Archive for December, 2013

They sure do keep you busy on these ships! We have been having a BLAST doing trivia three times a day 🙂

We have a few different groups of people we do trivia with and we have been getting to know them pretty well. We’ve won trivia twice now (and come in close a few other times).  We do a lot better at the pop culture questions than we do the geography and world history stuff. Go figure.

We had a ton of fun the other night playing The Liar’s Club—laughing to the point of tears! Basically, three of the crew members sit on a panel.  They are given a word (something which no one has ever heard of before) and they each tell a story which gives the definition.  The stories explain what the definition is, how they know it, etc.  Two of the people are lying…and they are ALL trying to throw you off.  My favorite new word: erecterine.  I dare you to try to make up a definition for that word before looking it up 🙂

The shows have been really neat.  We watched a fruit and vegetable carving demonstration. So cool!DSCN2051

 

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We also got to see the an AMAZING fiddler named David Klinkenberg.  He played a blue-grass version of Flight of the Bumblebees that would knock your socks off!  We ended up buying one of his cds (though not the Christmas one—they were sold out).  We got to chat with him as well afterwards. So cool!

 

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Till next post!

The third day in Hawaii was spent in Maui.  We had a walking tour scheduled in the morning.  We had our walking shoes on and were ready to go!

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Our tour guide was a historian of the island. He was also an emergency responder, practitioner of Hawaiian medicine, and a minister (just to name a few). 

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There actually wasn’t much walking on the tour.  The guy took us around town and pointed to stuff that “used to” be there.  We saw quite a few parking lots.  I did get a couple pics of some cool things.  For example, the birthing stone where the Chieftesses used to have to give birth.  Praise the Lord for modern medicine!

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The tour included a Hawaiian fruit tasting.  Which ended up being a trip to a local cafĂ© where they gave us all a piece of pineapple.  Mmmm 🙂

 

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The true fun began when the tour was over.  One of our friends on the ship told us that Maui onion rings are the *best* onion rings on the planet. 

She. Was. Right.

We asked a local where the best onion rings could be found and she sent us to Kimos—a restaurant that does not sell onion rings.  Go figure! So, we walked across the street and found a place called Moose McGillicuttys (not actually sure how it’s spelled) and they had Maui Onion Rings on the menu.  I paired it with a Moose Mai Tai.  Mmmm!

 

 

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Then we were off to find some shaved ice. I had already had some on Kauai, but I wanted to get some that were made Maui-style. Basically, it comes with gelato in the bottom of the cup. I got pina colada flavored ice this time.  It was the perfect thing to have while walking around town and enjoying the Christmas decorations.

 

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And, of course, I took a few pictures while sailing away 🙂

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The next morning we arrived at Hilo on The Big Island—and it was raining.  No beach for us!  Fortunately, there are 2 free shuttles at every port.  One takes you to Hilo Haddies (Hawaiian merchandise store) and the other is run by Walmart (go figure).  We started out at Hilo Haddies where we saw the world’s largest Hawaiian shirt.  Woohoo!

 

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We then walked around the mall. And Walmart.  But ONLY because we were told it is the largest Walmart in the USA <excuses, excuses>. 

We actually spent a bit of time trying to find a cafĂ© with Kona coffee, since Kona is located on the Big Island. No luck! 

Ah well! Aloha Hawaii! Until next time 🙂

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The past few days in Hawaii have flown by!  We docked in Kauai in the early hours of the morning of our second day.

 

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Kauai was definitely my favorite island. We didn’t have any big plans for the day, so we just left the ship and walked into town (less than a mile).  When we got there, we found a nice beach for swimming 🙂

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We spent a couple of hours just swimming, reading, and playing in the sand.

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We also had a chance to try out some shaved ice.  I got a Blue Hawaiian flavored one (can you guess what it actually tested like?).  Yum!

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On our way back out to sea, I went up on deck to take some pictures.  A whale breeched the water right next to the boat (I was on the opposite side, of course, so I didn’t get a picture). But I got some great shots of the island and the sunset. I’ll share a few 🙂

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Bonus points for those of you who get the movie reference in the title (hint: replace Kauai with Ohio).

We made it to land!  We spent our first day in Hawaii on Oahu.  I was so excited, I woke up every 30 minutes or so after 3am.  Just waiting for the sun to peek in from the balcony so that I knew it was time to get up!

We left first thing in the morning to go on a tour of the island. Our tour guide was phenomenal! She grew up on the island and was able to tell us a lot of really interesting information—everything from which movies were filmed here to agriculture to where to buy cookies.  Amazing!

This is a quick snapshot I took of Diamondhead as we drove past.  They call it Diamondhead because way-back-when people saw it sparkle at the top and thought there were diamonds.  Turned out to be calcite crystals though.

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We stopped off at a couple spots to take photos of the beautiful beaches.  Right around here is where they filmed From Here to Eternity 🙂

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This is called Rabbit Island—which is strange since it’s a bird sanctuary.  It got the name because someone brought rabbits to the island. The island eventually became overrun with rabbits and they were destroying the plant life (which hurt the birds), so they had to get rid of the rabbits.  Still call it Rabbit Island though 🙂

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Quick break at a local shop.  We found a statue of a local high school sumo wrestler. 

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Last stop was at the top of the island on a cliff.  I never knew there was such a thing as wild chickens, but there are.  They live here. Right along with the wild “cats” 🙂

 

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Beautiful views at the top, but VERY windy!

 

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They mention Elmira, NY on this!

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Afterwards we walked around Honolulu a bit and got our picture taken with Miss Hawaii (scariest thing I’ve done yet).

 

 

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Saw the food truck from Hawaii-50 (this pic is for you, Fiona):

 

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And mostly just got to see some neat stuff—like a chocolate mouse 🙂

 

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Next stop—> Kauai!

See ya later, LAND!  Anson and I are on a cruise to Hawaii!  There is no internet on the ship.  Well, technically there *is* internet, but there’s no way we’re paying the $75 to use it. I was planning to write on the blog when we got home, but Anson thought it would be a good idea to write as we go so that we don’t forget anything. He’s a smart man 🙂

We got on the ship a little after noon on Thursday and went straight for the room.  We have a pretty amazing view from our balcony. 

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Shortly after arriving, we participated in the mandatory emergency drill.  Apparently every cruise must do these drills prior to leaving port.  We read the instructions before we left:  Bring your life jacket and your cruise card to the muster station, don’t let the strap of the life jacket drag on the floor, do not put your life jacket on, etc…pretty easy stuff.  It was somewhat annoying when they also read the instructions aloud over the intercom…and then read them again…and again.  Though it shortly became apparent why. The drill ended up being pretty entertaining–we watched every single rule get broken.  People had NO IDEA what was going on.  It was nuts!  The staff was amazingly patient though and got everyone through it.

We spent most of the first day exploring the ship and participating in a scavenger hunt.  Everyone who finished got entered into a drawing.  And then sleep.  Lots and lots of sleep.

The next day we got up and went to see The Princess Bride on the big screen.  We’ve also (thus far) watched Big and a good chunk of Back to the Future. It’s like this cruise was made for me! 

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Handsome man on deck!

 

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After that, we went to see who won the drawing for the scavenger hunt—Anson did!

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Of course, we won free dinner on a formal night. And, of course, we didn’t plan on going to any of the formal nights. So, we gave our prize away to some nice people we met at breakfast. 

One of the great things about the cruise is that there are lots of trivia events.  Like I said, it’s like this cruise was made for us.  Or, it’s made for older people. And Anson and I just fit in alarmingly well with the older crowds that make up 90% of the people on the cruise (we are one Steve Guttenberg away from Cocoon here).   Ah well, who cares? Everyone is so nice, we always get invited to join a team.  I enjoyed my first real pina colada at the first trivia. And we won the second trivia!  We got a bottle of champagne—still trying to find someone to give that away to  🙂

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During our down time we have been enjoying playing cards, reading, and swimming.  Hopefully I’ll get better at taking pictures of all this stuff as the cruise goes on :) 

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