Weekend Knitting (Manly… Knitting)

This weekend Isabelle taught me to knit.   Hmm… As hard as this is to say,  I am going to admit that I kind of liked it.  It is definitely not as fun as poking things (again don’t take that wrong… see last weekends post Weekend Felting) but knitting is enjoyable.   I am struggling internally with my newly found fondness for knitting… (does this mean I completely lose my man card?).  

Just to set things square… My goal is not necessarily to become a “Good Knitter”.  I want to become a “MANLY KNITTER“.   This idea came from watching a video this weekend on the web titled “How to knit like an Icelandic man“.  This man whose name is impossible to say “Þórgnýr” says he makes up for his difficult name by “being a very good (and manly) knitter”.  I don’t care about being  good at knitting (although I do believe anything worth doing is worth doing well) but I do care about being manly.  This means I am altering Isabelle’s patient teaching to fit my manly ego… i.e.  dropping all of cutesy names and replacing them with manly words like saying front knotting and back knotting… and refusing to wrap the yarn around my pinky.   All mistakes I made were really just my way of creating a manly “distressed” look. (Isabelle drew the line with this and many times… more than I want to admit… undid my work to fix the weird holes or lumps that comes from my manly knitting).

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Here you can see me starting a “manly” scarf out of the alpaca yarn I have created.   Isabelle picked out the needles and I am mad that there were no black or brushed steel colored needles (manly needles)…  I was told that she picked the size and that was the color I was stuck with.  (pretty lame)  As you can see I am starting with the “wine” dyed yarn and I am just guessing at width.

knitting 2.5  I like the uneven look that my “art” yarn (or uneven poorly done hand spun yarn) gives to this scarf.  It also hides the “perfection” of my knitting… (Isabelle had already fixed three big problems by now)  I decided to change yarn at this point to a mix of wine and avocado yarn (2 ply – one wine one avocado).

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Finally I move to only avocado dyed 2 ply yarn. This is 100% alpaca.. no wool is being blended with the alpaca fibers and I wondered if that would be ok. I asked Isabelle since I would not know if the yarn was not “elastic” enough for knitting.   She told me that the yarn works great.  (She is french so I don’t have to worry about her just saying that to spare my feelings… french never “spare feelings”). 

This is as far as I got this weekend not because I couldn’t do more knitting but because I ran out of spun yarn.  Because I have ended here…  I have decided to transition from this pink to the natural white. This is part “design decision” and part lazy running out of dyed fibers.  I washed more alpaca and carded it preparing for the spinning.

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Here are the two colors (natural white and avocado pink) next to each other.  I think I will do the next section of the scarf with a white/pink ply and the finish the scarf with all white.  Any thoughts?… (kind of tempted to see if I can end the scarf with a chocolate dye… if that is possible)

JUST AN FYI… I have not been around for a week and I have missed reading all of your blogs.  My excuse is that this has been a crazy week for me at work.  I am not sure if you have ever felt like you are treading water… barely able to keep your head from going under… and then just when you think it can’t get worse… someone flushes.  This was my week at work… not that I am comparing my work to swimming in a toilet.    I have been given a new assignment… (replacing someone who was brillant) and with this new assignment I  am probably for the first time at my current job feeling less than confident.  Don’t read this wrong… I am incredibly excited… just humbled and I know that I have a lot to do and even more to learn.   (Hopefully this means growth… not failure)  I don’t want to go into too much details… bore you with my work… but wanted all of you to know I will be back reading your words and loving it.

Weekend Felting

Isabelle walked into my “man cave” this weekend…  looked at me while scrunching up her face and finally asked…  “Are you felting now?”.   I couldn’t tell if she was surprised or frustrated. (I am always starting something new and it often either comes with a cost or a big mess)  I affirmed that she was correct and told here that I was pleased that she recognized what I was doing.   (I wouldn’t have known what I was doing had I not been YouTubing felting…  I probably would have thought it was some weird voodoo thing.)

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I decided to start my felting experiments with a kit and I purchased one from Etsy- FeltHoppy  (kind of a good get ready for Easter project).  After having finished this kit… I don’t believe it is necessary to purchase a kit to start felting.  With that said, it is nice to have some instructions and I found that the “pre-measured” amounts of felt and drawings that were “actual” size helped to make this felting novice much more successful.  (I will let you judge how well I succeeded)

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I started with the head and for those who are not familiar with felting it starts with wool fibers (I am  not sure what other fibers work for felting… I do know human hair will not work).  You will also note that there is a felting needle and some foam.   The felting needle is specialized and I am not sure if you can use something else… (don’t just get a normal needle it will not work)   Felting this rabbit is a lot like sculpting.   What is interesting is that you sculpt by poking the fibers with the felting needle repeatedly.   This needle poking made me think of the “voodoo” reference.

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Above you can see the final size of the head after I have poked it… and when I say “poked it” I mean that I have poked it a lot.   I realized something about myself while poking this and that is I really like poking things…. hmm..   That doesn’t sound right… maybe I should say stabbing?… wow that might even be worse.  Let me just keep this appropriate by saying that I found the process of felting very enjoyable.   For those of you like me who look for short cuts or ways to get things done quickly… watch that you are not poking too aggressively or too deep.   Poking hard, fast, or deep does not make it turn  into felt any quicker.  If you are too aggressive you also risk breaking the felting needle.   Look closely at the needle in the picture above and you will see the tip poking out separated from the needle.  I got over excited and yes… I broke my felting needle.  I had to go out and buy a new one.  (The only thing I could recommend for making this kit better is to include a spare needle)

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Once I got the head done I started poking the ears out.. and move on to each part of the body.   To connect pieces you leave the fibers “un-poked” where they would connect to the other part… then you poke those fibers into the other part making them fuse.  Did I tell you how much I like poking.   There is one thing I don’t like about poking and that is when the needle misses the felt and finds flesh.   Here is another piece of advice… Don’t poke yourself… it hurts.   I ended up with several bandages. I will not tell you how many since I know there are people out there that will take joy in hearing that I hurt myself repeatedly.

 

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Ears connected to the head… and a little bit of “white” felt.   I relate to this since I am finding that the older I get… the more white hairs I find growing out of my ears.

 

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Eyes sewed on… not poked… and sewing is not as fun.

 

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Working on the body and adding white chest hair… (was going to say that I can relate to that… but hmm maybe too much personal information)

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Here is the final rabbit!   I found this to be a very fun interesting project.  Surprisingly it did not take too much time to completed… plus I got to poke things.   I think I might try to felt some of the pink alpaca fibers into an Easter egg for the bunny… (dont’ know yet how well alpaca will work).   That is all for this week. I recommend giving this a try… you might be surprised at how much you like poking!

 

 

Weekend spinning the rolags (Inky Dinky Do alpaca fibers)

It is nice to be finally home on a weekend and able to do whatever I want… (or at least what ever Isabelle will let me do). This weekend I continue working with the alpaca fibers by spinning them and plying them.  Here are the related previous posts:

If you haven’t read the previous posts and don’t feel like doing so here is some background… the alpaca fibers came from Inky Dinky Do (that is a name of an alpaca) who lives in England and likes to be hugged… He/She doesn’t have a blog but his/her owner does and it is worth checking out… especially if you want to learn how to butcher a pig head or A.I. a pig (and  A.I. doesn’t stand for artificial intelligent… it is another “I” word…  )  As a young farm kid, after watching “A.I.” at the dairy behind my house I remember telling my friends that my mom had just gone through the same thing. She had just recently returned home from a doctor visit and announced that she was going to have a baby.   My older wiser friends tried to explain to me what had really happened but I refused to believe my parents could be involved with something so disgusting.

hmm… I get off topic easily… here is the blog  I was trying to mention.

Smallholding dreams

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After carding the alpaca fibers it is time to spin the rolags.(from the scottish gaelic word roleags.) Hmm… “spining the rolags” sounds kind of cool… almost street.  I might not have to lie to my co-workers Monday when they ask me what I did this weekend.  I can just look at them and say… spun some rolags.. add a wink and then say how about you.   And as long as they don’t google it or ask me what it means I might pull off some fake street cred.

Back to the point… I didn’t know that small rolls of  fiber were called rolags until I was left a great comment from a “real” fiber artist – Leonor.   She also mentioned that I should try to keep the softness by doing a “woolen spun as opposed to worsted spun”… (after looking up “rolags” I had to look up woolen versus worsted… I feel like such a novice… from what I learned it is easy to tell the difference between the two… if it is woolen spun you can break the yarn with your hands.)

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I watched several videos on YouTube but was not able to really catch on… actually I kind of understood but am not talented enough to do it.   I imagine if NSA is spying on all of my different YouTube and Google Searching they are scratching their heads…  I definitely don’t have street cred with them.

I decided to stick with what I know and that is to spin using this “bottom  whorl” drop spindle.  I don’t think I have outlined a”how to”… so here are the basic steps for spinning with a drop spindle.  (describing it is kind of tough)

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  1. Pull out fibers and spin into small leader thread… (hand spin clockwise).  Create a loop and put loop in the hook.   Drop the spindle and start spinning it.  This will close the loop.  Now you spin the hanging spindle with your right hand and pinch the fibers with your left.  You should always spin in one direction… clockwise if you are cool like me.
  2. When you have a tight spin you stop spinning and move your right hand just under your left hand and pinch the thread.   With your left hand now replaced by your right you pull at the un-spun fibers stretching and thinning them out to a consistent amount.  This is called drafting and it takes practice.  I learned that you have to gently pull and the distance between your right hand and left depends upon the length of the fibers.
  3. Once you have drafted it to the right thinness pinch at the top of the draft with your left hand and let go of the right hand.  The spin in the thread below will travel up the newly “drafted” fiber twisting it up to your left hand.  I repeat the process over and over… kind of inch worming and “draftin” through the un-spun fiber.   I often will “park” the spindle in between drafting.  Parking is putting the drop spindle between your knees or feet and not letting it undo the twist in the fibers.   When you park you need to make sure you keep tension on the twisted fibers.spinning-alpaca-04
  4. Once you have a couple of feet you unhook the twisted fibers and tie them at the base of the spindle this is where all of the yarn will be stored as you are spinning.  You almost have to see this to understand and I recommend watching this video on YouTube:  (this is the first one I watched)

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Once I have spun enough.. (this is really and arbitrary decision)  I put the single thread yarn on this copper tube niddy noddy that I built.  (The first time I heard someway say niddy noddy I thought they were making it up…   who is coming up with all of these weird words.)   In the past I didn’t do this and I found that the thread had so much kinetic energy that it would twist and knot up on itself… it was very difficult to work with…. when it is washed and dried this way it sets the spin and evens out the twist.  The yarn will be calm and well behaved now.  (I wished there was something to take the “kinetic” energy out of my kids… )

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The next step is to ply the yarn.  This means twisting several single yarns together.  I have never done more than two and I use the same drop spindle.   This is very simple.  You spin the two yarns together in the opposite direction  of what they were spun.  (Counter clockwise)  I inch up  the two singles almost in the same way that I do when making a single but instead of drafting I make sure they two singles are tight and not twisted…  I then wash this on the niddy noddy let it dry and then twist it into a skein.

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Here is the first skein of Inky Dinky Yarn… died pink from avocado pits.   I like this color but it is really a “dusty” pink.   I decided to try to get a “pink-ier” pink… and since my wine was a big flop wondered if I could use it to dye some fibers. ( Wine Making (Final) … kind of an expensive dye… )  I am going to make some Inky Drinky Do yarn.

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I followed the same process as the avocado dye but added vinegar to the wine to make it acidic and had to follow the dyeing with several rinses since the wine had sugar.   I then carded,, spun and 2-plie some of the “pink-ier” yarn with the avocado yarn.  (Here are the pictures)

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I now have two skeins of about 45 yards (I know they are small… no mocking please). I will continue until I have enough to make something… not sure what… yet… but Isabelle has been teaching me to knit so I imagine I am going to knit something.   (I think I just lost more street cred).

Home at last…(Cruise ends)

Sometimes good things have to end and so it is for my cruise with Isabelle.   Today I went to work and realized that I need a rest break after that vacation.  ( and no… I am not talking about a rest break from my wife… ).  Most of the cruise pictures were serious… and that is a little bit out of character for me so I wanted to summarize this “cruise vacation” with a series of weird pictures. (Hopefully they are weird… I lost the weird contest so I am worried that I am loosing my touch)

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The boat had lots of original art work… and several art auctions… Here is a fine example and although it is not on velvet… it should have been…  
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Here is more art… not sure why the eyes are x’d out… “Knock out his teeth”?   (That is mean)
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And you can see that the fun doesn’t end once the teeth have all been knocked out!!!  We have an artist who really hates clowns
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Speaking of clowns… doesn’t this vacuum look like it should be used by a clown.   By the way… isn’t the carpet horrible on the ship?
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There were lot’s of signs… my wife found this weird.   This was on the running track… but it was not the weirdest thing I saw while on the track.
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Is this a warning… or instructions for some weird tagging game.
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I noticed these evacuation stations. At first this looked fun… almost like you were sliding down an esophagus…
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Then the second sign showing the do’s and don’ts of esophagus travel… scared me.   This looks way to complicated and I can’t tell what the one on the left is doing wrong. 
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Speaking of danger… would you sit at a beach that had this sign?   A niece of ours recommended that we go to this beach in St. Martin.. stating that it is the best beach because  planes land and take off right next to it.  I think she might have something against us

 

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Here are more signs from the track…  They do everything to get you to spend more money… but this seems extreme stating that I had best spend it now… since I may not last

 

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It is good to know that you can’t dump garbage into the sea… You would think the sign would just leave it at that… but it had to list that there were “allowed” exceptions under MARPOL..  I had to look this up just in case I fell under the “exception” clause (sounds fun throwing things off the back of the ship)… sadly I don’t meet any exceptions…   Ironically certain Oil Tankers do… no sure that sounds right or fair.

 

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Speaking of garbage… this place doesn’t allow dogs that poo garbage.    And if that isn’t garbage… I really wonder what that dog ate.

 

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Who doesn’t love sheep with flags…  

 

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and canons that love you?

 

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Finally a sign that makes sure that one doesn’t forget manners when taking selfies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Naked in St. Martin

We arrived in St. Martin just at the same moment a storm was arriving.   I wondered if this would be the day that weather would not be in our favor.    The rain was beautifully annoying but it only lasted 15 minutes and the rest of the day we were roasted by the sun.  (I got a sun burn through my t-shirt… didn’t think that was possible… I can’t imagine what would have happened if I stripped naked… more about that later)

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We arrived early and we sighed in relief knowing that today nothing could go wrong with our excursion.    You will note that from the pictures the water was incredibly clear and the most stunning blue.

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We had an hour before our shopping/beach tour started so we visited the dock with all of its many tourist stores.  Isabelle found a shop that sells macarons and we decide on the way back from the tour we would buy some.  (ha… buy some at the end of the day… we are such novices…   there we none left by the time we returned)

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St. Martin is an Island divided by two countries… France and Netherlands.  We landed on the Dutch side (Philipsburg) and Isabelle wanted to make sure we visited the French side.  From this map you can see our tour plan.  We spent 1 hour in Marigot and 2.5 hours at Orient Beach.

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Our excursion tickets came with a warning that “some nudity may be observed”.  We ignored the warning since we have been to the beach many times in the south of France and have seen “some” nudity.   The warning is misleading… “Some” should be changed to “A lot of” and “may” should be changed to “will definitely”.  Before I talk about naked people I want to start with pictures from Marigot the capital of the french side.    We were fortunate to find a “boulangerie” where we bought a picnic for the beach.  Here are some pictures.

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Marigot is a small town but has lots of charm… Isabelle made me visit the mall… (That is not part of its charm)  Next we were off to the beach.  We were promised a free drink, two chairs next to the water along with an umbrella and finally free bathroom visits.   Who could ask for more…   in fact that was perfect.   Little did we know we would get much… much more..

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First of all the drink… watered down punch served in a small dixie cup was kind of disappointing but the beach looked amazing.   They started leading us down towards the water and I noticed the sign you see in the picture above.   I quickly took a picture and wondered what have we got ourselves into.   Someone saw me take the picture and  I got my second scolding for this trip… no picture taking allowed on this beach!   (No one can tell me what to do… I thought so  I slipped in a couple more… I will share them but they needed editing)   Isabelle was very upset but this time it was all her fault since she picked the tour.   I told her I was really disappointed that she would lead me into such debauchery… as I put on my sun glasses.

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We decided we would give it a go and try to ignore all the others.  We ate lunch and had a small “fully” dressed swim (fully dressed meaning in swim suits).   I think our shocking state of being in swim gear annoyed the local naturalists.   As we returned to our chairs we noticed that we were being joined by several naked men who decided to put their backs to the water and there… hmmm… I will use french… “zizi-s” to us.   I am not a prude but staring at a 70+ year old zizi  from a distance of 6 feet is not something I could take for more than 15 minutes.   There is good naked and this was not it… it was all bad.  We were stuck in some “bizarro world” where if you should be covered up you were not and if you had a body to show… it was hidden… plus there was some un written rule that you had to be over 70 to be naked.

I tried to close my eyes (I am sorry… you can’t help staring even at bad nakedness) and finally Isabelle said (quit loudly)  I can’t look at anymore naked perverted men… lets leave.  Fortunately the other end of the beach was family appropriate and while we didn’t have chairs we found walking down it much better than being stared down by old men parts.   I think we could have stayed where we were if it had not been for the three men who wanted to make sure we understood that they were naked.   I think they should make another rule… you can’t stand closer than 5 feet if you are going to point your “zizi” at another… especially some of us more “modest” beach goers… or jesh at least look at the sea…  I can ignore your bum.

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We left the beach 30 minutes before we had to be back on the boat. (we had no choice since we had to leave when the bus left)  I couldn’t wait to get back and take a long sanitary shower. (I sat in a chair that probably hours earlier was being sat in by some naked person)  I wished there was a way to somehow wash my eyes.   I don’t think I ever want to see a naked person again… (sorry Isabelle).   There is one bright side to all of this.  I am no long insecure about my own body… I realized there is much much worse out there.

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Here is the last picture.   We left port with a beautiful sunset and the captain blowing his horn… (He played the theme from the love boat with the horns… and I felt I had just lived some cheesy 1970s porno).   Isabelle was upset and went to customer service and complained that they need to warn people that the excursion was to a nudist beach. (she said had they included that in the description she would not have signed up). At first they didn’t believe that we were sent to a nudist beach and then when it was verified they started to laugh.  They made it better by refunding us our money…  (at least now we can say that we didn’t pay to see that… but I still think I need therapy)

 

 

San Juan, Puerto Rico

Here are some pictures of our second stop… San Juan, Puerto Rico.   We initially were suppose to visit El Yunque the only tropical rain forest found in the United States.   After waiting 2.5 hours for our tour to start… freezing near an ice skating rink…we gave up and walked into town.   I think they were messing with us a bit.  We were freezing and outside it was in the high 80’s.   I was a little disappointed… (this will make Jolene happy) but that didn’t last long as we started visiting the city and seeing some of the amazing sites.

 

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Here is the port just before we docked.  You can already see how beautifully the buildings are colored.  This view was completely lost as soon as we arrived at the dock.

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Here is our view of Puerto Rico after we docked from our balcony… not especially nice other than you could watch others and compare size. (Ship size…)  I had to go up on top of the deck to take some pictures of where we landed.

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Here we are shopping in one of the hundreds of tourist shops… (you can’t see us).  I was not going to say anything about fellow voyagers….  but…   I think this boy feels the same way about shopping as I do… or maybe he just hates having his picture taken.

Not going on the excursion gave us plenty of time to shop.  This is something usually I hate but this time it was different.   I was participating in a “who could buy the weirdest thing” contest.   Those two words “weird” and “contest” can make anything more bearable.  (This also allowed me to get the kids gift shopping out of the way)

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In this square with a statue of Columbus we started our shopping.  This market was mostly comprised of local artisans and Isabelle ended up buying a hand painted nativity scene  on a feather.  (I have not idea why a feather… kind of weird… but not weird enough  for the contest)   There was some really interesting pottery and paintings.   One lady made stuff out of sand by gluing it together… kind of looked like cat litter… or more like what you take out of “used” cat liter.   This was a great candidate for “weird” but the price was too high. we had  a spending limit of $10.

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Our shopping abruptly ended when we saw a fort (Fort San Cristóbal).   This fort was originally finished in 1783 and covered 27 acres.   We didn’t take a tour.  We found our selves wandering around the fort and exploring haphazardly.   There are many long corridors and it feels like you are in a labyrinth.  Each time we came out of one of these tunnel like corridors we were surprised by where we were and how much there was left to see.

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Here is another view from the fort and off in the distance I noticed another fort! (Castillo San Felipe del Morro)  I decided we could continue shopping as long as we were walking towards the other fort.  I will share some pictures of that walk.  I loved the charm of San Juan… many squares with really interesting statues and colorful buildings.

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We found some gifts for the children and continued on our way to the fort. Unfortunately I still didn’t have my “weird” purchase.  On the way to the fort we past a church at the exact moment that sun light from the entrance passed through a back window.   It light up the window brilliantly and was quite something to see.

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While staring at the window, I noticed we were beginning to run out of light and was worried we would not make it to the other fort before closing time.  Unfortunately we didn’t make it there before the fort closed.  (hmm…   I should have made Isabelle run.)

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We still walked around the outside of the fort and enjoyed  a cool breeze  that made things more bearable.  Isabelle enjoyed the fact that I only took mature pictures of her.  (Although in picture above I told her to back up into the small room.   She did and then notice she was standing in urine.  I guess men and maybe some women use this place as a private bathroom… you should have seen her dragging her shoes across the grass… hmm pee pee shoes)

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I have yet to post a picture of a cat on this blog… so here it is.   I am now a mainstream blogger.  We returned to the ship just before dark and when I looked at my phone I saw that we had walked close to 10 miles…  Isabelle has blisters  (Poor thing… maybe it is a good thing I didn’t make her run)

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I was not able to get something really  weird. I ended settling for a “Fighting Cock”… which I kind of like.  I had maybe a winning idea but Isabelle wouldn’t let me do it.(Buy a $10 tattoo of something weird).  My co-workers found awesome things like a magnet of a person’s behind with dolphins coming out of it and a pig roasting a man made (that was the winner).  I am sad it didn’t win.. but I blame it on Isabelle and the forts.

Cruise 82.jpg Next post will be of St. Martin and there might be nudity!

 

Labadee Haiti

Here I am in Labadee, Haiti. (Not to be confused with the real Haiti).   This is our first stop and it was amazing.  I am going to share some pictures of this stop but before I do I wanted to share another sunset picture.   This sunset was taken Monday night.

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I kept waiting for steam to rise up… but it didn’t happen.  You must need to be closer to the equator to see it.

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Here is a view of Labadee from my balcony… wow that rhymes.   On a side note…Both Isabelle and I noticed smoke coming up from different areas throughout the day.  You can see some smoke in this picture on the upper right.  She asked me why they were lighting fires and I told her it had to be related to voodoo.  ( I am sorry that I  am being really random with my thoughts and writing)

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I said earlier that size doesn’t matter but when you walk next to the ship it is awe inspiring. (still think bigger doesn’t mean better). I wanted to share a picture looking back at the ship as you walked to the island.  I hate to repeat myself but the ship is humongous (I am starting to run out of synonyms for big… ) I was not going to comment on fellow travelers but… hmm… those two dresses looks like they have black light underneath. Isabelle and I left the ship without any planned  excursions.  I told her that I just wanted to spend quality time with her.

Cruise 38.jpg  Well… saying that I just wanted to spend time with Isabelle was a mistake… I should have not said anything until I got there… especially before I saw this zipline. It is called the DRAGON’S BREATH zipline and I could not resist.  You can see the metal stand on the top of the far mountain and I am standing where it ends.   This zipline drops you 500 feet (153 meters) and is 2,600 (793 meters) feet long.  You travel at speeds that can reach as high as 50 miles an hour.   Isabelle didn’t want to go but she got to watch me… which is just as fun.

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Before you go down the big one you have a small practice run.  I am at this moment getting chewed out since I didn’t do the “ending” position.  (I probably should not have been smiling)   I didn’t realize they were serious when they said I had to do it…especially when they described it as a sumo wrestler with chicken wings.  I was suppose to strike this pose half way down but I didn’t… people were taking pictures.  (plus I was looking at Isabelle and her beauty distracted me… that is at least what I told her…). One last thing…   I had to edit this picture because Isabelle said the harness was showing off my “package” and it was not appropriate for my blog.

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Here I am waiting to go down the zipline from the top.   Spectacular view and this time I reminded myself…  chicken winged sumo wrestler at the orange marker. (see it really does sound like a joke they play on the tourists)  I wanted to share a video but with all of the end position pressure I messed up.   I started recording while hooking up… stopped it for the entire decent… than started it back recording when I was at the bottom getting out of the harness.   I have no usable video… darn it.

After the ride down Isabelle and I spent the rest of the day hiking, swimming, and basically beach lounging.   I also took lots of pictures that I would like to share with you… I will leave a caption on some… the others hopefully speak for themselves.  (again the best excuse I could think of for not wanting to write more stuff)

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OH… in case you are concerned about Isabelle… Here I am spending quality time with her…   and while we kept our feet appropriate…we were in public… mine were still turned in towards her… lucky girl!

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I hope you have enjoyed these pictures.  Next post will be pictures from Puerto Rico!…  Before I end I want to add one more picture of Isabelle.  I asked Isabelle to go and pose next to this lion.   After guiding her on exactly how to stand I think she caught on just as I was taking the picture… which kind of ruined it for me… other than I got the picture.   All Isabelle said was “Why are you always acting like a teenage boy”?

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