Cruise Ship, Cuisine and Camping

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Since my last post, I've been quite busy. I went to San Francisco for work with Gutsy Traveler to experience lunch aboard the beautiful Queen Elizabeth ocean liner while she docked and loaded up for a cruise to Sydney. She was the biggest boat I'd ever been on by a long shot, with the capacity to fit 2,000 people! 

After filing through the crowds at Pier 35, we made our way to the finest restaurant on ship, the Verandah. I'm a sucker for French food, so when the artfully plated citrus sea bass with a roasted red pepper sorbet came out as a first course, I knew I was in for a treat. I don't mean to brag, but there was lobster, scallops and handmade herb-printed pasta involved along with a tasting of 4 desserts. Let's not forget about the wine. Cunard Line knows how to bring luxury to the sea. 

The rest of the trip was spent walking through rainy San Francisco, casually shopping, admiring the hundreds of orchids at the Conservatory of Flowers in Golden Gate and eating amazing food . . . Vietnamese noodles at The Slanted Door, tapas at Bocadillos, authentic Italian in North Beach. Sigh.  

One evening was spent cracking up at Beach Blanket Babylon, America's longest running musical revue. It was a ridiculous and ever-evolving show that poked fun at everyone from Justin Bieber to Chris Christie. The show revolved around Snow White trying to find true love, and encountering just about every public figure you can imagine. Trust me, just Google it. 

The drive back was a mix of rain and snow. Thank goodness for snow tires and four-wheel drive.

With Charlie still in Greece, I've been spending more time in Reno with his parents. Daisy and I are just not big enough to fill up this cabin in Tahoe. Despite Reno's reputation for being the poor man's Las Vegas, it holds a special place in my heart. Anywhere near the mountains feels like home to me now (said the flatlander from Kansas). I love the hidden gems I've found there, especially those with amazing craft beer and delicious grass-fed burgers. 

Though I am sad to report that Charlie and I will be spending our first Valentine's Day apart, I am so excited to head back to the Bay Area for some much needed chocolate-binging and camping with my gal pal Nicole this weekend. Daisy will be joining us, of course. I am ready for some rugged California coast and beach time. Hope everyone has a great weekend!