My View by Sandra

and other stuff . . .

Day 10 – Hawaii Cruise – at sea day

Uneventful, but relaxing and fun. Had a good breakfast buffet and sat on deck with my computer while eating and people watching. We have clouds and it’s windy, but on a cruise, who cares? I’d love to swim more but there is so much chlorine in the water, it’s hard to survive. I did get some goggles, but just the picture of me in a bathing suit wearing goggles is a picture that not many want to see. Trust me.

I went to the casino for a little while but was lucky enough to get one that paid and paid and paid some more. It was so nice to spend an afternoon where I used the casino’s money and not my own. Did not win a car or a fortune, but it was fun. Met some interesting people as I sat there.

Formal dining tonight. Donna and I dressed up and went to dinner. Lovely. Our dinner partners tonight were from Nebraska, Washington state and Canada. Food was delicious, as always.

After dinner I got my camera and walked all over the ship taking pictures. Everyone was watching shows and doing other things so it was nice and peaceful. It was also horribly windy out on the upper decks. I wanted to get a picture of the huge lighted Christmas tree up on the top of the ship. I just had a little section of deck to go but the wind was so bad, I was afraid I’d get blown overboard. I was in my good clothes so definitely didn’t want that.

I came back to the room and spent the rest of the evening sitting out on the balcony. It was gorgeous.

Donna had gone to a show and said that the two couples next to her got into a fight and spilled a drink all over her arm. Today’s youth? No, two old men dressed up in their suits and tuxedos fighting over who was going to sit where. Sorry I missed THAT show.

Rainbow from our balcony

Rainbow from our balcony


Goodnight and on to day 11.

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December 20, 2008 Posted by | Travel | , , , , , | 4 Comments

Day 9 – Maui

Fish

Fish

I’d been to Hilo (and Kona) and Oahu before, but never to Kauai and Maui. By far Maui is my favorite. Today was incredible. I got up early, had breakfast – then boarded the tender to take me to one of the best experiences I’ve ever had. I had booked a tour on the Island Princess tour – a snorkeling adventure. The boat went about an hour and a half from where our ship, the Golden Princess had anchored. We then donned snorkels, fins and masks and climbed down the ladders on the back of the boat into the waters off the Molokini Crater. The water was a little cold at first but then never felt cold to me again once I went underwater. The underwater beauty was something I hope I never let the memory of slip from my mind. I was expecting it to be nice but nothing like this. The water was so clear with coral on the ocean floor and fish of every color swimming by.

Then we started back, stopping for an hour in “Turtle Town” to snorkel some more to view the giant turtles. I guess I didn’t expect to actually see any and was total breathless when I saw the first one swim by. They’re huge and they’re not afraid of people because when they have to go up for air, they go right by without a second glance.

We saw huge whales on the trip. One had a tail span of about 24 feet. Incredible.

We shopped for awhile and then came back to the ship to get ready for dinner.

Another fantastic day.

December 20, 2008 Posted by | Travel | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Day 8 – Kauai

Wal-mart Shuttle

Wal-mart Shuttle

We arrived early in Kauai. It’s the wettest place in the world – which we believed as we watched the rain come down. But, because it rains so much there, the landscape is so plush and beautiful. Green, green and more green. I heard my phone beeping that I had a message and when I checked it, had a picture from my mailperson and friend Cathy, showing a picture of the snow that had fallen at home this morning. It’s incredible. I love snow and hope each year that it’ll snow. As soon as I’m gone a little while, they get a huge storm. I can’t decide whether to be jealous or not.

I had a nice breakfast and then we headed out to check out this island. Anytime you stop in port, there are shuttles and buses. Some waiting for those on planned tours, some there with rides to town. We had asked several people during the past few days where they’d gone while on the various islands. I wish I were kidding, but many said they’d been to Wal-mart. I wish I were kidding but Wal-mart has free rides all day to their store. Today floored us when we saw several lines of people waiting for tours, etc. There was one really long line – 5 times the average line. We thought it must be a good tour and checked it out … Wal-mart.

Donna and I skipped that tour and went into the little shopping part of town next to the enormous and beautiful hotel, the Kauai Marriott Resort & Beach Club. Then Donna came back to the ship and I went to the hotel to look at their botanical gardens. Incredible. I spent quite a bit of time there taking pictures and looking around. It was such a relaxing afternoon. Even though the walk was a long one, I walked by the ocean back to the ship. I felt I could eat a little more if I walked it. Good reasoning?

Line to tour Wal-mart in Kauai

Line to tour Wal-mart in Kauai

December 20, 2008 Posted by | Travel | , , , , | Leave a comment

Day 7 – Honolulu

We were up bright and early and headed for Honolulu. Our friend Louise met us right aside t he terminal and off we went to check things out in Honolulu. Top priority for me was to find some flowers to take pictures of. Louise took us to the Foster Botanical Gardens. I’ve known Louise since we were best friends in sixth grade. Hate to put it this way but that’s over half a century. What a fun surprise that Louise greeted us each with a fresh flower lei.

Always knew Louise as a kid was a bit amazed of her knowledge of ‘everything’. She knew just about every plant we saw and the history of it. More importantly, she knew the real, long names of each one. It truly was beautiful. I took lots of pictures and was in awe of all we saw. My favorite plant was one that is the oldest plant on earth – here before dinosaurs, yet surviving the dinosaur. I don’t think I’m as smart as Louise, I can’t remember the common name. It’s beautiful with big, unnoticeable spikes on it. If you touch one you have a real good idea why the dinosaurs left it alone.

We left the gardens and went to The Pagoda. It’s great having a local show you around. This place was gorgeous and unfortunately – closed. We walked all through it though on small walkways which have water underneath where a huge number of Koi and some other large fish swim. We were sorry it was closed but then headed to The Willows. It was similar to The Pagoda. Looked like lots of office Christmas party lunches were being held. The buffet was superb. Many items I’d never heard of – lots of pork, curry dishes and the expected roast pig.

We left there to go to the Punchbowl. It’s a huge memorial – so beautiful. Ernie Pyle and the astronaut are buried there. There are no more available plots there.

Louise had a meeting in the afternoon so we said our ‘goodbyes’ – ooops, I mean our “Aloha’s”, hugged and hoped we’d be able to come back to visit again.

Donna and I then walked around the marketplace close to the ship.

Evening – we had a great buffet onboard.

Went to sleep early. Tomorrow – Kauai.

National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific

National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific

December 20, 2008 Posted by | Travel | , , , , | Leave a comment