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Silversea Water Cooler: Welcome! Part Five


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Who knew?????
 
 
 
VERY INTERESTING FACT
Dead Penguins - I never knew this!
 
Did you ever wonder why there are no dead penguins on the ice in  Antarctica?    Where do they go?  Wonder no more ! ! !
It is a known fact that the penguin is a very ritualistic bird which lives an extremely ordered and complex life. The penguin is very committed to its family and will mate for life, as well as maintain a form of compassionate contact with its offspring throughout its life.
 
If a  penguin is found dead on the ice surface, other members of the family and social circle have been known to dig holes in the ice, using their vestigial wings and beaks, until the hole is deep enough for the dead bird to be rolled into, and buried.
 
The male penguins then gather in a circle around the fresh grave and sing:
 
 
 
"Freeze  a jolly good fellow."
"Freeze a jolly good  fellow."
 
You  really didn't  believe that I know anything about penguins, did you?  It's so easy to fool OLD people. I am sorry, an urge came over me that made me do it!!!
 
Oh quit whining I fell for it, too.
 
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7 minutes ago, zqtchas said:
Who knew?????
 
 
 
VERY INTERESTING FACT
Dead Penguins - I never knew this!
 
Did you ever wonder why there are no dead penguins on the ice in  Antarctica?    Where do they go?  Wonder no more ! ! !
It is a known fact that the penguin is a very ritualistic bird which lives an extremely ordered and complex life. The penguin is very committed to its family and will mate for life, as well as maintain a form of compassionate contact with its offspring throughout its life.
 
If a  penguin is found dead on the ice surface, other members of the family and social circle have been known to dig holes in the ice, using their vestigial wings and beaks, until the hole is deep enough for the dead bird to be rolled into, and buried.
 
The male penguins then gather in a circle around the fresh grave and sing:
 
 
 
"Freeze  a jolly good fellow."
"Freeze a jolly good  fellow."
 
You  really didn't  believe that I know anything about penguins, did you?  It's so easy to fool OLD people. I am sorry, an urge came over me that made me do it!!!
 
Oh quit whining I fell for it, too.
 

 

I wanted so much to believe it! 🤣  I loved the idea that penguins were more compassionate than humans!  It wouldn't really take much lately. 

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Resting up at home today. Have to do some water changes in the aquariums, and replace the circulator pump in the hot tub as it seems to have sprung a slow leak. Had to fill it up significantly yesterday but seems to be holding OK today. Lucky, because the service department at the store seems to be closed so I can't get a replacement today! Grr.

 

*****

 

A few pictures from Day 1 of New Mexico. As some of you know, we were booked to go to Finland for Chris's birthday last week, but at the last minute we rescheduled because of Covid. We didn't want to risk getting quarantined for a week or two in Finland, unable to return home. So on (Friday) January 7th we planned a last-minute trip to New Mexico instead...leaving on Sunday!

 

We drove to JKF on January 9th in the late morning/early afternoon. There was freezing rain for the first hour but then the weather turned better and warmer so we got there plenty early for our 5:30PM flight. Some time in the Centurion Lounge then off to our gate, where the flight was a few minutes late to Atlanta. The tight connection got a little bit tighter, but we made it, and settled in for the longer flight to Albuquerque. We arrived early and caught a very fast Uber to our hotel where we settled in for the night.

 

Monday we slept until 7 then went to the Sawmill Market when it opened for coffee and some amazing pastries which hit the spot for breakfast. We then got another Uber back to the airport to pick up our rental car, and from there visited the Nuclear Science Museum.

 

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A replica of one of the labs in Los Alamos during the Manhattan Project.

 

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There was an interesting exhibit on nuclear fallout shelters. This is an example of the "food" which you could stockpile. Hopefully we can find something better for dinner!

 

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Outside, a bunch of airplanes, rockets, and other exhibits. Here, a replica of the tower where the first atomic bomb was test-fired. The original is not available to display, for obvious reasons. Also, a replica of one of the bombers which dropped the A-bomb.

 

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Sobering museum. So much time, effort, and money spent on destruction. 

 

We headed back to the hotel around lunch time and walked to Old Town Albuquerque.

 

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The church of San Felipe de Neri was picturesque.

 

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Lunch at a nearby cafe, where I tried a "Christmas" burrito. Half with red chile pepper sauce and half with green! The green is hotter. 

 

Now on to some spots outside of town. We went to the ABQ BioPark but you had to buy a joint ticket for that and the aquarium, for $14.50 per person. No thanks.

 

So we went to Petroglyph National Monument instead. Since we'd bought a National Park Annual Pass for last June's trip out West, all of these spots were free for us. Some nice petroglyphs.

 

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This guy has funny ears.

 

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Nice scenery surrounding the monument as well. Glad my ears don't stick out as much as the last guy's do.

 

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Our last stop of the afternoon was the Sandia Peak tramway. This was built by a Swiss company in the 1960s. The views on the 15-minute ride up were very pretty.

 

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Snow on top, and the hot desert valley below. Quite the contrast.

 

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We hiked around a little bit but without crampons it wasn't really safe to go too far on the packed snow. So we caught the gondola back down right at sunset. It was spectacular. This is the same view as the picture from the ascent. Promise, no filters were used here. The colors were really this vivid.

 

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At the halfway point, the other car passed us.

 

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What a beautiful ride down, and what great timing to catch it at sunset!

 

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We made it home in plenty of time to get ready for dinner. We ate at a bistro operated by a local winery, which was a 5-minute walk from our hotel. We started with a glass of bubbly to celebrate Chris's birthday. It went well with some roasted brussels sprouts, with bacon and honey. Yum!

 

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The food was great and so were the wines. I had a Ribeye and Chris had a Filet Mignon. We ordered a Petite Verdot from the local winery to go with our mains. It was delicious! Deeply colored, hefty body, with aromas of cherry and chocolate. I was tempted to bring some home but refrained.

 

So it wasn't Finland but we were having a fun time so far. Tomorrow we will head north a bit to the Santa Fe region for a few more parks.

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Thank you, JP, for the Georgia O"Keefe colors vividly reflected in their natural state.  You may want to visit the GOK museum and various art galleries in Santa Fe.  Apart from the tourist oriented trinkets, there is fine art, for example in pottery, easy to find.  Will you be visiting Taos?

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46 minutes ago, Camillus112 said:

Thank you, JP, for the Georgia O"Keefe colors vividly reflected in their natural state.  You may want to visit the GOK museum and various art galleries in Santa Fe.  Apart from the tourist oriented trinkets, there is fine art, for example in pottery, easy to find.  Will you be visiting Taos?

 

Sorry Cam; I always write in the present tense. But "tomorrow" above actually refers to last Tuesday. We are already home, sadly, and back to work tomorrow. 😞

 

We didn't make it as far north as Taos. New Mexico is huge, and even though we drove a lot we barely scratched the surface.

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Thanks for the pictures JP, we will add NM to our list of places to be.

In a week or so, we think we're off to St. Thomas. USVI.  Been to St, Croix 2x, decided to try an airbnb in St. Thomas this time.  Wide open here for suggestions!

Going to help out as a sub at the local High School this week.  Schools are trying so hard to stay open and our new gov confusing us a bit.  Keep the kids as priority #1,

Meanwhile listening to Blink-182 tonight for no clear reason

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35 minutes ago, QueSeraSera said:

In a week or so, we think we're off to St. Thomas. USVI.  Been to St, Croix 2x, decided to try an airbnb in St. Thomas this time.  Wide open here for suggestions!

 

The last time we were in St. Thomas was over 20 years ago! It was November 2001, not long after 9/11, and we rented a place on the Red Hook side of the island. It was quiet and a lot of fun. I don't know if the place is still around; it was called Pavilions and Pools.

 

We tooled around the island in a crappy rental car and visited a bunch of fun places, many of which escape me now and I'd have to look at our (printed) pictures to refresh my memory. Our favorite day though was riding the ferry over to St. John (it leaves from Red Hook), renting a jeep, and driving around on the dirt roads for a day.

 

The other (bad) memory from that trip was watching the DBacks come back in Game 7 to beat Mariano and the Yankees in the World Series.

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New Mexico, Day 2 (January 11)

 

Now that the birthday celebration was over (who am I kidding? The birthday week had just begun!)...

 

We got an earlier start this morning and as a result, had to suffer with coffee from the Keurig in our room instead of the delicious coffee from the Sawmill market. Oh well. The plus side is that we got to our first stop, Bandelier National Monument,  by 9:30 and were ready to go look at some cliff dwellings.

 

It was chilly! Low 30s but sunny and no wind. A pleasant walk as long as we had our gloves.

 

The cliffs didn't look like much from afar,

 

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But up close, there were lots of caves, and some had ladders you could climb to peek inside.

 

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Nice view from the caves! The builders were brilliant and chose a southern exposed cliff in which to build these dwellings. The sun felt warm despite the chilly air. And the snow on the mountains!

 

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Cool rock formations,

 

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We found a multi-room dwelling that we had to ourselves. 

 

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Nope, we like our Albuquerque hotel much better. This space has a great view but it is a little short on creature comforts. I don't think the room service would be so good.

 

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Since we had an early start, we had time to stop by the actual town of Los Alamos. It was less than 20 minutes away so why not?


The lab building is no longer standing. In its place, a pond with a fountain. Much more peaceful than what happened here in the 1940s.

 

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We wandered around for 20 minutes or so, looking at the houses where the scientists had lived during the Manhattan Project. We didn't go to the museum since we'd seen most of that yesterday. But it was cool to see where all of this took place and to walk on the same roads that Oppenheimer and his colleagues did.

 

Now back to Santa Fe for some lunch. We had missed out on our pastries this morning so our bellies were growling! We parked in a lot just by the Old Town and looked for a restaurant. One place called The Shed seemed good, so we asked for a table but it was a 15 minute wait. Probably a good sign?

 

We wandered around aimlessly for a minute or two then got a text that the table was ready! Chris settled in for more birthday celebrating.

 

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Lunch was very tasty and fairly quick so we had some time to wander more of the old town. Here is the Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi,

 

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And the New Mexico State Capitol. It's not very ornate, but it's unique in that it's a round building. A different design. It's also fairly modern (1960s) compared to most other capitol buildings we've seen.

 

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Since we were making great time we decided to squeeze in one more park before heading home. Pecos National Historical Park was about 30 minutes further away, so we enjoyed a walk along the ruins of a historic pueblo settlement as the afternoon shadows got longer.

 

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There were two kivas where you could climb down and see what these underground structures looked like. They were typically used for religious rites.

 

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We can see why this site was chosen for a settlement. It's atop a small hill with an excellent view of the surroundings. 

 

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Here, the ruins of a Spanish church which was built in the pueblo settlement. For some reason it reminded both of us of an Egyptian temple. Maybe we had been out in the sun too long?

 

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Now back on the road for an hour-plus drive back to Albuquerque. As luck would have it, we mainly drove towards the southwest, with the sun smack in our eyes. I tried to enjoy it because we aren't very familiar with such a phenomenon here in Upstate NY.

 

We got home in plenty of time for dinner. Tonight we had an invite to join someone who cannot be named here. It was a lot of fun to meet the team in person, and they took us to a great restaurant in town. Turns out it was the restaurant that Chris really wanted to go to for her birthday yesterday, but we couldn't, because it was closed on Mondays. Good choices all around.

 

So ended another fun day in New Mexico. Tomorrow we head further south.

 

 

 

 

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18 minutes ago, Daveywavey70 said:

Not sure if you’ve heard yet but all operations are suspended on Crystal. We’ve just left Tortola and are heading back to Miami. Heartbreaking for the crew. 

 

So sorry to hear!  😪

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55 minutes ago, Daveywavey70 said:

Not sure if you’ve heard yet but all operations are suspended on Crystal. We’ve just left Tortola and are heading back to Miami. Heartbreaking for the crew. 

Yes had heard earlier this evening 😔 we cancelled a cruise with crystal back in December for holyland &  Greek isles trip in April as I was feeling unsure about the covid issue and didn't want to travel.....it is very sad for all concerned but I had made a decision not to sail ..hope you have a safe journey home

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2 hours ago, Daveywavey70 said:

Not sure if you’ve heard yet but all operations are suspended on Crystal. We’ve just left Tortola and are heading back to Miami. Heartbreaking for the crew. 

You have some of the worst cruise luck of anyone.

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