I was able to do a fantastic day trip to Rotorua, a place that has been on my bucket list for awhile. It's a geothermal valley with boiling mud pools, geysers and has been the home to many generations of Maori tribes.
We had an amazing local group of High School students from the area visit the ship and they are called He Waka Kōtuia. It was an incredible afternoon of music, a glimpse into Maori culture and a chance to see the younger generation embracing their heritage and celebrating it through performance. Destination emersion indeed.
It was fantastic to be back in Sydney, Australia. I had a busy day onboard so I only had a few hours to get out and enjoy but I certainly made the most of it. I went to the grocery store and got a few packs of BBQ Shapes, my all time favorite Australian snack and I treated myself to lunch at Din Tai Fung. The Whelan Family took me to my first Din Tai Fung many years ago in Singapore and anytime I have a chance to enjoy their Xio Long Bao I jump at the chance. It was even better than I remember. I’ll get back to Sydney again in March and I’m really hoping I get to see my old friends Kanen and Jacqui. We met back in the early 2000s and I have managed to catch up with them when ever I make it down this way. Here’s to having wonderful friends spread out around the world!
Words and even photos can't do it justice. It's just a breathtaking moment when you stand on the deck of the ship with mountains on either side of you.
We had a fantastic party in the Cabaret Theatre. We had the game on the big screen, our culinary team provided top notch food and decor and we had about 300 guests cheering and booing. It was fantastic.
Again this post is quite late as I joined the ship on January 30th. I flew from Madison to San Francisco to Auckland and then to Blenheim and then a van to Pickton. It was a long trek to get to New Zealand but it's warm, beautiful and worth the effort.
I'll admit, I was a bit nervous to come back to the Quest in my new role as Cruise Director. I spent 4 contracts, which equals about two and half years, as a feature singer on the Quest. When I took the leap into Cruise Director I was over on Azamara's newest ship The Pursuit. My nerves were due to being in on a "new" ship, well, new to me in my role as Cruise Director. All my worries disappeared the second I walked up the gangway. I knew the security team, I knew the housekeepers, the waiters, the management team - it was truly like coming home. I'm a lucky woman indeed.
All in all we did every ride we could have ever dreamed of and while we did we chatted and caught up and it was like we'd never been apart. We try to see each other once a year. Sometimes it's two years but never more than that. Keeping friendships like ours alive, in my opinion, is what makes life worth living. I love ya Carly - we need a dance party soon - even if it's over FaceTime.
What can I say, it’s my happy place.
My dear freinds Cat and Josh live in Mesa, AZ right out side of Phoenix and it is always a treat to get to visit them. Cat and I have been friends since college and there is nothing better than curling up on her back patio with coffee and chatting the morning away. We had some wonderfully relaxing days and then Cat took us to the incredible Joya Spa. We enjoyed amazing treatments and a stunning poolside lunch, certainly a change from living out of Patchwork the Van. Then we spent the day at the Russo and Steele collector car auction. We got up close to lots of fantastic cars and watched the bidding all afternoon.
Sadly, this amazing month of adventures had to come to an end. Matt made it home to Alberta without delays or drama. I, however, am stranded in Phoenix thanks to a mid-west winter storm. So instead of being at home today franticly working my way through my to do list and packing for another four months at sea, I’m curled up on the Patio.
Ahh yes, The Grand Canyon. While we knew it was January, neither of us were prepared for just how cold northern Arizona would be. I mean, it looked a lot like Alberta. Our plan was to stay on the North Rim the first night but everything was closed, so we made our way to the South Rim and while there were no rangers or attendants at the gate, it wasn’t closed so we pulled in, found a parking lot and crawled into the back of Patchwork for a movie and good night’s sleep. In the morning we worked our way along the scenic views of the South Rim. Matt got some really beautiful photos but all in all it wasn’t quite all we had built it up to be. We were a bit disappointed that we couldn’t properly camp as it was just too cold. It was far too cold to even make our morning coffee. Hoping we can make it back in Spring or Summer when we can really enjoy being outside.