Saturday, March 28, 2009

Fun in Honolulu and on board the ship

Two of the landmarks of Honolulu, the clock tower near the port and the statute of King Kamehameha in downtown, were seen while on the bus tour that returned us to the ship.

Paulette at Germaines Luau honored Cathy Robnik. We were late to the luau because of road construction but they waited for our van to arrive before the luau began. Because we accompanied Cathy, we were given the best-reserved seatsat the luau. I felt like I was accompanying either royalty or a movie star. The hula dancers and the man who used lighted torches in his dance were accomplished performers.

On the ship, we were treated to a reserved table which is the largest one in the dining room so all fourteen of us could sit together for the two hour gourmet meals. l to r are Craig, Don & Suzy, Fran & Bill, Jack & Jeannie and my back. In the other picture are Sharon & Ron, Cathy & John and Laurette & Craig. Terry took the pictures.

If you didn't want the fancy lobster, escargot, lamb, prime rib, or deserts of Cherries Jublilee, Crepe Suzette or Baked Alaska; you could order steak and ice cream off the left side of the menu. When I asked the group what was the best part of the trip, they agreed that it was spending two hours together every night with good friends and good food.

USS Arizona Memorial

The next day in Honolulu we visited the USS Arizona Memorial to WWII veterans. Many Japanese were also visitors. I spoke to one of the young couples who were waiting for the theater to open before riding the boat to see the memorial. When I asked what he thought of the memorial he indicated in broken English that it was a victory for the Japanese. I said, "In my opinion, Nagasaki and Hiroshima would never have happened if the Pearl Harbor had not happened." They nodded their heads. We took each others pictures and waved when we saw each other again.
There were no Miller relatives on the Navy ships when Pearl Harbor was attacked but Terry’s father, Bill Miller, joined the Navy on December 9, 1941 and was immediately sent to Honolulu to clean it up. On the back wall is a list of Navy personnel who didn’t survive including several Millers. Oil on the water was a poignant reminder that the effects of this war are still with us.

The Island of OAHU

In Honolulu, we rented a car with Cathy and John Robnik and drove around the island.

Most of the flowers that are pictured are from the Dole Pineapple gardens. Wildlife included the gecko and snail.
We saw the surfers and big waves at the bonsai pipeline and other beaches. Fran and Bill Rayner joined us for a shrimp lunch at a roadside shrimp farm.

The Island of Maui

On the Island of Mauri, we drove fifty miles of curves as we traveled along the cliffs that bordered the beaches of white, brown or black sand to Hana. The jungle foliage, flowers and waterfalls were magnificent. We saw red and yellow birds whose feathers are attached to the instruments the hula dancers use. It surprised us to see ducks and chickens running wild in state parks.

Terry and I went on a glass-bottomed boat and saw Spinner Dolphins, colorful small fish and coral reeves. Humpback whales and baby humpback calves were so close to the lookout parking spot that we could hear their tails and fins splash as they hit the water.

Trip to Hawaiian Islands

Terry and I left San Diego on February 28, 2009 for a fifteen-day cruise to Hawaii with seven couples that belong to the Boomers club.

On Hilo, the east port of the "big Island" of Hawaii, we went on a tour of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. We saw volcanic steam and black cinders. It reminded me so much of the area around Old Faithful in Yellowstone National Park. It even had the same putrid sulfur smell as Yellowstone. Everywhere you look there are beautiful tropical flowers. As we sailed to Kailua-Kona, on the other side of the island, we saw distant fire as the red lava flowed into the Pacific Ocean.

The first thing we saw in the port city of Kailua-Kona was a little grass hut. Terry and I wandered in the 1837 Mokuaikaua church where a docent was explaining Hawaiian history. Across the street, on the grounds of the Hulihee Palace, we watched as artists were painting various aspects of the palace. We couldn’t go inside because it is being renovated from damage from past storms.