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.
We have had a few interesting stops in the last few days. Our van Patchwork has been a fantastic rolling cocoon that is also a very comfortable place to curl up and get a good nights sleep. We have tried to balance making good time with some fun side trips and “roadside oddities”. We left San Francisco and made our way into the hills of Southern California and decided to camp by Lake Isabella. On the map it looked like a beautiful area and we pulled into a free campsite that was right along the lake shore. We were in the dark of night when we arrived so we tried to find a spot that looked like we would wake up close to the water in the hopes that when we opened our curtains in the morning we’d have a beautiful view. Sadly, when we woke up we realized the lake had long ago dried up and we were in a grazing field for cows. I’m happy to report that we were parked far enough away from the herd that we didn’t open our doors into them but there were no fences between us and the them and they certainly gave us some odd looks as we drove right next to them to exit and get back on the highway.
We drove through the nearly abandoned gold rush town of Randsburg that was just quirky enough that I wished a few of the stores and bars were open so that we could explore a bit. A roadside oddity that caught my eye was Peggy Sue’s Diner-Saur Park. It was on the way and we were hungry so we popped in. What a fantastic stop! What was once a one room diner has grown into 4 dining areas full of crazy movie and pop culture memorabilia. The food is good and the Diner-Saur park in the back is worth a few cheesy photos, my favorite kind.
We spent a night in Tecopa Springs to enjoy the natural hot spring. We visited the spring that is truly au natural and in the middle of mud flats but decided it was more enjoyable to use the private pool at our campsite that has the hot mineral water pumped into a comfy facility with showers. The sun set at the campsite was beautiful and we managed to have a progressive dinner at three different establishments in town including Delights BBQ which was truly a trip highlight. It doesn’t look like much inside or out but the BBQ is on point. Another good nights sleep and we were up early to have coffee and oatmeal from the back of Patchwork and we were on our way to Las Vegas.