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World Travels 2023 - 2024, 05 Jan 24 - Valparaiso, Chile to 11 Feb 24, Los Angeles Leg.

Updated: Feb 24





Final segment of the first leg.


Los Angeles - Queen Mary Royal Sunday Brunch – 11 Feb 2024.





Welcome to Los Angeles

 


My old Army friend and close friend, Gina Garabedian, met me at the Port of Los Angeles and decided to take me to an incredibly special brunch.  She took me to a local favorite, “The Queen Mary Royal Sunday Brunch.”

 


Joseph Thompson and his fellow Army Buddy Gina Garabedian


This brunch takes one on a worldwide culinary adventure and features over fifty unique dishes from around the globe.

 

It is a delightful mixture of traditional western breakfast fare like made-to-order omelets, pancakes, eggs benedict, and homemade hash.

 

It also has traditional southwestern treats like Albondigas soup and carne asada tacos.

 

I cleansed my palate at our refreshing salad station featuring a chef-crafted Cobb salad, imported tuna nicoise and a variety of domestic and imported cheeses.

 

The highlight of the brunch was the full selection of fresh seafood like oysters, shrimp, and snow crab legs.   

 

This Royal Sunday Brunch has the air of a royal soiree and is anything but typical. It includes free flowing champagne, live music and a tantalizing signature menu that is sure to please even the most discerning palates.  It was a total delight to eat there after completing the first of the four legs of my world cruise.

 


“The Queen Mary Royal Sunday Brunch.”

 

Ensenada, Mexico – 10 Feb 24

 


Map of Ensenda, Mexico


Ensenda, Mexico Highlights


I plan to uncover the secrets of Mexico’s wine country and tantalize your taste buds during this exclusive wine tasting experience, followed by a delectable three course meal with views of the vineyards.

 

I will drive to the Guadalupe Valley Vineyard for a lesson in cultivating grapes in preparation for wine production.

 


Finca Tre Valle De Guadalupe Vineyard


I am looking forward to sample three delectable wines, including a Grenache, a blend of Merlot and Malbec, and a Nebbiolo, which derives its distinctive flavor from harvest during the warm, dry seasons.

 


Finca Tre Valle De Guadalupe Winery Tour and tasting.


These wines were paired with a decadent three-course meal with fresh, seasonal ingredients and unique flavors, presented in a setting overlooking the estate vineyards.

 


Interview with the Finca Tre Valle De Guadalupe winery owner.



Best winery in Baja, California

 

Cabo Luxury Day of Sailing – 8 Feb 2024

 

I am looking forward to board a 50-foot luxury sailboat and set out to discover the natural wonders off the Cabo San Lucas coast, passing landmarks like Playa del Amor and El Arco, the iconic natural arch that is home to a sea lion colony.

 

I will act like a celebrity onboard this luxury sailboat sailing past Cabo’s famous arch on my way to a secluded cove, where I will observe bottle-nose dolphins, hump-back whales, and sea lions with a cocktail in my hand.



Entering Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

 

Life is good to drop anchor in one of Cabo’s stunning coves, where I kick back on an oversized cushion and bask in the tropical sun, drinking many cold beverages, and enjoying a tasty lunch and breathtaking coastal scenery.

 


Sailing and living the good life.



Sailing around Cabo San Lucas, Mexico



Perfect day of sailing around Cabo San Lucas, Mexico



Everyone, please live your best life.


Ship at Sea - 6 Feb 24


Today was another long day of sailing. Basically, rough weather Ahd choppy seas.



Rough North Pacific Seas



Guatemalan Gastronomic Experience in Antigua with Lunch - 5 Feb 24

 


Welcome to Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala

 

I plan to embrace the rich flavors of Guatemala with a mouth-watering gastronomic experience, as I sample a variety of traditional dishes, learn how to prepare my very own enchilada and discover the highlights of a historic colonial city.

 

I will take an air-conditioned ride through the Guatemalan countryside on my way to the Spanish colonial city of Antigua, a UNESCO World Heritage site and a treasure trove of Baroque-style architecture.



Getting ready for my Guatemala Adventure


 I will begin my culinary adventure at a local restaurant, where I learn how to transform local ingredients into the perfect enchilada - one of the region’s most popular dishes.



Early snack before we explore the city

 

Next, I will stroll through the cobblestone streets and admire this 16th-century town’s incredible highlights, including an impressive museum/workshop dedicated to Mayan jade, a bustling central plaza with a unique mermaid statue, and the Santa Catalina Arch – a magnificent reminder of Antigua’s colonial origins.



The City of Antigua, Guatemala

 

Next, I will indulge in more Guatemalan cuisine at another restaurant, where I can savor a typical local snack, followed by a delicious pepián de pollo - a regional main dish consisting of chicken, potatoes, vegetables and a special sauce.




Excellent lunch of local dishes


For dessert I will travel to a colorful Guatemalan candy shop filled with regional sweets made from all-natural ingredients.

 

I will receive a bag of these special candies to bring back home, before returning to my awaiting ship.

 

  

Puntarenas, Costa Rica - Jungle & River Wagon Expedition - 3 Feb 24

 


Welcome to Puntarenas, Costa Rica


I plan to journey through the stunning lush tropical rainforest on an exciting tractor-drawn wagon that takes you across the Tárcoles River, and will keep an eye out for fascinating local wildlife before heading to the recreated old village of Santa Lucia for fresh fruit and exploration.

 


Preparing my journey into the Jungle


I will begin my journey with a drive to Villa Lapas, an eco-resort located in the famous, dense rainforest of Costa Rica.

 

I will be driven in a designed tractordrawn wagon and experience the excitement of traveling through luscious landscapes and the crystal waters of Tárcoles River.

 

I cannot wait to see the natural splendor, while my tour guide acquaints me with this lush and beautiful rainforest.

 

My camera will be ready and discover some curious inhabitants, such as the colorful toucans, scarlet macaws, rare spiders whose cobwebs are like steel cables, lizards, howler and spider monkeys, as well as exotic plants from ancient times.

 

I plan to enjoy the sounds of the nature, take pictures, might even swim into the clear waters of this beautiful river if weather allows.

 


Jungle wildlife and exotic plants.


Afterward, I plan to continue to Santa Lucia, a unique little town that has been newly constructed using old building techniques and materials to show exactly how Costa Ricans lived in previous centuries.

 


Santa Lucia Village


Here, I will indulge in a tropical fruit buffet and cold drinks, as i wander around this small, old-style village before returning to the port.

 


Magical Evening in Peru - 30 Jan 2024

 

I am on the bus and I'm looking forward to my magical evening in Lima, Peru.

It's going to be a great night.

There's going to be sightseeing, shopping, a night water show, and a fabulous dinner tasting local Peruvian dishes.

I recorded these events and I hope to be back to my cabin before midnight tonight.

As always live your best life.


Love Park, Lima Park - 30 Jan 24

 

I was in Love Park, Lima, Peru all by myself.

 

The Love Park is located on the cliffs of Chorrillos overlooking the Pacific Ocean. It's surrounded by walls of romantic quotes scripted in mosaic tiles and a monumental statue of two lovers embracing each other in the center of the park.

 

Love. What can I say?

 

I strongly believe in the power of love, and I think love is the greatest gift from God to humanity.

 

Well. It's hard since I'm traveling alone by myself, so it looks like I must love someone who is me.  Ha Ha.

 

So, I'm enjoying this cruise and I hope that sharing this beautiful video of two Lovers will inspire everyone to love more.

 



My thoughts on Love Park



Images of Love Park



Water Park in Peru – 29 Jan 24


My tour guide mention that the water park in Lima, Peru is the second biggest attraction in the country.  The Magic Water Circuit of the Parque de la Reserva, inaugurated on July 26, 2007, is one of the largest municipal projects, an icon of the city of Lima and a symbol of the recovery of Lima's public spaces. It has thirteen cybernetic fountains, supported by the highest technology where music, water, sound and laser lights are mixed to present us with unique and incredible shows.

 


Fountains and Water Show



QUINTA BOLIVAR House and Restaurant



Last event of the night was to have a marvelous Peruvian dinner at the Quinta Bolivar House and Restaurant. The construction of the house dates back to approximately 1818 (the year in which the Palacio de la Magdalena, today the Museum of Archaeology, Anthropology and History of Peru, was built).


The house was owned by Doña Manuelita Sáenz, known as La Libertadora del Libertador, as she was the one who accompanied Simón Bolívar for the last eight years of his life, starring in a famous romance that made history in their society in 1819. Bringing modern and revolutionary ideas to her time, Manuelita did not hesitate to support her beloved's feat of independence.


After the departure of the Venezuelan general in September 1826, she continued to live in Lima in a hostile environment. Then she travels to the port of Paita, where she becomes known and lives off its delicious delicacies. Finally, Simón Bolívar died on November 23, 1856, without having returned to his homeland.


Quinta Bolívar Restaurant encloses a unique mystique that attracts visitors due to the multiple stories that have been woven around the relationship between both characters and where it is presumed that they shared happy moments.

 


Excellent of local drinks and dishes


 

Cusco Airport – Plane Ride to Lima -30 Jan 24

 

I'm at the Cusco, Peru airport. Waiting for my 10:00 Eastern Standard Time flight. As always airports are crowded. Crazy. And extremely noisy. Looking forward to flying to Lima. And getting back to my ship by around 1:00 this afternoon.

 

Well, things are going forward and I'm feeling pretty good.

 

Also, since I was unable to see Machu Picchu. Our Cruise company is going to give us a free 7-hour bus tour of Lima Peru.

 

Trust me, I like free stuff, like everybody else.

 

Looking forward to showing you my adventures in Lima, Peru.

 

Also, as always, please live your best life.

 


Bus ride tour of Lima, Peru

 

Folk Dancing - 29 Jan 24

 

Local folk dancing at the bottom of the Andes mountains on a beautiful cattle ranch. Two lovely young individuals doing a traditional dance and it's very beautiful.




Traditional Folk dancing in the Andes Mountains

 

 

Restaurant in the Mountains – 29 Jan 24

 


Excellent home-grown luncheon with local wine.

 

Sacred Valley of the Incas - 29 Jan 24

 

I'm at the sacred valley of the Incas. It's an hour ride out of Cusco, Peru and it's totally awe-inspiring. The mountains are all covered in green. The grass. The clouds. And it's just a place of all. I kind of give this to equivalent to their Grand Canyon. The splendor of the valley really cannot be captured by a camera or video.

 


Sacred Valley of the Incas