Sunday, December 21, 2014

Crusin' Christmas in South America 2014

 This is legend of the seas...Royal Carribean...we spent december on an 18 day trip to the Panama Canal. Starting in San Diego ending in Miami. Total of almost 5,000 ship miles. I gained 5 lbs. carl 10 lbs. These ships load 1 million $ of food for a week, so we helped them out with their 2 million $ of food on board!

Sunny, warm/hot/humid and loved it, beautiful blue ocean skies, perfect weather and an abundance of
the greenest thick jungles. We toured with Fun for less out of salt lake city with a group of 98 people, 2 being educators so this was also an EDUCATIONAL vacation. They lined up EVERYTHING, we just had to pay, pack, follow daily instructions and itinerary.  I call it a REAL vacation because it was so little work and alot of relaxing. Meeting so many people from all over the world (seriously) and so many Travel connissours. 85% were ages 65 on up, so I felt quite young only in the mornings!

I'D LOVE TO START OFF WITH CHRISTMAS...what LITTLE of it that there was. This is all I could find in the 18 days!
I found it refreshing though...because the reason we left this time of year was to get out of the retail part of this holiday since that has been a part of our whole married life.

It even felt wrong to see christmas, it felt out of place because of the climate.

first ship dock was Cabo San Lucas , pacific ocean, waters a little rough as we buzzed around in glass bottom boats with a wild driver.

 Cabo San Lucas mall area...shops are tiny, I did see some name brand shops.

Teddy bear Christmas tree right next to the marina...remember in the fall they had a MAJOR hurricane. This place will take some time to recover from it...they are slow at getting things done. It was my least favorite place on the trip besides Old town san diego, the Mormon Battallion musuem was fun.

 An hour South from cabo a big tree by a historic church and more luxury vacation & living areas. These are their roads and narrow streets. Hard for big busses to manuver. Had my first mexican coke!

I'm thinking this large nativity was in Columbia.

Street banners in Guatamala...I'm not sure if these are up for Christmas or year round.

 Costa rica.
 Few floats lined up for Santa parade in Guatamala...his sleigh ride!

 Frozen themed float for the Christmas parade in Guatamala...I saw three floats in all.

Our could not go into the city. Vendors followed us the whole way out of town and we kept buying.

This IS the streets in Antigua, Guatamala, I think over 500 years old. You should see the vehicles and motorcycles driving on these narrow roads, then add the hundreds of tourists! They wear your feet and legs right out! The Guatamalans walk and drive on it like its nothing.  This town use to the the capital of Guatamala, now it's old Guatamala. It has a long history of damaging big earthquakes that would destroy so much so they decided it shouldnt be the capital.  Guatamala has alot of beautiful Volcano;s a few active ones.

Cant recall where this was. maybe columbia?

 tiny mall with a candy counter in Puerto Vallarta

 Columbia... tree of metal?
 The nativity inside a church in...Columbia

 Because Christmas is and felt so low key in these countries with so little money, I would say if you have missionaries down there I would guess they are not reminded of the hussle and bustle like we have in Northern america.  They would be focusing on Christ, giving service to the people and blessing them with their message. We were told these people will not die from stress!

 Our best tour guide working mother of 2 little ones. I finally asked about Christmas as not one tour guide had mentioned it.
She said the ornaments come out about the 16th of dec. till jan 6th. We pack up our families and go to the beaches everyday and we cook rice. beans. corn. fruit. We can't afford the hotels as they are double in our non rainy season and filled with tourists.Once in awhile I would see a strand of greenry on someones balcony.
I would imagine they would use a tropical plant for their tree although I did see a few pine trees on top of cars, made me wonder if they were imported.

Jungle walk tour in costa rica...the bridge swings and sways, a sloth is in the trees and we watch out for
poisonous snakes. Monkeys live here. There is also a zip line that is fun to go on...I chose not to.

So here is the view from this jungle walk of the ocean they go to for christmas, this is on the PACIFIC side.
The caribbean is on the other side which was about an 8 hour drive away. Can you imagine the other side
being double green and more beautiful...I cant. Every island looks like this.

 Ship going through the locks on the Panama canal, 7th wonder of the world.
Truely a  fascinating  and educational experience.There are two, we are on the right side.
Cost for a cruise ship depends on beds/people...we had 3,000 so it was $300.000 to pass through.
This is a money maker for China.

Plenty of Patina in South and central america
with more to come.

I'm excited to share more on each place we toured...but during the holidays.
we need to get Christmas day here
 I hope each of you can have the opportunity to visit this place OR the places
of your dreams.
 Try not to wait till your old okay!
You can find full itineraries/pricing etc. at
This same trip for march 29th is sold out and they go twice a year.
Trips are best to book 6 months OR MORE in advance.

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