Monday, 7 March 2011

Sad Farewell

Sad Farewell to New Family / All Aboard Queen Victoria

All too soon Andrew was back at work and normal life was resumed. Lizzy and Lily are getting stronger by the day. Lily's an adorable little "snuggler". She's sleeping a good 6 hours during the night, feeding at 4am ish and then back to sleep for another few hours until 8am. She's sooooo gorgeous. Three solid days of cuddling ahead, and then the added bonus of feeding Lily, whilst Ian took Lizzy on an errand into town. She's started quietly staring and studying your facial features, and then after some quiet contemplation, her little face breaks into a smile.

It's been wonderful spending time with all the family, Ian on the balcony talking to Andrew about running preparations for a 10k he's doing in a couple of weeks, and me sharing childhood memories of Andrew when he was a baby! As I cuddled Lily for the last time on this visit, I tried to imagine her with lots of teeth, pulling herself up with the furniture and starting to walk- when we return again in November. But then there's Skype, and The kids are great at keeping in touch, sending photos and videos.

After a brief call at CruiseAmerica depot in San Fernando, to check out campervans and prices, and then on to San Pedro fishing port, we took a taxi to the Port of Los Angeles. This port is huge with some 2000+ berths for commercial vessels. There she was - Queen Victoria- she seemed quite small really! The whole process of embarkation was as swift, efficient, and relaxing as we been led to expect. A marked contrast to the experience of flying. The cabin with balcony, mid-ships, was comfortable and well-kept by our housekeeper, Lynda, from Largs in Scotland, who would be on board until June. With newsheets each day listing daily events and dress-code for the evening, sometimes smart/casual, sometimes formal- a chance to wear all those fancy clothes I'd packed!

A gym, a library, buffet dining and formal dining, with lots of different areas to relax in, you don't feel overcrowded by the approx 900 other guests on board- 50% from USA and 50% from UK.

On our first night, ther was the ceremonial, and historic recognition of the Queen Mary, who is permanently berthed (like a floating hotel/conference centre) in the Port of LA. As we set out to sea, we passed close to her and exchanged horn sounds and the Queen Mary sent up several fireworks. It was quite moving, like an aging aunty exchanging a moment with her younger relative! After dinner, as the lights of San Diego dimmed into the distance, we were gently rocked to sleep with the Pacific swell, pushing us along, and we made our way along the West coast of California, at 15knots.

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