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The logbook

The logbook ...

To maintain maximum detail on our journey that could fade with time, we will try to tell the daily stories of everyday life.

 

October 26, 2009

DEPARTURE: Wake for a departure at 8:00 Tourrettes to go to the Nice Ville train station, the train is scheduled to leave at 10.02.

Yaya yayo and lead us in their car loaded our luggage, which amount to a large backpack, the hard case with wheels and cabin bag.

 

Left on time after the final checks, however we find a stopper on the Promenade des Anglais, which came close to jeopardizing our timing yet well oiled. We are still able to park in front of us Gare de Nice, Avenue Thiers despite Tomtom misleading. And we get into a good old commuter train compartment, which has the merit of being punctual. We share our space closed with a young Italian woman and a couple of retired Italians who speak very good French and converse with us between two sleep station and two sandwiches. Arrived in Milan, loaded like donkeys, especially with Riton's backpack, we have 40 minutes to smoke a cigarette and look for the train to Rome Termini, which turns out to be a Eurostar train, more modern and faster than the first , bound for Salerno, via Firenze.

Surprise, arriving in Rome, the booking of our hotel which was to be at 5 minutes from the station, is actually 17 kms! I will not fail to say two words to the unnamed turkey dealing with trips to the station of Draguignan.

 

The taxi we request 60 € to take us to our hotel knowing that we must return to the station the next morning to go to Civitavecchia (60 € and 60 € to go back, 199 € + hotel evening meal 3).

 

We decide to take the subway to get closer to the damn hotel to take a taxi finally for 30 € and asked him to come back the next morning to take us and take us directly to Civitavecchia (80 km negotiated at 130 € + 10 € tip ). It was a good choice and the driver was very friendly.

 

October 27, 2009

Embarkation: Arrived by taxi to the port of Civitavecchia, we had a little trouble finding the place of embarkation. But finally, after 3 rounds of the port by taxi, we arrive at the correct platform. The organization is very well oiled. Once the paperwork done (a little complicated for us because we remain on site and customs we request an address in the U.S.), our luggage was recovered by a person of the ship and we were finally able to board (after a small our embarkation photo as made by a specialist Asian!) and discover this wonderful brand new boat that we were going to go with our transatlantic.

A pleasant surprise awaits us in discovering our cabin, we were assigned a cabin with a sea view and we had booked a cabin with no view (issue price). The journey starts well ...

 

October 28, 2009

CAPTAIN'S PARTY: First an important point. Here everyone speaks English, not American ... In fact, you put 3 brownies in the mouth and you speak English, and it gives the United States. In short we do not understand anything and he'll have to adapt quickly, okkayy!

Effervescence evening dress for the Captain's party. Rhinestones, sequins and tuxedos out of suitcases displayed at the cocktail lounge sprinkled with sparkling wine as a champagne.

 

The evening at the restaurant, the bottle started the day sits proudly on our table. Unfortunate incident when we want to stock up on wine. The server we just quietly point out that the credit card is our past. Surprise, I'm going to the bar to cater to 100 € the account. It was seen as little for the company, we were already short of 663 €. Surprising after only two days on board, knowing that the meals are included in the cruise package, only extras are included, such as wine at dinner, or a real espresso coffee or a beer as an aperitif. In fact, had already been deducted from the gratuity package for the crews, at 10 € per person per day, for three of us, 10 € x 16 days x 3 people ...

October 29, 2009

VISIT TO BARCELONA: It took the shuttle to 10:30 to go downtown. 5 euros per person, free for Matilda, but that only leads us to the harbor entrance. We climb up to La Rambla. A pause long enough in a small bar which hosts cafes and beer and coca to update the work on the computer with wifi.

Then around noon and a half before he'll Corte Ingles where we go for a pee break in and nibble on a mac Donald. Will regret not having enjoyed a taste of delicious tapas and paella to the board ... Going down the Rambla, is a succession of mini-markets to birds, flowers, paintings and punctuated by performers that include beautiful living statues .

Reassembled in the liner, dip in the spa with warm water.

 

October 30, 2009

VISIT TO PALMA DE MAJORCA, BALEARIC: We take the shuttle to 10:30 to go downtown. 5 euros per person, free for Matilda as before. What a well-oiled organization ... Later the spot where the ship docked, the port is home to its luxurious yachts and small boats.

Our tour begins with a kindergarten where a few musicians, acrobats bring some of their holiday scents before going to the Cathedral and pause in the gardens that form a green monument to XIII, completed only three hundred years later. The gardens are decorated with charming water points, small pond swans hosting or guard of honor of little jets of water.

Then we go through the city streets where alternate brands of clothing and jewelry which the European pearl culture reigns. Real or fake pearls, white or black, round or oval. Make your choice. The price gives an idea of the quality of the pearl. But aside from the beads, nothing really typical of the country in fact. We even had a hard time finding a tapas bar. The one where we had two beers and a snack of tapas was located between two bars and Italian restaurant. We dodged to eat pasta with Bolognese Palma de Mallorca ...

 

1 November 2009

STOP IN MALAGA, SPAIN: We take the shuttle to 10:30 to go downtown. 5 euros per person, free for Matilda as before and the day before ... We cross the street covered with marble, like the house. Many stores closed ... Who will stay as we are not only the All Saints Day but Sunday! After taking a snack at a cafe with a clean left to be desired, we took a carriage horse and have done for thirty euro a tour of Malaga's historic center. The city is not exceptional, and most importantly when the sun is not at the rendezvous, the spell is less.

Back to the ship for a small break in water slide. And I put my jersey to accompany thither for the average slide.

 

November 2, 2009

En route to the Canary Islands: After passing the Strait of Gibraltar at 21:30, the sea becomes more and more agitated. We move from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic Ocean and the waves get bigger. The pool becomes the 10th effortlessly wave pool and pours over the bridge in less than an hour. Huey as usual, starts freaking out! It reviews the way to the rescue boat (3rd level), we know he never said!

 

November 3, 2009

VISIT Las Palmas, Canary Islands: This time, the boat is located near the city center which means we leave the ship and we go into the city center in engulfing us in the streets tasteless, odorless with shops and facades without color ... nothing if not transcendent beautiful trees, as big as a plane tree benjamina, magnolias enormous acacia species and cut into giant bonsai. The locals speak Spanish, one of them guided us when we were on the bus to go to las Cantara to find wifi. We struggled to find a wifi works and how to connect the computer. Every time we consume coffee, beer, tapas for a half hour of internet. This time it was the vote of Riri. No chance he RV in 2 days with the turkey. Unable to reach her with the speed dial and French have to buy minutes of internet gold price to send a letter yaya will print and mail. Part of the package will pass in the explanation of how to use our printer ... Once past this episode and four aspirin ingested the meal in the restaurant overheard the thither. Indeed, the server told me he would watch the birthday thither for fun. From our side, we said it was thither that we had told the waiter it was her birthday and she had to pretend it was. And for dessert, the chocolate cupcake thither had a candle and four servers with Win and Melody have attracted the attention of everyone by hitting a glass (to the chagrin of our neighbor table that does not support it) and sang Happy Birthday in English very hard and putting her hair into a beautiful napkin on his head. Mathithi was happy as a queen. Returning short tour to the singer and pianist.

 

November 4, 2009

First day transatlantic crossing: In the morning around 7:00, it's dark as the day we have shifted our clocks one hour. The ocean is more restless than the sea The boat sometimes whines, tossed by the wind that can blow up to 50 mph. Besides last night, near the elevators, small paper bags with zip closure were installed to accommodate the first casualty of the passengers ... Today, quiet day, well-being. Spa at 17h00 at the fall of the sun, but with water at 38 degrees Celsius. For lunch we had light lunch to avoid sinking into the pervasive binge.

Thither mounts by the slide by herself now and several times in a row without problems.

 

5 and 6 November 2009

Second and third days of transatlantic crossing: A day on board is part of a breakfast, going to the 10th floor via the elevators, outdoor plaza with pool loungers and overlooked by a giant screen. It flows into the breakfast room which doubles as a lunch time arrival. From both sides, hot spots where the coffee machines, decaffeinated, hot water, apple juice, orange juice, tropical etc.. coexist and have their drink in cups or plastic opaque colored glass. Then lines are drawn to follow as a cafeteria in the long parade of dishes up a hearty, generous if not gargantuan breakfast. Milk, yogurt, melon, citrus, waffle baeggel, toast, cereals, omelets, pastries, fruit and I forget ...

Then stroll to the slide. Use caution, make sure it is open, check that no other children playing if Mathilde cries. The slide is only for Mathithi and eyes like Niagara Falls if other children invest the playground

Little small talk with our knowledge in Canada that is a pleasure to give us advice and explain the names of subway stations to take the restaus recommended (St Hubert), B & B (with Gilles), the speeds on the highway respect ... while Mathilde advantage of slides when it is empty of any human presence.

Then either you take the time to drink in a small room with coke from the minibar and fraudulently made gin in a bottle of mineral water. Indeed, if we buy a bottle of whiskey in duty free on board, they kept us up to our landing without giving us the opportunity to enjoy "on board". Therefore we bought a drink in a supermarket to make a translucent "Cuba Libre" with the carnival dream of soda for $ 1 95 the bobbin. The mignonette Chivas to the tune of 7.50 € more expensive than the Jack Daniels Lounge.

Lunch, usually around 14:00, we lunch at Deck10. Each day the theme is different, once Italian day, the Spanish again. But anyway, constantly Mongolian dishes cooked in woks are available and Huey is an aficionado. At the rear of the boat on the same level is a spot where Indian cuisine is excellent. Constantly points pizza and sandwiches are open for latecomers or bulimic.

In the afternoon we descend to 16h in the room to nap or do some school work with thither. Sometimes we go back to slide one or bubbles in a spa water at 38 ° C. We walk through the boat which are organized here and there, karaoke, bands for dancing, bingo games, etc.. Day before yesterday we saw before dinner at a magic show. Tomorrow will be a show of hypnosis.

Then after a few timid efforts of the toilet, we go to a restaurant worthy of 4 stars. The dishes are more refined, measured in quantities, especially for appetizers. Foods still good even if the snails were from Burgundy Burgundy in name only. We must seek the garlic and do not question the crust of cheese that covers the meat casserole ... "grilled" is actually braiséed!

 

November 7, 2009

Fourth day transatlantic crossing: This morning, we put forward the hour once again. It is now 6 h 00 in France when it is 10:00. We spent half the ocean yesterday. We wake up very early in the morning, hardly perceiving the gusts of wind at 70 km / h ... the weather is cloudy, the slide compromise. From 6:00, we'll breakfast in turn, me and thither with cereals and fruit and later Huey with his coffee and pastries. Later we return for a small snack from 10.00 to take to lunch around 13:30 ... This afternoon we force Matilda to nap because the day before she fell asleep almost at the restaurant. And tonight, the show begins after dinner exceptionally "Elegant Evening".

In the theater, the host of the cruise with bleached hair this future trips to come and answer questions from passengers. The presentation was filmed and then loop through the TV screen from the chamber. Ditto for some other activities, such championship who best imitates Tarzan or who gives the best recipe for best Halloween cocktail or evening running every loop even four days later. The players competed with each other party in their costumes and so attracted the attention of the Carnival Dream camera to capture these fleeting moments. On other channels of TV, real-time positioning on the map in longitude, latitude, speed boat in km / h and nautical knot, wind speed and direction, temperature in ° F and ° C.

 

November 8, 2009

Fifth day transatlantic crossing: For two days the sea is rough, our stomach a little misrepresented ... the waves can reach eight feet high when the wind blows up to 120 km per hour. On the ship, it seems that the squeaky door frames. At 10th level, walking is still possible but the sensation of roll is stronger. Despite the elegant evening, empty tables are increasing especially those of our Mexican neighbors. Only the husband was there, his wife in bed in the bedroom and the American couple who share their table.

 

9 and 10 November 2009

Stop at Kings Wharf in Bermuda: After a long wait for the bus, we headed to Hamilton, the island's main town. During the journey we have plenty of time to watch the scenery is magnificent waters of a beautiful turquoise green, multicolored houses ranging from pastel pink to gray mouse, through a blue lagoon and a purple amethyst. The roofs are all white, without tile floors in order to recover rainwater. The gardens of the houses are more areas of English turf. Weeds on the road are made of palm and other tropical species that replace our prickly bushes, brambles and our our ivy. The narrow streets can not accommodate a bus stop and the driver sometimes rushes into roads to turn back after shutdown. On arrival, we engulf in an Irish pub and eat Mexican sandwiches (how exotic ...) sprayed coca and we plug on the Internet to receive the messages and call the family with Skype a few minutes ... in the rain because the weather is very changeable and very windy. For the return, a small navigation error and we take the same route in reverse instead of taking that which would have made us go right round the island with return ferry. But anyway, at 5 o'clock, everything closes, buses and ferries are fewer and the night falls on a half-hour later.

The next morning, we enjoy the last morning on the island to visit the Maritime Museum, where many objects of everyday life in the last century to succeed each side about the arrival of electricity on Island or storage of gunpowder when the island was a British military base in the nineteenth and early twentieth century. Shops and houses were not built and opened to civilian as in the fifties. We are surprised to find dolphins in pools where people can swim for "swim" with these animals players. Then we return to the ship for a noon departure to New York City.

 

November 11, 2009

Last day transatlantic crossing: 10 hours of headache, 100 km / h wind, 5 meter high waves, 15 knots per hour cruising speed, what are the latest figures for the last day ... the Deck Chairs 10 are superimposed on the dance floor squeegees to remove the excess rainwater. You become familiar with hourly weather in New York. The suitcases are almost buckled to be filed before 10am this morning in the corridor to be stored unloaded and ready for our arrival on American soil. At 11am, in the theater, the final instructions are given for the landing and

 

November 12, 2009

Arriving in New York City: After a brief breakfast in our room 1237 of the packet, we wait patiently until we are called to disembark. Luce and Jean-Pierre, French Fontainebleau very sympathetic with us and patiently wait their friends. Then the number 25 is called and we pass the customs without any problems after showing white-footed x-ray and eyes of albinos to the camera. At the end of this huge hangar in lieu of customs, we try in vain to connect us to the Internet to prevent the owner of the apartment as we arrived. Faced with these failures of connections, we brave the rain and cold for us to stick to a queue for taxis. Finally we are in these cars and yellow with black stripes on his way to 40 East End Avenue where we arrived around 13:30. It is hard to read but the number reaching the 5E decipher that needs to ring the door opens, that one rushes into the elevator to move along a corridor. Basically, the door of the apartment, which is one might say, despite its rustic practicality. The lights are dimmed, the raised bed is accessible by a ladder. At first we were afraid for thither, but finally she is doing well now to raise and lower.

After getting some instructions from the owner, we will do our shopping at the supermarket, which is cheap if not in all cases, very practical. By late afternoon the Angus beef steaks grilling on the stove along with good pasta with butter, what we dreamed after 16 days of exotic meat.

 

November 13, 2009

Tour New York City: 9:00 Hail to us a taxi at the bottom of our home to go to the Empire State Building. $ 13 later we arrived and $ 40 later, we crossed a beautiful lobby to rush into a maze of corridors punctuated by columns linked together to control the queues of tourists. By chance given the hour and month, no waiting and we are in 1 minute to the 80th floor of the building of the highest in NYC. Again a small elevator to reach the 86th floor where the wind blows mind-blowing and refrigerating. Huey managed to make some shots and we take refuge inside. The view was impressive but the time was less.

11:00 we go for the double-decker bus which stops at most tourist locations. $ 150 to three anyway, but our first walk we had already passed through the Midtown and LowTown, Rockefeller Center, Chinatown, Little Italy, Wall Street, Ground Zero ..

 

14 and 15 November 2009

New York City: In the morning we start now on foot to get from York Avenue to 5th Avenue on foot. We visited another part of New York the day after, but the rain. The bus had roofs clear plastic so that even if it's cold or raining you can see the skyscrapers. In theory only, because in practice the drops of water and the condensation can see the lights signs or traffic lights ... Even the guide said "I Can You Can barely see to guess in the dark ...." In the evening we wanted to go home, drink a little appetizer before a good grilled meats and pasta with butter ... The simple pleasures of life.

The day after we took the bus dropped us at the pier of the Statue of Liberty. Two ferries (one that stops paying on the island, which the other free passes) are shuttles. We decide not to take them and enjoy the view of the Statue of Liberty State Park where we are surrounded by squirrels. A wise solution because since the morning, a deep headache prevents me from getting 100% of the ride ...

That evening, I'm running a washing machine and dryer located in the corridor of the floor and walks with quarters (25ct $). Tomorrow Monday we go with the car and we have not heard of Auto Escape Riri ... worried ...

 

November 16, 2009

Leaving NYC to Niagara Falls: At 8:15 am, we remind Auto Escape to know where we must recover the car. He will call several times to manage to have a competent person to finish, they say they do not validate your reservation and at a time when there is nothing they can not book before us tomorrow. With the phone, call toll free from the rental company Alamo. Almost three times more expensive. For 25 days rental: $ 3500 $ 1000 which abandonment costs (if you do not make the car in the same state.) Instead of $ 1,500 all inclusive. I reject a look at the Backpacker's Guide and see another phone number from another company: BSP Auto WWW.BSP-auto.com. People in this company were very professional, very efficient and prices are the cheapest of all those we interviewed by phone or internet. Our fear of ending up on the street with the small and the luggage was quickly dissipated. The confirmation mail has definitely made us smile.

After a hamburger in the stomach, we'll look for the taxi rental car 50th Street. A white Dodge Auto whose Huey knows about the operation. The only downside besides the consumption of this type of car: there is no thermometer. And it would have been very useful when you travel to Canada to find out when the roads become icy ... Otherwise, despite the Tom-Tom, we're still a good hour and a half out of New York and its sprawling streets. Long road to Lennox in the night where a hot meal and invigorates us a room with a Super8 comforts us. Spacious room, a bit rustic in decoration but is effective and functional. Without fancy breakfast (cereal, muffins, brioche bread), fruit juice (apple, orange) and regular coffee!

 

November 17, 2009

Niagara Falls: One part of Lennox after a quick breakfast to prepare a single visit: that of Niagara Falls. We arrived in Buffalo and follow a long straight commercial area with visitor center closed. Lack of information we rely on the GPS and decide to cross the US-Canadian border over the bridge. We carry a passage of ten dollars and go safely through customs. We are surprised to see it first on the Canadian side of tall buildings surrounded by a mist. The fog is the point of reference to know where the waterfalls and tall buildings, the majority of hotels near to admire the falls. The falls are very high but very wide in the shape of a horseshoe, some U.S. side, more rocky, and the other Canadian or water runs right in front of a small crevice to see the falls closer to being a little wet. Because from the moment we parked the car, we thought we were in the rain while the sky was blue. To give a little more magic to the place, a rainbow is born to a meter of us. The thud of falling becomes increasingly strong as and as we approached and the spray becomes more dense.

Shops are closed in part due to the season. Even find a currency exchange becomes a challenge. Refuel gasoline is also a great time: preferably have good dollars (Can and non-US), choose the right pump and find the manual for raising the notch Regular (like coffee!) ... It took us an hour ...

 

November 18, 2009

Montreal: Day road to arrive in the city center around 15:00. We stopped at noon at a Tim Hortons, a Macdonald improved. The Montreal center is huge, where the styles are mixed. Welcoming Visitor Centre staff deserves admiration. A mix of kindness, professionalism, patience, availability. The sense of service, in a nutshell. Generous with advice on visiting the city without going into detail or anecdote. For accommodation, it also offers his help, without commission. His guidance will help us find a hotel in the Latin Quarter for $ 80 Ca Only drawback: you have to park the car in which the Library is just behind $ 12 for Ca

We park the meteor with satisfaction because we have had enough of the car, in fact, besides the trip, we had a great ride in the car that does not spare us endless plugs back working at the periphery near Montreal .

A short walk from the hotel, lively Latin Quarter but sure, we take the option of dining in a pizzeria where the pizzas are excellent, but the Bolognese sauce in the pasta a little less. Because of a small aftertaste of indescribable ingredient that ended with disgust. Even by questioning the waitress nicely, we did not know which ingredient was the cause of this flavor disturbing ...

 

November 19, 2009

Montreal, Quebec: The morning we will visit Montreal and end up in the "Underground City". Indeed, few large windows with magnificent avenue. They are hidden underground for the winter where snow and cold partially paralyzed the city for a few months. No problem to do his "shopping" or some administrative steps underground. Underground tunnels joining them extremely clean small shopping centers with large spaces to dizzying heights that remove any sense of claustrophobia and Canadians wander quietly. We saw some homeless people who have decided to enjoy the sun, which according to the weather is unusually warm these days (but may spoil very soon) as we have noted their near absence in the underground. A priori, unemployment does not show historical figures. In many shops and factory on the outskirts, the signs call out to people through labor "are committed". These are calls that were becoming rather rare in France ... A guardian of the Latin Quarter hotel told us that he had come to Quebec there are over 30 years and that for him, it was paradise. No racism, but respect whatever your nationality or your religion. Indian owners of the hotel came to work here from scratch and now have three, and a home to one million dollars. Now that's a good success.

 

In early afternoon, we decided to take the road to Quebec City which is only three hours from Montreal by highway lined with trees still bare of their leaves and fir. But we were rewarded for our hours of arriving by car to the wonderful world of Quebec. Houses with European styles, English, small mansions out of a fairy tale repeat beauty by Christmas fairy lights.

November 20, 2009

Quebec: Big disappointment on waking in the morning: it's raining. Not the ideal time for sightseeing. A chat with the people of the reception of the hotel: "Here, the sun, we see but we do not feel it." After breakfast at the restaurant adjoining the hotel, we loaded the car and travel the city by car. The Old Port is small and we expand our scope powered walk and absorb the images in our heads of these architectures. Try to go to the village of the Hurons, Wendake, but the GPS takes us into a residential neighborhood, far from our expectations and therefore decided to forego the visit of the Indian village.

 

The night we found a motel in Burlington sensus stricto, the largest city in Vermont, whose capital is called Montpelier, but that is a city much smaller in population. One parks his car in front of the door lining; also the room we have a small kitchenette. So we start making small purchases for dinner tonight, we feel healthier. We go into a supermarket to buy coca-cola, small appetizers and entrees: macaroni and cheese macaroni bolognese. To remember a little home ... But this crazy dream was never achieved: pasta cheese bathed in a substitute cheddar and those with tomato sauce was still a sweet indefinable nothing that recalled the homemade pasta. Nice try little pay. Besides stewed with cinnamon which have the taste of cinnamon and cumin bread that has the taste of cumin .... Nothing is done in finesse. There may be more quantity than quality. Besides, do not talk to you one report quantity price instead of value for money ?....

November 21, 2009

Vermont: Day of crossing a mountainous region just over the plain, which connects Montreal to Quebec. Our GPS guided us through the campaign by a small road where the speed limit does not exceed 35 miles, which does not help us in our average down in the South. But at some point the road ends at a lake and we are waiting for a ferry out of nowhere to cross Lake Champlain toward New York State. The crossing was a festive episode compared to the length of the day's stage, rather monotonous in vegetation and architecture of the houses. Small houses with a few meters his big grain silo, which few people are home because ultimately this state is one of the least populated of the U.S.. Matilda is quite difficult in these days when we drive a lot and so now it does not fail to harass us and ask us when do we get to the hotel. The arrival by 16:00 we do not have permits to move a lot in our descent towards the sun, but will have the advantage of stopping the lamentations of Matilda.

 

November 22, 2009

Philadelphia, Baltimore: After breakfast at baeggel spread with butter, we went from New Jersey to Washington via two major cities: Philadelphia and Baltimore. The visit of the two cities will soon. Philadelphia, land of the Amish, Sunday is not necessarily the most welcoming. Too bad we can not go shopping because in this state, Pennsylvania, clothing and shoes are not subject to local taxes that increase over 10% of all advertised prices, the garment at the restaurant through the hotel ...

 

After seeing New York, it is clear that the buildings of Philadelphia does impress us more. It must be said that until the 80s, they should not exceed a certain height, the statue of William Penn originally from Pennsylvania (Penn Forest literally) stuck on the roof of City Hall, less of 167 meters.

November 23, 2009

Washington: We arrive in Washington DC which is one of the few cities in the United States built according to a development plan made by a French engineer Pierre L'Enfant in 1790, under the presidency of Washington. French engineer of the Army of Lafayette, he was ordered to devise a glorious city in the image of Paris. He can curse because we keep turning and returning to the streets before finding the Mall where are the Capitol (the seat of the Congress of the United States) which faces its obelisk, the Washington Monument, the White House (the President's seat), the Supreme Court and a row of museums.

However, we are able easily to us park in the Mall, this should be possible in low season and at least we have that chance. Because as the weather permits (it raining cats and dogs) we take refuge in a first step in the natural history museum where the world of animals in the world are represented by region (Arctic, savannah, etc.), by chronology (dinosaur, mammoth ...) and world (mammals, fish). Thither learns that mammals are animals that have bones, hair and drink the milk of the breasts). This museum is a highlight of our visit but the visit of the Museum of Aviation did not have much to envy. Y planes are exposed to another century, rockets, satellites. Y is explained the conquest of the Moon with exposure to combinations of astronauts, cosmonauts and the car driven on the moon while praising the U.S. in its race to conquer space with the Soviet Union. Our visit museums could have lasted longer but thither getting tired and we decide to return the car.

 

November 24, 2009

North Carolina:

 

November 25, 2009

Charleston (SC): We found Charleston a beautiful city where life is good. Spontaneously, we love this city that tops the list of the most beautiful cities we've seen, with that of Quebec. We park by chance in the French Quarter. The streets are narrow and winding. This is the most historical city in America. Even if the Americans are still trying to find a superlative to each city and in each location. "The tallest building in the USA", "home of the oldest U.S.," the biggest tree in the USA ", etc.. Etc. ... You still have to specify the city where it was declared the Civil War. Then his superlative is legitimate.

We walk through alleyways and discover at every turn of the homes more beautiful than others, gardens quite small but very nicely maintained.

 
We enjoy a very good espresso in a French cafe that is located beside a beautiful park. Small hedges surround harmoniously weathered wooden benches, beautiful fountains including a pineapple-shaped, nice people. Even the gardener was proud that we do honor to its fleet and has kindly offered to take a picture of us three, seeing Matilda we photographing with mobile phone. I must say that Matilda is still pretty picture for her age.

Savannah on the evening we found a motel for a small fee for services but corresponds exactly to the low prices. Despite a complete equipment, refrigerator, microwave, wifi, etc.., Seals the tub was black, as the tired carpets, curtains, and not coverage ... For one night, that's okay. Too bad this is the night of November 25, the eve of the anniversary of Huey. Finally, we find no good restaurant and finish a few reunions purchased earlier in the day in a Foodstore. That's how the day ends. A little cigarette in the evening chatting with our roommates who come from Tampa, Florida West side. They came to see the ghosts of Savannah ... I do not know today why there ghosts in the city. Maybe we'll find out tomorrow.

 

November 26, 2009

Savannah (GA) Savannah, Georgia, a city founded in 1733 has pretty houses and is crisscrossed by parallel streets, punctuated by a score of smaller places were created where the small shaded gardens and often embellished with a statue of an obelisk or a fountain. To access, small streets also shaded by overhanging branches of gigantic trees that we do not yet know the essence. Many tourists wander by foot so as not to miss a plot of their walking tour. We prefer to do the circuit by car especially since it's Thanksgiving and few cars drive, you can even take breaks to take pictures .... While the population leaves the church and preparing to enjoy ... or rush a good stuffed turkey. And finally do come across any ghost. Ah legends die hard sometimes.

We finally arrived in Florida in the early afternoon. The sun is shining, warming, sees and feels! The first town we meet is Jacksonville, crossed the wide St. Johns River, and we decide to see a bit of the ocean and arrive at the end of a long avenue lined with super stores, the white sand beach adorned of a long dock. We have our feet wet with thither, but water remains cool even if two kids swim. ... Thither first shell is happy.

We find a hotel by the beach, a Best Western and to celebrate the anniversary of Riton we take for $ 89 without tax a nice room with Jacuzzi. Upon our arrival, we fulfill the great joy of thither. The nozzles are set in motion as well as lights that range from turquoise to violet through green. Huey had put a little hot water ... We had to quickly turn the dehumidifier on the road for not having a sauna in the room ...

 

November 27, 2009

St. Augustine (FL): Today, a visit to St Augustine led us in a Hispanic neighborhood in the colors. A little history: in 1556 the Spaniards founded the city. Dispossessed of their colony by the British between 1763 and 1783, the Spanish take over the property until 1821, when the United States bought Florida from Spain. We park in a parking fee to $ 8. Are entering a busy street with many souvenir shops and small bars. We stop in one of them with small wooden tables and benches in a courtyard. We always order and pay in advance, as in service stations. We drink a beer and thither eats a Chili con Carne for a singer with a guitar recites tunes of Simon and Garfunkel and Cat Stevens ... The atmosphere is very summer ...

 

November 28, 2009

Disneyworld (FL): Disney and the "Celebrate a Dream Come True Parade

It's "the day thither" and that is why we are heading straight for the Magic Kingdom, near the Lake Buena Vista. Gradually, as we approach the panels come alive with rich color and movement. First stop in a pay for parking $ 14. Once parked, we need to open a small train. Once there, we are again in a TGV train, but version. Finally we arrive at the entrance to the Magic Kingdom. Fanfare, balloons, Disney Stores around us to achieve the Cinderella Castle at the center of the park and serves as a cue to wander between each set of attractions. Flying carpets of Aladdin at the Tea Party (armory cup of tea) through Splash Mountain (rafting a subterranean river with rapids), all rides delight Matilda. Splash Mountain in Frontierland is our favorite! The raids were very strong, a bit wet every time. We left quite wet and we have a thought for the Nike cap Huey who flew in for a drop of water very fast and impressive ...

In 1530, our random wanderings in the park, we witnessed all the magical parade of Disney characters on their tank with their legendary song.

 

In the evening we dine in a restaurant Perkins. Restaurant chain to remember because my dish was very good simplissime (pasta and chicken), the hotel chain Rodeway Inn is very average. No breakfast, elevators next to the room and prevent us from sleeping bay window overlooking Orlando by night still holds many fingerprints ...

November 29, 2009

Tampa - Sarasota (FL): Orlando Executive Departing the west coast, the coast of the Gulf of Mexico that we are eager to discover. After a little over 100 km we reach Tampa. The suburb is pretty industrial, downtown has some great walkways link where buildings of a bank or convention center. But the bustle of the city is reduced reinforced by the fact that we are on Sunday. Near the coast, a suburban house consists of lush gardens. Even if the coast seems poorer than the East Coast, she seems busy, the port is charming. Towards St Petersburg, we cross the Sunshine Skyway, a highway that crosses the sea with a magnificent view in the bay, a sea of oil, a few motor boats and bridges filled with anglers (fishing piers on ) under sunny skies and temperatures approaching 30 degrees C. After St Petersburg, we headed towards the peninsula of Anna Maria Island. Here are many accommodations, all with rooms available, but around 200 $ per night for performances near prefabricated bungalows ... We fly so towards land and land in Sarasota and a nice hotel chain Comfort Inn, where we are pleased to 20.00 us soak in a hot spa and a pool heated to 28 ° C. For the modest sum of $ 77 per night for three with a solid breakfast in a room of 35m2, with fridge, microwave, just like home! ...

 

November 30, 2009

Port Charlotte Fort Myers (FL): Departure from Sarasota in bright sunshine. And arrival on the island of Sanibel in the blazing sun. We spend a great toll bridge ($ 6 return) to reach the island and walk along the beaches, rather narrow, white sand with many shells imbedded in the sand. Throughout our wanderings, we encounter black ebony birds or species of storks white as snow, and perceive the distance of eagles wheeling over our heads. Walk into a magical island where different species coexist miles palms, ficus benjamina 15 meters high, bougainvillea in hedgerow, small water bodies may be hiding some alligators to believe the sign "No feed alligators , $ 500 .... . Gulp. The palms are hedges provided to hide the houses. We had lunch at a nice restaurant and I order a "grilled group (council Gayle, host of Texas that we received just before our departure. Indeed it was delicious. But then I gave Huey who did grilled tuna is not a bistro salad was overcooked. It was also delicious.

Departure for Naples. We look for a hotel if possible with a microwave, because we stopped in a "fresh market" where the food was excellent, mainly Italian. Huey pointed out to me that we're in Naples!

 

December 1, 2009

Naples (FL): We chose the Comfort Inn chain to sleep tonight and tomorrow night, even if there is no microwave. We do a short tour in the downtown and we stopped in a lovely avenue (5th) where we see the first glance a peaceful atmosphere with lots of terraces where you can sip a drink in the sun, what we lacked before arriving Florida. We stop in front of a window of an estate agency. An officer approaches us and we begin to talk. As we stay overnight, she proposes to meet again at 16:00 for a visit uptown. We return to the hotel for a spa (with timer) and a dip in the pool. At 16h, we return to Fifth Avenue and got into the car where we begin our tour. A plethora of luxurious residences, with gardens well maintained and extremely green, some in tuscany style (Tuscan) or Florida (wooden) with "ten roofs" metal to reflect the sun wherever the sun is located. There are also lots for sale with just a pedestal (boatdock) to secure his boat. Prices start at $ 500,000 for a small plot of 1500m2 maximum. Then we must build the house and buy the boat ... The streets end in cul-de-sac, the houses are fairly close to each other; however the beaches are public and access to the beach is omnipresent, which is not the case in eastern Florida.

 

December 2, 2009

The Everglades (Fl): After a hearty breakfast with waffles made by me, we start the day with a quick visit to Marco Island. Then we begin our tour of the Everglades by S41 (national). In this aquatic region, bordered by intricate mangrove forests and mangroves, these swamps are home to considerable wildlife consists of alligators and beautiful birds. We égrenons the miles on this long straight road and come across from time to time in motels where the entries are all caulked with screens, a few places camper. Taking advantage of a halt in the Big Cypress Nature Preserve, we meet with the kings of the Everglades: a dozen alligators on the edge of water, fed if we are to judge by their quiet and bonhomie . A National Guard at the visitor center told Matilda with plush enough to feed an alligator: they eat frogs, species of beaver, ducks, and that once a week. So they are caught in the middle but they look quiet digestion does to conceal they can be very dangerous. After our stop, we perceive one on the road, unfortunately crushed by a car and the guts to air. The show hurt after seeing his fellow alive.

We go through Miami to move up the turnpike to Boca Raton, where Huey wants to surprise Brigitte and Fred Fourage, guests who have spent two days at home looking for their new primary residence. We identify the block where they work and decide to visit them without telling them by phone. They were overjoyed and we were delighted to see them again, for news of their project, their daughter who works at Montreux etc.. Since the sale of their home, office serves as home has a kitchen, toilet, sofa bed upstairs. We take coffee on the conference table and each tells the latest news from the front, including the possible purchase of a stone house in Les Arcs for them. But they have not yet visited the house and thinking back to France soon.

The meal at PF Chang's Chinese restaurant was not particularly special for Richard who ordered the Beef With sushuan sauce. This time, it was overcooked and I shared my delicious shrimp raised with him. Information on TripAdvisor are generally reliable but opinions on restaurants in American literature means that they are written by Americans who have American tastes and are therefore not so reliable it ... especially culinary speaking, if the review accommodations proved generally accurate.

 

December 3, 2009

Fort Lauderdale-Miami Zoo (FL): After a breakfast of Bestwestern Bocaraton, we went towards the Miami zoo (Metro Zoo). By moving to Fort Lauderdale, we take the opportunity to book the hotel for two days of stay before the cruise to the Caribbean. We choose the Bestwestern OceanInn halfway between the airport where we need to make the car and the port where we embark. Fort Lauderdale is a bit more to the Riviera, with young people in a BMW or Harley Davidson bikers. On this side of Florida, traffic is more intense, more interchanges and highway exits more numerous. And the turnpike, highway bypasses Miami pay as the Riviera, although the toll to be paid only a dollar. So nothing to do with all tolls and many flights from us ... But a $ 100 fine if you do not pass the right place.

Short stop on the ocean where the water is hot but divine waves bring some jellyfish and we do not swim. Then we arrive at the zoo by an avenue of stately palms. In addition to the ticket, we rent small trolleys (four-wheel bicycle) to walk faster. And thus we see animals in their natural element, grouped by region (Asia, Amazonia, Africa etc..). Gorillas have much enjoyed Matilda they move a lot, eat leaves, and agitation compensates playful feline lethargy and orang utans.

The only animal that has been challenged by the presence of Huey, the camel!

Matilda was bent with laughter to see the attitude of this great quadruped who followed my gaze Riton showing him his teeth as he spoke to his trainer or his father ...!

The equivalent of our pigeons is called here the white ibis (Eudocimus albus). They are taller and bigger but also greedy beggars and bonuses such as ice cream, cookies. Wholesale Gourmet.

That evening we hit the first hotel that has light, ie a motel whose performances prove the opposite of what the name suggests "DeLuxe Motel in Homestead, on the border of islands Keys. While the price was reasonably low, but before the Board, two shopping carts were parked, a large gas cylinder ... "Very romantic," thither say ...

 

December 4, 2009

The Florida Keys - Marathon (FL): We get up well rested and set off on the islands along the S1, the only road that links these islands to Key West. Originally, it was a railway line that a Flagler, millionaire of the early twentieth century, had built. The bridges are immense, the longest sustained damage due to a hurricane in 1935, also one of the longest bridges is different from one end to another ... The scenery is beautiful despite the utility poles sawing the scenery once side Ocean, once Gulf Coast. The vegetation is lush and beautiful blue horizon. We decide to stop after 100 miles, Marathon, that is to say halfway to Keywest. We decide to stay in a motel cute "SeaDell Motel, where rooms are tastefully decorated The owner shows us a beach nearby and we go there with pleasure as the sun shines and warms and despite that the beaches are almost deserted at this time. We swim in water at 28 ° C and thither playing with sand, made a big hole helped by Huey

 

December 5, 2009

The Keys - Key West (FL): After eating some butter cookies (no breakfast in the motel, just a coffee machine), we head to Key West. In this place so sought after by tourists, we find a small town whose liveliest street called Duval Street. We do a watchtower in the city and we park in a parking lot at $ 4 / h. We go down the avenue, crossing a few roosters and hens in the street. Remembering the first pirates inhabiting the island. One could say that the filibustering continues to prevail here since Huey bought his cigarette pack to $ 8.7 instead of about $ 5 ... we go down the avenue lined with shops for tourists quickly. Suddenly the atmosphere becomes heavy, the servers fall within the menus. Raising his eyes, we see that the sky turned black. We decided to join the car quickly. And barely returned to the car park opened, the storm broke. The few feet that separate us from the car allows the terrible rain and wind to dip ourselves as soups. An example of tropical storm. The problem is that it lasted all afternoon and then we go to the motel. We have not fallen in love with this city and our visit cut short by rain has less chagrined that time we were in Quebec.

 

December 6, 2009

The Keys - Key West (FL): After eating some butter cookies (no breakfast in the motel, we decided to leave the West Coast. Richard ads spotted in a hotel with 4 S41 on the docks in Cape Coral. The exterior looks good. We saw a video on the internet nice rooms too. We left and then back through the Everglades.

 

December 7, 2009

Cape Coral: Meet Monica Wilson to visit a hotel 14 units Docksid'inn in Cape Coral and Sanibel on a motel with 6 units. We have a little trouble finding the Century21 office in this great shopping area, but do this eventually helped by the Blue Beetle parked outside the agency. Since Monica is actually German in origin and installed for many years in Florida. We also know Karine Conzalves which specializes in business, while Monica is more focused on individual houses. They tell us in brief the property market is currently very low and shortsale foreclosure. This is particularly true of hotel Docksid'inn she will visit us in Cape Coral. She has other deals in its portfolio, including one that attracts our attention because it is located on Sanibel Island. Both offers are radically different: one has 14 bedrooms, the other 6, the first is noisy roadside in an area not necessarily famous or tourist, the other is an island known to the subtropical vegetation very "exclusive" is one way, the other not at all and more accessible after a toll of $ 6 (which is rare and expensive in the U.S.). One needs a lot of renovation, the other is impeccably maintained. One has a heated pool (in sad condition indeed), the other does not possess. One is near the channel and has 4 docks for boats, the other is a few meters of white sand beaches known for its shellfish ... The cases are different, they cost more or less equivalent if one takes account of the renovation to be done. That is what give the material to intense reflection on our trip home.

 

December 8, 2009

Cape Coral:

Guys went to Lowes

Swimming

Aperitif with Mark and Canadian

Bordeaux arrived at Mark who come to buy a house at $ 100,000 with dock for rent.

 

December 9, 2009

Cape Coral - Fort Lauderdale: We must leave, I filled out a satisfaction questionnaire about the hotel. The notes are good (between 4 and 5 on 5, but still reported difficulties meeting the water to flow from the tub. It seems to bother them a bit, but complimented orally, and indeed the Tonight I'll put flattering comments on Tripadvisor.

Given the mail we have received information and travel, we must rebuild a medical certificate because those that Jean-Chri we had in France before leaving ... no longer valid since expired a month. We call on Mark and Linda of the hotel where we could make medical certificates. Finally, two blocks from here, but it would cost a whopping $ 120 per person. A little disgusted, we call on the parking Fourage with the computer. Frederick inquires by phone while Brigitte tells us they do not have too morale because their daughter Melissa was assaulted by a thug in a street in her home at one o'clock in the morning and was robbed of his money, keys and work permit etc.. Not to mention also that her boyfriend decided to take a break and she finds herself all alone just for the holiday of the year ... In the end, they are taking appointments in a French medical center, which would take " that "$ 150 total for the three medical certificates.

We are thus left to recross the Everglades with this time, much to the surprise of Huey, turtle on the roadside, in effect, alligators are now part of the landscape ...

 

In the evening we go to go look for Fourage dinner in Boca Raton. They will recommend a Mexican restaurant which is very good. We chat in a light way throughout the meal, learn the American formula "I am working on it Stilll" not that we remove the dish until you have finished, thank you Fredo!

December 10, 2009

Fort Lauderdale: Despite offering a continental breakfast "hot" (scrambled eggs, bacon, etc.), I go into the breakfast room to grab three apples and three bananas and then they go away ... to be At the medical examination in Boca Raton, three-quarter-hour from the hotel. This rush will be proportionately as important as the waiting time in the said room. We arrived at 8:50 but the person who spoke French did not arrive until 9:30. So we must return. We'll drink a little espresso and eat a croissant and a chocolate croissant in a French bakery next door. At 9:30, we go back into the room and wait a good hour, until we filled out a questionnaire that the clerk does not register in his computer ... We weighed in stones, we have a temperature in Fahrenheit, a voltage I do not know what another unit. In short, I do not know if I have grown (certainly not lost weight!) But in principle we are in good shape. We see finally complete the medical certificate of the Company CGACGM by a doctor of Asian origin (Dr. Lee) attended a French-Canadian nurse. The joke does not last the final few minutes but still cost us $ 150 as expected. Once out, we pass quickly to the hotel to make the car terminal at the international airport of Fort Lauderdale. The employee went around the car and the scanning of a barcode on the door. If we did not change the credit card rate at the rental office, the operation lasted only a few seconds ... still lightweight $ 995, given that we had to pay $ 600 in charges of abandonment (taking the vehicle in New York and traveled to Florida). Thus we return by taxi to the hotel, we eat two sandwiches not terrible, on the left side of the window without us being led by the waitress over and not terrible at all for $ 15. At this rate, a Macdonald would be more pleased everyone is saying ...

A stroll around allowed us to locate the nearest beach and decide to spend part of the afternoon. Water is good and clear and without much roll. Just enough waves to get a massage the soles of the feet stretched out on the edge. Matilda likes to dig a tunnel in the sand narrow but very long. I picked up some shells of very small beads to make thither, as some have a small hole just to the thread ... The beach is very popular: regularly overflown by large airbus cargo containers and surrounded by some empty d other containers loaded with their variegated colors. And lastly by a horde of birds, from seagulls and pelicans fishing. These fly, usually two, an area of sea and suddenly plunge headfirst into water to catch its prey. Once pelicans spotted a school of fish, are the gulls that they come in groups and in close proximity to enjoy the local fish. We find ourselves surrounded by birds as well as in the Hitchcock movie, except that the birds ignore us completely and form a hodge podge more concerned with eating than attack us in any way whatsoever.,

 

In the evening we dine with a salad of corn, tuna, tomato house. Today, culinary speaking, not terrible. And here we are in the sheets early.

December 11, 2009

Caribbean cruise departure: After a hot breakfast "in Fort Lauderdale Bestwestern, we take our luggage for a cab to Port Everglades, Terminal 26 for boarding on the MS Noordam of Holland America Line Company. At first glance, the liner is smaller than Carnival Dream. After investigation, it appears that it is 2006 and exits the same shipyard as the MS Carnival Dream, which had been inaugurated only two months before our transatlantic. Nevertheless, the interior is cozy. The atrium is no shortage of foil or gilt. Some lounges offer ostensibly leather seats a little baroque. There are only four hot tubs and two outdoor pools, main pool is decorated with a nice set of dolphin statue and if the weather deteriorates, the pool is covered by a sliding roof system. No waterslide unfortunately for thither ... But a nice library with lots of classic books and books on travel (guides in English of course) but also newspapers and magazines.

 

December 12, 2009

Half Moon Cay: We landed on a small island designed for luxury cruise lines, since the island belongs to the Holland America Line and Carnival ... On the beach, souvenir shops, buffet, central hair and several choices of activities, such as volleyball, basketball, etc. The beach is beautiful: the'eau was absolutely crystal clear and sandy beige flour. Swim is a delight, the temperature is extremely good. The only problem was the two rain we endured. But given the temperature outside, it did not matter: it was a way to flush water from the ocean. On the shuttle that brings us to the steamer to go we were sitting at the top and back for fear of another storm, we chose the lower level. But it was not such a good idea because the drains were flowing from above and at each corner, you might receive a few large flows of water as the gentleman who was installed two rows ahead of us and gave us a good laugh in remaining stoic throughout the voyage when he received a rainstorm on him every big wave: it was located exactly in a laughing ... The evening dinner at the restaurant, this time not even waiting for us. I tasted the mahi-mahi, which is the dolphin, but the fish not the mammal ... thither did not like the pasta special children's menu and I have ordered the same fish they ate. After dinner, we took advantage of one of two spas lido 9. I fully understand how they put themselves on ...

 

December 13, 2009

At sea:

 

December 14, 2009

Road Town, Tortola, British Virgin Islands: On arrival at the scene by boat, the show is very beautiful. Many islands make up the archipelago and some steep banks, inhospitable landscape make the most wild, a little haven of Robinson Crusoe. However once landed on the island of Tortola, not much to see. Confirms what we we meet a French and lived there: apart from main street ... We are moving and then actually see souvenir shops with colorful storefronts. But the "main street" is really tiny, impossible to walk quietly on the sidewalk narrow or nonexistent, or on the road where cars are parked and verbalized input. Our visit will be quite speedy and we return to the steamer, a little disappointed by the visit of the call but happy to spend much of the afternoon in the pool and spa.

 

December 15, 2009

Fort de France: We arrived in Martinique with a lot of music and folk dance attire and distri bution of bread (so-called French) and chocolate (thither was thrilled). In any call so far, we had received so prepared, treated, and even a map of the island has been distributed. It must be said that all around the harbor were under construction, with fences and cranes. Attention has therefore been quickly drawn to this custom home and forget the environment site.

Once in town, it's nice to see signs in French. First we will drink a beer, a coffee and a coke at a bar on Lina's right next to a McDonald's. And yes, there too. We send medical certificates to the company's cargo ships that do not always have received. Then we headed over to Fort St. Louis Park Savannah, which is also surrounded by hoarding (really, we prepare a complete makeover of the city, there is need anyway ...) to reach the west the pier and finally find, with the help of a gentleman Tourist Information (white and red), the counter of the Express des Iles so we can buy tickets that we will reach Pointe a Pitre from St. Lucia, our last stop. The counter of the Express of the islands is located near the Post Office has moved to a safer place since the earthquake of November 2007. Other buildings also have been abandoned and hidden by fences ...

 

Once finished all these steps, we have much more euros on us, or credit card. Can not buy anything or even eat something. We find a lot of French shops, even a small Carrefour Market and a small Galeries Lafayette. Much reference to Victor Schoelcher that freed blacks from slavery on the island. Street, statue library in his name to honor this man. Once back on the boat, we restore simply delicious pasta with pesto and dives back into a pool with water so warm it's almost better in the water and off water if the sun is hiding. Thither girlfriend, Anna-Maria is in the pool and trying to learn to swim without armbands. This motivates some thither but it still remains somewhat reckless.

December 16, 2009

Bridgetown (Barbados): Under a scorching heat, we go out for a stopover on the island of Barbados. The ship is located 10 minutes from downtown, we walk along a garden whose trees we offer shade. In the city center, shopping jewelry succeed each other last posting on their front the word "duty free" as a passport to come to the world. In fact, prices are still expensive, the number of carats for gold is almost always 14. So good ... We "succumb" to still the call of duty-free to purchase a fragrance (for my birthday today) and 5 cigars (to Huey) and a small rag doll in Madras (for thither). The only memory that we had brought for thither was a snowball with the Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty. To save space in luggage, I removed the box and had found a spot between the fluff thither. It was without counting or without calculating the fair value treatment inflicted by Matilda his backpack ... With the rag doll, no risk of breakage at least ...

 

The evening gala "formal optional". As is my birthday, I consider it normal to be there again tonight finest dishes and delicious as usual and we had the "pate de foie gras", the claws of crabs and but also with lobster meat on a bed of mashed potatoes. Strange combination but very good. We escape before dessert, first because we were fed, partly to prevent the servers come to your birthday wish you all the room.

December 17, 2009

The Soufriere Castries (St. Lucia): Day of abandonment of the ship. After a quick breakfast, we perform a number of round trips to our room Deck1 to finalize the papers and customs have to show them the ticket for the Express of the islands to prove to authorities that we leave with the territory of St Lucia. A rainy weather accompanied our departure, besides the fact that it rains and we had to lug our luggage, we must take a shuttle to reach Earth because the ship is in port. And the shuttle, this time is simply the lifeboat they have won ... another couple as we landed in St. Lucia, they are the UK and planned to spend two weeks on the island ... We land on the endless shops of so-called duty-free and also on the Visitor Center which I am writing to find a hotel address. We noted some, but no hotel answered the phone. The lady of the Visitor Center we recommend the Auberge Seraphine a few minutes away, phone and off we taxi towards the hostel. The place is removed from the noise, except that of countless white ibis which invade the tree outside the hotel. The view is beautiful, nice hotel, the large white room with a terrace balcony overlooking the pool and harbor. We walk back through the airport to the duty-free drink and a "peak", local beer seems to be popular with tourists as well as by the inhabitants of the island. Priced at U.S. $ 3 two beers, tempers flare among some but the atmosphere is very good child. A taxi Creole, Bernard, brings us to $ 5US downtown, the covered market where we walk, but without finding a great pleasure because the city is not beautiful, not dirty unattractive. 16:00, we are looking for a typical restaurant in vain. We go back even in an Italian restaurant. But they remain as they fish with boiled potatoes. And it might not appeal to my Riton ... We take refuge in the lost soul a Burger King. We return after buying in a supermarket "Supergames" some snacks for the evening and for cargo.

 

December 18, 2009

St. Lucia, Pointe a Pitre (Guadeloupe): The next day we wait Bernard at 11:00 to bring us to the Soufriere because the Express is only 4:00 p.m. ET islands we should be boarding at 14:30. It is a bit long but a person who stays taxes at the hotel we used to call his cell phone to restart Bernard (because communication via Skype is detestable, we could barely understand that tomorrow we should be at Cargo 17:00.) Bernard leads us in his "fireball" through the largest plantation of figs (which happens to be bananas ....), then the "rain forest", a real jungle with huge ferns and a small rain continues . And finally the two peaks that characterize the island and make it unique and recognizable among all the other islands. Then he leads us to Soufriere, where the smell of sulfur begins to take us nose. We ask them to turn us back to the pier. It is already late and I do not want to walk me walk for an hour in this detestable smell, or miss the Express islands.

We are now left to wait in line for baggage check and then do another line for customs and taxes to pay 20 €. And incredible as it may seem, the customs personnel searched the hand luggage with their gloved hand and plastic in their zeal, confiscated lighters Huey, as too dangerous on the boat! We got to know a few minutes earlier a French couple, Matthew and Anne, living in London, with whom we have befriended and with whom we shared the waiting, then a few Heineken last few matches, and some chips. People in the boat were very nice. Musicians, a mother with her little girl with hair extensions, which became girlfriend Laetitia Matilda with his brother Steven, or the lady who was not feeling very well behind us. The ship serves in order to Fort de France, Dominique and Pointe a Pitre. The crossing time of 6 hours provided lasted over an hour more and we arrived safely to 23h instead of the 9:45 p.m. ET after crossing a little agitated when some arrived relieved of a stomach meal ...

 

Mathieu and Anne did not want to share our taxi as the hotel was too close to their opinion but we were loaded and have taken for 10 € (two additional people would cost only 5 € more, but hey ...) And here we reached the hotel in the most sordid in which we have been throughout our journey. The night we arrived we already handed the keys, not very proud, telling us that there had been work, and adding "but you'll see." Indeed on arrival, we opened the door to a tiny room with sloping ceilings which I bumped my head in spite of a small, 57m, and a musty smell mixed with the smell of urine from the bathroom. The horror. But the hotel was supposedly complete, you can not change rooms. It was late, we had eaten anything substantial and were very tired, unable to change hotels. So we stayed in a bed with clean sheets and even torn worn out.

December 19, 2009

Pointe a Pitre (Guadeloupe): Wake up this morning in this sordid hotel. Huey down smoking a cigarette at home and used it to explain to the landlady of this hotel dissatisfaction; it blames on its staff and their membership in the Caribbean local union ... but admits to not having the verification room. Personally, I doubt that it does so often. As Huey had told him that we had seen the hotel on TripAdvisor, she backtracked, offering us to leave our luggage up to 14 hours instead of noon, we ordered a taxi with a stroke at 15 € instead 18 € 8 € for the pier. Finally, it allowed us to ride in the city, stop at the spice market and meet a lovely local who makes us feel special and scents that seem to turn a simple stove in the kitchen real fairy. Then we arrive at a pedestrian area with ambience and folk music Creole invades the streets. We will stop for a drink, then stay to enjoy a plate of Creole cuisine (boudin noir, white fish marinated in lemon fritters). That happiness, tasty food to lick your fingers. And decide to have coffee there. The taxi was waiting for 14 hours and go home, without hastening the pace, as people here. We meet even a santa wrapped his red suit who distributes candy to Matilda, delight and surprise.

 

We have to finish even a price on the room (-10euros) and head for the dock port on Jarry's own. Since the day we saw a cargo ship off to fill with colored boxes. Now we see near and funds continue dancing forever. The taxi drops us off and Huey is a scout. All goes well, we must mount the baggage by steep and narrow bridge. A sailor helps us to mount the luggage, Walter shows us our cabins, the square to make tea or coffee at any time, TV and video corner. It invites us to join the bridge B for dinner tonight at 19:00. Time to put our business in a cabin, we went down dinner and getting to know our traveling companion, a Swiss doctor who specializes in psychosomatic illnesses, now a fervent supporter of renewable energy, and awesome vegetarian. He has already made steps of 7 months (Compostela, Jerusalem to defend his case), especially in Antigua for the installation of solar panels and wind turbines where the wind and sun are inexhaustible. The meal is quite simple compared to the ship but hey, all accompanied by a wine's country Gard. Switzerland eclipsed soon after our dinner and we will make a square coffee where we met two cadets of twenty years, very open and friendly.

December 20, 2009

Crossing the Atlantic by freighter (Day 1): First night in Cargo. We sleep well even if you feel the movement of the ship's engine. In pictures, I would say that the ship runs on electric and diesel cargo. Regarding the average velocity (speed of service), it would not exceed the 22 knots but which is remarkable when to move the ship 200 meters long and 30,400 tonnes (dwt) ...

 

First day aboard the freighter. You can eat well even if we did not have a choice of menus since it is the chef who decides to thirty crewmen and passengers. After lunch, strictly between noon and one o'clock, we are entitled to a safety instruction. The instructor shows a student how to don a survival suit, which gives it a family resemblance to the famous Casimir Island children. A combination for their child was delivered to our arrival. Nevertheless it remains too large for Mathilde. Hopefully we do not have to serve us. Only two life rafts, but enough for the number of passengers and crew on board. We will certainly have safety drills to us they warned, and we must return to the assembly point on the bridge, where the CP (Command Post) that we visited, the green iron structure (site Naval Asia) is more technical in design neat even though it boasts many advanced radar screens for both day and night. Then, as they have filled the pool with seawater, we will swim in a blue cube five feet deep and at a temperature of 26.8 ° C. We shift our clocks one hour mid-afternoon: 16:00, it will be 17:00 in order to maintain the same number of hours of sleep. At 18:00, the opening of the cellar where goods are made in good dutyfree alcohol and cigarettes. We also buy some coca thither. Walter helps us to mount the cans and we passed by the bursar, Finkel busy kitchens where the chef. His second is Romanian, but generally in the boat, people on the boat are nice and it does not rule a military environment. In the evening we are invited to a drink offered by the captain of the ship at the bar and the atmosphere is friendly. A young girl accompanies her friend to the crossing. We chat and she tells me to be unemployed and rely on the Havre Annecy move on to improve the chances of finding work in the cultural event. She also tells me that the dad will spend Christmas on the boat this year due to the presence of Matilda ...

December 21, 2009

Crossing the Atlantic by freighter (2nd day): Breakfast on the right side of the big table, where the water is still a virgin tasks. At lunch, we just see the chief engineer (I do not know the exact grade). It invites us to visit his kingdom to 16.00. Martin did not accompany us because he has already seen several before.

By early afternoon, Walter just keep us company a little square in the passenger and talks about his art. Previously he was a bartender on a boat that had the means, he practically goes around the world. The boat we're a lot less budget and Finkel, the cook, would fight in order to have fresh tomatoes on board. He knows how, but can not afford to do so. Sooner or later, the crew half French, half-Romanian will be replaced by a Filipino crew, which will cost much less for the same work. Walter then shows us a picture of her little nephew with a tiger or a snake, whose brother is a chef in Australia, his dog who waits at the port of Sanary sur Mer and his wife of Indian origin but has lived in Vietnam.

At 16h, here we are at the controls when the chief engineer took the opportunity to delay the time of one hour (one approaches gradually the French time). We present the boat at first before we embark with the helmets in the bowels of the beast. The engine is distributed over several bridges and is located in "Cathedral." The residential part of the boat is already called the "castle". It denies himself nothing literally speaking. The hot air makes the smell of fuel (fuel oil) in some places very suffocating the engine. In fact, the refineries did not know what to do fuel just after the step of bitumen, and got rid of this cheap fuel oil which he knew not what to do. Today, as most boats run on heavy fuel, the price of fuel has increased and therefore the cargo now pay attention to the speed to conserve fuel. Indeed, to double the speed of the vessel, multiply the cube of engine power. The chief engineer also explained that each box of refrigerated cargo is autonomous. These bananas are kept at 12 ° C. We must never put bananas in the fridge. To ripen a bunch of bananas in several times, just put the bananas that we want to mature quickly with an apple. And ethylene in this fruit accelerates the maturity of the banana ... That's why in our journey, I saw my bananas darken overnight.

 

December 22, 2009

Crossing the Atlantic by freighter (3rd day): Is it rolling or Tanguis cargo which lulls us? But this morning we wake up at 7:55. Just the time I come down for a coffee and make toast with butter, jam and nutella for Huey and Matilda and I went to make coffee in the saloon passengers. In the morning, Huey made a one-hour nap, and my faith in the afternoon is tempted by another 3 hour nap. Cargo = rest. Huey took the opportunity to revise his English with the book that we bought in Canada. Me, I read the Time Machine by HG Wells in English and thither looks at his cartoons and did some homework. She begins to write well right, finally. We went to the library of the cargo in the computer room. The choice is great but only in a certain style, action movies. We borrowed Mesrine with Vincent Cassel but have not yet looked. After lunch, we walked over the bridges with Martin, went to the bow and stern of the freighter. The weather is still mild, but the commander has warned that there will be the wrong time from 23 until 25 December inclusive. In its software weather, it shows us that the cargo rounds on his way to avoid the heart of the storm. But we will inevitably pass through at some point ... The cargo container moves more than the SS but it is still widely supported and not angering. Even thither said that "it is normal that it moves, you're on a boat." She was perfectly accommodated, they will say "amarinée" and the crew are delighted that we are not the very first day checking it our guts. But it seems the most difficult tasks lie ahead.

 

 

December 23, 2009

Crossing the Atlantic by freighter (4th day): Today, a day without top or bottom in terms of activity. Only ups and downs in the biggest sensation of rolling of the boat. Pens, saucers begin to dance on tables. We and the crew seem to be leaning forward walking or leaning back to counterbalance the pitching of the boat. Fortunately no one aboard the boat is sick. We have a good sense of balance and good inner ear for two months was able to tame this feeling unstable. Huey went to see the commander to book a car in Montoire, near Nantes, in order to avoid having to descend to Tourrettes de Dunkerque. An estimate less than 400 km to go. It is not denied, even if it is more closely ... The evening meal was excellent for thither with delicious melon and chips for entry with a fricassee of chickens. Simple fare that delights the taste buds. Then we watched a movie on DVD at the library drew "Mesrine" with Cassel, too violent for thither ... Today Matilda recited the alphabet perfectly and I am very proud of her and me and my patience!

 

December 24, 2009

Crossing the Atlantic by freighter (Day 5): Start the day in the pure cargo, I get off before 8:00 am breakfast and goes back a slice of Nutella and jam for the Huey and thither. Then I dozed again since that night we spent the storm in the night, it was a little moved, opened the fridge and cans have escaped from their prison refrigerated. The bunk (bed) of the back room which serves as our meeting room has slipped. In short, it stirs. At noon, the green beans we roast beef has remained a bit on the stomach. In the afternoon we advance the time of one hour and at 16:00 it was already 17:00. And when dinner time arrives, we'll almost backwards. The plate of sausages and lentils that accompany the chicken does not delight us, let alone Martin, who is only entitled to lentils. And his flat is presented in a manner so unappetizing, he got into his room to get his camera to capture the delicious dish for Christmas. Then as it is almost 21:00, we are expected to bar officers where we enjoy a 1821, Marie-Galante rum, banana flavor and champagne to celebrate Christmas. A decorated Christmas tree is drawn by a student officer and the girlfriend of a young officer. Matilda before the meal has left his shoes under the tree while we drank a little appetizer (punch for Huey and guava juice for me) and now suddenly the room is filled with red ball, blue, white pearl and gold. The streamers are flying and oh surprise here is the Santa Claus! the first sailor that we had seen and which we helped to carry the suitcase when we boarded was in uniform and it suited her to perfection. In addition to speaking Romanian, he had a little focus in the far north. In its hood, a duffel bag, was a nice package that contained a very pretty dress in madras, an incense burner and a multicolored purse. Thither was delighted and kissed repeatedly santa improvised. Then he left, a brawl ensued and balloons that lasted very long between chats with the captain and second captain. Very nice. When we got back in the room a nice Christmas stocking hung on our door handle and was the father of Martin Christmas was spent to bring Matilda a large Swiss chocolate bar, a lamp, a soap with a little angel A card with a four-leaf clover, a kiwi (he noticed that she loved them and moreover eaten immediately) and especially a very nice book dedicated to Mathilde. His writing is a real calligraphy and we are extremely affected by these unexpected. From our side, we did not much is an understatement to say that we have nothing to offer, especially since he does not smoke, do not drink ...

 

December 25, 2009

Crossing the Atlantic by freighter (6th Day): Noon, pot from the commander. Small punch ..

 

December 26, 2009

Crossing the Atlantic by freighter (7th day): Wake up at 9:00 this morning, no breakfast. I get up and make me coffee and biscuits takes two we had in reserve for snacking while watching "Four Stars", a film on DVD with Jose Garcia and happens at the Carlton in Cannes. Then lunch as usual, then another DVD, "Scarface" with Al Pacino. Martin asks us 4 euros to pay $ 10US cons his emails on board. Huey did sent a while it should not be very expensive! ... It meets at lunch for customs papers (one is entitled to a cartridge and a bottle of alcohol per person).

Camille friend of an officer picked us to download the pictures we made for Christmas Eve. Then it's time for Martin to take us hers.

 
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