Al & Karen

Great Adventures with Al and Karen

Al & Karen


Former TravelPod Member: al-karen

Joined: August 2nd, 2013
From: lives in San Francisco Bay Area,United States
Languages: English, some Spanish
Profession: Retired Electrician

North America » United States » California » San Diego April 9th 2018

The whole house is up at 7am. Scarlett has to go to work by 9 and we have to leave for the airport. Jonathan is home for the week for spring break. Queenie's buddy, Joe, a part-time Uber driver, will be picking us up at 10:30am. By 8:30, Scarlett leaves, the kid is upstairs playing video games and Karen and I have some coffee and watch the morning news. Nothing exciting going on around here today. Karen repacks what little she disturbed in our luggage, waiting for Joe. He calls, saying he will be 5 minutes late and we move our stuff out to the curb, positioning ourselves for pickup. Joe arrives 5 minutes late, we load our stuff into his Prius and we're off to the San Diego Airport. It's a 30 minute ride and ... read more
Hanging Out & Waiting for Joe
It's 10:30am.  Where's Joe?
San Diego Airport is Crowded - Always Is

North America » United States » California » San Diego April 8th 2018

With our room darkening shades over the single window that provides a view to the outside world, we know little of what's going on. I do know, however, that the ship is no longer moving and I can hear the aft access door directly below us opening. Using my tremendous brain power, I have determined that we are are in port at San Diego, the end of our journey. We'll, not quite. We have one more excursion on our list, a view of the "Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous in San Diego", presented by Scarlett & Jonathan, daughter and grandson. This should prove to be exciting, entertaining, different, expensive and perhaps a bit dangerous. Anyway, our day starts out very typical of the past three weeks. Thanks to the crew working below us, we're up ... read more
She's Not Waiting In Comfort for 10am
The Call to Queenie
Good Guys Exit Parade

Oceans and Seas » Pacific April 7th 2018

First of all, we got an extra hour of sleep and that was night. It's our last day on the ship and there are things to do but first things first. Breakfast. Karen keeps grabbing suitcases and throwing stuff in them. That's what she likes to do. I have to ask, "Where's my socks? What happened to my sandals? Oh. I see. They're packed already. I just took them off." At least someone is packing. Up to breakfast. It's pretty crowded today. We just get coffee and let things die down a little. Out by the pool we see there's a towel animal exhibit. It seems a bunch of guys came up by the pool around 6 this morning and started making towel animals. There are some pretty cool ones. Karen likes one of the monkeys. ... read more
The Towel Animal Exibit
On the Kitchen Tour
Is My Breakfast Ready Yet?

The light from outside wakes me up around 8am. The ship is very still. No noise. Peering out the window, I see that we're anchored in the bay off Cabo San Lucas. Our arrival was scheduled for 7:30, right on time but we have a limited day here as our all aboard time is 1:15pm. If you're the first off and last back on the ship you may have 5 hours to spend ashore. But tours booked through the ship get off first, then the tender ticket numbers determine the order of disembarking after that. We aren't leaving the ship today. I had a deal with a local hotel located on the beach where we could hang out all day, using their facilities and enjoying the poolside buffet all for $27pp. However, it's a short day ... read more
Karen Filling Out Her Forms - Not Good
View of the Port from the Westerdam
Hotel Where We Could Have Gone

Oceans and Seas » Pacific April 5th 2018

Today I definitely have to catch up on my blog submissions. We were. Lesser with an extra hour of sleep last night, setting our clocks backward one hour while closing in on California. Up by 8:15am, we scurry up to the Lido for a light breakfast, we'll, light for me. I have a small Belgian waffle with strawberries, four prunes, two eggs, one sausage and coffee. Karen, on the other hand, has nothing. Nope. Just coffee. She's still full from her delicious chicken dinner last night. We sit and visit by ourselves. About 10 or so we return to the room where Karen gets a head start on packing. This is what she likes to do. I start on the blog, beginning with the Panama Canal and finishing three more besides by the end of the ... read more
Check this Out
So Many Desserts.  So Little Room
Tonight's Towel Animal

Oceans and Seas » Pacific April 4th 2018

No time changes today but I was up until midnight last night sending off the Cartagena blog. We now have two back to back sea days before reaching Cabo San Lucas. I'm hoping to catch up on the blog. Although all of daily activities have been recorded, the pictures still need to be uploaded and the narrative reviewed prior to sending. Unfortunately, there's a "sitiation" brewing. First, it's after 9am. Second, we have a Captain's Reception and Luncheon to attend and finally, Karen wants to spend some time at the spa. She should. She spent $250 for two weeks of unlimited use and added me for another $150, despite my objections. She's been there twice and me once. I tried to tell her it would be difficult to optimize the value given all the other activities ... read more
Free Drinks for Everyone
Awards to be Presented
No Crowds Here.  Only "Big Shots"

North America » Mexico » Chiapas April 3rd 2018

A knock at the door and think I hear, "Housekeeping." A slight pause gives me some hope that perhaps I was dreaming, dreaming as a beautiful girl, clad only in a bikini and preparing breakfast while I sip my tea, the tropical breezes drift through the thatched bungalow. With a single finger, she beckons me toward her as........."Housekeeping!" It's is coming from the door. Yes, I'm awake. The girl is gone and the steward is waiting for us to leave for breakfast so he can clean the room. What time is it? Last night I noted a one hour time change listed in the ship's "When & Where" daily program and I promptly moved my watch back one hour. I would think that would be true with the ship moving closer to San Diego each day. ... read more
Karen Yapping in the Pool
Puerto Chiapas, Mexico
View of the Port From the Ship

It's 7:30 in the evening and I'm just getting down to writing of today's activities. I'm sitting out by the pool accompanied by a few other guests and the bartender. Karen is lying on one of the pool loungers and enjoying the warm tropical breeze created by our forward motion through the Pacific as we move northward toward Mexico. Today was spent in Guatemala on a journey that took us high up into the mountains to a lake resting 5000' above sea level. It's our last alarm day of our trip, Monday. We're both up at 6:30am since our tour leaves at 8am. I cashed an extra $100 from our shipboard credit just in case Karen finds something to her liking today. With a light breakfast out of the way, we report to the BB King ... read more
Streets of Guatemala
These Are Not Our Buses
We Pass Many Homes Like These

It's Sunday, it's Easter and we're in the Central American country of Nicaragua. No alarm this morning. We don't have to report for our excursion until 10:10am and it's only 7:30. Karen likes these mornings where we can take our time, not rushing for anything. Besides, she's not much of a "rusher". We get our stuff together; water bottle, cameras, ID, hats and some cash and by 8:30 we are eating breakfast, reading the paper and visiting with our table mates. 10am comes quickly and we hurry down to the theater and wait to be called for our tour. We wait for a good half hour before finally released to our bus, #14. It's a small rig, holding about 20 passengers. Our guide is Pedro and our driver, Manuel. Our destination, the Finca Emma banana plantation ... read more
An Example of One Banana Tree Seedling
70,000 Seedlings Grow Here For a Month
A Baby Bunch of Bananas

The alarm goes off at 6:30am and Karen's not happy. She says she wants to relax. She should know that traveling with me is not always relaxing. I had asked her before we left if there were any excursions that interested her. She offered no opinion and so, out of desperation and so as not to just sit in the port doing nothing, I chose several activities for a few of the ports. Now the day of reckoning is upon us and she's balking at the thought of leaving our stateroom to venture out into the unknown. But I've already spent $90pp for this tour so we need to see it through. Following a quick breakfast, we meet our group on Deck 2 at 8am. There appears to be some delay in boarding our buses. It's ... read more
All Aboard!
The AC on This Car is Manual (Windows)
Our View From Inside

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