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About IslandThyme

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    Cool Cruiser

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    Bainbridge Island, WA
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  1. Yes, we did have to take someone back to Eden, not that I can imagine they have much of a hospital there. And no, no crossword puzzle in the new rag (and I use that term advisedly). The weather does look really sub-optimal for the next few days, alas. I'm blogging our trip at http://frenchletters.wordpress.com if anyone's interested.
  2. Actually, we are missing Milford Sound entirely, because we lost 240 miles returning to shore to medevac a passenger, which couldn't be done via helicopter due to rough seas. I have a digital subscription to the NYT, so I can, and do, read it on my laptop, but have always enjoyed having the print version to read with breakfast. The new substitute has two pages of sports, for you sports fans, and very little news, for us news fans.
  3. I'm on Maasdam, and today, instead of the New York Times digest paper there was something called USA News. Crew members said that there was going to be no more NYT. Is this happening on all the ships? I think it's really a pity, if so.
  4. Since I was born in San Francisco, have lived in Portland, and now live near Seattle, I do have some thoughts for you. (I'm flying down to Sydney later this month: Seattle - San Francisco - Auckland - Sydney.) First, I agree with everyone who counsels avoiding LAX if at all possible. The train from Seattle to Vancouver is indeed very scenic, and the train from Portland to Seattle is pretty nice as well. The train doesn't actually go into San Francisco itself, so from SFO I imagine that you'd be taking a bus to Oakland to catch the train. If the train is running more or less on time, you wake up in the morning to some gorgeous scenery. But if you do decide to train it, be sure to leave yourself an extra day. The Cascades train, like all of Amtrak, is subject to frequent delays, because they don't actually own the track and so are often displaced by freight trains. The drive from San Francisco to Vancouver is breathtaking, and very long. It's only worthwhile if you drive slowly up the coast. Inland on the I-5 is tedious and heavily trafficked in many areas. If you have a week or 10 days to drive up the coast, go for it! If time would limit you to the inland highway, I'd fly.
  5. Thanks for the link, TT. I just booked my shuttle with them for later this month. Easy as pie.
  6. I'll be in Napier in October on Maasdam, and have booked a winery tour through Prinsy's Tours. I found them through Trip Advisor, and am expecting a good tour with them.
  7. Later this month I'll be on Maasdam, sailing out of Sydney and up the coast of New Zealand. I can't for the life of me think why I'd want to be in an area of really excellent wines and drink wine from Italy, at whatever price (and the prices above are just silly). I'll be bringing on Aussie and Kiwi wine from our port stops and paying the corkage gladly in order to drink local. I do appreciate seeing the JS list, though.
  8. Thanks for the details of daily onboard life, Tim. I think I'm going to love it.
  9. Americans sometimes say What the What? to tone it down. Of course, if you pronounce that Fut the Fut, it takes on a whole new feel.
  10. Actually, I've already used it on Whacebook, saying What the Whuck!?!
  11. Me too, please! I'll be boarding Maasdam on Sept. 26 for 22 days and would like to hear about life onboard. I haven't been on Maasdam for a number of years, and would love to learn more about the new format.
  12. I'm happy to have these guides to pronunciation, and I am totally adopting whuck! Actually, Maori looks a lot like Hawaiian, which is easy to pronounce if you just go one syllable at a time. Hawaiian does have an apostrophe-like mark, to indicate a little break in the word.
  13. Is wh always pronounced as f, or only at the beginning of a word? I wonder if I can manage to terrify timid passengers with drop bear tales.
  14. G-banger hasn't made it up north, to my knowledge, although young people might say butt floss. For drop kick I find this - is this correct and current? "An insignificant, contemptible or unfashionable person; a loser; used as a general insult." And, linguistically speaking, does this bear (can't believe I typed that) any resemblance to drop bear?
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