Castillo San Felipe del Morro in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico with Colorado Traveling Ducks

This is our first full day in San Juan, Puerto Rico.   Our cab took us to Old San Juan, the original walled city of San Juan, Puerto Rico.   Christopher Columbus arrived in San Juan in 1493 on his second voyage to the New World.   For Spain, he claimed all the riches of what is now called Puerto Rico.   This included gold, silver, gems, and spices, in addition to the first deep water port between Europe and the New World.   Puerto Rico is a territory of the United States and Old San Juan Historic Site is under the protection of the U.S. National Park Service.   There are two old fortresses, built by the Spanish, here.   The Castillo San Felipe del Morro was to defend against attacks from the sea.   The Castillo San Cristobal, about a 30 minute walk away, was built to defend against attacks from land.   We, the Colorado Traveling Ducks, will show you Castillo San Felipe del Morro today.

Here is the sign. Where is Castillo San Felipe del Morro?

Here is the sign. Where is Castillo San Felipe del Morro?

We can see the lighthouse in the background, and realize we have a long walk ahead of us.   This cemetery was conveniently located on the coast near the Castillo.

Cemetery by the sea

Cemetery by the sea

The city, like many old cities, was protected by a wall.

Looking through the wall

Looking through the wall

Today we have a peaceful view through that wall.   The grass here was incredibly soft in places.

Keep walking ducks

Keep walking ducks

This was once a golf course, but we still must keep walking.   We think this building, built partially underground is interesting.

We like this building

We like this building

Let’s go inside Castillo San Felipe del Morro.

Entrance to Castillo San Felipe del Morro

Entrance to Castillo San Felipe del Morro

Bucket claimed this chair and seems to be enjoying a short rest.

Chair fit for a king. King Bucket?

Chair fit for a king.   King Bucket?

This space, once the living quarters for the commander of El Morro, but later, a place of punishment.

In jail. Looking through bars to the sea

In jail. Looking through bars to the sea

Zeb and Soapy enjoy the view, through the bars, of the sea.  Bucket found another prison cell.

Bucket and Chip--don't go inside that prison cell.

Bucket and Chip–don’t go inside that prison cell.

Don’t go inside there, Bucket and Chip.   We found this canon, now inside a room.

Canon. No longer in use

Canon. No longer in use

But it was not always inside this room.   This path takes us to the former home of the canon.

Where the canons used to be

Where the canons used to be

The canon was pointed through this lookout.

Canon pointed out this space

Canon pointed out this space

We ducks wanted to sit on the ledge, but the humans said it was too windy for us.   But we love to watch the water.   Castillo San Felipe del Morro has six levels and we found the bell on the 6th level.

Bell

Bell

This lighthouse looks pretty new, doesn’t it?

Fourth and newest lighthouse

Fourth and newest lighthouse

It is the fourth lighthouse built here.   This one is 51 feet above the 6th level of El Morro.   The lamp is 182 feet above sea level and this lighthouse and lamp still serve ships every night.   This lighthouse was built in 1908.   Originally made of bricks, it was restored in the 1990s.   We ducks are impressed by this castle.   But we are also impressed and a little frightened by the wind here.   We like the sea, but we don’t want to be blown into it and lost forever.   The humans kept us safe.   More about Old San Juan next time.

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National Blueberry Pancake Day 2017

Today, January 28 is National Blueberry Pancake Day.    Maybe mom will take us to breakfast.   We know a couple restaurants that serve great blueberry pancakes.   If she will take us, maybe we will meet some of you there also.   Enjoy blueberry pancakes today, and many other days.

Oh, we want some blueberry pancakes today

Oh, we want some blueberry pancakes today

The Colorado Traveling Ducks Leave the Carnival Fascination

We are back in San Juan, Puerto Rico.   Things are different this morning.   We are getting off our cruise ship, with our suitcases.   Many of our fellow passengers are heading for their homes, but we are staying a few days here in San Juan.   Hurrah!  Before we disembark, we want to show you some of our ship again.   There are so many places to relax and watch the beautiful Caribbean.

Always room to relax, with a Caribbean view

Always room to relax, with a Caribbean view

The pool area was so much fun.

Good times at the pool

Good times at the pool

What great water slides on our ship.

Water slides for everybody

Water slides for everybody

The dining room, available for all three daily meals, was so welcoming.

Sensation Dining Room

Sensation Dining Room

Of course, meeting our new friend, Chip was fun.

Colorado Traveling Ducks met Chip, Doubletree Hotel's chocolate chip cookie.

Colorado Traveling Ducks met Chip, Doubletree Hotel’s chocolate chip cookie.

Lounging on the top deck was great.

Another favorite place

Another favorite place

One of our favorite things was the towel animals.   This rhino was our last towel.

Our last towel friend

Our last towel friend

We ducks and humans really enjoyed all the towel art.

Our towel friends

Our towel friends

Yes, we were able to keep many them in our room.   Our ship, Fascination, was our temporary home.

Our ship Like an old friend now

Our ship.   Like an old friend now

While the sunset last night, signaled the end of our cruise, we still have a few more days of vacation.

Sun setting on our cruise

Sun setting on our cruise

Stay with us as we enjoy some of San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Happy Australia Day 2017

Today, January 26 is Australia Day.   Today marks the anniversary of the 1788 arrival of the First Fleet of British Ships at Port Jackson, New South Wales, and the raising of the Flag of Great Britain at Sydney Cove.   We wish all of you, especially our Australian friends a Happy Australia Day.

Zeb and Eider by the Sydney Opera House

Zeb and Eider by the Sydney Opera House

We love Sydney, Australia.

St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands with the Colorado Traveling Ducks

St. Croix is the last port for our cruise.   All the humans and ducks took a Scenic St. Croix tour.   We like to be together.   Leaving the port and through the tropical rain forest our first stop was this Baobab Tree.

Baobab Tree

Baobab Tree

The Baobab tree is often called “the tree of life”.    Can you believe the history of this tree?

Baobab Tree

Baobab Tree     Burned alive here???

Fruit from the Baobab tree falls to the ground.   This feels like velvet.

Fruit of Baobab tree

Fruit of Baobab tree

We ducks did not want to sit on the ground.   We don’t know these red bugs, and there were a lot of them.   Friendly?  Biting bugs?  We don’t know.   Our next stop was Salt River Bay National Historical Park and Ecological Preserve.   St. Croix is an island in the U.S. Virgin Islands, so this preserve is part of the National Park Service of the United States.   This was the first landing site by Christopher Columbus, in 1493 in the US Territorial waters.   The view from the Visitor’s Center was beautiful but it was very windy.

View from Visitor's Center

View from Visitor’s Center

We ducks could not sit here alone.   Salt River Bay is home to some of the largest mangrove forest and sea grass beds, providing one of the most unique wildlife habitats, in the Virgin Islands.   We feel safe with our humans and our friend Chip, the Doubletree Cookie.

Salt River Bay

Salt River Bay

We love to look at the water.

Salt River Bay

Salt River Bay

The next and final stop on our tour is Christiansted.   The King Christian Hotel is old and well known.

King Christian Hotel in Christiansted, St Croix

King Christian Hotel in Christiansted, St Croix

We like these streets and buildings.  In the early days of St. Croix, sugar cane was grown across the island.   This is an old sugar mill.

Old sugar mill building

Old sugar mill building

Looks like a great social place now.   We shopped at the Purple Papaya gift shop.   We thought you might be curious about the name, Purple Papaya.

Purple Papaya

Purple Papaya

Walking down another street, we were fascinated by all the vines growing from and around these trees.

So many vines in the trees

So many vines in the trees

Our tour took us back to the cruise area.

Shopping area for cruise passengers

Shopping area for cruise passengers

Our shopping area is decorated for Christmas.   We watched these dancers by the gazebo.

Dancing performance

Dancing performance

The ladies are wearing very fancy hats.   Walking along the Caribbean, we had to stop by the canons.

Old canons on Caribbean coast

Old canons on Caribbean coast

A few more steps and we would be on this beach.

From cruise ship you can walk to this beach

From cruise ship you can walk to this beach

Rocky first and then soft, warm Caribbean sand.   Now it is time for us to return to our ship.   We always must be careful to watch the time and not miss the ship.   We really liked St Croix and none of us had previously visited this island.   We hope to come back soon.

Floating Tiki Hut in Sint Maarten with the Colorado Traveling Ducks

Today we swim, snorkel, and shop in Sint Maarten.    First we take a water taxi to Philipsburg, the capital of St. Maarten.

To the Water taxi

To the Water taxi

After transferring to another boat, we all arrive at the floating Tiki Hut.

Floating Tiki Hut

Floating Tiki Hut

Isn’t this beautiful?   That pool has water from the Caribbean and we saw tropical fish there, eating bread.   Bucket’s dad is already in the water.

Bucket's Dad

Bucket’s Dad

It looks fun, but again, no snorkeling mask in our size.   Some humans are enjoying stand up paddle boarding.

Stand up Paddle Boarding

Stand up Paddle Boarding

Oh this exciting.   We, the Colorado Traveling Ducks, are swimming with Bucket’s parents.

We are swimming in the Caribbean Sea

We are swimming in the Caribbean Sea

They are having a little problem keeping us together.   This is so much fun.   We are bouncing along on top of the waves.   Back on the Tiki Hut, we ducks needed to rest and lounge in the sun.

Ducks resting

Ducks resting

Swimming can be tiring, but it sure was fun!  Look what we saw.

Fish

Fish

We could see the fish under water.   We looked through Bucket’s parents snorkel mask!   Bucket’s parents are on the floating platform, waiting for another snack.

Bucket's parents

Bucket’s parents

We already ate lunch here, but they are hungry again.  Taking ducks swimming causes hunger.   It is time to leave the floating Tiki Hut, so we take the first boat back to Philipsburg.   Then another water taxi to the ship.   This is our cruise passenger shopping area.

Shopping area

Shopping area

Beautiful tropical flowers also.   These steps are very inviting.

Let's wander

Let’s wander

Let’s explore.   We like these crafts that are for sale.

Crafts for sale

Crafts for sale

Following our moms on a shopping trip is exhausting.   So, snacks and beverages anyone?

Snacks anyone?

Snacks anyone?

Have a seat humans.   There is just a little time before we board the ship, so hurry.

National Squirrel Appreciation Day 2017

We love squirrels!   Who knew there was a National Squirrel Appreciation Day?   We did not.   According to National Day Calendar, Squirrel Appreciation Day is observed annually on January 21.   The creator of this holiday, Christy Hargrove, is a wildlife rehabilitator in North Carolina, and is affiliated with the Western North Carolina Nature Center.   According to Christy, “celebration of the event itself is up to the individual, or group.   Anything from putting out extra food for the squirrels to learning something new about the species.”   Here in Colorado, mom and the Colorado Traveling Ducks, put bread on our patio when the ground is covered with snow.  This squirrel is on his feeder in my front yard.

A squirrel on his feeder in my yard.

A squirrel on his feeder in my yard.

But I, Zeb the Duck, love watching the squirrels, and birds, come to the patio and eat bread.