June 24, 1926 ~ Kingston, Jamaica
Our schedule called for a morning drive to Castleton Gardens, the Government botanical gardens, but we and a number of others decided to make an all-day ride of it by going to the north shore of Jamaica visiting Hotel Titchfield at Port Antonio for lunch and returning along the shore to Kingston. The Myrtle Bank Hotel gave us box lunches to take with us.
At Castleton Gardens we saw a large and strange variety of trees, plants and flowers of which Anne and Miss Todd collected some cuttings to take home for planting. The gardener assured them that the cuttings would grow if kept in water meantime, but I am positive that Anne’s won’t grow, planted on her piano.
June 18, 1935 ~ Kingston, Jamaica
Debarked at Kingston, Jamaica about 11 A.M. Explored the shops on King and Harbor Sts. until noon. Lunched at the Myrtle Bank Hotel. Had a delicious meal in the room in the right wing. Recognized our waiter whom I remembered from our previous visit in 1926.
After lunch drove to Castleton Gardens. By the time we reached there it was raining pretty hard so we sat in the car till it let up. Our guide took us on a quick trip through the gardens. Saw the small elderly man who was our guide in 1926.
Returned to the Myrtle Bank Hotel. Found Jimmy and other members of the crew impersonating seals in the swimming pool. Stayed a while enjoying the loveliness of the hotel grounds before walking back to the ship for dinner. Saw only the better side of Kingston – did not drive through the poor sections. Wanted to go ashore at night but even Becky agreed it was unadvisable to go unescorted so we remained on the ship and watched the other passengers trailing back for the midnight sailing.
September 20, 2013 ~ Reykjavik, Iceland
After flying overnight and landing in a new time zone, the first point of business was to grab some coffee (for him) and hot chocolate (for me). Something comforting and familiar to sip on after an evening devoid of sleep. We wandered around Reykjavik, zigzagging our way about town. We admired the street art and the delightful scent of baked goods wafting out of buildings. We turned right, following our noses to some freshly baked croissants. The road name was Kárastígur. The flowers potted outside were a bright spot on a gray day.
Out from the chill of the rain, we were able to ease into our trip by sipping on some hot beverages, perhaps the best we’d had in a long while. My hot cocoa was no Swiss Miss. It was delightfully dark and not too sweet, perfect for this chocolate-loving Monster. What a wonderful experience to have proper whipped cream, the kind that is so thick it stands up on its legs and doesn’t immediately dissolve into nothingness.
It decorates your upper lip and teases your tongue with its cool temperature in contrast to the steaming liquid below. I was blissfully happy and ready to explore.
January 25, 2017 ~ Reykjavik, Iceland
We landed in Keflavik around 6am local time, having flown the same red eye we had a few years prior. We took the shuttle to the regional airport in Reykjavik and stowed our bags as we had a few hours to kill before our flight north to Akureyri. We took a taxi straight to Reykjavik Roasters, our favorite find from the last trip. The sun wasn’t awake yet and it was dark outside, the January air crisp but dry. The windows to the coffee shop were fogged up, alluding to the warmth we would find inside. The flowers in the planter were brown and shriveled, covered in ice and snow. Our old friend greeted us gently with hot chocolate and a cappuccino upon arrival. It felt good to be back.
We wandered the familiar streets in a warm milk drunk stupor, happily noticing new street art, restaurants we dined in years prior, and places we missed the first go round. It was interesting to see the city in a new season, this time with a fresh coating of snow and the pastel hue of a frosty winter morning’s light. It was quieter and we weren’t seeing everything fresh for the first time.