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January 23, 2020
San Francisco: And So Our Adventure Begins

Somehow, we made it. After months of packing up the house – and despite it still looking like a catastrophe when we went to bed last night – this morning we “moved out.”

With our bed gone, Russell has spent the last few nights sleeping on the couch, while Gail has been in the guest room. This was Gail’s room last night.

Some of our stuff in storage in the laundry room. Gail’s plastic storage bins are on the left. Russell’s cardboard moving boxes are on the right.

We will not board our ship until tomorrow, but Regent is treating the world cruisers to an evening and night in San Francisco. Our main luggage – four suitcases – was picked up a week ago. Nevertheless, we still had seven additional bags to carry ourselves. (The upside of not getting on a plane is that we can take all the luggage we want. The downside is that we can take all the luggage we want.)

Finally ready to depart – with seven more bags

Regent would only give us free transportation to the hotel if they picked us up from the airport. So we made up an imaginary flight and took an Uber to SF airport at 10:00. The Regent reps met us at baggage claim, and we were on our way.

We are spending the night at the Ritz-Carlton on top of Nob Hill. We finally got into our room at 2:00 pm.

Gail: I need to eat food.
Russell: We have a dinner reception tonight, and we’re eating gourmet food for the next four and a half months. Can you get by with a granola bar?
Gail: I need to eat food.

We had nachos at a hole-in-the-wall taqueria next to the Stockton tunnel. We snagged the only window seat, which had a lovely view of the septic truck parked outside. After lunch, Gail took a nap while Russell took a 1.5-hour walk around Chinatown and Union Square.

The Ritz-Carlton

Our first official meal on our world cruise!

San Francisco: Chinatown and Union Square

In the evening, we got all dressed up for a cocktail reception, dinner and dance party. At the reception, Gail was already known to people thanks to a Facebook page she had started. At the dinner, we were stunned by the splendor of the ballroom and dining arrangements. As the cruise directors welcomed the world cruisers – including the 50-odd Regent first-timers – Gail leaned over to Russell and said, “I’m finally excited!”

We have already met many, many incredible people. Terry, the official speaker, will be giving a lecture every single sea day throughout the cruise – more than 60 lectures in total! Gail made a point to meet the cruise director and Regent’s head of entertainment. (She is trying to get us an “in” with Regent for future lectures.)

After dinner, Gail did her usual social magic of getting both men and women out onto the dance floor. We ended up being one of the last couples out on the dance floor at 10:00.

Tomorrow we will see our ship for the first time. With all the preparations behind us, we are ready to have fun!

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