. Barbara's husband who works on Coronado Island has come too so we have a lovely time getting to know both of them better. After lunch we head down 4th Avenue till we get to the boardwalk which is lined with shops, restaurants, parks, marinas making the return to the ship a much more interesting walk. We are back on board an hour before departure time so we take in the view from the Lido deck, talk to fellow cruisers and bask in the sunshine. We have a late dinner then head off to the screening room for the 10PM show - The King's Speech. We may be sorry tomorrow to have stayed up so late as we have to move our clocks forward an hour tonight.
Thursday September 29 - Getting to know the staff Late to bed - late to rise? Not necessarily! We were late to bed due to the movie ending after midnight. The screening room temperature was more like what one encounters in cold storage and though wearing a jacket, I was chilled when I got back to our room. It took an hour or so to settle down and warm up for bed and to fall asleep. As there is an option of ordering breakfast in the room, we had decided to do that. Unfortunately, we hadn't thought about losing an hour in the time change, when we requested delivery between 8 & 8:30. When it arrived at 7:45 after only 6 hours sleep or so, I wasn't too sharp. I heard a knock at the door and when I opened it (half asleep & no glasses) I saw a server with a tray on the opposite side of the narrow hallway
. I assumed he was knocking at the door opposite our room so I mumbled "Sorry" to him and crawled back into bed. Another softer knock, then a louder one. I commented to Norm that you could really hear the knocking across the hall. On the next very loud knock, Norm convinced me it was at OUR door. Sure enough, there was the poor fellow still trying to balance his tray with our breakfast. We had a leisurely breakfast, albeit too early, in our room. The morning disappeared with checking emails, reading, basking in the sun - just general lazing about. We enjoyed a champagne lunch for 1st time cruisers.... our 2nd. We found out during lunch that even numbered rooms had been invited a few days previous, odd numbered rooms today. That would explain why Chantal & Don hadn't received the invite when we had, though they tagged along with us to the champagne luncheon and why we hadn't received one for today but got to go with them. Innocently enough we managed to beat the system - our Papa would have been impressed! The waiters didn't seem to care and were a lot of fun giving us a bit of a bad time. Many of the staff on the ship are from Indonesia, Bali, the Philippines. One of the waiters today, Imam, spoke very good French, sang La Marseillaise flawlessly, and threw about names in the news of famous French people from France & Canada. The other was a real tease, got Don going when pretending to hand him a glass of champagne then pulling it back, sitting in Don's chair & pretending to join the ladies for lunch. We've learned that they work everyday usually 12 hour shifts and that they normally are months away from home. One of our waiters today will have been away from his wife & 5 year old daughter for a year when he gets his leave in less than a month. At that point he will stay home for 6 months before heading off again. Not much of a life! They all seem positive and pleasant.
Wednesday September 28 - San Diego - Visiting with Barbara We awaken to find that we have docked and though the fog is not as intense as at sea, the city is still enshrouded. We have made plans to meet with our cousin Barbara, from France who is married to an American and has lived in San Diego for the past 10 years or so. Though we have corresponded for years, I'm the only sister who hasn't actually met her. She is expecting her first child in mid-October, but her email a few days prior to our departure sounded like she might be early, so hopefully our timing will be right! After breakfast we make our way down the gangplank and head up Broadway. It is very pleasant walking as the fog has lifted, the sun is shining and with a bit of a breeze from the ocean, the temperature is perfect. We have arranged to meet Barbara at the Norton Shopping Center from there we'll go for lunch. We wander at our leisure up to the shopping center and have time to check out a few shops prior to meeting