Monday, February 25, 2013

Rant #907: Back In the Saddle Again

Yes, my family and I have returned from our vacation and back to the same old, same old thing.

That's life. That's what people say.

Anyway, we had a good trip. We were supposed to stop at four ports--the Bahamas, St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands, San Juan, Puerto Rico, and Grand Turk--but our ship had to bypass the Bahamas due to rough seas.

So we only stopped at three sites, but it was fun nonetheless.

And the food ... well, there was plenty of it. You can watch yourself all you want, but the food is there, at all times, and, well, you are on vacation, so you just about have to try everything.

Of the three stops, the one to San Juan was most interesting, because it was the only one where we took an excursion.

These trips have become quite expensive, but rather than just stay in the immediate area--like we did for the other two stops--in San Juan, we took a trip to the Bacardi Rum factory and then to the downtown area.

The tour of the rum factory was pretty interesting, even for a non-drinker like me. You saw how they make the rum, and the history surrounding the company and why many consider their product the best of its kind.

Sure, it is set up for tourists, but it is pretty interesting.

We then traveled to the downtown area, which resembles Manhattan, but on a lesser scale.

You can find just about anything in San Juan, from the cheapo tourist shops to the tony ones, from Burger King to "Brooklyn style" pizza.

We visited the President's walk, which was quite interesting. Only a handful of Presidents have visited Puerto Rico, and there are statues of each one. In the same area is their memorial to Puerto Ricans who have served in the military and lost their lives, and also a Holocaust Memorial.

Near the end of that trip, our bus got slammed into by another bus, and the side of our bus was hit, with the side view mirror ripped off. Nobody was hurt.

Like I said, just like Manhattan ...

St. Thomas was nice, as was Grand Turk. Grand Turk was especially nice because you don't have to go far to reach the beach from the ship. It is virtually right there. The water is clear, but like in the Cayman Islands, the sea floor is not sand like we are used to--it is full of jagged rocks.

But Jimmy Buffet's Margarativille is right there, too, and the restaurant and pool are there for your pleasure, and we took advantage of that, and stayed by the pool part of the time we visited.

On board ship, we also swam, and did things like watch movies and play miniature golf.

Sure, after a while, that also gets to be the same old, same old thing, but the alternative--being at work in temperatures that were half of what they were where we were--makes you enjoy the experience even more.

But now we are home, in the relative cold--although temperatures in my neck of the woods are supposed to be in the high 40s this week--and it's back to work and school time.

We will be taking another vacation in July, to our usual Florida locale, so at least we have something else exciting to look forward to later in the year.

There were some downsides to the trip--the air travel was horrendous, to say the least, with late flights and lost baggage the rule and not the exception--but all in all, it was a fun trip, and we would love to do it again some time.

When we will take another cruise is open to conjecture, but the ultimate vacation really is a cruise.

If you haven't experienced one, at least look into it.

I promise you that you will not be disappointed.

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