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Ah Yes! Another Caribbean Cruise! After a fabulous flight on Continental (yes, they still serve real meals!) to Ft. Lauderdale, we set sail on the Carnival Freedom. We had balcony suites and breakfast by room service each morning – what a treat to sit on our own balcony and watch the world go by. Full screen current movies were shown each evening on the Lido deck by the pool. My God! What a peaceful experience! The first 2 days of our cruise were at sea. It was heaven to just relax! We wore our Tilley hats everywhere – a must have for travel!

We landed in Puerto Rico on 14 Sept. If you get to San Juan, be sure and have dinner at Barrachina – the home of the “original” Pina Colada. The food and atmosphere was very colorful and fun. Next we went on to the Parrot Club for a Mohito drink. Antonio at the bar was funny and interesting. Although Puerto Rico was interesting, it was a very big city and not one of my favourite ports. This was our only evening stop in any port.

Carnival FreedomBarrachina RestaurantIMG_0588IMG_0573IMG_0574IMG_0584IMG_0594

Our next port was the absolutely stunning island of St. Thomas. I could stay on this island for a very long time. While Rick spent the day at the world famous Magens Bay beach, Patrick and I walked the old city of Charlotte Amalie. The old brick warehouses, housing many lovely little shops, were a real treat to see. Th little pathways bewteen the building were made of cobblestone and added a very charming touch to our walk. I bought a hand made linen tablecloth and a linen apron; both were intricately embroidered and very fragile.

We had lemonade (it was already 35 degrees at 10am) at a wonderful upstairs restaurant called Bumpas. Really great homemade lemonade and yummy looking sandwiches.

We hopped into a cab and took at tour of the island. At the Great House Botanical Gardens, we had “The World’s Best Banana Daiquari” and trust me, it was fabulous!

An average home “on the hillside” is about $US 400,000 and the view here are terrific!


St. Thomas was beautiful. friendly and very, very clean. This is my favourite island in the Caribbean. Note that in one of the above photos, another cruise ship docked behind us – a unique photo, I thought.

Next stop was Antigua. Unfortunately, I had heard that this port was very dirty and it was! The general rundown condition of the port area was a real disappointment. If you are a shopaholic, there must be hundreds of big name brand stores – truly a shoppers paradise. Finally, we took a taxi to a small beach. Deck chairs were $5, no towels (unless you took along the ones from the ship), changing rooms grungy. The only really good thing about Antigua were the very friendly and pleasant local people. Because we could not find an appealing restaurant, we ate on the ship.


A highlight of the tour for both Patrick and Rick was the Island of Tortola. We booked a tour, through the onboard booking centre, to the Virgin Gorda & Baths. An air-conditioned ferry picked us up right beside the ship. The 35 minute trip featured stunning water views and also an on-board full screen movie. Very comfortable and well worth booking in advance.

Arriving in Virgin Gorda, we transferred to a small island bus and arrived at the Baths. The Baths are not actually baths, they are huge boulders with stunning pools between them. There was a long pathway down to the beach but the stepping stones were well placed – took about 10 minutes. Patrick and Rick took the walking tour through the caves and really enjoyed it. The walk was steep and not suited for me with my sore back so I stayed on the wonderfully clean beach. The water was so clear that I walked out in it up to my chest and could still see the pretty little fishes swimming around my feet. If you value beauty and serenity, this is the place for you!

We had a really great tasting rum punch after the long walk back up the hill. Wonderful trip and not to be missed!

One thing to note is that there are no beach “hawkers” in Tortola. I would also stay here for a week or two and there are many accommodation options available for any price range.


Sea Day

Today, 18 September, was an exciting day for me. I love Bingo and in the morning, I talked Patrick into going to the big Bingo in the morning in the Victorian Lounge. I told him that I was ‘feeling lucky”. Being such a good son, and because he had nothing else to do at that time, he came with me. There was only one game played that morning for $10 per card or 3 cards for $20; I chose the $20 package. The game was an X, which is usually won in about 30 numbers. At 12 numbers, I told Patrick “I need 2 numbers”. His comment as he texted away on his iPhone was “oh yeah?” As the 15th ball was called, I whispered “I need one number.” Just as I said G48 to Patrick, the caller said – “under the G, 48.” I jumped up and yelled “Bingo” and jumped up and down. Okay, okay, I was excited! I was the only winner at 16 numbers! My choice was $1000 or a cruise for 2, ocean view cabin. I chose the $1000 because we like to have balconies and that was not an option in this case. Wow! What a thrill!

In the afternoon, I still felt lucky and could not either Rick or Patrick so I went by myself. I won the 2nd game by myself again and the prize this time was $125. Smaller prizes in the afternoon.

Lucky day!

In the hot sunny afternoon, with nothing to do but lay in the sun and read, Patrick and Rick marched me over to the deck top water slide. It is about 18 stories high! Quaking in my flipflops, I waved the guys goodbye and climbed to the top. It was really, really windy! Down I went, around the curves, splashing and screaming! After making a big splash at the bottom, I survived the slide. Naturally, the guys did not go down – they just wanted to see me make a silly of myself. Huh! They were not disappointed.

Just like on our last cruise, we reserved a table at the only “pay” restaurant on the ship, the Sun King Restaurant. We had a lovely meal; the wine was suggested by the sommelier was superb and he amazed us with his knowledge. Patrick had a Louis XIII brandy that was warm and very special. We all had the chocolate desserts which were a treat – little tastings of 4 different chocolate temptations. Afterwards, we had a photo taken.

I only tried my luck at the Casino a few times, without winning anything at all. Just a note: the Casino must be closed when in port and remains closed under the ship reaches International waters so if the ships stops at alot of ports, not much daytime gambling takes place.


Our last stop was Nassau. NOT a good place to visit. However, the slow paced sail into the port was very beautiful. Yes, the Atlantis Resort was massive but really, just one more large theme hotel………… Nassau itself was very unclean by the port. The docking area was so big, that there were 7 cruise ships in port when we were there, coming in one right after another! So, if you are claustrophobic, you will hate being “herded” through a huge indoor marker with only 1 door way at the end. I guess that is to persuade you to buy something in frustration of being stuck in a packed building with 15,000 (7 ships at the same time) other ship mates. After about 25 minutes, we made it out and were definitely not impressed with the “tourist trap” environment of Nassau. Even Senor Frogs was ugly. 3 beers and 1 plate of nachos was $US 65 and tasted as terrible as it looked. Servers were very unfriendly and almost rude. Don’t go there!

In retrospect, we should have braved the mass at the beginning and taken a tour.


In closing:
Always take a Tilley hat. Always book a balcony suite – room service is free and breakfast on your balcony in the early am is a real treat. Book at least one night in the “pay” restaurant – it is a welcome change form the dining hall atmosphere on other nights. Don’t over pack, you won’t need as much as you think. Try to book at least 2 trips from the on ship Carnival Cruise Booking Centre. Take your headset if you listen to music – sometimes it gets pretty noisy. What the travel guide books say is sometimes not what you really want to see. Take in those late night movies on the deck. Nothing quite like watching a movie under the stars!

Lucky, Our Black Kitty, Goes to Kitty Heaven

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Lucky, my little black kitty, passed away on June 3, 2009. She was my baby, my friend, and my companion.

Lucky joined my family in November 1993, along with her sister, Ashley. The next year, I took Lucky and Ashley to the vet to be spade and you guessed it! Both of the girls were pregnant! Lucky waited until I got home to have her kittens then constantly carried them to my bedroom – she was just not the mothering kind! I carried them back several times and finally, Ashley took over the kittens – her 3 and Lucky’s 3.

Over the years, Lucky shared my joys, my sorrows and was always beside me at home. When I turned on the fireplace in the winter, I would “Where is it Lucky” and she would run to the fireplace and stare into the fire. If I laid on the rug by the fireplace, Lucky would flop down and nudge me so she could snuggle up and be warm. Every morning, she would be by my pillow and would gently run her paw across my cheek to wake me up.

When Lucky was a kitten, I taught her to fetch a little orange ear bud – I would throw it and she would bring it back – just like a dog! Lucky and Ashley generally got along well but every once in awhile, she would walk by Ashley and smack her then just keep on going to her favorite chair. Ashley and Lucky also did the “sit up on the haunches and box” thing at least once a week. Lucky loved blueberries, real cream, and roast turkey the best. She just ate delicate little bits, always a lady. Lucky dragged her big green stuffed dinosaur around the house and slept with “Dino” every night.

This last year, Lucky seemed to be getting slower and slept more. Finally, on June 3rd, she had a massive heart failure and passed gently into kitty heaven with us by her side. A friend of mine sent me a lovely story about “The Rainbow Bridge” – where we all meet each other in heaven when we die. I cannot begin to say how much I miss my little Lucky bear, her little paw prints will remain on my heart forever.

Las Vegas May Family Trip February 2009

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Rick, Buck, Bill and me (Brenda) May and Susan Semanick(May) and Diane Kacer, Bill May’s girlfriend, all went to Las Vegas in February 2009. In a whirlwind 4 day trip, we ate, drank, gambled and took in some shows. Hey, let’s not forget shopping! You can never have enough pairs of shoes!

We stayed at New York New York and had a wonderful dinner at Gallagher’s Steak House in our hotel. My son, Patrick, and my ex, Bruce Audley, both highly recommended this restaurant. It was absolutely wonderful!

Rick and I walked for 900 miles every day (okay, 5 miles) taking in the sites – the last time either of us were in Vegas was at least 20 years ago so we saw huge changes!!!! My favorites were the beautiful glass flowers on the Bellagio ceiling in the lobby, the quaint shops in Paris, and the cozy atmosphere at Treasure Island. Most of all, I loved the Wynn Hotel. Rick and I has a really lovely lunch in the little cafe at the Wynn near the Manolo Blanik. Gotta love those shoes! It was a very truly amazing hotel – one of the prettiest I have ever seen.

One of the exciting hits of our trip was my win at the Casino. Usually I only play the penny machines and have a $40 limit but the second day of our trip, Rick gave me 2 one hundred dollar bills to play with. I sat down at a nickel machine, popped in a hundred, and 4 spins later, won $928.64; another hundred and another $528.19 win, and finally popped in a five dollar bill and won $161.38 – over $1600 US$ – a pretty amazing win in under 10 minutes. I cashed out right away and put the tickets in the safe – cashed them in just before leaving for the airport. I was thrilled!

Next trip – another Caribbean cruise in this fall (September) with Rick and my son, Patrick.

May Family in Las vegas February 2009Vine Lady at the Wynn Hotel

My Introduction

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These photos are a collection of memories of the Bayrack / Audley / Fedoruk / May family members and events from 1923 to the present date. Also incuded are photos of various holidays around the world, pets, friends and great pictures from our deck and of Vancouver before the real estate boom of the late 1990’s. I love to take pictures and also to cook. In 2000, I compiled a cookbook of my favorite and much loved recipes. My joys in life are family, friends, taking photos, nature, cooking and bingo.

Photos from Our Front Deck

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Over the years, I have been amazed at the everchanging view from our ocean front dek. I have added a few beautiful pictures that I have taken. I hope you enjoy then as much as I do!
Bullrushes at DuskShip on a March Morning
Patrick at Sunset May 2008Sunrise on the DykeContainer Ship Passes ByBullrushes at DuskYoung Heron Fishing in the AfternoonFerry Chugs Past at 5pmSnow Geese Settle for the Winter in November

Cruising the Caribbean October 21-30, 2007

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This is my first cruise! Rick and I and Patrick and Kathy are on our way to the Caribbean where the weather is hot! hot! hot! New camera, new clothes, lots of $$$, life is good!

We sailed from Ft. Lauderdale about the Carnival Miracle. Our cabin had a balcony – the only way to go! Lots of closet space for all those dresses and shoes! We packed way too much! Those early morning cups of coffee and late night cocktails, sitting on our deck chairs, watching the ocean waves gently rolling by…………..

Caribbean_Itinerary_October_2007.jpgThe Carnival MiracleThe Deck PlanView from our balconyOur cabinMonkey towel art in our cabin

After sailing for two days, we arrived at the beautiful island of St. Maarten. This was by far the best port on out trip! The people are gentle and friendly, the scenery is outstanding and the mood is charming. We enjoyed buttery croissants and delicious coffee on the French side, travelled uphill to Fort Louis, and spent a charismatic hour at the Butterfly Farm.
St. Maarten mapWelcome to St. MaartenPatrick and Kathy at the dockMorning Coffee on the french side of St. MaartenRick at Fort Louis RuinsRick and Kathy at the ruinsKathy and PatrickView of St. MaartenPatrick and KathySailboats in the BayLunch in a little bistroButterflies feasting on orangesMonarch butterflies matingHuge Owl butterflyButterfly in the sun

None of us liked St. Lucia and few of our fellow shipmates had anything favorable to say about the island. We did take a taxi to Marigot Bay – it was pretty but had a definite “cold” feeling.

St. Lucia MapBrenda and Rick at Gates to St. LuciaMarigot Bay

Last stop was St. Kitts. Such a pretty and friendly island. Food was really good and the local Caribe beer was excellent!
St. Kitts mapRick at gates to St. KittsTown CentreMonkey hiding in grassHurricane of 1989 leaves behind ruins of a hotelSt. Kitts in foreground / Nevis in background

We had our photos taken on the first formal night – what a lovely evening.
Brenda and RickPatrick and Kathy

We celebrated Rick’s 62nd birthday and Kathy’s 30th birthday at Nick and Nora’s Restaurant at the top of the ship. It was definitely one of the most beautiful restaurants I have even been to and the food and service were excellent!
The birthday cakePatrick and KathyOur surf and turf mealRick's fruit cupOn our last night aboard, we sat in our cabin at midnight and ate the rest of the birthday cake.
Looking forward to the next cruise!!!

Great Scenes

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I have always enjoyed taking pictures. We live in a beautiful townhouse on the Dyke in Steveston, B.C. The ocean is just across the front deck. Beautiful sunsets and sunrises, birds chirping hello to the morning and the amazing sound and view as huge ships travel across our view. This is the most peaceful house I have ever lived in!

Early Morning view from our front deckShip passing by our deck in the afternoonBlue Moon 2006Morning BreaksMirror Image of Duffy LakeDuffy Lake

Golfing in Loretto, Mexico was outstanding.
Loretto, Mexico Bridge to the 18th hole in Loretto, Mexico

Rick and Brenda May

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Rick and I met at a real barn dance on May 6, 1994. We saw each other across the room while line dancing. Rick’s cousin Jan invited me to the barn dance and the rest is history! Our courtship was whirlwind and we married in Mazatlan, Mexico on December 25th, 1994. This is the 13th year we have been married and we are still in love!
Our Wedding Christmas Day 1994 in MazatlanAt Jan Savage's in May 1994After the Barn Dance, May 1994July 1995 in KelownaIn Love September 1994 Christmas Party 2002Dancing at the Copper Room in Harrison Hot Springs in 1995Valentine's Day 2004 at Mayfair LakesIn Girvan, Scotland 1999RCutting the Cake at our reception

Patrick & Kathy Engaged and Patrick 30. Brenda 57

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Patrick and Kathy announce their engegamentPatrick and I were born on the same day! On July 29, 2007, Patrick turned 30 and I turned 57. We had a great dinner at The Grizzlay House in Banff. We all stayed at the beautiful and luxurious Rimrock Hotel. At the dinner, Patrick and Kathy announced their engagement! As a mother, I am thrilled- I know that Patrick is very happy. As a future mother-in-law, I thnk that Kathy will be a great daughter-in law. >Bruce, Patrick and BrendaLovebirds Patrick and Kathy<Rick and Brenda

Christmas 2006

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Christmas in Richmond with Rick and Brenda May, Patrick Audley and Kathy Chernipeski, and Dennis Mirva.

Kathy by Christmas TreePatrick and Kathy after gift openingRick in His Aviator HatDennis Mirva and Rick