Archive | November, 2008

Thanksgiving at the Bayville Diner

28 Nov


On the way to Atlantic City Thanksgiving day, where we would spend our time at slot machines while others gathered with family and friends, we tried to find a restaurant that was open. I didn’t realize that so many of them close – even McDonald’s. In the City a lot of them are open becuase it’s a good day to make money, but out of the metropolis, here on Highway 9, everyone was closed. Then we saw a sign for the Bayville Diner and, lo and behold, a few cars in the parking lot.

We went in and were waiting for menus when the woman who runs the place with her family came up and told us there was only one thing on the menu – turkey dinner – and it was free.

There was something remakably touching about that. A family-run diner that shut its cash register at 1:00 pm and served a Thanksgiving meal to anyone who wanted or needed it. I was reminded again of how kind and generous people can be, and from the looks of this small establishment on a highway, these were not people who could afford to be overly generous. Yet they were. So we ate our Thanksgiving turkey and on the way out left a $20 donation. It was an unexpected experience that made it a true Thanksgiving after all.

Some final few favorites

8 Nov




Here are some final favorite pictures from the trip. Our table mates, who included the couple next to me from California whose lesbian daughter married her partner (the other couple was her brother and his wife – all of us rooting for Obama and celebrating his victory, while disheartened by the passage of Prop 8 in CA and the even more draconian amendment in FL).

The birthday balloons that were hung on our cabin door throughout the trip. And the elephant made from a towel – the cabin crew always did something interesting with a towel at the night visit and left a surprise on the bed with it.

Curacao

8 Nov




Curacao was the last island we visited. It used to be a slave port and has a large Black population. Of all the islands, it had the most notorious history. The cab driver who took us to the Ostrich farm gave us the background, from Jews who settled here early, to the slaves, to the Germans who moved here after WWII and the German ships that serve as reefs out in the ocean, where they were sunk by the Germans themselves to keep them from being captured.

Aruba

8 Nov




I almost don’t feel like posting pictures from Aruba. It’s a tourtist trap, with hotels, high-end shops, a couple of casinos, and not much else. We spent most of the day gambling.

Dominica

8 Nov




Dominica was probably the most interesting of the islands. We took a tour by taxi and the driver gave us a history lesson of the island. It had the kind of local flavor and history that Aruba did not (more on that later). We went to the waterfalls and I bought some souvenirs.

St. Thomas

8 Nov




We stopped next in St. Thomas and I enjoyed the island. We took a tour, then shopped. I found a jeweler who replaced the small diamond in my ring, then headed back to the ship.

Half Moon Cay

7 Nov





This tiny sliver of an island is owned by Carnival (who owns Holland America, who owns the Noordam, and so on).

It’s fine for a day. The only draw back is that it’s in the Bahamas, a foreign country, so we had to go through customs when we got to St. Thomas. A bit of a hassle. But the water is an anazing turqoise blue and the weather was perfect.

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