Monday, January 27, 2014

Caribbean Cruise, Day 1...

Ival earned a cruise through work and boy, were we excited.  January is a great time to leave Idaho for the sunny skies and warm temperatures of the Caribbean!  We were scheduled to take a flight from Boise to Las Vegas, then to Phoenix where we were meeting a chartered plane to San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Our Southwest flight from Boise was great as always.  We arrived in Phoenix to find that our charter plane was waiting for us.  The plane held passengers from California and surrounding states that had flown in and we were going to board there.  The plane arrived and we waited, and waited and waited while the passengers already on the plane waited, and waited, and waited.  After 2 hours, we finally got on the plane and never got an explanation for why we left late.  We did discover that the poor folks who were stuck on the plane were never offered anything to drink and 2 of the bathrooms didn't work.  Not a great way to treat a customer who has chartered one of your huge planes to take their best customers on vacation.

But, we finally landed in San Juan and got on the ship.  As we drove to the ship, we noticed big, beautiful yachts docked at the harbor.  This one was sooooo huge I had to take a picture and Google the name to see if I could find out who owned it.

FYI, this picture doesn't do it justice.  But below, is what I discovered about the boat and it's owner.

One of the biggest yachts in the world, The Serene, is a $330 million, 440-foot private yacht belonging to a wealthy Russian vodka distributor
The yacht’s owner, Yuri Scheffler, controls SPI Group, which distributes Stolichnaya vodka internationally.

The 2-year-old yacht, made in Italy by Fincantieri, has a 52-person crew. The Serene flies the flag of the Grand Cayman Islands and illuminates the water with bright-green lighting at night. It is the ninth-largest privately owned yacht in the world, according to Boat International magazine.

How big? We’re talking massive.

The Serene has two helicopter-landing platforms and a hangar, along with a storage area for a submarine that can dive to 300 feet. It’s longer than a football field and has more than 48,000 square feet of covered space on its seven decks.

The Serene was a finalist in last year’s World Superyacht Awards, and a description on called it a “floating palace” with few equals in the world.

The yacht accommodates 24 guests in its 12 staterooms. It has large indoor and outdoor swimming pools, several hot tubs, a steam room and a JetStream exercise pool.

Elevators and a spiral staircase link the seven decks. The ship also features children’s playrooms, where they can scale a climbing wall, slide down from deck to deck, or even play video games. A “Nemo” room gives guests a peek under the sea through a thick glass panel. And to top it all off, the Serene has an outdoor cinema.

The above information and the picture below is taken from an article in the Seattle Times when the yacht, which was the largest that ever docked there, entered Seattle.

Fascinating, isn't it!?

Who doesn't love the fact that you really can find anything on Google!?
Tomorrow, day 2.  And, this is what we came home to...

Sunday, January 5, 2014

January 5, 2014 - 33 Years...

I was rummaging through the buffet a few weeks ago and came across an envelope filled with pictures of dad that I had never seen before.  Evidently mom gave it to me at some point and I never opened it.

So, as I do every year on this day, I will share some memories of dad, this year in pictures. 

Most of these are pictures of dad as a Marine when he was in Korea.

Mom and Abbey (she was the wife of dad's best friend)

Dad making the rank of Corporal

 Dad and Stan.
We miss you and as every year, will remember you and Conley with a toast.  Mom is coming over to watch the football game and we'll keep eachother company.  Adam decided to remember today by going duck hunting.  We love and miss you.