Monday, November 5, 2018

Southern Caribbean

On October, 2018, I went on an 8-Day cruise to the Southern Caribbean on the "Norwegian Jade," from Miami:


"Norwegian Jade"


An ode to my beautiful wife

Gone But Not Forgotten


A precious one from me has gone
A voice I loved is stilled;
A place is vacant in my heart,
which never can be filled.

And after a lonely heartache
and after many a silent tear,
But always a beautiful memory
Of one I love so dear.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

California Coastal Cruise

We just got back from a 7-day cruise of the California Coast, on the "Ruby Princess:"

We had a very good trip in spite of the rain that followed us throughout the cruise. I am in the middle of post-processing the photos.

The reason that we are planning a yearly cruise-vacation, for the next few years, is that we are getting up there in age and we cannot  do that much anymore.

It would be nice to go to one city for a week or so like Boston, Paris, Barcelona, etc, on our own, but that would involve a lot of walking. In addition, we can only do a 4-5 hours tour/per day. Which means going back to the hotel for the rest of the day. On a cruise there is a lot of activities, including shows, after we get back to the ship. Not to mention, that all the food is included - no need to search for restaurants.

We believe that cruises are the best vacations for senior citizens. In my youth, many but many years ago, I would not had dreamed of going on cruises.

The rain was not that bad and there were no thunder storms; I got very creative with my photos. :) The San Francisco photos were taken inside the tour bus through the windshield.  Therefore, they are not that sharp.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Barcelona Football Club

I am a diehard Barcelona (Barça) football team (soccer) fanatic; Barça is in my blood.  The Greatest team in the planet has fallen into hard times - very hard times. The present board headed by its president,  Josep María Bartomeu, are a bunch of clowns. They belong in a circus and not deciding the future of our team.

They lost the services of Neymar Jr., a once-in-a-generation soccer player.  PSG, the Parisian team, owned by the Qatar Government with its unlimited source of oil money, bought the player outright, because his release clause was only €222 millions.  In comparison, Cristiano Ronaldo, the Real Madrid great has a release clause of €1 billion. It was this board that set Neymar's release clause. Neymar was a member of the famous MSN, the greatest offensive triad in history comprised by Messi, Suarez, and Neymar. They are just memories now.
MSN

Messi, Barça's greatest player ever and the best in the world, is not yet signed.  He can become an unrestricted free-agent. If he walks, the loss for Barcelona will be more than gigantic. Besides being a player that Argentina produces once in a generation, he is almost irreplaceable.  It will take Barça years to find a replacement. But that is not the worse than can happen.  The loss of revenues, into the billions over the next 5 years, due to the loss of Messi, will make it that much harder. If there is no extra money coming in, to be able to sign a suitable replacement is almost impossible.

That is not all.  We have signed players that are not that good and forewent of others that are excellent.  For example, Robert Fernández, the sporting director or head scout, did not want to shell out €4.5 millions for Marco Asensio; Real Madrid did and his present release clause is set at €500 millions. Asensio destroyed us in the last two games. He is a Catalan that wanted desperately to play for Barça.

Barcelona Rulling Board
I have another example,  We are trying to get the winger Dembélé from a German team.  They are asking €130 millions for him.  We could have gotten him, last year, for €15 millions. I can go on, but I won't. The transfer money of Neymar has literally thrown the market into the stratosphere. It seems we are playing with monopoly money.

This board has promised us countless number of players like Coutinho, Dembélé, Seri, and many others. According to them, they are coming - it is a matter of hours. Hours have tuned into days, days into weeks, and weeks into months and no sign of any of them, except for Paulinho, a marginal player that will not make anyone forget Neymar.

These clowns are not good enough to perform for Cirque du Soleil let alone run a historical institution like Barcelona. They remind me of the "Three Stooges" with apologies to Larry, Moe, and Curly for defaming their names and reputation. To say that I am upset it is an understatement!

Larry, Moe, and Curly

Friday, July 21, 2017

My Recent Vacations

In September 2015, I went to Washington DC for 2-weeks. It is my favorite city in the world.  The following are my Washington DC Photos. There is so much to see in that city that two weeks is not near enough. It is not just Washington itself, but also its surrounding States like Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania, which are the "epicenter" of our history as a nation not only for the birth of the US but also the Civil War.

On January 2017, I went on a  Caribbean 7-day cruise from Port Canaveral, Florida.  I had a very good experience on the "Norwegian Epic:"

"Norwegian Epic"

The following are my Western Caribbean Photos. Georgetown, capital city of Grand Cayman, is one of the most important "fiscal paradise" city in the world.  The people enjoy a higher standard of living, but nothing for the amount of money that enters Grand Cayman.  As usual, the "haves" enjoy a substantial living compared to the "have-nots."

In September 2017, I went on a 7-day cruise on the "Norwegian Jewel" to Alaska:

"Norwegian Jewel"


In March 10, 2018, I went on a 7-day cruise, on the "Ruby Princess," of the California coastline + Ensenada, Mexico:

"Ruby Princess"

On October, 2018, I went on an 8-Day cruise to the Southern Caribbean on the "Norwegian Jade," from Miami:

"Norwegian Jade"

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

My Vacation Plans

The following are my planned future vacations that I have reserved through 2020. I plan to go on a cruise at least once a year, from Los Angeles to Los Angeles. I do not want to travel by air anymore for many reasons. Therefore, my choices are limited. However, the principal thing is to go out to sea once a year.

Now that I found out I can rent a scooter due to my pacemaker, I will always rent one when cruising. It is the best thing to navigate the ship.  In addition, I will always get a cabin with a balcony

  For October 4, 2019, I reserved a 10-day cruise to Mexico on the "Royal Princess," from Los Angeles to Los Angeles.  This is a cruise I always wanted to go on.  I got it with a balcony at a very good price.


"Royal Princess"
For May 2020, a 7-day cruise to the Mexican Riviera, from Los Angeles to Los Angeles on the "Carnival Panorama" The Panorama is the newest Carnival ship being made as we speak. It will enter service on November, 2019.  I got a very good price and a cabin with a balcony.

"Carnival Panaroma"
"Mexican Riviera"
My future plans for 2021 and beyond are a cruise from Los Angeles to Los Angeles once a year, The choices that I have are:
  1. "Princess Cruises" to a 15-day cruise to Hawaii. This cruise will feature all 4 Hawaiian Islands plus Ensenada, Mexico, and 9-days at sea. 
  2. "Princess Cruises" to a 12-day cruise to Alaska.
  3. "Carnival 14-day cruise to Alaska.
  4. "Celebrity" excellent 9-day cruise of the California Coastline, which includes Santa Barbara, San Francisco, Monterey, Catalina Island, San Diego, and Ensenada Mexico.
  5. "Princess Cruises" 7-day Mexican Riviera - a repeat of the Carnival Panorama Mexican Riviera, but from a different cruise line although it is owned by Carnival.
  6. A 19-day cruise through the Panama Canal from Los Angeles to Los Angeles.  This is a great cruise since it crosses the canal twice - going and coming back.  However, it is a bit too long.
  7. There are 4-day cruises to Catalina and Ensenada by Carnival and 4-day cruises to Santa Barbara and Ensenada by Princess.
  8. Holland America, also owned by Carnival, has a very good 17-day cruise to Hawaii, once a year.  However, it is prohibitive in price. RCL does not have one, but NCL has a 7-day Mexican Riviera cruise, but I will never travel with them again. 
  9. After that and if there are no new cruises, I have to start the process again. Figure that at my age, I will not be able to start the process again.

Monday, September 5, 2016

After Pre-Ordering the X-T2, What's Next

I am basically done with my equipment purchases for the foreseeable future, with the exception of my wishlist, which is very short at this time. My priority is to travel.  In January 2017, I'm going on a seven-day cruise to the Caribbean:


The reason I'm choosing cruises is because I cannot longer live out of suitcases with land tours. And for September 2017, Alaska:


And for 2019 (more Mayan ruins)


I am open for 2018.  I have decided to travel once a year.  That is the reason I cancelled the Baltic and Alaska cruises.  Europe is just too expensive, at this time. I'm looking at a 10-day cruise of the Mexican Riviera, out of Los Angeles (no airfare,) or a 7-day cruise of the Eastern or Southern Caribbean, or a 7-day cruise of Alaska,  My wife wants to travel to Eastern Europe with a at least a 5-day stay in Prague.  I do not know.  We'll see.