More marine life photos from Tuesday’s boat outing…A year ago…a video of a wild ride in Tuscany…

Ah!  Now we’re talking! Safari luck! A Tropical Whale commonly seen in these waters, photo by Claudio, really got all the passengers “oohing” and “aahing.”

Today, we’re sharing more of our photos from our catamaran marine life tour. We’ll continue to identify which photos were taken by our kindly onboard photographer, Claudio Martin, and which we took. Tomorrow, we’ll share the final batch.

Two weeks from today we’ll be on our way to Paris. I know. Visiting Paris is far removed from the more laid back lifestyle we prefer in serene locals with the ocean, wildlife, and nature surrounding us.

Claudio got this excellent shot of this 16-ton Tropical Whale while I struggled as shown below.

I remember the day Tom asked how I’d feel about visiting Normandy, France to see the historical sites from World War II, one of his favorite topics. We were living in Kenya at the time sitting in our outdoor living room, batting off the bugs.

Another view of the Tropical Whale by Claudio.

He explained that our ship, Royal Caribbean’s Brilliance of the Seas, will be spending a day docked at the pier in Le Havre, France on September 1, 2014. 

A couple on the Cruise Critic website was looking for participants for a small tour group who had asked if we wanted to join them on a private tour of Normandy. Tom knows I’m not a World War II history enthusiast as he is and this could be a long day for me. 

Tom on the pier after the boat trip.

As soon as he mentioned it, I knew I’d say “yes.” How could I not? I could be the tag-along photographer, preoccupied with taking photos for an easy distraction.

Me, on the pier after the boat trip.

In order to give him a hard time, I paused before answering hoping to make him squirm a little, knowing how much this meant to him. Before I had a chance to answer, he blurted out, “How about this idea? We  spend one day in Normandy and then we’ll spend two weeks in Paris for you!”

Good thing I didn’t answer so quickly. I literally jumped out of my chair in excitement. “Really?” I retorted.

“Yes, really!” he replied.

Beautiful scenery we shot along the coast.

Immediately, we went to work planning on how we could end up in Paris from our previously arranged plans.  Luckily, we had a four week opening before our cruise from the UK on August 31, 2014. 

We decided after careful consideration and planning to spend two weeks in Paris and the next two weeks in London taking the Eurostar (tickets purchased already), formerly the Chunnel, under the English Channel from Paris to London.

My pilot whale photo.

I certainly lucked out on that deal. Having studied French for four years in high school learning about many of the points of interest, I’ve always longed to see Paris. Who hasn’t dreamed of romantic days and nights in Paris? Perhaps, not Tom Lyman. Paris, here we come.

My not-so-good shot of the Tropical Whale.

As much as Tom and I have in common our interests in the arts are diametrically opposed. Although we both love the theatre, having seen many productions together over the years. Art for him? Not so much.

Another one of my less than perfect tropical whale shots. It was hard to maneuver between the other passengers when this Whale appeared on the opposite side of where we were sitting.

However, history buff that he is, I have no doubt he’ll be fascinated in Paris. In any case, he’ll support my interest in every aspect of Paris and I have no doubt that we’ll both love it.

My spotted dolphin shot.

As for London, how could we not spend time in London when our ship sails from the port of Harwich, England (a two-hour drive from London for which we’ve already arranged transportation).

We shot this pirate ship as it cruised past us.  We’d seen this boat when we were here in April 2013.

Two weeks from today when our travel day is behind us, we can relax and begin to enjoy our time in Paris staying at the Eiffel Seine Hotel, rated 4.5 stars on Trip Advisor and Expedia, from which we’ll be able to see the Eiffel Tower and have easy access to many of the sights.  

These are pilot whales, as shown in Claudio’s photo.

Of course, we’ll spend each morning as we have since the beginning of our travels almost two years ago. We’ll write here, posting photos from the prior day’s exploration, sharing our experiences in detail that we hope all of our readers will find interesting.

Happy day to all.

Photo from one year ago today, July 17, 2013:

Rather than post photos a year ago, we posted a video we’d found on Youtube of a motorcyclist driving the narrow winding road in our neighborhood in Boveglio, Tuscany, Italy. To see that video from that day, please click this link

For the story from that day, please click here.