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Tuesday, January 31, 2017

People and Foods

Aloha Everyone,

What a wonderful coincidence that we shared a table with Ben & Marisa. An amazing couple with many interesting personal stories, our conversation lasted for two hours. We reluctantly parted company with hugs and promises to visit them in Kansas.

Rob & Bobbie, Tami & Keith are our assigned dinner table mates. J.J. and I couldn't have asked for a better company. Both couples have amusing travel, cruise and life experience stories to share.

I Nyoman is our stateroom steward. He is from Indonesia and has been working for the Carnival cruise line for 17 years.

And here are but few of the delicious dishes we've had during the first two days.

Aloha -- Cathi

Monday, January 30, 2017

Carnival Breeze

Aloha Everyone,

This is our 4th cruise on the Carnival line, but first on the Breeze.  The Breeze is newer, seems better maintained and at 130,000 tons, it is huge.

J.J. and I explored the ship up and down and photographed areas that look interesting. Here is a small selection.

Aloha -- Cathi

Sunday, January 29, 2017

On Board the Carnival Breeze!

Aloha Everyone,

J.J. and I have just boarded the Carnival Breeze for our week long cruise. The Carnival Breeze is definitely the largest cruise ship we have been on.

Here are a couple of pictures of our cabin.

We had a nice lunch at one of the ship's dining rooms.

Looking forward to an amazing week!

Aloha -- Cathi

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Variety of Cuisines in Texas

Aloha Everyone,

Texas is the 2nd largest state in the United States. It is also the 2nd most populated state after California with 25,144,561 residents. (Source: Internet Public Library). There are some cooking  that is iconically Texan such as Texas BBQ Ribs and Tex-Mex.

During the past 3 weeks, J.J. and I enjoyed a wide variety of cuisines. In Fredericksburg, we dined in establishments which claim to serve authentic German food.

In Goliad, it was Tex-Mex at its best.

Since arriving in Galveston, we had a wonderful Greek cuisine with a Cajun twist, Italian pizza with a flavor of Texas and today, one of the best Vietnamese Pho served by East European waiters. This is an incredible state because of its people, history, natural beauty, cuisine and YES for birding!

Aloha -- Cathi

Friday, January 27, 2017

Julin and Disney Toys Fan

Aloha Everyone,

Julin is the stage name for the youngest of the 4 children of our dear friends, Jim and Susan. She is a multi-talented young lady. An actress, singer and song writer, Julin is currently creating concept art for Disney Toys Fan - Totally TV Program.  

While visiting Port O'Connor, Susan and I perused a number of YouTube sites which Julin had created. The two of us had fun trying to determine which character is her daughter because with costumes, make-up and altering her voice and attitude, Julin effortlessly moved from one character to another.

Please enjoy Julin's concept art by visiting:

Aloha -- Cathi

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Preparing For Our Upcoming Cruise

Aloha Everyone,

J.J. and I arrived this morning in Galveston, Texas. On Sunday, we board Carnival Breeze for a week long cruise. Our ports of call are Belize City, Belize, Roatan, Honduras and Cozumel, Mexico.

To prepare, the two of us decided to get haircuts. J.J. went to a barbershop recommended by the receptionist at our RV park. I went to a salon which was suggested by the barber who cut J.J.'s hair. Both of us are wearing our hair a lot shorter than we are accustomed to. We looked at each other and said, "It will grow..."

Galveston Island has several excellent restaurants featuring fresh seafood. But the narrow width of streets and small parking lots are challenging for Honu. Luckily, we were able to find parking space to try Cajun Greek Fresh Seafood Restaurant. Our appetizer of calamari was prepared just perfect. We shared a large dish of fisherman's seafood soup with Cajun peppers. Excellent meal!

Honu has a direct oceanfront site for the next three days. Beautiful view to look at as we enjoy our dinner of colossal size Gulf shrimps with sautéed mushrooms.

Aloha -- Cathi

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Reuben Pastrami Sandwich from Buc-ee's

Aloha Everyone,

Today's lunch stop followed by a brief nap was at our favorite gas and convenience chain, Buc-ee's. The Reuben pastrami sandwich was excellent and also substantial. There was enough for two meals. Buc-ee's large restrooms are always kept spotless. Their selection of food is extensive and are reasonably priced. For our sandwich, we paid $7 each plus $1.79 for the crunchy "beaver" chips.

Diesel is $2.20 per gallon, one of the lowest in Texas. Diesel in California is close to $4.00. Yes, we along with many motorists in Texas love Buc-ee's.

Heavy traffic passing the outskirts of Houston on I-45.

The two of us have been on the road for 6 hours. Before it became nightfall, J.J. and I checked into an RV park located in La Marque, TX.  The park's online ads are far better than the reality. This would be a one night stay before we move on to Galveston.

Aloha -- Cathi

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Goliad State Park & Historical Sites

Aloha Everyone,

Goliad State Park is located along the El Camino Real de Los Texjas National Historical Trail next to the San Antonio River. This area is particularly rich with Texas history and culture.

Seeing the birthplace of Ignacio Zaragoza, a celebrated Mexican hero and reading about him in a small museum near the Our Lady of Loreto Chapel was both moving and humbling. The simple stone chapel is under the Catholic diocese and used for Sunday services.

On May 5, 1862, during the invasion by 8,000 strong French forces, Zaragoza led 4,000 poorly armed soldiers to victory. This historic day, El Cinco de Mayo (May 5) is a national patriotic anniversary and it is celebrated in Mexico as well as in the United States by Americans of Mexican ancestry.

J.J. and I also learned that beside The Alamo, which we are familiar from our high school US History class, Goliad is also an important Texas Revolution site.

While I was doing my evening exercise, I noticed about 20-30 Turkey vultures circling over me. One of them swooped down close enough for our eyes to meet. I mused whether the predator birds considered me as interesting prey.

Aloha -- Cathi