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Judy Patsch 07-19-2012 12:20 AM

Live from the AMERICAN QUEEN
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Greetings from the Chart Room on the AQ at about mile 30 on the Ohio River. We departed Pittsburgh at 6 PM in between storms - yes, there is still rain on earth, but we don't need it on this trip! I am sitting in wonderful solitude here as we roll down the river. There are many quiet places in the evening while most everyone is at dinner or a show. I had a delightful dinner at the new River Grill, which is by the calliope bar: prime rib, potatoes, cauliflower, salad, chocolate mousse cake, 2 glasses of pinot grigio while the rest of the group was in the dining room for 2 1/2 hours. The free soda, water, beer and wine and the River Grill are absolutely the grestest improvement from my DQ days. Unfortunately the bathrobes are still in the closet but at least they don't promote those things. Actually our robes are gone, as well as the extra pillows as we maximized our space in the small inside room. Our pilothouse crew includes: Jamieson, Schultz, Boyle, and my old NATCHEZ buddy Finley Fraser. Mary Charlton is the sole riverlorian this trip.
I'm going to try to post some pictures, if this wifi is fast enough..
1) Let the processing begin. The checkin room at the Station Square Hotel was a very efficient operation - other than Alice's ID card wasn't there.
2) Only view I had from hotel showing the AQ and Heinz Field and their relative location. We are on the Monongahela looking across the city at the boat on the Allegheny.
3) We had 2 steamcoaches picking up the SSS passengers and there were a couple others at the other hotels.
By the way, all the promos talk about the Omni Wm. Penn, an opulent grand old hotel, but we were at the Sheraton Station Square. I suspect the Omni was for the suite pax, but we had the best deal - we were on the river and right by the Gateway Clipper Fleet and the SS mall and shops. We took a dinner cruise Tuesday night and had to walk all of a couple hundred yards to the boat.

Judy Patsch 07-19-2012 12:27 AM

Continuing the evening..
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We're in Montgomery Lock now a little after midnight, our third lock of the evening.
Out on deck are Jo Ann Schoen, her brother and sister in law, and my roommate Alice.
1) At Art Rooney Drive, just below Heinz Field
2) Big wheel about to turn...
3) Crowd at Emsworth Lock. Seems strange to not have doubloons to toss.

Judy Patsch 07-19-2012 12:34 AM

Rolling on the river
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1) The stacks have been going up and down with regularity tonight with all the bridges and high wires.
2) My favorite time: sunset. And this one isn't all that great...
3) Dashields Lock

Judy Patsch 07-19-2012 12:41 AM

Around the boat
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We're still in Montgomery and we haven't lowered much. I think there are new deckhands working the lines with some difficulty...
We're leaving now, and so am I... more later today on our full day of cruising - luckily we have enough locks and miles to go so we won't have to have a 'lagniappe shore stop'.

Tom Schiffer 07-19-2012 08:44 AM

Judy: Thanks for thinking of us...more if you please! Cap'n Walnut

Judy Patsch 07-19-2012 09:29 AM

Morning on the river
Good morning as we pass Bellaire Ohio mile 94. I missed New Cumberland Lock during the night but was up in time for Pike Island. Its a breezy humid morning with haze and its cool enough for a jacket. JoAnn and family are out here on the Observation Deck bow, and the others are prowling about elsewhere. Thanks for responding, Tom, glad to know somebody still reads .org. I'll post more pix later, as the Chart Room seems to be the best wifi spot, and Mary is holding forth in there now with quite a crowd. It seems there are a lot of restrictions on when the riverlorian may make announcements about what we're passing - why would passengers want to know that? A further complication for her today is her PA system is AWOL (as is our cabin attendant), but that's another story! Capt. Joe Jamieson appears to be doing his laps on this deck, unrecognized by most passengers. Oops, Jo Ann just hailed him down. Ah, the sun is breaking forth - another miserable day on the river, but someone has to do it...

Judy Patsch 07-19-2012 10:17 AM

Got to post this
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One of my concerns was whether there would be a place for solitude and contemplating the river like I could find on the DQ....NO PROBLEM!
1) Alice, JoAnn, Hank and Jenny on the Observation Deck bow at 10 AM

There ARE other passengers on board, somewhere!

Judy Patsch 07-19-2012 01:25 PM

Hello from the Hannibal Locks
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We are just leaving the Hannibal Locks where Taylor Abbott and friend are watching from afar. Mary is down in the Grand Saloon giving a talk, so the Chart Room is empty and available for wifiing....
1) Surprise - I made it down to the JM White dining room for the jazz brunch. We made the brunch part, but the jazz must have just been at the beginning.
2) The lounge area aft of the dining room.
3) The missing is found - last night I posted a picture of the table at the entrance to the boat, where this silver urn used to be. I thought maybe it had disappeared over layup, but here it is, midship lobby. I think it was more impressive as you entered the boat...

Judy Patsch 07-19-2012 01:34 PM

Leaving one chart book and onto the next...
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As we pass New Martinsville, we need to switch to the chart book which extends from N.M. to Foster KY. So far we've traveled 127 miles and we've got 138 to go to Point Pleasant, which means we indeed do get a whole day of cruising, with no 'lagniappe' shore stop as they have been bragging about. Needless to say for this group of Rambling River Rats, the whole cruising day can't be topped. It is a partly cloudy day, just the perfect day to get a surprise sunburn, but since only a dozen or so of us are venturing out from under shaded areas, there won't be a run on Solarcaine.
1) The Corydon Connection - JoAnn and Capt. Joe Jamieson, Judy and Alice
2) Lexie, I thought of you upon seeing this.
3) Clarington Ohio, the hometown of J. Mack Gamble

Ginnie Rhynders 07-19-2012 01:35 PM

Yes, Judy, there are those of us who are still checking out dot org and who are enjoying your reports. Getting a trip vicariously is better than none at all. Keep on clicking and posting.

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