Live from MSC Lirica, Day 5

Hey all, great day in St. Maarten...weather was about perfect...every time it felt like it would get too hot, one of those scattered clouds would come across and cool it down to "perfect" again.

Got off the ship first thing this morning and set up a tour for the four of us with a guy with a wheelchair-ramped van. Turns out on this island that is half-Dutch and half-French, populated mostly by Africans and Indians, our tour guide was "JOSE"...from Puerto Rico originally, so during the slow parts of the drive we compared notes on P.R. (I used to live there, many moons ago, for those who don't know me)...Talk about your small world, huh? So we drove up to Orient Beach, and over to Marigot on the French side, and pretty much covered the island in an hour and a half, then stopped in Phillipsburg for cigarettes and rum and other goodies....12 bucks a carton for smokes, so I feel like I hit the jackpot!

By the way, and apropos of nothing, we were all alone at the dock this morning; by the time I set up the tour the Celebrity Summit was pulling in; and by the time we all left to get on the van, the Costa Atlantica was docked. And right next to us was a Dutch Navy frigate...so it got pretty busy at the terminal by the time we came back from touring.

Back on board we had a lite, late lunch...again, Bacon and Spinach pizza is better than it sounds...that and a hot dog and I was ready for nap-time. We went and chilled in the cabin and watched Iron Man in Italian for a while, til dinner, which was the best I have had so far.

Prosciutto (sp) and Melon appetizer, clam chowder (tasty but a bit thin), and the best risotto ever, with bits of sausage and mushrooms...very hearty...followed by a nice filet mignon that was cooked a perfect medium rare, and quite tender. And then, of course, the Ice Cream of the Day, which was NOT RUM RAISIN!!! woohoo, but a sublime mint chocolate chip that went perfectly with the dark italian coffee they serve...have I mentioned that the coffee is great? I drink a gallon or two a day of coffee, and consider myself an expert on the subject.

After dinner we went down to the Beverly Hills lounge for a little ABBA contest (those of us who had way too much ABBA in the 70's are getting way too much ABBA again in the "oughts"...must be a karma thing), which honesty compels me to admit, I aced, even though it is embarassing to say it.

And now I am just killing time waiting for tonites show, which is something operatic...something tells me I won't stay for the whole thing, that the song of the roulette wheel will pull me away, but, you know, gotta try that high brow stuff once in a while, just to prove to yourself you really don't like it...

Tomorrow, St. Lucia

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