Monday, August 18, 2008
Day two dawned with us still at the hotel. We quickly got packed up and went over to Heidi's place. A large chunk of my family was there and we spent the morning with them. There was a line for the laptop as all of us knew that this could be our last opportunity to be online for a full week.
Late morning, Heidi and I dropped the rental car back at the airport. Now take a minute and visualize a plate of spaghetti. Got it? Ok, now imagine that you're driving a very tiny meat-ball on one noodle. It dives under other noodles and climbs over some. At the end you're somewhere deep in the pasta. This is something like the Seattle rental car return route.
I finally got the meatball in place at National, only to find that it hadn't been 'activated' in Vancouver. This seems odd as I drove it out of their with their permission and key. She called up there and it was obvious that she was soon put on hold. She didn't say anything to me, and as a line formed up behind me I let other people past to ask quick questions. Eventually (five minutes?) I asked her what else she needed from me. Oh, nothing. I could go. Grrrr. Sometimes I think they do a reverse intelligence test for customer service spots.
Back to Heidi's and everything was a whirl of activity. The shuttle van showed up and we quickly made certain that everything was tagged and loaded. Then it was off to the port!
Customs (or immigration) was a breeze and we were quickly walking up the long gangway to the ship. A young man at an intersection urged us towards a Holland ship and then told us we'd chosen wrong and were doomed. He was being funny and I'd probably make the same remark but I can't help but wonder what he'd have done if we'd taken him seriously. ("It's doomed? Is it a problem with the phalanges?")
We got our cards and had our pictures taken and then we set off to find our rooms. One nice thing about going in a group is that we had a tidy cluster of rooms on deck 2. That meant it was easy to find and then we were off to lunch at the buffet. The buffet is up in a forward space on deck 9 called the 'Windjammer'. We ate their most of our meals because of the view and the selection.
Soon it was time for the ship to leave. The FP Gal's parents had a balcony and we watched the city slide by. Then we took Relia up on deck. It was either a parade or a coronation, I'm not sure which. She walked around showing no fear. Marched right up to people on their deck chairs and demanded to play with their purses or necklaces. Sometimes she'd wave at them or start to clap. She was little Miss Rhapsody and holy cats was she cute! Everybody loved her.
Dinner that night was in the main dining room. We had the late seating, 830p, or almost eleven o'clock for our personal time. Relia only made it until 930p at which point I whisked her downstairs and to bed. One other thing about the main dining room, our table was next to an enormous round window. We were treated to the beautiful scenery of Puget Sound, the Olympic Peninsula and sunset. Simply gorgeous and I'm trying to figure out how we can put that window scene into our dining room.