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Tuesday, January 17. 2023

The first headline that greeted me this morning read, “Schumer, McCarthy Working Relationship Off to Rocky Start”. Is anyone surprised? If McCarthy had his way, no Democrats would have keys to the restroom facilities.

Everyone better keep their fingers crossed that the lunatics in the House do not throw us into default. Where were they while Trump ran up the deficit?


Yesterday was a sea day and we encountered our first rainy weather. It started out just fine and, as is customary when crossing the Equator, there was a ceremony on the pool deck which, among other things, involves King Neptune conducting a mock trial of certain passengers and crew who end of being thrown in the pool.

Just as the ceremony ended, the skies opened up and those who intended to spend the day lounging and soaking up sun had to find other things to do. This turn of events did not inconvenience us because we never get a lounge chair and sit in the sun.

Barbara mostly is on her computer or the telephone if the ship’s internet is working (and it is woefully inadequate even with the ship only two-thirds full), or she is doing yoga or is in the gym. Even I went to the treadmill for over half an hour.

We heard some very good music and then had our best meal on the ship at Keller’s.. Got back to the cabin to see the last few minutes of Dallas v Tampa but it was not a competitive game, and I soon fell asleep. The Dallas placekicker missed four extra points, a complete meltdown for any kicker at any level. I doubt this guy will be around much longer.

Today, we do not dock until noon. It is be our first overnight and it is in Manta, Ecuador. Why Seabourn thought this port was attractive enough to be here Tuesday midday through 11 pm Wednesday is a mystery to me. They make Panama Hats here and the world’s most expensive chocolate. We tried to book a tour of the chocolate factory, had it booked, but then it was cancelled because not enough people signed up and we could not book privately.

This is where the passengers taking a four day trip, at a cost of over $12,000, leave for the Galápagos Islands. Even though everyone we know who has gone has loved it, we elected not to go for several reasons. One of them is that all of these pills I have to take have some side effects that make it necessary to control my environment to a greater extent than I can when traveling with a large group. There was also a limit, even for me, as to how much we would spend on this trip. We chose to spend the money going on a five day safari, our first, when we get to Africa.

A second choice from Manta is an overnight trip to Quito which costs more than $2000 per person. It's much more manageable, but nothing there really attracted us. Then last night in the ship’s newspapers, the correctness of my decision was confirmed. Here is what I read for guests traveling to Quito:

“Due to high crime levels, please take steps to protect yourself and your belongings. Be vigilant at all times. Be aware of your surroundings. Report any crime incidents promptly to the police. Do not use public ATMs. Only use ATMs inside secure bank lobbies or hotels. Do not display signs of wealth, such as wearing expensive jewelry or watches. Refrain from using a cell phone on the street avoid walking alone. Do not use public buses”.

How attractive is that?


The #2 ranked restaurant in the world is named Central and is in Lima. It could easily be #1 next year, because the highest ranked restaurant in Denmark is closing. I have a reservation for four at 7:15 next Saturday but the two people we were intending to go with cancelled coming on the cruise. It is extremely difficult to secure a reservation. I went through Centurion American Express and had to do everything but fly down to Lima to be fingerprinted.

I can cancel two and just go with Barbara which is my intent. I was hoping to meet some couple on the ship to see if they wanted to join us, but with only two days left before I have to cancel, we have not yet anyone with whom we are comfortable and who is comfortable spending a nontrivial amount of money for dinner when dinner is already paid for on the ship. No one we knew in the States was willing to fly down to Lima just for dinner. If I am wrong, let me know right away.


Just saw that Gina Lollobrigida died at age 95. I remember as a young teenager I thought she was one of the most gorgeous women alive. Another actress many of you probably know was Rhonda Fleming. Oh my!

Thinking about things in retrospect, there was never even a

1% chance that my lifestyle would be other than 100% heterosexual. Having said that, I once stood next to James Garner at the crap table and he was one gorgeous man.


See you tomorrow. At least that is my plan.


Go Ukraine

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