Hello from the Pacific coast, somewhere between San Francisco and Astoria, Oregon. It’s a sea day, so we’re just sort of cruising along here without much to do. It’s actually my favorite kind of day at sea; I like being on the ship, moreso than going ashore most of the time.

We’ve had some weather so far; it’s a good thing Jim and I are both good sailors. Note that when a British captain comes over the loudspeaker to say that you’re heading into “a bit of a breeze,” it’s time to tie yourself to your bunk. 🙂 That was the night we were approaching San Francisco. It was rough last night too, although not quite so much.

Our first stop was Santa Barbara. Jim got off there and just walked around for a while, but there’s not much to see near the dock. All the places interesting to tourists are some ways away, a bus or cab ride, and he didn’t feel like doing either. I stayed aboard and read a book and was happy just hanging out.

We got off in San Francisco and went to Yank Sing for dim sum for lunch. Awesome place, over in the old Post Office building. It’s not cheap, but the food is excellent. We tried some new things this time, including an ocean bass in a light honey sauce that was very yummy, and some small patties made with chicken and lotus root. I’d never had lotus root before; it doesn’t have much flavor but it added a slightly crunchy (vegetable-type crunchy) texture to the patty. And we had the ltitle dumplings filled with soup; that’s my favorite thing to get there, as much for the coolness of soup-filled dumplings as for the fact that they taste good. 🙂

After that, we wanted to go to the Cartoon Art Museum, up on Mission. We’d passed it on the way to the Museum of the African Diaspora back in September, and meant to get back there but never did, so yesterday seemed like a good day for it. So we walked and walked and commented on how it was farther than we’d remembered and walked some more, only to get there and find out it’s closed on Mondays. :/ Massive bummer.

One good thing about this ship — the Sapphire Princess — is that it’s new enough that they have wireless internet in the cabins. It’s great not to have to pack everything up and trek out to one of the public areas to find an internet signal. It’s not an incredibly fast connection, since satellite connections aren’t and the ship’s official traffic has priority, but it’s still cool to be able to sit here in my room and get online. Not that I’ve been doing it much, because it’s still expensive, and in fact I’m typing this offline; I’ll do a copy/paste to post it in a bit.

One bad thing is that my back loathes these mattresses. [sigh] I have a very fussy back, and I have this problem a lot, although that doesn’t make it any easier to deal with. I can sleep for a few hours, maybe three or four, then I wake up hurting, and it’s turn-doze-turn-doze-turn-doze, never comfortable again but trying to collect enough dozing periods to add up to a non-zombie state when I finally give up and get out of bed. Repeat about half a day later when I run out of gas. I’m probably going to collapse and sleep round the clock when we get home to our own bed.

Jim’s going to see a fort in Astoria tomorrow, and I’m staying on the ship again. The next stop after that is Seattle, which I can see whenever I want. 🙂 Jim’s planning to go on a tour of the Boeing factory, which is cool for him ’cause he’s massively into planes. Then we’ll be in Victoria, where we’re going to the Butchart Gardens, to look around and then have tea. We did the same exact tour a few years ago when we did our Alaska cruise, although that was in September. The garden (which was gorgeous enough that late in the season) should be pretty spectacular in May, so I’m really looking forward to seeing it. And the tea was very good last time too, once we found the right building. 🙂

After that is Vancouver on Saturday and we get off the ship; we’ll be taking a bus home.

I’m way behind on blogs and such, and probably will be until we get home. The combination of the cost and the slow connection makes it frustrating to do much on my blog list, so I’ll be back visiting folks next week. [wave]


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Angela Benedetti lives in Seattle with her husband and a few thousand books. She loves romance for the happy endings, for the affirmation that everyone who's willing to fight for love deserves to get it and be happy with someone. She's best known for her Sentinel series of novels, the most recent of which is Captive Magic.