ethology from Hampshire College in Massachusetts.  Before Hampshire, she spent a year at Ohio Wesleyan, which she didn’t like at all, but while there she tried to nurse a baby squirrel back to health in her dorm room.  After college, during her 11 or so years working in transport at Mayo, she often petsat and volunteered at the local animal shelter.  She was also one of my dog’s favorite people in the world, and I could never get her to stop letting Nebbie jump all over her.  She had dreams of owning a house and adopting a ton of pets, and also of working full-time with shelter animals someday.  At one point she told me her house would contain an entire “cat room” that she would allow her many cats to destroy as they wished.  She believed strongly in ethical euthanasia and also talked about potentially providing that service to ailing animals.  Her Linkedin bio still just says “I’m working far outside my field of interest in order to save up money so I can go work with animals and be poor!” 

Even though it was far outside her area of interest, Alexis enjoyed being able to work on her feet in a physically demanding position, and she was good at her job.  I know because she was once my transport person when I was admitted to the ER.  She embraced a “work to live” as opposed to a “live to work” philosophy, and was incredibly good at living frugally while saving and spending on things she truly cared about, like travel.  She never owned a car, preferring to walk and bike everywhere.  She was always excited to receive hand-me-down clothes from me, and wore several of those items for years.  She lived in a tiny –  but very cute – attic apartment, which she also shared for several years with Graham.  Her parents taught her excellent money management skills, and she offered to help me figure out my finances too.  I wasn’t interested in budgeting at the time, we were in our early 20s!  She was exceedingly generous, and always cared more about having fun than splitting the check.  She wanted to take me on an international trip, and I will always regret not being able to go.  I could never find the time, and now I want nothing more than to have that time back.

Alexis loved all animals, and relatively few people.  I’ll always consider myself lucky that she chose me as a friend.  Once she did, she never stopped making a dedicated effort to stay in touch.  She sent postcards, letters, and gifts.  She visited me in all the places I’ve lived, coming as far as Arizona and Alaska.  She and Aemelia hosted me when I came to visit Hampshire, too.  For several years, even in 2020, she organized annual summer cabin trips in the Minnesota and Wisconsin woods – those were a blast.  She once even took some of us on an evening cruise on a solar-powered riverboat with vegan charcuterie boards. We went to the Pink Floyd laser show, food fairs, the renaissance festival, and so many bars and restaurants.  She loved good beer and cocktails and good food, but wasn’t a snob. Alexis was an ace at planning, but also managed to be casual and relaxed about everything.   She truly just wanted to have fun with the people she loved.

Alexis was also very funny in a dark and dry way.  I still have a postcard she sent me in 2011 after visiting me during college in Tucson, AZ.  The last line reads “Enjoy dying of heat-stroke later this semester.”  She loved comedies, and always had something new to introduce me to – Trailer Park Boys is still one of my favorites.  She had a special affinity for British comedies that she inherited from her parents. In another postcard that she sent many years ago from Nicaragua, she wrote “Right now I’m chilling in the house of a short-term host family, expecting diarrhea at any moment, cuz fuck drinking bottled water.”  And that was Alexis.  Willing to sacrifice for her ideals, and sometimes stubborn as hell about it, but with a great sense of humor along the way.

Her stay in Nicaragua was part of a larger study program she did that was primarily in Costa Rica.  There she did a turtle conservation internship.  She loved South America, and visited many of its countries over the years.  She also loved going to Puerto Rico and Mexico. She was an excellent Spanish speaker and was working on her Italian.  Besides animals, travel was probably the other greatest passion in her life – another gift bestowed by her parents, globe-trotters themselves.  She traveled widely and often and always had a trip on the calendar.  She loved meeting her parents out in the world, and followed their travel blog closely.  Like her parents, she was a documenter and took many photos and videos of her travels, which I am grateful we have to look back on.  She spoke so fondly of Karmen and George and was so proud of how they’ve spent their retirement. 

I know I can’t fully answer the question of who Alexis was, but I can tell you who she was to me.  A fiercely loyal, reliable, and steadfast presence in my life who was fundamentally honest and who knew herself with a clarity most of us can only hope for.  For example, when she came to visit me in Alaska, she told me in advance that she didn’t want to do any real hiking.  She wanted to see some stuff, hang out, eat, and drink.  Maybe get a tattoo.  (She decided against the tattoo in the end).  She knew what she wanted, and she made it easy to accommodate.  She was never looking for drama, never demanded anything, never needed to be the center of attention.  She could definitely be insensitive, but in this somehow innocent and often funny way.  She wasn’t trying to be callous or unkind, and was in truth the opposite. She loved reggae and reggaeton and the Ben Harper song “Burn One Down” – especially the line “if you don’t like my fire, then don’t come around.”  She had a tattoo of Minnesota and a tattoo that she got abroad when she was underage, of some character that they told her meant “dragon” but which in fact meant nothing of the sort. She was cute and fun and she lived on her own terms, at her own pace.  She never wanted to get married, never wanted to have kids, but spent many years in a goodpartnership and had some flings too.  She wanted to walk lightly on the Earth and do more good than harm.  She applied her hyper-rational thinking both to herself and to others. She hated sharing her deepest emotions.  But, she told me she loved me regularly, and I will always be grateful that those were the last words we exchanged with each other days before she died.

I’m not going to pretend there was some divine justice in what happened to her, because I don’t believe there was.  It was cruel and unfair and it will never make sense.  I hate that she suffered, and how alone she must have felt, and how scared she was.  Selfishly, I wish she had hung on longer, but I can’t blame her for doing what she did.  She was in so much pain and terrified of a future that might be just hanging on.  Alexis didn’t want to just hang on. She wanted to live fully, as she wanted to live.  Because she couldn’t live on her own terms, she chose to die on her own terms.  But it doesn’t hurt any less.

She still pops up as one of my top contacts on FB messenger, and I hate knowing that I’m never going to get another message, and that her name won’t be at the top of my list for much longer.  I hate that after sending her most recent birthday present, I finally remembered to put her address under her contact in my phone, so I don’t have to dig through old emails to find it every time.  And now I’ll never have a chance to use it again.  I don’t save anyone’s addresses like that.  I hate that we’ll never take the international trip we talked about for years.  Alexis was special to me and I will miss her for the rest of my life.  I know others feel the same.  Whenever I travel somewhere new, pet a stray dog, or try a new craft beer, I’ll try to share a little of it with her. 

Tragic news

LOCATION:  Along the Brazilian coast in the Atlantic Ocean.  On Azamara Pursuit cruise ship
WEATHER:  Hot.  High 80

It is with extreme sadness that I write this blog post.  Yesterday, we received  a call from the Rochester, Minnesota Police Department informing that our precious daughter Alexis died yesterday or the day before. 

She took her own life.  She left a note saying that she did not want to live a life in which she could not walk.  She had recently been diagnosed with neuropathy and had minor symptoms such as occasional numbness of her fingers or toes.  The long-term prognosis included a possibility of worsening numbness. 

We are shell-shocked as she had seemed in high spirits.  We have been emailing back and forth about our upcoming planned get-together trip in Colombia after we finish this cruise.  She had bought her airline tickets and had reserved AirB&Bs for us.  So – nothing to indicate she was considering something like this. 

We will continue this trip as there is nothing we can do at this point.  I will discontinue the blog for a few weeks, as we will be laying low.  Our trip ends in late March.  We will fly up to Rochester to clean out her apartment, etc. 

Thank you to the people I have contacted already for your kind words.  She was a terrific young lady and wonderful, loving daughter.  Here are some photos…. most are recent, but one is one from about age 3 and one is at her sister’s Indian wedding, a second daughter that we lost last year.

Sunday grits and Super Bowl!

LOCATION:  Montevideo, Uruguay
WEATHER:  Another scorcher.  High 95

Trying to preserve our Sunday morning routines, we had breakfast in the main dining room.  To replicate our normal Sunday morning fare, George ordered polenta (grits), a fried egg, and some bacon.  This is our 3rd Sunday on the ship.  Wow!

We walked into Montevideo in the morning, trying to avoid the afternoon heat.  Being Sunday, almost everything was closed.  We walked around the market that is now a beautiful food court, featuring a LOT of meat on spits. 

This clever sign beckons hot, thirsty tourists into their bar/restaurant.  The sign translates to “Cold beer, cold like your mother-in-law’s heart”. 

Back at the ship, we enjoyed the nice air-conditioned comfort.  A lot of the passengers sunned (aka burned) themselves sitting around the pool.  It just does not look inviting to me to bake in the hot sun.  A lot of them (who shouldn’t) wear skimpy swimsuits!

George napped in the afternoon, and I read in the library.  One of the passengers was playing relaxing classical music.  Very classy!

Then it was trivia time.  We sipped on our Sunday afternoon Bloody Marys during the quiz.  We had to specify “extra spicy”. 

We went up to a different lounge for cocktails and to listen to a new house band.  Like the last cruise, they are from Bali, Indonesia and are very good.

In the main lounge/theatre, we watched a Latino singer perform. He is excellent. 

Again, we can really tell that the ship is full.  When we went to the dining room, we had to wait about 30 minutes before a table was available.  On the last cruise, we always had many tables available from which to choose.

DINNER:  I had baked halibut – very tasty – and George had a sausage pasta dish.

On to Super Bowl!  They provided a big screen TV in the lounge with popcorn and snacks. 

Mardi Gras in Montevideo!

LOCATION:  Docked in Montevideo, Uruguay
WEATHER:  Hot and humid!  High 92

Over night, we sailed from Buenos Aires to Montevideo on the Rio de Plata, the world’s widest river.  We docked this morning at 8:00 AM.  We will be here 2 nights.  There is a lot of river traffic. This huge freighter sailed right by us.

It is interesting how the vibe is different on this cruise.  Now at full capacity, the buffet area is crowded and the bars are full.  Last night at dinner, the dining room hostess had to turn away people who were in ratty shorts. I’m glad they enforce the dress code. I think we were spoiled on the last one. 

Being too hot to do my power walk around the deck, I attended a Pilates class.  Wow!….I will certainly feel it tomorrow!

We walked into the city.  George has a vague plan to buy a white shirt for the upcoming White Night party.  With that in mind, we headed toward the main downtown section.  The architecture is very nice….

Struggling in the heat, we made it to the clothing store about 2:00 – and of course it was closed for siesta.  Oh well. 

We sat in a park to cool down and to people-watch.  Montevideo is very European.  There are a lot of sidewalk cafes like this one…

We had a sushi appetizer at an early dinner buffet,  and then we were whisked off to the Teatro Solis for the cruise’s “Amamazing Evening”.

They offer one of these specialty events on each voyage.  It is the same one that we went to last cruise, but didn’t mind repeating it.  The theatre was named after an explorer named Solis, who was eaten by natives when he ventured on land!

We were greeted with champagne by the actors…

The show is a Mardi Gras celebration with the actors in beautiful costumes. 

After a lot of singing and dancing, another group of actors showed us Mardi Gras’ African influence with lots of drums, singing, and dancing.

The bus brought us back to the ship about 9:30.  We had a late night snack on the pool deck, calling it an early night, and foregoing karaoke night! 

Our private cruise ship!

LOCATION:  In Buenos Aires port
WEATHER:  Hot and humid.  High 92

This morning was the end of the first cruise.  All passengers had to leave by about 9:00 AM.  There are 15 couples like us who are doing the next cruise, too.  Most of them left for a few hours to do some more things in Buenos Aires.  So – we had the ship almost to ourselves!  Wow!!!!

We had some paperwork to do, then the steward helped us move to a new room, just down the hall. 

The staff were like whirling dervish, cleaning all the rooms and preparing them for the next passengers. 

Since there were not many people still on the ship, they had us eat in one of the specialty dining rooms.  It is quite nice…

I had a bowl of bouillibaise for lunch, probably the best I have ever had.

After lunch, we went to the pool, where we were the only ones there.  It was so hot that I burned the bottoms of my feet.  Ouch!

We watched the ship leave the dock at 5:00 at the Sail Away party.  In our first cruise, there were only 470 of us (capacity is 700).  This cruise is full.  I can tell a difference already.

DINNER:  We ate in the main dining room with the German couple from the first cruise.  They will also be doing part of the world cruise in 2024, so it is nice to have met them.  George had carpaccio for appetizer and a shrimp/baked trout dish.  I had two appetizers – a salad and Scallops St. Jacques.  Might as well splurge – quality, not quantity!

Then a beautiful sunset over the Rio de Plata, as we head toward Uruguay

A Day in the “Paris of South America”

LOCATION:  Buenos Aires, Argentina
WEATHER:  Hot and humid.  High 86

This is our view this morning as we ate our breakfast on the deck – the harbor full of containers and cruise ships.  Very busy.

We opted to do our own tour of the city using a Hop On/Hop Off bus.  We find that this is a good way to get oriented to a city.  Not much English is spoken here, so I was glad that I was able to negotiate everything with the bus’s sales lady in Spanish.

We sat up top in the air-conditioned section and enjoyed about 2 hours of seeing the sites of the city.  My main impression is of super wide boulevards (some of the widest in the world), lots of parks, monuments, and interesting architecture. 

On the side of this building, you can see the profile of the beloved (still) Eva Peron.

We learned that after Argentina won the World Cup that this avenue was filled with 5 million fans.

here are many different parts of the city, each with its own personality.  We got off the bus in the area of San Telmo with its famous markets.  George urgently needed a toilet so we stopped at the first bar we found.  I had a wine and he had an IPA and a toilet stop,  all for $5.

Then we stumbled upon a great restaurant.  I had been hankering for Argentine pizza.  It is an old family joke……Many years ago I spent 6 weeks in Argentina with a Rotary Club adult exchange program.  I ate some pizza on that trip that I really liked.  Then, when I got home, whenever we had pizza, I would say….”Did you know that they have really good pizza in Argentina?”  Our daughters cringed every time I said that.  Fond memories.

In any case, we ordered a mozarella pizza that came with tasty olives. 

The atmosphere was very “chic”……

We sat next to a couple – he is from the Netherlands and she is from Paraguay.  We spoke Spanish.  It is interesting how I can understand other foreigners’ Spanish much better than the natives’.    🙂

After lunch, we wandered around San Telmo and watched an outdoor tango show for a while….

Back on the bus, the last neighborhood that we went through is called La Boca.  It is considered to be quite Bohemian.  It was established by the Italians.  We decided we were too tired, and it was too hot, for us to get off the bus, so we continued onward. 

All in all, the tour was 7 hours, so we feel like we got our money’s worth. 

It felt good to come “home” to our ship. 

DINNER:  We sat next to a very nice couple from England and chatted about our favorite BBC shows.  I had Asian hot and sour soup for an appetizer and a second appetizer – swordfish with quinoa for my main.  George’s appetizer was a shrimp/salmon dish.  Then he splurged with a filet steak. 

We went to the cruise’s final night’s entertainment.  The house dancers and band played/sang Broadway songs.  They are all so talented. 

Eating our way towards Buenos Aires

LOCATION:  Ever closer to Buenos Aires.  Moving from the Atlantic Ocean into the Rio de Plata (Silver River)
WEATHER:  Thunderstorms in the AM.  Warmer.  High 84

We awoke to thunder and lightening.  It is neat to see and hear it over the water.  Some big bangs.  We had breakfast with Lee, the Assistant Cruise Director on this cruise who will be the “World Concierge” on our 2024 trip.  He wanted to follow-up with questions we have about that trip.  George had a bowl of polenta (grits) with poached eggs and artichoke “islands” floating on the top. 

Then, another meeting – with the Documents Officer – about our transition to the next cruise.  There are 32 of us who are doing a back-to-back cruise, meaning that we stay on this ship for the next cruise.  There are special passport and check-in details for us to follow. 

From there, a lecture on animal sounds, some of which we can hear and others we cannot.  We enjoy the scientific lectures offered by Ph.Ds.

Lunch was scheduled to be an outdoor BBQ served by the Senior Officers.  Due to the thunderstorm, they moved it into the main dining room.  Lots of choices.  I tried to stick with salads.  George had some pork – cut directly from a displayed whole pig   😦 

A little nap in the afternoon to recover from last night’s late hour. 

We had a very enjoyable chat with a Norwegian couple in one of the lounges, and they took our pictures….

DINNER:  We opted to eat in the buffet this evening since it was India Night.  It was a terrific selection and we both totally over-ate. 

The sunset view from the restaurant was beautiful….

George went to the night’s entertainment, another tango show, while I watched a travel video in the bar. 

Another late night – we went to another lounge where the house singers performed.  It was Canada night – with the Canadian cast performing Canadian songs.  It was greatly appreciated by a contingent from Nova Scotia and Ontario. 

This was followed by some dancing with the D.J., but we called it quits about 11:30. 

Sailing north to Buenos Aires

LOCATION:  Sailing north toward Buenos Aires in the Atlantic, paralleling the Argentina coast
WEATHER:  Sunny and windy.  High 73

We left Puerto Madryn at 9:00 PM last night.  By land, it takes about 24 hours to drive to Buenos Aires from here.  For the ship, it will be 2 days sailing.

We attended a very interesting Q&A session with the Senior Officers.  They are very approachable.  A lot of the questions were about staffing shortages and staff satisfaction after the pandemic.

After that I attended a session by a guest lecturer about undersea exploration while George went to one about the ship’s medical team.  Both quite good.

Lunch was on the patio.  George chatted with the officers who seem to eat lunch there every day.

Then, I took my afternoon jogging constitutional for about an hour.

While I was exercising, George attended a formal English tea.  He got all dressed up (required) with a jacket and tie.  He had almost forgotten how to tie a tie!  He said everything was very nicely presented.  Very British.

We enjoy finding quiet spots around the ship to read.  This is the nice library…..

And this is the Drawing Room, set up for card games, quiet talks, and reading.

I joined George in the bar for a game of trivia.  Afterwards, he chatted up some of the staff, sharing photos of them from the White Night Party.  One was so taken with George that she gave him a tip on how to access free wifi onboard.  Yay!

DINNER:  We ate in the main dining room.  I had some delicious Cajun ahi for an appetizer, and tofu shish-kabobs for my main course.  George had fried ravioli for a starter and grilled fish for his main.

Another fun evening.  First our cruise director gave a performance.  She has an excellent voice.  From there we went to the lounge to dance to ABBA songs withh the crew dancers.  Fun!  And then…..starting at 11:15 (!!!!!!), we danced to the house band.  A late, but fun, night.

BOOK:  “Die Again” by Tess Gerritsen.  This is part of the series featuring a female medical examiner and police detective.  Gerritsen is reliably good.  4 stars out of 5