Good morning from stateroom 7199. I'm looking out the back of the ship at a lot of very low hanging clouds. We are in a "family view" stateroom, which means that we have one of the largest decks of anybody onboard. It is perfect for this Alaskan cruise as we can see both directions and even have a great forward view. When the ship is moving we can sit out on the covered part of the deck where we are sheltered from the wind.
Yesterday was a really fun day. We woke up in our two room suite at the Executive Hotel in Vancouver. Jane and I walked the two blocks down to Tim Horton's to get coffee, bagels and donuts. The plan for the day was to shop for wine, water, and soda to bring on board. With shopping complete the next activity is to rent bikes and ride around Stanley park.
As we headed out for our shopping Holly realized that she was missing her tongue scraper!?? What the heck is a tongue scraper? Brian and I were full of extremely unhelpful suggestions for what might substitute as a tongue scraper. My suggestions of Emery boards or repurposed floss were particularly unhelpful since I had no idea what one should even look like. When Holly did finally describe one to me, it seemed perfectly reasonable that a spare plastic zip tie would work. Many pharmacies later we found one, and all was well with the dental hygiene world.
I must say the neighborhood we were shopping in was a bit sketchy. We passed by several very interesting sex shops, one featuring mannequins dressed in thongs fighting with light sabers. We tried to convince Holly that we had seen tongue scrapers inside the adult book store, but she didn't go for it. The liquor store we were going to opened at 9:30 and it was quite an interesting study in humanity. People were literally waiting outside the door for the store to open. When the iron gate of the front door was finally unlocked there was a rush inside for people to buy their first drink of the day. Needless to say we were left alone in the fine wine section of the store. We found a nice selection of British Columbia wines to try including some very interestingly named varietals. Hatfield's Fuse, Quails Gate, and Sandhill. As we checked out with our bottles to take aboard, the guy ahead of us in line was literally shaking to pay for his two beers and get out the door so he could pop one open.
With all of the shopping behind us, we returned to the hotel, where we were granted a late checkout time of 12:30. This worked perfectly for our bike ride. The bike rental place was just around the corner. Vancouver is an extremely bike friendly place. There were great bike lanes that took us from the bike rental place to the pier area and then around the park. It was really beautiful. Although it wasn't a workout pace it was a fun ride, and a good way to get to know the city a little better. We will definitely come back someday just to spend some time in and around the city.
With the bike ride complete we ordered a taxi and headed to the pier. As we were going through the customs line we were joking with one man who was sent to the much shorter line for 'the film crew.' Yes, much mystery surrounds this first night on the ship. Our reservation in Qsine had to be changed at the last minute because of a filming for a 'food related show.'
We of course pumped this guy for information, but he couldn't tell us anything. I even tried the old, 'blink once if its Alton' line but he just laughed and headed through customs.
Later in Qsine we had a really great time with the wait staff and the maitre de. We said, OK, look we know something is happening because they changed our reservation, so who is it? Whats going on? Finally, a member of the staff, who identified himself as James Bond, agreed to the you guess and I'll nod game. I got the person and the show right on my second guess. For which we were rewarded with an invitation to dinner at Qsine again tonight where we may be part of the taping. We will have to sign non-disclosure agreements, so although I would love to reveal the name of the show, I can't. I will say that this could be at the Top of my list for exciting happenings aboard the ship. If I get to meet a celebrity Chef that would certainly be a highlight of my amateur culinary life.
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Location:Inside Passage, enroute to Alaska