Notes from Puzzle Palace

Thursday, January 6, 2022

Non-puzzling travel post. San Diego to Los Angeles

On Tuesday we landed in San Diego.  We are very boring people.  We had a mission and went for it.  We of course went out to look for puzzles, but didn’t find any. Our next mission was to get me some yoga pants for the classes I’m doing on the ship.  We were docked next to the USS ??? I vaguely recognized the area from IPP38.  

George and I found a Target that was 3 1/2 miles from the ship so we decided to go take a walk.  Before we could leave the ship, we had to go through immigration. It was a very simple process. We went downstairs, they gave us our passports back and we were off.  Easy as pie.

The walk to the Target was a nice one.  Although we did go through some sleazy neighborhoods.  The point was for the exercise, not the views. We did see an interesting sculpture in a park, and then we walked right past the hotel we stayed in 3 years ago.  No wonder the area looked familiar to me.  

When we got to Target, we did our shopping and were shocked to see how empty the shelves were.  I bought slippers, saltines, and yoga pants.  They had nothing else on my list!  I was shocked.  We decided to take a Uber back because we were tired and hungry.  But first, we had another stop!

We went to Pedego to purchase a couple of scooters!  We have two at home but didn’t bring them because of a mixup with corporate.  I was told that Oceania rents scooters on board so we couldn’t bring ours with us.  No big deal, we decided to rent.  When I asked before San Diego to rent one, the people at reception had no clue what I was talking about.  So we got permission to bring two on to the ship.  Problem solved.  We bought two and were told the only thing we couldn’t do was to ride the scooters around the ship.  These things are fantastic, they set us back $1000 each, but boy do they come in handy.

When we got back to the ship, I tried on the yoga pants only to realize I purchased children’s clothes!  (HAHAHA)  The slippers are just what I needed until I put them on and realized they were mens!  That was not my day.  

While out running around, I happened to notice the price of gas.  It is very high here. No wonder California wants to get rid of petrol vehicles.  I'm all for solar and electric vehicles. I don't know how people manage.  I am glad that we live in Florida. Sunshine and clean fresh air.  Politics there don't agree with me, but the rest does. I'm sure glad we no longer have a gas vehicle.  When I return home, I will show this to my daughter will stop crying about paying $3.10 a gallon. 

We went back to the ship and decided to spend some time in the hot tub.  Since we booked a concierge level room we thought we would take advantage of the spa. First, it’s huge.  When we went into it, the water was lovely.  Nice and hot. I like pushing buttons and this was no exception. I immediately pushed the buttons and old faithful shot up!  I kid you not, the metal seats inside the hot tub have jets under them and they erupt like a geyser. 

That night we had dinner at Toscana for the first time.  The food was  enjoyable, sadly the company was not.  All I remember was a pompous a$$ who insisted he spoke Cantonese. Fine. When I asked a question he was clueless.  I really despise people who have no time for me because I am a younger wife. If you meet me, you'll realize I'm no trophy wife.  I'm more of a tarnished comfortable old drinking chalice. 😂 I’ve got a brilliant husband, but am no slouch myself.  The most insulting thing was telling me that if you speak the language you can teach.  OMG! I have multiple advanced degrees in ESL.  I’m not one of those British backpackers from the 80’s-90’s.  I couldn’t believe that after I gave my position and background before retirement that that was said.  I have to say, I’m glad our dinner companions will not be on the World Cruise.  

Note to all, if you meet me do not insult me by saying anyone can teach.  So very wrong.  So very insulting.   Now back to the food.  The carpaccio was acceptable. Not seasoned at all, it reminded me of the food at our club.  Made for elders :) The minestrone was amazing!  The calamari that my lover had was divine.   By the time the mains came around, I was full so even though the tortellini was very nice, I ate very little of it.  I had a very smooth 2012 port and a decaf espresso.  I didn’t even know that was a thing.  I loved it.  George however asked if I was going to be starting coffee again.  No.  Just a few times on this cruise.  The withdrawal from coffee is a terrible thing to go through.  

The next morning we had to go down at 8am to have our nasal passages assaulted.  George giggled through his, and I was in tears.  There is a difference between the way the nurses (I’m guessing) on board do the testing.  Good news, we were both negative.  We can carry on with the journey. 

More good news, we got an email from Hawaii saying we need to bring our negative test results and our QR code with us and we are good to go.  

After our test, we went back to the cabin to grab our scooters to go again to Target to make a return on my purchases from yesterday.  It was 1.5 miles from the port and took us a whopping 10 minutes on our scooters! Going back was equally as easy.  We made the exchanges, purchased clothes and slippers that fit, and scooted back to the ship.

Lunch was room service, and  boy was it interesting.  We ordered Korean Bibimbop. OMG!  Has the chef ever been to Korea?  This was a classic case of misunderstanding or misrepresentation. There was no rice, no egg, no meat.  The kimchi was not really fermented…I guess I’ve been spoiled after 25 years in Hong Kong. I forget I need to lower my standards.  I forget that not everyone can produce food like the natives do.

We spent an hour on a zoom call with the puzzle builders.  It was nice to still have the ability to talk to friends back home while on this ship.  Everyone is making great stuff.  But I won’t discuss that.  George showed off our little printer and we had to beg off for dinner.  I liked Toscana so much, we went again last night.  This time I ordered the calamari and went rogue and ordered tortellini in brodo.  They provided.  Our dinner companions were a pair of lovely ladies.  We enjoyed their company and wish them well in their further travels.  Both have left the ship for their homes.   When we went to Target earlier we purchased few bottles of zinfandel.  Tonight we took one along to share over dinner.  It was ok.  Not as good as what we really enjoy, but nice enough all the same.  

I went into the library and just sat around for a while.  I also too a walk around the boat and took a few photos of some interesting art.  

Tomorrow is another day in LA.  We have no plans other than to just relax and enjoy the day.  I don’t like the smog outside.  It smells horrible, and leaves a bad taste in my mouth.  George having lived most of his life in California had no desire to venture out and I am in full agreement with him in this city. 

We woke this morning opened the curtains and looked out the windows.  I hope this video will work.  It was horrible out.  I couldn’t see a thing.  Add to that the horrible smell and the bad taste, and I had no problem staying in bed.  After all, we came on this cruise to relax.  Relaxing we are doing very well now.  

We finally went up to the cafe to have some lunch, and while sitting there, we managed to meet 3 couples who are traveling around the world.  We’ve made tentative dates to get together to play cards or to show off our 3D printer.  It is going to be a good continuation of the cruise.  We are so pleased to meet others who are taking this journey with us.  

Now please Capitan, start this boat as soon as possible and get us out of this filthy city!


  1. Solved the puzzle you gave me after 6 hours [on and off] trying.

    Rod & Merry

  2. Hi, I am from Melbourne and have been following your travels. I'm not interested in puzzles (I can hear the horror) but I am booked on a later segment and very interested in what happens with your ATW. Thank you for the travel posts, they're great.

    I have a PhD in education and have taught in Hong Kong too, also Singapore and Malaysia. Why is it that people do think that anyone can teach? Really it simply demonstrates their rank ignorance and I share your annoyance. Keep on scooting, looking forward to reading more.