Monday, May 12, 2008

Monday, May 5, 2008, Tuesday, May 6, 2008 and Wednesday, May 7, 2008
The next 3 days were at sea in our quest for Hawaii. We started each day with breakfast, then some sun, then maybe we played some 4 handed cribbage with Naomi and Rebecca. Then lunch, perhaps a massage at the spa (one of the days). Some more sun in the afternoon and then a bunch of us joined up at the hot tub for drinks at 5:00pm. Even Mr. Ferguson has been known to buy the first drink in the afternoon and hop in the hot tub. I absolutely love this! We then will have dinner either by ourselves or with the women from Ottawa. Just some lovely times!

Thursday, May 8, 2008
Today we were in Honolulu and had a great day. We got off the ship early and walked around the port looking for souvenirs but found none. Or at least none that we wanted to purchase. I did find a few options for Lori for the matron of honor dress. Lori, you are gonna luv them! We got on our tour bus and headed out to Pearl Harbor and the Arizona memorial. Even though we have been here before we thought it might be worth a second look. You often see things you did not on your first visit. Thank goodness we had been here before because it was very crowded and hard to see things. We did still get a god seat on the launch and lots of great photos of the memorial. All in all it was a good trip. After Pearl Harbor we did a ride around the island and got some great shots of beautiful vistas and waves, etc.

When we got back to the dock we did not have enough time to go to Hilo Hattie’s, which has the absolute best Hawaiian shirts and stuff. Oh well, save my pennies for more better stuff! I don’t need good English I am on vacation.

We did have a little sail away party in our cabin. Rebecca, Naomi, Sue, John, Andrew and Susan all showed up with champagne, some from Tasmania and around the world. Not a bad evening. We had great fun and stayed up late and laughed and missed dinner and who could care less. Great times here. After the party we went up to the buffet and grabbed a bite to eat and then headed back to the cabin and went to bed. Tomorrow is the last stop on our trip and probably the one tour we have both been looking forward to the most!

Friday, May 9, 2008
Today we are on the big Island of Hawaii in the 2nd largest city of Hilo. Actually there are only 2 cities in the entire state of Hawaii so of course Hilo is number 2 because Honolulu is number 1. A very small port and very unassuming. Basically enough amenities to service cargo and oil ships that deliver what they need to survive. Obviously we have not been home for almost 2 months and it appears that prices, especially on gas have sky rocketed. Oh well, we’ll deal with that when we do get home. Our day started off with a short drive to the Royal Botanical Gardens which were most likely the best gardens we saw on the entire trip. The orchids and so many exotic flowers we had never seen before growing outside in rainforest type conditions or by the sea shore or in the open sun. We only had about an hour and a half and we were not the only folks who wanted a bit more time. I have so many pictures from here that I must come up with a cool way to display. Perhaps a piece of artwork……

We left the gardens around noon and headed back to the ship. Once there we grabbed a quick bite and then off to our final tour of the trip. A helicopter ride over and active volcano! Man was this cool or what! After a short safety briefing and weighing in, we boarded our helicopters and took off. We were in the air for a god 45 minutes which is how long they said it would be. We left the airport and flew over some small town type areas and then hit the lava fields.

It was amazing to see how the lava flows go. In one instance all you see is the harden lava and destroyed forest then you come across a 10x10 foot patch o f land with green lush trees growing. Incredible! As we got closer to the crater the sulphur spewing out of the volcano was quite intense and of course we could not fly through it. We did pretty close and Raja got some great shots. After we circled the edge of the volcano we went over to the shore line and actually got to see lava flowing into the ocean and forming ne land mass. Pretty spectacular I’d say. Our pilot, Hank, then flew us over an opening in the lava flow that will eventually be a tunnel. What we saw was the most amazing deep orange red color. Hank said that the temperature on there would be around 2900 degrees Fahrenheit.

We flew over an abandoned area due to the lava flows. There would be a road going past a few homes and of course a street sign and a stop sign and trees and then there would be nothing! The lava just cut off the entire area from the rest of the island population. Hank did say that they had filmed an episode of “Lost” in this area and I can see why it would work well. Kind of eerie to see all of those abandoned homes. Well the flight was too short, he did swing by some cool waterfalls and we got some great aerial photos of the cruise ship as we headed back to the airport. We did purchase the DVD that they film on each flight so we get to hear the commentary Hank was making during our flight. I understand there is also footage of them strapping us into our seats. Looking forward to watching that!

After all of the day’s events we returned to the ship and it started to pour. We just cleaned up and went and had dinner and a show and turned in for the night.

Saturday, May 10, 2008
Another 4 days in a row at sea. Food, sun, pools, hot tubs, drinks, cribbage, puzzles, I got turned onto Sudoku’s so another obsession is in place. We did have a wonderful group of performers who boarded the ship somewhere in between Tahiti and Hawaii. They are called the Westender’s and they are 6 performers and their musical director. They all met in the West End’s production of “Les Miserabes”. They formed this group and they do all Broadway music and they are very good. What a treat to get talent of this caliber on a cruise ship. They are scheduled to perform another new show on 5/12 so we of course are looking forward to that. Great fun

Sunday, May 11, 2008
Mother’s Day today. Just more of the same, relaxing and eating and drinking and sunning and swimming and hot tubing. Tonight was our last formal and we had 9 people for dinner. We drank Champagne and laughed and again missed the show because we were having too much fun. Never a problem to miss a show when we are having such a good time.

Monday, May 12, 2008
Today Raja and I are having our last massage of the cruise. I would like to bring our masseuse home; I believe every household needs one. We will probably catch the show we missed last night, watch the passenger talent show and see the navigational chart of our trip auctioned off. It is very cool but I am sure it will go for a tidy sum of money. After all of this will head to the hot tub at 5:00pm. Then we have reservations at the steak house for dinner to celebrate my birthday with the ladies from Ottawa. We’ll all go see the Westenders after that. Should be a great day!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008
This will be our final day of the cruise and I am sure I will be sending as much time in the sun as possible. It has been getting a little chilly though as we get closer to LA. This trip has been amazing and wonderful and I still can’t believe we have been so fortunate enough to experience it! Looking forward to seeing everyone upon our return!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Today we will disembark in LA and board a 1:30pm flight back to Boston. The trip is complete!

Until our Next Great Adventure!
Chris & Roger

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