Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Tuesday, February 14, 2012 – San Juan, Puerto Rico – Partly Cloudy – 79F

Happy Valentine’s Day

Distance from Ft. Lauderdale: 920 Nautical Miles

We don’t get to San Juan until 2:00 PM this afternoon.

The seas were a bit bumpy last night so I did not get too much sleep after 3 AM.  I also used my phone as an alarm for the first time.  It is better than a phone call.  The ocean was still a bit rough when I got up as evidenced by the spray shot from our porthole.

At Sea 2-14 (Small)

Conditions improved throughout the day leading to a beautiful day at sea.

At Sea 2-14 1 (Small)

A quick waffle based breakfast in the Ocean View Cafe and I spent a few minutes doing a last minute tune-up on my talk.

Esperanza has scheduled talks from both speakers this morning. I got the luck of the draw since I have the second slot at 10:00 AM.

Because this is a port day, attendance tends to be lower (people getting ready for their tours, etc.).  The topic today is “Cold Cases Solved” and I did get a good crowd – estimated at about 180 people – a few empty seats here and there.  I was pleased with the outcome and the audience seemed to enjoy the presentation.

After the talk, I wandered around the ship and wound up on the lawn deck.

The Lawn Deck (Small)

It seems like they have found ways to keep the grass in good shape.  I would have stay up there longer but the winds were at least tropical storm force.  I did go over to the Corning Glass Show, which was just finishing up.

Corning Glass Show 1 (Small)

We had lunch with Melinda and her friend, Nancy, in the Grand Epernay Restaurant.  The Panini Tuna Melt was pretty good and the conversation very pleasant.  It was very nice.

The Solstice is docked right in the middle of Old Town (kind of a misnomer since so many new stores now line the waterfront).  The HAL Eurodam is also in San Juan today.

Solstice SJ 2 (Small)

Solstice Docked in San Juan

We have T-Mobile phone service in San Juan so were able to catch up with everyone back home.

Our plan was to walk around Old San Juan.  Our walk took us to the Fortaleza – one of the two forts built to project the city from attack from the sea. I got some great shots of the fort and the sea.

View from Fortaleza 1 (Small)

View from Fortaleza (Small)

View from Fortaleza 3 (Small)

Sometimes, it is difficult to see your cell phone screen; that is when a turret on a fort comes in handy

E mailing in turret (Small)

E at Fortaleza (Small)

Chatting with folks back home

If it had been a bit cooler, we would have walked to the other fort.  Instead, we meandered the interesting streets of Old San Juan on a route that would take us back to the ship.

E Old San Juan (Small)H Old San Juan (Small)

The Solstice can be seen in the background of the above photos.

As we headed back to the port, we ran into the Chabad Welcome Center (the actual Chabad location is 20 miles away).  They gave me a cold bottle of water and a kosher chocolate (both hit the spot).

Chabad SJ (Small)  

Chabad Welcome Center

Back at the port, we finally found someone to take our picture.

San Jiuan Port (Small)

Back on ship, there was time for reading and relaxing on the open deck. 

I had stir fry for dinner in the Ocean View Cafe – it was very good and demands repeating.

Showtime tonight featured magician (and wannabe comedian) Jason Bishop.  Jason had no magician air about him (a la David Copperfield) but he did one trick that actually blew me away.  The Chinese Box trick involved placing his very flexible assistant in a rectangular box made up of individual removable square sides. He then took sides away so she was in a one foot square box.  He then took away all of the squares and --- poof and she was gone.  The box was completely open including the bottom and I could not see where she might have gone (we were real close).  He put the squares back together and she reappeared in the box.  He used no curtains, bright explosions, or any other diversion in the trick.  Still trying to figure it our.  If he is here on the next cruise, we will sit even closer.

Jason Bishop Magician (Small) 

Jason Bishop and his elastic Assistant

We spent the rest of the evening listening to “Top Notch” – the dance band.  They are quite good and did a set of Valentine’s day songs.

Top Notch Valentines Day (Small)   

Top Notch in the Grand Foyer

Seas are calm…

Pedometer: 7666 steps; 3.6 miles; 375 calories

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