Pacific Coast Cruising

Cruise prices were great this spring and ships were not full.  We took advantage of this and went on a West Coast cruise with friends.

We flew to San Diego and sailed north.  First stop was Santa Barbara.  This was a perfect stop because we have friends who live there.  They met us and we spent a lovely morning at the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden. 

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For lunch, we went to a restaurant right on the beach!

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From the bluff near their home, they had a view of our ship sailing away.

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We sailed next to San Francisco, where we stayed 2 nights.

It was cool sailing under the Golden Gate Bridge on a gorgeous day.

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The ship docked right downtown so we took a walk that afternoon. 

The Ferry Building

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We caught a tram to go the other direction and ended up at Ghirardelli Square.

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Another stop – The Buena Vista for an Irish coffee.

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The next day we did a Segway Tour in Golden Gate Park with our friends.

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The gardens were beautiful.  Not many pictures, though.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t take pictures and balance on the Segway at the same time!!

We’d worked up an appetite, so had a late lunch at The Stinking Rose, a restaurant known for its garlic dishes.  Yum!

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They had a big mirror on one wall so we couldn’t resist a selfie.

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Then back to the ship to put our feet up before the sail-away.

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The next port was Astoria, OR, named for John Jacob Astor of NY who brought commerce to the area.  The Astoria Column is the thing to see here.  It was built in 1926 to salute Astoria’s explorers and early settlers.  The 125-foot pillar is made of concrete with a pictorial frieze that involves cutting outlines through wet plaster to reveal a dark base coat.  The Column depicts events of American exploration and development of the Northwest. 

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There are wonderful views from Coxcomb Hill.  It’s quite a hike up to here but we did it the easy way.  We rented a car and after a quick look at the column we drove down the coast to see Cannon Beach and Seaside. 

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When we lived in Portland we often visited these towns.  It was fun to see what had changed and what had not.

Our last day was spent in Victoria on Vancouver Island, Canada.  We made reservations for high tea at the Pendray Inn and Tea House.  

IMG_4321_202204091409010_live C Pendray Inn & Tea House

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A real treat!

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A final dinner with our friends.  (You can see how empty the dining room was.)

Our cruise finished in Vancouver.  Any other year we may have taken the train back to Seattle but, because of Covid, they were not running yet.  So, we rented a car for the easy drive home.

 

Posted in California, Canada, Oregon, United States, Victoria, Washington | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

Cruising to Mexico

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Just as Covid was hitting the U.S. in March 2020, we were on a cruise to Mexico.  We drove home after the cruise and went into lockdown.

It seemed only right to take this cruise again as we are coming out of the pandemic, 2 years later!

This time all passengers were vaxed and tested before boarding and the ship was one third full.  We don’t expect to see that ever again – it was wonderful!  We wore masks in indoor spaces and had no trouble keeping our distance.  We ate outdoors except for dinners when the dining room was almost empty.

The cruise started in San Diego.  In 2020 we did a walk around downtown before we boarded.

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This year we spent a day on Coronado.  Here’s a view looking back at the city.

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We always walk through the Hotel Del when we come here.  And we wander through the pretty neighborhoods.

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Cabo San Lucas

This is a favorite port because we have friends who live near here.  They came into Cabo both times to see us.  In 2020 we took a boat tour out to the Cabo Arch.

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Pelicans and sea lions claim spots on the rocks.

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Mazatlán

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In 2020 we took a walking tour.

The Basilica Cathedral of Mazatlán is very impressive.

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We visited the restored Angela Peralta Theater, originally built in 1874.  It fell into complete ruin and was about to be demolished but Friends of the Theater stepped up, with the city, and rehabilitation began in 1987.  It is now one of the premier performance spaces in Mexico. 

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The theater is on the Plaza Machado.

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This year there was an interesting piece of art in the plaza.

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Colorful architecture of Mazatlán…

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This year we had the name of a tamale place in the market, and we found it!

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Markets are always interesting places…

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Our lunch stop was another recommendation we would never have found on our own.  We thought we were ordering 3 shrimp tacos to share but ended up with 6!

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There is lots of artwork along the Malecon de Mazatlán, the main street running along the beach.

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As well as cliff divers and a swimming pool.

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This year we walked farther up the beach and found even more.

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2020 & 2022 

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Puerta Vallarta

In 2020 we met friends who were vacationing here.

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After lunch we did a short walk around and stopped in to see the Cathedral of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

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Puerto Vallarta has an art filled Malecon too.  We visited in 2006 on a Panama Canal Cruise and took these pics.

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I got to swim with the dolphins on that trip!  Very Fun!

This year we took a Vallarta Eats Food Tour.  It started in this pretty park.

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Then we ate our way through town.

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My favorites were the guacamole spread and the Chocolate Shop.

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And there was more!  We finished with Tequila tasting and an enchilada with two mole sauces.

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Somewhere in there we stopped for ice cream.  I was so full I opted for the lime pop.

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A good time was had by all!

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Posted in Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan, Mexico, Puerta Vallarta | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments