Welcome to Bud’s Blog

Posted March 1, 2009 by oldereyes
Categories: feeling older

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes - Marcel Proust

Sometimes Older Eyes work, too - Bud

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Necessary Definitions

Sage – a wise man; a man of gravity and wisdom; especially, a man venerable for years, and of sound judgment and prudence.

Curmudgeon – an ill-tempered old person full of stubborn ideas or opinions.

Fool – A person with poor judgment or little intelligence; a jester, a person whose role was to entertain a sovereign and the court, often with foolishness.
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I’ve been wondering lately what it would be like to be able to relive my life knowing what I know now. Or if I was able to give my grown children a view of the world through my Older Eyes, would it change their lives? Here’s a provocative proposition: If I could get every twenty-year old to look at the world through sixty-four year old eyes for just a few minutes, it would either change them for the better or kill them. Provocative but probably not true. I doubt there are many young men making bucket lists as a result of watching Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman.

With a do-over unlikely and getting my children to listen to my archaic opinions only slightly less so, I’ll record the view through my Older Eyes here in Bud’s Blog.   As you read each post, you decide … Sage, Curmudgeon, or Fool … we can agree to disagree on which is which. Your comments are welcome, whatever your age.   If what you read changes you for the better, I’d especially like to know.   Hopefully there will be no casualties.   If you are new here and want a taste of my Older Perspective before diving in, The Best of Feeling Older offers a few of my favorite posts on aging.  Finally, if my work inspires you to try blogging … or even if you think, Jeez, I can do this better than Older Eyes – there are a series of posts on doing just that on my page, Starting a WordPress Blog.

A Day at Sea

Posted September 30, 2014 by oldereyes
Categories: travel

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We chose to have dinner on the Epic each night in the Manhattan Room, the largest and most formal of the ship’s dining rooms (most formal means there is a dress code, albeit a very loose one.  Many people dress for dinner there which I like).   The Manhattan room is in the stern if the ship with large windows so most nights, we hear the engines roaring to life during dinner and watch the wake of the ship stretching back to the  port as we sail away.  Last night, we said good-bye to Barcelona.  The Manhattan Room reminds me faintly of the wpid-20140930_214810.jpgTitanic’s dining room (Muri shook her head when I said that) which I saw as a good thing … it had some elegance in this age of always casual.   Norwegian Cruise Lines specializes in what they call Freestyle Cruising, which pretty much means you can dine anytime and anywhere you want (except for the specialty, for-a-fee restaurants which require reservations), wearing whatever.  Freestyle cruising can be very nice when you are trying to arrange your schedule to make shows or when you arrive late from an all-day excursion, but with the lack of formal dining eating aboard loses some of its class.  Hence, we chose the Manhattan Room, where you feel like you are in a real restaurant.  The food has been good if not excellent with a wide choice of appetizers, entrees and desserts.  The service has been mostly excellent, partly because our travelling companion, Ron, has a gregarious nature and strikes up a conversation with everyone.  In the past on cruises with fixed dinner times and seating, we’d get to know the waitstaff and the others at our table, while with Freestyle Dining, that doesn’t happen.  Still it seems to work here on the Epic. Read the rest of this post »

Shows

Posted September 29, 2014 by oldereyes
Categories: travel

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Today we arrived in Barcelona, Spain (if it’s Barcelona, it must be Sunday).  Things have gone swimmingly (whatever that means) so far but our day in Barcelona was abbreviated by a weekend athletic festival (in which many of the roads were closed for running and bike races) and an unexpected rainstorm that started late in the morning.  Fortunately we did get to visit the Sagrad Familia before the rains came.   This remarkable Basilica, designed by the Spanish architect, Gaudi, has been under construction for almost 100 years and is not expected to be completed until 2026.   There’s too much to tell you about Sagrada Familia, so I’ll just give you a link to a good description (here) … and show you a picture.

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La Palma, Majorca

Posted September 28, 2014 by oldereyes
Categories: travel

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image The Norwegian Epic arrived in La Palma on the Spanish isle of Majorca at one p.m.  Based on what we’d seen in the brochures … and what we’d heard on board (it’s just beaches, someone said) … I planned to enjoy a day on board and skip the tours.   However, from our balcony, I could see the massive Cathedral de Majorca across the bay and was intrigued.  Muri and Ron decided to stay on board, so Kerry and I set off on our own.  We found a hop-on-hop-off bus that toured the entire city and allowed us to get off at the cathedral.   Although the day was warm and slightly humid, riding on the open top provided a cooling breeze for the tour. La Palma is a lovely seaside city that mixes modern luxury hotels and picturesque streets lined with lovely residences and stylish shops.  Ancient walls and structures blend beautifully with more modern buildings surrounded along streets lined with parks and gardens. Read the rest of this post »

Cannes

Posted September 28, 2014 by oldereyes
Categories: travel

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I’d like to give you a fabulous post on our adventure in Cannes, France.   I’d like to but I won’t be doing so because we didn’t have an adventure in Cannes.   The Norwegian Epic was anchored off-shore, so we were tendered to Cannes on one of the ships lifeboats, where we had an hour or so coach tour of the city, after which we decided we’d seen enough.   That was probably in part the cumulative effect of 4 days of travel and forced march walking tours on one seventyish couple, but it also had to do with the city itself.   Primarily known for its film festival and the high rollers that attracts, the city’s main attractions are the film center where the Cannes Film Festival is held, the elegant hotels and apartments along the beach, and the a line-up of excllusive shops that would make Rodeo Drive blush.   Yes, there is a church and a castle of sorts at the top of the hill and some lovely gardens along the main drive but we saw nothing we needed to go back and see on foot, so we reboarded the tender boat and had a nice day on board.
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Florence and Pisa

Posted September 26, 2014 by oldereyes
Categories: feeling older, travel

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wpid-images7.jpegIt’s Friday as I’m writing this but I’m going to tell you about Thursday when we took our first big excursion from the Norwegian Epic.  When we booked our cruise I was worried about the size of the ship … in particular how the large number of people lining up for dinner and departing for excursions would annoy me.  I’ll say this … Norwegian has mastered the art of managing large numbers of people.  Freestyle dining … in which there are no fixed dining times unless you want them … eases the lines for dinner.  And they’ve managed to master the art of moving large number of people in small groups.  The Epic docked in Livorno, an industiral port city that is roughly an hour and a half bus ride from Florence.  Even though there were perhaps fifteen buses of cruiserrs departing for the tour, loading was quick an efficient.  Luca, our tour captain, gave us some lessons in Italian, on surviving as a pedestrian in Italy and on negotiating for a good price.  He mixed in funny stories and interesting background on Florence and Pisa. Read the rest of this post »

Bon Voyage

Posted September 25, 2014 by oldereyes
Categories: travel

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image Our shuttle from the Crowne Plaza to Citivechia, where we board the Norwegian Epic, was scheduled to leave at 11:30, so we got to sleep in a bit.  That was nice because even after several days, my body is thoroughly confused about what tim eit is, no matter what my watch says.  Although I fall asleep easily at bed time, I awake three or four hours later wide awake.  The bus ride was about an hour and ten minutes by the time we picked up two couples at another hotel and two at the airport.  Since the Epic holds up to 4,100 passengers, we though check in might be a nightmare, but the lines were short and we were on board quickly.  We would later find that the Epic takes on passengers in Citivechia and Barcelona … and that most travelers board in Barcelona.  We found our staterooms, unpacked, then went to lunch in the garden cafe, an excellent cafe.  After some time exploring the ship and there were things to do, like check on shore excursions and arrange for internet access, then spend some time relaxing (read: taking a nap) before dinner.
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Roma

Posted September 25, 2014 by oldereyes
Categories: travel

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image Our European vacation is one of those city-a-day whirlwind tours that more seasoned travelers scoff at wrapped around a Medditeranean cruise.  Although we arrived in Rome two days before our cruise departure, Monday was mostly just a recovery from the 15 hour flight and the time zone changes.   With the transfer to the ship at 11:15 on Wednesday, we decided to take the Rome-in-a-Day Tour.  I can’t say we weren’t warned … the Real Rome Tours described it as strenuous but worth the effort.  It was indeed a stimulating, informative, mosly enjoyable forced march through the city.  Our day began with a taxi ride to the Arch of Constantine to meet our tour group at 8:45, ride that our concierge said would take 15 minutes.  Whether our concierge was wrong or the traffic particularly bad, the cab dropped us off several blocks from the Colloseum at 8:40 but with some scurrying we made it.   From the Arch, our guide, Andre, led us to the Colloseum.  If you ever make the trip, be sure to
image prearrange a tour with skip the line tickets … we must have walked by hundred because we were with our tour group.   Real Rome tour also keeps the groups to 12 or under and utilized headphones to listen to the guide which means you don’t have to fight for the front row at each stop.  We spent almost an hour there, visiting sites on the lower and upper levels and learning about the building itself and the events that took place there.   As many time as I’d seen pictures of the Colloseum, it’s impossible to appreciate its scale, which rivals modern stadiums, unless you are standing inside, and and the thought that it was built over 2000 years ago is mind-boggling.  From the Colloseum we walked to the Roman Forum, then the Pantheon, finishing at te Piazza Navona where we had lunch within sight of the Fountain of the Four Rivers which played such a crucial part in the film, Angels and Demons.

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