Sunday, December 23, 2012

What's Been Happening

Dec 19

1.  Woke up and got ready
2.  Ate breakfast at hotel
3.  Facetimed a few people
4.  Finished packing
5.  Facetimed my main squeeze 
6.  Checked out of the hotel
7.  Taxi to Oosterdam
8.  Checked in
9.  Went to check out stateroom
10.  Lunch in dining room
11.  Spa visit and booked thermal suite package
12.  Rest in room
13.  Lifeboat drill...complete torture
14.  Dinner
15.  Tree lighting
16.  Spa visit
17.  Back to call it a night. 

We lose an hour tomorrow. 

Dec 20&21
These two days were sea days which basically meant we ate and slept. We slept in the first day until around 8:30 unintentionally. Then had a snack sorta breakfast in the Neptune.  Then we went to the shops and looked around. Before we knew it, it was lunchtime.  We ended up eating the buffet at the lido and they had bread pudding for dessert. For those of you who have followed in the past you know how much I love HALs bread pudding.  It was simply wonderfully delicious.  I remember napping a lot these two days. I also remember that dec 21 was the mariner brunch for past HAL cruisers. We went to that for the quiche because it is so good. Then we had an informational meeting that afternoon about our overnight excursion that was leaving the next day morning early. Then I remember napping after the meeting and going to dinner and the australian singer that did a show. He was very energetic and loved being on could tell. We also went to the spa both nights. I didnt want to leave the second sea day but it was really busy so we had to give our heated ceramic beads up.  It was time for an early night though because we had a really early morning the next morning.  

Dec 22
We were up early...I was up at 5 and mom was up earlier. Breakfast was delivered at 6 and we left the room before 7.  We were on an excursion that was an overnight excursion with only about 40 people.  We were the only people allowed to leave the ship via tender boat.  After we passed through Milford sound, and we were inspected by the NZ officials we were cleared to leave the boat. We got on the tender and headed towards land. I was so excited to see land. I was getting a little stir crazy on the boat and they didn't have much planned. We got pretty good seats on the bus. There was an obnoxious lady that made sure everyone on the bus knew that she got sea sick so she needed to sit at the front.  She was really annoying the whole trip. So anyways as we went along we saw beautiful land. It was so surreal to be there taking it all in. There were blue skies, perfect weather, sheep in the fields, green grass, a river or lake here and there, trees, and just anything that made it absolutely incredible. How could anyone doubt that God created our earth?!?!  Everything is so detailed and perfect!  The views we had driving through the countryside were just perfect.  We stopped for lunch in a little town that I don't remember the name of. Then we drove to Queenstown where I was hoping to luge or bungee jump but we had hardly any time at all. We took the gondola ride to the top and saw more incredible scenery but only had about 15 minutes before we had to be back down. We then went to the hotel which I thought was a nice little place. It reminded me of Colorado ski resort type place. We had real keys for the doors and a cute little balcony. The breakfast was very NZlike. It wasn't bad but not like a typical American breakfast buffet.  After we checked in to our hotel we went to take a ferry over to our dinner location. I have no clue what it was called but it was really tasty. After dinner we got to see a sheep dog herding some sheep and then see a sheep shearing demonstration. Both were quite interesting. After dinner we took the same ferry back and heard the same man play piano music on the ferry.  It was somewhat relaxing even with the screaming kids running around.  We then took the coach back to the hotel and shortly thereafter turned in for the evening. 

Dec 23
The next morning we were up around 6:30. We had breakfast and then headed out around 9:15 from the hotel. We made our way towards Dunedin and Port Chalmers but stopped off a few places. We stopped at the bungee place where I had very little time so I didn't have time to even contemplate the bungee today. I think I have one more chance possibly where it might be an option. We also stopped at an orchard. The fruit there was so fresh!  I don't typically like kiwi but I tried some and it was so good. I was surprised but I'm not sure was very fresh.  We had lunch at a nice little place on someone's land but they ran out of food so that was sad for those people that didn't get much to eat. I wasn't stuffed but I had plenty to eat. We had fresh apricots and ice cream for dessert and once again I don't usually care for apricots but it was so fresh I really liked it.  After lunch we made one more pit stop and then headed for the boat. Once back on board we dropped off our things and went to dinner since we have early dinner and it was already past our dinner time of 5:30. After dinner we went to the spa to relax and came back to rest up this evening for our long day tomorrow. We have to meet at 7am and we have a 9 hour long excursion but it should be a really good excursion. 

I'll leave you with a quote from an older woman on our tour who moved quite slow and used a cane to walk. "There are a lot of old crippled people that I've seen on this cruise."  

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