The Reflection is a relatively new ship, so we thought we would check it out on a one week Caribbean cruise. It has become one of our favorite ships . All the shipboard facilities were nice, we’ll laid out and tastefully decorated. Plus, there was some truly great at work on display. And of course the food was excellent, and we had a beverage package so we didn’t go thirsty either.
Or cruise took us to Cozumel, Grand Cayman, Jamaica, and an unexpected stop in Nassau. The last stop was added to replace our planned stopover in Coco Cay, as there was a major storm in that area. No one seemed to mind.
It was fun to travel with our friends (Les and Ida Cook), we made sure to get enough to eat, and got some nice photo opportunities. Below are a few, and many more in out Flickr album.
We do a lot of cruising, but never on Norwegian. So when we saw a very low price on a cruise from Houston, we decided to give “freestyle cruising” a try. Especially since they offered upgraded dining.
The ship was the Jade, and we had an inside cabin. It was small, but for our purpose just fine. The room attendant was attentive and did a nice job. The wood finish looked quite rich and attractive. Our only complaint was location, right above one of the night clubs, made for noisy evenings.
The food was very good, especially the upgraded dining. No problems there, although the open dining can get quite busy. The one problem we did have was that the Asian restaurant used MSG, which Romola is allergic to. So we skipped that restaurant.
Overall though, we enjoyed the ship and her crew.
Our next stop with the Traveling Supremes was Wagoner, OK. From here, we visited the Will Rogers Museum and the Cherokee Nations Heritage site.
William Penn Adair “Will” Rogers (1879 – 1935) was an American cowboy, vaudeville performer, humorist, newspaper columnist, social commentator and stage and motion picture actor. He became one of the most famous American media stars during the 1920s and 1930s.
Known as “Oklahoma’s Favorite Son”, Rogers was born to a prominent Cherokee Nation in Indian Territory (now part of Oklahoma). He traveled around the world three times, made over 70 movies, wrote more than 4,000 newspaper columns, and became a world-famous figure. By the mid-1930s, he was the leading political wit of his time, and was the top-paid Hollywood star. Rogers died in 1935 with aviator Wiley Post when their small airplane crashed in northern Alaska.
The Cherokee Heritage Center is a non-profit society and museum that preserves the historical and cultural artifacts, language, and traditional crafts of the Cherokee Indian. It consists of a museum that show the remarkable arts and crafts of Cherokee Nation, and gives a moving account of the “Trail of Tears”.
The Cherokee Nation removal in 1838 (the last forced removal east of the Mississippi) was brought on by the discovery of gold in Georgia, in 1829. The Cherokee were divided into thirteen groups, who were forcibly marched to the Indian Territory (now Oklahoma). Approximately 5,000 of the 16,500 relocated Cherokee perished along the way.
One of the more famous Cherokees was Andy Hartley Payne, the winner of the Trans American Footrace staged in 1928. He ran the 3,423.5 mile from New York to Los Angeles in 23 days averaging 6 miles per hour over an 84 day staged run.
We were also given an excellent tour of the restored village, and the way of Cherokee life. A very educational and interesting display.
If you don’t like museums, you definitely should visit the East Texas Oil Museum in Kilgore, TX. There isn’t much to read, instead you walk into history with some excellent exhibits and animated displays… including an elevator “ride” some 5,000 feet into the ground to view oil deposits on site.
The discovery of oil in the 1930’s had a major impact on this area in particular, and on the country in general. Our Traveling Supremes RV group had a rally in the area, and this certainly was a highlight. Very much recommended.
The next day we viewed the Tyler Rose Festival Parade. Tyler distributes about 75% of the roses in the United States, and has a major economic impact on the area. There were many marching bands, beautiful girls, automobiles, beautiful girls, colorful roses, beautiful girls… well, you get the idea. After the parade we visited the Tyler Rose Gardens and viewed the very elaborate center piece exhibits for the festivities.
The vacation is over, and we’re back in our motor home. In fact we are back in Lewisville for a few days. When we left, most of the park was flooded due to heavy rains. Now it is back to normal. But…… what’s with the weather? It’s been the mid 90’s all week….
All good things must come to an end, even a terrific trip like the one we have been on. So on our last day we managed to get in some final sights.
We walked to Athens First Cemetery, the most important cemetery in Athens. It is not the largest, but most prestigious. The cemetery is organized by family, with all family members buried in one area or crypt. Some of these were exceptionally elaborate. If you can’t take it with you, make a monument…
Our friend George and his lovely wife Angela made our last day most pleasant. First, he drove us near the top of Mount Lycabettus, the highest point in Athens at 300 meters (908 feet) above sea level. A great view from way up there made the last climb up worthwhile!
For a send of, George treated us to a fantastic lunch at a very local sea food restaurant near the seaside city of Pireas. The fish was fresh caught and superbly cooked. Great sendoff, George!
Now only have the trip back to contend with and then see if we can get life back to normal.
The Agora of Athens (also known as “Forums”) was the center of the ancient city: a large, open square where the citizens could assemble for a wide variety of purposes. On any given day the space might be used as a market, or for an election, a dramatic performance, a religious procession, military drill, or athletic competition. Here administrative, political, judicial, commercial, social, cultural, and religious activities all found a place together in the heart of Athens, and the square was surrounded by the public buildings (“Stoas”) necessary to run the Athenian government.
Later the Agora defined the open-air, often tented, marketplace of a city where merchants had their shops and where craftsmen made and sold their wares. Today, open-air markets are still held in that same location. There were confectioners who made pastries and sweets, slave-traders, fishmongers, vintners, cloth merchants, shoe-makers, dress makers, and jewelry purveyors. One of the Stoas (Stoa of Attalos) has been rebuilt just to show the size and complexity of the building. It now houses the Museum shops.