Recently in the span of 37 days in September and October, I took 3 trips lasting a total of 23 days and over more than 15,000 miles long. Since the only thing it seems I blog about any more is travel, I may as well write up a post about it. But first, here is a cartographic summary of the trips:
09/01 through 09/03 – Labor Day Weekend Braves Games in Atlanta
Sometime last year I noticed that our satellite TV package provided coverage of every Braves game, so I started watching games regularly. This was Chipper’s last year and I wanted to go see some games before he retired. I chose Labor Day weekend and ended up seeing three games. This was decided before I knew about the trip to Manchester, but it all worked out. I drove down to Atlanta the morning of September 1st and went to the game against the Phillies that afternoon. The Braves played poorly and lost by four runs. The next day’s game against the Phillies was much more entertaining. They came back from 6 runs behind and won the game by a walk-off homer by Chipper that sailed just to the other side of the bullpen from where I was seated. The place went nuts. The day game on Labor Day was excellent as Medlen threw 12 strikeouts in a complete game against the Rockies. So despite the first game, it was well worth the trip and I enjoyed it.
09/04 through 09/14 – Work Trip to Manchester, England, UK
Of course, three weeks after I bought the tickets for the Braves games I found out I had to travel to the UK for a project at work. For reasons incomprehensible to me, the board of directors decided to split the company earlier this year into two standalone segments. The reasoning is that this somehow will enable things to function more efficiently. Some think they are just positioning to sell off the other segment, although they have said this is not the intention. This trip corresponded to a multi-million dollar year long project to split our main SAP system for the two segments. Yeah, that seems more efficient already. Anyway, six of the days I was in the office busily working. During the weekend of the trip, we did a bit of sightseeing in Manchester. This was good because the last time I was there, we went to London and Edinburgh and didn’t see much of Manchester. On the evening of the second Wednesday of the trip, our British colleagues took us to Liverpool for sightseeing and dinner. One of the places they took us was a basement pub where the Beatles got started. Even though I am not really a big Beatles fan, that was pretty cool. Right now it looks like another trip to Manchester will probably take place in January.
09/29 through 10/07 – Eastern Caribbean Cruise
The third trip was our vacation on a cruise in the Caribbean. This is the first time either of us had been on a cruise. I would say that it was pretty good, considering what happened to my knee. Otherwise, it would have been outstanding.
- 09/29 & 09/30 – San Juan, Puerto Rico: We left early in the morning and flew to San Juan. After dropping our bags off in the hotel, we went sightseeing around Old San Juan during the afternoon. Among other things, we saw the tomb of the famous explorer Juan Ponce de León in the Cathedral of San Juan Bautista and one of the two Spanish fortresses. The next morning, we went sightseeing again and saw the other fortress. That afternoon, we picked up our bags from the hotel and boarded the cruise ship. We explored the ship a little and then had dinner. Right after the muster drill, we were walking up to the top deck to watch as we left port and I slipped and injured my knee similar to how I had twice on my mission. Long story short, I still need an MRI to confirm, but they currently think I partially tore the MCL. If that is the case, there is a surgery that could prevent this injury from happening a fourth time.
- 10/01 – Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands: Most of our time in St. Thomas was spent at the hospital getting my knee looked at. It is a shame because there were some incredibly beautiful places that we wanted to visit there.
- 10/02 – Day at Sea: The only day at sea on this cruise was timely in that it allowed me to rest my knee.
- 10/03 – Bridgetown, Barbados: The first half of the day we went on a tour of the island including a visit to Bathsheba Park. After lunch, we originally planned to visit a beach, but we decided to forgo that option.
- 10/04 – Castries, St. Lucia: We started the day with a bus tour of the island including great views of the Pitons and a visit to a botanical garden. Then, we boarded a catamaran and had lunch. We went to a beach in a small bay which Kara enjoyed. Lastly, we rode the catamaran back to the ship.
- 10/05 – Basseterre, St. Kitts: We had previously reserved a tour with a one-man tour operator on this island and it was a great experience. There was only one other couple on the tour with us. We saw a lot of different sights including Brimstone Hill Fortress and Timothy Hill and in the afternoon included some time at South Friars Bay Beach. The drive back to the ship was eventful as we were a little bit behind schedule (no risk in missing the ship, but we wanted to do a little shopping at the port before getting back on the ship). Let’s just say that we were drifting around the corners of the back roads of St. Kitts in an older model Toyota van. He did get us back with plenty of time though.
- 10/06 – Philipsburg, Sint Maarten: This island is interesting in that half of it is a territory of the Netherlands and the other half of France. Cruise ships dock near Philipsburg in Dutch Sint Maarten. Our first stop was a beautiful beach in French Saint Martin. Later, we went back to the Dutch side to Maho Beach. This beach is well known for its close proximity to the airport runway and low approaching aircraft. We had lunch at a nearby restaurant and then enjoyed the beach and the landing aircraft.
- 10/07 – San Juan, Puerto Rico: We returned to San Juan, where we debarked the ship and flew back home.
The pictures have been uploaded into 6 sets (albums) grouped in their own collection (category).
- San Juan, Puerto Rico
- St. Thomas & Day at Sea
- St. Lucia
- St. Kitts
- Sint Maarten / St. Martin