Monday, September 28, 2015

Travel Monday

Leaving Honolulu soon, and maybe taking home a little garlic breath. It was some good stuff!

No limo, just a big green bus like this one is expected to pick us up at 11 to take MM, me, and our bags to the airport. After we make several stops to pick up a whole bunch of other visitors, of course. Yippee.

We are definitely looking forward to being home. The overnight flight...not so much, but it will get us to ATL at about 7a. I'm sure MM will get some sleep and with the aid of caffeine, get us safely home.

Add our 50th state to your bucket list, especially if you haven't been here. It is beautiful, and the folks are friendly.

Aloha. I'm needing my sweet GA Alps, y'all!

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Sunday, September 27, 2015

Sunday rolling in Honolulu

What else to do during liquid sunshine but to hop on the bus and rise around town.


We just rode up to Diamond Head, and are now heading back to town. We got to FaceTime with Haley before leaving our room. Love having that ability.

So, after our much needed nap yesterday, we enjoyed a good, local garlic shrimp dinner and a walk on the beach sidewalk.

It is finally good to have totally free time to wander. The rain won't last all day, on this final full day on the island.

This is a former sugar plantation turned coffee plantation, with lots of iron ore in the lava soil. Lava is the basis for all the islands...and is surprisingly full of nutrients. All this rain makes everything green and lush. And beautiful. But enough is enough.

Yes, we fly home tomorrow. And happy to do so. I sure miss my chitlins. And kitties.

Life is good, y'all. Aloha!

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Saturday, September 26, 2015

Pearl Harbor Saturday

Visiting this special memorial was worth the early wake up have to get there early because they limit the daily number of visitors.

After first watching the historical video, we were ferried over to that famous white building (on the far L in the first photo) built over the sunken US Arizona. A number of the 1,100 men who died on it are still inside the ship. It was quite a moving experience. The talkative visitors were shushed by the officer on duty. I gave him a smile and a thumbs up for reminding these foreigners that this was a place that deserved a quiet respect. Soo many lives lost that day...about 2,400. We need to remember our history.

Last night, MM and I walked over to a buffet we needed tons of food!...that also had a Polynesian show. After being on a cruise ship, well...there is no comparison for the quality of either the food or show, but they were both decent...and we enjoyed it.

Earlier we walked the block over to Waikiki Beach and watched the people and watercraft. The area is beautiful and a hustle bustle of activity. There is something to do for folks of all ages. And the weather has been sunny, hot, windy and beautiful!

What shall we do Sunday? We will wing it. No tours getting up at 0 dark thirty. Yes! It won't be dull. We are in Hawaii! It will be good, even if we just sit at the beach (in the shade) and enjoy our surroundings.

Life is a beach, y'all!

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Friday, September 25, 2015

Honolulu aloha!

We are now off the ship, finally wearing a fresh, fragrant lei, waiting on our transfer to the hotel.

See those big rocks? They are mostly sea turtles that we saw on the beach just before Marilyn dropped us off at the ship yesterday. I zoomed in as best as I could, since we were up high on an overlook. The turtles were funny in that they waited for a new wave to help inch them up onto the beach:

That's a lot of weight to move!

The Polynesian show last night was great. We enjoyed Sky, our fave guitarist for the last time. Sniff sniff. We wanted to take her with us. Oh, the piano bar had two ppl in it at 10:30 last night. Hmmm...sez a lot.

So the next part of the adventure begins. On to the hotel to settle in...soon. And then go wandering.

Aloha, y'all!

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Thursday, September 24, 2015

Maui Thursday

MM booked us on a private farm tour for today, a driver with a van, with 8 other customers from the ship. Our driver is quite talkative, but seems to know her flora and fauna.

First visit was to a lavender farm, where many different varieties of lavender. We got to enjoy lavender tea or coffee, and a scone laced with lavender. Yum!

She had picked up our picnic lunch, which we enjoyed overlooking the fields and bay from 4,000'. It was cool and mostly cloudy up there.

We are now about to take a wine tour, complete with tasting, at Maui Wine, then we will head back to the ship. Oh, we took a wee side trip to see where Oprah has bought a house.

Our guide is filled with tidbits. Filled! As in Chatty Cathy. Our ears are tired, but we are having fun.

Cheers. Aloha, y'all!
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Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Wednesday in Kauai

We toured the whole island by air this morning:

MM got to be co-pilot. He was thrilled. We saw many beautiful and famous sights. Here is where a J Depp movie scene was made:

It is a lava arch where the famous actor stood. Not that I would know about that. Also, the movie South Pacific was shot nearby. And the pilot pointed out the houses of J Roberts and that Pierce 007 guy. He also gave us much history of the island. Great tour.

We went back to the ship for lunch, and still had lots of time on our hands, so we figured we would join the crew and take the free shuttle to KMart. Why not!

After the awful fiasco with the tenders yesterday, the captain is hosting free appreciation drinks in the lobby for 45 minutes before dinner tonight. I'm sure it will be a zoo! They also promised leis for everyone. Finally!

More photos will follow alter we get home.

Life is good. Aloha, y'all!

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Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Kona Tuesday

Kona is a tender port, so we booked the Historical Kona bus trip through Carnival, guaranteeing our safe and prompt least BACK to the ship. Using only five tenders, the trip to land was long and late departing. Oh well...

Our bus driver/tour director is doing a good commentary here in our Barney bus. Yes, it is purple.

First stop, a stop for genuine Kona coffee free sampling.

Good coffee...with an even better view.

Kona is on the W side of the big island, which is Hawaii. Captain Cook was killed here after a dispute of some sort with the natives. He lost. We were on the E side of Hawaii yesterday, move on tonight to another island.

Next up on today's tour was St. Benedict's (Catholic) Painted Church. We unfortunately only got a brief glimpse, as a wedding rehearsal was going on and we were asked to be respectful. No problem. Blessings to the almost new family. The inside was painted to resemble a cathedral:

Barney rambled on down to the beach to Pu'uhonua o Honaunau NP that preserves there on the black lava rocks certain aspects of old Hawaiian traditional life. There are many palm trees and rocks along the meandering pathways. It is truly a beautiful, peaceful park. Unfortunately, we will miss the next ranger talk, although our driver told us quite a bit of its history. Long story!

Today is quite warm, just as you would expect Hawaii to be. The ocean breeze feels good here in the covered amphitheater, where my boyfriend has stretched out on the hard bench.

Back to Barney shortly. WYWH, y'all!

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Monday, September 21, 2015

Rainy Hilo

Aloha! No leis to greet us...and our land tour greeter was a tad late in showing up, but we found her, got in the bus, and off we went

First up was a short stop at a chocolate candy factory. The sample was good, but not tempting. Next...oh my!

Macadamia nut heaven, the world's largest processor of same...and a deli lunch.

The main attraction came next--Volcanoes National Park, where we stopped and walked in the rain down into a natural lava tube, and then made a few stops to view some craters, a couple still steaming! And with people walking down in one! No thank you.

From outside Jagger Museum, we got to see Kilauea Caldera, still nicely steaming:

We are just getting an over view of the park. This place is huge. The rain is now just misty.

Next up...Rainbow Falls, then back to the ship. WYWH, y'all!

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Sunday, September 20, 2015

Sunday on the Pacific Ocean

Good morning from our final sea day. Tomorrow, it will be aloha for real in Hilo. Hawaiian music on Lido after lunch will get us in the proper mood for our anticipated arrival. Five sea days is a lot, even though it has been extremely smooth.

We have both avoided the hula and ukulele lessons, leaving those to the younger crowd...crowd being the operative word. There are actually few onboard activities that we enjoy. Corn hole consists of one board, with participants each getting 4 throws only. MM came in second; I opted to walk about, rather than stand in the long line awaiting a turn. There appears to be no space large enough to host proper competitions. Bugger.

Last night, we attended three comedy shows, and also enjoyed talented California girl Sky on guitar in the pub, skipping the marriage show.

The "Gross" guy is doing a magic act after lunch, so that is on our agenda, along with the VIP party before dinner...missing corn hole today.

Our balcony, books, live music, and iPad solitaire have all been mighty fine. And the occasional nap. We are ready to hit land...and have phone use on Monday.

We always ask for a large table in the dining room for breakfast and lunch, so we have met several interesting folks from all over.

Having fun. WYWH.


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Saturday, September 19, 2015

Cruising Saturday

Another beautiful day in the Pacific. What's not to love?!

We are back in the room after a nice breakfast with two interesting couples. Our dinner companions are tolerable, but we just eat and politely leave. We do like our wait staff, which is why we haven't changed anything.

The show last night was a hilarious hypnotist who did an amazing act with about 18 or so cruisers on stage. His name was Peter Gross (what was his mama thinking?!), so don't miss his act if you ever see that name in the cruise program.

CD Jen is doing a good job, as are the live musicians. No report on the piano bar guy yet. We are pacing ourselves.

Looks like we will have a full day of sunshine for "pirate day." I think we will still hear lots of arrrghhhh talk, at least from the kiddos.

Life is good on the high seas, matey!

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Thursday, September 17, 2015

Day 2-3

Good morning from the Pacific Ocean, where we are cruising with about 2,300 passengers on calm seas, steadily moving our clocks back an hour a few times in order to get us on Honolulu time.

Food and service has been good. Our room steward is from Trinidad and is a sweetie. Our dinner table of six only had four of us the first night. Unfortunately, the lady is Chatty Cathy, if ya know what I mean. We opted for a quick dinner on Lido last night to partly avoid them. Tonight is elegant night, so hopefully we have a full and more interesting table...otherwise, we will probably change tables or dining times.

The piano bar guy has a cold, so he is admittedly not up to par in the voice department yet. There are several choices of live music onboard, so we have enjoyed a variety of musical entertainment. The ship is obviously one of Carnival's smaller ones, so it doesn't take long to do a walk about.

We are on a is good, y'all! We adjust.

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Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Day 1

We are mostly all packed here at the hotel, waiting until it is time to go downstairs, check out, get a cab, and see this beautiful fantail that is already docked and ready for us!

Our HOHO tours took us right by the cruise terminal yesterday where two ships were docked...that we got to watch depart late in the afternoon right from our hotel window.

It is pretty solid overcast this morning, but nothing will dampen our spirits. We are going cruising! Come along with us.

Life is good, eh! In a few days, we will see lots of sunshine...and new adventures.

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Monday, September 14, 2015

Monday in Vancouver

But first, MM and I are here at the hotel restaurant, since they gave us a nice financial incentive to do so. It was good...and certainly convenient.

We then went to St. Andrew-Wesley Church for the candlelight musical program. It was done well, complete with sheet music for most songs in the program, an organist/pianist, and four very talented singers. There was very little congregational participation in the singing, unfortunately, which was a disappointment to me. The church is old and beautiful, with lots of stained glass, arched ceiling, and old stone work. We both love old churches.

Afterward, we pretty much crashed, since we had been awake for entirely too long.

We are heading out for the HOHO trolley, but with this Beta Sigma Phi sista:

Sweet Violet!

Bye for now, y'all!

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Sunday, September 13, 2015

Greetings from Vancouver!

We just got to the hotel, 27th floor, overlooking the bay. I am sitting enjoying boat and seaplane traffic while MM went a block away to the IGA for Cokes and fruit for a snack lunch before an early dinner.

The HOHO trolley can be boarded across from the hotel, so we will do that, probably after our morning coffee with a BSP sister at 10 tomorrow.

The flights were mostly uneventful. We had a lady captain on the leg from Minneapolis to here...pretty neat...but left 30 min late bc the toilet system had a malfunction...and that would not be pleasant for a 3+ hour flight! The mechanic did some system rebooting and got it to at last behave.

Then queue for customs upon arrival was long, so we got a bit of exercise going through the ropes course. It was no problem, and then we rode the train to City Centre and got off there, but MM had misjudged the distance from there to the hotel, so we took a taxi. No big deal, except that he let us off at the wrong hotel and we had to hoof it a few blocks to our actual destination. Oh well, stuff happens and we are here, ready to rest our tootsies for a bit.

Ah, my special room service just arrived, bless his heart. He noticed a church marquee next door for some jazz music at 4, then candlelight music at 7. Sounds like a plan!

Stay flexible in traveling . Yep. We do.

Life is good, eh!

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Friday, September 11, 2015

Fab Friday!

This photo is shamelessly stolen from Amy's FB post, because my phone was almost dead and useless at the concert. The new HS Fine Arts Center opened last night and let me tell you, it is fabulous! What an asset, not only to the high school, but to the whole community as well. Much is planned for its use.

The kids and adults rocked the house last night....drama, band, chorus, steel drum band (yes!). The center is state of the art......and the kids and teachers are top notch. Kudos to all, especially our three granddaughters, who get to experience all this wonderful-ness.

We have lots on the agenda tomorrow, so I plan to actually begin packing today. Excitement is in the air...let the packing begin!

Life is good, y'all!

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Thursday, September 10, 2015

TBT - 2002



This is the Cruising Duo onboard Carnival Elation when we left CA and cruised the Mexican Riviera, on through the Panama Canal, and wound up in Miami.  Boy, that was a long time ago. That black pantsuit I’m wearing has appeared in MANY cruise photos over the years.  Ha!  It is a perfect, wad up, wrinkle-free, drape-y thing that is still in my closet.  Will it go…or stay home for this trip?  Hmmm.  We shall see.  MM got out the suitcases yesterday, so we will get to packing…Saturday.  Yep, the day before we leave.

But first, we need to go dishwasher shopping.  The panel MM bought to fix it almost two months ago died, but is still under warranty, so we will be checking out our options in the meantime until we hear back about replacing the panel or refunding our money.  Life is never dull around here at the Fun Factory…where we both are sporting clean fingernails.  The dang thing died Monday…before six friends arrived for dinner, so I smartly swapped the real plates for paper ones at the last minute.  Nobody minded.

Stay flexible – that’s our motto.  Especially when traveling.  And hostessing.

Have a fabulous Thursday, Peaches.  Life is good!

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

T minus 7!


Carnival fantail

Yes, Peaches, Moho Man and I are going on another cruise!

We fly to Vancouver on Sunday for a visit of a couple of days, then will get to see this very special fantail aboard the Carnival Legend on Tuesday, bound for the Hawaiian Islands…for 10 days of floating fun.  This trip will cross off a major item on MM’s bucket list.  We spent a couple of nights in Honolulu when Haley and Brian were wee ones, so this enables us to hit up the other islands for a nice overview.  Of course it is a short time to spend in such a beautiful location, but a little time is better than NO time, right?  The Legend then continues (without us) southward to their cruising season Down Under.

Excited.  We are.  List making.  I am.  First on the list:  kitty sitter – Check!  The furbabies can’t go, but they will be in good hands.

So many cruises, so little time…………..but we are going while we are still able to do so!  Shhh…don’t tell the kitties yet.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Bands and cruises



Two of those ants out there on the football field belong to us.  It took me a bit, but I finally found Macey on a small drum and Ansley in the clarinet section.  They (all) performed quite well.  The beat goes on…go, Band!

Now about that cruise come-on.  That is just what it was.  It was a travel reservation group (not a time-share, so they said, but it is like unto it).  Of course, they show multitudes of travel destination photos on a big screen; show prices from all those specialty price shopping sites, then throw up “their” price and the essentially half-price savings one would receive if one were to join them TODAY.  If one does not join, the “free” air-fare, cruise certificate certificate will still go home with you.  Hold on to your wallet!

If it sounds too good to be true, it more than likely is.  That old adage is still accurate.

We resisted sales pressure and did NOT join their club; we brought home their “free cruise” certificate…had a nice celebratory dinner at The View with $2 draft beer (we could afford it, after saving those big bucks!)…then went to watch our kids perform at halftime.  About half the town was at the game, which is what happens on a Friday night here in the mountains.

Well, my personal travel agent (MM) went online the very next morning and did a whole bunch of checking up on this travel organization, as well as the benefits (or not) of this free cruise certificate.

Or not is accurate!  Yes, you do have to pay taxes and port charges on the certificate (we were told that up front), but………..its use is somewhat limited, and the fees, etc., we would have to pay to redeem it far outweighs the deals MM often finds by his independent little self.  Plus, we don’t do well with having an unknown third party arrange our travel plans.  Our way is the best (and cheapest) way for us to go.

We each got a free cuppa coffee and had to listen to a 90 minute talk.  Thankfully, the photos were nice, and so was our young salesman.

The End.

Yes, we already have a cruise (or two or three) booked.  Details soon.

Crank up the music and have a little fun this Labor Day Weekend, celebrating the end of summer.

Happy Sunday, y’all!

Friday, September 4, 2015

Friday cleaning!

A little more to the left, Missy! Good girl.

Cousins and nanner puddin make for a very fine birthday celebration. Lil Haley had to leave after supper, so she missed this photo op...and dessert. Yummylicious!

How did it get to be September so quickly?! That also means band performance season, which is the best part of any football game. Grumps and I will be cheering on our two (especially) musicians tonight. Go, Pride of the Mountains Marching Band!

Ahem. Now back to the regularly scheduled Friday laundry and other (boring) stuff.

MM and I are going to a cruise come-on talk later this afternoon. More on that news later.

Now where are my two furry assistants? Hmm, I have been deserted for the sunshine. Again. So typical.

Smart kitties.

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