Nawiliwili, Kauai Sept 2009

we have arrived on Kauai at the port city of Nawiliwili.  It is beautiful, mountains, lovely ocean and harbour, lots of greenery.
Hot and humid.  Yesterday we were in Kona on the big Island of Hawaii and did some coffee shopping and general walk around.  We found a beautiful quilt store <smile>
Well, will write more later……….. missing you all – … will see you in a few days!!!
Tomorrow is Honolulu and then the next day we disembark and fly home that night.  It went by fast, and it feels like we have been out here a long time too ………..  strange

Sept 2009 Maui begins

HI – was in Hilo yesterday and I shall send along a few words about that port.  Today and tomorrow in Maui … hot sunny and lovely waves coming in right off the balcony where I am sitting.
Mom is getting ready for the day, we are having a very relaxing time and enjoying the heat and the air conditioning!!
We did a bit of shopping yesterday in Hilo and scouted out a few things, like Kona coffee, found a starbucks … had iced coffee, found a Macy’s and Sears, Safeway and of course Hilo Hattie (a chain of tourist schlack that they have in Hawaii – very nice) and some macadamia nuts, and chocolate ………..
the wait staff have been great to me and the folks at my table … lots of great desserts, can still get my jeans on but good thing we are half way through the cruise!!!  Will need to stop eating for a while when I get home!

Sept 23, 09 Hilo on the Big Island

HILO – first port of call in Hawaii. It is a Monday, I think. The sun is out, cloud cover makes the temperature bearable. A slight wind and such a beautiful place.
From our balcony I see an out crop of black rock, out past the break water. Past the island trees and lush vegetation that is natural to this island port. A couple told us this morning, this their 7th time to the islands and the first when it was not raining in Hilo!! What a gift for them, what a gift for us. How lucky for us to see this place on this lovely day.
I see the rock, out into the ocean. Some moments it looks peaceful and sleeping, with quiet calm water surrounding it …. seconds later, a moment later in time a huge splash of white water as the great sea meets the black solid volcanic bare rock. Splash from behind, splash from in front … all around the black rock is seen white splash of angry sea … as if to argue that it has the right to that space … and takes it’s place.
I wonder how much volcanic rock erodes with each wave. How much has gone already. Out to sea, with the mighty wave claiming the spot where once liquid lava, molten and moving has claimed its place past the land and out into the ocean. Miles and miles of sea …. nothing as far as the eye can see. No white caps, no islands, just water, and that out crop that stands in defiance of the water trying to reclaim what was no doubt, once where the sea was one.
I want to remember this Hilo. This spot, this lava land and angry sea. I want to remember watching this lovely spot, from our secure balcony on the lovely cruise ship. Waiting for folks to come back aboard and our late night sailing to another port and another port ……. until it is time for us to leave these islands.
How magical Hilo is. A small town on the largest island in this grouping. Larger by double than all the other Hawaiian islands put together. We are on the island that is growing each day … fighting with the sea as the hot molten land claims it’s spot only to defend itself as the mighty sea pushes back again and again as the waves roll in. Is it tide, I wonder, is it just the natural course of the sea?
Is it some magical place and I am the only one watching the dance? Will I remember the struggle – something lost and something gained and the eternal dance of taking space … and re-claiming presence.
I am feeling moved by the vision and comforted that there is nothing to do … I don’t need to solve this mystery but to enjoy being in its presence and noticing. Just simply to show up and bear witness to one of the most beautiful sights in nature. A perfect dance of sea and land, liquid turning to solid and solid dissolving in liquid all claiming the same exact place in space, where no air ever exists.
The space between land and sea. No shore, just ragged edge and ocean face ….
have to get ready for dinner
I wonder what tomorrow will present for my sight??? I am very grateful for the visions of today and the awareness and mystery of this magical place.
Mahalo (thank you, in Hawaiian language) and Aloha (hello and goodbye)
with love, P


Sept 24, 2009 Maui

Beautiful bountiful Maui.
The sky is wonderful soft blue with scattered clouds … not to interfere with the sun. The water is the show stopper!! Teal in some areas, white caps and hundreds of surfers – wind surfers, kite surfers, sailing out from the sandy beaches – out and back.
Like a frenzy of activity …. they can be seen from the balcony of our stateroom as we sit docked at the harbour in Maui.
Today we took a Hilo Hattie shuttle to Kehiue (??) (small town across the island) where we shopped, saw Starbucks and Safeway in the mall, and an ABC tourist shop …. and then back for lunch on the ship. After lunch we took another shuttle to Queen K something mall in this harbour town. A fun Serendipity store with fabulous sarongs and lovely pants long enough for me!! I also saw a beautiful hand painted silk komono … for dress wear. Nice outdoor mall with cover overhead to keep out the hot sun, but allows birds to be present.
After so many days at sea, we sure notice the sight and sounds of the lovely birds. And fragrant flowers on the bushes and hedges and trees all around at every stop.
The islands are magical. Scents and sights, sweet and full of song. Music to the ears, fresh scents for the nose and almost too much to take in through sight. Tall palm trees, beautiful and bright reds and whites, yellows and scented flowers. The locals in lei’s, (or maybe they are tourists??) and the store clerks and folks walking around in the bright colors and floral fabrics, loose mu mu style dresses and flowers in their hair.
People coming back to the ship now from a day of sight seeing and touring around Maui. Another day tomorrow and although we will spend the night on the ship, it won’t leave the dock so many may decide to stay in a bed and breakfast or resort elsewhere on Maui.
People pulling up in rental cars, convertibles for the adventurous and sun loving, vans for the family travelers and people traveling together to explore the island on their own, in small groups. Many are heading out for the big Maui Luou that that was organized.
There are shuttle vehicles to take folks to the rental car places. The airport is close by as well.
I bought a few postcards and some stickers for future scrapbooking pages. That is it. I have my eye on a hand painted beautiful tie-dyed blue, turquoise and white big shirt from the artist painter, who has a booth set up in the area outside the cruise ship. Lots of local hand sewn and hand painted items – hats, t shirts, kids clothes, back packs, purses, etc etc. It is really lovely to see the local artists works.
Well time to prepare for dinner – another casual and fun evening with the women of our table. We get along well and have been chatting about plans and also hearing how everyone’s day has been. Perhaps tomorrow we will spend some time with Patty and her mom – off to find an island bus to Lahina and maybe walk on a beach as well. That is the hope for tomorrow.
I feel full and content with today’s adventure. Relaxed, sunny, enjoyable and inexpensive time spent with my mother on this exotic and beautiful island of Maui.
Mahalo and Aloha … till tomorrow. Love P xoxoxo


Pamela MacDonald

Sept 17 en route to Hawaii by cruise

I will try to make them fun and interesting …..  today we have water, lots of it!! It is wavy and windy and beautiful … had sunshine this morning streaming in our room, very nice
Lovely room, met some interesting people and went to a talk about Hawaii already and of course, a wee bit of shopping <grin>
Will send more later … got to go eat again!!  <smile> 
We are in eastern north pacific ocean.  betweeen oregon / washington state … we can’t see any land from our room. ….
we are heading SW at speed of 16 knots.  2100 km till Hilo (maybe I heard that wrong???) strong wind from south (warm) 25 – 30 knots, waves 6 to 8 feet high ……….. partly cloudy sky now …. light overcast.  (Noon report).  Predict sunshine tomorrow.

Cruisin to Hawaii 20 Sept 2009

 another day of sea. Sunday 20 September, 2009 en route to beautiful Hawaiian Islands on the Carnival Spirit.
I have had my shower and dressed, gone up to the Lido deck to pick up coffee for mom, and tea for me in the lovely green logo cups we bought first day (came with free cappucino!!) at a great price. They encourage tipping for room service on this ship and neither of us have appropriate change or small bills to pay for that … so I have been the room service <grin>. Then when we are ready we go up for breakfast in the lovely dining room and sit by a window to watch the waves, water and hopefully whales (not yet).
Mom has spied dolphins we think, and flying fish. The opportunity to sit out on the balcony and watch the sun and sky activity and look for signs of sea life is lovely. The weather today is overcast with sunny periods and warmer wind blowing. Still 5 to 7 foot swells so there is lots of rocking motion.
We had a few laughs with our table mates last evening. Two ladies are from Vegas and they share a flat there, and have small puppies .. the other two ladies are mother and daughter team from interior BC. We get along well. The Vegas couple are like a comedy act from television and maybe could host their own sitcom!!!
I laid out in the sun yesterday and as usual, a bit too long so I have a red face, however, it was great!! Although mom was with me, she got a small bit of color on her neck .. that is it.
“My life in Ruins” was the movie on tv so we watched that the night before. Last night we were dressed up for Hawaii night cocktail party in the main atrium and carried on to dinner, then back to our rooms and fell asleep before the evening show!!! We seem to be catching up on sleep at least. The rocking motion is like being rocked to sleep – very soothing as long as it is not too rough.
Today we will attend more question and answer periods for Hawaii – shopping tips and how to get around the islands. Although many of the stops the same as when I was here with Steve, a few different ports of call, like in Maui. We won’t plan on any excursions but may take advantage of free Hilo Hattie shuttles at all the ports of call. Two days in Maui will be very fun – hopefully we will see a lot there. Our table mates have excursions planned so we can learn about what they see every evening. I will be happy to report to my blog and interested cruisers, the recommended excursions and tours that people take. Some, such as helicopter over the volcano, are pricey but come highly recommended so we shall see what people report. There is active lava flow so this is an opportunity for folks to see a volcano up close and personal (and safe).
I am sitting on the balcony, sipping tea and listening to the waves and movement of the sea. It is strong and forceful and oh so beautiful where the sun shines on the surface of the water. No white caps out here but water swells can be felt and seen .
Yesterday I started reading my book – the White Queen, by Philippa Gregory. I must be in relax mode! The desserts and ice cream are fabulous on this cruise. Sundaes and banana splits every day 3 to 5 pm. 24 hour soft ice cream and frozen yogurt, chocolate, vanilla, strawberry and swirled …. very light and tasty. Also pineapple and lime and other flavor sherbets with meals in the dining room. I had crème brulee last night and it was wonderful. People rave about the chocolate melting cake, almond pastry and apple pastry with carmel sauce. There are sugar free options for cake each night and sugar free ice cream as well. Capuccino with meals, many choices of fresh fruits and other delights. It must be time to eat again!! <grin>That is all for today ………… will write more tomorrow!! Love to all. ALOHA!!

en route to Hawaii 19 Sept 2009


So today is the second day at sea.
Already it is now day 3. I had some problems with the wave movement day 1 and 2 sea days. Today it is sunny, warm and beautiful out on the balcony and I feel inspired to send a message. It feels like we are heading to the heat and sun of the tropical islands of Hawaii.
I dressed, went up and got a cup of tea for me, and coffee for mom. She is getting dressed and I am out on the balcony enjoying the sounds and sights of the surf as we sail through the wild sea. Other people are rising, I can hear voices from other balconies. This is a private verandah, though and no one can see in (I think).
We have gained 2 hours in time already so it is early in the morning in the middle of the Pacific, 7:15 am. The sun is hot, sky is blue, and we are in for a warm day, it seems.
In the last few days it has been chilly and very windy, with many people staying in their rooms due to the affect of motion. 6 to 8 foot waves, seem like a lot, when trying to navigate around the decks. Today, some small waves, little motion … very nice.
Women already on the sun deck reserving seats to catch some rays and prepare for the hot hot sun of Hawaii.
I can barely see this screen due to glare but I am happy I have it. Computer access is dear here, almost a dollar a minute, so I am going to write emails separate and then maybe cut and paste to gmail to send out. Sorry it is not more personal, folks but cost is a real factor for the cruising woman!! Well, it is for me at any rate!! <smile>
We have our stateroom on the sunrise side of the ship and I ghly recommend this to those with a window or balcony. You have access to heavy drapes if you want to sleep in, but the sights in the morning are breathtaking on a day like today an not to be missed. Yesterday we had a spectacular show of color and cloud, mixed with orange sun and yellow and blue, purple, salmon, and bright red. While it fortold of a not nice sea day, it was a sight I will always remember and I just laid in bed to enjoy it!!
We are eating dinner and then to the shows etc in the evening at sun set so not as likely to enjoy the colors from the balcony or window side. I must keep this in mind for all my cruises!!!
Time now to kick back, relax, drink tea, exchange a few words of delight and go have some wonderful concoction for breakfast in the main dining room. We have chosen to have breakfast there as they can accommodate my specific dietary needs better there. At lunch we have chosen the lido deck for whatever the country of specialty focus of the day (yesterday Mexican, day before, Greek!)
The food choices are good, last evening we had tiny lobster tails from Maine and very large shrimp, with cherries jubilee and chocolate melting cake for dessert. We enjoy our table ladies to chat with … and our waiter, Randy has a great singing voice and serenaded us with “when the moon hits the sky like a big pizza pie, thats Amoree”. It was nice.
Time to go enjoy the sun and get back to the business of eating yet again <grin>
love to all, from the Carnival Spirit room 6128, 6th floor, forward, sunny side of the ship!!

Pamela MacDonald