Friday, February 8, 2019

We’re Home!

Our around the world adventure has come to an end. We arrived home two days ago to temps in the teens and falling snow (gasp!), but that’s actually an improvement over last year when we drove home from the airport in near blizzard conditions. Still, as always, it was second only to the day we left home in October as my favorite day of our season. It’s funny how it always works out that way. 

View from the window on our ride home from the airport 

How very rude!

We took advantage of T-Mobile’s special Tuesday offer of $10 off a Lyft ride and used them both in Honolulu and to get home from our airport. We had slept less than two hours on our overnight flight (the fifth and final one of our season), arrived home to a warm house with no issues (hallelujah!), collected the mail from our wonderful neighbors and had a large grocery order delivered before dark. 

I’ve yet to unpack a single item of clothing or do a load of laundry. Instead, I’ve been kept busy every waking moment with some business things and getting through my mail (God bless him, G did the initial mail sort, weeding out the junk mail and- can you believe we’ve been gone this long?- election flyers from the several feet of mail). Oh, and I’ve spent the past two evenings attending one basketball team dinner and three and a quarter high school b-ball games (freshmen through varsity).  I am voiceless tonight (because silent spectatorship has never been my forte!).  

And we’re off!

We had stayed on the beach for one final sunset before we went to the airport our last night in Hawaii, and while we enjoyed some refreshments at the Barefoot Bar, we talked about our favorite memories of the year. Mine were very unexpected ones.

- G and those men in Little India in Penang, Malaysia, watching that long truck back down the street and discussing what the driver should do next using hand gestures.

- Hanging on for dear life on that ferry on the Chao Prayha River in Bangkok. G had looked at me and asked, “Can you believe we’re doing this?” No, frankly, I guess I had never imagined I’d find myself in a crush of people on an overloaded ferry boat in Bangkok, Thailand. 

-And my very favorite memory: the ten cent elevator to the dentist’s office in Naples, Italy. 

Ironically, the last two situations were actually the result of things gone slightly awry, which I guess further proves my theory that if I won’t remember it in ten years, or if it will make a good story, it’s not worth stressing over today. 

Sitting there on the beach, G was quite impressed that I could remember everything we had done in all our ports, and in fairly accurate chronological order, too.  After all, there were 58 ports (we didn’t miss a single port this year, which I think might be a first for us), but that’s what writing a blog post every night does for you! These trips are not easily forgotten, and, when memories do start to fade a bit, I’ll have the blog to freshen them up. Thank you for your part in making that happen! If you weren’t following along and keeping me motivated, I really don’t think I could do it. 

And, of course, my biggest thanks goes to my husband. I don’t know how he does all he does to winter vacation-proof our house... and yard... and cars before we leave so that we arrive home to no issues. Frankly, I‘m not even sure what he actually does, but I’m so lucky he does it. These extended vacations wouldn’t happen without him...and that’s not even considering all the years of effort it took to get us to this place in retirement. Grateful. And blessed. I’m both. 

Will there be 10th season of extended cruising? Life and health permitting, probably yes. We have a plan in place for next year, so if you’re a betting person you might wager that it’s exactly what we won’t be doing. Somehow plans always end up changing between February and Fall. 

But, we are steadfast on one will be an easier year than this year! 

Life is good. :-)

Monday, January 28, 2019

Photos from Hawaii- Part 2

We’re still here, enjoying every minute of our days in Hawaii. We fill our days- sometimes- with long walks and exploring and sightseeing.  Other days, we relax by the pool or on the beach. But every evening revolves around sunsets on our balcony followed by dinner there or someplace on the beach. It’s a rough life!  ;-)

February 5

Even though it’s non-alcoholic, it wouldn’t be a beach vacation without a frou-frou drink. 

Even I was rolling my eyes at “chilly nighttime temps”

February 4

February 3

Loved the sails on this boat!

February 2

February 1
(This one might be my favorite)

January 31, a showery day in Waikiki

January 30

We were guests of Disney’s Aulani Resort on Wednesday

Multilevel infinity adults only hot tub at Disney’s Aulani Resort 

A rainbow over the Hilton Hawaiian Village Rainbow Tower

January 29

January 28

January 27
Are you tired of these sunset pics yet? Yeah, me neither. ;-)

January 26

We met some crew friends from the Pacific Princess while it was at Pier 11
in Honolulu on January 26, on the first stop of its 2019 World Cruise. 
Exactly two months earlier we had been on the ship in the Mediterranean.
It went west around the world and we went east and we met up again here. 

We had worried that the showers might cancel the fireworks but could see
from our room that they were being set up. 

The first “no sunset” night of our stay as a gentle rain moved in just before sunset. 

January 24
We went down to Pier 2 today to meet up with crew friends from the Emerald Princess 
and were spotted by Dave who knew from the blog we were on the island. How fun is that?

A green flash two nights in a row!
And to think I was in my 50s before I saw my first one. 

Love that afterglow!

January 23

January 22
Not the first green flash we’ve seen this year, but the first one I caught on camera

January 22

January 21

January 20
We took a sunset sail on the Holokai catamaran
(Ladies, this pic is for you. We also saw whales spouting but I was focused...elsewhere.) :-)

The Hare Krishnas are always at the end of the MLK Jr. parade, and turn it into
 a big street party of dancing and drumming and chanting.

Monday, January 14, 2019

Photos from Hawaii- Part 1

Bliss...pure relaxing bliss. We have finally recovered from jet lag and that 42-hour Sunday, and have settled into beach life, which revolves around long walks, swimming in the ocean (surprisingly warm) and pool, soaking in the hot tub and sunsets. We’ve already seen some great ones!

The sun starts to shine on the lower left side of the moon. 

I wouldn’t call it blood red, but it was definitely a red moon. 

January 20
A beautiful sunset and lunar eclipse helped to ease the pain of two losses in today’s games. 

Pure happiness on January 20
(until the OTs, at least)

Practicing with camera settings before tomorrow night’s lunar eclipse 

Three sunset pics on January 19...
because it was just so beautiful and WiFi!

It must be a Friday night!

January 18

January 17
A light rain shower at sunset

January 16
A storm threatened, but didn’t materialize.

January 15

January 14

January 14
Life is so very good. :-)

A huge difference between cruising and Hawaii...SLEEP!
The hotel doesn’t bounce, the alarm stays OFF, and we fall asleep every night to the 
sound of an acoustic guitarist at the Barefoot Bar on the beach. 

January 13

January 13
The one year anniversary of Hawaii’s Emergency Alert. 
The rest of the world has forgotten, but this island definitely hasn’t. 

January 12

Waialae Country Club
2019 Sony Open

The iconic W palm trees of Waialae Golf Course

Friday night fireworks from our balcony 

January 11

Hospitality tent for US military at 2019 Sony Open courtesy of Pasha Hawaii
We enjoyed a few days of the tournament with this as our base. 

January 10

Daytime view

January 9, taken while sitting on the sand at the water’s edge

January 9, from our balcony

January 8

Daytime view

January 7

January 6