Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Hello California!

Hello, Jeff here. Our trip from Huntsville, Alabama to Ontario, California was, thankfully, uneventful. We did have some moderate turbulence when departing Denver, Colorado as we were climbing up over the Rocky Mountains but it wasn’t enough to cause any in our party to get sick. Susan’s Uncle Danny and Aunt Marilyn picked us up at the airport, took us to their lovely home in Mira Loma, fed us a wonderful supper (lasagna) and let us spend the night with them. We also met their dog Henry – a Dalmation mix breed. Henry is a friendly dog that likes to lean up against you while you pet him. Susan’s cousin Kathy also came over to visit and eat dinner with us.

Kathy took Susan and Katy to the store to pick up some cold medicine and nail polish. How we packed four suitcases to the brim and forgot those I’m not sure. J We chatted a while longer and then the hour and time change caught up to us and we had to call it a night.

We were up plenty early Sunday morning. Danny, the breakfast master, was gracious enough to cook us all breakfast. We had scrambled eggs, hash browns, bacon, toast, juice and coffee. Danny serenaded Katy with the tune “Blood on the Saddle”. I took the camera outside and photographed their beautiful front yard and flowerbeds. Marilyn has some gorgeous roses and cute topiaries (donkey, giraffe and swan). I also learned that lime and grapefruit trees have thorns on them. Ouch!

At 10:15, we all piled into their Honda CR-V and headed for the cruise ship terminal. It took us about an hour as we pulled up in front of the terminal at 11:15. We said our goodbyes and learned from one of the baggage handlers that the ship returned to port around 6:30 am but whomever was picking us up should wait until about 9:30 or 9:45 to come get us (if we weren’t in a hurry). That way the crowds would have died down.

Embarkation was a snap for us. We got into a short line in the Castaway Club members area (for repeat Disney cruisers) and had completed check-in within 15 minutes. We were given a boarding card with the number 7 on it. Then it was just a matter of waiting for our boarding number to be called. The first number (1) was called at 11:35. Our number was called at 11:50. Every guest has to go through a security screening station, very much like that at airports where they x-ray your bags and use metal detectors to check the people. At least they don’t make you take off your shoes. The final check-in station is a scan of your plastic cruise cards (that you received at check-in) and you’re aboard. Total time for us was from when we arrived to walking on the ship was 45 minutes.

Once aboard, we made our way to Topsiders Buffet, where we chowed down on some yummy food and desserts. Afterwards, we wandered around the ship, killing time until 2 pm when our stateroom was ready for us to enter. Our bags soon arrived and we spent the next hour unpacking. As I mentioned in the first entry, we’d been upgraded from a Category 12 inside room to a Category 9 outside deluxe room. The deluxe room is 20 square feet larger (214 ft2) than the standard room and we had a nice large port hole to look out. The biggest difference though was the split bathroom. One bath has the toilet and a sink/mirror in it and the other has the shower and another sink and mirror in it. Traveling with two women who spend a lot of time in front of the mirror getting “beautiful” can make it tough on a guy trying to shave/shower.

We’d just finished unpacking and stowing the suitcases when it was time for the mandatory evacuation drill. We donned our life vests and made our way to Station L. The crew does take roll of each cabin’s occupants so they do know if you don’t show and I’m sure will contact those who don’t attend. After the drill, it was time to set sail. We pulled away from the dock at about 4:15 pm and were on our way. Tomorrow is a day at sea as we make our way down to our first port – Cabo San Lucas.


Brian said...

I got the highest grade and the only A on my Linear Algebra test!

Jlspence said...

Excellent son. We'll eat a yummy dessert in celebration of your accomplishment. :-)

Brian said...

I hate you all >:(

Myra Lee Horn said...

Good Wednesday Morning! Had to contact, favorite grandson for instructions on how to do this! I have really been enjoying the blog,feel like I am riding with you. Good job Jeff! I have some heavy equipment here doing some clean up. Looking better already.
Have a good time!! Love you, Myra

Dave Ryan said...

Hey Guys! First, way to go Brian! Keep up the great work down at Auburn! I'm sure the rest of your class really appreciates you messing up the curve! Thanks for the invite to follow the blog. I am getting seasick though thinking about your voyage. Be safe.

Pillow said...

Hi Jeff. Cat 9 at cat 12 prices - yippee! Congrats on your upgrade! I'm sure I'll enjoy reading along. Have a great time - wish we were there too.


Anonymous said...

Hello Jeff, Nobody told me how to send comments. Just because Myra Lee is older, she gets help:)(Brian) We are really enjoying your trip with this Blog thing. Looks like some good motorcycle trails.:) You are doing a good job Jeff. Take Care Danny

casteelfam said...

Hope you all had fun at Disneyland. We really enjoyed meeting you all. Hope our paths cross again!
Ray, Denise, Cassidy