Here for some puppy cuteness? Meet Olive and Bernadette.

We love our woolly bullies...even when they flooded our house!

The Ambitious Traveler: Recipe For Disaster Or Most Bang For My Buck?

Sexy Nerd and I have been on a 7 night cruise and a 5 day cruise. We enjoyed them so much that we decided it's time for more cruisin' - 14 days of nonstop cruisin', to be exact! We will be flying into Seattle, where we plan to cram several of TripAdvisors top rated touristy activities & top rated restaurants into 3 hours. Next, we're taking Amtrak to Vancouver,(and we will make sure to sit on the left side for the best view) where we expect to (hopefully) arrive shortly before midnight. There's not much time for sleeping though. We only have a few hours in Vancouver before boarding the Holland America Veendam, so we'll be getting up bright & early to take a bike ride around Stanley Park.

No big deal, you think? We can relax on the cruise ship?

Ha, you sound like Sexy Nerd (and boy is he in for a surprise)!
Here is a tiny preview of what else I have planned for this trip, cut & pasted from part of our itinerary:

  1. Eat at Bowpicker Fish & Chips (fried tuna/perfect reviews/featured in Sunset/plenty to share) 17th St and Duane Ave, Astoria, OR 97103 (503) 791-2942
  2. Maritime Museum ($10 each!)
  3. Trolley ($1?)
  4. River Walk (paved; ~2.5 miles)
  5. Heritage Museum ($3 for Derek/$2 with Student ID)
  6. Liberty Theater (restored old theater)
  7. Flavel House (restored Victorian mansion)($5 each?)
  8. Hike to the Astoria Column (less than 2 miles from cruise ship, per Cruise Critic)(see if there is a free shuttle offered when we get off the ship)
  9. Home Baking Co/Astoria Cinnamon Toast (2845 Marine Dr (503) 325-4631) Popular Finnish bakery, known for their cinnamon toast (too far!)
  10. Wet Dog Café for Happy Hour (3-6pm); 144 11th Street
  11. Store: Ambiance for Beautiful Homes (229 14th St)
  12. Walk to Maritime Museum of San Diego
  13. Walk to Seaport Village
  14. Walk to the Gaslamp Quarter & go to the William Heath Davis Historical House ($5)
  15. Walk to Horton Plaza (probably won’t spend a lot of time here - a unique outdoor mall)
  16. Walk to Little Italy(opposite direction of the cruise terminal)
  17. 1 mile to “Old Mazatlan”: Cathedral, Central Market (remember to bargain), Teatro Angela Peralta (old, restored theater w great reviews; $1.30 admission), Museo de Arquelogia & de Arta (archeology & art museums; free?)
  18. Walk to Diver’s Point (~10 mins) to see cliff divers
  19. Mazatlan Aquarium (between downtown & the Golden Zone)(“Acuario Mazatlan”)
  20. US & Peso both use the $ symbol. Look for “US$” (dollars) or “MN$” or “MEX$” (both are pesos) Remember to use phone currency converter
  21. Eating here should be cheap (100 pesos = $7.50); Great reviews: Gus Y Gus @ Camaron Sabalo, Mazatlan, Mexico
  22. Centro Histórico Most of the shops and vendors down here are trying to make a living selling their wares. You can get fantastic product, at far cheaper prices than if you go to the "Golden District" or to the Mall. It's also a great district to walk through, giving you more to do than just spend money all day
  23. If we use US currency, (accepted most places) ask for change in US currency
  24. Transportation: Pulmonias (A pulmonia is a taxi that looks like a souped-up golf cart. Hundreds of these roam the streets. They are very popular among locals.) Agree on a price before getting in & usually offer less than 1st price quoted; just say where you want to go; be sure to ask if price quoted is per person or total; “Quanto?” = “How Much?”
  25. Pulmonia dangerous? No.
  26. Possible Tours: (~$3 taxi ride per person, each way)(might be $12 each way total) Don’t book a taxi right off the ship - walk a little way 1st to get a better fare
  27. There should be a free shuttle to Los Mochis (runs ~1x/hr; be sure to ask when the last shuttle leaves, just in case)
  28. If there is time, take the free shuttle to the beach after going to Los Mochis (extremely shallow water)
  29. Los Mochis: Sinaloa Park & Botanical Garden (next to the sugar mill & golf club)
  30. Calle Gabriel Leyva Solano (street w shops)
  31. Posada de las Flores Hotel: Go inside & look @ the ceiling in the lobby
  32. Mission Church & the Museum in the plaza
  33. Very safe: do not fear side streets
  34. Many stray dogs & not all are friendly. Throw rocks if a dog is aggressive
  35. Glass Bottom Boat Ride
  36. Land’s End area = “gorgeous”
  37. Might be very humid
  38. Lovers Beach? No. Too dangerous to swim & hard to get to
  39. Medano Beach. Yes. 30 min walk there or take a water taxi for ~$3 each (go to Tabascos @ the end of the beach for happy hour - 2 for 1 drinks all day)
  40. “The Blue Agave” to buy tequila
  41. Walk to the mall “at the base of the really big tower, past the Harley Davison shop & the Hooters; good place for souvenirs
  42. May see whales & dolphins here
  43. Good place to buy vanilla called de Lis (red & metallic gold label) or Orlando; (be sure it says 100% vanilla; no more than 2% alcohol?)
  44. A typical tour of the area by water taxi is $10/pp for about 30 minutes and includes the arch, Lover's and Divorce beach and the sea lion colony. Then we can be dropped off at Lover's beach or be taken to Medano beach which is the main beach in Cabo, lined with beach bars and restaurants that all have lounge chairs that we can use. From there we could walk back to the pier along the marina (30-45 minutes) stopping along the way for shopping or drinks.
  45. Natural History Museum (free)(couple blocks off the main street wrapping around the marina, up the street across from the Tesoro Resort.)
I have maps printed of every destination. After adding everything up, it looks like we will be walking approximately 45 miles over the span of this trip. Good thing I have my MBTs! There's still so much planning to do!

Ever return from a vacation feeling like you need a vacation more than when you left?


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