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Archive for 'Hawaii'

Xmas Day in Lahaina, Hawaii

I took a load of photos over Christmas, photos of the different Hawaiian islands we visited plus shipboard shots. Unfortunately disaster struck and hubby managed to delete every single photo on my digital card. There was much cursing and swearing on his part and I have to confess that a few mutters emerged from me too. Sigh. On the positive side we have visited Hawaii before and we still have hubby’s photos, but they weren’t as good as mine. Devil I lost all the Christmas day photos, although I did visit Hilo Hatties in Lahaina and had my photo taken with Santa Claus. He was the most talkative Santa I’ve ever met. When he heard I was from New Zealand we had a discussion about the movie Once Were Warriors.

xmas_Lahaina, Hawaii 2012

I love his Hawaiian shirt and the fact his beard was real. We had a lovely day in Lahaina. My highlight was getting up to watch the sunrise. We watched the pilot boat from the cruise ship and saw it stop suddenly. A humpback whale breached right in front of it and as we watched the whale breached three more times. It was a magical start to the day. This was the first time I’ve ever spent part of Christmas day on the beach. Unfortunately the photos to prove it are lost.

If you’d ever like a warm Christmas I highly recommend Hawaii as a destination.

In Search of The Sun!

It’s winter here in New Zealand, and I’m looking out the window at the rain. I could do with some sun! This photo was taken on Waikiki Beach in Hawaii. Hubby and I were sitting at our favorite bar on the beach, drinks in hand and people watching, when I saw this cute little boy.

Waikiki Beach, Hawaii

If you’re spending time in the sun today, tell me about it. Let me pretend it’s warm and summery here in New Zealand…

A Tick Off The Bucket List

One of the things that hubby and I have wanted to do for ages is drive around in a convertible. We didn’t want just any convertible. We wanted to drive a Mustang convertible. In fact a Mustang was my husband’s dream car when he was a teenager.

Fast forward to our stop in Hilo, Hawaii. We hired a nice fire-engine red Mustang convertible for the day.

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It was a gorgeous day, and we had great company (another couple we met on board the Dawn Princess). We drove from Hilo up to the Waipi’o Valley.

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Did I mention we drove a Mustang? It was a really smooth ride, and according to hubby, great to drive.

The Waipi’o valley is beautiful – the road ends and you look down on a wide, flat valley. There’s a black sand beach and the surf crashes onto it. Here’s a photo of me (in the hat I purchased at the Sydney Royal Easter show) with the valley behind me.

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It was a fun day, and we have one less thing on our bucket list.

What is one thing that’s on your bucket list?

All Roads Lead to Walmart

There were almost 2000 passengers on our cruise ship with most of them coming from Australia. A few days before the ship reached Hawaii, we all started to talk about the excursions we wanted to do while stopping at our four Hawaiian ports.

The number of passengers who said they were going to Walmart astounded me. I mean Hawaii is a beautiful place—one of my favorite island destinations—with so many interesting things to see. Volcanoes. Sea horses. Snorkeling. Whales. Turtles. Gardens. Waterfalls. And the list goes on.

We arrived at Kona (our first stop) and, to my surprise, there was a special bus that transferred people from the ship to the nearest Walmart. Passengers returned to the ship loaded with Walmart shopping bags. Really, in some instances I thought the shopping bags were walking by themselves because I couldn’t see the person carrying them!!

Our next stop was Hilo and the word had spread about the bargains available. Everyone was desperate to visit Walmart, even the crew who wanted to stock up on toiletries and small items etc. It became a sort of a joke on the ship. Have you visited Walmart yet? ( In our defense—we don’t have a shop quite like Walmart in Australia or New Zealand.)

And if you’re wondering, did I visit Walmart? Why yes, I did. Just briefly to get something for my cold and sore throat (to combat the buggy thing I picked up on the ship) and to check out the Sony ereaders. I didn’t stay for long though, since there was a Borders nearby. I left my husband and friends to their wandering in favor of checking out the latest romance releases.

Do you shop at Walmart? And, out of curiosity, what do you tend to purchase there?

Magical Seahorses

Thirteen Things about SEAHORSES

When I saw one of the excursions possible from the ship was a visit to a seahorse farm I cast my vote immediately. I told Mr. Munro we should visit and he agreed since we both love nature, animals and the like, and it was something we can’t do here in New Zealand. I fell in love with seahorses during my visit to Kelly Tarlton’s Underwater world in Auckland. Our claim to fame – I believe Kelly Tarlton’s pioneered the giant perspex tubes that you see in aquariums World wide.

1. Seahorses are generally monogamous and they can’t live alone. They must have a mate.

2. The seahorse is the only animal in the entire animal kingdom in which the MALE has a true pregnancy.

3. The MALE stays pregnant most of its life.

4. Seahorses inhabit the coral reefs and sea grass beds in all the oceans of the world.

5. They’re an endangered species.

6. Over 30 million seahorses are taken from the wild every year for use in Chinese medicine.

7. Over 1 million seahorses are taken from the wild for pets. Most die.

8. They will eat only live foods such as brine shrimp and are prone to stress in an aquarium, which lowers the efficiency of their immune systems and makes them susceptible to disease.

9. A seahorse has highly mobile eyes to watch for predators and prey without moving its body. It has a long snout with which it sucks up its prey. Its fins are small because it must move through thick water vegetation. The seahorse has a long, prehensile tail which it will curl around any support such as seaweed to prevent being swept away by currents.

10. Ocean Rider in Kona, Hawaii started up to breed seahorses so they weren’t taken from the wild for the pet fish trade.

11. As mentioned in No. 8 above seahorses eat live food in the wild. Ocean Rider’s first challenge was to get their seahorses to eat dead food. One brave little seahorse – I think his name was Jack but I can’t remember for sure – tried one and all the others copied him. They moved Jack from tank to tank to train all the other seahorses.

12. Check out Ocean Rider for details on buying and caring for seahorses and register for their bulletin board to get into contact with other owners.

13. A pair of Mustang Seahorses of medium size costs around US$300 for a pair. Mustang seahorses are good for first time seahorse owners. They are tropical, colorful, bold, gregarious, social, hearty and healthy! They all feed EZY on frozen mysis enhanced with Vibrance® right from your hand!!

Ocean Rider has been breeding the Mustang since 1998. They first offered Certifiticates of Authenticity and High Health for the Mustang in 1999. All Mustangs are now shipped with these Certificates.

And finally, here are a few photos from our visit. It was a bit hard to photograph the little blighters but we did our best! These are the tanks and that’s me with my floppy hat.

Sea Horses

Sea Horse

And these are my fingers holding a seahorse. They’re just so danged cute. Ah, that would be the seahorses, not my fingers :wink:

Sea Horse