Monday, March 7, 2016


beautiful sunset
As my husband's birthday loomed, I was trying to determine where to take him to celebrate this new milestone. He, too was turning 60. (Yes, I am a cougar. I married a younger man - younger by all of 5 months.) Originally we had planned to go to Australia/New Zealand in February, and that was going to be the trip. But due to an American Airlines new route issue, we decided we could not pull off a huge trip such as that one in the limited time we had. Our friends from Minneapolis (who were originally going to join us in New Zealand in February) suggested a cruise to the Mexican Riviera as an alternative. We have been to the Eastern Caribbean as well as the Western Caribbean with Kathy and Paul, so this would definitely be a new route for all of us. As the cruise originates and ends in Los Angeles, an added bonus is that we would be able to see our daughter as well.

We booked the cruise back in January, planning the dates around another birthday surprise that my family had in store for Jim in early March. We flew to Los Angeles on Friday, February 19th, and the security line at Lambert Airport was unreal! In my 37 years of using this airport, I have never seen so many people. When the line finally advanced, I noticed a sign that read "American Priority Access", and there was no one in that line. Lo and behold, our boarding passes had those exact words on them. So we were able to hop over to the non-line. The TSA agent said that probably saved us 45 minutes in line. Yay us! The flight was on time, and the plane was a newer one with built-in entertainment units in each seat. That sure helps a four hour flight pass more quickly. We arrived in LA in the early evening, and used Lyft (similar to Uber) for the first time to take us to the hotel, which was located by the Port of Los Angeles. That worked really well, and with the $10 new customer coupon they gave me, we only paid $17.33 for the ride. Our friends got in a couple of hours later than us, and we waited for them before walking to a nearby restaurant to grab dinner. They took Uber from the airport and paid $60!

Warner Grand Theater
San Pedro
Our check-in time for the cruise was not until 1:30 on Saturday, so the hotel gave us a later check-out time. Following breakfast we walked to old town San Pedro. Located on the southern end of the Palos Verde Peninsula the area was first settled in 1769, though the Port of Los Angeles wasn't founded until 1907. We enjoyed walking through the old town area before heading down to see the USS Iowa. Now a maritime museum, the USS Iowa was originally commissioned in 1943 and served during WWII, the Korean War, and the Cold War. The ship was decommissioned in 1990 and moved to Los Angeles in 2012. Jim and Paul decided to do the ship tour, but Kathy and I thought the timing was a bit rushed, so we took a leisurely walk back to the hotel instead.
USS Iowa
The hotel shuttled us over to the Princess cruise line port, and check-in was a breeze. We checked out our staterooms, which were located next door to each other, and then grabbed a late lunch before touring the ship. Finally we went to one of the top decks to watch the ship leave port, which was around 5:00 in the afternoon.

our stateroom
on our balcony
This was an unusual cruise in that we were on the ship for two full days before arriving at our first port of call. We filled the time with eating (surprise, surprise), visits to the fitness center (to combat the eating), sitting on the many decks, attending shows, and participating in lots of trivia contests. By the end of Monday we were eager to get off the ship the next day.

1 comment:

Mrs. Wryly said...

I wondered where in the world Kim Wolterman was this time! Nice!