Getting lost in time, smooth sailing 31 May 2019

Good day,

The sea is calm, we had an extra hour of sleep with the time zone change last night. Finally I slept. I feel almost like myself this morning :). That is, my self on vacation.

I was able to connect with some friends and family members yesterday with some free internet time at port in Cadiz, Spain. It seems a few previous blog-posts did not get attached to my blog. I will add them here as background information as to the journey prior to being on the ship.

Today our lovely smooth seas, barely some rolling, no white caps, no wind … beautiful pastel sunrise, and now the sky is completely void of clouds, fading to blue and reflecting to the sea. Wow … I love the experience of cruising.

Dinner last evening with Janet, the Azamara Club Cruises hostess and a table of 6 more travel agents. I have a scheduled three hour training session with Janet this morning and another one-to-one session early in June still to come.

Time and date don’t really mean much on this trip, except if there is some appointments. I get lost in the time continuum, losing track. This trio to Greenwich England will be a study of time. Trying to stay present to the time I am in this moment, and this moment.

Below are the first two posts that got lost in time …..

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25 May 2019 , Preparing for the adventure:

Good afternoon fair blog, it is Saturday 25 May 2019, Victoria BC, Canada.

I have neglected writing in this blog, mostly because this is a TRAVEL BLOG and quite frankly, I have not been traveling since August 2017 ……

I am leaving in the morning, 26 May 2019 on a Westjet flight to Barcelona, Spain. On 28 May 2019 I will be boarding Azamara Journey for a 14 night cruise. This will be my fifth cruise on this fabulous boutique ship, 684 guests and I hear it is completely full! I tried to get an upgrade but alas only the Owner Suite is available now! I have a balcony room booked and that will be amazing.

Ports of call will include Cadiz, Spain (Seville?), then two days and overnight in Lisbon, and an Azamazing Evening experience (my 4th!!) on to Porto Portugal …. and several stops in France. St. Malo, Cherbourg, Honfleur, and Rouen (overnight so we can spend time in Paris!), ending in Greenwich England and flying home from London Heathrow on 11 June 2019.

Small carry-on size suitcase is packed, I have made final decisions on shoes and other necessities for this cruise. This suitcase I purchased many years ago, it is an Italian brand and showing a bit of wear …. may have to purchase a new suitcase in Europe and bring it home! Carpisa is the brand, made in Italy, with a turtle logo.

Shoes in new IT black carry on bag with a strap on the back so it will hang on tight to my suitcase handle, carry my flats comfy shoes and computer, iPad and chargers etc. And trying out a new look for a purse, also has a strap on the back, and can hold iPad and computer ….. I think I am set.

I purchased a very small Microsoft computer that is lightweight so I can check on my work emails, if I need to on the trip. Knowing I have at least 4 trips planned for this year and portability is what I am looking for. “Surface Go. Performs like a laptop, travels like a tablet”. I will take both the Surface Go and ipad, am still an ipad lover so typing on my ipad right now. It has my photos on it also. With my phone on airplane mode and my “out-of-office” on, I am unplugging for the first time in 22 months!!! Woo hoo!

OK – going to do some last minute things, and see if I can remember how to post on the Blog!

Stay tuned my friends and family …… here we go again!!

Hugs, Pamela

“Your travelling agent”

_________________________________

Flying over Canada. 26 to 27 May 2019

Several times per year I fly over Canada. Sometimes to visit family on the east coast (Nova Scotia) and sometimes to fly over the Atlantic pond to reach Europe. On WestJet or Air Canada.

I am very aware of the size of this country. Hours and hours in the air high above mountains, farmland, rivers and lakes, cities and town, mostly wide open spaces. Four hours time zone difference between where I live, in VICTORIA on Vancouver Island… to Annapolis Valley on the east coast of Nova Scotia.

Today I have been falling asleep, and now sitting upright and listening to Audible program of Pema Chödrön’s work “Making Friends With Your Mind. The key to contentment.” I have heard this recording from a weekend retreat. I love the title … even if that is all it was! The goodies, the learning, the practices that assist this person to have a contended life. Another favorite from the same author is the recording “Don’t Bite the Hook.”

My life is busy and full. With work, with family and friends, hobbies, reading books, household chores, fitness and thoughts. I can use all the benefits of such teachings to make friends with my own mind, my own life activities and thoughts. I feel a general happiness and contentment.

Today, unplugged from my phone. The last time I was inaccessible by phone was in August 2017, 22 months ago. I am looking forward to relaxing into the void of no-contact. I will have sporadic email / WiFi access. (I just remembered that in Canada we call it wi-fi with hard long “eye” sound. In Europe I think they referred it as wee-fee. Or somewhere I have been, this is my recollection. ). Isn’t it interesting the difference in phrases, working and pronunciation depending on where we live?

I read recently the purpose of travel is to stretch out of the routine, my comfort zone. To change up the stimulus from that of same-same, to new eyes, hearing unfamiliar sounds including accents of speech, touching the textures of trees and textiles, the feel of ancientness under ground on the cobblestone streets and bridges, walking with the ancestors -becoming a part of the global community, leaving behind my very small world of my ordinary day-to-day experience. The architecture, the service industry offering vulnerability and exposure to new ways to doing things. Opportunities to be kinder.

Intense daily chats with girlfriends and feeling connection to women around the world. The below are my intentions for this trip. My travel buddy and I will read these each morning on this trip, committed to being better people on this earth.

Travel Mastery: intentions

1. Plentiful abundance and Ease are flowing through me at all times

2. I walk with health and ease through Europe, along cobblestones, by rivers, taking photos and creating memories

3. 1% more kindness, generosity and positivity every day

4. My body is vibrant, photogenic and full of energy

5. I experience love, joy, peace in all my relationships

6. My written words attract, inspire and illuminate

7. I radiate positive light and goodwill along my path

8. I attract clear skies, sunshine and moonbeams

9. I live in Easy World: Breathe, Relax, Allow, Enjoy

10. World Peace is my ultimate goal. Women Holding Hands Around the World.

Thank you for reading,

Pamela

“Your Travelling Agent”

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Cadiz Spain. 30 May 2019

Today we met up as previously arranged with two other women, Rachel and Monica, to depart the ship and walk through and around Cadiz, Spain. Our first port of call on this cruise, from leaving Barcelona. Cadiz has sea on two sides … we wandered across the town toward the market before most of the town was awake or being open for visitors, 8:30 we met and started our walk. “The heart of Cadiz is its old town, cloistered within a bastion ringed by the sea. Here, tiny cobblestone streets lead into beckoning cafe-filled squares, where you can sip coffee while appreciating the Moorish architecture…. city has a rich history evident in its old quarters and landmarks.”

Till about 11:30 we wandered. Through old town, taking pictures of big ole doors, small balconies, cobblestone streets much too narrow for cars to drive. Scooters seem to be a major mode of transportation here through town. We followed a map, with colored markings showing walking tours of the area, to the market, to the beach etc. Mostly the markings are old and faded, but we did follow as best we could the purple line. We found a beach and walked along in the sand. Beach glass and stones very familiar to back home. Many little fishing boats laying on their sides waiting for the tide to come back in. As we left the beach area, they were all floating happily again. Many guests in tour groups are wandering through town. Stores open, patisserie, some clothing, bathing suit and leather shops.

Cloudless sky, beautiful clear day, shore birds a plenty. Today’s temperature, 28 degrees C, would have been hot, except for the hefty breeze that kept us cool. I purchased a post card of the area, wrote out a few cards to send to my grandsons. I used to collect flags of the various countries and regions where I have travelled, to give to the boys, however I am not going to new countries on this trip, I will continue to send post cards.

Exhaustion has set in, hard to stay awake in the afternoon, 9 hours difference (later)from home. I am trying to adjust to the time zone and general sense of tired from the travel experience with cancelled flights and 24 hour delay on route.

Last night we sailed by Gibraltar and we could see the sparkling lights of the city from our balcony stateroom. We woke up in the night and talked, which contributed to the tired of today. The ship is receiving all new deck furniture 1 (300 new deck loungers)for guests, so the buffet area and around the pool is closed off, they asked us to also stay off the balconies. Lunch was a buffet area in the main dining room. The service in the buffet is great. They come by and whisk away the dishes and cutlery as the last bite is gone.

Back to our room for a wee rest after lunchAlong side our cruise port are now a few more, Silversea Whisper and a large Costa ship, Pacifica.

Tonight is dining with the hostess of the Azamara Seminar at Sea for the Canadian travel agents. Tomorrow morning is 3 hours of training, the last of it while on this cruise. I have scheduled a one-to-one session with Janet, the hostess.

Azamara Club Cruises are about destination immersion, including more overnights, night touring and excursions that really help guests have an experience of the culture in the port of calls where we stop. Some of the amenities are always included, soda, bottled water, specialty coffees, as well as wine and alcohol beverages and gratuities. There are opportunity to increase to premium amenities. Internet is additional unless guest is booked in suite categories. The ship we are on, the Journey, I have sailed with 4 times previously. Several of the staff recognize me and smile broadly and seem happy to see me again, although it has been many years. Eric de Grey is the cruise director, talented, from Toronto Canada.

Tomorrow we dock in Lisbon, at noon, schedule Azamazing Evening planned Lura at Pateo da Gale. We will be escorted to Palace Square, Terreiro do Paço, facing the Tagus River. It is considered to be one of the most magnificent squares in Europe. There will be a local orchestra, and other cultural offerings for all guests aboard the ship. Although it is an event requiring people to sign-up, there is no additional cost for attending this event. Azamazing Evenings are one of the highlights of any and every Azamara cruise. Also special, the White Night which will be at Honfleur, France on 6 June 2019. This event is subject to the weather and is always a very fun evening on board our home-away-from-home for this two week cruise, Azamara Journey.

Thanks for following along. We are very well, a bit tired, and very pleased to have this opportunity. Pictures posted to my facebook site. Mostly the wifi on this ship is so slow and sketchy that posting photos to the blog just is not possible at this time.

Pamela MacDonald

Your “travelling” consultant, 

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Sea Day, Azamara Journey 29 May 2019

Bonjour, Bonsoir

Yesterday we were so exhausted from being up for almost two whole days getting from Victoria BC to the ship in Barcelona. Our last flight from Toronto to Barcelona was cancelled and reschedule for 24 hours.

It is our first full day on the ship, after an interrupted night sleep, 9 hours ahead of our home town time-zone. Mary took in the small art gallery, we both visited Internet Cafe and I booked just a 60 minute internet package so I could check for any messages through facebook or email. Several other guests were playing cards, and dominoes in the “The Living Room”. Mary found a very comfortable couch and seating area on 10th floor, great for people watching!

Mary tried a margarita yesterday, today says Pina Colada was more for her. We have found the best decaf coffee on deck 9 in the buffet area, “Windows Cafe”, so we lingered for another one ….

I attended Seminar at Sea this morning for travel agents to be immersed in the Azamara brand. As this is my 5th Azamara cruise, I am catching up on the current trends and changes that Azamara is and will be offering to the guests. One of the other agents on the cruise works in Berwick Nova Scotia, and another in Kentville! The gal from Berwick lived in the yellow building, second residence of apartments where my mother lives on Woodman Road …. incredible coincidence, it is their first Azamara tour and they are delighted.

Mary, my lovely roommate has Virgin phone plan and is able to receive text messages. Nothing happening on my incoming, so decided to purchase an internet package and check my three accounts associated with my two business and my gmail account. If you are writing to me and don’t hear back it is because I am conserving my wifi minutes. Perhaps on shore days, in ports of call, I will find a Starbucks to connect and try to write you back :). I will take my phone and check facebook also, and post if I get the chance.

One of the people I met this morning was in Barcelona for a day pre-cruise and a stranger came up from behind her (she was with her husband and a few other people), grabbed the cell phone out of her hand, ran off and disappeared. Other people had purse snatch experiences as well and shared. We were supposed to visit Barcelona but due to the flight cancellation we only had time to bring taxi to ship from airport. I have stayed in Barcelona in the past.

It is beautiful outside today, sunshine, some white caps, deep blue sea. Mary and I are sitting outside on the veranda, enjoying a cocktail drink, it is after lunch. We are looking for whales or dolphins, I saw one jump three times this morning, magnificent and enjoyable to view. Three dolphins just entertained us, slapping their bodies on the water, as they land on the sea surface. Another pod of 5 dolphins just breached and danced in the waves, waving at us? The constant wave sounds as they dance in rhythm hosting on the silver-blue with white definitions, long tall cargo ships always at the distance. It feels like heaven to me.

We are starting to plan for tomorrow. Port city of Cadiz Spain is the closest port city for Seville. Mary and I will plan to walk around Cadiz. We found a copy of a map (legend in Spanish) of Cadiz, and Azamara tips for traveling in Cadiz. The “Mappa di Cadice: prepared by Ayuntamiento de Cadiz, Delegacion Municipal de Turismo”. Looks like lots of old churches and beaches dot the shore line and it appears there is a promenade to follow around walking. Beaches called “Le spiagge-Praias “. It will be nice to do some walking and exploring. We will search for an Internet cafe or hopefully a Starbucks to take a rest, post this blog, check email and check-in with facebook. Tonight at dinner we met two lovely women, Rachel and Monica, a mother daughter couple who live in Alaska. They will join us tomorrow to walk around town.

We talked about meaningful issues tonight at dinner in Discoveries, main dining venue on the ship. The food was great and the new friends, delightful.

Reading some on this trip. Chapter 57 “Rock of Ages: Le Mont Saint Michel, Normandy” from the ebook 100 Places in France Every Woman Should Go, by author Marcia deSanctis. This is the second trip to France where I have read and re-read some chapters to guide my travels. Her writing is sublime, easy to read and descriptive, like a taste experience of a glorious meal. France comes alive in her narrative choice of words and phrases that excites every part of the woman for whom this collection was written. She writes about France, “France is diverse, sprawling, magnificent, flush with architecture, culture, style, royalty and religion, soaked in sauce Béarnaise and Bordeaux reds.” Oui!

Still in Canada, 24 hour delay

Flying over Canada. 26 to 27 May 2019

Several times per year I fly over Canada. Sometimes to visit family on the east coast (Nova Scotia) and sometimes to fly over the Atlantic pond to reach Europe. On WestJet or Air Canada.

I am very aware of the size of this country. Hours and hours in the air high above mountains, farmland, rivers and lakes, cities and town, mostly wide open spaces. Four hours time zone difference between where I live, in VICTORIA on Vancouver Island… to Annapolis Valley on the east coast of Nova Scotia.

Today I have been falling asleep, and now sitting upright and listening to Audible program of Pema Chödrön’s work “Making Friends With Your Mind. The key to contentment.” I have heard this recording from a weekend retreat. I love the title … even if that is all it was! The goodies, the learning, the practices that assist this person to have a contended life. Another favorite from the same author is the recording “Don’t Bite the Hook.”

My life is busy and full. With work, with family and friends, hobbies, reading books, household chores, fitness and thoughts. I can use all the benefits of such teachings to make friends with my own mind, my own life activities and thoughts. I feel a general happiness and contentment.

Today, unplugged from my phone. The last time I was inaccessible by phone was in August 2017, 22 months ago. I am looking forward to relaxing into the void of no-contact. I will have sporadic email / WiFi access. (I just remembered that in Canada we call it wi-fi with hard long “eye” sound. In Europe I think they referred it as wee-fee. Or somewhere I have been, this is my recollection. ). Isn’t it interesting the difference in phrases, working and pronunciation depending on where we live?

I read recently the purpose of travel is to stretch out of the routine, my comfort zone. To change up the stimulus from that of same-same, to new eyes, hearing unfamiliar sounds including accents of speech, touching the textures of trees and textiles, the feel of ancientness under ground on the cobblestone streets and bridges, walking with the ancestors -becoming a part of the global community, leaving behind my very small world of my ordinary day-to-day experience. The architecture, the service industry offering vulnerability and exposure to new ways to doing things. Opportunities to be kinder.

Intense daily chats with girlfriends and feeling connection to women around the world. The below are my intentions for this trip. My travel buddy and I will read these each morning on this trip, committed to being better people on this earth.

Travel Mastery: intentions

1. Plentiful abundance and Ease are flowing through me at all times
2. I walk with health and ease through Europe, along cobblestones, by rivers, taking photos and creating memories
3. 1% more kindness, generosity and positivity every day
4. My body is vibrant, photogenic and full of energy
5. I experience love, joy, peace in all my relationships
6. My written words attract, inspire and illuminate
7. I radiate positive light and goodwill along my path
8. I attract clear skies, sunshine and moonbeams
9. I live in Easy World: Breathe, Relax, Allow, Enjoy
10. World Peace is my ultimate goal. Women Holding Hands Around the World.

Thank you for reading,

Pamela
“Your Travelling Agent”

Azamara Journey, here I come again

Good afternoon fair blog, it is Saturday 25 May 2019, Victoria BC, Canada.

I have neglected writing in this blog, mostly because this is a TRAVEL BLOG and quite frankly, I have not been traveling since August 2017 ……

I am leaving in the morning, 26 May 2019 on a Westjet flight to Barcelona, Spain. On 28 May 2019 I will be boarding Azamara Journey for a 14 night cruise. This will be my fifth cruise on this fabulous boutique ship, 684 guests and I hear it is completely full! I tried to get an upgrade but alas only the Owner Suite is available now! I have a balcony room booked and that will be amazing.

Ports of call will include Cadiz, Spain (Seville?), then two days and overnight in Lisbon, and an Azamazing Evening experience (my 4th!!) on to Porto Portugal …. and several stops in France. St. Malo, Cherbourg, Honfleur, and Rouen (overnight so we can spend time in Paris!), ending in Greenwich England and flying home from London Heathrow on 11 June 2019.

Small carry-on size suitcase is packed, I have made final decisions on shoes and other necessities for this cruise. This suitcase I purchased many years ago, it is an Italian brand and showing a bit of wear …. may have to purchase a new suitcase in Europe and bring it home! Carpisa is the brand, made in Italy, with a turtle logo.

Shoes in new IT black carry on bag with a strap on the back so it will hang on tight to my suitcase handle, carry my flats comfy shoes and computer, iPad and chargers etc. And trying out a new look for a purse, also has a strap on the back, and can hold iPad and computer ….. I think I am set.

I purchased a very small Microsoft computer that is lightweight so I can check on my work emails, if I need to on the trip. Knowing I have at least 4 trips planned for this year and portability is what I am looking for. “Surface Go. Performs like a laptop, travels like a tablet”. I will take both the Surface Go and ipad, am still an ipad lover so typing on my ipad right now. It has my photos on it also. With my phone on airplane mode and my “out-of-office” on, I am unplugging for the first time in 22 months!!! Woo hoo!

OK – going to do some last minute things, and see if I can remember how to post on the Blog!

Stay tuned my friends and family …… here we go again!!

Hugs, Pamela
“Your travelling agent”

CF5746EB-EA7F-4077-9169-2A5941F4CA00

Highlights of Cruise and stay, eastern North America

Highlights, East Coast Cruise 2017 September
The most significant highlight of this trip for me, was the travel companions. Travelling with my mom is so very special. I am so fortunate to have these opportunities to include her in my journey.
A reunion and two lovely weeks with a lifelong friend I met forty years ago, Rosemarie. She and I met in University and have stayed close all these years. She has supported me in every way every year since. What a delight to share time with her again.
Travelling with other great friends and new friends on this trip was also fantastic and made this trip a success. We dined and toured and shared laughs together. Hugs to all of you!  
Halifax is always a favourite stop for me. Shoe shopping at John David Shoes! Fantastic! Walking the boardwalk, enjoying the sights of eastern Canada and all its history. Eating gluten free pizza with a bevy (prosecco) with Lesley and my mom. Great time!
I love to travel when it is warm. Summer travel is great for this type of trip. New York City is a wonderful stop. I love the lights, skyline, excitement, anticipation, bridges, bright lights of Time Square, high buildings, Broadway theatre productions, great food, and busy-ness and this trip I got to spend some time in the amazing Central Park. A highlight! The greenery of the many varieties of trees, interesting bridges, vital energy, people enjoying this green space, the pedicab and stories …. sharing it with the people I love …. yup. Fabulous!  
Cruising with Oceania is always special, on board Insignia, 11 nights on board, balcony stateroom, specialty dining, ship board credits, room service, enrichment, exciting ports of call, fantastic food and wonderful service. I love the comfy beds, salt water pool, Canyon Ranch spa services and familiarity of the ship! Welcome Home! I think my 9th cruise with this company. This time, I hosted a nice size group … captains parties, wine package to share and new friends and so much more.  
We embarked in New York City and sailed out past the Statue of Liberty and under those magnificent bridges ….. on to Bar Harbor, Boston, Newport, Bermuda (again)for a few nights and days, Halifax and back to New York … great relaxing itinerary including lighthouses, beaches, swimming in the sea, hop on busses, walking cliffs, sunshine, walking and shopping. I really enjoyed the pace!  
It was a delightful trip and I am almost home.  
It has been a busy year of travel.  
Time to relax and enjoy my home town and family as well as friends in Victoria. Drop by if you get the chance, and keep in touch.
Ciao ciao for now!  
Pamela

Day in NYC

Full day in NYC
I started the month, 1 September, in the city that never sleeps, New York. We met for complimentary breakfast in the lobby area to plan the day. We went to catch the hop on bus, Rosemarie, my mom and I. We did two complete tours and enjoyed the sunny scenery and great stories told by the commentators.  
Back to the hotel around five pm to prepare for our night out and Broadway production of Hello Dolly with Bette Midler at Schubert Theatre. David Hyde Pierce was also starring in this award winning stage production. We were high in the balcony and I managed an end row. It was amazing and so very different from Come From Away that we enjoyed the previous evening. Fantastic entertainment.  
Today we visit Central Park and get a few last minute purchases, perhaps the Empire State Building and maybe a matinee? Then we will be packed up to move to New Jersey location near the airport to fly home in the wee hours.  
As the trip draws close to an end, we continue to enjoy all that New York offers.