Greets...peeps! I'm sitting on my couch, Skuttle is laying outside on the porch. The t.v. is on but muted...I can't have any noise when I'm creating a blog. The dryer is running and trying to keep up w/the mountain of clothes that we brought home from our cruise. My main pic is from San Fran...that's the Golden Gate bridge behind us. Cool huh! We had a marvelous time w/our old friends, Brady and Julie and our new friends... Lance and Pam. Our course took us to San Fran, Victoria B.C., and Seattle. Why....you might ask, do we call it San Fran? Well, a few years ago we were on our way to Hawaii and we stopped in San Francisco. Another couple we knew kept calling it SanFran. Like they owned the place or something. Has anyone just said something and it annoyed the beegeevies out of you? Well.....it was annoying. So ever since than we call it San Fran. Most likely I'm annoying you right now w/the same little STUPID abbreviation. I do it for fun. I wasn't fond of SanFran...here's my recap of the town where Tony Bennett "left his heart." I was cold. Took a tour on the top of a double decker bus, sat on top....OUTSIDE. The tour guide was some ding a ling who called children 'Satan's children' and made fun of homeless people that were sleeping in the park as we drove by. His way of getting our attention to look @ something was saying "TO THE RIGHT, TO THE RIGHT" or "TO THE LEFT, TO THE LEFT". Felt like I was in boot camp. Right. Right, Left, Right, Left. He has left an indelible mark on our 'hearts' and trust me when I say they are still intact and we had no intention of leaving them in the city where signs hung in windows that said Left Wing Loon stuff (O'Reilly has had an influence on me), like "Iraq is Obama's Vietnam". Enjoyed the company....not the city. Had dinner @ some fancy shmancy place @ Pier 54 or some # in close proximity. We sat down and Lance asked the 'Irish' waiter what was good on the menu. With a stone cold face that showed no emotion he said "Well, we ARE A CRAB RESTAURANT." AYKM!!!! He served us w/that attitude throughout. Come to find out parties of 6 or more were automatically charged an 18% gratuity. No reason to be nice when it's automatic. He tried to smoozzz and smile when we were done and the check was paid. All I left in San Francisco was an 18% gratuity to a fella that didn't earn it. On to Victoria, B.C. It was lovely. We visited the Butchard Gardens. Stunning! We scurried through the gardens so we could catch the 4:45 bus back to the ship. There was quite a line by the time we got there. The first bus came and barely made a dent in the line. By the time the second one arrived peeps were hot, tired and hungry. A fight broke out between two women. One woman, with her arm held high, slightly arching down @ the elbow and her finger pointing to her opponent screamed "I was here first B*%&#@"! The six of us decided to catch a city bus back. We knew it would take longer but we weren't interested in fighting for a spot on the scheduled bus. Once we were seated and on our way we had a blast imitating the 'fight' scene, while the other passengers howled w/laughter @ our comic relief. A day at sea and then we arrived in Seattle, my old home town. I insisted on being the tour guide promising not to alert points of intrest w/TO LEFT, TO THE LEFT! No trip to Seattle is complete w/out going to Pike Place Market and watching the fish vendors throw fish @ one another. So many wonderful smells, colors. A great place to engage all the senses. Walked down to Pioneer Square and found a shop for our friends, Brady and Julie that consisted of blown colored glass pieces. Come to find out, this particular artist made the glass work for the Belagio Hotel and Casino in Vegas. They found 2 pieces and had them shipped home. I must tell you this was a 'must' for me to find. If the Woolsey's were your friends, you would do the same. They are precious! Caught a bus to the Space Needle. Problem....got motion sick. ARGHHH!!! By the time we made it to the top of the needle I thought I was going to "HURL". It didn't dampen our time....although it took me most of lunch to find my sea legs again. The weather was almost perfect, we were able to see everything except Mt. Rainier. Our lunch provided us the time to make at least one full rotation in the needle. We rode the monorail back down and walked to the ship, via the market one more time. Our ports were complete and the next two days would be spent @ sea. I will wrap this up w/part II in a few days. I'm sure this blog post is reading like a chapter. Let me end this w/just a few comparisons to our first cruise that included Katie and Tim. We slept well, w/out being woke up by a party two doors down that just so happen to be in their room. Dinners on our first cruise were spent going over our statement, threatening Kate and Tim w/a trip over the balcony if they didn't curb their personal spending as well as treating what seemed to to be the entire ship to a round of drinks every night. Our second cruise balance was 10 dollars and change. I won't tell you what the first one was, mostly because I don't remember......I've tried to blot it from my memory. That being said, every time I saw kids that were the age Katie and Tim were back then, I got a bit misty eyed! Large charges aside......it was a cruise we will never forget, and I suspect they won't either. After all, they think our last name is 'Rockefeller'. HA!!