January 4, 2017
Paul Groves

Our Starting Point–Ft. Lauderdale



This has been a great trip. Just a little turbulence near the end of the trip on Virgin America, but otherwise a very smooth trip. We were met at the airport by the Holland America people and transported to the Harbor Beach Marriott Hotel. This is a beautiful place. I’m hoping to see the sunrise in a few minutes. Last night, we could see a cruise ship in the distance in the dark. We think it must be the ms Amsterdam.

January 3, 2017
Paul Groves

On Our Way…Finally


Here we are at LAX. We got here in plenty of time to sit and have a leisurely breakfast at Gladstone’s LAX overlooking the airplane loading zone. We had TSA Precheck today so everything was smoooooth. What a great way to begin our trip.

January 2, 2017
Paul Groves

Ready to Go


OK, we are about as ready as we are going to be. Our bags are packed. We’ve checked in at the airlines. We have friends watching the house. Valuables have been put in storage. We’ve got our shots, our passports, our visas, our clothes, our medications, our computers… everything. Our neighbor will give us a ride to the Flyaway tomorrow morning. Can’t wait!

December 30, 2016
Paul Groves

The Amsterdam–my classroom


This ship will be our home for the next four months. It seems incredible to spend so much time away from home. This ship holds 1,300 passengers which is not like the larger ship (the NCL Jewel) we were on for our tips to Mexico and to Alaska that held 2,350 passengers. I like the idea of the smaller, more intimate ship. I’m hoping to make some new friends as well as see the world.

I view this trip as a class rather than a vacation. I know a lot about chemistry and teaching chemistry, but I really know very little about the World. I will blog about the lessons I learn in each port and between stops as well. We always talk about being lifelong learners… here’s an amazing opportunity to be one.

December 30, 2016
Paul Groves

Ron’s Dream Excursion


We just found out that there will be an excursion to Angkor Wat in Cambodia. Ron really wanted to visit this temple complex, but was told earlier that it wouldn’t fit into this cruise’s itinerary. Ron is signed up and ready to go!

Ron is interested because of the immense temple complex and impressive structures. Paul is excited because Angkor Wat showed up in Indiana Jones and Laura Croft Tomb Raider.

November 10, 2016
Paul Groves

Change of Itinerary (a good one)

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We just found out that there has been a small change in our cruise destinations. We will now be visiting Athens, Greece! Wow. We are very excited to have a chance to see the ancient and amazing sites and sights.

October 29, 2016
Paul Groves

Midweek Visit to Disneyland

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Ron and I made a visit to Disneyland on a Wednesday… because we could. We were celebrating a little because we just had new passport photos taken at AAA and sent off the applications for our tourist visas for China and India. Whew. Disneyland was decorated for Halloween. As the day wore on, we saw more and more people in costume, some of them were very clever. The special Halloween night began at 6:00 p.m. We were on our way home by then.

October 20, 2016
Paul Groves

Holland America Grand Voyage 2017

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People ask about the ports we will visit on our Around-the-World Cruise in 2017. Here is a nice image that shows it all. The adventure begins January 4, 2017.

October 20, 2016
Paul Groves

Hand-cut Pappardelle with Butternut Squash Pesto

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Besides fettuccine, we made a hand cut pasta called pappardelle. This was tossed with a roasted butternut squash and pesto mixture with hazelnuts instead of pine nuts and parsely & sage instead of basil. Yum!

October 20, 2016
Paul Groves

Pasta Sauce

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The sauces we made to go with the pasta were simple and tasty. Ron is stirring a lemon cream sauce with salmon. This was mixed with the fettuccine we made.