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Published: September 5th 2017
Geo: 32.7157, -117.162
The alarm goes off at 6am but we haven't slept well all night. The anticipation of going home is part of it but the ship was pitching and rolling throughout the night, just as the captain predicted. A windstorm pushing 70mph winds in Southern California affected the waters offshore. Looking out our window around 1am, waves were tossing the ship around, even with the stabilizers deployed and sea water was spraying down the side of the ship, even up to our level, Deck 2. Now I see why the crew was so intent on securing everything on the deck. All deck loungers were stacked 20 high and then strapped down in place.
So 6am comes and Mom is up an at 'em. She's ready to go home, although I warn her of what could be waiting there for her. Lots of people, lots of problems. She says she's up to it. Everything is packed except some last minute stuff. We have our breakfast around 7 and return to the room by 8. Mom gives $20 each to our cabin stewards. It seems cheap but we have spent over $1100 on gratuities on this trip, that's half of our $2000
shipboard credit! We gather up my backpack with all the camera and computer equipment along with her carry on suitcase containing her jewelry and, hearing they are already calling group numbers, retreat to the deck 5 and wait. We find that no one is leaving until all non-US citizens have been cleared by port authorities and several are still missing. We wait 45 minutes until they find the last couple, eating breakfast in the Lido. Oh, they heard the announcement. They just weren't finished eating. Our group, Yellow 2, should have been off the ship by now
They start calling groups and it takes about a half hour to get to us. They scan our cards for the last time as we exit and direct us to our luggage. I had hoped, by using Holland America's bus going to the airport, I would avoid the expense of a porter for our luggage. Nope. We can't carry it all ourselves so we get a guy with a cart, he loads it and directs us to customs where we declare $600 of purchases, within the limit. The porter gets our us to our bus, thanks us for the $10 tip and we board.
We wait for others to board then head to the airport, first terminal 2, then 1. Renting another cart for $4' we transport our luggage to Southwest. I pay the extra $75 for Karen's 5th bag and find our 12:05pm flight is delayed 45 minutes. We get through security and have two drinks and share a sandwich for $18. All else is OK, the flight is short and we arrive in Oakland at 2:15pm.
Karen calls Louann who is close to the airport, we pick up our bags and another $5 cart and meet them outside. We get home and Louann has bought us milk, eggnog and some homemade chicken and dumplings. That keeps us from venturing out. We just want to shower and rest. This may have been our busiest day yet!
I must check Amazon regarding the price of that watch I bought on board. Damn. $75 and free shipping. I did save the tax but no 75% off. Lesson learned. Our Holland America ship credits now stand at 150 with the next threshold at 200. We'll have to get started planning our next trip. The house and animals all seem to be fine. Now I will fine tune
this blog, add some additional pictures and make ready for the printing of our travel blog book, "Sailing the South Pacific".
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