Monday, December 31, 2007

Fish and Chips in the South Atlantic?

Happy almost New Year! Today I spent the day in a little slice of England in the South Atlantic. We were in the Falkland Islands, playing with the penguins and eating some good ole fish and chips. I went on a half day trip today so I could have some time to walk around the area. The Falklands are about 4700 square miles with only a population of 3500. Imagine the town of Haworth with a whole hell of a lot more land! The British Navy, Royal Air Force, etc. have a large base here and do a lot of training exercises. The school is a nice size and has a pool and other amenities that NV didn't have. The eduction is compulsory, but since folks are so spread out, they have a traveling school system where the teacher will rotate b/w 3 communities over a 6-week period and then start the rotation again. If the kids do well, they will be sent to the UK for college and university for FREE. Our guide said that over 80% of those that leave for college return to the Falklands.

Everyone here was so friendly. Our guide came down in the 80s as part of the Royal Air Force, fought in the Falklands War in 1982, and then returned to make it his home. The guy who owned the farm I went to with all the penguins (more in a bit), came down here on "holiday" 31 years ago and never left. He bought his farm (37,000 acres) and now runs tours on it b/c it has breeding penguins. His farm and the area where the penguins were (Bluff Cove) have Gentoo, king and Magellanic penguins. The King and Gentoo don't burrow, but instead huddle in areas where they protect their eggs. We weren't able to get as close as in Magdalena, but it was still neat. To get to the cove, we drove for about 30 minutes on the road (part paved/part gravel). We then loaded ourselves into Landrovers and literally drove over the property to get to the cove. The only "road" was a track that the drivers had made. This was some hard-core 4-wheeling.

The town of Stanley is quaint. I took a ton of pictures of old whale jaws and skeletons, sunken ships and beautiful flowers. Really, it was a little slice of England. We stopped off in a pub and had ourselves some extremely fresh fish and chips for lunch and then I walked around and bought a couple souvenirs.

I can't believe I've been here for over a week. The folks on the trip are very nice. There are some folks in their mid to late 30s, a good deal in their mid to late 40s, and then a bunch in their 50s, including someone who is 63. The "older" crowd is very nice and everyone goes out after dinner or during the day. A number of folks have coupled up, some within the first day. There's no one I'm particularly interested in, but then again, that was not my goal for this trip. Instead, I've met a lot of great folks, including some from Italy, Germany, New York, Toronto, California, Denver, etc. Now I have more places and people to visit! Nice thing is that a number of the folks I've become friends with (and the younger crowd if I can say that) will be going to Iguazu at the end of the trip.

I'm off to get ready to ring in the New Year in the Atlantic . . .

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Round the Horn

Service was bad yesterday so I didn't even bother to post. I woke early yesterday morning to a sight that most will never see in their lifetime. It is the most notorious point of maritime interest - Cape Horn. Cape Horn is where the Atlantic and the Pacific meet in what is called Drake's Passage. Even those who venture down here aren't lucky enough to view the horn. Rough seas, fog, rain, etc. usually keeps folks from venturing near the horn. We were lucky. The seas were surprisingly calm and the skies were clear. The captain maneuvered us within 2 nautical miles of the horn. I have some great pictures of it.

It's just a rock island, but it is the last point in the Americas. Very cool. One woman on the trip said she saw where the Atlantic meets the Pacific, but since it was so calm, I never saw the point.

Yesterday was a day at sea and thus a day of relaxation. I read a book, I slept in, I watched a movie, etc. Today was another day at sea and I decided to splurge and have a massage. Boy was that nice. The weather has been spectacular on the way to the Falklands. Calm seas and clear blue skies. Usually this can be the most treacherous waters on the trip and some ships have to change course and skip the Falklands. Not us. The birds have been circling the ship all day. The Atlantic is a gorgeous blue hue. Tomorrow is the Falklands. My massage therapist told me the best place to go and get English fish and chips in port tomorrow after my penguin tour.

Dinner is in an hour so I better go meet folks for cocktails.

Friday, December 28, 2007

El fin del mundo (the end of the world)

No, I'm not talking about the REM song, but the city of Ushuaia, Argentina which is known as the end of the world (el fin del mundo). This is the last city on the south american continent and is only 1000 kilometers north of Antarctica. To give you an idea of where we are, sunset last night was 10:15 and sunrise was 4:55am. This morning, on our way to Ushuaia, we navigated through the Beagle Channel, the southern boundary of Tierra del Fuego. We were told that to view the glaciers in the channel, we would need to be up b/w 4 and 6. I set my alarm for 4:30 and ran upstairs to view the sunrise and the glaciers. I pretty much missed the glaciers, except for a couple I saw last night (nothing like College Fjord or Glacier Natl Park in Alaska), and the sunrise was not as spectacular as I would have hoped considering the cloud formations in the sky.
I thought I was going to keel over that early in the morning. After about an hour, I went back to room and slept for a couple more hours. Good thing my excursion today was a late one.

Today I took a catamaran east on the Beagle Channel to a rock outcropping with tons of birds and sea lions on it. Got some great pictures. The views from the channel were gorgeous.
Some on the trip were likening Ushuaia to places in Norway. Here you have the water and then gorgeous peaks w/ snow and ice on them. After heading to the sea lions, we went to Tierra del Fuego National Park and drove around.
I eventually had time to shop in town for an hour or so. Ended up purchasing a couple t-shirts, including a shirt for Alex of the train at the end of the world, and other stuff. There was some gorgeous jewelry, but none that grabbed me like the necklace I bought yesterday.

On a side note, Dad might get a kick out of this. So, I lost my NetJets hat on the way to the ship on Saturday. It hasn't shown up in lost and found, so it's basically a goner. Today, as we were waiting for our excursion to be called, I noticed a man near the stage (we were in the theater) w/ a navy baseball hat and the initials QS on the side. Well, I thought that was my hat, so I ran down to bust the guy. Turns out it was a Marquis Jet hat, and that I know wasn't mine since it was still in my bag. The guy wasn't a client and didn't know much about the company, having received the hat from his wife. Turns out his wife (Bonnie) works at White Plains airport. He introduced me, and she had nothing but raving reviews for NetJets and the work they do w/ transporting kids for cancer. So, that's my NetJets hat story for the day.

Tomorrow, we really go to the end of the world and the South American continent when we round the horn (Cape Horn), one of the most famous maritime landmarks in the world, and cross from the Pacific to the Atlantic oceans. Hopefully the seas will be calm so we can hang out and get a bunch of pictures. After that, we have 2 days at sea until we land in the Falkland Islands on 12/31.

Good news is I'm feeling better. I still have a cough, but I'm not as congested as I was before. I now have 2 days to really rest and relax after having 2 days ashore. Amazingly, in those 2 days, I took over 500 pictures!!!!! Don't worry, I'll weed thru them before I send them out! Adios!

Thursday, December 27, 2007


Um, do you think I saw penguins today? Well, actually, I saw a TON OF PENGUINS today. 140,000 to be exact!

We arrived in Punta Arenas this morning around 7 am and caught a tender into town. We then hopped a ferry and after a 1.5 hour ferry ride (w/ penguin sitings in the water itself), we landed on Magdalena Island where there are 70,000 breeding pairs of Magellan penguins on the island. There are no structures on the island other than a lighthouse in the center. The penguins were all over. We were confined to a path, but the penguins came up to us, crossed in front of us, etc. It was really neat. Let's just say that my camera got a lot of activity. There were baby penguins (which are quite big) and 1 year old penguins along w/ the parents.

They live in burrows and return to these burrows every year to lay their eggs and get their young ready for the water. I had to have taken over 200 pictures! But, don't worry, I will weed out many of the pics and only forward you the pics that are the best. When I get back I'll try to post some of the pics on here. For now, I don't have that ability. Just click on the links in earlier posts for info on these penguins. [ok so I added these after the fact . . .]

Last night I skipped dinner and planned to go to bed early. Instead, I stayed up in the buffet area drinking tea and watching our progress thru the Strait of Magellan. When we first entered, we couldn't see a thing, but eventually the fog lifted and we could see what we were travelling thru. I managed to spot 2 receding glaciers along the way. Eventually, I went back and crashed. I'm still feeling under the weather, but now it's in my chest - almost gone. Of course, I spent the entire ferry ride there and back out on deck so that didn't help. I'm ready to crash now. Heading up to get some miso soup, tea and chill out for a bit.

On our way back to the ship, I got off the bus in the center of Punta Arenas and walked around the main square for bit looking at different handicrafts. Wasn't particularly impressed, especially since I can now knit most of what they were selling. I did manage to find myself at a fine craft shop across the way that had lapis. I hadn't planned to buy much, maybe a ring or something. Well, what they had was beautiful. I walked out w/ a simple wrap ring w/ 2 lapis stones and a GORGEOUS choker necklace w/ lapis, a mineral version of lapis and serpentine. I don't know how to describe it other than to take a picture of it for you. I hadn't planned to spend much, but when something grabs you, you've got to go w/ it.

Tomorrow is Ushuaia. My goal is to wake up before dawn (sunrise is at 5am) to see the glaciers and to take pics of the sunrise. Unfortunately, we pass the glaciers on the way into port and not on the way out. My other reason for going to bed early I guess. All in the name of nature and pictures! It's not like I don't have 10 more days on the ship and 2 more weeks of vacation!

Here's a funny tidbit. My phone has been searching for service since I arrived in Chile, but it manages to give me the correct time and date. Last night, in the strait of Magellan, the end of the world, my phone buzzes telling me I have a text message and that I now have service. How odd. Of course, the service is gone when I'm in port and I don't plan to use it, but I thought it was comical.

Until next time . . .

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

At sea today

Wow, the internet connection on the ship sucks! Unbelievable. Takes me forever to load up a page and then with that, I pay an arm and a leg. Sheesh! Can't even remember when I posted last. I believe I posted about Santiago, but can't remember if I posted about Puerto Montt so if I did, here's some repetition.

We were in Puerto Montt Christmas Eve. I was on a full day tour of the Chilean Lake District, including the Petrohue Falls, Emerald Lake (Lago Todos Los Santos), Mount Osorno, Puerto Varas, etc. The falls were gorgeous. B/c we had clear skies we had great views of the falls and the volcanic peaks in the background.

The big black flies were annoying, but tolerable. From there, we went to the Emerald Lake, which is part of a lake/land passage into Argentina. Puerto Varas is a cute little lakeside town. We had lunch in a quaint restaurant and then walked around for a bit. They had lots of handicrafts, but none that I was particularly interested in. On the way back we stopped at the fish market for a tour. Instead of going in and smelling the fish, Amy and I walked around some of the little shops. I ended up purchasing a Lapis necklace and a pair of lapis earrings to match. Apparently, Chile and Afghanistan are the only places that Lapis comes from so I definitely wanted to buy some while I was here. I love that stone.

Yesterday was a day at sea along w/ cruising the Chilean fjords. We woke up to cloudy, foggy weather which was quite cold. I went to a program Amazing Journeys put on that was a group game of sorts. Afterwards, I ate lunch upstairs and then sat out on the back deck to read and get some sun. Eventually, the sun actually came out and was quite warm. Around 4 pm, we entered the fjords, and I don't have to tell you that I took a LOT of pictures! It really was beautiful. Similar to Alaska's inside passage, but on the other side of the world!

Dinner last night was a trip. I sat at yet another table (we have 8-10 tables we can sit at) with a larger group tonight. The man sitting next to me, Joey, was a bit toasted from 4 appletinis at the cocktail hour. Well, he was definitely in livened spirits. He serenaded the table all through dinner. Sometimes we'd all chip in, but then we'd feel bad for others sitting next to us. It really was a lot of fun. Afterwards, the group went to the coffee bar to hear this guitar player who has a large list of songs to request and sing a long with.

Unfortunately, my roommate was sick at the beginning of the cruise and passed it on to me. My head feels like it's going to explode. Luckily, today is another day at sea so I can rest and drink lots of tea. Already it's starting to move to my chest which means it should be gone soon. I plan to order room service tonight and watch some movies.

The weather today is cruddy. Clouds, fog, rain. We supposedly entered the Strait of Magellan around 4, and I'm sure we did b/c it's much calmer than it was earlier in the day; however all I see is grey.

Tomorrow is Punta Arenas and the penguins. Hopefully the weather will be a little better. We were lucky the first few days w/ lots of sun. Guess it's better to be under the weather when the weather isn't so great. We've already had 3 seas days and 1 day at port so I'm getting antsy to be doing something. With the ship rocking so much, the gym isn't much of an option and walking the jogging track is tough in the wind. So I'm psyched to move around again tomorrow. We have 2 port days in a row - yippee! I hope to post about the penguins tomorrow. Until then, hasta luego!

Sunday, December 23, 2007


Hi, everyone! I made it to SA safe and sound on Friday afternoon. We landed a bit late b/c the cleaning crew in Miami arrived late to clean the plane. Whatever. A pretty uneventful flight. I managed to sleep, albeit fitfully, w/ my ambien and my window seat. My bags arrived with no issues, so that was a relief. When we arrived at the hotel, we grabbed some food (arroz con pollo) while we waited for our rooms to be ready. Once they were ready, I headed out w/ 2 guys that were on my bus, David (Denver) and Harry (MD), to walk around Santiago. We walked about 1 mile to a cable car (mini gondola, but w/ no window to open for ventilation) that took us to the top of Cerro San Cristobal, which has beautiful views of the city.
The views of the Andes surrounding Santiago were obstructed by the haze that sits over the city from air pollution. Kind of like the brown cloud in Denver. From the top, we then took the funicular down to the bottom and caught a cab back to the hotel.

You will be very impressed w/ my rudimentary Spanish. I managed to have an entire conversation w/ the cab driver in SPANISH! Those language tapes were great! Friday night we had a group dinner at a Chilean restaurant under the stars. It was really nice.

Saturday, we woke up early for a quick bus tour of the city. We went to the Plaza de Armas, the pre-Columbian museum which had artifacts from the different indigenous populations in Central and South America, and the Constitution Plaza where Allende was assassinated and Pinochet came to power. Afterwards, we drove to Valparaiso and the ship.

Check in was a breeze. No lines whatsoever. I had planned to drop my stuff in the room and walk around the city, but ended up bailing on that idea. Instead, I met some folks up on the patio off the buffet and had lunch and sat in the sun.

There are about 65 folks in our group. It seems more on the older side than the younger side. A good deal of folks in their 50s I would say. Still, there's a decent number of younger women on the trip (not necessarily younger men). Everyone is very friendly and that's really all that matters. Amy didn't get into town until later and I finally saw her at the orientation for about 10 minutes. Dinner was assigned seating last night.

So we took off at dinner time. Midway thru dinner the ship started rocking and continued to rock. I went back to my room and grabbed the sea bands Katie recommended and they have been great! No nausea! I went to the show (lame welcome show) and then went back to unpack. The ship was rocking like crazy last night and the drawer in the closet kept banging the door, so I didn't have the best sleep last night. My cabin steward fixed it today so it should be better tonight.

Today, I tried to walk on the jogging track but it was too windy. Instead, I went to the gym and tried the treadmill. Not a good idea on a rocking ship. I abandoned that idea and ended up on the elliptical since you can still move your arms while holding on. I had lunch w/ the group and then hung out on the pool deck in the sun. It's cool and windy, but in the sun it wasn't so bad. Tomorrow is our first port, so I'm looking forward to that!

Friday night, I ran into 2 guys from the states in the lobby. They were a trip down memory lane in a sense. The guy asks if I'm American, and I say yes. He asks where I'm from and I tell him. W/out missing a beat, he cries out "Fuck yeah!" and does a handshake/chest butt thing and tells me he's from Westchester, PA. He then proceeds to ask me if I have any weed. Um, hello? Do I look like I would have that. I think not. Anyway, long story short, somehow we get to talking about school and he was in Boulder when I was at CU. Very random contact that I tried to ditch as quickly as possible. Afterwards, I was in a coffee shop and the owner was a really nice Israeli guy that married a Chilean woman. It was nice talking w/ him.

About the ship: The room seems much smaller than Princess and the balcony is a good 5 feet shorter. The bathroom, however, is much larger. The shower is probably double the size of the Princess showers. You could comfortably fit 2 adults in it! Dinner last night was very good. The decor is much darker. I'm not thrilled w/ the buffet lunch or breakfast. Not many healthy choices or non-mayo type things. It's more entree type food and that's not what I want for lunch. Still, what I have had is not bad. The theater is nice and open. It's a little more of a maze to find the shops and rooms and such, whereas Princess was a little more straight and everything was off the main corridor. Tonight I'll be checking out the Martini Bar before dinner. I've heard it's excellent! I guess I'll finally have to try one.

Ok, that's enough babbling for now. The Internet is hit or miss at the moment b/c it's a satellite connection. I'll try to get back on tomorrow after we get back from port. If not, I'll touch base later. Adios!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Woo Hoo!!!!!

I am almost out of here and I can't wait! I believe I have now packed up everything and could still fit a little in my suitcase. I'm sure I will forget something. I'm planning to bring an extra NetJets bag to transport purchases on the way home. From all the excitement, I'm actually wiped out and could use a nap right now. That's a good sign that I'll sleep on the plane, right? So far I have a middle seat down to Miami, but a window to Santiago. I'm headed to the airport early to hopefully get a better seat. Cross your fingers.

Well, for now, hasta luego! La vez próxima de Chile! (next time from Chile)

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The rest of the itinerary

So I leave in less than 48 hours and as is typical Robin fashion, I am blowing off the final details until the last minute. Instead of coming home and packing and hemming (yeah, you read that right) these pants I got, I had to go out and socialize. I'm toying w/ going to the gym after work tomorrow, but I know if I do, I won't do squat when I get home. Why am I such a procrastinator????

Ok, here's more details on the different ports of call.

Falkland Islands
We'll be docked at the Falkland Islands on New Year's Eve. Most have heard of the Falklands War, when Argentina invaded the Falkland Islands in 1982 in an attempt to reclaim them from the British. It failed miserably. Now, the Falklands are part of the cruise circuit because of its diverse penguin populations. The Falklands are home to five different species of penguins, including the King, Gentoo, Rockhopper, Macaroni and Magellanic. I did not sign up for the coveted Volunteer Point excursion, but instead signed up for a half-day tour of the bluff cove rookery where there are mainly magellanic penguins and a few breeding pairs of kings. This way I'll have the rest of the day to check out the town of Stanley and maybe have some fish and chips in the local pub.

Puerto Madryn
Puerto Madryn is about the same latitude as Puerto Montt, but is much more barren. Here, the big attraction is eithe Punto Tombo or Peninsula Valdes. I will be heading to Peninsula Valdes to view elephant seals, sea lions, and maybe the southern right whale. We'll be there at the end of the whales breeding period so they may have moved on by the time we get there. Then again, with global warming, they may still be there . . . Oh, and Mom, in looking at the info on Wikipedia, it looks like Peninsula Valdes is in the Chubut Province which is where those sunrises on Discovery might be from.

This area was settled by Welsh and south of Puerto Madryn is a town called Gaiman where you can have afternoon tea and hear Welsh being spoken. I won't be there, but I thought it was an interesting tidbit.

Punta del Este
Punta del Este is known as the riviera of South America. This is where all of South America's elite "summers." I'll be taking a tour of the city, going to an art museum, and visiting Casapueblo, a hotel and the home of Uruguayn artist Carlos Páez Vilaró. Afterwards, I hope to park myself at a spot on the beach and soak up some summer sun.

This is our last port on the cruise. Montevideo happens to house the ONLY holocaust memorial in South America. We will be there on a Saturday and Amazing Journeys has organized a tour of Jewish Montevideo, including services at a Sephardic synagogue (Turkish origin). We will tour the Jewish district, the Holocaust Memorial, and learn more about the Jewish culture of the city. It should be very intersting.

Buenos Aires
I will be staying here overnight before heading off into the jungle. We'll do a tour of the city, with hopefully some time to find some cheap, custom-made leather jackets, and then a tango show that evening.

Iguazu Falls
The next day, we'll be flying to Iguazu Falls, the 2nd largest falls in the world. Here, we'll tour the falls from both the upper and lower circuits and take a jungle boat tour. Our hotel is right inside the park w/ views of the falls. I then went thru a HUGE hassle to get a Brazilian visa so I could take a 4-hour tour to view the other side of the falls. The Brazilian side is known for its unobstructed views of Garganta del Diablo (Devil's Throat).

I know, it's a jam-packed almost 3 days. I will fly from Iguazu back to Argentina, transfer from the domestic airport to the international airport, and take a red-eye home thru Miami. I can't believe this trip is almost here. I hope you enjoy all the links b/c there was no way I was going to type in all the info from those sites!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Details . . .

I got back earlier today from a quick trip to DC to get my hair cut. I know, I know, but he gives me a really great cut. I got to see Maria for a brief lunch, which was great. Alex (my niece) looked great in the sweater I made her. When my sister sends me the picture, I will post it b/c it really is just too cute.

12/21 - Santiago
12/22 - Santiago/Valparaiso
12/23 - At sea
12/24 - Puerto Montt, Chile
12/25 - Cruising the Chilean fjords
12/26 - Cruising Straits of Magellan
12/27 - Punta Arenas, Chile
12/28 - Ushuaia, Argentina
12/29 - Rounding Cape Horn
12/30 - At sea
12/31 - Port Stanley, Falkland Islands
1/1 - At sea
1/2 - Puerto Madryn, Argentina
1/3 - At sea
1/4 - Punta del Este, Uruguay
1/5 - Montevideo, Uruguay
1/6 - Buenos Aires, Argentina
1/7-9 - Iguazu Falls, Argentina

Well, I promised that I would post a little more info about my trip aside from just the itinerary. My trip starts on Thursday evening when I fly down to Miami and then catch my connection to Santiago. It should be about an 8 hour red-eye from Miami to Santiago so I plan to sleep on the plane (with a little help from a friend name Ambien). I arrive around 9am and my tour group, Amazing Journeys will pick me up and transfer me to my hotel. I'll meet up with folks around noonish to walk around Santiago until the group officially meets up around 5:30 for dinner. On Saturday, we have a city tour of Santiago planned and then a 2-hour drive to the port in Valparaíso. Once in Valparaíso, I'll check-in at the ship and probably get right off so I can walk around the quaint town of Valparaíso. Valparaíso is known for it's coastal location, ascensores (or inclined planes as we call them in Johnstown), Victorian architecture, etc. I believe the ship leaves around 11pm.

Puerto Montt

My first port of call is going to be Puerto Montt in Chile's Lake District. This area is known for it's volcanoes and lakes. I'll be taking a day-long excursion around Lake Llanquihe, Petrohue Falls, Lago Todos Los Santos (Emerald Lake) and to Volcán Osorno an active volcano that rises in the horizon like Mount Fuji. Let's just say that my camera will be getting a lot of action that day. They say that weather can be hit or miss at this time of year. If you time it on a sunny day, you have gorgeous views of the lake and the volcano. However, if it's an overcast day, the colors of the water are muted and the volcano is hidden in clouds. So, cross your fingers that it's a beautiful day!

Puntas Arenas

After a couple days cruising the Chilean Fjords, viewing the Skua Glacier, and navigating the Strait of Magellan, I arrive in Punta Arenas, the southernmost city in Chile. This city is the launching point for those who wish to travel to Antartica or those who wish to visit the famous Torres del Paine in Patagonia. Because it is a 2+ hour drive, I won't get to see it. Instead, I will be taking a trip to Magdalena Island, home to over 70,000 breeding pairs of Magellanic penguins. Supposedly, this is one of the best places to view these penguins up close. However, Punta Arenas is also known for it cold, dreary weather and intense winds. I'm sure the weather will be reminiscent of the weather we had in Glacier Bay National Park with the addition of 30-50 mile per hour winds! Yeah, I'll be bringing my wool hat, gloves, and 3-in-1 jacket!


After leaving Punta Arenas, we will arrive at our first port in Argentina - Ushuaia. Ushuaia is known as the end of the world b/c it is the southernmost city in the world. Ushuaia is part of Tierra del Fuego (land of fire), and is located on the Beagle Channel. Here's I will take a catamaran along the Beagle Channel and then tour thru Tierra del Fuego National Park. Supposedly the king crabs in this area are huge, so I hope to have time to try some out before heading back to the ship.

More to come about the other ports of call. For now, I'm off to bed.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

At this time one week from now . . .

I'll be on a plane to Miami and then to Santiago! Yippee!!!! I can't believe it's almost here. I believe I have everything I need, but knowing my luck, I'll be scrambling at the last minute to pack it all up. Tomorrow I'm off for a quick trip to DC so I can get my hair cut for the trip. I know, I know, I tried to find someone here in Philly, but she just messed it up. I'll try to find someone again when I get back. For now, I'm going to see someone who knows my hair and will give me a good cut.

The benefit of going to DC is I'll get to give Alex the sweater I made her and take pics of her in it. It is so cute. Also, Maria will be in town visiting her boyfriend so I'll get to see her as well! I'm planning to take the train to avoid the weather that will be moving in on Saturday. This week I've been trying to finish some of my projects before my trip and find others to take with me. To save space, I am going to attempt my first pair of socks. I'm not sure how into socks I am, but it will be a compact project and something to keep me busy on a 2-hour ride to see penguins.

Oh, and let's just say I'm glad that I'm not on the current cruise around the horn. Turns out when the ship was about to leave its first port at Montevideo, it was held up 24 hours due to the Norewegian cruise ship hitting a barge and debris in the channel. Looks like the ship is bypassing the Falkland Islands to make up time. What a bummer for those folks. Keep your fingers crossed that all will go well.

I'll come back over the weekend and post the different excursions I'm planning to go on.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Feeling Like Myself Again

Well, I was down for the count this week with a stomach bug. Not fun. All I could do was change the channel on the TV. I have tons to do before the trip, but I did absolutely nothing (no spanish tapes, no reading up on locations, etc.) but change TV channels. Now I'm feeling better and plan to maximize my time this weekend, if at all possible.

My personal trainer started her cardio challenge this week, so the chances of my winning the challenge are pretty slim considering I couldn't exercise all of this week. But, now that I'm feeling better I'm back to the gym tonight. No more being a slug for me!

Thanks for your comments on the hat. I'm really liking it and it was so quick. Now I'm thinking I need a scarf to go w/ it. But, that's for another day. For now I need to finish the Brigitta sweater I'm working on for my sweater class. Once that's done, I need to work on the gifts that will be arriving in 2008, since there's no way they'll make it for Hanukkah. Oops!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Still so much to do . . . .

I spent the weekend running around, getting things for my trip. Who knew that you needed so much stuff. Took me forever to research what type of plug adapter I needed for Argentina and whether I would need a transformer to convert the voltage so I wouldn't fry out my iPod or DVD player. Turns out most electronics are equipped with a voltage range and don't need a transformer. Phew!

I also realized that since it will be cold in the southern part of the continent, I need a hat. Of course, the idea of buying a hat now that I knit is absurd. So, I whipped up this cute hat with a pom-pom over the weekend. It should keep me nice and warm when the wind blows!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Just Getting Started

Well, since I'm getting ready to embark on a trip to South America, I figured I should learn how to do a blog. Not really sure how to add pics yet, but at least folks will be able to keep in touch while I'm on my trip and other things going on in life.