Day 136

The ship is cruising along smoothly and the Captain announced this afternoon that we may arrive a little later into San Diego than planned because of prevailing stronger currents and head winds. Our timing will be updated at tomorrow’s report, but rumor has it at an hour delay nearer 2:30pm. It became clearer this morning when Pat picked up luggage tags and luggage shipping manifests, that we will clear both immigration and customs at tomorrow’s face-to-face with passport officials. This hopefully will expedite disembarkation on Friday morning for us, because our flight has moved up from 2:00pm to 11:40am. It may be tight.

After breakfast, we attended Terry’s last lecture, his 52nd since joining our trip in Auckland, entitled “California up for Grabs – Who wants it?” He repeated a short recap of the explorers to the New World. The SW seemed to have little interest to the early visitors. There were no riches exhibited by the Indian tribes. The first settlements were missions established by the Franciscans who got permission from Spain to convert the locals. They set up missions in San Diego 1769, San Jose and a pueblo 1777, LA 1781 and Branciforte 1797. These Franciscan actions caused a competition with the Dominicans resulting in a split in 1773 of Baja California and Alta California. Meanwhile, America’s westward expansion began infiltrating Texas and Alta California (higher than Baja). These new immigrants did not respect Mexico’s laws against slavery and its authority in these locations. Mexico reinstated taxes and tariffs, which finally boiled over with the resistance at the Alamo. We know what happened there, but six weeks later, Sam Houston defeated General Santa Ana at San Jacinto, chased after him for three weeks, captured him and had him surrender Texas, but the location of the southern border was never clear. Was it the Neuces or Rio Grande River? Out in Alta California, Major John Fremont irritated the Mexicans when he built a fort in Sonoma and refused to leave, encouraging the local Californians to declare independence on 6-14-1846. Mexico refused money overtures for settlement. A skirmish in Texas at the Neuces River resulted in 2,000 Mexican soldiers killed to 70 US military. The Mexican War broke out and Santa Ana surfaced to lead the army. Meanwhile, in Alta California, the US military seized Sonoma and worked south to Monterey, San Francisco, LA, La Mesa and Mazatlán. In the Caribbean, General Winfield Scott assembled a huge amphibious landing at Vera Cruz marching to Mexico City and taking it in 1847, with a loss of 30,000 troops in this short war of a year and nine months. The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo 1847 settled the border and ceded the California and New Mexico territory to the U.S. California became the center of attention in 1849 with the gold rush and continued to attract people to San Francisco as a hub for the Klondike gold rush in Alaska.

We gathered for our final noontime games. I won a few more points in the card game. We returned to our suite to make some progress packing the suitcases. After a quick lunch, I went to Slots to lose again for the last time. Pat and I got together for the Regent Games Olympics, a complete array of all seven decks’ games. We competed along with about 30 others with the top three scores in each game earning points. We only got a couple of points. We returned to our packing responsibilities until the start of last Mensa and Trivia earning points only in Mensa. We packed a little more before an early 6:00pm special show of Krew Kapers, performed by the staff from many departments.

Some of our favorite waiters and waitresses performed in this. Muriel sang several songs; Maggie danced her heart out, and Ola performed a belly dance. The crew finished with a good-bye song that brought some of us to tears, since we have known them now for 136 days and many of them are finishing their tour in Los Angeles as well. We met the show cast in the lounge. They were dressed in formal wear and I got some pictures.

We had a final dinner with Jeff and Trisha tonight and will try to stay in touch. Trisha grew up in Medford, MA (now living in California) and will be attending her 50th high school reunion this fall. We hope to see them then.

Tonight was the final performance of the Unique 3, female vocalists who sing rock, soul and Broadway melodies. They sang “Proud Mary,” “Lady Marmalade,” and some hits from Bon Jovi and Tom Petty. One of the girls sang some melodies from West Side Story.

Yours in travel,

Pat & Mac