November 2016 • World Travel
Azamara Quest Luxury Cruise Memories

Azamara Quest Luxury Cruise Memories

World Travel clients Marvin and Nancy guest blog about about their adventures during a luxury cruise aboard the Azamara Quest.

Please note, I start with our last night aboard the Azamara Quest. I had received a bottle of Taittinger’s Champagne from a ship officer which I shared with three new friends onboard. We toasted the fun we shared, new friends, and our future cruises which were booked onboard, too. Up in the Living Room they have tapas each evening which were great to nosh with our icy champs.

Champagne

A fun event on an at sea day was Iron Chef, set up so beautifully. The chefs were the cruise director vs the hotel manager and their selected passenger aides. The ship’s chef and his sous chef supervised. The wine flowed into food, contestants, and judges. The laughter must have resonated throughout the ship.

I took along yarn to knit scarves and met other knitters, too. It was a great ice breaker and we shared projects and resources. We also borrowed books from The Drawing Room, the ship’s lovely library.

Willemstad, Curaçao was our southernmost port. It is colorful, people were so friendly, and crossing the pedestrian pontoon bridge from one side of town to the other is fun. We walked, toured, drank beer (3 for $7 plus free wifi!!!) and stopped for lunch.  As we left port Captain Carl spun the ship so everyone enjoyed the beautiful views.

curacao

An interesting discovery:  Azamara Quest has designated crew members who can stay ashore with guests if a need arises. On our cruise, a man needed hospitalization in the Dominican Republic. The couple was packed up, ambulance arranged, and a young lady from the crew packed up and stayed with them as interpreter and to help. That is hugely humane and well handled by the crew of the Azamara Quest.

We can’t wait for our next adventure on Azamara Quest. Planning it with our Travel Advisor Elaine Clapp will be great fun, too.

 

Hiking Destinations Lake 22 Trail

Hiking Destinations Lake 22 Trail

Hiking destinations filled with beauty!

In Washington State there are tons of hiking destinations to get you out into nature. It’s one of the things I love most about the Pacific Northwest. My favorite adventures are the ones where you throw the dog and a pack in the car, and hit the road to the great outdoors–destination unknown.

I’m a hiker who loves a good workout, beautiful waterfalls, and the pay off of a stunning view at the top. This hike had it all. Lake 22 in the North Cascades, just off  Mountain Loop Highway is approximately five and a half miles round trip with an elevation gain of 1350 ft. The trail is wet in some parts, but well kept and well traveled by people and dogs alike.

Click to images to enlarge and hit back button to return to blog.

hiking destinationstrail overview
It starts in a damp, thick forest full of moss, ferns, boulders, streams and huge hemlock and cedars. As you move up the side of the mountain, there are beautiful waterfalls nestled alongside the trail, and a bridge to stop and enjoy the sound of the water rushing by.After a while the trail breaks out into a rocky area with switchbacks. It’s a good workout, but still the scramble up was no match for our fearless mountain dog.  Beautiful views of the surrounding mountains and the majesty of the vast wilderness make the climb more than bearable.

forest
The last stretch, just before the top, is very wet. It is best to wear good shoes for tromping through some mud and to bring a spare pair of dry socks. In case you’re graceful, like me, these will come in handy. The trail opens up to wooden walkways that lead around the beautiful alpine lake, Lake 22. The water, like glass, is nestled in the shadow of Mount Pilchuck. It is a perfect place to take a cool dip on a warm day, and to find a boulder upon which you can eat a well-earned lunch. It’s the kind of outdoor summer adventure that stays with you, and comforts you in the winter months when the mountains are calling, but the weather keeps you inside.

Written by World Travel guest blogger Viki.

 

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