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Friday, September 30, 2022

Day 7 Sea Day Captain’s Circle Cocktail Party

Aloha Everyone,

Safety of passengers and crew are of paramount importance. A Category 1 hurricane was the reason given by Captain Ravera of Sapphire Princess to cancel our port of call at Puerto Vallarta and instead head for San Diego, California.  This announcement came while we were seated for lunch in the International Dining Room. His usual upbeat voice was replaced by somber no nonsense tone.

J.J. and I purchased 24 hours access to use the ship’s WiFi. Cost of $15 for 4 devices is reasonable. Unfortunately, due to the weather, the weak signal limited our access to text messages, phone calls, emails and news but not all of the time.

At the Captain’s Circle Cocktail Party, Captain Ravera related the story of Sapphire Princess and her crews’ challenges during the past 2 1/2 years while the vessel was mothballed. He admitted that current crews are still new to this ship and continuing to improve their technique and services. On this voyage we have less than 2,800 passengers while the ship has a 4,000 capacity.

Shared a table with a couple from Guyana. This was another chance to learn about a new destination. Guyana, as a former British colony, recognizes English as their official language. This means Guyana is the only country in South America where English speaking visitors would have no language barrier.

Aloha -- Cathi

Thursday, September 29, 2022


Aloha Everyone,

Also located on the Sea of Cortez, Loreto was founded in 1697. With a population of 20,000, Loreto is a small village poised for future development by large companies. We joined eager passengers and rode a tender which deposited us ashore in less than 10 minutes.

J.J. and I walked nearly 5 city blocks, perspiring in the morning sun, before entering the “arch” which indicates the beginning of the touristic areas with restaurants, souvenir shops, vendors with their colorful array of displays. 

The two of us entered the first restaurant with AC and WIFI. For the next hour or so, we checked our messages and were able to make a couple of phone calls a before going back on board by 11:00am.

Our last cruise includes a return to Loreto. Hopefully, the weather will be cooler in late October and we will be able to explore this charming island before it’s overrun by part-time residents and tourists.

Aloha -- Cathi

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Day 4 Cabo San Lucas

Aloha Everyone,

Cabo San Lucas traces its commercial history as a location of a tuna cannery. The completion of the Pan-American Highway from San Diego, California and linking Baja with a 1,000 miles highway brought tourists and North American residents. Almost everything in Cabo has been recently built. Planting of palm trees, piped water from San Jose, the place looks more like an extention of California than a part of Mexico.

Today Cabo enjoys a population of 250,000 people with an artificial bay constructed large enough to welcome cruise ships, commercial vessels and pleasure sailing boats. Beach frontages and hills are dotted with hotels, large homes and condominiums for part-time residents.

Went off shore for less than 2 hours. After walking for one city block, we stopped at a restaurant to get beverages and use WiFi.

We are not accustomed to the heat and humidity. After being able to communicate briefly with our children, J.J. and I were happy to get back on a tender to return to our cabin where the AC is working. Ironically, the water bottles we purchased at a local store are Kirkland brands.

Aloha -- Cathi

Monday, September 26, 2022

Arrived in Cabo San Lucas

Aloha Everyone,

Here are a couple of photographs from Cabo San Lucas.

Aloha -- Cathi

Sunday, September 25, 2022

Sea Day Formal Dress Night

Aloha Everyone,

Here are some pictures from our first formal dress night on our cruise to Mexico.

Aloha -- Cathi

Saturday, September 24, 2022

Embarkation Day

Aloha Everyone,

We are heading out on the first of four back to back cruises.

Aloha -- Cathi

Monday, September 19, 2022

Uncertain Reign of King Charles, Commonwealth, British Economy

Aloha Everyone,

Death comes to all.  For some, they are sudden. Queen Elizabeth’s final day has been long anticipated. Even as a lay person, we learned that her funeral was planned over a decade ago with up to minute details which the Queen herself approved.

There will be numerous changes that are taking places. From new British Prime Minister, the British National Anthem, printed money and coins, official flags to name a few.

There are still 56 countries in 6 continents that are part of the Commonwealth including Canada, Australia, New Zealand, India and Caribbean countries.

King Charles’ relocating to Buckingham Palace means up to 100 employees that were employed at his former residence could all potentially lose their jobs.

For most of us losing one’s Mother, grandmother is a private affair. To be under minute public scrutiny, unkind rumors and opinions is uncalled for. One should, irregardless of one’s personal feelings, respect the departed and show kindness and compassion to those who are left to deal with their own pain and suffering.

Aloha -- Cathi

Sunday, September 18, 2022

Our Anniversary

Aloha Everyone,

We spent our special day in La Jolla. Delicious food, lots of laughters and stimulating conversation all contributed to a very memorable anniversary.

Aloha -- Cathi

Saturday, September 17, 2022

Good Eats During Our One Week Stay

Aloha Everyone,

Please enjoy these pictures of some of the yummy food we have eaten over the past week.

Aloha -- Cathi

Friday, September 16, 2022

Meeting Friends

Aloha Everyone,

Our first social meeting was with Larry and Jeanne at the Peets Cafe, La Jolla Town Center. They are avid travelers though their style of traveling is to go with a small professionally guided tour group. Most recently, the couple spent three weeks in Norway.

It was fascinating to hear their travel stories, chance to compare notes such as our baggage packing techniques. On a personal note, Jeanne offered helpful information on my next cataract surgery.

The second meeting was with Jinnie, a neighbor. I just walked over to her house. Although Jinnie and her husband are closer to our son and daughter-in-law’s age, Jinnie and I have a number of common interests. We discussed philosophy, culture, music and books.

Both couples treasure their privacy so the photos I took will not be posted in our blog.

Aloha -- Cathi

Thursday, September 15, 2022

Walking Shoes Shopping

Aloha Everyone,

Two pairs of walking shoes I have been using have seen better days. My daughter-in-law offered to take me back to a shoe store, DSW.

I have been very happy with my ASICS walking shoes which I purchased the last time we were in La Jolla. The wear and tear on my shoes is roughly 5 miles a day x 30 days x 5 months = 750 miles.

Normally it’s recommended that you change shoes every 500 miles. I was wearing two pairs of different brands of walking shoes and they both had to be replaced.

The new pair is another ASICS walking shoes. This time I purchased two pairs of spares. They should last me for awhile.

Aloha -- Cathi

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Rings of Power

Aloha Everyone,

Interesting interpretations of the chronology of Middle-earth history. J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings. This new Prime Video time travels back by thousands of years. Fans  of Peter Jackson’s films, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, may be disappointed with new characters and story lines.

I spent three consecutive days watching one hour programs just to catch up with the rest of the family. After the first three episodes, new ones are released every Friday. There are too many new characters and one can only guess who might become the protagonist or antagonist. Which character will play the major roles and who will be vanquished by the next episode is unknown.

Costumes in some cases are outlandish while beautiful sceneries, especially some palaces and temples reminds me of old parts of Istanbul.

I enjoyed myself immensely by discussing various aspect of this fantasy production with my granddaughter.

Aloha -- Cathi

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

1000 pieces Ravensburger Puzzle

Aloha Everyone,

Even as a toddler, our granddaughter loved puzzles. First ones were simple wood blocks and then bigger, more complex pictures often of castles, animals, classic arts or landscapes. 

Currently a completed puzzle of the scene of an English village with tea shop is on the living room table. It is one of many Ravensburger puzzles our granddaughter completed. On a daily basis, she will move a few of the pieces. It’s mostly a non-verbal game. I will find pieces that are missing or misplaced. Once they are restored in their rightful spot, I then would move two, three pieces in non- conspicuous parts.

She is extremely creative and competitive. With her sharp and good memory, it is a fun challenge for me to see how many seconds it takes her to find missing or misplaced pieces. 

Aloha -- Cathi

Monday, September 12, 2022

Visiting Our Son’s Family

Aloha Everyone,

We were up by 5:00 am and the two of us began our final packing. After 100 days at Extended Stay America, our home base in Torrance, it was time to check out. We had accumulated a number of items for cooking that were disposed.

By 10:00 am we had checked out and 12 minutes later, South bound on the I-405 San Diego freeway.

An ideal day to drive. Light traffic and driving without any break took us less than 2 hours to our destination. Overcast and humid but with Honu’s AC, it was comfortable.

Rain was predicted but scattered shower was all we had. It was not sufficient to be able to capture rain drops on Honu’s windshield.

Always lovely to see our family. Glancing at her textbooks stacked neatly on a table, I asked our granddaughter for an overview of her Junior Year over wonderful dim sum selections.

Aloha -- Cathi