Thank you again geocaching. How much of my life was missed before you?

Day 11 Ile de Porquerolles, and island that is part of France
Today was an unexpectedly excellent day, as unfortunate as it actually was. I had no hopes for this stop and assumed it would be another relaxing, do nothing, boat day. Wifey felt the same way. After breakfast we decided to take the obligatory boat ride to the island so we can at least say we set foot on the land. As soon as our tender docked Wifey started feeling not so good. She wanted to head back almost immediately. She gave me the permission to stay longer if I wanted. One thing I noticed right away was that the bike rental shops had decent looking Trek and Specialized bikes with hydraulic disc breaks and front shocks.  I checked the geocache machine and there were three on the island, at all the corners except the one we were dropped off at. With her permission I got her back to the tender, hired a bike for the day, and proceeded to commence my (unfortunate) solo geocache island adventure of the day. There was a reason the rental joints had decent bikes, the entire island is nothing but awesome biking and hiking trails! Everybody was either walking or biking with their family, picnic baskets, baguettes, towels, blankets, no bikini tops, and wine. Destination…all points of the island to relax on one of the many beaches. Inside of the outer road that circumferenced the island was a ton of legitimate biking trails. I could not believe it. I was legitimately riding decent bike trails in the middle of the French Riviera on some unheard of (by me) island. It was such an unexpected treat. It could have only gotten better if there was a hidden snow covered mountain with a lift that rides to the top. This island defines what I expected to see in the Riviera. Gorgeous views off the coast into the sea, people relaxing and enjoying life, and boats everywhere.

I ended up finding all three geocaches that are on this island. Once again thank you geocaching. I saw places I never would have been if it were not for this activity. At three different times today I was on the top of an ancient fortress. Each fortification was a stronghold for looking out into the sea from the edge of the island. Originally used for keeping a look out for pirates and other ne’er do wells. They were located on three of the four corners of this island. As sad as I am that Wifey was not 100%, I had an amazing time.

Tonight is the last night on the boat. Time to pack up, say our good byes and get ready to spend a couple nights in Monte Carlo. Hopefully they let me in and once there hopefully I find a way to rock it James bond style! I am so self-conscious around these hoytie toytie peeps that I bought a pair of five euro black shoes to wear to dinners. I never thought I would fall victim to such an act. I actually almost shaved too. The shoes are definitely getting left behind as an act of protest.

A select few photos here.

Sometimes Jack Bauer takes a vacation, it’s not always go, run, don’t die.

Day 9 Mahon Menorca Spain
Not much happening in this port town. It seems like a really small place that is only operating because of the tourism brought in by the cruise boats. That is the way with many cruise stops. These are not my favorite type of places. We wandered aimlessly for a few hours. There are some extremely nice shopping areas and great scenic vista points. We found one geocache during our mindless meandering. We got back on the boat about midday for another restful afternoon of almost nothing.  I mean nothing but napping. Wifey tripped and fell over her own foot today. She hurt her ankle but luckily a hospital visit was not necessary. In my opinion that is such an amateur holiday injury. Today was leisurely and relaxing. Nothing major to report, like many other cursing days. Barcelona stands out like no other cruising days. Tomorrow we are back in France.
There are always things that happen that are so hysterical at the time, but get lost as the brain has to push out old memories to make room for the new ones. Here is a list of fun things that we need to remember: Two Zoltans, Enda the poon hound, Dag Dagerstein the Captain that only fits the suit, big man waiting in our bed after dinner, and Esther: Lamont Sanford’s mother/father.

Day 10 Porte Vendres and Collioure France
Today turned out much better than expected. What we expected as another typical port day became quite an awesome adventurous day. We took a ride on Le Petit Train to Collioure, France. It was a beautiful drive along the coastline to Collioure and then back inland through all the vineyards and mountains and views of the sea and harbor. We found 4 geocaches while out and about today. Thank you geocaching for the hike! We went on a hike that we never would have found without geocaching. We ended up in places that no tour group, maps, or cruise guides would have taken us. We ended up in beautiful spots that were truly only known by locals. One spot was an amazing scenic viewpoint at the top of a hill with the harbor on one side and the sea on the other.
I dropped Wifey back at the boat, and had about an hour until the boat departed. There was one more geocache that I wanted to try and grab. I jogged all the way to the top of a hill. It was the opposite direction away from the harbor that Wifey and I had explored earlier in the day. This hill was again between the harbor and the sea with a great scenic view. Another place not on the tour maps. I found the geocache and made it back to the boat with time to spare. It was quite an exhilarating feeling that a boat might leave me in a foreign country because I wanted to go find one more geocache. There is no feeling like I might get left behind, the clock is ticking, Wifey awaiting my safe return…like an episode of 24 running through my head. Jack Bauer has nothing on me.
The Maître D’ tricked us tonight into having dinner with two other couples. They knew we were solo loners and hate everyone else. We turned down dinners the first couple nights so they stopped asking/inviting us. We had quite a pleasant time. We need to remember that we don’t actually hate everyone else no matter how much we insist that we do. Our dining companions were couples from the UK and Louisiana. She was beekeeper, which is a real thing.  The old man from Louisiana told us the rumors that some of the boat staff got pick pocketed and beat up the other night while out on the town in Barcelona. We later confirmed that this was both true and false. It happened, but the story was not nearly as interesting as the old man passed along. This old fella also told us a story about a cruise he was on in the past that also finished in Monte Carlo. He said there was a big hold up because several of the people on the cruise were not cleared to enter Monte Carlo. That got me worrying, since I recently had troubles simply entering Canader, I wonder what Monte Carlo will think of me. I sure hope they let me in…

A select few pictures here.

Barcelona Spain…I never imagined loving you so much

Day 7 Barcelona, Spain.
It won’t take much more for Barcelona to spring board to the top of my favorite places. We have only spent one day here and I really like it so far. Today we did our first (and only) of the boat provided excursions. We signed up for a biking through Barcelona tour. It was great, a lot of fun, very informative, and biking is a great way for us to see new places. Biking around all of the places we have been is what we should have been doing every day of this trip. Maybe today started a new tradition and we will do it every day after today. We are still here in Barcelona tomorrow and plan to hire bikes on our own to see a lot more of the city than we did during todays bike ride. We did not see that much of Barcelona, but what we did see was amazing. Barcelona is a great combination of ancient buildings with history and modern buildings with new stories and luxury.  We wandered around for several more hours after the bike ride. We saw a tiny dog with the biggest swingingest dick. I have never seen a dog with so much confidence. He has such a package that it just flopped out from underneath him, side to side, out both sides of his body as he walked. After we stopped following and staring at this 7th wonder of a dog we went into a museum. It was built on top of 2000 year old ruins that were discovered fairly recently. The history of this city seems extremely more interesting than most other places. Barcelona is right on the Mediterranean Sea with marvelous beaches. However until recently (probably the Olympics), they never acknowledged the sea was there. They had their “backs to the sea”…that is their expression. Barcelona was mainly an industrial town. I never thought I would have enjoyed some place in Spain as much as I did. We are here overnight so hopefully we are going out for authentic paella for dinner, somewhere the tourists don’t go, ha. Even at 3pm a lot of stuff here is still closed. Most things open around 5pm we were told. Some areas were these ancient tiny desolate streets with shops that were just not open for the night yet. At 9am this morning, the beginning of our bike tour, we had the entire streets to ourselves. Everyone was still sleeping. Siestas are a legitimate thing here. Wifey is enjoying the fact that siestas are so well accepted. I do my best to fight them off.
I finished a couple more books about cameras so far this trip. Stupid Matt Urban.
We found 2 geocaches today and looked for several more. Geocaches are hard to find here because of the combination of poor satellite reception and the language barrier. All the streets are tiny and the buildings tower over most areas not letting the sunlight (or satellites) get to the ground.
We went out for dinner and had authentic paella, it was scrum-diddly-umptious! We also found gay-town while we were out tonight. That seems to happen everywhere we go. This town is really hopping at night. We stayed out until eleven which is unheard of for this elderly couple (half elderly anyway). Also found one more geocache while out wandering around at night.

Day 8 Barcelona, Spain day 2.
I would love to stay in Barcelona a few more days. Sleep has not evaded us this trip. We slept in later than I planned. We went straight to a bike rental shop and that is how we spent the day. We covered more ground but didn’t have much time to see many things. We did the one thing Wifey wanted to do, visit the Familia Sagrada church. We also went to the museum of Casa Batllo. My new favorite human Antoni Gaudi designed both the church and the Casa Batllo. I plan to learn and read much more about him in the future. He made a church, kind of a church so far, that even I would go to.  Barcelona has a great service of providing bikes to the locals that is unique, from what I have seen. It is called Bicing and it seems awesome. It costs 30 euros per year to be a member. They have bike stations all over the city. You can just grab one and then leave it wherever your destination is. Seems like a fantastic service. We couldn’t use it though, so we had to get a daily rental of a couple bikes made in 1925. Wifey went back to the boat a bit earlier than I did. She had an appointment. I continued to cruise around town on my awesome bicycle and found a couple geocaches, met some locals, and kept a guarded eye on my wallet.

A select few pictures are here.


I may or may not like Sambuca. Either way I love talking about the stuff.

Day 6

Sanary Sur-Mer France. This was the next stop on the Riviera. It is a gorgeous seaside town. The harbor was so adorable and full of every color in the rainbow, the kind of place you wished you could take a bit of because you know it would be tasty. The homes are built up the cliffs sides that overlook the Mediterranean. Must be an awful way to live, waking up with that view every morning. We were only anchored here for a few hours. It was only long enough for us to get a quick stroll around. On our tender ride from the boat to the harbor the tender driver got scolded for going too fast through the harbor. Seabourn, will you ever learn? We came to a very important conclusion today. This may sound racist (or frenchist), but every French person actually does walk around with a baguette under his or her arm. Some bikes even have a baguette attachment. Also, French dogs look French and at least one smokes. We saw a cute dog named Luna go for a swim today. It is fairly obvious why it is called doggie paddling. We looked for one geocache today with no luck. We spent probably an hour over 2 different attempts. Of all things it was a scuba diving related geocache. That was a pretty hard pill for Wifey to swallow. This is the saddest part of the trip so far. Update: geocache was missing, so we were looking for something that was not there. Team Sellers always wins in the end.

Tonight’s dinner on the boat was the chef’s tasting menu. Delicious. I enjoyed it very much. One of the courses was a sorbet palate cleanser with a splash of Sambuca. Apparently Sambuca is a black licorice tasting liquor. I brought this up to the waiter. He explained to us that Sambuca is an anise (pronounced anus) liquor. The language barrier had this conversation going nowhere. I insisted on telling people this story and that our definitions of anus liquor must be quite different. I planned to do this until I got thrown off this boat. I am still here and nobody else laughed except for my low-rent party of two.

A few pictures here.

The next few days got better, we finally found people to laugh at

Day 3
First stop on the boat is Portoferrai Italy. It is on the island of Elba, which is the island Napoleon was exiled. It was quite the beautiful little port town. I am sure the whole island is nice but we didn’t get to see much. We spelt until 10am by accident. Once we rose and shone we walked around for a few hours. We saw neatly arranged old buildings and streets. We descended down onto a tiny rock beach and walked in the water. The water and view were stellar. It was a locals beach I believe. Not many people were there, and it was at least a million steps down to get to the water and beach. It really was one of those places that people might call a hidden gem. It was on the opposite side of the island from where the boat docks. So it was a bit out of the way for everyday tourists. I have spent a lot of time learning, playing, and constantly messing with this new camera. So far so good. Hopefully the pictures will turn out OK. So far I really enjoy the learning curve, as long as we have decent pictures to show for it in the end. It has been a long time since I actually gained enjoyment out of learning. On our way back to the boat we found our first geocache of this trip.

Day 4
La Spezia Italy. It is amazing that on a boat of 200 guests every single employee of the boat can know that we are Mr. and Mrs. Sellers. We do nothing to stand out or fit in. We don’t socialize with the wine drinking, dinner invites, happy hour, tea, palates, or anything I can think of. Yet somehow they all know our name. That must be the sign of true first class service.  Not much happened today. A very lounging day. We walked around the town of La Spezia for a while. It is a very shopping orientated town, so that is fun for about 20 minutes. Nothing much else happened, not the most memorable of ports. We found 2 geocaches today. One in a phone booth and another in a cannon that took us 2 tries to find.

Day 5
Cannes France.  Wifey found a dive boat with her keen eye so she went for a dive. I strolled around Cannes like a tourist with my camera and best looking “I’m a tourist” hat on. While she dove I went for as swim in the sea alone. The water was amazing blue and warm. There were naked boobies out everywhere. Unfortunately, none of them were worth getting in trouble for staring. Cannes seems pretty great. They really boast a lot about their film festival, as well they should. I’d love to go to a film festival one day. Maybe Telluride. There are blocks and blocks, probably miles, of every fancy name brand I have ever heard of. None of them mean much to me, but just the sound of the store names makes chicks go crazy. I do like knowing there are expensive shoes called Jimmy Choo. That makes me feel like I can still someday do something with my life. Something meaningful, that can really help this world. Wifey said her dive was not so great. She described it as fairly uneventful and far from the best. She was just extremely happy to be under water for an hour, and in France to boot. That is an odd thing for a human being that is not Aquaman to say. We took a train ride for an hour through Cannes that gave us a fun tour with some history. Turns out that Wifey is a big fan of Le Petit Trains. They are a better than average way to see more than self-population would show me. We had dinner off the ship tonight since the boat didn’t leave until 11pm. I ordered foie gras for what I think is the first time ever, muscles, and fish. All quite out of character for me. I simply asked our waitress what the best things they made we’re and ordered those things. My dinner had an entire head and watched me eat him, and punished me by having bones. We found a guy named lazy bones. He is a trackable geocache. He was located at one of 2 that we found today. The first was at the top of the town looking down over all of creation. The other was in the middle of the town at a busy intersection. Luckily everyone was too busy paying $8000 for a shirt to notice what I was doing. We need to decide where we are putting lazy bones next. Either Spain or back home to the USA.

Fun note about today…there was an ornamental guy on Wifey’s dive boat with a tattoo in the English language that said, “the opportunity garsp is in our hands”. I hope this is the equivalent of all the knuckleheads with ornamental writing tattoos who tell you it is the Chinese symbol for peace, love, prosperity, etc… I have always hoped that the tattoo artist played a joke and those symbols actually mean “I blow goats” or “I love divorces.” I wish I had gotten a photo, but he was just out of camera range. I did manage to fit this guy from the boat into frame:

Newest photos of these days are here.