As those of you who are still reading this have probably realised, I have got way behind with this blog! Sorry! So this one is just going to be a summary of the last four days (which, being at sea, can be quite repetitive anyway!)
Thursday was a normal morning (walk, stretch, line dancing for me, reading and table tennis for JL), with the only difference being that at 11.00 we had to go to the baggage desk to register for two of our three suitcases to stay onboard when we leave in San Francisco. They say that this service is subject to availability, and thankfully there was still space. Or else I would have cried! The clocks went forward at lunchtime, and then JL and I went together to the theatre to see the speaker Martin Saunders, who is a wildlife cameraman and worked with David Attenborough for 35 years. He showed clips and told background stories of some of the most famous moments of the Life on Earth series, including the incredible gorilla sequence, and a lion hunt. It was fascinating. I then embarked on a rather chaotic (but fun!) afternoon/ evening. I did my exercise early and then got ready for formal night, so I could go to the start of the Aurora Singers performance at 5.45. They are a choir made up of passengers and they are really good. They sang a range of tunes, my favourite being the Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Sound of Music medleys! But due to the timings I had to watch their show in two halves tonight! So after 20 minutes I left and met JL for dinner, then we went to the classical piano duo's next show, and then I went back to watch the second half of the choir's second show! And then to the theatre to see a lady called Levena Johnson who was doing a Whitney Houston tribute show - very good. I was exhausted after all that!
On Friday, it was a typical morning of walk/ stretch/ line dancing/ table tennis, but no more knitting for me as I've decided I'm going to be too busy the next few days to make anything else. After lunch the clocks went forward again, and then we went to see the second talk by Martin Saunders, this time with tales about the series The Living Planet. It was then time for... duh duh duh.... the laundry! I had almost two weeks worth, as well as some of our evening clothes, as I want to have everything clean to either leave on the ship or take with us across the States. So after a little queueing I managed to squeeze load one into the machine and found enough hanging spots for all the non-tumbledryable clothes around the cabin! I did a gym workout and then it was dinner time. After we'd eaten we went to a 1960s Guess the Tune quiz, which JL did very well on (he was beaten though as he had never heard the song My Old Man's A Dustman!). I then went to see a guy called Paul Emmanuel who sang lots of old love songs.
On Saturday the weather was getting much cooler so I got up early to go for a run on deck. It felt like I ran much more than the 3 miles I actually did, as the wind was blowing so strongly that I had to fight to even move, and to not be blown off the deck! At the end I was too late for stretch class but I still made it to line dancing later, while JL played some more table tennis. No clock changing today thank goodness, which gave me an extra hour to go to the third talk by Martin Saunders, this time about wildlife and natural phenomena around the Pacific, and then to do the second load of laundry - yay. Plus, horror of horrors, to start packing! I find packing one of the most stressful things in the world, and I was having palpitations just thinking about it! JL said to me "right, what can I do to help?" and after considering it for a while I said "you can go away!" So he duly vacated the room while I worked out what was going in each of the three suitcases (two staying on the ship, to be collected from Southampton on 27th April when the ship gets back. And tried to make them close! There was a limited amount I could do though because of the many clothes which were still drying all over the place but I did my best! It was soon time for dinner, so after apologising to our cabin steward and telling her not to bother even trying to get into the room this evening, we set off to the restaurant! After eating we went to the final concert by the pianists, which was excellent, and then JL went to see the comedian Colin 'Fingers' Henry for a second time while I continued packing. By the time I turned out the light at around midnight I had done all I could do, but I had a very restless night worrying if the clothes would be dry by the morning and if it would all fit and if I'd put everything in the correct suitcase...
This morning (Sunday) I skipped walking and stretching and instead finished the suitcases (everything WAS dry and everything DID fit - just about!), and then we went to breakfast. We had a very enjoyable extra long line dancing today as she wanted to try and recap all the dances we had done this sector - even after an hour and a half we didn't have time for them all though! I then had to rush back to the room to collect JL and the suitcases and then join a long queue by Reception to hand them in. I felt an immense sense of relief after this as I can no longer swap anything from case to case - I've just got to live on what is in the one remaining case for the next few weeks! I got back to the room just in time to Skype my family, and then off to lunch. The clocks went forward AGAIN (this is getting silly!) and now I am back in the room writing this!
Phew! That ended up as a rather long summary didn't it?! So this afternoon I will be going to my last afternoon tea, JL will be collecting his prize with all his table tennis winning stickers, we will be leaving our final suitcase outside the cabin, having a late dinner, and going to see a double bill theatre show with Paul Emmanuel again and also the classical singer Will Martin who has hopefully recovered from his laryngitis. Then an early start tomorrow to watch the sail in to San Francisco. We need to be out of our room by 8am tomorrow so are planning on having a big breakfast in the main restaurant (where they serve Quorn sausages!) and then sitting round twiddling our thumbs, or maybe having one last nostalgic walk around the ship, before we are allowed to disembark at 10am.
The days we will be spending in San Francisco, and later LA, Chicago, and New York, will be pretty jam packed, so I will try and summarise them on the long journeys we will be making after each one! I don't know if there will be Internet in the trains (I'm guessing not) so not sure how regular the updates will be either - apologies in advance!
So, congratulations if you have made it to the end of the cruise part of our blog (particularly this longer than intended post!) - hope you've enjoyed it! Very much looking forward to catching up with many of you in person in just a couple of weeks!! :-)