Saturday, March 28, 2015

Funny business and motels and old clunkers

Another puzzle gets back in the box. No, they aren't getting easier; this one seemed even more difficult. The designer of these puzzles has a very clever way of cutting them and many pieces are cut right on the line of a colour change. This funny business is a fantasy candy much candy and junk and so many colours....but it's done!

i thought this would be it for awhile but nope, there's another old clunkers and motels puzzle in bits and pieces on the table as we speak....hopefully by the time it's done the rainy season will be done also.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Feb. 25 going home

Flying over the Swiss Alps
Mountain names I heard mentioned but not sure which was which....The Matterhorn on the border of Switzerland and Italy, also known as Monte Cervino

The Dom and  Monte Rosa

 we were racing with that little plane...
 It won!
 Is that England I see?
 Yes, I think so
 Sure, that's the Thames

Cheerio mates

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Feb. 24, Naples, Italy

" Sit back in the comfort of your motor coach while discovering Naples major landmarks. The route takes you past piazzas, monuments, churches and museums. Capture a panoramic view of of the city and the Bay of Naples from the vantage point of Posillipo Hill and enjoy a complimentary refreshment or an ice cream at a local café."

Our last day onboard the Jade and i've decided to not even think about going on this excursion. The weather continues to be cool with rain but some sunny breaks expected. I am going to sleep in and then pack my bags. We will disembark at 6:15 A.M. tomorrow morning and get on the bus to Romes Leonardo Davinci Airport and fly to Heathrow for a couple hours and then to Vancouver and home sweet home to Delta. I can't believe i got sick and wasted the whole last week of this cruise, it was a total surprise and so unlike me.

For something special on our last night we went to the Jasmine Garden for Shabu Shabu Hot Pot for dinner and it was lovely and very tasty and filling. Basically it's a specially designed pot, something like a big bundt pan that was set in the center of the table on a heating element. It was about 1/3 full of a simmering broth. The waitress then came with a huge plate of raw veggies; cabbage, bok choy, carrots and onions. It all simmered for awhile and then she dropped in what seemed like a lot of chicken breast sliced thinly and then our choices of noodles and let it simmer some more. By then we had been given little pots of peanut sauce and soy sauce with lime and a bowl of cold rice which we weren't sure what to do with. After awhile we were told it was ready and we could dish up a bowl of soup. Yum! It was soooo good and then i added some of the rice to my second bowl as a means to cool it off a little so i could eat faster and i think that's what it really was for because it worked. The peanut sauce ended up being a bust, it seemed an odd thing and we didn't know what to do with it as i don't think we had either forks or chopsticks which probably should have been available for dipping the chicken pieces. The lime soy made the already excellent soup taste even better. It was so tasty we ate almost the entire potful of soup with all those nutritious veggies and good stuff. It made me feel strong again, just like Popeye with his spinach but too late, we are leaving in the morning!
For dessert i had a warm pancake with coconut ice cream and Pats green tea ice cream looked awesome too.
I then went to the internet café because again my account was showing I had 0 WiFi minutes remaining. The logout button says "you are logged out" but it keeps running my time out. I hope lots of people complain about it and not just accept that they ran out of time because once again it was reinstated quickly and easily.
Then Pat caught up with me with some info she had found out about the four excursions that i had missed out on because of being sick. She said if i took my Drs. hospital visit letter stating that he had diagnosed me with pneumonia to the front desk i could get a refund. I did get a full refund very quickly and easily for the four excursions and was happy about that and not having the hassle of claiming it later from home. Anybody listening? Book your excursions with your cruiseline and you'll be safe in many different ways that you wouldn't be if you booked with an outside company. Another plus is that the ship will wait up to three hours for you if you don't arrive back before its scheduled departure.....yes, that whole big ship and all the passengers will wait for you! Those on alternate or private tours who don't make it on time will have to get transportation on their own dime to the next port to rejoin the ship there because it will depart at the designated time without a care in the world if you're caught in traffic or whatever. Can you imagine the hassle; maybe you didn't take much money or a credit card with you, no change of clothes, no pj's, no meds and only a copy of your passport which sometimes isn't enough to get you on a plane. Not to mention somebody might even forget where the next dock is! It happens.

This is the Naples dock.....or was this Palermo?
I forget...
 Passengers disembarking
 The Jasmine Garden Restaurant

 The menu cover

 Jasmine sushi bar
 my seaweed appy
 The hot pot
 Add the veggies

 Let it all simmer for awhile
Soooo good....
 Pats green tea ice cream
 My coconut ice cream on a warm pancake
 Italy.... ♥♥♥

It's been a lovely trip, except for getting sick.... loved lots of things about NCL and Jade but all good things must come to an end. Tomorrow night i will be home and most likely sleeping for a week.

Mahalo and Aloha Jade

Grazie for reading my blog and Arriveidercii

One more post of pics from the plane to come....

Friday, March 20, 2015

Feb. 23, Palermo, Italy

" Learn about Palermo and see the sights mostly from the comfort of your motor coach. Drive to Mount Pellegrino, standing isolated from the mountain chain surrounding Palermo, almost as if protecting the city. Here enjoy a great panoramic photo opp of the city at it's feet.. In Palermo drive along Via Libertarian, considered to be the most important street in the city because of it's size, the elegance of it's shops and the double row of plane trees which line this majestic way. See the 19th century Teatro Politeama and Via Ruggaro Seltima. Pass Via Maqueda and the neoclassical Teatro Massimo, Palermos Opera House built at the end of the 19th century.
At the intersection of Palermos four original streets marvel at Quattro canti, the Four Corners where you'll find four statues in groups of four, symbolizing the seasons, the Spanish kings and this cities patron saints. See the magnificent cathedral , the product of the blending of centuries of Muslim and Christian history and culture before visiting Foro Italico. Continue on to Corso Vittorio Emanuelle and Piazza Marina, surrounded by historic buildings of unquestioned artistic beauty. You'll make a stop at Piazza Marina to enjoy an ice cream."

Another miss for me because I was just too darn tired to get up, get ready, walk to the other end of the ship then half way back to disembark at breakneck speed to keep up with the crowd and then finally get on a bus in the rain. My friend Pat went and she wasn't impressed with the area or the bus that had steamed up windows which made picture taking difficult. A winter cruise here maybe isn't the best idea although it could work in a different year, just not this day in 2015. However having said that I understand summer cruises in this area are also difficult as it gets extremely hot here and there's a lot of walking over the difficult terrain of ancient uneven cobblestones. So perhaps a winter cruise will work for those people who are able to brave any variation of the weather especially if cool is preferred over steamy hot.
We went for dinner at the Moderno restaurant for Brazilian Churrascaria. Catchy name but we had no idea of what it was going to be. It turned out to be a protein feast. First the coaster at our setting was explained; to leave it with the green side up meant go, and the red side up of course meant stop. We were then directed to the salad bar with lots of fresh crisp veggies, soup, cheeses, cold cuts, buns etc. When those plates were removed from our table along came four pots, one with garlic mashed potato, one rice, one raisin sauce and one of breaded deep fried banana. Next a waiter arrived with two long skewers of bbq chicken legs and one of them was flavoured with lime and we both chose it so he pulled us off one each. I enjoyed it as it had been a long time since I'd eaten a chicken leg. Next a waiter with skewers of sausages and we both agreed to have one. So far so good for me. But then came skewers of ribs and I couldn't even cut into it with my very sharp knife so it was wasted. Then along came succulent skewers of lamb which I don't eat but Pat said was delicious. Next was a roast of beef; it looked good so I said yes and a slice was cut off for me. It was tough but I ate it anyway which made me tired with all that chewing so that's when I then turned my coaster to the red side. Pat was then offered filet mignon and she said it was  delicious and so tender she could cut it with her fork. I was too hasty and hadn't been observant enough to know there was fish yet to arrive and I would have had a piece but dems da breaks, I was served tough pieces of beef and gave up on the meal too soon. Who knows what else they might have presented if we had stayed longer, hope I didn't miss out on lobster or prawns or even chicken breast. I guess a real meat lover would sit all evening eating whatever appeared before them but I was ready for dessert and it was papaya ice cream with a crispy baked on crust of caramel and it was delicious. Other than that I must have drank a liter of sparkling water and it was very very good.
Arghhh, i forgot to bring my camera to capture all this!

My little view of Palermo

 a tiny view of Palermo
not many pics for this date so I will use this space to add misc. that were left over

Pool deck
 The library
 at the bridge
 a display at the bridge
 awards and stuff
 so who's driving this ship?
 funny how the water looks lumpy

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Feb. 22, at sea

I went for lunch at the buffet and that was it for awhile, I couldn't walk or eat any more. All the hair primping, makeup and choosing what to wear was wasted with me back in the sack within 30 mins. We are talking about starting to pack already, can't believe our time is running down so quickly. But tomorrow we wake up in Palermo, Sicily and we've booked an excursion to see it. If i'm well enough to go I expect it to sap my energy but how often do i get the chance to go to was built between 510 BC and 430 BC and i'm sure it will be well worth it as there's at least eight Greek temples preserved there. The next day will be Naples and we have an excursion booked for it as well. Then it's on to Rome and the wait to go home so guess i really do have to take my packing seriously, time is definitely running out.

Today is my birthday and my good friend/roomie/nursemaid Pat took me out to my choice of pay restaurant. I chose the Jasmine Asian cuisine which was very nice. We ordered similar appys but for my entrée i had lobster, Mongolian style and it was hot with mysterious spices and fragrant and wonderful. Then the waiter asked which one is the birthday girl and we were both surprised because neither of us had told him or the management. (the info is on your ship card and everything you do and everywhere you go onboard is on their computer but even so i found it to be amazing that they can zero in on exactly which eatery out of 12 choices that you went to and then get the birthday word to your waiter before you even finish your dinner)
He then asked me if i wanted him to celebrate it and at first i was stunned and then realized he might come out with the whole song or a band or a sparkling cake or something loud and obnoxious so i said no, i'm not comfortable with that. The fact is i prefer to be anonymous, no need for everyone to know. He then very sweetly and discreetly bent and whisper-sang a few bars of happy birthday into my ear which was very nice and gave me a good chuckle too. After crème brulee which was in three little pots each with a different flavor and very good we then departed to the art gallery.  I wanted to once again admire the fabulous mixed media piece that had taken my breath away and almost made me cry a few days ago. It was still as awesome as I remembered, the texture delicious, the composition superb, the colors perfect and the price tag still wayyyy out of my league at $25,000. But a girl can always dream right? I am so glad i was able to enjoy this amazing piece of art by Wassily Kandinsky. This artist is now deceased but his artworks will  continue to delight and dazzle everyone who comes near and will forever increase in value, so thank you and RIP sir.
My card from Norwegian Cruise Lines, thank you very much.

The Jasmine restaurant

My spicy lobster
 Pats pasta and veggies
My dessert; orange, coconut and tamarind crème brulee 

What a wonderful piece of original mixed media art. The pic does not do it justice nohow. When first encountered it literally takes your breath away and you're stunned as you stop dead in your tracks to drink it all in. Amazing is all i can say.