Annette & Frank Margo/Schwerin, Germany

Open Seas and Open Minds

Annette & Frank Margo with Ammon and Carter: June 28, 2012

Astronomical Clock: Rostock Cathedral: Rostock, Germany

Outside Schwerin Castle

Schwerin Castle: June 28, 2012

When we started taking cruises in 2008, we had no idea we would meet such wonderful people. I am going to post my “Open Seas and Open Minds” article with this blog in case you all would like to read about some excellent people from around the world who really mean or have meant a lot to Carter, Ammon, Sean, and to me.

On our port-of-call in Warnemunde, Germany we found ourselves conversing and bonding with a couple from Texas named Annette and Frank Margo. They became new, honorary grandparentsfor Ammon and Carter, and, once again, our children and we have been blessed. After the cruise, we exchanged emails, and we have corresponded frequently since the cruise. Frank and Annette, we love you!!

In addition, we saw three different cities this day: Warnemunde, Schwerin, and Rostock. We spent most of time in Schwerin. It is a quaint city, but Schwerin Castle is the only “real” thing to see there. It was definitely not a place to buy souvenirs because, frankly, there is very little artisanship there.


The Little Mermaid, Ammon, & Haven: Copenhagen July 6, 2012

The Little Mermaid, Sean, & Carter: Copenhagen July 6, 2012

Tivoli Carousel

Tivoli Carousel: July 2, 2012

Early spring of 2012, Sean and I debated on several days in Copenhagen with a horrible itinerary flying back to the United States to home or making it to London, England with a very comfortable and accommodating itinerary home. Since we (Carter and Ammon included) enjoy London, we chose a one day tour in Copenhagen. Like several other places, guess what we’ve decided? You got it! We want to return to Copenhagen.

The Baltic Cruise was round trip out of Copenhagen. Both the embarkation and disembarkation days were cool and rainy: quite depressing. It was a shame that this lovely, seaside city looked so gray and dreary. However, like I said it is a pretty city.

Both Ammon and Carter thought it was cool to see the “original” Little Mermaid from Hans Christian Anderson’s fairy tale. We also visited a quaint cathedral, but the highlight of the excursion was Copenhagen’s famous Tivoli (a world-renowned amusement park). We did not have much time there, but Carter and Ammon got to ride a carousel (it’s kind of becoming their “thing” to ride carousels from around the world…LOL).
So, too quick of an excursion for such an interesting and pretty city. Lord willing, we will return.

Rhodes, Greece

October 17, 2011

It was the first rain of the autumn in Rhodes. It had not rained for MONTHS!

Rhodes, Greece

I think we were all surprised how Medieval Rhodes was. The crusading knights who went to the Holy Land to deliver it from the Muslims decided to hang out there for several hundred years, and they built some medieval structures..

Rhodes City

One of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, The Colossus, stood in the harbor several thousand years ago. It only stood for about 50 years, and it was toppled by an earthquake. Historians are saying that it did not strattle the harbor as depicted in many drawings because it would have hampered trade while it was being built, so, they say it probably stood at one side of the harbor.

Santorini, Greece

Welcome Santorini Fans! Isn’t it an exceptional & unique place!

October 18, 2011




On Friday evening, I was skimming through my photographs of last October’s cruise, and I could not believe that I had never shared about Santorini, Greece. It is a Mediterranean marvel. About 4,000 years ago, it was a complete, round island. However, a volcanic eruption blew off half the island and caused a huge caldera (a volcano crater).

Sean, Carter (can you believe he was napping?LOL), Ammon, & Haven

Our tour of the island was very enjoyable, and it included a black-sand beach. We also had a very good lunch, breath-taking views, and a tram ride back down to the ship that was phenomenal.

Notice the Star Princess anchored in the caldera

I hope you enjoyed this practical, real-life, look at Stunning Santorini. If you have a penchant for European Destinations, check out some of my other entries.
Give me a Google “Haven Caylor” for some of my other works and enjoy a few links as well.

Dollywood (Country Music Singer’s Theme Park) in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

Christmas Hawk

Dubrovnik, Croatia: October 4, 2011

Dubrovnik, Croatia

Dubrovnik, Croatia is such a tourist treat. It is on the Dalmatian Coast (yep, the area of Dalmatian dogs) on the Adriatic Sea. In the past 10 years, it has become quite popular for summer vacationers who love to swim and sunbathe.  It does seem crowded in the downtown area, but that’s because the main attraction is the medieval walled city. Unlike many middle-ages walled cities, Dubrovnik’s walls (not built all at once  but fortified and added on to from the 12th to 17th centuries) were kept intact and are still utility to the city.

Downtown Dubrovnik

Cavtat, Croatia

It was our second time in Dubrovnik, and we even had lunch at the same grinding mill ( where we visited in 2009. The embedded video in the previous sentence is from the mill.

The city of Cavtat was an additional stop this time. It is on the coast as well, but the rhythm of the town is much slower than the rhythm of Dubrovnik. The next time we go to Dubrovnik I hope it will be in the summer so we can all swim in the gorgeous waters of the Adriatic there.

Princess Cruise Lines

Crown Princess

Overall, our family had a wonderful time on our British
Isles/Iceland cruise. It was our first cruise with the Princess Cruise line,
and we highly recommend it. We believe Carnival is great, but it has such
limited itineraries for Europe. Royal Caribbean has better itineraries but
their customer service had hit rock bottom as far as we were concerned along
with about another 6 other couples we chatted with on our February 2011 cruise,
and we all vowed to no longer use it.

Princess =

did several things we appreciated. The first thing was that they corrected
every minor problem we had. They knew we were the paying customer, and they
showed us respect. Another thing was their food was so good. This was the first
cruise in over a year where we actually gained weight.  Next, their excursions were very organized,and the Crown Princess crew  was so
helpful with the babies and their strollers. Lastly, Crown Princess’ future
cruise associate, Gloria Mallard, was fabulous. She was so accommodating to our
future needs, she treated us with kindness and respect, and she loved Ammon and
Carter. One evening while we were chatting at Gloria’s desk, Carter and Ammon
each started “drawing” Gloria a picture. Two days later, Sean and I went back
without the babies, and Gloria had taped the drawings up above her desk for
everyone to see. We were honored, and she said she absolutely loved Ammon and
Carter and their drawings.

Haven, Ammon, Gloria Mallard, Carter, Sean, & Nana

So, once again, if you would like to take a cruise we HIGHLY
recommend Princess Cruise lines. We, ourselves, have three more cruises booked.
Let’s hope we remain satisfied! I think we will.