Saturday, June 16, 2012

2012 Summer Family Cruise (SFC)

Well...I'm off again...

I'm sitting in Delta's Sky Club in the brand new International Terminal of the Atlanta airport.  It is GORGEOUS!

The Summer Family Cruise for 2012 has us heading to the Black Sea.  Alix and I leave in 3 hours for Venice.  The rest of the family (we never travel together) is headed out an our later via Paris.

Here's my itinerary....of course aboard Crystal Cruise's wonderful Crystal Serenity.

The cast of characters is the usual....

Alix, CruiseGran, my brother Ed and family, my brother Will and his son, my cousin Ashley and her family, and my cousins Suzanne and Bill.

I'll TRY to remember to take some photos for y'all........(because, you's so hard for me to remember to take a photo...I do it so seldom!!!!)

Thursday, June 14, 2012

One Last Look

Good Morning, Your Majesty.

My mom thought I was talking about her.  But I wasn't.  I had just opened up the hotel room blinds to see THIS.

Yep.  The Queen Elizabeth sailing into Hong Kong.


The view without the mighty liner is STILL impressive.

Just a few last photos of things I want to remember....

The flowers in the Intercontinental Hotel..

The cakes at the Mandarin Oriental.

Soon we were at the airport, and before we knew it, on the plane.

A pretty cool take off shot to end a really cool trip.

Thanks for travelling with me!!!

Get Off Da Ship!!!

I just don't like it.

Not one bit.

Debarkation is never fun.  No one ever wants to leave.  But as someone once said,  "you must first say goodbye before you can say hello again."

Right.  It still sucks.

Luggage off.  Check.

Hail and farewell (for now) to Jimmy and Cynthia.  See you in November, Cynthia!

New crew ready to sign on.

Veranda washing day!

The signs....the signs of Hong Kong!

I wonder if there is a "No Watch Company".

Even street signs look awfully cool when they're BOTH in Chinese and English.

This made me think of my friend Susanne. She's always busy.

On the ferry, this sign just cracked me up...

I simply don't know WHAT to make of this one, but it made me laugh.

We all ordered some "chops" or handcarved chinese signature seals, at the Chinese Arts and Crafts Store.

We asked around, and found Crystal Jade,  one of those "local" restaurants where we, once again, were the only occidentals.

Then it was time for, you guessed it, another foot massage.

All four of us at once.  They had to call in reinforcements.  It hadn't been busy until we arrived.

I don't know what Bill is watching on the telly, but he sure seems interested.


Nothing like a communal footrub.

Revived, we freshened up at our hotel, the Intercontinental....

Before meeting up with Merrill/Bob and Andi (who, remember, were NOT getting off the ship, but continuing on the full World Cruise) and headed across the Harbor on the Star Ferry.

What a charming name!

One store that is never quiet, no matter where one is in the world.

Ah.....our destination.

The Captain's Bar, where we raised a toast to Eleanor, our Auntie Mame!
(or mother, in the case of Merrill and Suzanne!)

Ale is still served in silver tankards.

And Merrill Bob is a happy boy.

Waiting for dinner reservations...

The Chinese food in Man Wah at the top of the Mandarin Oriental was outstanding.

We made one final lap through the hotel where Eleanor came to visit Merrill while he was serving in the Marines during the Vietnam War.

(Yes, really..She and my Uncle Robert flew to Hong Kong to meet Merrill when he was given some R&R.  How many servicemen can say their parents visited them in the middle of a war???)

Just a beautiful ending to a beautiful trip.

Hong Kong

It's a good thing to remember your directions in Hong Kong.

Even on an overcast day, Hong Kong is breathtaking.

We hit a few old favorite stops.  Stanley Market.

Where my favorite shop, Stanley Silk and Linen is still making fun and versatile linen separates.

And I found some equally fun and funky linen tops here.

I have to admit, I was totally "quaint fishing village"'d out at this point. We floated by Jumbo.

And I jadedly thought to myself "Been there...done that...Next!"

The time had come to say "goodbye for now" to our favorites...

Branislav with Jane/Mama/CruiseGran and Suzanne.

Me and my darling sommelier pal Lorinc

(next time, I wear higher heels or you have to crouch down!!)

There's always time for one more joke or story.

Closing in on 12 hours left for YOU, Rafal!

More giggles in the Avenue Saloon.