Fort Lauderdale, Florida April 3, 2013

Before we caught the cruise on the 6th, we wanted to spend some time in Florida. In the early 1970’s I use to live in Hollywood and Fort Lauderdale with a short stink in Miami at the beginning. My daughter was born in Hollywood, Florida, so she is a little Floridian! Florida is one of my favorite places in the United States and I always dream of moving back in my retirement years. When I lived there I was good friends with Denise Weidlich and Ronnie Hanson. Denise and I were inseparable. It has been many many years since I have seen either, so I wanted to connect up with them. Denise had moved to New York in the 70’s and recently moved back to Florida, where she grew up. Ronnie never left J
Fort Lauderdale Beach and a bird enjoying getting his feet wet. For some reason the beach scene keeps going sideways, but you can still see the beautiful palms. 

 Denise & I before Ronnie showed up. We are at the Hollywood Boardwalk.

Here are the 3 of us. It was great seeing Denise and meeting her new guy. A bonus getting Ronnie to take an hour or two from his busy law office to catch up with someone he hasn’t seen in too many years to count. Denise has promised to come up for salmon fishing 2014.

I remember now. It was Gene taking the pictures from my iPhone. If it doesn't work right....blame the spouse!

Aruba April 9, 2013

Our first stop on the cruise is Aruba! Poor Dennis ended up with heat stroke (doesn’t he live in Arizona?) and had to go back to the ship shortly after setting out for a walk to the beach and around town.

A beautiful flower

Walking along the beach

We came across a cute little lizard and a fossil

Then it wouldn’t be a trip if there wasn’t shopping

Just goofing around

Stopping for a pina colada and beer. Some views from the roof top bar

Cartagena, Columbia April 10, 2013

We really enjoyed Cartagena, Columbia. Instead of an excursion we hired a taxi to take us around.

As we were walking away from the ship into town this magnificent crane was perched.
Then a little further there were my all time favorite: Pink Flamingos!
We had to enter into a Juan Valdez gift shop

There was this great little sanctuary of birds.

Our first stop on the tour was San Felipe Fort Cartagena 

Some views from the top of the fort

Then we went to the market where Bonnie and I each bought an emerald ring. Evidently we were too busy to take pictures.

We asked the driver to take us away from the tourists and he drove us out of town. Here are a few of the churches we saw on the way.

Our driver stopped and parked on a side street by a beautiful park and we walked around. As you all know, Gene has no aversion to trying food off carts. The cart owner didn’t speak English so Gene was having a hard time finding out what was being sold until the guy with the backpack showed up and helped.

Heading back to the cab
We had a wonderful day in Columbia. And of course we asked to make a short stop to a beach so I could get some sand.