As you can probably tell from this post's title, we covered a lot of ground this past week. The last update left us leaving the Mono Lake area, bound for Lake Havasu City. Our great friends Chris and Cherie, of Technomadia, were to end up there after their maiden voyage with their new vintage bus and we wanted to pay them a surprise visit. It worked, because they had NO idea we were coming and were completely shocked when we rolled in that night!
We got to spend three great days with them, and they introduced us to their new home on wheels. Our two busses were parked nose to nose at the home of our friends Wayne, Lisa and Andrew, who were all awesome hosts (and even had RV hookups!). Since the temperatures rose to 122 degrees (that's not an exaggeration. It actually got that hot.) we spent a lot of time in the water. Not only did they have a refreshing swimming pool to hang out in, but we were invited to spend a day out on the lake in our friends' boat… which was awesome. We barbecued on the beach, hung out in the water, and sped around on the boat, periodically stopping to dive into the cool water. It was a GREAT day. The only negative was that when we returned to the bus, we learned that the heat was too intense and the bus air conditioners actually automatically shut off. In that kind of heat, the bus was pretty much transformed into a rolling oven.
And of course, during our visit, there was plenty of vintage bus geekery going on. We went over a lot of bus systems and talked about future plans for modifying them. I even gave Chris a bus driving lesson, since they're used to towing their home with their car, instead of the other way around. And when it got dark, we light-painted Chris and Cherie's bus as our house-warming gift to them. It was a great couple days, and we were bummed to say goodbye. We had to get back to Vegas though, because from there we were flying to Vancouver for our two-week Alaska cruise.
On Friday afternoon, we hopped on a flight from Vegas to Vancouver. What a refreshing break from the heat! We went from 112 degrees to about 65 degrees. Even Karen, who loves the heat, was relieved. We only had one night in Vancouver before our ship was to "set sail" the next day, and how did we spend that night? … with friends! That's right. Not only do I have friends throughout the U.S., but in Vancouver as well! We were invited to dinner by my friend Dave and his wife, Sylvianne, and it turns out their place was only a 10-minute walk from our hotel! They served up an excellent meal, and it was great to catch up since it had been a few years since I had visited them last.
The next day, before heading to the dock area, we went to breakfast at the Elbow Room in downtown Vancouver. This was a recommendation from Sylvianne, and we'd pass on the recommendation. Disclaimer though… you may want to expect a little abuse there. For example, if you ask for a second cup of coffee, you'll probably be told to get off your ass and get it yourself. It's just that kind of place. And the food was great.
On Saturday afternoon, we finally boarded our ship, the Diamond Princess, for our 14-night Alaska cruise. I spent the time getting to know my way around the ship (Karen already did as she's a cruise nut and has actually been on this ship before!), taking a tour of the spa, and relaxing as we "set sail" up the inside passage. After dinner that night, we went out on deck, wrapped ourselves in blankets on lounge chairs and watched "Tron Legacy" on the massive outdoor screen. Nice way to end our first day on the water! Next stop: Alaska. More to come…