Friday, April 22, 2011

Reflections on Galveston, TX and our Carvinal Cruise

We left Boise on April 9th for Galveston, TX.  We took a 5-day cruise in the Caribbean and hit the port of Progresso and took a SHORT day trip into Merida and saw some beautiful historical buildings in the center of town.  Temperature was around 100 degrees, so no running around.  Had a wonderful lunch of  Cochinita Pibil (Yucatan style pork) that was so delicious and John had his beloved mole.  I found a recipe for Cochinita and will make it sometime for a party.  You use banana leaves.  It is beyond good.

Second stop on Cozumel Island.  We've been there several times, so we just took a cab and spent the day at the beach.  I went snorkeling and John bathed in the sun.  We had a "few" drinks.  Drinks on the ship were so expensive, we passed them up.

Met neat people on the ship -- had a perfect group at our table.  Enjoyed the evening shows. Didn't even enter the casino.  Pool and hot tubs were way too crowded for us, so we did not even get wet.  Pretty smooth cruise, but it did take me a few days to get my land legs back.  I think cruising is OK and we might go to AK on a ship, but I don't think it is my way to travel.  Glad we went though and wouldn't have missed the experience.

Galveston was the best.  If you love architecture this is the place to be.  I took so many pictures of the homes there.  They have Victorian, brick, and other styles that I do not even know what it is called.  Very eclectic town.   San Francisco does not hold a candle to what is in Galveston.  When you think they just had the huge hurricane in 2008, they have made great progress in getting things back.  Many older structures are lost forever.  I wish I was rich so I could buy one of the pretty ruined homes and bring it back.  Those renovations cost a fortune.  Wonderful, wonderful city and I'm so glad we spent several days there.

In my blogs I'm pretty sure I should have a lot to say about food -- John says I travel on my stomach.  New foods tried:  fried alligator (tasted like chicken) and muffelato sandwich (originated in New Orleans).

New friends:  Lorraine and Daryl from Tx (originally from Alberta, CN) - were at our table on the ship.  We had dinner with them in Galveston after we got off the ship.
Melinda - native Texan who I met on CS and we had lunch with her twice.

So the trip was a great success.  We stayed healthy, had fun, gained weight, saw great sights, and made new friends.  Who could ask for more!!!!!

The beginning.......preparation is key

While on our last day of vacation in Galveston, TX (4/20/11), John (DH) and I were talking about our upcoming retirement.  John has been retired for several years now, so we're hoping to get me retired soon so we can enjoy our days together.  Let's hope Obama doesn't mess up anymore things so that I will have to work until I'm 102.  WARNING:  There will be anti-Obama comments throughout this blog, so if it offends you -- tough.  

We know that we are going to travel the entire United States (maybe not AK or HI), but on a budget.  What are we going to do daily to keep entertained, beach, park, library, walks -- since we won't have money to do every tourist attraction available.  John suggested I start a blog since I like to think, dream and eat travel  -- and I thought that was a great idea. 

In this blog, I will write about getting ready to retire which involves many things.  Great planning is necessary.  We have to downsize -- this means getting rid of many years worth of junk and treasures alike.  We've had some good success with Craig's List - and being free has been wonderful. 

We want to sell our house (so happy the market is screwed!!!) and have been trying to get our house in good shape.  We have so many projects and so little energy it is hard, but little by little we are making headway.  We will pack the small amount of possessions that we need/want to keep and get those into storage.  I'm a pack rat -- John is too -- so this is hard.  It is also hard to determine what is a need and want.  So many crazy things seem to have a sentimental value to us.  We are facing many hard days ahead sorting.

Just thought this would be fun write about our preparations for our grand trip and then continue once we hit the road and start our seeing America adventures.