Fall Cruise on Norwegian Bliss

11/2/18 – Friday

Flying to Los Angeles for Panama Canal Cruise

Up at 3:30am, ready for Lyft ride before 4:50am. We scheduled the day before, via the Lyft app, since this was our very first time using this “rideshare” system. I thought scheduling ahead would help my anxiety as well as allow our driver to have time to prepare. We arrived at the Spokane airport by 5:17am and because we were TSA precheck we skipped a long line at security, reaching our gate by 5:30am. We boarded at 6:30, enjoying a short flight of 2.5 hours to LA. There Pat (my cousin) picked us up, taking us to Signal Hill which looks down over the LA area and the Pacific Ocean. Then we went to his house, then lunch at the pier in San Pedro. Finally he took us to the National Watercolor Society Museum (my request) which was close to our hotel, Best Western Plus San Pedro. We rested then walked a block to El Pollo Loco for a lovely dinner. We also checked out the one mile sidewalk from our hotel downhill to our cruise ship (Norwegian Bliss). We sure did enjoy all that grand treatment: Thanks Pat!

11/3/18 – Saturday

Boarding the Norwegian Bill for our Panama Canal Cruise

We had fun walking the downhill mile with our luggage (on wheels of course), to our ship. Got in the security line (like at the airport), checked in at the cruise/port terminal then waited for our group to be called. At that point (11:30am) we boarded the ship. We’d already scouted where we’d eat lunch, arriving at that dining area by noon. As soon as we were seated our RV friends (Kathy/Jim) called us. They were on the ship too, so we arranged for them to join us at our dining table. My Spinach Caesar Salad, Roasted Leg of Lamb & Key Lime Parfait were top notch. Ah, joy. We explored this huge ship (4,000 passengers), pausing to drop off our luggage at our cabin around 1:30pm. At 2:30 I returned to rest. Soon John came and we put our items away. 3:30pm was our life boat muster in the theater. This was such a better place than outside next to our respective lifeboats, as the drill was always performed on other cruise ships. Then more exploring, dinner at 5:30pm, a theater show at 7:30pm, then I really enjoyed the lady (Suzanne) singing and playing the piano. So soothing.

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Interior stairway with chandelier
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About Patricia Elser

I've always loved the loose, flowing, transparent look of watercolors, of Chinese paintings and their calligraphy, but alas, no watercolor classes were available when I was in school, so that interest remained buried until my children were grown. Even then, I was afraid that I couldn't really paint, so upon my sister's advice, I actually started to take classes. I signed up for every class available, determined to learn no matter how afraid I was. I came upon a teacher, Stan Miller, who inspired me, who opened the door to success in watercolor. I love to look at beautiful images. I want to capture them forever. All my life, photography was how I gathered images of the beauty I saw. Thanks to all that photography, I enjoy composing pictures, especially up close. Watercolors allow me to add more of me in their translation of that beauty. My paintings reflect my love for music and dance, with their rhythm and flow. I am fascinated by the play of light, so it appears in my pictures as drama for they are filled with darks and lights. Maybe it's the challenge, maybe it's the beauty, but now, when a work comes together, it fills my soul.
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