Monday, June 29, 2009

Panama Canal Transit – Pacific Princess May 2009

Continued from earlier posts…

Monday May 11, 2009 – San Francisco, CA – 65F – Sunny

I had failed to mention the picturesque sail-in to San Francisco. The city truly opened up its “Golden Gate” for the Pacific Princess. Sailing under the bridge gave a unique perspective to this incredible structure.

IMG_2034 IMG_2036

Alcatraz Island was also visible from the ship as it made its way to the pier.


The Pacific Princess looked positively regal at the dock


A beautiful day in the Bay Area and we are on tour today: “The City of San Francisco”. The guide was terrific and the bus was comfortable. We made our way to Twin Peaks, where one was rewarded with a great panoramic view of the City by the Bay

SF from Twin Peaks

I’m pretty sure that in the seven years we lived in the Bay Area, we never went to Twin Peaks. The bus wound through Chinatown and the Haight-Ashbury District (“put some flowers in your hair”); we also saw the famed St. Francis Hotel and Golden Gate Park. The Holocaust Memorial was sobering with its plaster figures.

Some of the architecture associated with San Francisco was embodied by the “Painted Ladies” houses

Painted Ladies Homes - SF

A bonus in this shot – the Transamerica Pyramid in the distance

The bus stopped at the park along side the Golden Gate for some great photo ops and snacks.


Sausalito was added to the itinerary – the town was a bit more crowded than I remembered it but one of our favorite restaurants, the Spinnaker, was still there (we left the area in 1979).

The bus dropped us at Ghirardelli Square where we could sample some chocolate before walking back along Fisherman’s Wharf to the pier. The trek wouldn’t be complete without checking out the sea lions basking in the sun.


A last look at San Francisco.


Tuesday, May 12, 2009 – At Sea – Pacific Ocean – Coast of Northern California – 57F – Sunny

Relaxing day at sea – good day for the gym – Outcome: Treadmill (308 Calories burned – 2.7 miles walked) – a drop in the Buffet bucket.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009 – At Sea – Oregon Coast – 50F – Rain

My final talk was an informal Q and A Session in the Cabaret Lounge. I had a very good turnout – some folks were sitting on the floor. We chatted about DNA and historical mysteries – The Titanic Child, Anna Anderson, and Columbus. I also shared with them the work done on identifying the 9/11 terrorists’ remains (so they would not be buried with victims). Fascinating stuff and I think the attendees picked up some interesting information.

We attended the Farewell Show with Sid Gold (still very funny) and Brandi Chapman (great performer). Sammie also did a final number in her terrific fashion.

Thursday, May 14, 2009 – Seattle, WA – 50F – Rain

Debark was quick and easy and soon we were at SeaTac Airport.

In a few hours, Chicago was in view


How to sum up this cruise?

Great, cozy, ship

Great food and staff

Fine entertainment

Great passengers (met so many nice people)

But, it was good to be home.

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