For Christmas we left the cold & gloom of Holland and headed for the Caribbean. We didn't even have to leave The Netherlands -- we went to Bonaire, one of three islands in the Caribbean that are part of the Kingdom of The Netherlands. While we may share the same King with Bonaire, we don't share the same weather. It was beautiful, 80's every day and only one day of rain.
Although there are direct flights to Bonaire from Amsterdam, KLM prices them such that they require a second mortgage. So Lori, Grant & I flew to Newark and spent the day with Kate. Then we all flew from Newark to Bonaire. Besides saving a bundle of money it allowed us to celebrate Lori's birthday with a nice dinner in NJ.
|The birthday girl with her two children.|
We spend almost two weeks in Bonaire where the primary activity was diving. Every day, two dives a day. The secondary activity was eating -- Bonaire has some great restaurants. And the third activity was relaxing, playing cards, etc. Believe me, after those three things there is not much else to do on Bonaire. But the diving is great, so that's okay with us.
|Kate and Grant played cribbage and drank wine. Well….maybe they just played cribbage. The wine that you see was a gift from the hotel.|
|Grant's favorite between dive activity|
|These are our dive bags with our gear. Every dive they had to go on the boat. Afterwards they had to come off the boat. It wouldn't be bad except that one piece of gear was our weight belt. The name is very accurate, it's heavy.|
|Yes the water was warm, but after staying down for an hour it can get pretty cold. Lori and Kate stayed warm by wearing hoods. We affectionately called them Seal Team 6.|
|Not your typical family photo.|
|Kate's boyfriend, Doug, joined us for the second half of the vacation. It was his first time diving. And except for the time that Kate almost ran him out of air, he did a great job.|
|Kate & Doug on their way into the water.|
|This is what they look like without scuba masks.|
|Some views from the hotel beach|
|One day this guy climbed onto the chair next to us.|
|From there he attacked this scale model of the Titantic.|
|These guys like to climb the rocks around the jetty.|
At the end of the holiday, we all flew back through Houston. From there Lori, Grant and I flew to Amsterdam. And Kate waited. And waited. And waited. Her flight to Newark was delayed seven hours due to winter storms.
|This is what Kate came back to. Not really. It wasn't this bad, but she did have a foot of snow on her car.|
|And this is what we came back to in Holland. The winter has been so warm that the tulips are already coming up.|