The Cruise Begins!

Seven nights – five ports of call – Seattle – Astoria – San Francisco – Monterey – Victoria – and two full days at sea.  It was time to cruise!

I admit I’d had some concerns. The week before we left, the weather was as bad in Seattle as it can be – heavy rain, pounding hail,  even thunder and lightning.  Why had I booked such a late season cruise?  But when Sunday rolled around the forecast showed sunny and dry all week – yippee!   So we happily bid Seattle farewell and headed out to sea on the Star Princess leaving Pier 91 at 4:00 p.m.

We’d boarded the ship at 1:00, had lunch and checked out our room –  it was perfect. More spacious than we remembered from our one and only previous cruise, and we were thrilled to have a balcony.  We explored the ship, doing our best to understand the layout – it would take all week. The top three decks (14, 15, 16) contained the buffet, pools, outdoor theatre, small bars, clubs, and wonderful, wonderful views.  Lower decks (5, 6 & 7) had the formal dining rooms, speciality restaurants, entertainment venues, shops and the promenade.  In between were the staterooms – we were on Baja Deck 11.

Soon enough it was time for dinner. We’d ended up with a 5:00 seating in the traditional dining restaurant, where we shared our table with two other couples (one local, one not) friendly and easy to be with.  Lots of bantering ensued about travel and cruising and places and things and somewhere along the line this exchange happened:

Unnamed party:  ‘Do you know who Archie Bunker is?  You sound just like him.’

Archie (not his real name) with a laugh :  ‘Everybody from New York sounds like Archie Bunker.’  Including you-know-who but we stayed clear of that.

After a wonderful dinner and dessert we said goodbye to our new friends and headed up top to watch the sunset.

When it got a bit chilly we remembered we had the same view from our room and headed back down where it was warm and cozy.

We watched the scenery go by from our balcony –  as we headed west to the Pacific Ocean.  There were our own Olympic Mountains – as beautiful a sight as any we would behold from sea –

and the brilliant colors of sunset staining the sky.

Later on we fell asleep to the gentle movement of the ship … and slept soundly until we woke to sunrise the next morning.

Now I’m not what you’d call a morning person but with so much on the horizon I had to get up early and check it out.

There were so many mountains in the distance as we sailed down the Washington Coast, including the tallest which must have been Rainier – but don’t quote me – I’ve never seen them from sea.

When this finally happened I knew we’d made the right choice –  it was a wonderful start to our cruise and I looked forward to every day ahead.

That’s enough for now but there’s lots more to come, including our first stop at Astoria, followed by a full day at sea.

Stay tuned!

~ Susanne

The Fall Colors of Coulon

Fall is in full swing in the Pacific Northwest so I went to see the show at Coulon Park where the trees are alive with color.  I thought you’d enjoy seeing them too!

Still sorting through my photos and will bring you my first cruise post soon!  🙂

~ Susanne

After a Week of Cruising

After a week of smooth sailing down the West Coast under summery blue skies and sunshine – lazy days spent at sea and excursions at ports of call –  we returned to beautiful, cold and damp, Seattle.

I’m still getting my land legs back and settling in. Unpacking luggage.  And stories. And hundreds of photos I was compelled to take.  I look forward to sharing them with you in the coming days.

I’m also ready to embrace the fact that summer is really over – a chill is in the air, leaves are changing color, and salmon are running on the Cedar River – fall is here to stay and winter follows close behind.

The cats are adjusting too –  confused and a bit agitated about our absence – they require more love and attention which I am happy to give.

The cruise was wonderful, even better than I expected.  Still, it’s great to be home.  🙂

~ Susanne

Choosing Cruising

For the second time we booked a cruise.

You may remember our first one to Alaska two years ago. Here’s a little reminder if you don’t – Juneau and Mendenhall Glacier.

In fact, cruising to Alaska might be considered a gateway cruise – for some people it can lead to other cruises to far and distant lands. Like the Panama Canal. Or the Caribbean. Or Mexico.

We opted for something a little less exotic and closer to home – where we can still enjoy the cruising experience. Down the coast from Seattle. To San Francisco. And Monterey. With a stop by Victoria on the way back. Not because we’ve never been to these places before but because we have – and loved them. Only this time we’ll leave the driving to someone else. And arrive by sea. Relaxing don’t you think?

I hope to tell you all about it soon.

In the meantime, here’s a sneak preview of sunrise from the ship.

~ Susanne

A Promise to Tiger

“Tiger, I need to talk to you.”

“Sure Sue, what is it?”

“I wanted to let you know that Benji and I won a spot in the International Cat Care Calendar for 2020.”

“So I heard.”

“I entered him into the competition because the category was ‘cat-human relationships.’ Benji’s a lap cat so it was much easier for me to get a picture of us together. But trust me Tiger. The next contest that comes along for most handsome cat I’m entering you. You’d win paws down!!”

“Really Sue?”

“Yes, Tiger, I promise!”

“Okay thanks! I guess I should start getting ready. How’s this?”

“Beautiful Tiger! That’s a winner for sure!”

~ Susanne

Take Time to Smell the Sunflowers

Just like Tiger!  🙂

~ Susanne

The Antique Cars and Trucks of Hood River

Not the river itself of course but the town so named. We’d seen signs for the Western Antique Air and Auto Museum on earlier trips to Hood River but this time we decided to stop  for a look.

I have to admit it was not at the top of my list of things to do. After all,  Mt Hood is less than an hour away, and beautiful orchards dot the way ; there are windsurfers to watch on the river and there’s an historic shopping district  just waiting for people like me.

Still, the museum is a hidden jewel and I enjoyed walking in the midst of cars, trucks and planes tucked into every nook and cranny of the two and half acres of buildings.

The automobile collection includes manufacturers still building cars today – Ford and Chevy – and those who were left behind – Locomobile and Stanley and Nash.

I liked those from the fifties and sixties the best with their loud colors and sizes.

My favorite was a 1950 Kaiser, which reminded me of a plump melon.

Bob liked them all and could have used more time –  he actually reads the signs – but we’d arrived late in the day and only had an hour to spend.

So I suspect we’ll be back on our next trip to the Columbia River Gorge.  At least he will. I’ll probably drop him off and go shopping.

Shared with Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge, Cars and Trucks.

~ Susanne

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