Winding down

  • After Halifax, we had one more sea day and then we would arrive in NYC for disembarkation and the journey home. The last sea day was a low key kinda day. Brad had a massage so that he could leave the ship fully relaxed (!), and there was one more art auction. Surprisingly, no one bought any of the Peter Max pieces on the entire trip … go figure.
  • We also took some time to express our appreciation for the crew members that we made good connection with, and that helped make our journey special … Romel, ZaZa, Vesko, Peter … we made the rounds and said our goodbyes. I will admit to shedding a little tear at the thought of leaving ZaZa. I tried (several times) to convince her to move to Eugene, but no luck so far. Maybe someday …??? But we will stay “friends” through Facebook.
  • After dinner, we put our suitcases out for collection, and were down to just the basics in our room. We stood outside on the balcony and enjoyed the last bit of cruising. It was hot and humid, but the breeze on the balcony made it pleasant as the sun went down. Brad went to the bathroom for a few minutes, and darned if I didn’t see some whales (really, truly). Probably saw a dozen spouts, including a couple really close to the ship. I was surprised, since it never occurred to me that there would be whales off the NY coast.
  • The captain planned our route so that we would be at dock in Manhattan by about 1AM, which meant that if we wanted to see the Statute of Liberty and the Manhattan skyline, we would have to get up in the middle of the night to do so. I decided not to set the alarm … but as luck would have it, nature called right about then. Unfortunately, I missed Miss Liberty, but we did have a chance to see as we pulled into the harbor and then landed the ship in a tight-fitting pier.

  • Then it was up, bright and early (5:30) to get ourselves washed and dressed, have some breakfast, and get to the gathering area to wait for disembarkation. By 8:00, we had done all that, and gotten in a few pix of the view from the pier, and we were sitting in the casino for the first time of the cruise, which was our designated waiting place.
  • The view from the ship included a couple more modes of transportation that we didn’t take on this trip!! It was foggy and muggy, and we couldn’t see the tops of the buildings, but there it was … Manhattan!

  • [From Brad] Well…’s the story of how we got to Denver. Yesterday, 14 Aug, we hopped off the Sea Princess at 0830 as the ship had planned and hopped on to a bus for LaGuardia (LGA) airport. The whole transfer from the ship to the airport couldn’t have gone any better. Seemed like in no time, we were at LGA and headed for the ticket counter. We waltzed up to the counter and handed the lady our passports. Check in went like a breeze….but the she said that she shouldn’t have checked our bags…it was too early. But the deed was done so off we went to the United lounge to cool our jets for a few hours. We didn’t have a choice on when we would get to LGA. That was all up to the cruise line. So we settle into the United lounge (which is outside of security) for a latte or two. Eventually, it’s time to headed off to the dreaded TSA check point. Out of the lounge, around one corner and we are there staring at the TSA Pre Check line. We have that so we hop right in line. 5 minutes later – done! Man…..things are looking good at this point.
  • We head to the gate and park. We start getting notices that the inbound flight will be late but only 15 minutes or so. Not an issue….all still looks well. Boarding time comes and we settle into our seats up front. I’ll save you the gory details and make the story short. After 3 hours of waiting we taxi out only to be told the queue is 45 minutes long. After 20 minutes an announcement…..we now don’t have enough fuel to make it to Denver so we are going back to the gate to get fuel. So we hop out of line and back to the gate we go. But because of the passing thunderstorm and lightning, no ground crew can be outside so we wait on the taxiway until they appear after the storm passes. On to the gate. Once there….we are told that the new flight plan is such that the plane can’t take off with the amount of fuel needed to get to Denver. New plan is to go to Chicago, get fuel, and then head to Denver. But……after multiple 10 minute delays and new flight plans again and again, we get the OK to fly straight to Denver. Ready for it…..the plane needed fuel again…and domestic water. After a top off of liquids and 6 hours of sitting an a plane seat, we finally headed off to Denver, arriving at 11 PM Denver time. Luggage? No idea what kind of vacation it’s gone on.

  • All along the way, we were getting update after update from United on the status of the flight. It became humorous because it was inaccurate. Sue, being the family techno wizard, used the United wi-fi to book us a hotel near DEN. It was nearly 12:30 Denver time when we finally crashed.

  • Today, the start of things has been flawless except for one scare. As we went up the escalator, a small boy in front of me got his shoe sucked into the escalator works. I was directly behind him and saw that he was stuck…..and there were folks behind me coming up fast. With my free hand I stuck it under the boys arm, grabbed his chest and gave a yank, pulling him out of his stuck shoe. Got him off the escalator with all parts still attached. Mom was crying. A passenger hit the stop button finally. A DEN employee said to the mom “Lucky he did loose his toes”……WTF….why would you say that to a distraught mother? It all ended well with the exception of one chewed up tennis shoe.
  • As we finish writing this last vacation blog post, we are in the United lounge, awaiting our flight back home. So far, it all looks on time. Fortunately, our trusty house-dog-cat sitter, Mom, was able to spend an extra day taking care of the CutsoBlack Ranch, and she will come pick us up tonight. We will be so extra happy to see her and be home!

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