Our First Port: Nassau, Bahamas

20 06 2018

04 June 2018

Today we arrived in Nassau, Bahama’s. Our scheduled tour wasn’t until 9:45.  We got off the boat about 8am and decided to walk around town a little.   

IMG_0141After getting off the ship, the first thing we noticed was we could see fish in the water as we walked along the pier from the ship to shore.  Once we were in town, the people were all very friendly and all of them wanted to take us on a tour.  Many of them told us the many of the shops didn’t open until 10am.  I would think that since tourism appears to be the main thing in town, and since they know the scheduled arrival of the ships, they would be open shortly after the ship arrived.  I don’t know all the other things that go into making that decision though.


All decked out in my hair net and smock

 

 

 

We went on the Graycliff Chocolatier Factory Tour and Tasting excursion.  Since we were going to see where the chocolate was made, we had to put on a hair net and smock.

 

We got to see how cacao is harvested and what the pods look like. 

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Cacao pods

We also got to taste both white and dark chocolate.  Yes I know that white chocolate really isn’t chocolate.  Then we got to choose which type of chocolate to use to create our own chocolate bar.  First we had to polish the mold and then pour the chocolate into the mold.  At that point we could add cranberries, chocolate chips or shredded coconut to our chocolate bar.  When we were done with that, they took the molds and put the in a refrigerator to get the chocolate to set.  At that point we were allowed to pour some chocolate out on the parchment paper to make our own free form chocolate design.  The paper was cut around our designs and also put into the refrigerator.  They also gave us a marshmallow and a chunk of pineapple to dip in the chocolate and eat.

 

When the chocolate had set, they gave us bags to put our creations in to take home.  Given that it was 82-85 degrees outside, one of my daughters volunteered to take the chocolate back to the ship and put it in the fridge and then meet the rest of us for lunch. 

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We had lunch at a place called Señor Frog.  As you can see below, they have interesting ceiling decor with all the locations Señor Frog is located.

After lunch we walked down Bay Street and went in to almost every Jewelry store there.  Unlike Alaska, my lovely wife did NOT walk out with a new diamond ring.  At least not from this port.  There are three more stops on this journey.

My youngest daughter was trying to get some Tortuga Rum for a friend in Orlando.  Unfortunately, the liquor store we stopped in didn’t have it.  Looking on Google Maps showed a store about a mile down the road that apparently had some.  She and I walked there only to find that it was a store that sold Rum Cakes and NOT the Tortuga Rum she was looking for.  After seeing where this store was, I am glad I played the part of the over protective dad and didn’t let her walk there alone.  It was away from the tourist part of town, with many buildings vacant and curiously quite a few street lights that were missing.  Looking at the bolts and wires as we walked by, we wondered if this was damage from a storm or drivers who came up on to the sidewalk.  The hunt will continue in our next ports.

Tomorrow will be a day at sea with no port related information to report.  I have signed up for a couple of health seminars tomorrow and we are going to see about purchasing excursions for the rest of the trip after working out some things tonight.

Until next time…





Getting Underway

19 06 2018

June 3, 2018

Started out the day with a workout on the elliptical machine at the hotel. Yes even on my vacation I am still committed to trying to keep up the routine that has helped me lose weight. Given the amount of luggage for 4 people, we didn’t think we could all get into my daughter’s Camry to get to the port. We decided to purchase two seats on the shuttle from the hotel to the pier. That was an adventure as it was overbooked with one passenger having to sit on the lap of another.

We got on the ship and then had lunch after looking around a little. This is a huge ship. I think a friend told me the Allure of the Seas is the largest ship in the Royal Caribbean fleet. It is definitely much larger than the Holland America Eurodam that we were on when we did our Alaska cruise last year. My wife wants to go do Alaska again. I think I want to try and do one of the land and sea packages and spend some time seeing some of the Alaskan wilderness.

We did the required safety drill. They seem to be way over concerned about hand washing and sanitizing pretty much every time you touch something. It is a bit unnerving. Though I understand with 6500 passengers and 2500 crew the chance for something contagious being passed around is pretty high.

We had dinner and got my oldest daughter moved out of our room and in with her sister. I think we are all going to be more comfortable this way. The only problem is that they transformed the couch into a bed and now we have even less room in the cabin. Hopefully we can catch up with the cabin attendant tomorrow and let him know not to do that for the rest of the cruise. I hope they aren’t too upset with my extension cords as the only outlet is way too far away for my CPAP machine to operate. I guess I can wind them up in the morning which I will probably do anyway since I need them to make the couch back into a couch again tomorrow.

Tomorrow we arrive in Nassau and are touring a chocolatier on the island. Not sure what else we are doing after that.

Until next time…





Start of the Journey

18 06 2018

02 June 2018

I know this really isn’t June 2nd but I didn’t want to be updating the blog about being out of town while I was actually out of town. It may just be paranoia, but as a former coworker and friend said, “When they really are after you, paranoia is only smart thinking!”

I have been on a journey for over a year now. I will post more about that in a future blog post.

I consider my official start date of this journey August 1, 2017. We had recently booked a family cruise to the Western Caribbean and I was looking at some of the excursions. What took me somewhat by surprise was the fact that some of them had weight limits. Now this wasn’t the zip line or scuba diving where I know there are weight limits. This was playing and swimming with the dolphins. This sounded interesting but there was a weight limit. Those above 240 pounds could not participate. Since I was currently close to 300 pounds, it meant that my weight was going to be what limited me on this excursion.

I didn’t want my weight to be the reason I didn’t do the excursion. I had tried the gym, I had tried a nationally known weight loss program. Both worked, sort of, until I couldn’t afford to pay for them. I had gotten just under 270 pounds while working with a trainer. I had gotten down to 245 with the weight loss program. Neither of those were below the 240 that I needed to be under to do the excursion.

I knew that there were deeper issues behind my weight that simple behavior modification would solve. I decided to pray about this and ask God if this was the time for us to work on my weight. I was walking and trying to watch what I ate. The weight was starting to come off. In November my prescription for blood pressure medication ran out. I called the pharmacy to refill it and it was denied. It turns out that my medical insurance was now insisting that I see the doctor every 6 months while on long term medication. There was no way I was going to get in to see the doctor before Thanksgiving so I decided to start recording my blood pressure daily and see the doctor after Thanksgiving. I took my record of blood pressure measurements to the doctor and he was concerned. Not because my blood pressure was too high but there were several readings that were too low! With that diagnosis, I was officially taken off blood pressure medication.

In January I was going to the gym because walking when the outside temperature was below 50 was causing my hands and feet to be cold to the point of pain. I also got an app to start tracking what I was eating. I was stuck at about 270 pounds and was in a ± 2 pound band that I couldn’t seem to break out of. The combination helped me break through the plateau!

As I write this I am 56 pounds lighter than I was in August! Weight is no longer the reason for not playing with the dolphins! I can actually fit into an airline seat and bring the tray table down without having my stomach also resting on the tray table. It is amazing to feel the progress that has been made with God’s help. I did what I could do, watching what and how much I was eating as well as going to the gym. God did what only He could do. God removed my desire to sneak food and to eat something just so others couldn’t. God has also helped me ignore those tapes from childhood that told me I must clean my plate and to not waste food. I also no longer feel the need to eat leftovers just because they will go bad and have to be thrown out.

I am planning to blog more during this trip and maybe even include some pictures.

Until next time








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