Tuesday, September 8, 2009

THE JOURNEY BEGINS

Well the real journey started in New York but I have way to may photos to go through before I can even start to pick out which ones to show.

But, before I go any further, I must say, New York is MY kind of town! Boy what I wouldn't give to live there. As excited I was about going on my 10 day cruise through the New England States and into Canada, I was sad to leave New York.

I'll be going back though. That is for sure. I think in the Spring I'll have to take a week and visit once again.

I'll post about all the great fun I had there after I take you through the cruise.

So come on, lets get on board the ship. The ship is Holland America's Eurodam. A beautiful, super big, ship.

The first thing, after checking in, they lead you to the Lido Deck to eat lunch. The rooms are not yet ready as they are still being cleaned from the last group that just got off.


About 1:00pm, the announcement came over the loud speakers telling us the rooms were ready. So of course, every was in a hurry to see where they would be living the next 10 days.


I had a lovely balcony room. What is that I see? A bottle of champagne? Oh, it is a gift from my travel agent. How sweet.

However, I am on Weight Watchers and I vowed to lose weight on this trip. Since I'm not a big drinker and champagne doesn't really thrill me any way, I wasn't bound to drink it and use my points for that. There is way to much food on board to tempt me as it is. I don't need to eat or drink anything that isn't 100% wonderful.


So, I gave it to two girls who I met on board. They were room mates and loved champagne so they were excited to get it.


The bathroom is small (as are all bathrooms on the ship) but there was a bathtub. Yes, I did take a nice long hot bath. You haven't lived until you soaked in a tub as you are in the middle of the ocean.

Oh, by the way, I went to weigh in today at Weight Watchers. I reached my goal! I lost weight on this trip. Two weeks of eating the most delightful, sinful food and I still lost. I lost 1.6 lbs. Not a lot but still a loss.

Had it not been for all the walking I did, I know I would have gained. I'm back on track now and hope for a bigger loss next week.


We sat sail around 5:30pm. We were late in leaving because we had to wait for a few people who I assume were delayed by the flights they were on.

They must have booked their flights through the cruise line or I have no doubt we would have left them behind. The Captain we had made it very clear he was going to set sail at the scheduled time we were to leave every day and if you were not on board then we would see you at the next stop. Of course, you would have to pay your way to get there.

As we sailed by the Statute of Liberty, I felt a tug at my heart strings. I don't know why she has the ability to do that to me. I guess I think about all the people who saw her way off in a distant and then knew for sure they were finally about to have their dream come true. They were coming to America.

She makes me proud to be an American as we drift by her. She also made me sad to have to have to say good bye to New York. Though I knew there was a lot of fun ahead.


The next morning we woke up bright and early and we were docked at Newport, Rhode Island.

We had to tender to shore. For those of you who don't know what that means it is when the ship can not dock at the pier for one reason or another. Mostly because they are to big. So they drop the anchors and you have to take a "tender" or life boat to shore.


Being Newport is a big fishing town, there are lots and lots of boats. Some were really big ones too. This town if full of money.


Since I was traveling alone, I decided to book my shore excursions through the ship so I would be with people and know for sure I would be back in time so the ship didn't leave us.


The excursion I did in Newport was to some of the Mansions. The first one we went to was the Breakers. It was the Vanderbilt's summer "cottage".


They didn't allow photos inside but it was something else. Gold leaf, marble, crystal, carved wood, art and even platinum walls.


Isn't this house darling? Wouldn't you like to live here?


This is the children's playhouse! I couldn't believe it. It is bigger then many people's home.


This "Summer Cottage" looks like a 5 star hotel from the outside.


They still have the original gas lamps. They were a beautiful color with the green patina and darkened areas highlighting the designs on them.


This is the back side of the house. Oh wait, I mean cottage.


The walls had a lovely moss growing on them. The grounds really made you feel like you were on the grounds of historical site.


The lawn and flowers were so pretty. Of course there is a wonderful view of the sea below them. Can you believe they only would stay here about 2 months a year. Why would you ever want to leave?


We then went to the Marble House. Another huge, I mean sweet Summer Cottage.


Gee, I wonder what the "real" houses looked like if these were called cottages.


When I think of a cottage I think of a cute little home nestled among flowers and trees. Not huge estates.


This is a very big fountain in the back yard. It wasn't turned on the day we were there.



Standing at the entry way and looking out, you feel so small. Everything is grand and towers over you.


I just had to ask if there were any ghost stories about these places. The girl working the gift shop looked at me for a minute with her eyes wide opened and just shook her head yes.


I asked her what she had heard. She said she had heard lots of stories but, she herself, was alone in the house one day. There are underground tunnels that they have to go through to punch in and out on the time clocks.


The tunnels were originally for the staff to run back and forth through without having to go through the house. After all, the staff was not meant to be seen and tried their best to remain behind the scenes.

So this girl, was walking to clock out. When she saw a shadow of a woman walking in front of her. She said she was so freaked out by this because she could see through this lady. The lady was dressed in clothes from the turn of the century.

The girl said she ran out, locked the doors behind her and even to this day she will not go back to the tunnel or stay alone in the house. She got permission to hand write her time card so she didn't have to go punch in/out and walk through the tunnel again.

Of course, I loved the ghost story. She thought I was crazy.

Tomorrow we will be in Boston. My excursion will take us to Salem. Home of the Witch Trials.

Photobucket

9 comments:

Susan said...

I'm so envious of your trip!! The travel group I belong to is a Meetup group. Just look under Meetup.com. There is an Orange County travel group and all kinds of other groups too. I joined the OC travel group and a whole bunch of others. You might like the Lemon Blossom League (I'm in that, too). The Lemon Blossoms go to gardens, theatre, movies, etc. I joined groups in the IE and the OC. There are groups that go out to eat, too. I still hope to move back to the OC someday.
Hugs, Susan

Mumzie said...

Oh, this is a wonderful adventure. I'm so glad you are staying on track with your points! Wow! Great job! Our bathroom on board our ship when we traveled to Alaska was so small you couldn't turn around, so this one with the tub looks huge to me...I love long hot baths. Oh, and the ghost stories...keep them coming. Mumzie

Edie Marie's Attic said...

Hi Joanne!

Oh I'm so glad your home safe and you had a good time! Your photos are beautiful. I loved NYC too! I had such a good time there and it's so awesome.
Children's playhouse?? Unbelievable! Amazing how some folks lived back in the day! I look forward to more posts of your incredible journey!!

Big hugs & welcome home, Sherry

Joyce's Journey said...

I'm so glad you had such a nice time. This was a great pictorial post! Such fun to share it with you!! I am so very proud of you for sticking to your guns and being successful on WW while you were on a fabulous vacation with oodles of food to die for!!! Very impressive, Joanne! You must feel great!

patinamarie said...

Wow! Cottages????

I'm with you. 600-800 sq. ft. cottage, not 80,000!!!

Love the "ghost" story!!! Keep 'em coming.....Oh wait, I see someone else already said that! Tell us more.

Glenda said...

Marvelous my dear. I thought about you often.

Did you know that Anderson Cooper is a Vanderbilt, Yep he is.



Ciao

Donna @ Party Wishes said...

WOW! Great trip, so far!

Cottage? Playhouse? Those people were crazy! Such opulence!

I love your ghost hunting skills...

Lindsay-ann said...

Hi Joanne
I loved seeing your great cabin and the wonderful pictures you shared from New York and Newport. I would love to do that cruise one day. I look forward to more.
Lindsay
x

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

I look through all your posts Joanne -- it looks like you had a wonderful time even if you had some rain. The ship was beautful! You made me wish I was on a cruise :-)