Well after many months of bleating we managed to get Garry to leave the boat for several weeks while we headed off to take advantage of the amazing travel bargains. Thanks to a secure marina and some great people to look out for the boat, we headed off on a belated honeymoon for seven days on the Norwegian Star, for a cruise through the inner passage of Alaska. What an amazing place and experience. We got waited on hand and foot; no cooking, dishes, navigating or winching. Bliss!!! The children got to experience snow for the first time and loved the unlimited choice of food. We managed to keep their schooling going, much to their annoyance, even if it was only a token effort at times. We spent sometime in Vancouver and Seattle and then drove to Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. We caught the ferry for a two hour trip to Duke Point, Nainamo to visit Garry's Uncle Ray and Aunty Hilary. The children felt immediately at home and enjoyed their warm hospitality. We were totally spoilt and enjoyed the many stunning sights of this lovely part of the world. Anastasia and Lisa went horse-riding through the forests with Ray and this will be one part of our trip that will always be remembered. Garry met his cousins, Natalie and Clarke for the first time and had not seen his uncle and aunt since he was eight years old. So this was a special trip for all concerned and we were sorry to say goodbye. We hope that the children may be inspired to make the journey back in years to come.
We drove back to Seattle and then flew to New York for four days of playing tourist. We braved the subway and caught the train from JFK airport to Manhattan Island. What the hotel lacked in glamour it made up for in location. We could walk outside the foyer and see the Empire State building. We spent the next few days walking throughout New York and would limp back to the hotel late at night. What an amazing and crazy city, so many people, but so much pollution! The beautiful weather followed us everywhere and it was quite warm in each place we visited. We saw the Empire State building, Statue of Liberty, Broadway, Madison Square Gardens and the Natural History Museum (which was a special favourite of the children). We visited the Seaport Maritime Museum where we toured "the Peking", which is a four-masted barque built in 1911 and was one of the last steel sail boats in service. Garry and I had both read the story of her voyages and so that was quite a meaningful experience for us. They also had the lighthouse ship "Ambrose" available for touring, again this was an amazing piece of history. We enjoyed a horse-carriage ride through Central Park and would walk through Time Square each night and found a great little deli where we would eat "New York" pizza. We managed to squeeze everything on our "wish list" into the four days we had, then caught the train down the East coast of the USA back to Florida. We passed through Baltimore and Washington DC and saw some of the landmarks. We travelled by Chesapeake Bay and saw many of the southern states. Amazing we crossed from one side of the country to the other and have now visited each corner. A fantastic and tiring trip and now we go back to preparing the boat for her sail home.