Left As A Cruise Ship, Come Back As A…

Another in a series of stories from my recent travels on my first cruise ship adventure (see the previous post to understand this link).

I had no expectations as I boarded the Grand Princess which was docked at Pier 27 in the San Francisco Bay. After the rough start before checking in, all I was looking forward to was a week of fun and relaxation. As a recovering technologist, I was glad to know that once we embarked on the open ocean, we would not have any cellular coverage!

In fact, I vowed that even though we would dock at a few ports where I could obtain cellular coverage, I was determined to simply delete junk email messages and read the rest of the messages when I returned home. For those of you who truly know me, this was a hard thing to commit to but I knew that this had to be the right decision if I was going to sincerely enjoy this family cruise!

Before the cruise, I exercised regularly to achieve my desired weight because I was warned about the voluminous amounts of food that would tempt even the most disciplined of souls.

On the morning of the departure, I weighed myself to establish the baseline weight.


The answer should be obvious – I wanted to see how much weight I would gain even though I was determined to eat well.

As the maître de stated, “We leave as a cruise ship – we return as a

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Rough Start To Our Vacation

(this is the first of a series of stories from our recent cruise adventure)

Packing our suitcases, checking our list of necessary items for the trip, trying to stay healthy, and arranging for drop-off and pick-up transportation. All this for the start of our first cruise down the Pacific Coastline on the Grand Princess!

Excitement grew as each day drew closer to our embarkation date of April 1. Nothing was going to deter us from our wonderfully planned voyage. I was exceptionally excited as this would be my family’s first cruise ever! Finally, we could see what this cruising-lifestyle is all about.

Saturday morning arrived. We had to wait for my older son and his wife to arrive so that we can carpool together into San Francisco. Last-minute preparations and the loading of suitcases into the car with some extra room for their luggage.

My phone buzzed – it was my son calling probably to let me know they were almost here. Upon answering my phone, I heard the words that would deflate my enthusiasm.

Dad, we have a problem.

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Haunted By A Sciuridae…

During our recent trip to the San Francisco Botanical Garden, we were amazed by the different blooms that welcomed us to its natural playground. Devoid of many tourists, the pathways were peaceful. Strolling along the paved routes, we stumbled upon a squirrel.

It was kind enough to pose for a “welcome” photo opportunity so I snapped it.


Continuing our exploration of the massive garden, we noticed something… Continue reading

Reflections and Angles…

In a few days, I will be moving into that next age group on those surveys and categories!

No longer will I be in the 45-55 age group.

What does this mean for me?


Do I get to add an extra maximum speed limit corresponding to my age?


Many have said that I do not look that old – in fact, some have mistaken me for a much younger man until they look closely at the short gray hairs scattered throughout my scalp (why do you think I keep my hair short).

Just when I feel the urge to go into that next age group kicking and screaming… Continue reading

Are We Ever Satisfied With Our Puzzle?

In my geographic area in Northern California,  the weather has been warming up recently. Depending upon the GPS coordinates, it has been in the mid-80’s to low-90’s with pollen floating everywhere. Spring is in full bloom here!!!

It was only a few months ago that people were complaining about the dreary weather and how they were looking forward to Springtime climate, new growth, and new beginnings.

My area can experience a spectrum of temperature within a matter of months, and if you live in San Francisco, in one day (here’s a fun progression of the Golden Gate Bridge in a span of 24 hours more or less)!

GG_Bridge_Early_Morning  GG_Bridge_Commute  GG_Bridge_DayTime

GG_Bridge_Fog  GG_Bridge_Evening

Then comes the famous trumpet sounds of…

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The Rendezvous…

Strawberry Valley Mt Shasta

Last weekend, I had the pleasure of meeting the needs of my wife with a quick rendezvous at a location we had never been to before. She endured a few days of prolonged care-giving that expended her energy both physically and emotionally. She was looking forward to returning home but dreaded the long 10+ hours of driving (if she drove straight home).

So she invited me to an impromptu overnight that would require me to Continue reading

To Be Free Like A Bird

P1020354 (4)

Ever wonder what it must feel like to be a bird flying through the air, manipulating the wind for the desired flight patterns, and to soar without a care in the world? It must be wonderful to take to the skies with the flapping of the wings and seeing the world from high above. Their unobstructed views must be spectacular while their eyes capture breathtaking pictures of life.

I may be over-simplifying the life of a bird as I am sure they have their own stresses to deal with such as feeding their young (not to mention themselves) and watching out for their own natural enemies. To think that it all began in an egg Continue reading