SUNDAYS WITH CELIA VOL 83

Greetings and thank you so much for stopping in today for Sunday’s With Celia Vol 83. I’m delighted you’re here.

SUNDAYS WITH CELIA VOL 83 | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Looking Back On Sunday…

I hope you were able to catch my recent blog post, How To Pack Your Suitcase Like A Pro, which was a collaboration with 6 other well-traveled fellow bloggers. If you missed it please check it out by clicking here.

HOW TO PACK YOUR SUITCASE LIKE A PRO | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

I also posted a Delicious Meal Replacement Smoothie Recipe which I hope you’ll try. It’s yummy and nutritious and may help you shed some unwanted pounds along with me.

DELICIOUS MEAL REPLACEMENT SMOOTHIE RECIPE | NAKED MEAL | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Highlights From My Recent Cruise…

I’ve been missing in action from this Sunday column for a while now due to the fact that I’ve been sailing the high seas, where the internet was not cooperating at all. I had high hopes of being able to work on the blog during our 5 days at sea, crossing the big-wide-Atlantic-Ocean. But that is where the internet proved to be the least cooperative. C’est la vie. But now I’m back in the saddle again and anxious to share my adventures with you.

SUNDAYS WITH CELIA VOL 83 | Oceania Cruise Lines Marina Docked in NYC | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

I’ll be posting detailed blog posts on each of our stops along our 3 week journey but today I thought I’d share some highlights.

Stop #1 – New York City

Our first stop was The Big Apple, where we spent 2 days before embarking on Oceania’s beautiful ship, Marina. I always make it a habit to book flights that get me to my embarkation city at least a day ahead of sailing day to insure against flight or luggage delays. I don’t want me or my luggage missing the boat!

SUNDAYS WITH CELIA VOL 83 | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

The first night in the New York City we headed right on over to the new Hudson Yards, which had just opened a couple of weeks before our arrival.

SUNDAYS WITH CELIA VOL 83 | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

I was super anxious to visit one of the new attractions at Hudson Yards, Mercado Little Spain, by Chef José Andrés. We spent a couple of hours walking around and tasting lots of different things at the various food kiosks, each offering a different type of Spanish delicacy. From Jamón Serrano…

SUNDAYS WITH CELIA VOL 83 | Mercado Little Spain | NYC Hudson Yard | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

to Paella, to Churros Con Chocolate for dessert. Stay tuned and I’ll be giving you my mixed-review (coming from a Spaniard) on Mercado Little Spain soon.

SUNDAYS WITH CELIA VOL 83 | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

On day 2 we started our morning at the iconic Chelsey Market where we feasted our eyes on the beauty of the food & flowers that abounds in the market.

SUNDAYS WITH CELIA VOL 83 | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

SUNDAYS WITH CELIA VOL 83 | Chelsey Market NYC | www.AfterOrangeCounty.comSUNDAYS WITH CELIA VOL 83 | Chelsey Market NYC | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Probably a little known fact, Chelsey Market is actually owned by Google, whose NY offices are across the street. We got a fascinating tour and lunch at Google’s NY offices where our son is a Senior Engineer. This city-within-a-city office space houses 7,000 workers in what seemed like a self-contained village unto itself. My husband had it right when he said it felt like a visit to the international space station. I’ll give you a tour of Google one day too! It was AMAZING!

SUNDAYS WITH CELIA VOL 83 | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

SUNDAYS WITH CELIA VOL 83 | GOOGLE Offices NYC | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Then we explored the city, going to two Insta-Famous shopping emporiums I was dying to see: Roman & Williams Guild

and ABC Carpet & Home.

SUNDAYS WITH CELIA VOL 83 | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

And my husband even got his shopping fix at the new Filson store nearby. It’s an outdoorsmen’s paradise.

SUNDAYS WITH CELIA VOL 83 | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Finally, after a lifetime of visiting NYC I had never toured the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum which was conveniently located right next to our cruise ship. So, prior to embarking on the Marina we took the fascinating tour that included the Intrepid Aircraft Carrier, the Submarine Growler, NASA’s Space Shuttle Enterprise and British Airways Concord Aircraft.

SUNDAYS WITH CELIA VOL 83 | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Bridge of the Intrepid Aircraft Carrier with Oceania Marina in Background

On day 3 we happily boarded the beautiful Marina and set sail on our Atlantic Encounters, 14 day Transatlantic Cruise.

SUNDAYS WITH CELIA VOL 83 | Oceania Cruise Lines Marina | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Stop #2 – St. John | Canada

I can only say that we must have been here at the wrong time of year because I could find very little in the way of picture-worthy beauty or interest in this port of call. We did visit the famous “reversing falls,” which was pretty much of an eyesore because of the paper mill built directly on St John’s most famous tourist attraction.

SUNDAYS WITH CELIA VOL 83 | St John Bay of Fundy | Reversing River | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Other than that the City Market was mildly attractive, albeit with nothing of interest for a tourist to buy.

SUNDAYS WITH CELIA VOL 83 | St John Bay of Fundy City Market | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

For me this port of call was a big disappointment.

SUNDAYS WITH CELIA VOL 83 | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Stop #3 – Halifax | Nova Scotia

My maternal Grandmother was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, so a visit to her birthplace has been high on my bucket-list for a very long time. This port-of-call was actually one of the big reasons we selected this cruise itinerary. Turns out it was one of the highlights of our trip, and along with nearby Peggy’s Cove, was one of the prettiest places I think I’ve ever seen.

SUNDAYS WITH CELIA VOL 83 | Peggy's Cove | Nova Scotia | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

SUNDAYS WITH CELIA VOL 83 | Peggy's Cove | Nova Scotia | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Stop #4 – St John’s | Newfoundland

Well, this was to have been our 3rd port-of-call, however, as we boarded the ship after a stormy day in Halifax, the Captain came on the public address system. He informed us that due to a terrible storm brewing in the North Atlantic, the ship would not be able to make landfall in Newfoundland, located at the most eastern edge of North America. Instead we would try and outrun the storm, crossing the Atlantic at a more southern route, and taking 5 instead of 3 days to do so. As you might imagine, there were a lot of very disappointed people onboard. And, instead of outrunning the storm, it hit us with gail force winds that dropped snow on our decks, did major damage to parts of the ship, and gave us a roller coaster ride we had not bargained for.

SUNDAYS WITH CELIA VOL 83 | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

SUNDAYS WITH CELIA VOL 83 | Oceania Cruise Atlantic Encounters Onboard Marina April 2019 | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Snow On The Pool Deck

SUNDAYS WITH CELIA VOL 83 | Oceania Cruise Atlantic Encounters Onboard Marina April 2019 | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

It was a little early for Santa but this is how one of the Chefs on the ship entertained himself one morning. Instead of an ice-carving he did a snow-carving.

SUNDAYS WITH CELIA VOL 83 | Oceania Cruise Atlantic Encounters Onboard Marina April 2019 | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

So I opted for afternoon tea. With 5 days at sea I did a lot of reading, made some wonderful new friends whose company made our voyage extra special, and ate marvelously well in all of the fantastic dining establishments onboard.

SUNDAYS WITH CELIA VOL 83 | Oceania Cruise Atlantic Encounters Onboard Marina April 2019 | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Stop #5 | Cobh/Cork | Ireland

After 5 cold and rocky days at sea we finally made landfall at Cobh, Ireland where the storm had hit with a mighty vengeance. We were anxious to get off of the ship but the winds were so fierce, and the rain was coming down in such torrents, that my attempt to disembark resulted in my umbrella breaking and my hair and clothes becoming soaking wet within minutes.

SUNDAYS WITH CELIA VOL 83 | Oceania Cruise Atlantic Encounters Onboard Marina April 2019 | Cobh, Ireland | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Fortunately by the afternoon things had calmed down enough for us to board a tour bus and take a shore excursion that brought us for a brief stop at Fort Charles.

SUNDAYS WITH CELIA VOL 83 | Oceania Cruise Atlantic Encounters Onboard Marina April 2019 | Fort Charles | Kinsale | Ireland |www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Then on to the pretty fishing village of Kinsale where they had a lovely shop with Irish wool.

SUNDAYS WITH CELIA VOL 83 | Oceania Cruise Atlantic Encounters Onboard Marina April 2019 | Kinsale | Ireland |www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

SUNDAYS WITH CELIA VOL 83 | Oceania Cruise Atlantic Encounters Onboard Marina April 2019 | Kinsale | Ireland |www.AfterOrangeCounty.comSUNDAYS WITH CELIA VOL 83 | Oceania Cruise Atlantic Encounters Onboard Marina April 2019 | Kinsale | Ireland |www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

We ended in Cork where we visited the fantastic Saint Fin Barr’s Cathedral.

SUNDAYS WITH CELIA VOL 83 | Oceania Cruise Atlantic Encounters Onboard Marina April 2019 | Cork, Ireland | Saint Fin Barr's Cathedral |www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Stop #6 – Dublin | Ireland

No, I don’t think so. Once again, mother nature failed to cooperate and yet another port, Dublin, Ireland, was scratched from the itinerary. SUCH A HUGE DISAPPOINTMENT! The Captain made the announcement as we were making our departure from Cobh, Ireland. That night we had been invited to the Owner’s Suite for “sail-away” pre-dinner cocktails. We had met the 2 guys who occupied this fantastic suite on the 2nd night of the cruise and became fast friends.

SUNDAYS WITH CELIA VOL 83 | Oceania Cruise Atlantic Encounters Onboard Marina April 2019 | Owner's Suite | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

As you may know if you have experienced cruising, each port of call requires that a local Pilot board the ship and help navigate the vessel out to sea. From the location of the Owner’s Suite we sat and watched as the Pilot Boat tried and failed, to hook up with our ship to recover their Pilot. The seas were simply too rough to do so. So, the poor Pilot had to spend the night on board until we could safely off-load him the following morning in calmer waters off the coast of Britain.

SUNDAYS WITH CELIA VOL 83 | Oceania Cruise Atlantic Encounters Onboard Marina April 2019 | Cobh, Ireland | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

It was that very same night that we together shed communal tears as we watched Notre Dame Cathedral burn on the TV in the suite. In 2 days our port of call would be Le Havre, the gateway to Paris, which many passengers planned to visit.

SUNDAYS WITH CELIA VOL 83 | Oceania Cruise Atlantic Encounters Onboard Marina April 2019 | Owner's Suite | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Stop #7 – St Malo | France

Our next port of call was the absolutely beautiful walled village of St Malo, where we arrive to a lovely sunny day at last. However, with only one day to explore Brittany, we chose to visit the unforgettable Mont Saint Michel, and only got a glimpse of St Malo from the tour bus. It is definitely a place I’d like to return to. Our visit to Mont Saint Michel and the amazing Abbey up-top was something I will never forget. I can’t wait to share a comprehensive blog post on our visit, which included experiencing a mass with the chanting nuns and monks.

SUNDAYS WITH CELIA VOL 83 | Oceania Cruise Atlantic Encounters Onboard Marina April 2019 | Mont St. Michele | France | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Because of the Easter holiday week it was literally a human traffic jam, as we traversed 350 steps along “La Grande Rue” to the Abbey.

SUNDAYS WITH CELIA VOL 83 | Oceania Cruise Atlantic Encounters Onboard Marina April 2019 | Mont St. Michele | France | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Step # 8 – Le Havre | France

There is probably no uglier city in France than the industrial seaport city of Le Havre. So if you must go, don’t plan on staying. It was destroyed during the war and rebuilt into a concrete jungle of the most unappealing kind. In my opinion it’s only redeeming quality is this little patch of a green park.

SUNDAYS WITH CELIA VOL 83 | Oceania Cruise Atlantic Encounters Onboard Marina April 2019 | Le Havre | France | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

There are day trips from here that can include lovely towns like Honfleur or Rouen or even Paris, so get out of Dodge fast. Since we had experienced these nearby towns previously, we chose to visit the historic Calvados Distillery, Chateau du Breuil.

SUNDAYS WITH CELIA VOL 83 | Oceania Cruise Atlantic Encounters Onboard Marina April 2019 | Chateau du Breuil | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

SUNDAYS WITH CELIA VOL 83 | Oceania Cruise Atlantic Encounters Onboard Marina April 2019 | Chateau du Breuil | France | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Stop #9 – Southhampton | London

Our final port of call and port of debarkation after 14 days at sea was Southhampton, England. We had made arrangements for a van to pick us up at the ship and transport us into our London Hotel, the beautiful Kimpton Fitzroy. I can’t say enough about the great service we received during our stay, and will be doing a dedicated post on the hotel as well.

SUNDAYS WITH CELIA VOL 83 | Oceania Cruise Atlantic Encounters Onboard Marina April 2019 | Kimpton Fitzroy Hotel | London | England | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Stay tuned and I’ll take you with me as we do lots of walking around London…

SUNDAYS WITH CELIA VOL 83 | London | England | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

and step inside another Insta-Famous institution: Petersham Nursery in Covent Garden.

SUNDAYS WITH CELIA VOL 83 | London | England | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

And we’ll visit a few pubs for a pint or two as well.

SUNDAYS WITH CELIA VOL 83 | London | England | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Stop # 10 – Windsor | England

On the day before Easter Sunday we hopped on the Windsor and Eaton Riverside Train and spent the day as the Queen did, at Windsor Castle.

SUNDAYS WITH CELIA VOL 83 | Windsor Castle | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Her Majesty was in residence, as her royal standard was flying high, as it does only when the sovereign is present.

SUNDAYS WITH CELIA VOL 83 | Windsor Castle | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

A highlight of our visit was a tour of Saint Georges Chapel where Megan Markle recently wed Prince Harry. On Easter Sunday, the very day after our visit, the Queen and her family celebrated Easter services at St. George’s. It was very exciting to know we had been there only the day before. Following our day in Windsor we returned to London to pack for our flight home the following day. It’s great to now be home-sweet-home and writing to you from my home office, where spring finally made an appearance during my absence.

Well, congratulations if you’ve stuck it out with me this long. I know this was a lengthy post, but I was excited to share a little of our trip with you. I hope you are enjoying a really great day!

So there you have it: SUNDAYS WITH CELIA VOL 83

Thanks so much for dropping in!

Express Yourself!

No blog post is truly complete without a word from you. I’d be so delighted if you’d leave a comment below.

All opinions expressed in this post are my own. Unless otherwise noted, all photos are the original property of Celia Becker @ www.AfterOrangeCounty.com and may not be reproduced without specific permission. 

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