Pictures and commentary on our Hawaiian vacation...
First off, here are the photos I took... Yeah, I realize I don't take a lot. I also have a video from the Flip camcorder I got before I left, but I haven't looked at that one yet.
I did start out with plans to blog the day-by-day vacation for our future review and enjoyment. But I had absolutely *no* interest in writing or blogging much of anything this trip. It was more important to veg out, relax, read, and nap. That's what I needed more than anything, and it was delivered in large quantities. :)
Some random thoughts and observations...
- I really didn't know where we were most of the time. We didn't go with a "must see this" list, as we've never been to Hawaii before. But after 11 days, all the Hawaiian names start to run together.
- The iPhone rocks...
- Some of you might have noticed that I had a number of book reviews I posted yesterday. It might be reasonable to assume that I spent a great deal of time reading. You'd be correct in that assumption, but wrong in the total number of books I read. There are still more reviews I need to catch up on. :)
- All the native tour guides have a great deal of fun trying to get you to pronounce the name of the Hawaiian state fish. It's humuhumunukunukuapua'a, also known as the Reef Triggerfish. I opted for the second version more often than not.
- They aren't Hawaiian shirts... they are Aloha shirts. They are considered standard clothing for men at all levels except for lawyers in front of the court. Regardless, I won't be trying to wear one in Dublin again. It doesn't translate culturally. :)
- The iPhone takes great pictures and really rocks...
- Most cruises have non-American crew and staff. Since Pride of Aloha is strictly cruising Hawaii, the staff and crew is almost entirely American. While they did a good job and weren't nearly as bad as some veteran cruisers lead you to believe, there *is* a noticeable attitude difference between the two sets of workers.
- On the other hand, it's nice to make an observation on American society and have your waiter or bartender know exactly what you mean.
- Sue and I spent some time in an outrigger canoe. It's amazing how fast they can go, and that they were used for month-long trips to migrate to Hawaii.
- It was *wonderful* to not leave the ship and be immediately set upon by taxi drivers, "tour guides", hair braiders, and drug dealers.
- Security getting into American ports was much tighter than I expected. We had to show personal ID and cruise ID while still on the bus, then we had to go through a full metal detector and scanner to get onto the pier to enter the ship. And of course, you have to have your cruise ID scanned when you get on and off the ship. On the other hand, who knows *what's* in all those shipping containers within 100 yards of the ship?
- I thought celebrating our 25th anniversary would put us in a unique group. Nope. There were plenty of geriatrics on the ship, and I'm not sure 25 years would have gotten us into the 50th percentile.
- Did I mention that I really liked my iPhone?
- Visiting Pearl Harbor is a sobering experience. You can "feel the ghosts" as you imagine the wave of Japanese fighter planes coming over the hills... walking on the deck of the USS Missouri... peering down into the underwater grave of over 1000 people on the USS Arizona.
- As usual, the white man destroyed yet another beautiful culture.
- We saw the hotel where Elvis filmed Blue Hawaii. He's still quite the personality there. What's strange about the hotel is that it was decimated in 1992 by a hurricane. It was abandoned at that time, but nobody has vandalized it. Windows are broken out from the hurricane, as well as roofing that's no longer present. But other than that, it still stands. Rather eerie...
If/when we go to Hawaii again, we'll probably pick an island, fly there, rent a car, and stay in one location. The cruise was a nice way to get the "buffet-line" view of the islands, but it was hard to get into much depth or detail.
But even though we didn't do as much as we could have, it was just what the doctor ordered. Now I just have to get out of the habit of afternoon naps. :)