Holland America Cruise Begins

4/7/19 – Sunday

Our luggage was picked up from our hotel room at 9:30, then we went to the Queen Victoria Building to enjoy our breakfast. We met our transport bus at 11. There they stamped our Cruise boarding passes with “Priority” because we used the Holland America transport package which included our hotel. As we were speeding through the boarding process John realized he couldn’t find our “Sea Passes”. These cards serve as our ID and credit cards for the entire trip. As they worked to find them, then made replacements, he found them in a pocket he didn’t consider! Of course we checked out our cabin right off. Our luggage had even already been placed inside our room! I noted that our steward was an “eager beaver”, and so he and his assistant proved to be.

Our cabin, the most spacious we’ve ever enjoyed

Our cabin, from another angle.

The lovely chandelier in the Atrium

View of Sydney from the ship
Sydney Harbor Bridge

Sea Day – on our way to New Zealand

4/8/19 – Monday

Up at 7 am because I wanted to do the Stretch and Release exercise class, then we both went to a computer class on Windows 10. After lunch we learned how to make Pad Thai in the “Test Kitchen”. This is from the Test Kitchen TV show, based in Boston. On our ship we enjoyed a real person demonstrating in an actual kitchen. We watched the movie “Second Act”, then I had a nap. We had our Gala dinner when we dress up fancy and get a special menu). It included escargot (John loves this), tenderloin steak and chocolate souffle for desert. Updated Note: We had signed up for a permanent dining time of 5:00pm at a table for 8, thinking surely several people would be joining us consistently. Two people came to our table on the first night but declared they didn’t know how they got this assignment – they liked late dinners and flexible times. We never saw them again. This night another 4 came (2 couples that knew one another). They noted that they thought they’d be sitting together at their own table. We never saw them again. So much for company!

Off to bed, we spotted our next day’s activities which included a note to set our clocks ahead 1 hour.

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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