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Friday, November 30, 2012

For Friend, Rena

Dear Rena,

When you wrote, "
drop a petal in the ocean for me," you provided us a challenge. Exactly what kind of petal, we wondered.

Then it came to mind: Dan's sister, Peggy, and her family had a beautiful floral arrangement sent to our ship stateroom. If you didn't see the picture I placed in this blog on our first day out, here it is again.

Even with the obstruction of the paper with the message on it, you can see that the arrangement has a variety of blossoms.

A Petal. Hmm. We wondered next if your request follows a Hawaiian tradition, or a Buddhist one, or what. Also wondered whether "a petal" specifies ONE petal only, or if it could be part of a cluster -- a blossom.

So, we've had to define things for ourselves. After a number of days at sea, obviously, some of the blossoms began to wilt, despite Dan's plucking dried items, and his careful watering. Still, there are quite a few blossoms that look as fresh as the day we received the gift.

Here's what we decided to do. Late this afternoon, we took three individual stems of orchids with us to an aft deck area that overlooks the ship's wake. After assuring ourselves no one was watching (we were about to break one of the strict rules of the cruise line), we dropped TWO of the stems into the wake whilst thinking of the many years of treasured friendship you and Tony have shared with us. The third stem was of special significance for the two of you, in the recent loss of your longtime friend,
Isabelle. In your behalf, we thought of her as we dropped that final stem of orchid in her memory.

Now we're simply hoping we've completed our commission.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Day 8 - End Of Trip

People who know me well will understand this group of pictures, as well as the name of today's Blog entry.

Others, those with whom I have not had conversation in a while, may want explanation. If that's the case, reply and request an explanation.

This ends planned Blog entries. It could happen that I will want to post something else during the next week - the time it will take for us to return home. If that should occur, of course, I'll provide it here.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Day 7 - Honolulu

As we entered the Honolulu Harbor this morning, we noticed a Holland America ship berthed where we are very accustomed to tie up - immediately adjacent to the Aloha Tower. That was disappointing. I had hoped to leave the ship to visit the many shops within Tower Square. As it was, we docked about 3/4-mile east; it meant a considerable walk.

After leaving the ship, we made that walk. I had a picture made as my personal reminder that I had, indeed, decided to leave Golden and make the hike to the Tower. Second disappointment: we found sad evidence of how the economy is playing here, as throughout the country. Most of the shops are closed, empty hulks. The walkways throughout Tower Square still provide picturesque benches for resting from long walks, and an intersection filled with folks with their computers taking advantage of free WiFi.

One open business grabbed my interest. I insisted we snoop in a chocolate shop where we found some amazing looking truffles. I really hope they will taste as good as they looked. I selected two each of three flavours - gouging Dan's wallet to pay the price of $2.80/each. He grumbled a bit. On the way back to the ship, though, I managed to repay him, in part. Along the sidewalk, at about the halfway point of the walk, I spied and picked up a dime, which I handed to him. Then, inside the terminal building at the ship another dime caught my eye. He has that one as well.

There are times when we meet people with whom we have cruised on previous occasions. This trip is one of those times. We found two ladies with whom we have traveled at least twice before - Carmen and Jo. For several years, Carmen and I have shared this or that via email. Dan is happy that we've renewed the acquaintance because, to help fill his time -- and to keep him out of the casino -- they will be playing Gin together.

I am looking forward to visiting Nawiliwili tomorrow, and enjoying my longtime favorite beverage - a Mango Dream.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Day 6 - At Hilo

It's a bit overcast today here at Hilo, our first port visit. It's mildly muggy and the temperature is mid 70s, although that can change multiple times during the day.

The accompanying photo shows our Lido Deck, forward balcony - just behind the ship's bridge. From where we watch, it seems that rarely is anyone there on the bridge. When ever we do see anyone in there, we poke fun with hand gestures suggesting, 'No. Not that way. Turn the other way.' Fortunately they never seem to notice us, though.

Since Princess has accepted liability over our damaged luggage, Dan went shopping for its replacement. After searching several stores, he settled upon a piece just slightly larger than the one we came onboard with.
He left the ship early -- just after we docked, and arrived back just before 11:00 - in plenty of time for lunch.

Tomorrow is Honolulu. We normally have docked beside the Aloha Tower, and I have hopes of taking my own first leave of the ship to visit some of the shops in that immediate area.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Morning ZUMBA

Each morning, 8:30 sharp, this mind-boggling frolic begins. First day out it involved only the folks gathered on the Lido Deck,  port side of the pool. Participation has grown each morning. This morning there were folks on all sides of the pool as well as quite a bunch on the deck just above them. It's lots of fun to watch, but just watching causes Dan and me to race for our napping places by the time the group is finished at 9:30.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving At Sea

We cannot deny the many things for which we're grateful, especially on this day.

Throughout the day we were just a bit down-in-the-mouth over the lost luggage, and more importantly, the loss of its content. For the most part, it was our evening wear - stuff to make us look snazzy enough to rub elbows with everyone each evening at our dining table. Also, several of Dan's favorite Hawaiian shirts - all items we've brought along on many previous cruises (even though they seemed to shrink a little more each time we packed them).

So, we are thankful for the many rehearsals we had throughout the day as we shared our our tale of woe with every new person we met. Of course, we then had to hear their stories. But then, that's what makes a vacation memorable - right?

We are thankful for the classy, traditional Thanksgiving dinners we had this evening. They nourished us and prepared us for our most appreciated blessing of the day - the RETURN OF OUR MISSING LUGGAGE. Yep, it arrived as we were prepping for bed this evening.

Thank you, Dear God.

Tempest In A Teapot

Golden Princess is doing her thing. We are underway. We are fed, warm, and the night is partially completed. Stop.

The terminal seemed nearly empty as we arrived at the port. Was everyone else already on board? Who knows? The customary crowd simply was not there. Half a dozen red caps raced toward us to take our check ins, three pieces of luggage. Then our speedy shuffle through the several steps involved between sidewalk and ship deck. Knowing this ship as we do, it was a simple matter to reach our stateroom. Inside, a colourful floral arrangement awaited us - a gift from Peggy, Buck and A.J., Susan. An excellent start for this holiday; what could go wrong?

The stateroom door is too narrow for my walker.

Only one of the three pieces of luggage made it by the time we had to go to dinner.

Second piece arrived while we were at dinner. Thoroughly destroyed. Content was fine and nothing missing, but this luggage will never make it for homegoing, let alone for another trip.

It seems our third checked piece of luggage has disappeared.
Dan has had multiple conversations with Customer Services and was accompanied to the ship's graveyard for such items. Neither of the two items there was ours.

We're doing relatively well weathering the strong winds and heavy sea. Glad to be on our umpteenth cruise.