Saturday, May 19, 2018

PONTA DELGADA - The Azores Islands - Portugal

Tuesday, April 24th, 2018           Ponta Delgada ….  The Azores Islands – Portugal 

No time change this morning and no Mass since it was a day in port.  There is a 5 pm mass but we’ll miss it as that’s our dinner time.
We slept in and enjoyed a leisurely breakfast as we were only going into the port town to visit.   We were actually awakened by the going ashore announcement for those leaving on land tours.  We left the ship at 10 am, Shirley with her walker, joined us as we all took the free tram to the end of the pier.   From there we strolled about the town.   First stop was in a beautiful church.  Unusual statue of Joseph with a “five” year old boy.   The sanctuary and much of the walls were finished in gold. Brilliant.

    There was another church on the other side of the square but we didn’t realize it was a church; instead we were busy admiring the multitude of lights that they were busy changing on the designs on the outside of the church walls. 

We found the pharmacy for some medical items for Shirley and myself; and then the ATM.  I was able to use my card, Mary’s worked fine but Shirley could not get it to accept her card.   She’ll be able to get some at the purser’s office on the ship.

We continued to slowly walk the nearby streets, admiring the vividly painted buildings, lavender was a favorite color, and the multitude of flowers   We decided to return to the ship for our lunch and the afternoon.  Many were gone for up to eight hours on tours that were arranged by the ship.  Most had to do with volcanoes and resulting landscapes on this island made of volcanic rock.
made for beautiful photos.

While on land, Jim used his T-Mobile to access the internet and check his investment account.   Oops!  Suddenly it showed a zero balance in his account.  Needless to say, he was panic stricken!   He continued to worry all the way back to the ship and through lunch.  We finally agreed to buy some time and go on the web to check his account.   It took an hour to get connected to the internet; it is famously slow and unpredictable on cruise ships, as well as expensive.   But for a small fee and assistance from three different crew members; we were able to connect and show Jim that everything was OK!   

Our evening meal went well except Shirley had not arrived when they starting serving us so I went to find her.   As I opened the door on the elevator on their floor; she stood there are dressed for dinner.  She is so good and changes every evening where the rest of go with our daytime outfits on “Casual Dining” night.  And on the Gala Nights she is truly perfection!   And she had her walker which makes us all happy.  

After dinner six of us went to the Ocean Bar to listen to Gabriel play the piano and do some dancing.  Mary was exhausted and went to bed.  Shirley went to the Casino.  We were all delighted when Shirley came to the Bar and joined us for the music.  And she danced several dances.   She is a beautiful dancer and lovely to watch her gracefulness on the dance floor.  She and Larry were avid dancers for seven years and it shows!   Jim so enjoyed spinning her around the dance floor. 
My exercise today was 6,557 steps, 2.8 miles, but no elliptical machine.  The steps were from walking in the town and the stairs most of the time.

Wednesday, April 25th, 2018          DAY AT SEA

I awoke to the alarm early this morning and managed to walk a mile on deck three before Mass.  I’d worn my warmer jacket for the first time this morning.  So glad I did as it was a cold wind but a beautiful sunrise.  Mary was not at church, just Al, Nancy and myself. The room was back to only half full as usual; but it was rocky enough that Father Mike had us sit throughout the Mass.  
Picked up Jim in the room and then off to breakfast.  Karen stopped to say hello and tell us about her adventure on the island yesterday.  But, she said, she missed walking the port town.   Mary showed up as we were reading our daily newspaper and then we were off to our various classes.  I went to a lecture on using Cortona on Windows 10.  I’m looking forward to giving her a try when I have the internet in Amsterdam.  Jim and Mary are at a lecture on Mars right now as I use this time before lunch to catch up on my journal.  I keep daily notes in a small notebook and then when I can put them into the computer.

It’s now May 1st and I’m finally catching up on the computer.  I’ve been good about writing daily in   I’ve always neglecting my elliptical machine!   But, I have been doing some miles but not enough.
my book but not on the Computer.

This afternoon we sat through the Bruges talk by the tour directors.  We’ve agreed to rent a taxi to go into the city.   We watched the movie about Billy Jean King and Bobbie Riggs.   We also all discovered the tool Navigator on our cell phones that the ship provides free.  We have to have our phones on airplane mode and Wi-Fi on so that we can pick up the free Wi-Fi on the ship.  Once we’ve signed on we can “chat” with each other with text messages and check out all of the activities on the ship on our cell phones at no additional cost.  A very nice feature!

I’m trying to read my book on Medjourje to prepare for the upcoming pilgrimage with Mary Bender in June.  I read a bit every night before turning off the light.  

Dinner tonight was Smart Casual and I had a very different “fish and chips” along with a salad and fudge Sunday for dessert.  Shirley has been sharing some of her wine with me at dinner.  After dinner Mary and Jim went to hear the violins play and I went to my room to read.  

My steps for the day:  8,400   3.67 miles    no elliptical

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