Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Hilo, Hawai'i

Today is our first port day, in Hilo, Hawaii. We woke up to overcast skies, but anxious to get out and about to...WalMart. Yep. Every Hawai'ian port of consequence has a free shuttle to WalMart. Perfect for the additional aloe vera, the watercolor brushes and a few other "essentials". Isn't it odd? We flew 6 hours, sailed countless nautical miles only to find ourselves at WalMart. LOL! We also visited Hilo Hatties where the girls and I shopped, Dad and Larry bought chocolates and mac nuts and all generally had a great time. The highlight of the tour? Watching my niece Katherine perform the Hula Dance. We went to the class taught on board yesterday and Katherine has a natural ability to groove...even the Hawai'ian way. Grammy asked her to do the hula while singing the story song that goes with it. Soon enough, outside Hilo Hatties, she and her cousin Ellen were performing the Hula with several ship-bound guests in observance. They got a round of applause for a job well done.

We're back on board and ready to participate in the afternoon activities. I just finished making a ti leaf lei - very fun and I learned lots of fun trivia from the Hawai'ian "Aunties" (although my "auntie" had a particularly low male voice). More relaxing on board tonight with no real plans, other than to be on deck for the evening passing of Kilauea in eruption/lava flow stage. I'm setting my camera lens to take a time-lapse photo, so hopeto post when complete.

Until next time...Aloha and Mahalo for reading!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

True to my plan, we woke when we felt like it, ate breakfast when we wanted and lazed around by the pool all day. Um, ya…when the sunscreen says “Waterproof”…don’t believe it. I’m a tomato: red and round.

We participated in a couple of quests for the Dam Dollars today, as is usual and customary for us. We started off with a Brain Teaser (7 out of 14 isn’t THAT bad, is it?) and then planned to relax by the pool until watercolor class at 3pm. However, the best laid plans often go asunder, and today was no exception. DJ Matt convinced us to participate in the Pool Games. I mean, why not, right? We already had our swimsuits on, so what’s another dip in the pool? After being assured that this particular game didn’t involve copious amounts of fruit and swimsuits being stuffed…we acquiesced.

We lined up around the pool…all of us suckers, uh, I mean participants, only to then be told that we were now participating in the World Championship Belly Flop Contest. Yes, you read that right…belly flops were the order of the day. Oh, but wait…it gets better! We had to, when it was our turn, go up, introduce our selves and say where we’re from, then proceed to DANCE around the pool before coming back to do the flop at the count of three.

Oh boy. I SO did not want to do this, but if I wanted the girls to do it, I had to go first. Now, it should be duly noted here that I don’t dance. I don’t know how to freestyle groove and I’m sure any attempts would only earn me pity and shame. When it was my turn, I walked up, said my name and where I was from (because it wasn’t obvious enough from the glare of my white legs that I was from Alaska?) then started to walk away. DJ Matt would have nothing to do with that…so I told him that this white girl doesn’t dance. At all. He showed little sympathy and simply pointed me in the direction of my demise. It was the longest “dance” around the pool of my life!

Who knew that dancing and belly flops had absolutely no symbiotic relationship at all? I for one am glad. I stepped to my mark and on the count of three, did my best flat out belly flop. With a resounding “SMACK” and a hit that nearly knocked the wind out of me, I came up to loud cheers and smiles. Guess I’m not so bad at the belly flop thing. Glad I could set an example for the girls. J

Katherine and Ellen have become known as Ham and Cheese on this cruise…one is a total ham, the other one is totally cheesy. They go together just like the sandwich, so there you have it. Because they are so small, DJ Matt invited them both up together to do their dance and their flops. Actually…I was pretty impressed that these two 13 year olds danced their way around the pool with style and flair, then on their mark did the deed. It wasn’t a huge splash, but it was met with rave reviews! I’m so proud.

We headed off to our separate ways (Watercolor class, naps, seminars and lounging) before dinner. Tonight was another formal night, and our table was set and the staff ready for us. The fun and frivolity continued through dinner and we hurried back to our staterooms to change into comfy clothes, then up to the Explorer’s lounge to play Phase 10. A new day dawns tomorrow in Hilo, so until then…Aloha!