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Greetings from Seattle, Washington, USA

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Maui to Los Angeles

Thanks for stopping by the Island. Today's post takes a look at our last stop in Hawaii and the return to Los Angeles. I can't really call the stop at Maui a "Port Stop" since our ship doesn't go into port, but rather, anchors out and we take smaller boats into shore.

Overview of the island of Maui from our anchoring spot just outside Lahaina.


The small boats are called "tenders" ... the ship carries them along and deploys them as in this case to get us into Lahaina where the "Light at Lahaina" greets us.


Here we have a little panoramic view of the main street which runs along the waterfront. The street really doesn't curve much at all, it's just that putting almost 180 degrees of photos together makes it look that way. The island you can see in the distance, with cloud cover, is Lanai, also known as the pineapple island. Historical fact: James Dole bought the whole island in 1922 for pineapple production and his company later became the well known Dole Foods.


Actually, Lahaina is a little too touristy for me. It seems like there are a thousand little shops. A little gift for just about everyone can be found here.


After spending a couple of hours in town we return to the ship. I like these views from the tender which give a good indication of the size of Golden Princess.



Here is a panorama of the more mountainous part of Maui from the Sky Deck of our ship.



As we pulled anchor and sailed away from Maui, the sun was setting and I thought the pastel colors in the sky quite pretty.


After dinner it's time for movies outside on Lido Deck ... "Movies Under the Stars"


For four days we are at sea as we head to Ensenada, Mexico, and then, finally one day later, back in Los Angeles.  During these days I like to sit out on the Promenade Deck and read. The thing I liked about the picture below is the way it captured the feeling of a sunny morning on deck.


I spent about 3 hours on one of these last days doing what is called the Ultimate Ship Tour and I highly recommend it to my friends who really enjoy ships. It's the behind-the-scenes look at what makes the ship work: the theater, the kitchens, the print shop, engine control, the laundry, and concludes on the bridge where we have a short chat with the Captain. The ship's photographer takes a group picture of the 14 of us together with the Captain and gives us a copy of the photo.


Finally, a sunset and then a sunrise. The sunset is looking out the back of the ship the evening before arrival at Ensenada. The sunrise is on the last day as we arrive at the Port of Los Angeles and prepare to disembark. In a future post I will share some more photos of the Vincent Thomas Bridge which is a pretty neat thing on its own! Again, thanks for going along on the journey.








Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Port Stop: Kauai

Hello followers and welcome new visitors. The journey continues! It’s just about dawn on the third day of port stops around the Hawaiian islands as the Golden Princess nears Nawiliwili (pronounced nah-willy-willy) harbor, which is the port for Lihue, Kauai, Hawaii. The lighthouse greets us.



I’m up early and on the top deck of the ship to snap this photo looking into the harbor. We’ve been told that navigating a large ship into this relatively small port is a bit tricky. Looking ahead you can see the narrow channel we must go through.


 Looking back, I decided the sunrise was worth a couple of shots on its own.
Early morning light, the seawall, and the tropical green of Hawaii.


Nawiliwili is a pretty harbor.


Here is a pan capturing a good bit of the port all the way around to the ship's bridge where you can see the Captain at work guiding the ship around to put port side to the terminal. This does take some experience!




Today we have arranged a three hour tour in the morning. There are two stops and the first is historic Grove Farm, one of the original sugar plantations on the Hawaiian islands. I can’t begin to tell you the history here, but it’s worth checking out and here is a good place to start.


We arrive at Grove Farm about 10 AM. The gentleman in the photo is going to give us a tour of the farm. He is a descendant of the original family who settled the plantation back in the 1800s. After signing the guest register we are shown some historical photographs.






Here are a few views inside the original home of the plantation's owner. This home was constructed in the early 1900s.


This sofa looks like it has a scene painted on it. Actually, it is needlepoint and took the artist who made it over 5 years to create.


Bird of paradise in a planter on the window sill.


Looking at the front of the big house. The big tree is called an umbrella tree and they are common on Kauai.





Another view of the big house from the back yard.





The plantation foreman lived here.


















Views of the garden which includes a mixture of vegetables and flowers.





A close up of one of the many orchids which thrive in Hawaii.

We left Grove Farm and drove a short distance to the second stop for a ride through an old sugar plantation on a train. You know I love trains, so I had to do this. Here is a shot of the engine that pulls the train through the Kauai Plantation.



Sugar cane in the foreground, Cook and Norfolk pines behind, and mountains in the distance. The Cook pines are pretty interesting and the tour guides love to tell the story of how Captain James Cook, who discovered Hawaii, brought the trees from the South Pacific.






On this rail trip through the plantation we stop for photo ops to capture some of the wild critters that freely roam around. Here is one of the wild chickens. They are all over the island of Kauai!


A couple of sky photos to complete this day of the journey. Thanks for stopping by John’s Island. Comments are welcome and appreciated. The next post will wrap up the journey with a stop at Maui and the return voyage to Los Angeles.









Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Port Stop: Honolulu


Thanks for stopping by and joining me for more from the Hawaiian journey (see previous posts). On the second day of port stops in Hawaii, we arrive at Honolulu just before sunrise and enjoy a pretty view of Diamond Head in the distance. Entering the port, which is located right in the heart of downtown, we are greeted by Aloha Tower.



We spend the morning on a tour: Scenic Drive of Pali Coast 


Our tour guide mentioned that the beach below was used as a setting in a famous film, but I don't recall which one. Maybe one of you will know and leave me a comment!


View from Nu'uanu Pail State Wayside park:


Can't resist a few random shots while out on the tour. 





In the afternoon, we return to the ship. I want a photo of the ship at dock, but the position of the sun makes it a tough shot.


View of the harbor to the southeast from the ship:


We finished the day with a visit to Waikiki where we enjoyed dinner and the sunset below. Why is it that I like all Hawaiian sunsets? Maybe just getting the palm trees in there is what it's all about. Thanks again for stopping by and don't miss the next stop: Kauai!