Finally above water. And Flying.

The last few weeks I’ve felt like I’m underwater. It’s been hard to get a really deep breath. And impossible to sigh. Too much going on, particularly on the work front. But finally it’s slowing down. On Sunday I was able to sit down and dive into my pictures (fair warning: they are many). I had to find out what I’ve been up to between all the Sundays that have flown by in a flash. And, indeed, I’ve been underwater for real. For the first time in years. Here’s the proof.

However, I wouldn’t bank on a career as an underwater photographer. For obvious reasons. But as I’m flying north and more north today, it warms my soul to look back at pictures from a short cruise to Bahamas with my friends last month. That was so much fun. And food, I might add.

During the first day at sea, we had time to examine our ship, the Enchantment of the Seas. And there was much to explore, from vast sundecks, solariums and common gathering places to bars, restaurants, entertainment venues and shops. Plenty of programming too. Anyone so inclined could easily put stress right back into their lives and run from one event to another. Not me and my friends. We wanted to relax and enjoy the sail. Lagom is best as we say in Sweden. Life onboard was full of small delights, such as the ‘animals’ I would find in my cozy stateroom waiting for me on the sofa or on the bed every night.

Our first port of call was Nassau, the capital of Bahamas. It seemed to be the port of call for some other ships as well. I suspect this scene gets repeated many times each week.

I had been there twice before, but coming from the north I had spent my days mostly on the beach. This time was different. We set out to discover the city. We started off by visiting Fort Charlotte (est. 1788) situated on a hill above the town. It certainly was a great place to spot enemy ships approaching from the ocean. Luckily we were only approached by an army of vendors.

Quite unexpectedly, we spotted Christopher Columbus.  In October 1492, he sighted a Bahamian island (probably the Watling Island) and believed he had arrived in East Asia. Poor man. He went ashore and claimed this Asia for his sponsors in Spain. Sponsorship is quite an established phenomenon.

We also visited the John Watling Rum Distillery. It was a tasty experience. The Pina Colada we were served didn’t leave much to desire…other than perhaps a more generous serving.

On the distillery grounds I finally got an opportunity to ‘shoot’ some birds. Two handsome roosters were touring the front yard.

I also discovered that the flower and fruit trees along our route matched the many colorful buildings in town…

… and that the little barrier islands out in the sea were, indeed, very Caribbean.

We also visited the Paradise Island, just over the Sidney Poiter Bridge from Nassau, famous its trademark hotel, the Atlantis.

We politely declined the offer to stay at the Michael Jackson Penthouse Suite for the bargain price of $25,000 a night. We simply couldn’t stay for the required minimum of four nights as we had to head back to the ship. But I have to say the hotel is quite impressive. Both outside and inside. The massive aquarium was definitely worth a visit.

Our second port of call was Cococay, a tropical island less than a day’s sail away from Nassau. That day was all about relaxation. On the beach, in the water and underwater. 

The only wildlife, in addition to some seabirds, I spotted on the island were iguanas. Several families with parents, kids, aunts and uncles.

That was a fun little cruise which still warmed me when I had to go to chilly NYC shortly after coming home. My week there was filled with meetings, but I got one free afternoon. I decided to play tourist…and take pictures.

I started at the 911 memorial and museum. That visit was a stark reminder of that sad and chaotic day in 2001, which I had experienced in Washington D.C. All my memories from that horrible day came back.

While there, I decided to visit the Observatorium at the new World Trade Center One. The views from up there were fantastic. 

I rounded up my afternoon on a cruise around Manhattan. The city appeared softer and somewhat more … human in the warm light of the setting sun.

And I really wanted to see Lady Liberty again. It had been quite a while, but I still remembered the steep staircase up to her crown. Now I admired her from the water. Amazingly, she  doesn’t seem to age like the rest of us.

Okay. After a work filled couple of weeks at home onto the next adventure. Right now I’m in the windy city waiting for my next flight over the big pond to celebrate the holidays with family. I’m hoping to exchange the warm holiday lights at home to a white Christmas.

Thank you all for heart-warming friendships here in the blogging world. I wish you and yours a wonderful Christmas and lots of blessings in the new year. 

73 thoughts on “Finally above water. And Flying.”

  1. What wonderful captures you got of all the beauty in the places you visited sweet Tiny. I so enjoyed every photo. The cruise must have been so much fun, it sure sounded like it was. I couldn’t afford to stay at Michael Jackson’s place no matter how much time I had. 🙂 Thank you for showing so much beauty that I will never get to see in person. Merry Christmas to you and your family. Hugs ❤

    1. Thank you Mags! I am happy you liked the cruising adventure. It was lots of fun – my friends are wonderful company 🙂 When I heard the price of the Michael Jackson suite I thought that if I ever has the money to afford to stay there, I would not do it. Such money could do lots of good to many people who need help. I hope you had a beautiful Christmas with family. Dylan and I wish you, Pooh and Chancy a blessed new year.

      1. You are right about the good that money could do elsewhere. I did have a wonderful Christmas with some of my family. Wishing a Blessed and Happy New Year to you and Dylan sweet Tiny. Hugs and nose kisses

  2. You’ve clearly been a busy gal Helen. Thanks for sharing your heart and images. For once, I’m not envious of someone’s travel. Neither NYC or tourist beaches hold much appeal for me. But I’m glad you had fun and a chance to unwind. Happy Holidays!

    1. Thanks Brad. Yes, I’ve been extremely busy with work since August. Despite of being my own boss, I sometimes bite more than I can (comfortably) chew if the cause is right. The little cruise was totally relaxing and provided a break to be with good friends. Happy New Year, my friend!

  3. I so enjoyed this restful, tropical cruise in the Bahamas, Helen. And the NYC cruise photos were equally as stunning. Warm wishes to you for a happy holiday season.

    1. Thank you Jet. The little cruise was a wonderful break from my (overly) busy work schedule this past fall and now I have also experienced a white Christmas in Sweden 🙂 I wish you and Athena a Happy New Year filled with happiness and natural wonders.

  4. Only $25,000 a night! So cheap! Looks like a wonderful trip Helen. Beautiful captures. Glad you are slowing down and can enjoy the days ahead. . Have a lovely Christmas and look forward to connecting with you in the New year! 💕✨💕

    1. Thanks Karen. On hearing about the M J suite, I reflected on the fact that some people (obviously affluent) are willing to pay $100,000 to stay at a hotel for four days and not put some of the money towards a good cause. Anyway, the cruise was a welcome break from work and a chance to be with great friends I had not seen in years. Happy New Year to you & yours!

    1. Thanks Tom. Glad you enjoyed the pictures from the tropics. NYC was actually very cold with biting wind, but the sun made it a tad more tolerable. Happy New Year!

    1. Thanks Joanne! I trust you had a wonderful Christmas with your beautiful family. I had a warm family Christmas too – and a white one for a change. Happy New Year!

    1. Thanks David. The 5-day cruise was totally relaxing and a great break from work. Loved snorkeling, but discovered I scared away all the fish 🙂

  5. The afternoon cruise around Manhattan looks beautiful in the Winter sun! Have a wonderful Christmas and a very blessed New Year Helen, love and wags for you and Dylan from all of us here 🤗💖🐕 xxx

    1. Thank you dear Xenia! I had a wonderful – and white – family Christmas in Sweden. Dylan is happy to have me back home – and that’s mutual 🙂 We both send you all our best wishes for a blessed 2019. Many hugs ❤

  6. Wonderful gallery my friend! U’ve been blessed to have been in those places myself with my family. Have Happy Holidays with your family. Also a Happy New Year from Tyler and Lucy. 🙂 ❤

    1. Thanks Nancy! The lights were on when I came home this weekend 🙂 And the warmth had returned, so all is good. Happy New Year to you and BFF!

  7. Hello Helen ❤
    So glad to hear from you again. As always it looks like you've been very busy. Hopefully things will be a bit calmer as the year winds down. A very Happy Holiday to you, Dylan and all your family!! 🙂

    1. Dear Takami ❤ Thank you for your good wishes. I had a wonderful, white Christmas with family in Sweden, and now hope to be able to manage my work in a more balanced way next year. Dylan and I wish you a Happy and Healthy 2019 – with many opportunities to capture beautiful pictures. Many hugs!

  8. Wonderful voyage Tiny, and so enjoyable with friends. I have never wanted to do a cruise, but you have certainly showcased the highlights well. I love how light has played a large role in the effect of your photos.Again a happy and restful Christmas to you and the family. So glad the sadness of memories at this time, will be allayed somewhat by time with your sister. Richest Blessings dear friend!

    1. Thank you dear friend. My Christmas was wonderful – with the warmth of family … and beautiful, snow covered neighborhoods where we took long walks. Just now back home walking the marsh with Dylan…we discovered this morning that the Osprey couple has started to repair their home for a new nesting season! I wish you and your family many blessings in the new year.

  9. Loved every moment of that heartwarming cruise, Helen; you must have thoroughly enjoyed it; I’m sure.
    So many delights, it’s hard to find just one or two to comment upon – so I’ll not try; except to say – your images told the story beautifully.
    Have a wonderful time at home with friends and family.
    Ha så kul. Mycket kärlek
    Carolyn xoxoxo

    1. Thank you dear Carolyn ❤ My fall was too busy…I have the tendency to commit too much when the cause is right 🙂 But the visit by my friends and the little cruise were relaxing and fun highlights. I also experienced a white Christmas in Sweden and enjoyed the love of my family. Now looking forward to a new year with excitement! I send you much love and best wishes for a wonderful 2019!

    1. Thanks Kathy! I am not a ‘cruiser’, but have to admit that it was a fun and relaxing experience in the midst of a work-filled fall season. Happy New Year to you and your family!

  10. Oh my goodness, Helen, this post I spent a LONG time with!! What a spectacular post one which has me drooling to travel. The shots of your room on the ship I wowed over believe me. What luxury! Each and every image I looked at, and I mean really looked at. I pray you are healing and all this traveling is mending your Heart. THANK YOU so much for the absolutely fantastic images found here. YOU are actually doing what I only dream of doing right now. Some day for me ….. (((HUGS)))! 💞

    1. Thank you dear Amy ❤ I thoroughly enjoyed the cruise with my visiting friends. My stateroom was one of the cheapest on the ship (we booked the cruise in the last minute), but very cozy and nice. The whole ship was beautifully renovated. My travels, including now spending the Christmas with family in Sweden, have indeed helped my heart to heal. I start feeling "whole" again and find joy, particularly in the nature. I hope you have had an opportunity to rest over the holidays and I wish you a wonderful year in 2019 ❤ Much love and many hugs XXX

  11. Greetings, Tiny – it’s been awhile since I’ve popped in to wordpress, so it was especially nice to see your post near the top of my Reader. Happy and safe travels to you this Christmas – Susan

  12. You have been a busy busy girl, but once again, I so enjoy reading your descriptions of your travels and of course your always stunning photos. Wishing you tidings of comfort and joy and may your holiday be Merry and bright! Looking forward to seeing your Stockholm pictures. Safe travels and see you on the island of Paradise 🙂 Love and hugs. Trish

    1. Thanks Trish! I had a wonderful time in Sweden! Now back with Dylan in the island of Paradise 🙂 Thanks for bringing the warmth back! Hope to see you soon!

  13. What contract- from the Bahamas to NYC. Wonderful pictures, all!! Glad you are finally having some time to relax and enjoy the holidays in FL. Hope to see you around SK… Robin

    1. Hi Robin! I am back home now from my Christmas holiday in Sweden. I hope your holiday has been great so far and we hope to see you and Priya soon! Hugs

    1. It was, indeed much fun to be able to snorkel and swim again! But I discovered that I tend to scare away all the fish…and they were so fast that it was difficult to capture a photo of them 🙂 Happy New Year, ZL!

  14. Helen, wow! Stunning photos and makes me long more than every for such a cruise! My mother has been on this ship and of all the cruises she’s been on this was her favourite!

    God Jul och Gott Nytt år, Helen! May it be a happy one filled with love, laughter and lots of wildlife and photos! Kram, Annika xx

    1. Hej Annika! I am just now back from Stockholm where we had a wonderful white Christmas with my sister and her family. I also visited an aunt in Gothenburg – a speed train from Stockholm now takes only three hours! I trust you had a beautiful Christmas with family. Dylan and I wish you all a Gott Nytt År! Kram XXX

    1. Thank you Donna! I hope your Christmas was wonderful and wish you a happy and healthy 2019 – with lots of opportunities to take beautiful photos of wildlife and nature!

  15. Stunning photographs!!! I would go a long way for that view and a Pina Colada. You really capture the feeling of the places you visit. You do get around. Wishing you a Merry Christmas as well.

    1. Thanks Marlene! The cruise was a fun and relaxing experience, much thanks to my good friends visiting. My Christmas was merry and white in Stockholm with family and now I look forward to a bit calmer 2019. Happy New Year to you & yours!

    1. Thank you dear Anja and Hertta ❤ I hope you had a good holiday. Many hugs and best wishes for 2019 to you and Hertta from Dylan and me! Much love

    1. Thanks Tina. I wish I’d had more time to visit places in NYC, but found the cruise around Manhattan a very good way to see quite a bit in a short time. Best wishes for a happy and healthy 2019!

  16. So many beautiful and varied photos, Helen. You’ve certainly been very busy lately. I love your shots of dear Lady Liberty. She is a favourite icon of mine and what she represents is so precious. Wishing you and Dylan a very happy New Year. xx *hugs*

  17. I’m so glad you were able to get away and re-charge yourself and your camera! Love those photos of the sea, and around NYC. I hope you had a wonderful Christmas.
    Safe travels back to the US. Wishing you all the very best for the New Year and beyond.
    Cheers! 🥂

  18. Lovely to see photos from your relaxing cruise, and then to see New York from different angles. Now on to your next post so I can catch up with your winter holiday. 🙂

  19. Looks like you had a fantastic cruise back then. And I also enjoyed the photos of New York. It brought me back to the time I studied there (long time ago). I hope you are still flying and not been buried in work again. 🙂

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