A time of celebrations

Sunday, April 24, 2011
Bud Hunt publisher Daily Dunklin Democrat

Happy Easter

For all the pomp that surrounds Christmas had there not been an Easter morning it's likely the celebration of Christmas would have been little more significant than celebrating the birth of a great prophet or saint.

Easter is a lot more solemn occasion for Christians than Christmas Day and that is probably because most folks associate Easter with the death of Christ that actually took place on Good Friday. Easter morning is the re-birth, not just of Christ, but of all mankind.

So, Happy Easter again. And let the celebration begin.

* * *

Anniversary cruise

My wife celebrated her 25th wedding anniversary on March 28, she's had the wrong date for all that time but I humor her, and decided we needed to take a cruise in honor of that glorious event.

We left out of the port of Miami bound for Roatan, (an island off of Honduras), Belize, Costa Maya, and Key West. Most of you know we've been on several cruises now, but this one was a little different. In the past we haven't done much in the way of excursions, or side trips when we're in the different ports. We've just sorta made our own way. This time she decided to change things up and make this a more, um, active, cruise.

We actually began the trip by heading to South Beach in Miami. Brian and Candy Mitchell make that a frequent stop whenever they travel. It's an interesting place with a lot of sights to see and let's just leave it at that. It was a fun evening and a great way to begin the vacation.

Our first stop in Roatan was where we planned to ride on zip lines above or at least among the treetops. Knowing that I'm not a fan of heights, in the back of her mind I knew she was thinking I would chicken out. Fooled her. The trick is to look out, not down. Ziplining was fun, fast and very interesting. Along the way we saw several iguanas. Some black and some green. Iguana is apparently very tasty and efforts are underway to protect them on the island from hunters.

After the zip line we headed to a beach where we were treated to a lunch (in the words of Lanny Geary, "It's not free, it's included.") and also did a little snorkeling before heading back to the ship.

By the way, we sailed on Norwegian Cruise Lines this time as opposed to Carnival and really enjoyed the experience. The ship was called the "Pearl." Our cruise was the last one for the season Pearl would spend in the Caribbean. It left out the Sunday afternoon we got back in for a 14-day cruise through the Panama Canal to Los Angeles and then on to Seattle. During the summer months, the slow season in the Caribbean, the ship sails to Alaska.

Our next port was Belize where we went on a cave-tubing adventure. After a bus ride of about an hour we arrived at an assembly area. There we picked up our inner tube, life vest and head lamp. The lamp proved to be quite handy once we got into the water. We trekked through the rain forest and were introduced to the natural breath mint of the former British Honduras residents.

Termites are a little minty tasting and not very filling. Our guide pointed out several trees and the various uses they have in everyday life. We came upon a large termite nest on the side of a tree. Several of us sampled them. I asked Rick McCormick about adding them to the menu, but he said something to the effect of not wanting any termites around for any reason but thought he might be able come up with a few bees if Neal Bergman would agree to the idea.

The river water was a little cold, but not too bad. It was very interesting and the canopy under the rainforest was beautiful.

We arrived the next morning at Costa Maya, Mexico. There we spent the day with approximately 38 other cruisers at the private beach. Food and drinks were provided to us throughout the day in our own little cabana.

We also did some snorkeling there where I followed a stingray for a few minutes and made sure to give it plenty of room. Lee came across a big star fish we held and photographed with an underwater camera.

We spent our last day of the cruise in Key West, Fla. Another interesting place neither of us had been to before.

We got several photos of Ernest Hemingway's other house. I don't think many folks down there know about his Piggott abode. We went to the buoy marking the southern-most point in the continental United States. It was also only natural that we saw the southern-most hotel and southern-most residence in the U. S.

Key West was a neat place and one we will likely visit again maybe before the next 25 years are up.

Bud Hunt is regional vice

president, publisher of the

Daily Dunklin Democrat, Daily Statesman, Delta News-Citizen, Missourian-News and

North Stoddard Countian.

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