On a Safe Return

Greetings! I’ve missed my regular encounters with the friendly bloggers who visit my humble little site, and visiting your sites as well. Consider this as the start of me easing back into a regular routine. Then again, because of the side effect I have from the motion meds, I must limit my computer time for a few days as part of my plan of avoiding a very disturbing case of motion sickness.

We recently returned home from our belated (April) 35th anniversary celebration cruise of northern Europe on the Celebrity Constellation. Interestingly, this trip has been ten years in the making because we originally planned a similar trip for our 25th anniversary, but 9-11 caused a change in plans.

Besides the 2 ½ days we had in Amsterdam before departing on the 12-night adventure, our wonderful journey involved smooth sailing on a beautiful ship with good food, entertainment, dancing, activities, and glorious ports. The icing on the cake was being way from the political ads, conventions, and the accompanying crap of this election season.

Below is a snapshot of our ports. The interesting animation in the video uses the 2009 route that had the same stops but in different order and a route through the canal in Denmark instead of going around it.

Amsterdam – Bikes everywhere in this vibrant city with bountiful offerings. Wish I had worn a pedometer.

Warnemunde – A vacation town on Germany’s Baltic coast. Interestingly, this region was part of East Germany, so good English wasn’t common.

Tallinn – The capital of Estonia with its charming medieval sector is a treat.

St. Petersburg – As Russia’s second largest city, it was interesting to see how far they’ve come since the Soviet era, but with still a way to go. We had two great days here.

Helsinki – The youngest of the cities we visited. The Finnish language is supposedly one of the most difficult to learn, thus their long street names made self-navigation a bit of a challenge.

Stockholm – Passing through the 24,000-island archipelago was the biggest surprise of the trip. The city itself was awesome, and is the one we to return to the most.

Copenhagen – A beautiful city filled with friendly people who enjoy life. Interestingly, we spent time with a young man we know from our church.

Meanwhile, I look forward to reconnecting. Besides, I have a celebratory announcement to make soon. Have a good weekend.

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103 thoughts on “On a Safe Return

  1. Hi Frank, welcome back. Good to have you back in the blogosphere. What an amazing looking trip. You’ve certainly cruised the globe. Congrats to you and your wife on 35 years – great achievement. Looking forward to hearing more about it xx

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  2. Great to see you here again, Frank. It sounds like you did a good bit of travelling. I hope you have some photos for us. I haven’t been to any of the places you mentioned, except Amsterdam. Congrats on the 35 years together.

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  3. Happy Anniversary! Sounds like you had a wonderful celebration. I also hope you will put up some photos of some of the places you visited.
    Glady you back! I hope you are feeling better soon. Motion sickness that’s no fun.

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  4. Oh Frank, welcome back! Did you announce this before you left? I wish I’d known you were going to be here for a day, we could have met 🙂 you are absolutely correct, our street names are a little bit of a mouth full at times: one of my favourites is Nahkahousuntie – Leather Pants Road 😉
    Looking forward to hearing more in due course.

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    • Heather,
      No … I didn’t announce what I was doing. What little time we had in Helsinki was a plus. Quite a beautiful city! We had another couple with us, so we didn’t get to see everything we wanted. More later and thanks for the welcome back greeting!

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  5. Welcome back, Frank.
    A vacation from all the political noise – bliss. Seeing all those cities is just icing on the cake.
    A pleasure to see you, and look forward to hearing more about your travels!

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  6. A great big welcome back to you and many congratulations to your and wife for the 35th! Your cruise sounded wonderful and makes me want to explore that idea of seeing Europe via a cruise. Once you cruise, you want to do it again. I know that for a fact! Could you tell me a bit more of how you traveled there? Did you take British Airlines to go to Amsterdam and did you use a travel agent? Glad to see you back my friend!

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    • Java,
      We arranged our own travel. All the major US airlines had flights to Amsterdam – plus, each has codeshares with some European airlines – so getting to Amsterdam is easy. We booked the cruise through AAA as it had some interesting perks – and they did a good job on the ship as well. More coming in time about the trip – and with pics. Thanks for commenting.

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  7. Frank – Great to have you back! – Fridays have been a real drag without your “Opinions in the Shorts.” Bravos for 35+ married, your Baltic Cruise, and the world perspective you bring back from your trips to share with us in afrankangle.

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  8. Welcome back. Really you STILL got motion sickness on these ships? Wow sensitive tummy. So sorry. yes I worked for Princess Cruises back in the day for almost 5 years. Have enjoyed many in my life time. Then as a young international flight attendant seeing the world. yes the former soviet or former (eastern block countries) for those who have never been … still need much work.

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        • My plan is to announce it in Friday’s Opinions in the Shorts. As for the wheel, it was discovered by Charlie Wheel and his twin brother Willie. As for FP, my blogging style has as much of a chance of being chosen as Osama rising from the dead. For instance, I’ll put up pics from vacation, but not 20 just to get FP.

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  9. Glad to hear you had fun and are safe and sound. I’ve been to Stockholm and Copenhagen and I would love to visit the other places. I’m looking forward to your news.

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  10. I was just in Helsinki. The language is very difficult to learn. My grandfather tried to teach me when I was young. I can count to 6, say hello and thank you and not much else. I love Helsinki, but was not so keen on St Petersburg, saying it has a way to go was being generous.
    Nice to have you back.

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    • Debra,
      In St. Petersburg, we were on a tour (about 10 in a van). So it was controlled, thus one can’t really get a feel for the place. It was interesting, but I’m not sure I’d say I’m ready to return. Thanks for the welcome back greeting.

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  11. What a lovely way to celebrate your special wedding anniversary.
    Really sorry to hear you’re still suffering from motion sickness. That’s one of the main reasons I’ve stayed away from cruises…

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  12. Welcome back, buddy. Glad to hear you had a good time. And Happy Anniversary!
    Your condition sounds like how my wife’s balance worked. She was fine on the cruise ship down to Bermuda, but after a couple hours ashore, she was asking why the island was rocking! That’s the curse of the big ships – you can ease into familiarity with the motion, then you get whacked when you suddenly stop rocking on land. Didn’t have that problem on the Trek cruise in 1987 – the ship was too bloody small! 😀
    I look forward to your announcement!

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    • Note to John from The Right Angle..be sure to check out the Google home page today. Their tribute to Star Trek is great. Be sure to click on the upper left bin of the transporter room for a surprise.

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      • Ah yes, the dreaded “red shirt”. Gee, 6 people beam down – 5 of the series’ regulars, and one guy you’ve never seen before. Guess who doesn’t come back? 😉
        If you haven’t seen it, check out the movie “Galaxy Quest”. It is RIFE with nods to “Star Trek”, especially in the infamous “Crewman #6” as one person is referred to. Great fun! 😀
        And thank you very much, um … er … Mrs. Angle? Ms. Right? (Gad, no, too cheesy!) .. oh heck, thank you!

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  13. happy anniversary to you and your lovely wife, frank. quite an accomplishment to stay together for 35 years and not be tempted to throw the other over the side of the cruise ship! 😉

    the trip sounds fabulous, and i have to admit that i’m more than a tad jealous. glad your trip home was safe, and it’s wonderful to see you.

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    • Nonnie,
      Thanks for the welcome back greeting … and more importantly, it’s greet seeing your comment! (It brought a big smile!!!) The trip was fabulous as it was our first visit to all those wonderful cities. Hope all is well with you!

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  14. Great little vid, Frank. It must have been a marvellous trip. So being on board for that amount of time has meant that your body has adapted to the roll of the seas and now you have to adapt back to your previous environment. Is that right? If so, you are like a cameleon slowly changing colours after embracing the novel.

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    • Cuttlefish,
      Correct – adjusting for the constant motion of the ship is one thing, but given the travel meds I take for my equilibrium, I’m one of the lucky ones (not!) who gets one of the possible side effects – motion sickness 36-48 hours after stopping the drug. Sounds weird – but it is very ugly! So far, my controls have worked. Thanks for the return greeting!

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    • Spinny,
      All the cities were great, however, if you twist my arm, Stockholm is the one I want to revisit to get more time. On the other hand, we had 2+ days in Amsterdam, and it was fabulous! Thanks for the welcome back and the anniversary wishes.

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  15. Happy 35th Anniversary!
    You have a celebratory announcement to make soon….and leave no clue as to what that might be….(tease)…

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    • Ginger,
      I originally was going to wait until next week for The Onion. Then again, your request has me considering a change in plans. Meanwhile, the cities were wonderful … but too short on time. Then again, cruises are meant to introduce the city. Thanks for commenting.

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  16. First of all, congratulations with the 35th anniversary. It looks like you chose a lovely way to celebrate it. I have been to all those cities the cruise took you to (not that exotic for me, maybe, living in Norway as I do) and I really like all of them. Both Copenhagen and Stockholm are very special cities to me. Welcome back to the blog sphere again, my friend.

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    • Otto,
      Many thanks for the best wishes. Unfortunately, the cruise didn’t include Norway. Then again, there is only so much time. We had a light rain in Stockholm, but the weather when Copenhagen was fabulous! Loved our short visit to both. Thanks for stopping by.

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  17. Welcome back Frank and Mrs. Right Angle! The trip looked fabulous. (Don’t you love Celebrity ships?) Congratulations on 35 years as well. WW and I are two years behind you. Can’t wait to see your photos and hear all your great stories. You were missed. And you have a celebritory announcement?? Can’t wait! ET

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  18. Awesome get away. Glad to see you are back. Being a scaredy cat I like watching and seeing these pictures.

    And you missed nothing on the US poltical scene, absolutely nothing. You can catch up in about 1 second.

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    • Randel,
      Missing nothing on the political scene was fairly predictable …. now that is a sad commentary. Given that Ohio leads the country in ads, whew … didn’t miss them at all! Meanwhile, I recall your past comment about cruises, so glad you enjoyed the video. Thanks for stopping by.

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  19. Frank, I am kelly green with envy at reading about your trip. I would love to visit the Scandinavian countries sometime. I’ve heard that Stockholm and Copenhagen are both beautiful cities. Did you get to the Tivoli Gardens? And how did you enjoy the regional cuisines?

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    • Weebs,
      A wonderful trip, but just as cruises go, each port is about 8 hours – thus only get to do so much. I Copenhagen, we were close to Tivoli, but didn’t go … a beautiful city and we had outstanding weather there. Stockholm was wonderful, but rain and only 7 hours. We didn’t sample much of the regional cuisine. On the other hand, as my wife said last night, the ports offered so much that we would be willing to do this cruise again, but do something different at each port. BTW – I hope to show some pics in future posts. Thanks for commenting.

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  20. What a fantastic journey you were on …. the most beautiful cities in the world .. in one go. Stockholm built on 14 islands .. I dare to say is one of the most beautiful in the world. Thanks for sharing.

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