I’m baaack. I know you missed me.
I still haven’t quite settled back into normal routine so I have no foodie offerings just yet. Hawaii was fabulous and we had a really fun time on our cruise. The reason for the holiday was a celebration of a friend’s 50th birthday. There were 6 couples in our group – all Americans apart from ourselves. It was the first cruise for us but most of the others were veteran cruisers. Unfortunately for me there were no real foodies on the trip so I didn’t feel comfortable whipping out my camera during dinner.
Here’s the extremely expurgated version of our trip….
On the Big Island we rented a van and drove around the National Park at Hilo to see the Kilauea Volcanoes. Everyone was getting all excited about seeing the steam coming out of the ground but I was thinking – “Well that’s a big nothing – I can see that by driving two and a half hours up the road”. I realise I am blessed to live in such a beautiful country as New Zealand.
On Maui the others got up at stupid o’clock to drive up the top of Mt Haleakala and see the sunrise. My husband I and I opted to have a lazy day on the ship. The main reason though was that I needed to see the ship’s Dr because I had a scratch on my cornea. $150 later I had some icky ointment and was told no makeup and no contacts for a week which is not the verdict you want to hear when you’ve spent months getting into shape in preparation for having frequent photo opportunities. For the most part it didn’t matter because summer holidays are all about sunglasses and sunhats but at night time when we dressed up for dinner I felt like the ugly bung eyed duckling
On Kauai we rented some Harleys and a Jeep for the non motorcyclists and took in the sights of including Waimea Canyon.
I loved seeing all the chickens and herons on the roadside and smelling all the lush greenery which was fragrant after a recent shower.
On the final night of the cruise we sailed past the cliffs of Kauai that have featured in movies like Jurassic Park and King Kong. Awesome.
At the end of our cruise we had two days at an amazing resort hotel – the JW Marriott at Ko Olina. It was one of those places that took your breath away with beautiful rooms - definitely the biggest hotel suite I've ever stayed in; its own fish pond full of pretty tropical fish, sting rays and baby hammerhead sharks, and of course views to die for.
Here's one of the stingrays coming up out of the water.
The highlight for me was a lei making session which was hosted by a couple of kids from a local cultural centre.
Food-wise there was nothing particularly special to write about although the fresh tropical fruit was delicious. Our cruise was “freestyle” which meant there was no specific meal times and no compulsory formal night. We ate from the buffet a lot but also ate in their speciality restaurants which incurred an extra cover charge of around $10 per person – The Lazy J Steakhouse (crab cakes and filet followed by bananas foster), East Meets West (shabu shabu), Little Italy (Caesar salad and fettucine with shrimp fra Diablo) and the Liberty restaurant (crab cakes again, then braised beef short ribs followed by a baby coconut cream pie). On land we lunched at Cheeseburger in Paradise in Lahaina which had a really fun atmosphere – in fact the town reminded me a lot of Key West. We had a great dinner on Kauai at Duke’s Canoe Club. They are famous for their hula pie but everyone was too full from their wonderful salad bar. As far as I can figure out Hula pie is a cookie crust filled with macadamia flavoured icecream, topped with fudge sauce and macadamia nuts and finished with whipped cream.
I almost forgot to mention the cute little towel animals that the steward put on our bed every day on the cruise. Here's one of my favourites.