Driving south, cruisin’ west

road trip

Come on people now, smile on your brother. The Youngbloods’ Get Together plays on Sirius XM. Dad drives. Jane sits. I quietly peel a tangerine. It’s Christmas Eve and the December mid-afternoon sun creates dancing shadows. They play in the Sierra’s cab as we drive south: a trio of snowbirds, on the I-79.

The chorus plays. Jane quietly starts to sing along. I join in. Dad too.

We are on a road trip to Miami. Over the progression of the 12 hours of driving, and more specifically and shortly after we arrive in West Virginia, the weather is noticeably warmer. 17 degrees Centigrade in fact. Not that Niagara was that much cooler, but still. The thought of being in a sundress in less than a day thrills me.

As the day wears on, it’s becoming difficult to find a restaurant suitable to our needs that happens to be open. If there is a tier of fast food joints, we are looking for one that is closer to the top of the pyramid. Cracker Barrel? Nope. Bob Evans? Nope. Being that it is December 24, we may have forgotten that some places may want to shut down early and take the evening off. Wendy’s it is.

We are bedraggled and road-weary, yet we continue on into the late evening. A coffee is needed and the collective discusses whether or not we should drive an all-nighter. We choose sleep.

——

Why Miami? Because that’s where we board the Norwegian Escape on Boxing Day. Woot! No complaints here.

Shortly after getting back from Iceland, dad suggested we go on a trip. Next thing I know I’m packing ALL of my summer things into a suitcase. We jump in the truck and take the two days to drive to Miami, first for a visit with old family friends from our Saudi days, and then to pick up our fourth member of our group, Melissa.

December 26, we set sail and say farewell to Miami

View from our balcony

View of Miami from our balcony

Sail away

Sailing away

After two days (at sea) of lounging… and scrounging for lounge chairs, gorging our faces, making friends and drinking into the wee hours of the morn, we arrive at St. Thomas.

The boat... and Guy Harvey's (who?!) artwork

The boat… and Guy Harvey’s (who?!) artwork

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In search of a way off St. Thomas

Making our way to St. John

Making our way to St. John to snorkel

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The piece of land we briefly snorkeled around

December 30 we arrived at Tortola, an island a part of the British Virgin Islands, and one I hadn’t heard of until this trip. I also kept wanting to call it Tripoli – and a quick Google search tells me that Tripoli is the capital of Libya. Won’t make that mistake again.

Island showers and Tortola

Island showers, a double rainbow and Tortola

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We went on a tour with other cruisers, to explore a bit of the island. We learned that Robert Louis Stevenson based Treasure Island off of one of the smaller islands that surround Tortola.

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View of Treasure Island?

Our tour took us to the Callwood Distillery where we each did four shots of different kinds of rum… and awkwardly laughed at the lewd remarks made by the staff.

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Callwood Rum Distillery, Cane Garden Bay

Possibly 400 years old

Possibly 400 years old

Our tour ended at this beach with enough time to dip our toes in the clear water.

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Pretty scenery if you can picture it without any tourists

The 31st followed a full day at sea and was, likely, to be one of our most memorable New Years. Lord knows I’ve never partied on a massive boat in the middle of the Atlantic before.

January 1st was spent playing Frisbee and sleeping off the night before on a white sand beach at the Marriott in the Bahamas. Shout out to Henry our taxi driver!

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Saying farewell

And so, we had one last night spent aboard The Escape before we arrived in Miami.

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