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Jim & Connie's Carpe DiemTrips in 2018 & 2021

Why the Carpe Diem (Bucket List) Trips on Jim's Blog?
I realized with my health crisis that I had so much to be thankful for in life, namely my wife Connie, my family and friends. I realized that Connie and I had successfully taken these two Carpe Diem (which we calledd Bucket List) trips to insure that those places of impact on civilization we visited and understood the cultures which came from them. So we chose the "Holy Land" as our first trip and the chose the "Panama Canal Complete Travels Across it" We knew we would witness things about the cultures we encountered and would learn life changing insights about civilization and the human problems it faces. I realized that if I had not taken these two trips in 2018 I might never have seen and experienced them so I am so grateful for these trips and I chose to put them on my Survival Blog.But more importantly the latest and greatest Carpe Diem Trip was moving to Rochester, MN.
Carpe Diem (Bucket List) Trips
Little did Connie and I know that COVID-19 and my Heart Failure were on the horizon. After 49 years of marriage coming on August 4, 2022 we have held true to our motto Carpe Diem. Carpe DIem means seize the day. We fortunately seized the Day in 2018 and you will see that it was filled with remarkable sights and experiences. We as a couple have learned that we cannot take anything for granted and that is why we take chances and do things together when the opportunity knocks. We don't haggle over decisions to do things in stead we are very decisive. We just seize the day and do it as we did with our bucket list trips. Our move to Rochester MN to be close to our family and the Mayo Clinic was a Carpe Diem decision and a life saver as well.
First Carpe Diem (Bucket List) Trip - Greece and Israel
In 2018 fortunately before COVID 19 hit the world, Connie and I designated two trips we most wanted to take and we called them our Bucket List Trips. At the time we believed that these were must journeys to add to vast number of cruises we had taken over our married life. So our first trip was on Oceana Cruise Lines and it took us to Greece, where we had a pre-cruise 3 day land tour of Greece and after we left Greece we set sail for Israel across the Mediterranean Sea. When we arrived at our first port in Israel Ahsdod we were turned away because of the bombing coming from the West Bank and our ship set sail for Haifa which was to be our second port. It was unsettling to say the least that we were entering Israel at this unstable time, but the officials who oversee the safety of tourists did a great job and by the end of our visit we were relaxed and not at all nervous about what had happened. Suffice it to say that our time in Greece had been so wonderful and relaxing when we got to Israel we were not impacted by the news about the turmoil facing the Israel from the West Bank. We will link you to "Messina Travels" for this tour.
Files for our First Carpe Diem (Bucket List) Trip to Greece and the Holy Land
1. Athens Greece, Lycarbettus Hill July 9, 2018 at:

2. Acropolis, Athen Greece July 10, 2018 at:

5.Heraklion, Crete July 13, 2018 at:

7. Nazareth & Sea of Galilee Communities in Israel July 16 at:

Files of Pictures from our second Carpe Diem (Bucket List) Trip

On December 18, 2018, Connie and I set out on a 16 day journey which would take us on a trip to remember. Dec 18: Ft Lauderdale; Dec 21: Willemstad, Curacao; Dec 22: Oranjestad, Aruba; Dec 24: Cruise the Panama Canal; Dec 26: Puerto Caldera (Puntarenas), Costa Rica; Dec 27: Corinto, Nicaragua; Dec 28: Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala; Dec 29: Huatulco, Mexico; Dec 31: Puerto Vallarta, Mexico; and Jan 3, 2019: San Diego. We were posting these pictures as we went. We hope you will get a sense of the beauty which we saw as we took this second of 2 "Bucket List" trip in the 45th year of our married life together. Our formal pictures from the cruise are here at the beginning of this file.

You can see all of the stops on this cruise by going to the specific links on “Messina Travels”

Crossing the Panama Canal from the Atlantic Coast to the Pacific Coast
1. Ft Lauderdale and pixs from on board the Holland American Volendam Dec 18-20. 2020 at:

4. Crosing the Panama Canal Dec 24 at:

9. Puerto Vallarta Dec 30, Jalisco, Mexico Dec 31 at:

10. At Sea & San Diego Jan 1, 2 & 3 at: