Saturday

Marie Antoinette Goes To Antarctica

Where do I start?  This was literally the trip of a lifetime!!!  Over Christmas and New Years, for 25 days to be exact, we traveled with our friend Chris and his family to South America and Antarctica!  It was so wonderful on every level especially the sheer beauty of it all. So here it is… a little taste from the bottom of the world!

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We boarded our beautiful Seabourn cruise ship in Valparaiso, Chile and cruised down the coast thru the spectacular Chilean Fjords… then on to the city at the “End of the World”, Ushuaia, Argentina… then down to the surreal Antarctic continent for 7 days… then we traveled northeast to South Georgia Island… then 4 more days at sea up to Montevideo, Uruguay… and finally to Buenos Aires, Argentina!  What an adventure!!!

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Our handsome group!

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The “Suite Life”… decorating the Christmas tree!   Not having to put up a tree at home was surely a luxury!

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One of the major highlights of the trip was our Marie Antoinette/Louis XVI Costume Party!

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What a fun way to celebrate our friend Chris’ birthday!!!  The costumes were so gorgeous, I didn’t want to take it off…

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but I did… the underpinnings were just as fun as the costume!  Hee hee!!!

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We weren’t sure if Santa would make it all the way down to the South Pole, but room service sent cookies and carrots for Santa and his reindeer just in case!

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Santa came!

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New Years Eve was another costume party!  Our Aussie friends were always curious as to what we would be “frocking up” in next!!!

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The long sunsets were spectacular!

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New Years Day Evening, the sun set at 11:30 pm, so I ran up to get a picture and made friends… we had a brandy!

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We took over 3,500 photos, no wonder it has taken me months to post these pictures!  But what we saw was amazing… every day was a place like no other!

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One of the most beautiful penguins we saw were the Adele!

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And hundreds of Humpback whales!

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And a Leopard Seal… who eat penguins… humph!!!!

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And Gentoo Penguins

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And their babies!!!

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One year old King Penguins called Oakum Boys. These yearlings are covered in a thick, brown fur!

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… and the two year olds blossom into vibrant King Penguins!

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I do not think there is anyway to express the overwhelming joy we experienced when we saw 200,000 King Penguins at the Salisbury Plain on South Georgia Island

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It was completely breathtaking to stand there and just listen and watch! When it was time to go back, my Chris could not tear me away!  I felt a staggering and profound depth of emotion here and I realized that this was a incredibly rare and special place for anyone to visit… it brought me to tears!!! Our friend Chris would comment at dinner, “Now Pam, I understand you cried again today!!!”  I kept thinking, who gets to come  and see this? I did all I could do to consciously burn the memories in to my mind right there and then! I never dreamed that I would be so taken by what I saw! Here’s a video I took:

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Going to Antarctica invariably requires crossing Drakes Passage… some of the roughest waters in the world! Waves have been known to crash five stories high! I was frightened and anxious about this part of the trip and I came prepared with my arsenal of sea sickness remedies and anti-anxiety pills.  But much to my (and everyone’s really) relief, our crossing was dubbed “a Drakes Lake”… nice and smooth!!!!!  Here is a little video of what I had the unfortunate pleasure watching before we left on our trip:

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There was nothing like looking out your window and cruising past a spectacular iceberg!

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 And I took this picture for my book club gals, I didn’t quite go Swimming To Antarctica, but I went in to 34 degrees water! It was COLD!!! Here’s Blake, Kyle and their friend Clark… they actually went in!

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By day we toured and at night made some very fun friends… Jody from Australia!

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Friends from Monaco!

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And here’s Hobby who reminded me of my Dad.  My Dad had always wanted to go to Antarctica. I told Hobby that, and it made me start to cry,  it made him tear up too. Before my Dad passed away he and my Mom had a trip booked to Antarctica that had to be cancelled when he got sick.  When I told my Mom I was going to Antarctica for Christmas, she said, go for your Dad!  Hobby made me feel like he was with me and we became fast friends.

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We never missed Trivia on Sea Days! Our team: The Ancient/Not so Ancient Mariners!!!

We even attended the wedding of Deborah and Rod our ship friends that invited us to their wonderful ceremony!

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The spa and salon were fabulous! I was a little nervous since I can’t live without my blow drys, but Bianca coiffed me perfectly!

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Sea Days were Spa Days

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And lots of fun on board the ship!

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I honestly did not want to get off this beautiful ship!  The best time ever!!!!!! I can’t wait for our next adventure!!!!

Scroll through more photos from our trip…

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2 Responses to “Marie Antoinette Goes To Antarctica”

  1. I loved seeing all the highlights of your adventure! Thank you for sharing. xo

  2. Alison Aiassa says:

    Thank you for sharing your magical trip. Your pictures and video are amazing, your experiences and the emotions they inspired are both uplifting and moving, and sharing this journey with family and friends (both old and new), priceless. xx

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