S: Vacations 2011
1: This island is 80 miles east of Puerto Rico and it is 32 square miles. It is 13 miles long and 4 miles wide and has over 51,000 residents. It is a United States territory. The island was originally settled by Ciboney people. Christopher Columbus is credited with discovering this island in 1493 naming it Las Virgenes. The island was home to such pirates as Blackbeard and Bluebeard. | In 1666 the Dutch conquered the island. Plantations and sugar cane became the prime industry. Africans were brought over and the island became dependent on slave labor and slave trade. In 1917 St. Thomas was purchased by the United States for $25 million in gold. The USA bought the islands to prevent them from becoming a German submarine base. | ST. THOMAS, U.S.V.I.
2: Here we are at the Marriott Resort at Frenchman's Reef in St. Thomas in January. The island was beautiful and the weather was great.
3: Our room had a great view of the sea. We watched the ships come and go. The sunsets were beautiful.
4: The beach and the water were very nice. Iguanas were all over the place....and they were not afraid of people at all.
5: Lenny was in a race in the pool... and he won a bottle of rum!
6: Irene and Donna enjoyed relaxing on the beach sipping a cocktail. This is the life!! | Mike and Lenny had a great time on the water floats.
7: The view from the dock looking at the resort. | Views from our suite
10: We ate breakfast every morning on the balcony..... and enjoyed the beautiful view.
11: Megan's Bay
12: There were no real pirates here so we just took pictures with the fake ones1
13: There was a show at a restaurant. An entertainer did the limbo with fire and he also walked on broken glass. Anyone want to try?
14: The Legislature building were originally a barracks for the Danish troops. We shopped at the market square and did sightseeing in the capital, Charlotte Amalie. There is no sales tax here! | Fort Christian was built in 1680 by the Danish to protect the colony from pirates. It has housed a jail, a church, a police station and a governor's residence. | The Emancipation Gardens commemorates the emancipation of the slaves in 1848, and the bell was rung for their liberty.
15: The "99 Steps" is one of several step streets that was built to solve the problem of getting around in hilly terrain. These lead to Blackbeard's Castle. The bricks were brought from Denmark. | There was a two story amber waterfall which has been nominated for a Guinness world record, and an amber wishing stone. We walked through a rain forest room where a dinosaur came to life to attack anyone foolish enough to come in its path.
17: We decided to buy a bottle of their special Blackbeard's Castle spiced rum. | Here is Lenny with his good friend, Captain Morgan | We stopped in the rum factory and sampled some of the locally made Cruzan rum. . . . . yo-ho-ho and a bottle of rum!
18: Capt. Jack Sparrow | Capt. Calico Jack Rackham | Capt. James Hook Blackbeard's bosun. Wore a hook because a croc ate his hand. | Some Legendary Pirates
19: Edward Teach or Capt. Blackbeard
20: Blackbeard's Castle, is actually a lookout tower built by the Danish to protect Fort Christian against pirates such as Edward Teach, or Blackbeard as he is known. The view from the tower offered a perfect vantage point to spot enemy ships entering the harbor. | View from look-out hole.
21: We climbed into the tower to see the beautiful view of Charlotte Amalie harbor from the top.
22: We were told not to miss the island's famous dairy bar, so we didn't........ what a nice treat on a hot day! | We stopped for lunch at a beach restaurant.
23: Drake's Seat This is one of the island's best view points. Legend has it that Sir Frances Drake would sit here to spy on enemy ships passing through. | As we toured the island we stopped at the different beaches, they were all very beautiful. | Making memories to last a lifetime.
24: St. John is about 9 miles long, it is the smallest of the three U.S. Virgin Islands. Prehistoric Indians coming from South America stopped here because the fishing was so good and settled on the island. | We put the car on the ferry and went to Saint John for a day. | ST JOHN, U.S.V.I.
25: We experienced the local culture............... did some shopping........ and listened to some island music. | There are hundreds of wild donkeys roaming the island, we saw some on the roadside on our way back to the ship. | We saw large termite nests in the trees. | Iguanas are everywhere
26: TRUNK BAY ON ST. JOHN ISLAND This is a very beautiful beach. There is a coral reef right off the shore that attracts many snorkelers.
33: On our way back to Saint Thomas....... we had the sun in the palm of our hands. | Life is partly what we make it and partly what is made by the friends we choose.
34: ANTIGUA The earliest people to live in Antigua were primitive people who arrived from South America about 2,000 BC. The island was named by Christopher Columbus when he sighted it in 1492, it means "ancient" in Spanish. In 1784 Admiral Nelson sailed to Antigua. The island was a perfect place to hide a fleet with its complex coastline of safe harbors and a protective, nearly unbroken wall of coral reef. It was Great Britain's most important Caribbean base. In 1981 Antigua acquired their independence from Great Britain. | Located in the West Indies, Antigua is 14 miles long and 11 miles wide. The island has 365 white and pink sand beaches, each with its own name. Their main industry use to be sugar cane,, using slaves to work the fields, but now tourism is the main industry.
35: We arrived at the resort and were given a cup of punch while we were waiting to check in...... .we're liking this place already!
36: Checking out the resort, and the food.
37: People seem to build rock towers on the beach, we decided to add some too. We ate at a restaurant on the beach at sunset, it was so nice. I could get use to this.
38: The pool was beautiful. The swim up bar had little tables and seats in the water to sit and have a refreshing afternoon cocktail.
40: A little relaxing............
41: A little fun........ makes for a great vacation! | A little sun..........
42: If you have love in your life it can make up for many things that are missing, but if you have no love nothing in the world will matter.
43: This gentleman was walking the beach with a bag full of coconuts. He carved the hummingbirds from wood and the nest from a coconut while I watched. I couldn't resist, I had to buy it. | Paradise!
44: Time for some rum!
45: It's not the years in life that court, it's the life in your years.
46: There was a show at the resort with traditional entertainment from the island. There was a bonfire and fire show on the beach.
48: We decided to take a tour of the island. Betty's Hope was the first large sugar plantation on Antigua, and its success led to the island's rapid development of large-scale sugar production. Although the only surviving structures are two stone sugar mills and the remains of the stillhouse.
49: English Harbour has been the haunt of many famous naval officers including Rodney, Nelson, Collingwood, Prince William Henry, Hood, and Cochrane. Today the Dockyard at English Harbour is named after the victor of the battle of Trafalgar, Admiral Lord Nelson. He was Senior Captain at 27 years of age and became temporary Commander-in-Chief of the Leeward Islands for a short time. While we were there we saw the working remains of the dockyard.
50: Eric Clapton's mansion is out on this cliff | Devil's Bridge - this is on the northeastern part of the island. Many slaves threw themselves in the rough sea to commit suicide. It is said that the devil must have encouraged the slaves to end their lives and that is how this rock formation got its name.
52: We took a nice scenic boat ride to another island on a catamaran. Once we arrived on the island there was a snorkeling expedition.
53: This is Eagle Rock. Oprah has a home here among other famous people.
54: NEW YORK CITY | In 1624 New York was used as a trading post by colonists of the Dutch Republic and it was named New Amsterdam in 1626. It came under English control in 1664 and was renamed New York when the lands were granted to King Charles II's brother, the Duke of York. New York served as the capital of the U.S. from 1785 to 1790. It is located on one of the world's largest natural harbors. It is the most populous city in the U.S. | The Empire State Building was built in 1930 and is the tallest building in NYC with a height of 1,454 feet, and has 102 stories. This landmark skyscraper got its name from the nickname for New York, "Empire State". It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1986.
55: Here we are at 30 Rockefeller Center on the observation deck, known as "The top of the rock". It was cloudy but we still had a nice view of Manhattan.
56: Murals on the walls depict all the workers | Rockefeller Center This was originally planned for an opera house by John d. Rockefeller, Jr. it consists of 19 buildings. This is the nation's favorite Christmas destination. It has a giant Christmas tree and has a skating rink. there are many shows taped at the NBC Studios here.
57: Its original name was International Music Hall, it got its name Radio City from its first tenants. It is the largest indoor theater in the world and has the largest stage curtain in the world. It has stage shows, movies, concerts and special events, with the Christmas Spectacular being one of them. The marquee is a full city block long. It opened to the public in 1932. | The Rockettes, a precision dance company was founded in Missouri and was called the "Missouri Rockets". The group was brought to NYC by Samuel "Roxy" Rothafel and they were renamed the "Roxyettes" later to be known as the Rockettes. They performed opening night at Radio City in 1932. | Upstairs rooms where meetings were held and the stars were entertained.
58: THE BROADWAY DISTRICT - commonly known as "Broadway" refers to 40 professional theaters in New York City. In 1752 theater began with Shakespeare plays and operas downtown. The theaters moved to mid-town around 1850, they did not arrive in Times Square until the early 1900's. Many of the buildings have been renovated. The statue of George M. Cohan a man who was very famous in the theater. the statue was erected in the 1960's in recognition of Mr. Cohen's musical contributions to the war effort through songs such as "You're a Grand Old Flag" and "Over There".
59: Douglas Fairbanks married Joan Crawford at St. Malachy's. Herb Shriner's children were baptized here. Thousands jammed West 49th Street outside the church in final tribute to Rudolph Valentino. George M. Cohan, Spencer Tracy, Perry Como, Irene Dunne, Hildegarde, Florence Henderson, Elaine Stritch, Lawrence Luckinbill, Rosiland Russell, Danny Thomas, Bob and Dolores Hope and Ricardo Montalban, all worshipped at St. Malachy's. Fred Allen, Don Ameche, Cyril Ritchard, Pat O'Brien and Jimmy Durante served many a mass. | The Brill Building was built 1931 is an office building just north of Times Square. It is famous for housing music industry offices and studios where some of the most popular American music tunes were written. The building has been described as "the most important generator of popular songs in the Western world."
60: Madam Tussaud's Wax Museum | Marie Tussaud was born in France. Her mother worked for a doctor in Switzerland who was skilled in wax modeling and he taught Marie the art of wax modeling. Marie created her first wax figure in 1777. She traveled Europe with her collection. Her museums are now known worldwide.
61: It was fun having our pictures taken with some wax figures or pat and present, and wishing they were real.
63: 5th Avenue - if you are fashion focused shopping here is a treat, if you can afford it. This is consistently ranked as being the most expensive street in the world. We were there for the Easter Parade, a tradition that dates back to the 1800's. The social elite would attend church on 5th Avenue and then "parade" their new fashions down the Avenue afterwards. The modern version has changed quite a bit!
64: USS Intrepid It is also known as "The Fighting I" and is one of 24 aircraft carriers built during World War II for the U.S. Navy. It is designated as a National Historic Landmark and it is now a museum. The museum features exhibits, old fighter jets, the Concorde SST, a Lockheed A-12 and the Growler submarine.
66: The Growler Submarine - this was used on many missions, one being in Pearl Harbor.
67: It was very interesting walking through the submarine seeing the equipment and how the men lived on board. Women were never allowed to go on missions
68: We took a cruise around Manhattan and saw the famous skyline, the South Street Seaport, Yankee Stadium, seven bridges, including the Brooklyn Bridge, Grant's Tomb, the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. It was a nice relaxing way to learn about New York City.
69: The statue was a gift from France. It is a robed female representing Libertas, the Roman goddess of freedom. She carries a torch and a tablet which is inscribed July 4, 1776 and a broken chain lies at her feet. | Ellis Island dates back to 1892 when it was used as the immigrant gateway to America. It was the nation's busiest immigration station from 1892 to 1954. Today it is used as a museum.
70: Downtown is designated a historical district. It has some of the oldest architecture in Manhattan, some of the streets are still cobblestone. After the war of 1812 it became a major seaport within the nation. Mansions became tenements and two story wooden buildings were constructed. With thousands of sailors as customers, dance halls, boarding houses, brothels and saloons dominated the area. When the sailing industry shifted to the Hudson River the area became known for its warehouses, other businesses came in including a fish market. It is now a tourist area with maritime museums and shops. | The Titanic Memorial Lighthouse was erected in 1913. It was originally on top of the Seaman's church Institute. It is a memorial for those lost on the Titanic.
71: The Financial District, home of the New York Stock Exchange. The statue of the charging bull is a symbol of aggressive financial optimism and prosperity. | Flag of Honor , remembering victims of 9-11-01 from when terrorists directed by Osama Bin Ladin made a terroristic attack on the World Trade Center. Everyone's name is on this flag. This is the Freedom Tower.
72: LAS VEGAS - famous for its casinos and entertainment. It is the 28th most populated city in the U.S. It was established in 1905. Due to its tolerance of adult entertainment it has the nickname of "sin city". It is one of the most populated cities with hotels in the world. Las Vegas Boulevard is known as "the strip". Fremont Street in downtown Vegas was one of the original gambling areas. It also has chapels where you can get married if you choose while you are here.
74: There have been many new additions to Las Vegas over the years and some old landmarks have also been torn down. We were there in May, right before the Sahara was torn down for newer and bigger casinos.
75: We went to see an Elvis show. | Elvis lived and performed at the Las Vegas Hilton. In 1969 when he opened he performed for 58 consecutive shows, breaking all Vegas records. He lived in the penthouse suite on the 30th floor in room 3000 until his last performance in December of 1976. He was supposed to go back again in 1978, but died in 1977.
78: Playa del Carmen, Mexico In the Mayan world this territory was called Xaman-Ha which means "waters of the north" It is located in the heart of the Mayan Riviera at the Yucatan Peninsula facing the Mexican Caribbean. The great Mayan Reef is the second largest barrier coral reef in the world. The resort we stayed at was very beautiful., it was called The Grand Mayan
79: Nature is the art of God
87: We went into the town of Playa del Carmen one night. It is a lively little town with many shops, restaurants and night clubs.
91: There was different entertainment every night.
94: We took a cruise to Bear Mountain for Oktoberfest