Barbara H has continued her talks which today included one on San Francisco, a city that is near and dear to our hearts. Born and raised in the city by the bay, it has been the center of our world with family and friends either living in or on the outskirts of the city. Despite knowing every nook and cranny, we still like to listen to her lectures. Of course, the bottom line, is selling the tours, of which there are only 2 offered. That is kind of interesting since the scheduled stay there is from 8am to 11pm. Perhaps the tour booklet the collector voyage guests get is different from the continuing guests. Anyway, there is a scenic city tour for 3 ½ hours for $65, and the hop-on, hop-off bus for 2 ½ hours. That was $45. Finally, a tour of the city with a transfer to the airport for 4 ½ hours for $104 works well for disembarking guests with late flights. One funny thing that is mentioned in each description is the fact that fog may obstruct the views. Oh, do we remember that well…..
The Mexican Ambassadors are still onboard with music and dancing in the Lido Pool area, and later on they were teaching how to shop using the Spanish language. Executive Chef Petr turned up the heat in the Culinary Center with a cooking show. He is the most approachable and friendly chef we have known for a long time. Passionate about food, he loves to talk the trade. Thanks to him, he has explained many of the problems that have cropped up with the stoppage of the BBQ's onboard and some of the buffets we used to have. Also interesting is the fact that the HAL ships cannot take produce onboard from many countries we have recently visited. For instance, some of the South American countries as well as Central American nations where some of the nicest produce grows, is no longer available to HAL ships. All of the fresh produce has to be sent via containers. The few exceptions that we noticed was fresh fish catch of the day, particularly on the world cruise, was allowed to be brought on for the guests.
We enjoyed a cheeseburger and a hot dog from the Dive-In Grill, except we took it to our room to eat. Mostly because there happened to be a really good movie on TV called The Eagle Huntress. It was actually more of a documentary of a 13 year old girl who trained to become the first female to become a huntress using a trained eagle in Mongolia. Excellent story as well as scenery in a most desolate part of the world. The funny thing was that this movie was shown in the Wajang, but also televised, probably by accident. Should have been on TV tomorrow. Oh well…lucky for us..
Between walks on the promenade and packing, the day flew by. Visiting with friends passed the rest of the day until dinnertime. Tonight was the final gala evening for those of us that are leaving in a few days. We have noticed that there has not been any caviar or escargots on this two week trip, but we guess that only happens on Grand Voyages. The entrees tonight included rack of veal, which we both ordered. It was tasty and tender, but way too much food. Had to save room for flourless chocolate cake and an ice cream sundae. One more night of desserts, and that will be it for sweets, at least until we come back in July for two weeks.
The show tonight was the Talk of the Town, as performed by the Amsterdam's singers and dancers. Good music from the big artists of the not-so-distant past was as good as the first time we saw this performance.
And the good thing was that the clocks went back one hour tonight. We are finally on Pacific time now, and very close to have gone full circle, ending where we began this journey on New Year's Day.
Bill & Mary Ann