Category Archives: Travel

Cartagena, Columbia Part 1

Speaking of journey’s we certainly have had our share of adventure already. Our first day where we could get off the ship, we thought we would venture on foot from the port in Cartagena to the center of the old city. There are some famous land marks there and we heard some great cafes as well. It’s kind of interesting how the port areas in every country are clean and beautiful…. also very safe. When we disembarked the ship, we were greeted by ladies with giant bowls of fruit resting on their heads. I’ve never seen such colorful fruit in my whole life. It’s so hard to describe the reds and pinks of the melons. They were much brighter and more vibrant than any flowers from my garden at home. As we walked from the ship to the actual port stores it was super humid and about 99 degrees. I felt as if I was melting.

Greetings from the Coral Princess

We have almost made it through our first 10 day cruise in our 3 month assignment on board the Coral Princess. It’s been a bit of a challenge to get on the internet every day due to some of the training and scheduling required to work on board the ship. However, since we are now almost back to our turn around port in Ft. Lauderdale, I feel as if we are getting into the swing of things. We perform between 3 and 6 shows a day depending on if we are at sea or if we are in port. We’ve met so many wonderful people from far away lands and close to home too. It’s amazing how nice all the other crew members are on board. I guess though if you think about it, we’re all in this ship together and if everyone is polite and pleasant it does make for a better journey.

Getting to know our way around the ships corridors for the first few days were a bit challenging. It seemed like just when I thought I knew which way was up I would get turned around. But after a bit, I started to figure out the little tricks to know which stairwells lead to what areas. I still have some paths to work out, but over all, I really think I’ve gotten the critical routes down.

Yesterday, while I went for a walk on the promenade – also known as deck 7 – I saw an amazing school of dolphins playing in the waves at the bow. I have never seen so many dolphins not even on tv. It was exciting to watch them jump, flip and play with each other. It was very exhilarating to see them. It made me want to jump in and join them. (Obviously I did not!) I wish I had my camera, but I think that I will have plenty of opportunities to see them along the way.

I’ll be posting more frequently from our journeys now that I have figured out how the scheduling works, how to get online on the ship and what ports have good internet access in cafe’s.

Hope everyone is doing well out there.
We love and miss you.
Melissa & Jake

New Orleans or Bust

In January, Jake & I got the itch to make a drive from Detroit to Austin via Nashville, New Orleans and Memphis. We love to travel, see the country. We don’t mind riding in the car too much. Guess it’s the gypsy musician in us.

We drove I-69 South from Nashville on through Birmingham, Alabama and then South on I-59 through Meridian, Mississipi and eventually across Lake Ponchatrain to the Big Easy. Now we should have been able to travel the whole distance between Nashvile and NOLA in what would have been about 8 hours… since our end goal was to get to there in time for dinner. However, we had a little incident in Northern Alabama at a truck stop. Someone lifted Jake’s cell phone and then Sprint sent us on a wild goose chase thinking we might actually be able to “locate” the phone. FYI: if you want to use the “gps locator” function on your phone, you actually have to approve a text message saying, turn on the locator service before you can actually locate the phone. (You would think the fine customer service folks at Sprint would know how their services actually work.) Yet I digress….

New Orleans

So, across the never ending bridges we cruised into a twinkling skyline of New Orleans. I know why they call it the Big Easy, cause it’s a big easy place to loose yourself in. 🙂

Jake Tobias Jackson Square New Orleans

We found our hotel, the Place d’Armes, in no time. It is a ghost of a place with a traditional New Orleans style inner courtyard with a nice fountain and small pool. They have a great continental breakfast in the morning with fresh fruit, coffee and pastries. The rooms are a bit small, but nothing compared to some places we’ve stayed in Europe. Our room had a queen size bed, desk, lounge chair and a separated bath and sink area. The hotel was within walking distance of all the tourist spots in the French Quarter and off the corner of Jackson Square. I picked it because of it’s proximity to Cafe Du Monde. I had been dying for a Cafe Au Lait since I had my first one there in 1998.

Melissa Behring Cafe Du Monde New Orleans

Chicago-land

We spend alot of time traveling around the Midwest and Chicago happens to be one of our favorite cities. Our most recent trip had us staying in Lincoln Park at the Days Inn on Diversey. It’s an excellent little hotel that has recently been remodeled. The staff was friendly and attentive. Included with your room is a free continental breakfast in the morning. Theirs starts nice and early around 6:30 and goes until 11 am… so plenty of time to sleep in and still get in on those free waffles.

Days Inn Lincoln Park Chicago
Days Inn Lincoln Park Chicago

We like the Lincoln Park neighborhood as there are lots of unique small shops and nice restaurants to eat at. The Days Inn is on the corner by a couple great shoe stores, a Starbucks and a Panara. About a mile away near Halstead and Armitage is the Cafe Babareeba tapas restaurant where we met up with our good friend Toya for a bite. We enjoyed a pitcher of the white sangria, some of the Calamaris ala plancha and laughed until the wee hours.

Cafe Babareeba
Cafe Babareeba