Port 1: Hilo, Hawaii

After five days at sea, it was nice not only to see land but land that was somewhat familiar to us. As we approached Hilo on the east side of the big island of Hawaii, we had a great view of Mauna Kea that soon clouded over and remained so for the rest of the day.

Having already seen the volcanoes, waterfalls and beaches in the Hilo area during our 2013 visit, we elected to spend the day exploring downtown. First stop was the farmer’s market and it did not disappoint. We bought one of the floral arrangements and enjoyed it in our room all the way home.

Downtown Hilo is quaint andvery pedestrian friendly – walking from the Farmer’s Market to the Pacific Tsunami museum, we caught part of a band concert at an outdoor pavilion. The museum was great and we came away with a much better understanding of how tsunamis are a significant part of Hawaii’s history as well as how the Pacific Tsunami Warning System developed as a result. As Pacific island dwellers ourselves, it was particularly interesting and relevant.

From the museum, we made our way back to the ship with a few garden detours along the walk.

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Getaway

Jeff and I celebrate our 10th anniversary in December and decided to mark the milestone with a trip. After spending two lovely Christmases away with family, we knew we wanted to be home for the holidays this year. After looking at endless travel options on different continents, we decided that ease, rest, relaxation, limited complicated logistics and as little time in airports/on planes as possible were our top priorities. When a 17-day cruise from Vancouver to Hawaii and back aboard our favourite line (and on the same ship we took to Spain last year) went on super sale in August, the choice was an easy one to make.

On Sunday, October 1, we caught the ferry to the mainland and a bus to downtown Vancouver- three block walks on either end of the journey took us from our front door to Canada Place. The happy day was made greater with the surprise appearance of close friends on the ferry and lunch with a longtime (41 years and counting) friend in Vancouver before embarkation.

It was our first time sailing out of Vancouver harbour and while Jeff fell asleep and missed it, I stood out on the top deck (without a camera) for over an hour enjoying the scenery. There were rainbows and the most spectacular sunset.

#valhalla #rainbowbridge #stanleypark #lionsgatebridge #thor

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Our views en route to Hawaii also covered a full spectrum of sun, rain, clouds and more great sunsets.

What We Did This Summer

It’s been a LONG while since I wrote a personal post, prompting some of you to send private messages asking if we’re OK. We’re just fine. Instead of blogging this summer, we tried out new swimming holes, had lots of barbeques with friends, and worked on taming our garden. The only photo evidence we have for this is for the latter of these activities, and it’s limited at best:

Before:

After our work this summer:

The pergola lattice is gone along with numerous vines, three trees, and three flower beds.  The single sunny spot at the back of the yard now has raised vegetable garden beds. While the beds did not get completed until well into July, we managed to grow two crops of beautiful (and supersized) lettuce, kale, basil and baby potatoes. We’re still harvesting carrots and beets.

The flower beds around the front entrance also went through major reductions and mulching in an attempt to take our yard from ‘perpetual overgrown jungle’ back to ‘manageable’.  We managed to complete about a third of what we wanted to do, leaving lots for next year.

And that’s what we did this summer.

Heart Duo

 Two interesting pieces sung by the USC Chamber Singers, directed by Jo-Michael Scheibe. First is “Batter My Heart” by Richard Nance followed immediately by “The Heart’s Reflection” by Daniel Elder.

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Caught My Eye

Life On Van Island Navy walls seem like they might be dark and foreboding but not here.

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