Well, now I know some answers to what is beyond the next hill.
I’ve seen the old Panama Canal and the building of the new locks to make a new and larger Panama Canal. I wonder if these will be big enough for the Ford-class carriers.
Speaking of carriers, I have seen the USS Midway and I want to see more. It’s too much for one trip. The museum includes not just the ship but bunches of aircraft. Though I suck at selfies, I’ll be posting a pick of me in front of an F4U-4 Corsair. Prettiest bird evah.
So much coolness, but perhaps the coolest thing of this particular trip was the retirement ceremony of a Navy Lt. Commander with 27 years in the service. His ceremony just happened to be during my visit on the bow of the ship. Really cool.
Another carrier note, CVN-76 Ronald Reagan was undergoing refit across the bay. I think some of my favorite pics are the Midway with the Reagan in back.
As a side note, this is an amazing museum simply because of the quality of museum. A free audio tour is included. Tons of information in charts. Flight simulators big and small. Stuff for kids to do. Recreations of rooms. Best of all , docents with Navy service, many who served on the Midway or flew the aircraft are there to chat with you. Really well done, and only $20.
Some more comments about the cruise itself. I found out that I need to make sure the next time I do a cruise I need to make sure it suits my needs. This cruise was aimed at wine drinkers and the suit and tie crowd. So not me.
Other cruises have more food options, more beer options, a lower dress code, and more bar options that suit me. Naive of me, no doubt, but I never thought about such things before. So for all of you thinking of a cruise sometime, look around for what you want, especially if you have kids.
That’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy myself. Some nights out on the top deck in the wind with the sea and stars were amazing. Seeing the sun rise over Cartagena from the foredeck was brilliant, even if I did have to get up at 4:30am to do it. Seeing the Maltese flag fly in the breeze. Yeah, I’m that geeky.
A wren got into the cafeteria and would not leave. Finally a group of people armed with napkins managed to capture it and put in on the back deck. It sat on a landing of stairs glaring at us for taking it away from its meal. I, of course, named it Pavel.
Seeing pelicans strike, by the way, was fascinating. And a bit terrifying.
The only excursion we took was the train from Colon to Panama and bus ride back. The train goes along the canal, and was built to transport freight the 50 miles of the isthmus prior to the canal. The train itself is beautiful and the ride was amazing. Take this excursion if you ever get the chance.
I also went ashore at several other places, but only really care about visiting Cabo. I have now drank tequila in the Red Rocker’s honor at the Cabo Wabo. I hate tequila but it had to be done.
Now I’m in Long Beach staying the night at the Queen Mary, the old cruise ship. It’s now a hotel/bar/restaurant/tourist attraction. Stay here if you can. It’s beautiful. Art deco for the win!
And on that note, I’m going to crawl into bed. Tomorrow’s a big day, the USS Iowa and the Getty Museum.