Well, here we go! It's time to recount the tale of my week-long Hawaiian cruise with my mom. I will post some pictures here on the blog but for all the pics, check out my Facebook page: Hawaiian Pics Preview and Hawaiian Vacation Pics
First things first. I had to fly to Hawaii, and then the cruise was around the Hawaiian islands. We stopped at four of the main islands: Oahu, Maui, The Big Island, and Kauai:
Getting to Hawaii took quite a long time since I was coming from the East Coast of the US. I began my trip on Friday. I flew Chicago-Phoenix-Honolulu. The flights got progressively longer...ugh. Once I got to Honolulu I spent the night at the Miramar at Waikiki. My mom was supposed to join me that evening... Unfortunately the plane for her flight from San Francisco to Honolulu (she had a slightly different route from mine) had some kind of mechanical failure and, after they took a while to realize that it couldn't be fixed, the flight was canceled. While I was sleeping comfortably in the hotel room, my poor mother was sleeping in an uncomfortable chair in the San Francisco airport because all the hotels were full.
Thankfully we finally met up the following day, Saturday, at the dock. I got there first, however. We (separately) went through security, got our free leis, and had our photos taken with some good-looking Hawaiians...
Once together, we then stood in a long line to check in and embark. I think the first thing we did once we got on the ship and into our stateroom was sleep. Poor mom was exhausted after not getting much sleep in the airport the night before and I was still adjusting to the time zone difference (Hawaii is 6 hours behind Eastern Daylight Time).
After resting, we went to eat at the Aloha Cafe, one of the complimentary restaurants on the ship. Then there was a mandatory, ship-wide safety drill. Everyone had to evacuate their staterooms and report to their designated areas to listen to safety instructions in the case of an emergency. It was a thrill a minute, lemme tell you.
So our first day, at the Honolulu port, was uneventful. Our second day (Sunday) was in Maui (port at Kahului). Mom and I went on our first of four excursions, a Segway tour of Lahaina. The tickets said that we must wear closed-toe shoes and Mom hadn't packed any...so we bought some funny-looking water shoes at one of the ship gift stores the day before. Then the morning of the tour, Mom couldn't find her drivers license (which you need any time you re-board the ship). We made ourselves late looking for it and were afraid we'd missed the bus, but once the license was found we rushed down to the gangway. "Segway tour?" an excited women shouted to us. "Yes!" we answered emphatically. She quickly ushered us to the bus, which was still waiting for us (thank God)!
Upon arriving at Segway Maui Tours, we signed our lives away (stating that SMT would not be held responsible if we hurt ourselves/died while operating a Segway) and then watched a terrifying safety video which showed us all the ways we could hurt ourselves/die while operating a Segway. Despite all of that, Mom and I decided we still wanted to continue with the tour. We were given helmets and neon "Don't Hit Me" vests, then we went outside to practice driving our Segways. It was a little weird at first, but we quickly got the hang of it. Teresa, our tour guide, mused that Mom and I had the most priceless looks on our faces as we watched the safety video. She then later remarked that we seemed to have the most fun of everyone on the tour (which was true). While training to drive the Segways, Mom was going around and around the parking area and Teresa exclaimed "Look at your mom go!" When we were done, I decided that one day I will have a Segway. My feet were killing me from all the maneuvering, but it was a TON of fun. Here we are underneath a beautiful banyan tree:
After our Segway fun was over, we decided it was time to eat. We wanted to go somewhere that wasn't too far from Hilo Hattie's, which is where the bus would be picking us up to take us back to the ship. Teresa, being the awesome person that she was, gave us a ride to Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. Good food, and I got a cool glass that lights up (if you're nice, I might let you play with it)!
That evening I heard about an art auction that was going on. I'd never been to one, so I decided to check it out. Also, there was free champagne and everyone who stayed to the end would get a free piece of art. Everybody wins, right? The auction was hosted by Park West. It was a lot of fun and I learned a little bit about some old and new artists (old: Picasso, new: Peter Max). I didn't bid on anything, though I was tempted to bid on some works featuring the Peanuts characters. They were only $80!! I was so shocked at the price (most things were from $2000 to over $90,000) that I assumed I'd heard the auctioneer incorrectly and didn't bid.
Another artist I discovered and fell in love with was Emile Bellet. He has a beautiful style and some of his works featured musicians (a woman playing the violin, a woman standing by a piano). I can't display the works here because of copyright, but I've linked the descriptions to the paintings' pages on West Park's website. Please check them out! Also, if you'd like to purchase one for me, my birthday is this month...they're only $2450 each. :-)
I stayed all the way to the end so I got my free piece of art. I actually ended up with two somehow. They were both the same print so I gave one to Mom. And guess what? It was a work by Bellet! It's titled Delicatesse:
So that was the second day. The third day, Monday, was a bit uneventful because of Hurricane/Tropical Depression Flossie. We were supposed to be at port in Maui two days but the captain said it was safer to be at sea when Flossie hit. So we spent Wednesday at sea. Mom and I didn't do much that day besides eat and explore the ship a bit.
That's all for the first part of the trip! Tune in soon for the second part.