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Tropical

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A Purpose for Passports

Some people would be embarrassed to say they never left the United States in their first 50 years of life. Well not us. We were more than content to spend our vacations traveling throughout the countryside. Oh we both have crossed the borders of Canada and Mexico, but barely. Now our kids are a different story. We had made many trips to the airport to see one of them off, as they jetted away to some foreign land. Always on their return they would try to convince us to follow in their footsteps, but to no avail. This all changed for our 35th wedding anniversary. To make it special, we made the decision to take our first cruise, which gave us a purpose for passports.Continue reading

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Two Countries in One Day in St. Maarten

The island of St. Maarten/St. Martin is home to two different sets of residents. On one side you have the Dutch region, while the other half is French. The island received its name from Christopher Columbus during his second voyage. While it was claimed in the name of Spain, they considered it a low priority. On the other hand, the French and Dutch were both eager to possess it, and in the mid-1600’s signed a treaty splitting the island between them. A visit to this small island allows you to visit two countries in one day.

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See New Mix with Old in Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas USVI

Sitting just east of Puerto Rico, the US Virgin islands are part of the Caribbean chain of islands that lead toward South America. Our visit was a stopover on a seven day cruise, so we only had a few hours to explore this tropical paradise. Many ships port in Charlotte Amalie, the capital city of St. Thomas. This busy port city was once a haven for pirates, due to the protected harbor. These days it is a stop-over for about 1.5 million cruise ship visitors annually. Even though there were five ships in port on the day we visited, we never felt the area to be overcrowded.

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Enjoy the View at Paradise Point Tram

The harbor city of Charlotte Amalie sits inside of a sheltered cove. At either end of the city are docks that host cruise ships on a regular basis. Nearly 1.5 million visitors spend time in St. Thomas annually. The city has a wide assortment of attractions, and one of the most popular is the Paradise Point Tram on the edge of downtown. The aerial tramway is designed to haul visitors 700 feet above sea level to a lookout area on top.Continue reading

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Surfs Up at Cocoa Beach, Florida

This year we decided to spend our post-Thanksgiving taking a well-deserved trip. The plan was to make it a celebration of our 35th Anniversary, so a number that big needs a significant itinerary. We chose to start it with a couple days in the Cocoa Beach area. Our hopes were that some beach time would help us slow our pace from the everyday rushing that seems to permeate our lives. It always seems that the holidays add extra expectation to the already busy schedules.Continue reading