First & foremost....a shout out to Elise Ivy who’s celebrating a birthday today!
I woke up when I heard the sound of fog horns a 6:50 am. I slept like a brick last night; glad the headache is gone this morning. I turned on the bridge camera; & could see the Golden Gate bridge & a beautiful sunrise. I put on a robe; & stepped out on the aft deck to take it all in. Part of the bridge was shrouded in fog. The bright sun made the red metal stand out so distinctly against a pure blue sky. Looks like God was blessing us with the most perfect day you could hope for in SFO.
How do you like our Coast Guard escort?
I dressed quickly & went to the Bistro hoping to see Celeste; & make sure she was still speaking to me after last night. She & Betty were there; & I apologized for any misunderstanding about my not coming down for dinner. I must be losing my mind cause Celeste says they all thought I would be there. I feel so badly that they waited for me 25 mins. before they ordered their dinner. After some additional ribbing & a few mea culpas, they forgave me.
Immigration & customs went fairly smoothly this morning. There were a few stragglers who didn’t go; & they kept calling for them over the P.A. system. The ship couldn’t be cleared until everyone reported in. I call Marcia to tell her that she could come on down to the pier; it wouldn’t be too much longer.
My dear friend & neighbor of 16 years, Marcia, has been working in SFO for the last 5 years. I’m lucky if I get to see her once a year; & I’ve missed her so. She only lives a few miles away; & I had invited her onboard for the day. Now that most of the morning was shot, our time would be limited.
I got off the ship with Elaine (who was also welcoming a friend onboard today). We stood out on the sidewalk in front of the terminal, chatting with Keith & Anne Marie; enjoying the warm sunshine. It would have been a perfect day for exploring; but I didn’t want any distractions. I just wanted to spend some quiet time with my friend. She arrived about 11; & we had to stand in a very long, slow moving line of guests waiting to check in.
I took her to the Bistro first. She’s a coffee fiend; & I hadn’t had my morning capp. yet. Fortunately there were some Portuguese tarts left. We were talking 90 mph. Even though we usually talk on the phone about every week or so, this was special. We went by the cabin to drop off her ‘stuff’ & show her my little slice of heaven on the aft deck area.
Kelly & Ashley
We started down on the lower decks, working our way up as I gave her the grand tour. I got to introduce her to some of the friends & crewmembers that she has been reading about on the blog. A nice surprise when we walked through the Seahorse pool area, I got to meet Ashley & Kelly (‘goldengatecruisers’ from Cruise Critic). They were visiting friends onboard; & Ashley recognized me from my blog photos. We didn’t get to talk very long; but they seem to be really nice, fun guys. Oh, & did I mention that they were cute?
We worked our way up to the Lido buffet just before it closed. I’m glad it was a good menu day; & I wanted her to try all my faves. I’m afraid we ended up with plates piled full of goodies. We shared SFO clam chowder, salad, fresh fried halibut fillets with cucumber remoulade, chicken cacciatore, onion rings, sauteed potatoes & onions, teriyaki beef with udon noodles, french fries & caramel pecan tarts.
We went back to the cabin & sat on the verandah, admiring the view; & talking nonstop. The time was flying by way too quickly. I told her I was having trouble getting everything to fit in the suitcases; & she offered to take some of it home & ship it to me later. I started sorting through non-essential stuff; & put together a shopping bag full. We were slowly working our way back down to the Cove, stopping to chat with friends who were just coming back onboard.
All of a sudden, the security guy comes over; & tells Marcia she needs to go. I don’t even think it was 5:30 yet; but she must have been the last visitor left onboard. We had to hurriedly say goodbye; I didn’t even have time to walk her down the gangway. I hate goodbyes; & this started the waterworks, which would undoubtedly continue for the next couple of days.
I went up to 8 aft to watch sailaway. I even called Marcia so she could listen to Louis sing “Wonderful World”. There were hundreds of seagulls soaring around the ship. It was still warm & sunny as we made the turn around Alcatraz Island. I stayed out there until long after we cleared the Golden Gate Bridge.
I went back in to shuffle things around in the suitcases. My intention was to get them locked & ready for Liz to put back in their hiding place until tomorrow night. By 7:30 we were sailing through pea soup fog; fog horns blaring just as they were when I woke up this morning.
Liz brought dinner at 8:45; & we both got emotional talking about what a joy these last 3 months have been. She may never realize just how much getting to know her has enriched my life. I just hope I’ve been able to impress upon this shy, selfless young woman what a very special person she is.
For dinner I had the California antipasto which consisted of prosciutto & salami on roasted red peppers, tomato with buffalo mozzarella & eggplant caponata. Outstanding!
My entree was cavatappi pasta with plum tomato sauce, roasted garlic, chili flakes, buffalo mozzarella & parsley. Crystal pasta never disappoints.
I tried to work on photos; but I was just too tired to compute. I was in the bed with lights out before 10:30.
We made a Becky sandwich! So happy to see you have made it to San Francisco on the blog. Its a great photo of all three of us. We hope to cruise with you for real some day soon. Get saving for WC15 - we will do the same!
Love Ashley and Kelly.
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