Monday, December 19, 2011

Western Caribbean!

Galveston is a coastal city located on Galveston Island in the U.S. state of Texas. As of the 2010 U.S. Census, the city had a total population of 47,743 within an area of 208 square miles (540 km2). Located within the Houston–Sugar Land–Baytown metropolitan area, the city is the seat and second-largest city of Galveston County in population.

During the 19th century, Galveston became a major U.S. commercial center and one of the largest ports in the United States. Galveston is known for the hurricane that devastated the city in 1900. The natural disaster that followed still counts as the deadliest in American history.

The ship we were on, the Mariner of the Seas, is one of five Voyager-class cruise ships from Royal Caribbean International; it is one of the largest in its fleet and among the largest passenger ships in the world. It was constructed at Aker Finnyards in Turku, Finland and had her maiden voyage in 2003. Currently the ship sails cruises from the port of Galveston, Texas to the Western Caribbean.

The Cayman Islands is a British Overseas Territory located in the western Caribbean Sea. The territory comprises the three islands of Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac, and Little Cayman, located south of Cuba and northwest of Jamaica. The Cayman Islands are considered to be part of the geographic Western Caribbean Zone as well as the Greater Antilles.

Jamaica is an island nation of the Greater Antilles, 234 kilometers (145 mi) in length, up to 80 kilometers (50 mi) in width and 10,990 square kilometers (4,243 sq mi) in area. It is situated in the Caribbean Sea, about 145 kilometers (90 mi) south of Cuba, and 191 kilometers (119 mi) west of Hispaniola, the island harboring the nation-states of Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Its indigenous Arawakan-speaking Taíno inhabitants named the island Xaymaca, meaning the "Land of Wood and Water", or the "Land of Springs".

Once a Spanish possession known as Santiago, in 1655 it became an English, and later a British, colony, known as "Jamaica". It achieved full independence in 1962. With 2.8 million people, it is the third most populous anglophone country in the Americas, after the United States and Canada. It remains a Commonwealth realm with Queen Elizabeth II as head of state. Kingston is the country's largest city and the capital.

Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee or Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee is a classification of coffee grown in the Blue Mountains of Jamaica. The best lots of Blue Mountain coffee are noted for their mild flavor and lack of bitterness. Over the last several decades, this coffee has developed a reputation that has made it one of the most expensive and sought-after coffees in the world; over 80% of all Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee is exported to Japan. In addition to its use for brewed coffee, the beans are the flavor base of Tia Maria coffee liqueur.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Monday, November 14, 2011

All Dressed Up!

Ducky is back home all dressed up in a black tie with time on his hands before his next adventure!

Any ideas? In 25 days he is off to Jamaica!

Thank you again Chuck and Sondra!

Bahama Rama!

Thanks to Chuck and Sondra Dodgen, Ducky is exploring more of the world. They schlepped him along on their cruise to the Bahamas visiting Freeport, Nassau and Half Moon Cay from Port Canaveral in Florida!

Scattered like dabs of possibility on an adventurer’s palette, the Bahamas are ready-made for exploration. Just ask Christopher Columbus, he bumped against these limestone landscapes in 1492 and changed the course of history. But adventure didn’t end with the Niña, the Pinta and the Santa Maria. From pirates to blockade dodgers to rum smugglers, wily go-getters have converged and caroused on the country’s 700 islands and 2400 cays for centuries.

Uh huh!

Ducky's voyage onboard the Carnival Ecstasy

"Fresh conch shells for sssaaaaale!"

Gracious hosts, Chuck and Sondra Dodgen

Sorry Sondra, there is NOOOO way this photo is getting cropped! :-)

Making friends!

The Ecstasy at anchor

Half Moon Cay
Located on 55-acres of the 2,400-acre Little San Salvador Island, Half Moon Cay has been rated as "Best Private Island" by Porthole Cruise Magazine for the past four years. An international bird sanctuary in the Bahamas (only two percent of the island is developed), the beauty and serenity of Half Moon Cay is second-to-none.

Horseback riding!

A surefire way to get back to the ship?

Paradise found!


Finding an 'old' friend?

Spectacular sunsets included!

In the lobby at the Orlando International Airport

Source: Lonely Planet - Carnival Cruise lines - Photos Chuck Dodgen 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Aloha Hawaii!

Aloha in the Hawaiian language means affection, love, peace, compassion and mercy. Since the middle of the 19th century, it also has come to be used as an English greeting to say hello and goodbye...

Ducky spa treatment - last day on Maui

Ready for the world! Just need some coffee!

Jesus Mountain coffee beans just in from Nicaragua

Just out of the bag ... and unroasted

Dark roast, still hot from the roaster

Ducky squared ... Mama's Fish House waitress
graduated from the University of Oregon :)

Duckie's new venture?

Monday, October 17, 2011

With Respect!

paying respects at the Punchbowl Cemetery on Oahu

back at the pool, resting his weary and well traveled webbed feet, with Diamondhead in the distance

With an Oahu Lei

At the Hard Rock Cafe

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Getting Cultured... at the Polynesian Center

Mapping the road trip

The famous China man's Hat on Oahu

Island brew

Ducky ... phone home????

Celeb photos... with Aotearoa (New Zealand)

...with Hawaii

With the Tahitian drummers

...and a mini Shaka

Making poi



Tonga (he wanted to eat Ducky)

Canoeing through the villages