• Upcoming trips

    Feb 3 - Feb 13 Caribbean cruise May 1 to May 14 London vacation. (Hotels and details later). Hope to see you all then.
  • theatre and Concerrts

    December 7. Went to the Met to see the abridged version of “The Magic Flute”. We have seen this production before and still the charm of the great puppet characters keeps the children in awe and their parents happy with their parenting. An amusing interlude.

    December 9. Saw the Manhattan School of Music’s production of “Cendrillon” by Nicolo Isouard at the Florence Gould Hall. The MSM is having both its concert halls renovated and is using outside premises like the Alliance Francaise’s hall. The School and its talented young students put everything they have into this production; Scenery, lighting, costumes and acting was superb. As was the directing and conducting. Refreshing also, was that the cast was of the age to be convincing in their parts.

    December 10. The first of the “Peoples Symphony Concerts” this season (Their 118th year!). “The Variation String Trio” did the honours accompanied by guest pianist: Orion Weiss. Their programme included a new work by Nina Young (b.1984) Very interesting, but not, I think, a world-beater.

    December 31 Went to the Kaye theatre at Hunter College  to see the New York Gilbert and Sullivan Players’ production of “H.M.S. Pinafore”. Cast and orchestra captured the high spirits of the musical romp and the sets were surprisingly professional. Reminded me of the old Sadlers’ Wells days,

    January 2, 2018. Saw the Met’s “The Merry Widow”. During the first act, the acoustics left a lot to be desired and words were difficult to hear, even in English. But all went well in the second and third acts; the Russian style dancing was rousing and the sets were spectacular. There are usually only six ‘Grisettes’ (Can-can girls) on a regular stage, but the Met’s vast space seemed to be full of them; three, even, descending from the top of the proscenium arch! All with their frilly knickers a-shaking

     

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Family outing on the “Gem” and poor “Stirrup Cay”

The Easter school holidays gave us the rare opportunity to cruise with my daughter, Susan, and  husband Craig and her grandchildren, Jeremy and Zoe, plus, her son and my grandson, Kiowa, with, of course, Christie and Kelsey. Ethel and I have taken the cruise many times before so there was little left for me to photograph except the family enjoying the outing.

NCL have their own Caribbean island, ‘Great Stirrup Cay’.  The highlight of this cruise is the tendering of the passengers to visit it  while the crew prepare a barbecue lunch and serve cold drinks. Several years ago when we first visited the coral island it was quite an adventure. The ship’s boats were used for the tendering and Ethel’s unsteady foot work required the help of two crew members to get her aboard the bucking tender when the seas were rough. Entrance to the small lagoon was through a tiny inlet  and, once inside,  passengers had to wade a little to get ashore to the palm strew coral beach. Sometimes, the ship’s schedule required an evening stay in the romantic light of gas flares. Once, I remember being thrashed at beach bocci by one of the old inhabitants of the island (who turned out to be the area champion of the game).

Sadly, the popularity of the cruise has required ‘development’. A great new entrance has been chopped throught the coral reef, large enough to accommodate the 400-passenger boats now used for tendering (which are stationed permanently at the island). A series of deeper-water docks have been built for them to efficiently disembark and embark passengers. Concrete buildings have replaced much of the natural scrub and shade plants; and nearly all the palms have been uprooted and placed in more convenient spots.  The lagoon has been sanitized–no more sea urchins or baby sting-rays to watch underfoot! Shade is provided (at a cost) by canvas shells over lounge chairs. Rows of unshaded lounge chairs are provided for the younger sun-worshipers. Ethel and I returned to the ship after an hour or so!

Happy cruisers Kelsey and Dad, Kiowa

Cruising down the river

Kelsey relaxing with a book on her balcony

Perks of Platinum membership

Great-granddaughter Zoe ordering her dinner

Kelsey entertains the serving staff

Formal night

Young gentleman, great-grandson, Jeremy

Young lady, great-granddaughter, Zoe

Kiowa and Susan

At Cape Canaveral, Kiowa and I had a quiet beer at a bar . . . . . .

overlooking the beach . . . .

A Nassau alley

Under development . . . .

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9 Responses

  1. Beautiful family!

  2. Lovely Great Grandchildren. Claire and I have not been blessed with any to date. We took an NCL trip the beginning of February with my brother and his wife from Tampa to Mexico. Celebrated Bob’s 80th birthday. The ship was wonderful especially the dining. Bob requires a scooter to get a- round and being on shipboard works very well for him.

    John and Claire

    • John and Claire. Does “to date” mean that you that you are expecting a joyous occasion? We have always found NCL ships to our liking for free-style cruising and we are now ‘Platinum” members. For us, Sailing from NY and back is a great plus for our old bones. When we feel the need for more refined sailing, we still take the QM2 (Also out of NY). Perhaps you could join us again sometime? Love, Ben and Ethel

  3. Hello, lovely photogenic family. I thought this was a cruise to Bermuda? I see Nassau mentioned. Anyway love to all.

    Sandy

  4. Ben,
    Great looking progeny! Must be fun knowing kids that will likely live into the twenty second century. We loved the phone call. New York is definitely on our agenda for the Fall.
    John

  5. Lovely photos of 3 generations of my cousins Ben, great to see. Gill

  6. Gillian. So glad you like the family photos–They maybe add faces to your researches of the family tree? Love, Ben

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