Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Vancouver first

An untypical sunny Vancouver day just prior to setting sail aboard the M/S Volendam

September 6

The memories of Hurricane Gustav were still fresh in my mind on September 5 when I returned to New Orleans. The thoughts of tires stuck in the mud, a blown front tire, blinding rain, blustery winds and long lines of heavy traffic were still very much with me when I repacked the large suitcase I intended to take with me on my Alaskan cruise. That last day was fraught with peril and there was really no time to make needed runs to the bank and to the food store to restock all of the perishable items I had removed and given away at Henry S. Jacobs Camp or consumed before leaving for the trip. I did manage to make it to Loew's to return several hundred dollars worth of storm-related supplies, but, alas, the generator was not returnable. So, I now have a perfectly fine portable generator filled with gasoline that I hope to use (or hope to not have the occasion to use) in the future. But my thoughts had turned from hurricanes to the high seas. I was ready to leave early the next morning. The M/S Volendam (that dam ship!) was to embark from Vancouver, British Columbia, truly one of the most beautiful cities in the world on Sunday morning, September 7. Unfortunately, because of Gustav, American Airlines decided to cancel the two early morning flights from New Orleans to Dallas, despite the information on the website that stated everything was scheduled and on time. This required a run to Brennan's Restaurant to sample some grits and grillades, Eggs Sardou and Bananas Foster. After all, I wasn't certain how civilized these Cannucks were going to be. The rescheduled flight put me into Canada in the early evening rather than early afternoon, so the afternoon tour of the city was rescheduled for the next morning, just prior to the time that the ship would set sail for the 49th state.

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