Sailing out of San Diego.After all that, it was a pretty great vacation. The seas outside California were particularly rough, but overall I think the Pacific ocean was much calmer than the Atlantic, (I did a transatlantic cruise a couple years back, and it was really rough.) It took 5 days at sea to get to Hawaii, but I'd much rather do it that way than on a plane. Can you tell how I feel about commercial air traffic yet? Heh. I got a new haircut, and my first hot stones massage on the first couple at sea days; and they were awesome. I can't tell you how amazing it was to stare out at the sea while I was stressing about my hair, another story for another day, but sufficed to say my new 'do rocks! (Think Dr. Reed from Scrubs, lots of long layers and long swoopy bangs to the right. I'm a strawberry blonde, though.)
My fingers were so-so "coral," this seahorse left me after a minute or so.We visited Kailua Kona, Hawaii first and went on a tour of a seahorse farm. It was super hot, and I got super sweaty, but it was a really fun experience. The little suckers are so amazing. They sort of fly through the water, like little submarines surfacing and diving with little fins on their back for forward propulsion, they move them really fast, though. I must admit, I've never wanted an aquarium before… but having a seahorse wrapped around my finger made me want one of my own. Both soft and strong, it felt a little strange but cool too! I've heard saltwater tanks are hard to keep up, though. I'll just have to buy Hansi's pattern, I guess!!! (Aren't her patterns incredible!?!?!?!)
Isn't this a great picture? My husband shot this one of our ship, the Serenade of the Seas.Later that day we went on an evening cocktail cruise, which was really beautiful. We went up & down the Kona coast at sunset; although my husband and I kept joking about how we'd never get back to the ship in time for departure, it seemed like we were going so slowly on the way back. We were about 20 minutes late getting back, but didn't miss the ship - thank goodness! I should've known better, though - they don't serve very good liquors on those boats, and I really like the top shelf stuff (Chambord, vanilla Absolut, Grey Goose or Ketel One vodkas.)
The scenery of Maui was breath-taking!Next up was Lahaina, Maui and I must admit that I was most taken with the scenery of Maui. Spectacular valleys, slicing through the tallest island I think I've seen… it was simply amazing. We did another tour there, and went to the Iao Needle park, a tropical plantation and the Maui Ocean Center. I have to sadly report that my camera battery died before the Ocean Center, so I don't have any pictures of it; but it was amazing. So many salt water species, we saw tons of different fish, enormous manta rays and a tiger shark, jellyfish, sea turtles, eels and so much more.
Iao Needle (on the left,) is a 1,200ft cinder cone, and really stunning if I do say so myself.I did get a few pictures from the tropical plantation, we took a tram tour there and I got the most amazing plumeria lei. It was so fresh, it really cooled the back of my neck off from the heat of the sun. I'm so glad I got it because I'm really not into the plastic ones. Too cheesy for my taste! Here's a scenic view from the plantation. At the state park we saw kids jumping off from a bridge into a pool below, about 20 feet or so. (I'll try and get that pic in my Flickr set.) The water was so cool & refreshing though, I stuck my feet in at a shallow spot. The path loops around the park, and it's a great mixture of scenic heights and shady paths. It all smelled so incredible, hibiscus and plumeria (and more, I'm sure!)
Maui in the afternoon, and our killer balcony!Next up, I'll share the second two ports, Hilo and Honolulu, and the last few San Diego pics. Stay tuned, because we took a helicopter tour over the lava fields, went to a botanical garden and walked along Waikiki beach. (Oh yes, and then there's all that fabric I teased you about, I'll share that, too! :D )
Thanks so much everyone who's been reading & commenting lately, I know I haven't been very crafty (except for knitting,) and I feel rather bad for it. I was so blown away with the amount of quality content in the 2 weeks I was gone; and I must also apologize for not being able to comment on as many as I'd like. After going through almost 500 posts, I just didn't have the energy to hit "post comment" a hundred times. I'm really trying to work on that, and I look forward to stopping by all of your pages to leave you sweet thoughts and kind words. Thanks again!