Final Thoughts

I’m gonna wait until the laundry is done and the jet lag is gone and will then post my overall impressions and thoughts after I have some time to compose them……stay tuned. 

Seattle and home…

Arrived almost in time, former co worker Andrea was nice enough to pick us up and then she and old friend Andy and we had dinner in West Seattle.   

On Friday, we had breakfast with Mike’s god daughter Maggie and then headed to the airport.   Uneventful flight and quite a change in temps when we got off the plane.  70 and low humidity in Seattle and 88 and 90% in Houston!

   
    
Home to do laundry! 

VancouverĀ 

Awoke to find us almost at the bridge into Vancouver.   After snapping a few pictures, went back to bed for another hour or so, final breakfast in the suites restaurant- steak and eggs for both of us and French toast to share!

Then an easy disembarkation with Leah’s help, got our bags, quick cab ride to the train station where we were two hours early for our bus to Seattle.   

We should have stayed aboard a bit longer. šŸ˜‚

   
      
  

Victoria

What a beautiful day after a morning of fog as we left the pacific and headed inland.   We have been so lucky on this trip…no rain, and once we hit Cabo, great temperatures.  

We rented a van with Glenn&Will and Ian&Mike and headed off for Butchart Gardens. Really beautiful, lots of tulips and amazing rhododendrons.   Mike and I had afternoon tea, a first for him.  He even had their 100th anniversary mix that included gunpowder.  

We then took a scenic drive along the bay through some of the older and more pricy residential neighborhoods.  We made a drive by of Craigdarroch castle, a huge Victorian.  Ran into Sandy and Maureen there who recommended we go by Mt. Tolmie for incredible views.  We did and they were right. 

After returning the rental, we met Jeff, Ken, Gary and Marie at the Empress Hotel for a final Friends of Dorthy meeting.  Beautiful old hotel and very tasty drinks in the Bengal Lounge.   I wish we had of been hungry as they serve a delicious looking curry buffet in the bar.   

We returned to the ship and Mike and I finished up the Manhattens we had brought aboard in Tampa with delicious wings from the Sports Bar and then grabbed dinner from the buffet.  

We finished up our packing…most was done on the last two sea days.   After a nightcap on the balcony to finish up the last of the ammaretto, we hit the sack.  

 When we woke up…. 
 Five minutes later it was pea soup…..  
   

  
                

 Lunch!

  

  

  

  Castle Craigdorrach

  That’s Mr Rainer in the distance…apparently a very rare sighting in Victoria.   

   

  

   

  

  

  

  

  

 

Last Sea Day

hard to believe that this “long” cruise was so short!  Today is our last sea day.  We had the closing slot pull- 36 chipped in $15 each.   After we all made 5 pulls, we got $11 back so no winning there…..but I “re-invested” my $11 and ended up with $75!   Mike wasn’t so lucky.  His is all gone. 
After lunch we finished packing and then went to the final Lattitudes party and the final onboard Friends of Dorthy” get together…some of us plan on meeting for cocktails at the Empress Hotel in Victoria tomorrow.   We had our next to last dinner with Mike & Ian from Austraila and shared all out gifted wine.   A nice way to end our last sea day.

Sail away

We invited the “friends of Dorthy” group to our cabin for a “Pride” sail away under the Golden Gate and then we are all going to dinner together in a private room at one of the main dining rooms.   The concierge Leah and the Group Coordinator “She”have been so helpful in setting it up and joined us. 

We suggested everyone bring any of the “meh” sparkling they have (we have two new birthday bottles you will recall) and I asked “She” to have some orange juice sent up to make mimosas…..she went a little overboard! 

  

 
   

   
  

       

We had a great time waving to pedestrians on the bridge. Unfortunately only Leah made it to the room by the time we got to the bridge.  However the party continued long after we were under the bridge.  And even longer, as we hit really rough seas, it was like riding a roller coaster. 

  

Uphill both ways!

I forget between visits just how hilly San Francisco is…..my dogs are barking and my thighs are burning!  According to Siri, we walked over 12,800 steps and eight flights!

We docked a little ahead of schedule so had no trouble making our pre-ticketed 9:30 ferry to Alcatraz.   It is an interesting place with quite the history (Civil War?  Who knew?!) but after climbing to the top and then what felt like an equally arduous trek back down I was hoping the Trip back to shore would take longer.  

The views back towards the city from Alcatraz were pretty incredible and I was impressed with the beautiful flowers in the island and in the City too. 

We had hoped to go to Sausalito for lunch but we would have been getting back to this side of the bay only 30 minutes ahead of “all aboard” so instead we walkedšŸ˜­ to Fisherman’s Wharf and split a clam chowder, Dungeness crab sandwich and a rock crab sandwich.    They were tasty but none were as great as we remember from our first trip here 20-odd years ago.  We then walked some more to Ghirardelli Square and had some delicious ice cream.  

And then of course had to walk uphill some more back to the ship!

  
  
  
  
 
   

  

  

  

  

  

Los AngelesĀ 

Our first US port since we left Tampa so we had to go through Immigration and because some folks were disembarking here, customs too. (Side note to both of my bosses and Mike’s too…..when we booked the trip, they didn’t sell it as Tampa to LA, I swear!  They added it after final payment but for the same price as going to Vancouver and you know me, I couldn’t pay the same for less).  Luckily, concierge Leah got us off the ship first along with the other CruiseCritics who were renting cars.  We were planning on calling Enterprise to pick us up but we were off so early that they weren’t open yet so the 10 of us walked to their location.  It has been a beautiful day, low 70s, no humidity really beautiful.  

Two guys from Vancouver we met on board joined Mike and me for our trip up the 405 to the Getty Center.  A Richard Meier masterpiece.  We took the “architectural” tour, not quite what I had hoped but a nice way to get aquatinted with the building and then walked through a few galleries before heading back towards the ship.  We took the “non-freeway” option back via Venice Beach and lunch at In & Out Burger.   Now back on the ship and ready for another sea day!