Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Cayman and a Cause

I want to share a few a lot more photos from our cruise, but I haven't been able to think about sorting through all those pictures until now. I must say, it is much less stressful to do it with unlimited free internet than it was on the ship where I paid by the minute and a little timer kept track of the time.
Tick. Tick. Tick…

It was fun to make a stop at one of my very favorite places, Grand Cayman. It was the first time I had seen it from this vantage point.
We were advised the night before our stop in Grand Cayman that we would be utilizing the lifeboats to shuttle passengers ashore in Georgetown. We would call them 'tenders' instead of 'lifeboats.'
It was interesting to watch from our veranda as they were lowered from the ship.
We arrived safely in Georgetown, and hopped on a cab for our day at the beach. We were joined in our cab by a young family from Seattle. The two young children were excited to be going to the dolphin experience at the turtle farm.
We, however, were dropped off first, at Villas of the Galleon, where I had arranged with the manager for us to spend a few hours on that beautiful and familiar beach.
Home sweet villas.
We lounged, we swam, we enjoyed a beverage from the Westin next door (Bumpin' Bananas for me), and we even got a kind stranger to take our picture. I happened to have a Purdue flag with me for the photo. Boiler Up! You can even see our ship waaayyyy down there in the background.
All too soon, it was time to head back to the ship. We didn't want to miss the boat! Well, actually, I kind of did, since I could have just hung out until the rest of the family arrives the end of March. Yes, I'm going back in a mere 10 days. Rough, I know.

We stopped for a quick bite to eat at Breezes by the Bay, and I enjoyed a Category 4 Hurricane.
We managed to catch a tender back to the ship,
where we were treated to more tropical beverages, rum cake, and ice cream at the sea view pool.
Godbye Seven Mile Beach.
Goodbye Georgetown.
See you soon!
The hilarious Anita Renfroe entertained us by, as she says, 'ruining every song you ever loved.' (You really must see her version of 'You Raise Me Up.')

She invited Wayne Watson to join her on stage to play his song 'Watercolour Ponies', which had brought us all to nostalgic tears the night before.
Her version was newly written, and she read it from her iPad as she sang. She is a clever one, that Anita, always thinking. She assured us we wouldn't cry on this one.
Instead of 'watercolor ponies on the refrigerator door' she sang of 'crusted macaronis all across the kitchen floor.' So funny, and Wayne is sure a good sport.
Janet had her picture taken with Anita at the meet and greet. They are BFFs now.

It was always fun when Sandi got the kids up there to sing with her. This is Don's daughter Aly, Sandi's son Jonathan, and their daughter-in-law, Katie. They can SING!
Holland America has established an on-board non-competitive 5K to support cancer organizations across the world called 'On Deck for a Cause.' Ruthann and I decided to participate, and Ruthann and the other cancer survivors in the group got to lead us as we got started.
It takes nine laps around the ship to equal a 5K. We didn't actually complete the whole 9, but we were happy with our 2Kish. We received t-shirts for our effort (and our donation), and a little refreshment after the 'race.'
I was happy for the exercise, and happy to walk with my friend. God is good.
Sandi herself entertained us with a concert on Friday night, and she invited her husband, Don, on stage for their duet, 'The Prayer.'
It is one of my favorites, and they do it marvelously.
They had a little fun with a spin as they sang.
They seemed to be having so much fun, and they were great hosts for the cruise.
After they sang, Sandi did one of my favorite parts of her performance. She called all the kids on stage, young and old, who may or may not remember...
the Friendship Company. I remember it (and the motions, of course), and it was all I could do not to run up on stage and sing it with them. Todd Smith and his girls were up there.
Sandi's big kids were up there too, along with grandson, Baby Thatch.
The girls were so tickled by Sandi's son, Jonathan, who was into it!
It was so much fun, and brought back memories of her concert at Market Square Arena when our kids got to join her on stage to sing it (wearing their matching Friendship Company sweats, of course).
F-R-I … E-N-D!!
Each evening we ate at the same table with four ladies from Ashland, Kentucky. They have all worked together in the same school system, and although two are now retired (one living in Florida), they continue to take trips together. They were lots of fun, and we were blessed to be matched with them as our table-mates. Two of them sang in the choir for the final evening performance.
Each evening, of course, we found a cute towel animal on the bed in our stateroom. Those cabin stewards took good care of us. Sweet dreams!

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Terri D. said...

Oh my, you sure did have a good time!! What fun, and thank you for taking the time to put the blogs together for us - makes me ALMOST feel like I was there with you!!

Cathy said...

Love all your pictures. It sounds like such a wonderful cruise.

Joyce said...

I'm more about the beach, so would have to be peeled away too. I'm excited to see Anita Renfroe in September at a Women of Faith event. I've never seen her perform live. Looks like you had a wonderful time!