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  • Writer's pictureRuth Mcbride

Hit the road Jack! (Er…I mean Newman!)

So guess what? Newman is gone! Yes. We did it! We pulled the trigger and sold our beloved Newman!

Newman has a new license plate and is almost ready to ’hit the road’.

There goes Newman…

Richard was away working in Vancouver when Newman left us. I almost had a tear in my eye watching him pull away!

And that is the last I saw of Newman!

We purchased Newman in June 2020 and what a time we had with him! We went everywhere with Newman. Ottawa, Quebec, Stouffville, Oshawa, Northern Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia, Vancouver Island, Fanny Bay, Washington State, Oregon, California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, and New York! WOW! And the old and new friends, and family we met along the way was a lot of fun! Shauna and Chris, Doug and Heather, Norm and Jo, Shirley and Wilbert, Joe and Berniece, Jim (from Fernie) and Dani, St Stephen and his lovely wife Karen, Kerry and Marc, Josh and Alicia, Ken and Curtis from Q. Beach, and Sarah-Anne, among many others.

And of course who could ever forget all of the 'trials and tribulations' we had owning a 2005 Newmar Dutchstar?!!! OMG!!!

After a few months now of not owning Newman is there anything we miss? We can’t really say actually because we’ve had such a busy summer with golfing, working and getting ready health wise for our next big adventure!

I’ve played a ton of golf this year in both Ontario and New York State. It’s been a lot of fun to actually be able to play a lot of very nice golf courses, with a lot of great people.

I also capped off this golf year by winning our Women’s Club Championship on Richard’s birthday at Bridgewater Country Club, in Fort Erie.

Club Championships on Sunday August 14, 2022 at Bridgewater Country Club, Fort Erie, Ontario.

I’ve still got quite a bit of competitive golf left for 2022 with a One Day Championship tournament next week at Cherry Hill Club in Fort Erie, a ‘4 Gal’ in Buffalo at Pendleton Creek, a ‘2 Gal’ in Buffalo at Orchard Park and finally the Champion of Champions for Niagara Golf Clubs at St. Catherines Golf Club on Saturday September 24th. It has been such a treat this year to be retired, the border to be open for vaccinated travelers and being able to play in the full slate of Women’s Buffalo District Golf Association events, as well as the Women’s Golf Association of Western New York events.

Richard unfortunately has not been able to play much golf this summer due to the fact he had a 5 mm tear in his meniscus in his right knee. After returning from Florida in April our priority was to figure out what was wrong with his knee. He went for an MRI in Buffalo a week after we returned to Canada and the MRI revealed the tear. Waiting to see an orthopedist was his fate for most of the summer, but fortunately he was able to get his knee scoped this week and he is now ‘on the mend’.

Richard is using the ‘cryo cuff’ that I used to ice my leg when I had my broken femur in 2020. Today was Richard’s first physio appointment, 4 days post surgery. Richard has 1 inch of swelling still to lose before he can commence true rehab exercises, including the stationary bicycle.

Richard's knee looks pretty good considering his recent procedure and he sees his surgeon on September 14th for his ‘post op’ visit. The surgeon was very pleased with the procedure though, so fingers crossed his knee will be as good as new after he completes his physio.

So if you’ve been following our travels for awhile, or even if you’re new to our travel blog we hinted sometime ago that we had some ‘BIG TRAVEL PLANS’ coming up later this year. We are very excited to now share that we are departing from Fort Lauderdale, Florida on December 22, 2022 for a 138 day Viking World Cruise aboard the brand new Viking Neptune ship! We will be in 28 countries, take 57 tours and arrive in London, England on May 9, 2023! We booked our Viking World Cruise in November 2020 when the world was completely locked down with Covid 19 and there was no vaccine out either. We believed that 2022 would be the year to start travelling again and it looks like we gambled correctly with our assumptions. Newman was always our ‘interim’ travel solution before we could start our bigger adventures of seeing the world, with the cruise being our BIG OPPORTUNITY to make a ‘dent’ in a lot of countries all at once, without having to pack and unpack our suitcases, or pay lots and lots of money in business class airfares to get to far off places.

The cruise starts in Fort Lauderdale, and we visit Cozumel, Cartagena, Colon, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Cabot St. Lucas, all before we take on more World Cruisers in Los Angeles, and depart Los Angeles for the rest of the World Cruise.

Going on an ‘around the world cruise’ was always on my bucket list while I was still working full time and the more I investigated different cruise lines, the more I kept coming back to Viking because of their amazing itineraries. We were not interested in spending a lot of time in Asia and this cruise does not go to Japan, Korea, or China which is what we wanted to avoid, which allows us to see more countries, rather than spending time in these 3 large countries. Viking Ocean cruising is ‘small ship cruising‘ with only 930 passengers on board, which allows the ships to go where larger cruise ships cannot, allowing more time for exploring, and less time tendering to shore. While Viking provides a lot of onboard entertainment, and enrichment, there are no casinos, and no kids either! Viking prides itself on being the cruise line for ‘The Thinking Person”, creating cruises for curious traveler's with true explorer spirits. Voted the #1 Cruise line by both Travel & Leisure and Conde Nast Traveler. Viking provides World-Class Guests Lecturers which complement the onshore experiences with onboard lectures designed to shed light on the destination’s art, architecture, music, geopolitics, natural world and more. In each port Viking includes one complimentary shore excursion, visits to UNESCO world heritage sites, access to the Nordic spa and state of the art fitness centre (I will be using this on a daily basis!), 24 hour room service, fine dining with all restaurants included in the cruise, 'Silver Spirits' beverage package which includes all upgraded alcoholic beverages, on board credits for the spa, business class airfare, a free luggage forwarding service and free wifi.

The Viking Neptune is a sister ship to this Viking ship; the ‘Viking Sun’. Viking Neptune is the 9th ship to be built and contracted by Viking for their Viking Ocean cruise line. Presently the Viking Neptune is in Ancona, Italy undergoing sea trials before the ship is put into service, sails across the Ocean to Fort Lauderdale, and we board it for our 2022/2023 Viking World Cruise.

Richard has actively been following the construction and sea trials of the Viking Neptune to be able to get a ‘live‘ photo of the ship. Unfortunately there are no pictures of the Viking Neptune at sea yet.

While this is an image of the Viking Sun, the Viking Neptune will be identical to the Sun, and have all of the same amenities as the Viking Sun. A Norwegian inspired interior is a trait that Viking prides itself on, with original artwork and light coloured, relaxing interiors in all staterooms and public areas.

We are on Deck 4 in a Deluxe Veranda Suite in cabin # 4082. We do have to do our own laundry on the Viking Neptune, but there is one launderette per floor and we purposely chose a cabin away from the launderette and elevators. Viking provides all laundry products for our use, as well as an ironing board and iron in the launderette.

The amenities of our DV Stateroom. We are very happy we have a King Size bed!

In reading the blogs of some of the folks who were on last year’s Viking World Cruise on the Viking Sun, the wifi seemed to be a constant problem, so we are hoping that with the new construction and upgraded technology in the Viking Neptune, the wifi will work great and enable me to publish our daily blog seamlessly.

We have 111 days from today until we sail away! Wow! We sure have a lot to do in that time before we leave. With September being here now, we know that Autumn will fly by quickly and we will be off to Florida to enjoy some time at our southern home, before we leave for the winter.

The two biggest challenges I think we will have will be: 1. trying to decide what excursions we want to take in each port and 2. trying to determine what clothes and shoes to pack and wear! We do have the benefit of having other people’s blog about last year's World Cruise to review what they suggest for excursions and packing tips. A rule of thumb on the packing is to bring 14 days worth of clothing and 2 outfits per day to allow a change of clothes at dinner time. The good thing about Viking is there are NO FORMAL nights so we don’t have to dress up for dinner, although I do think we will plan to bring a jacket, shirt and tie for Richard and a fancy dress for me for any evening when we do feel like ‘stepping out’ so to speak!

l will be blogging as we get closer to choosing shore excursions etc and if anyone has any suggestions after reviewing our itinerary, please let us know what we absolutely cannot miss during our cruise!

In the meantime while I’m still cooking and prepping meals we had a lovely halibut dinner this evening with a fresh homemade peach, mango salsa! Viking will have amazing culinary delights, but until we get there I’m still going to be preparing some fresh and delicious meals at home!

Such a yummy dinner!

We hope everyone has a fantastic remainder to Summer 2022! The weather is usually pretty good in September, so let's hope 2022 is no different!

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