Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Tuesday – Day at Sea

Ahhhhhh – yup that is the first thing I say when I wake.  Even though I love visiting amazing ports, there is nothing better than those forced relaxation days that sea days bring. 

As I lay in bed sipping my latte and reading a magazine I can feel the stress of work easing away.  There is nothing I have to be at, there is no reason to dress and head out, heck I am not even hungry.

We spend the entire morning doing really nothing noticeable.  We read, we enjoy a coffee, we watch tv.
I wanted to tell you about a great new show we ran into on the tv.  One of the channels shows Jan Swartz introducing a show called “Destinations In Depth” which is a show where they team up with experts from The University of California Los Angeles.  They discuss history, architecture, culture, food and a huge variety of places.  We watch a few and really enjoyed them.

We need to get dressed though.  Today is the Most Travelled Luncheon.  Today’s lunch is being held in Sabatinis.  We are sat at a table with two other couples (six passengers in total) with our table host Antonio Martins Pimpao the Executive Housekeeper.  We recognize him as we sailed with him on the Diamond.  He tells us he is from Portugal and he joined Princess 35 years ago.  He is hoping to retire in the coming years.

We were the youngest by far at this luncheon.  When we see Francesco at the door, we laugh and say maybe we should be sitting at the children’s table, and he laughs and points to a table outside. 

The meal was, well how can I describe it but by saying amazing!  Bernie chose more of a seafood theme where I went for the beef.  Bernie started with a Trio of Crustace, Marinated Tiger Prawns, Lobster, Scallops with an Exotic Salad and a Citrus and Basil Emulsion, entrée was Seared Sea Bass Grenobleoise with Mediterranean Vegetables and Baby Potatoes.  For me I started with the Mushroom Risotto, a delicate Risotto with assortment of mushrooms and Parmesan Cheese.  For my entrée a Combination of Beef and Veal Medallions served with Gratin Potatoes, Roasted Root Vegetables and Red Peppercorn Sauces.  Dessert is a light White Chocolate Parfait served with Strawberry and Blueberry Coulis.

We had the choice of red or white wine.  And I finished my meal with a lovely cappuccino. 

Oh I almost forgot to tell you how lovely it was to see Ricardo serving us.  He is the guy who served us in the Crown Grill.  What a great guy.

We leave the luncheon and head back to the cabin to change out of our Smart Casual clothes into shorts/t-shirts. 

We wander around for a bit.  We run into Laura and chat with Anthony too.  We sign up for the Stamasich table tomorrow which is a wine tasting at Vines.  We wander thru the stores but in the end we head back to the cabin for an afternoon nap.

Lots happened today and here is just a few of the things that happened:  Zumba, Veterans Get Together, trivia, onboard outlet sale, Movie The Princess Bride on Muts, Culinary Demonstration and Galley Tour, table tennis, line dancing, pub lunch, swing and jive lessons, bar wars, art auction, 60 second frenzy game, Afternoon movie in Princess Theater – Chef, horse racing, tap dancing class, On Deck for the Cure, Muts: Mamma Mia, Maitre D’ Wine Club, and Navigation at Sea.

Monday, September 29, 2014

San Francisco

The Captain mentioned we would be crossing under the Golden Gate Bridge early – like 5:30!  I wake around 6 am and look outside but we have already cleared under the bridge and we are approaching the pier.  It is very dark out and can’t see much anyways. 

I try to get back to sleep but soon there is a knock at our door “room service” I hear.  But we didn’t order anything, so I open the door and say “think you got the wrong room”.  And yup he wanted 215.  Darn maybe should of just accepted it and enjoyed, but we are awake now.

We toss and turn, try to get back to sleep but I am awake.  They announce around 7 am that we have received clearance and we can go ashore whenever.

We are meeting up with friends Paula and Minn at 10 so we are not in any rush.  We shower and make our way up to the Horizon Court for a light breakfast. 

We walk off at 9:30 am and I check out the terminal and take lots of pictures for my fan page.  It is a beautiful terminal.  Lots of room, very modern, fresh and attractive. 

Outside it is easy to maneuver and find things.  There is a great area for catching tours/buses and another line for taxis.  There is some parking for those that are dropping off or picking up too.  There are a ton of benches with plaques with ships that have called her and their history.  There are some lovely garden areas too.  You are near the Pier 39 and not far from the Ferry Building.  It is stunning and San Francisco, you should be proud.

We find Paula and Minn and very quickly we are in their car and on the road.  First stop they say is Starbucks – ahh did I tell you how much I love these guys.  We sit outside (although weather is cloudy and a little cool but very similar to Vancouver weather so we are good, but a jacket was necessary) and we catch up with each other.

Minn drives us out along the water and out towards the Golden Gate Bridge to Fort Point which is located right under the bridge.  It is open to the public and it is free. 

The website is here .  We spend about an hour here going thru the Fort and learning about some history I did not know about.  I especially loved posing Jasper Moose Jaw on some of the exhibits.  I also got some great shots of the Bridge.

Back in the car we drive by the Golden Gate Park and out towards the Sutro Baths and Cliff House.  Again beautiful views and we learn more about the Sutro Baths and check out the ruins of it.  The views down out to the beach are breathless and the history is very informative.  

We follow them to one of their recommended restaurants in the city…. Max’s Opera Cafe near City Hall.  As we are led to our table we see the displays for the desserts and we are eyeing them. 

I ordered the Smoked Meat Reuben with coleslaw, oh but I started with a cup of the cabbage soup!  Note a cup is really a bowl!  It was great but big servings!  

Then the sandwich comes and it was so good.  They even serve a variety of mustards to try with the sandwich as well.  For dessert they insisted I get something, but I am hesitant I know I won’t be able to finish it but I do order the carrot cake and eat a good 2/3 of it.  Darn it is so moist and the cream cheese frosting is just right, not to sweet and just enough cream cheese that it is not overpowering.  

It was such a great meal, great company and great food.  We would definitely come back and we can recommend it too!

They have a few locations and you can learn more about Max's Diners here.

Our next stop is Twin Peaks and can I say it is COLD up there.  Now I am no wimp but really, aren’t we in California!  But I am told it is always windy up there and well windy is an understatement, I thought we were going to blow away.  It was so windy I could stop laughing at how windy it was.  But heck that is not the half of it – we climb up one of the peaks where we stand on top of the world it feels like.  And darn the wind is even stronger!  Bernie laughs as the loose straps of the knapsack whip and hit him in the face.  Minn stands and is held up by the wind – boy flying a kite here would be a great idea. 

They both point out the sites to us and we learn so much from them and see things we have never seen before.

We drive back down the hill and we drive thru the Castro area, thru the Soho area, then thru the financial district and park and make our way to the Ferry Building. 

I love this building, the shops and services are so interesting.  And being such a foodie I love just checking out everything.  We end the day with a stop at Peets Coffee and Tea, for which I have never been to, but Paula loves it.  I order a Masala Chai Tea, and yes it is one of the best Chai Teas I have had.  We sit and chat and discuss our future travel plans. 

We walk back to the ship and kiss and hug goodbye.  It has been a great day and we really hope we get to repay them with such a great day when they come to Vancouver some time. 

Paula and Minn, I know you are reading this so thank you again for a great day.  We LOVED it, and just catching up with you both made our day.  Love ya.

We are back on in no time around 7:30 pm.  All aboard is late, 10:30 pm, and we sail at 11 pm.

There is no set dining today.  Botticelli which is normally traditional is Open Seating, the same with Da Vinci.  Michelangelo which is normally Anytime is closed all night.  

We are not hungry at all but we go looking for Mark and Lorelei, think that maybe they were up in Horizon Court we walk thru the seating area to see if they are up there, but they are not. 

Oh and they are having a Crab Shack Night there tonight.
We then decide to just head down to Vines to say hi to Anthony and we run into Liz (who is Crew Manager this sailing) and her friend Eliza who is one of the singers.  We join them for a glass of wine and catch up with her.  We are (okay I am) excited to see her engagement ring.  Since we saw her last she and Francesco have gotten engaged.  How exciting, and what a lovely couple. 

Liz is such a great free spirited caring person.  She is perfect in her job and you can see the crew really like her, and she is funny too. 

We head back to the cabin around 9:15 and Bernie is having a hard time keeping his eyes open so he crashes as I sit here writing my blog.  I knew I had to write in something while it was fresh in my mind, but I still forgot some off the names. 

Here are some notes about today that others may be interested in:

-          The street car is right across the street and there is a stop right at the exit to the pier.

-          We did not notice any taxis in the cruise pier area but there were numerous taxis available right at the Embarcadero street right outside the pier terminal.

-          It is not hard to walk to Pier 39 and Fisherman’s Warf.

-          There is a Safeway and Trader Joes within walking distance on Broadway.

-          Last night we received the form with regards to disembarkation times.  We are doing walk off, and it states you can only have one bag per person plus carry on for walk off.  I don’t recall this from before but it may have been there but we haven’t done walk off in a long time.  But makes sense.  They want everyone to fill out the form and return it to the Purser’s desk before tomorrow evening.

-          There was minimal activities on board today in the Patter, but a few items for those staying on, but don’t expect a lot.

-          We were up on Lido tonight and see that they are showing the football game and they had a tray of hot wings with sauce there for people to enjoy.

Sunday Night – At Sea

We meet up with our friends Michelle and Pam and their spouses in Skywalkers at 6 pm for cocktails.  Fletcher the bar waiter is there again, we are able to catch up more this time as it is quieter here tonight.  We remember that we first met him on the Star Princess and then this year on the Crown Princess.  We are so proud as he has been promoted to bar staff up here in Skywalkers and he does such a great job too.  Very personable with the passengers. 

this is a margarita special in Skywalkers

Tonight’s drink feature is the Mojito and chips and salsa.  Drink prices are still $5.

We head down to the Atrium to catch the champagne waterfall and meet up with Claudio and see Francesco and others.  Cara is replacing Johan as CSD and we enjoy chatting with her getting to know her better. 

Cruise Director Billy Hygate
Claudio the Hotel General Manager

Francesco - Food & Beverage Manager

The Atrium is not as crazy as we have seen it in the past, we can actually maneuver around.  Even the line up to pour the champagne is not long.  Princess’ chocolate feature is being presented.  Staff are walking around with a tray that is tiered that has these chocolate pops on it.  I have one and they are to die for, very decadent. 

Chocolate Pops

The Officers are introduced and the Captain talks for a bit, he notes that there are just over 200 Canadians on board.  And as he says this I hear two couples behind us speaking French and I know they are from Quebec, as I am.  So I turn around and respond back in French and we have a nice conversation.  They are from just outside Montreal and we find out that they are here for some boat racing so decided to add a cruise to the trip.  I always make a point to chat in French with those on board if I can, not only to keep up my French (which I desperately need to do) but to converse in a language with them that is their first language, which is not easy to find in North America, or the World for that matter. 

Dinner reservations are for 8 pm and we head to the Crown Grill.  The Head Waiter sits us in a nice booth and there are quite a few tables filled.  The Head Waiter we recognize but he is not very personable so we don’t really engage with him. 

But our waiter Ricardo makes up for it cause he is someone we do know from the Star and then the Crown this year.  He is so good at his job and so nice.  Very professional and accommodating, ensuring your entire experience is a special one.  I feel like I am in the Come Back New Commercial where I am being pampered as we ask him for a wine recommendation and he helps us pick something we will like.

For our meal we both order the exact same thing so reporting here will be easy.  We start out with the tomato/beet and goat cheese with spinach salad.  The Black and Blue onion soup, which oddly was warm to cold but Ricardo takes it and gets us new ones that is hot.  The Fillet Mignon is delivered and is cooked perfectly.  Our sides are garlic fries and asparagus, and oh those fries are done perfectly!  We were breathing garlic the rest of the evening, but it was worth it.

Fay from the photography department comes by and takes pictures.  We chat for a bit and find out she is from Bristol England.  She asks about Jasper our mascot and she even takes his picture too.  He is honoured.

We discuss whether we want dessert, and as much as we want the chocolate obsession we are full.  So Bernie orders a tea and I get Ricardo to make up a nice cheese plate with some fruit so I can finish the last of my wine with some nice cheese.  It ends our evening perfectly.  

The meal and the experience are memorable.  We spent the evening chatting and sipping, making toast after toast to us, our lives, our voyages, our friends, and our amazing experiences.  We don’t ever take anything for granted and we live in the moment.  Life is Good. 

As we stroll down the Promenade we see Andrew from the Cruise Staff and then walk down to talk to Ju Ju from Facets and he is quite excited to be getting off tomorrow in San Francisco.  We are tired and head to the cabin and crash. 

We are in San Francisco early tomorrow and we are there till 11 pm so a full day.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Sunday Day – At Sea

I sip my latte and write up my blog and really enjoying the relaxation.  I am having trouble getting a good signal to my cabin so I may need to go to a public area for better wifi. 

We decide that breakfast in the dining room is in order today and we head to Da Vinci for open seating.  We sit at a large table of 8 and we enjoy getting to know three other couples.  However breakfast took a very long time, over an hour but the food was good and hot once we got it.  Guess we arrived at a very busy time.

After breakfast we are down to our regular routine of sitting in the International Café.  Me with my latte and Bernie with his tea while we both read for a while.  We don’t really have anything major planned for today except the Cruise Critic Meet and Greet at 11.

The gathering was well attended and it was nice to meet some of the people we had been chatting with for a while now.  It was especially nice to meet Michelle and Pam and their partners. 

Today they are doing a Pub Lunch in the Wheelhouse but we are really feel like going to the dining room.  We arrive around 1 pm and we are sat at a table for six.  The dining room is very very busy but our server was excellent and food once again was very good.  I had the chicken Korma and it was excellent.

Back in the cabin for a bit for some R & R and maybe a nap…. Time to rejuvenate and relax.

Lots going on all over the ship.  This morning there was Zumba, a martini demo, Service Club get together, trivia, ping pong tournament, napkin folding, line dancing, bingo and a variety of seminars.  They showed the Green Bay Packers vs the Chicago Bears on MUTS, this afternoon there is another game shown there. 

This afternoon the Patter lists an afternoon movie:  The Fault in Our Stars, martini demo, The Cha Cha, art auction, photo seminar, journal making craft session, basketball shootout, wine tasting, bingo, afternoon tea, trivia and 60 second frenzy game, oh and tap dancing class.

Tonight is formal night and there is the Captain’s Champagne Waterfall as well as the production show Destination Anywhere in the theater (two showings at 8 and 10).  The movie tonight is Million Dollar Arm and also Godzilla.  The Marriage Match Game Show is happening in Explorer’s Lounge.  And much more.

We have dinner reservations tonight in the Crown Grill and then we are not sure what.  Stay tuned.  

Saturday Night Recap

As I lay here on Sunday morning sipping my latte that Bernie brought me and thought I should update what we ended up doing last night.

We agreed to meet at Crooners.  You see Bernie is always ready way before me so he heads to the lounge and then I finish getting ready and I go meet him.  As soon as I sit down the bar staff come over and they recognize us from earlier this year.  So hard to believe how many have been on since we got on last February, but they are going home soon.

I had my first Bramble martini of the trip and we sat there listening to this amazing Mariachi band in the Piazza, and have to say it was lovely.  Hard to sit still and not dance in your seat, in fact everyone I look at is getting into the mood.

We head to Da Vinci and we are lead to table 449 and we are looking for Mark and Lorelei who are hiding behind their station and surprise us.  Huge hugs and kisses.  Lorelei is such a dear, a lovely woman who is from the Phillipines and is married with two young boys.  She is missing her family so much but knows that the kids are in good hands with her Mom and will see them soon.  It is amazing the sacrifice that she is doing (and many others here) to provide for her family. 

Bernie hands Mark a big bag of Pistachios cause he loves them, and hands Lorelei a little bit of pampering with some nice bath gels and a hair treatment mask, so she can indulge and relax after a long day.

Laura joins us for a meal, which is great!  We really got to know Laura well and had the pleasure of hosting her in our city in August and then again when she returned to the ship in September.  She is looking great but boy does she work hard. 

We order a lovely bottle of wine – Sancerre.  I ask Mark for his recommendations and giggle cause I am pretty sure I know what they will be and tell Lorelei in secret what they will be and see how well I will do.  Of course he recommends the Spring Roll, ding I am right, Mushroom Soup, ding I am right, Prime Rib, ding I am right three for three.  Mark is blushing, saying oh you know me too well. 

Bernie had a three melon cocktail, the mushroom soup and the ricotta/leek tart and enjoy all three.  I had the spring rolls, Caesar salad and the ricotta/leek tart too.  Everyone was great and tasty.  For dessert I had the cheese plate and the last of my wine.  Mark kept trying to get me to enjoy something sweet but I am happy. 

We are blessed, truly blessed as we sit there so many staff come up to say hi and hug us.  Word has passed down to the Michelangelo dining room that we are here and even a few have come up from there to say hi to us as the dining room quiets down.  Wow – I know our Princess family is what keeps us coming back time and time again. 

As we head out of the dining room I realize oh I am tired, it has been a long day and I have had a few drinks.  We chat with Anthony in Vines and see Mark and Lisa at their usual table.  We met them earlier in the day.  They are from Washington State just south of us and they have been following my blog and Anthony introduces us.  They are a lovely couple and look forward to getting to know them better.

Off to the cabin…. And we see that we have received our invitation for the Most Travelled Party which is going to be held on Tuesday and it is a luncheon.  Not sure what the cut off number is what number we are but just happy that we are included.  If I happen to get a chance to talk to the Captain Circle Host I will ask but she is very busy every time we pass her so not sure if I will be able to get that info.

I forgot to mention that they are laying new wiring for the wifi on board and there is a warning in the Patter that internet could be intermittent.  The signal is poor into my cabin currently and I am having issues with uploading pictures so that may have to wait until I am home.  

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Saturday Evening

We are back at the pier around 1 pm and we are on within 20 minutes.  Very smooth.

We are in our cabin E229 which is an obstructed view cabin, with a very good view over a lifeboat.  Our cabin steward Teddy introduces himself.  We ask about our bed.  The bed is horrible, big sag and definitely past it’s prime.  He offers an egg crate foam to put over it but we know that won’t do much.  We suggest a board under the mattress to help with the sag and a new mattress if they can.  But later he says there are no spare mattresses until San Diego.  Boy we have been having great experiences with mattresses for a long time now and thought that Princess had learned and had improved their beds, but I guess not.  Thankfully this is only a seven day trip and we should muddle thru, but stay tuned.

Teddy got us the top sheet for the bed, extra towels and the room looks in great shape.

We walked around the ship a bit and ran into so many people who remember us and many who are from other ships that we are seeing again. 

Muster drill was at 3:30 and we needed to bring our life jackets so I guess the “no life jackets” is not fleet wide yet.  Our Muster Station was the Casino where we saw James McKay as one of the guides.  He is the Platinum Studio photographer and he is getting off in a few days but I am glad we got to see him.

With Ju Ju
Sail away is happening up on deck.  We see Andrew from the Cruise Staff.  The band is great they are called “Lots of Fun”.  We didn’t win anything in the drawing but glad for those who did.

Sail away was lovely but we want to head up to the Elite Lounge in Skywalkers.  Tonight’s drink is the Breeza Marina, but we both order other drinks, me a Mojito, Bernie a Cosmopolitan and we grab some finger foods.  The place is busy but the views are stunning and we are there early, many of the early seating cruisers are here and head out soon for dinner.  Two waiters recognize us from our South America cruise and hugs and a catch up are in order.


We try to visit Sabatinis and make a reservation but the doors are closed and we can’t talk to anyone, and note they were supposed to be open at 5:30 but were not.  We do head down to the Crown Grill and make a reservation for tomorrow. 

Note formal nights are Sunday and Thursday for those doing this itinerary.

When we get back to the cabin we try to call the reservation line for Sabatinis but again we just can’t get anyone to pick up.  Will have to try later.

I am pleased that we are going to be able to have Mark Joseph as our waiter again in the dining room.  The Maître D’ Federico Arcos Cantos just called to confirm we have a table in Mark’s section.  Another reason we love Princess.

They are really doing a great job of informing people about the All Inclusive Drink Package.  We received a small paper when we ordered a drink earlier that explained the package.  Also in our cabin there was a flyer with all the drink options and food options that are extra.  They explain the coffee card, the Soda Package, the All Inclusive Drink Package, Grapevine Wine Tasting, Wine Flights at Vines, Sabatinis, Crown Grill, Crab Shack and the Sanctuary.  I will scan it when I get home and post it.

The passengers are a great mix of all ages, and quite a few kids.  Not a ton of kids but certainly more than what we saw on longer cruises.  I would guess about 50 to 75 kids are on board.  It is really nice to see such a range of ages.

Da Vinci was open today for lunch.  Michelangelo is open early afternoon for dining room enquiries. 
They have an internet embarkation special – buy a package and get an additional 40 minutes free.

The officers are:  Captain Heikki Laakkonen, Staff Captain David Galloway, Chief Engineer Giovanni Salvemini, Hotel General Manager Claudio Mazzoni, Cruise Director Billy Hygate, Food & Beverage Manager Francesco Grasso, Customer Services Director Cara Winter, Staff Engineer Pietro Di Fusco, Executive Housekeeper Antonio Martins Pimpao, Executive Chef Manilo Cuzzolin, Maitre d’Hotel Federico Arcos Cantos.

We don’t really have any big plans for tonight, dinner and then who knows what.  Trust me this trip is all about relaxation. 

But for those interested the Patter lists for tonight:  MUTS The Fault in Our Stars, Crimson Duo in Wheelhouse, Melodies with Desperado Trio in the Piazza, Welcome Aboard Showtime (two times 8 and 10) with comedian Carl Banks, Live Music with Lots of Fun in Explorers, Welcome Aboard Trivia Famous Faces Club Fusion, Body Strength & Balance Duo Ronin in Piazza, Piano Entertainer Liam Stewart, Karaoke in Club Fusion, Disco in Skywalkers. 
Some specials:  2 days only in boutiques, save an extra 10% off your tax and duty free purchases of $100 or more.  Lotus Thermal Suite is $129 for 7 day package.  Chef’s Table is $95.  Get all your photographs this cruise for $149.99 – 20 prints.

Flying to Long Beach

Why is it so much harder to wake up early when you are officially on vacation than when I have to get up for work?
We made it in good time to Seattle, even considering the heavy rush hour traffic.

We checked into our hotel around 4:30 pm and we went to our room and noticed a strange odor but just opened the windows hoping that in time the smell would leave.

Dinner was in order, we were starving.  We went and had a nice meal and then stopped at Target and then Total Wine.  Bernie wanted to stop at Total Wine to pick up his favorite Scotch an 18 year old Glenmorangie that is a special item.  

He has been wanting this for a while and since it is so much cheaper in the US and hard to find at home he treated himself.  We are not taking it on the trip, it is staying with the car to take home.

When we returned to the room the odor was still strong.  Not sure what it was, but it smelled chemical in nature, kind of like if you were trying to spray a cleaner/deodorizer but I knew we culdn’t spend the night there.  A quick visit to the front desk and they accommodated us with a new room.  Great Service here.

We are exhausted!  I am trying to stay awake but by 8 pm I can not resist sleep any longer.  Although even with being so tired both of us had a restless sleep.  Has to be because of the strange environment and knowing we have to wake early for our flight, or maybe we are just excited.

Anyhow the alarm went off at 4 am only to realize the darn alarm clock was actually 20 minutes early in it’s time!  Oh well we are up now.

There is a Starbucks right beside the hotel and I know it opens early but after walking over there I see it doesn’t open till 5 am on Saturdays, 4 am on weekdays.  Sad face…. 

Oh well will have to wait until we get to the airport.

We catch the 5 am shuttle to the airport and with our Nexus card we get to go thru the TSA approved line and thru security within two minutes.  A record I think.

STARBUCKS – and we both need a heavy dose of caffeine.  We also grab a quick meal and by the time we are done we are ready for boarding.

We are flying Jet Blue.  This is our second time flying with them and love their first bag free deal.  Plus as soon as we are up in the air we find out they offer free wifi!  Seriously!

It isn’t long before we are touching down at Long Beach Airport.  We quickly grab our bags and walk out to the taxi line.  Long Beach is so much more civilized and actually nice to fly in to.  The taxi ride is about 15 minutes and it is a flat rate of $45 to San Pedro terminal.

We are at the pier around 10:30 and drop off our bag with the porters.  We then head out on foot to town.

We stop and get an amazing Mexican meal at Tacos y Mariscos.  


We then walk over to Off the Vine for some wine.  The owners are a lovely couple that are so very helpful.  We buy two bottles to take on with us.  Off the Vine

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Night in Seattle

Heading out to Seattle today after my shift.  Yeah I had to work today.  Early early early... 4:30 am start but I am done at 12:18 pm and once I get home and change and pack the last minute items we will make our way South to Seattle.

It is a nice drive and the weather should be good.  It will take about 2.5 hours and we are spending the night.

When we booked the flights we were able to find a great deal with Jet Blue to Long Beach but it is out of Seattle. 

Even with the nights' accommodation, which includes parking for the week, it still works out cheaper than flying out of Vancouver.

We are staying once again at the Marriott TownePlace Suites which is a great place and there is a Starbucks right beside the hotel and includes breakfast.

Flight is early Saturday - 7 am - but we get into Long Beach early too.  This will allow us to grab a cab to the pier, drop off the bags and then maybe go for a walk.  

Stay tuned.