Saturday, November 10, 2018

On to the Islands of Hawaii

We both were excited as we checked out of the Queen Mary and walked over to board our ship!  As you can see the rain had just stopped as we rolled our bags to check into the Carnival Splendor.  The Splendor is certainly not The Queen Mary, but she definitely showed us a good time.  The Queen Mary is on the left so you can see we were literally next door to our next ride.

As we boarded the ship we were greeted with a lei!  You can't go to Hawaii without one.  In 1971 we went to Hawaii when our daughter was a two year old.  When we left the plane we were presented with fresh flower leis.  These were not, but still festive and fun.

It's always fun to enjoy the sail away as the ship leaves the port.  The weather began to improve and we even saw some blue skies as we headed into the Pacific Ocean.

Checking into our stateroom I was surprised to find flowers from our children for my birthday.  They certainly made my day even more special.   

The flowers lasted our whole two weeks and were greatly enjoyed in our stateroom.

Even our cabin steward Carter remembered my birthday!  He took such good care of us making sure we had everything we needed and made the cutest towel animals everyday for our bed.

For me the best part of a cruise are the relaxing days spent reading and gazing at the beautiful ocean!  We have never been this far into the Pacific Ocean on a ship.  It was absolutely gorgeous!

After traveling trans-Pacific for four days we reached the island of Maui.  Hawaii was admitted to the USA in 1959 and is our newest state.  It is located on an archipelago in the Pacific Ocean 2,223 nautical miles to Honolulu from Los Angeles.  Today we stopped on the island of Maui that is one of the 8 major islands that make up Hawaii.   We booked a tour to the Iao Needle Valley and a Tropical Plantation.

As we enter the Iao Needle Valley we are in awe of the towering emerald covered peaks of lava that are covered with vegetation and beautiful water falls. If you look closely you can see the falls cascading down the mountains.  Our guide mentioned that we are lucky to view that as there had been rain the day before.

We hiked the short walk to the viewing area to take in the beauty.

There were many plants popping up all around us that we were told were not native to Maui.

The famous Iao Needle is the center of the Iao Valley State Park.  It is a sacred place for Hawaiians as in 1790 the Battle of Kepaniwai is where King Kamehameha I clashed with the Maui army in an effort to unite the islands.  This battle changed Hawaiian history forever.  Even with the cloud cover, we were able to view this lovely park and its botanical interests.

In the valley you can view the Pacific Ocean.  It was time for us to board the bus and go to the Tropical Plantation.

Walking into the Plantation I knew we were in for a treat.

Sugar cane machinery was used as a focal point in this pond.  Sadly sugar cane is no longer grown commercially in Hawaii.  It is now grown in other countries where they employ cheap labor.

Just before boarding the tram I peeked into a cafe that had the most lovely arrangements on the tables.  All in the open air!

The Maui Tropical Plantation was quite interesting as we boarded a tram to ride throughout the fields of pineapple, papaya and coconut palms and many other interesting plants that I never see growing in our little corner.  Our guide was a lovely Hawaiian beauty who explained the plants along the way.  She even demonstrated how to properly open a coconut.

We enjoyed seeing the wide variety of plants that are grown here for local consumption.

It was fun seeing the chickens wonder about the gardens.  The wild nature of this plantation had a very serene feeling. 

Our bus tour guide, Henry brought us safely back to the ship after a wonderful day on Maui.  We enjoyed this excursion very much and have fond memories of our time spent on this lovely island.  I hope you will join me again as we travel to Oahu.  We will be visiting a very important place that touched us deeply.