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  1. #7881
    Signed, Sealed, Delivered prhoshay's Avatar
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    Re: Share your good news

    I love the brass section!!! How cool is that??!!! Good for him!!!
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    "...each affects the other, and the other affects the next, and the world is full of stories, but the stories are all one." - Mitch Albom, one helluva writer

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  2. #7882
    8/2/64 until forever! AZChristian's Avatar
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    Re: Share your good news

    Quote Originally Posted by Eastcoastmom View Post
    My nephew Chris is an accomplished trumpet player. He earned his Master's degree from the prestigious Juilliard School in NYC and since 2009 has been a member of the acclaimed Canadian Brass quintet. Chris and his fellow Canadian Brass band members have been nominated for a 2012 JUNO award for Classical Album of the Year for their CD Brahms on Brass. The JUNO awards are Canadian awards; judging by the categories I am assuming they are similar to the U.S. Grammy Awards. So excited and happy for Chris and the band. The ceremony is March 26th. I am assuming they are going to be televised if it is anything like the Grammys. Chris was born and raised in NYC and we are all so proud of him!

    2012 JUNO Award Nominees | The JUNO Awards
    Canadian Brass! My absolute favorite classical group - with the wonderful whimsey they bring to their performances. I've seem them live twice, and would go again in a heartbeat. One of my favorite numbers of theirs is the "Saints/Hallelujah" merge of "When the Saints Go Marching In" and "The Hallelujah Chorus." Brilliant. And their rendition of Pachelbel's "Canon" is unmatched.

    Please pass along the congratulations of a real fan!
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  3. #7883
    8/2/64 until forever! AZChristian's Avatar
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    Re: Share your good news

    Quote Originally Posted by famita View Post
    I want to hear about your cruise....share!!
    You asked for it!

    In three words: It Was Wonderful! It was our first time through the Panama Canal and our first time at most of the ports we visited, so there were many new experiences.

    Aruba: A beautiful island. We did a bus tour to many of the famous tourist sites including a huge rock formation and the California lighthouse. We then boarded a boat which took us back to our ship via the coastline. Lots of fun!

    Cartagena, Colombia: Never again. As soon as we got off the tour bus, appropriately prepared for the tropical sun with hats and sunglasses, we were besieged by vendors trying to sell us hats and sunglasses (among other things). We had been warned on the ship to be cautious about even touching anything that was offered for sale, since the vendors seem to take a “you touched it, you bought it” attitude. After a really interesting walking tour through the Old Town area, we were treated to a wonderful show with Folklorico dancers, which demonstrated the mixed Indian, African, and South American cultures that melded into today’s Colombia. We did buy a couple of t-shirts and some REAL Colombian coffee, but then opted to wait on the bus for the ride back to the ship rather than continuing to be the targets of street vendors. Being approached by aggressive salespeople is out of my comfort zone.

    The Panama Canal: What an experience! There were onboard lectures and TV documentaries about how the canal was built, as well as what we’d be seeing along the way. The full traverse of the canal locks and Gatun Lake takes over 8 hours, even on a cruise ship which has paid for priority passage. We were up by 5 AM to get a good spot in the front of the ship for the initial approach, and it was worth it. During the course of the day, we viewed the experience from the front, the rear, and from our own balcony. There’s not a bad place from which to see the canal. My new avatar is a picture of us (we always wear matching t-shirts on vacation so we can find each other in a crowd). The lady in the stateroom above ours took it from her balcony. What we're looking at is the tile on the ground NEXT to the ship. There's no water to be seen, because the ship completely fills the canal from side to side.

    Puntarenas, Costa Rica: Ziplining!!!! This was our most “rustic” ziplining experience. Had it been my first time, it might have been my last. We had to hike about ¾ mile into the jungle to get to the first line. I was concerned because the entire hike in was downhill – which meant the way out would be uphill, which I don’t do well. But we made it! Our guides were well-trained and personable, and we enjoyed 21 of the 23 people on the excursion. Don’t even get me started on Tweedledumb and his wife, Tweedledumber. One cool thing was that we were next to Cunard’s Queen Victoria at the dock. She’s a BEAUTIFUL ship!

    San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua: The stop that we didn’t stop at. San Juan is a “tender” stop, meaning passengers have to get onto a smaller boat and ride to shore. San Juan has a unique setup, in that the dock is a floating one. Trying to go from a ship to a tender boat involves some real coordination. Trying to go from a tender boat onto a moving dock requires even more coordination. Seas were a bit choppy, so the captain sent the safety officer to shore on a tender, and the decision was made that there was no way to ensure the safety of passengers during the transfer, so the stop was cancelled. The captain was Italian; maybe he wanted to make sure he didn’t make any of the same stupid decisions made by the Costa Concordia captain a few months ago. None of the passengers seemed terribly upset by the decision.

    On the way to our last stop, the captain announced that we were making a quick stop at Acapulco so that a doctor could come on board and escort a passenger who had become ill to a hospital. We were all on our balconies watching what looked like a regular fishing boat pull up to the side of our ship. The doctor got off, and within just a few minutes, luggage was being offloaded to the fishing boat, followed by a female passenger on a gurney, accompanied by her husband. She was sitting up and was conscious, and we’re all hoping she was able to be stabilized and flew home quickly. We all sent her off with waves and cheers, hoping for the best.

    Cabo San Lucas, Mexico: I love Cabo. It’s my third stop there, and we hope to fly down and just spend a few days there someday. Vendors are not permitted to be aggressive. The town is immaculate, and there are always more things to do than we have time for during our stops. We went whale watching in a zodiac boat, and followed a pod of 6 whales for quite some time. It was AWESOME!!!

    We got back home on Tuesday and were back to work on Wednesday, saving for our next cruise (Alaska in July).

    We have wonderful memories of great food, lovely people from all over the world, fun onboard activities, and great entertainment. I fell in love (platonically) with a young dancer from Belarus.

    The only things that were less than perfect were Tweedledumb, Tweedledumber, and people around the swimming pool who should have checked out a mirror before leaving their staterooms in those bathing suits! LOL.

    AZC
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  4. #7884
    Premium Member dagwood's Avatar
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    Re: Share your good news

    Sounds like you had a blast. I am saving for an Alaskan cruise, too. It will take a while but I am sure it will be worth it.
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  5. #7885
    Live-Love-Laugh Fanny Mare's Avatar
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    Re: Share your good news

    AZ what fun you had. We did the same cruise.

    The Panama Canal it really is awesome isnt it??.

    Cabo San Lucas, Mexico:
    I love Cabo. It’s my third stop there, and we hope to fly down and just spend a few days there someday. Vendors are not permitted to be aggressive. The town is immaculate
    We stayed in Cabo, its lovely there and you are right, its very clean. A friend of ours has a timeshare there( lucky her)

    What an enjoyable post, glad you had such a good time!
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  6. #7886
    FORT Fogey beerbelly's Avatar
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    Re: Share your good news

    Wow! Thanks for posting! I love cruising and last year I did the Panama Canal. It's like nothing I have ever seen and your post took me back to those sounds and the scenery. I love a great vacation!
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  7. #7887
    9/11/2001 NEVER FORGET. Eastcoastmom's Avatar
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    Re: Share your good news

    AZChristian, thanks for sharing your cruising experience with us; it sounds delightful minus the ziplining. I'd be too chicken to try that but good for you! Being followed by a pod of several whales while whale watching on a zodiac boat (what's a zodiac boat, btw?) sounds beyond awesome. I am definitely going to try to get DH to go cruising through the Panama Canal one of these days even though he hates cruising. He gets really seasick. We did the Alaska cruise and it was fantastic! Not what I had expected. We flew into Vancouver, though, not Seattle, and just in the short bus ride from the airport to the port I made up my mind to return to Vancouver one day. What a beautiful city!

  8. #7888
    8/2/64 until forever! AZChristian's Avatar
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    Re: Share your good news

    Quote Originally Posted by Eastcoastmom View Post
    AZChristian, thanks for sharing your cruising experience with us; it sounds delightful minus the ziplining. I'd be too chicken to try that but good for you! Being followed by a pod of several whales while whale watching on a zodiac boat (what's a zodiac boat, btw?) sounds beyond awesome. I am definitely going to try to get DH to go cruising through the Panama Canal one of these days even though he hates cruising. He gets really seasick. We did the Alaska cruise and it was fantastic! Not what I had expected. We flew into Vancouver, though, not Seattle, and just in the short bus ride from the airport to the port I made up my mind to return to Vancouver one day. What a beautiful city!
    We've cruised out of Vancouver 3 times - twice to Alaska and once on a repositioning cruise to Los Angeles. It is a beautiful city, for sure. I've found out that there is such a large Chinese population in Vancouver that they - including the Chinese - refer to their city as "Hongcouver" (combining Hong Kong and Vancouver).

    The zodiac boat we were on was a solid-bottom boat with rubber inflatable sides, approximately 20 feet long. Most of the passengers sit on the rubber sides. The boat sits right on the water and can go VERY fast, which makes it ideal for whale-watching. This was our second time to do this in Cabo. The captain of the boat is usually in communication with other boats in the area, and they point out the areas where the whales are plentiful. Imagine sitting in a 20-foot-long boat and having a HUGE whale swimming alongside about 30 feet away. It is AWESOME. But I wouldn't recommend it for someone who gets seasick easily. It can be a bit of a rough ride speeding out to where the whales are and then back into the harbor.

  9. #7889
    8/2/64 until forever! AZChristian's Avatar
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    Re: Share your good news

    I've never attached a picture here before . . . this is me, ziplining.

    ziplining.jpg
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  10. #7890
    Live-Love-Laugh Fanny Mare's Avatar
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    Re: Share your good news

    Thats great! I love zipping! good for you
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