Travel

Cirque du Soleil – Toruk in KC

As stated in my previous post, we went to Kansas City over the weekend to see Toruk (Cirque) at the Sprint Center. Great venue, but the show wasn’t the greatest in my opinion. This was the sixth Cirque show that we’ve seen. We’ve seen a mix of traveling shows like Toruk, Corteo, Totem, Kooza, etc. and we’ve seen stationary shows in Las Vegas; like Ka, O, and Mystere. Toruk was based off of the movie Avatar. The set was nice and the story was great, but it missed the mark on the “Wow” factor. The acrobatics were not up to par with the other shows; again, my own opinion. While flash photo was not permitted, the ushers said we were allowed to take pictures and video, so we have a few pictures to share. During the show, they also promoted the audience to download their app. The app allowed for audience participation, which was neat. I’ll leave it at that, you’ll have to go see it in person to get more than that! Enjoy it for yourself…

Torrey Pines Drone Shots

On a recent trip to Southern California, I packed up the Phantom 3 Professional and brought it out there with me for the week. I ended up getting a few great shots while I was there. The terrain is so much different than the mid-west. It’s really flat here in Iowa, so when I have the chance to explore the mountains or the beaches from the air – I can’t pass it up! This shot was from the Amtrak construction underway, reconstructing the bridge through the lagoon near Torrey Pines. The rail line is still active, as a few trains went by me that afternoon. I tried to get some shots of the train, but it just didn’t work out that day.

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Torrey Pines Lagoon

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Amtrak Construction – Torrey Pines

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Torrey Pines – Looking South

Our East Coast Vacation, September 2015

We had a wonderful, one week vacation on the East Coast. It was packed full of adventure, new places to visit and see every day. I’m looking forward to (hopefully) a relaxing October to get caught up on pictures, and sleep! We spent time with family, toured parts of New Haven and East Haven, visited our Canadian friends who drove down to meet us in Saratoga Springs NY, spent a day in Newport RI at the Breakers and the mansions along the coast, and we ran around Manhattan for a day visiting Central Park, the 9/11 Memorial, the Empire State Building, Times Square and more (phew, was that a run-on sentence?).

I have a ton of pictures and some videos to share, so stay tuned. I’ll post those in separate posts next to break things out a bit. Since my Manhattan photos are done, I’ll start with those.

We arrived home to Fall harvest here in the Mid-West. The combines are out in the fields harvesting corn, the heat and humidity is gone, and we are really enjoying this perfect Fall weather. Stay tuned for some local harvest pictures as well.

Nassau, Bahamas

The final stop on our 8 Day Carnival Breeze cruise, in March 2015, was Nassau Bahamas. This was our first time to the Bahamas, let alone Nassau, and we really enjoyed it. The beaches were nice, but packed. Atlantis was always something we had seen on commercials so that was neat to see in person. The beaches are all public, so you can use the beach at Atlantis, but you have to pay to enter the property. From what we gathered, the day pass is around $140 bucks and that gives you access to their facilities onsite. We might try to plan another trip there in the future, we’ll see.

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Old San Juan, PR, 2015

When we did the Southern Caribbean cruise on the Carnival Victory in 2012, we spent a few days in Old San Juan before the cruise since our ship left from there. It gave us a chance to really explore the area on foot. We toured the forts, ate the local fare, and enjoyed some nightlife – wandering the streets of downtown in the late hours. We walked miles and miles over the course of three days. This time, while stopping here on the Carnival Breeze, we had a day to hit the streets and explore. We walked a few of the side streets, headed up to one of the forts, took some pictures over the ocean, and headed back to the ship. It wasn’t too exciting, but we didn’t have big plans for this port. Old San Juan is a great place to visit and I highly recommend staying there for a few days if you get the chance. Lots of old culture, great food, and really nice people. Just be aware of your surroundings because there are some ‘unsafe’ areas – but Old San Juan is generally safe from what we’ve gathered throughout our travels here. A few pictures from this year’s visit :

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Antigua, 2015

Our second stop on the Carnival Breeze was in Antigua; our first time here. We decided to do like we did in St. Lucia a few years ago, find a trustworthy driver and pay them to give us a personal tour for a few hours. It was a great day and I’m glad that we decided to do that. We toured through some of the rural areas and up into the hills to see some amazing views of the ocean and bays below. One memorable area was Nelson’s Dockyard, we saw it from above and then ventured down into the area. We left thinking it would be a great place to spend a week on vacation some time. Definitely on our bucket list! A few photos from Antigua :

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St. Thomas, 2015

After departing Miami on the Carnival Breeze, we had two days at sea. We really enjoy the sea days because it’s an opportunity to explore the ship, relax in the sun, enjoy our balcony, and get the vacation rhythm going. Our first stop was St. Thomas, which we were excited to re-visit. Our previous trip to St. Thomas was a few years ago and we enjoyed spending the day at Coki Beach, where I snorkeled and we drank frozen rum drinks on the beach. Since it was such a success in 2012, we decided to do the same thing this time; again a success. The ocean water here is crystal clear, with white sand beach and a ton of fish! Here’s the little snorkel video that I made, although I made it on a whim on our trip. I’ll have to go through the rest of my video and knock out a better one soon!

 

Carnival Breeze, 2015

This year’s cruise was an 8 Day Caribbean aboard the Carnival Breeze. This was our first time on the Breeze and we really enjoyed it! This was also our first time in an Ocean Suite (Room 7379) and the extra space sure was nice. We had four stops on this cruise, two old and two new; and three sea days. Stops included St. Thomas, San Juan P.R., Antigua, and Nassau / Bahamas. New food options included Guy’s Burger Joint (which was awesome), Fat Jimmy’s C-Side BBQ (on C-Days), and the Konichi Wa Sushi Restaurant ($$). We tried them all and loved each one. The upgrades on this ship were great, but we were not thrilled with the American Table and American Feast dinner changes. Service was great though, and in typical Carnival fashion they managed to make our trip an overall excellent experience. Now we look forward to the Carnival Vista in 2016. Here are some pictures from this year’s trip :

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San Juan Puerto Rico

In August of 2012, we spent a few days in Old San Juan before our first Caribbean Cruise on the Carnival Victory. San Juan was an amazing place to visit, chalked full of history and  most of the forts and sights within walking distance. On our next cruise, in a few weeks, we will be spending a day back in Old San Juan. This time, we hope to visit the cemetery and some of the hidden sights that we missed the first time around. If you have the opportunity to visit, I would recommend staying downtown Old San Juan at the Sheraton; especially if you are taking a cruise because it is across the street from the port. Check out some of the local fare; the dining is amazing and the nightlife is poppin. There are a couple of forts ran by the National Park Service, still in tact and full of history. We walked all over the place, especially the old downtown with the convent, the shops, and the little restaurant bars where you can pop in and rest. Here are some pictures from 2012 – I’ll have more from 2015 soon!

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